Fancy some art and design chat in a pod-tastic way to round off your week? Course you do and good job too because here comes Studio Audience with some illustration, art and graphic design plus a discussion about whether computer games are art, design or nothing of the sort. Oh and look out for a long-awaited return for Siddall’s Similes – it’s a cracker. Enjoy!
Frau Franz: Pin-ups
You’re probably used to seeing pin-up girls tattooed all over people’s arms, or emblazoned across over-priced, traffic-stained t shirts at Camden market. Nice, then, to see them being portrayed in a different, and much more aesthetically pleasing way. Frau Franz, who we’ve been a fan of since August this year has managed to depict pin-ups in an unexpected and charming deadpan manner. Lolling about on what look like rocks with really nice fades, these expressionless yet impeccably dressed ladies are having a great time, and they don’t care what you think.
If you think of watercolours as a weekend pastime for geriatric dandies or the novelty pursuit of wealthy ladies that lunch then think again. Californian artist Matthew Palladino is breathing much-needed life into this long overlooked medium. Where once there were subdued colour palettes and picturesque landscapes, Matthew has created luminous abstracts of gradient colour and richly detailed representations of strange and exotic fabrics. The scale at which he produces these works is also a far cry from the miniature watercolours of old, each one created on an enormous sheet of paper.
Based in New York by way of Philadelphia and San Francisco, Matthew has been producing work professionally for the past six years while he’s migrated cross-country. In that time he’s also been experimenting with a variety of 3D media, including plaster casts and moulds. Finished with highly saturated enamel paint, these pieces are equally striking, forming strange dioramas of often surreal and always humorous ideas and character-free narratives.
Read the full interview here
For all the incessant heralding of the rise of the foodies and the Instagram-fuelled fetishisation of everything and anything that ends up on a plate, it’s still surprisingly rare to come across a real well-designed cook book. Bucking that disappointing trend however is Praline’s beautiful creation for Russell Norman’s Polpo empire which has been at the forefront of London’s recent restaurant revival.
The combination of deconstructed, spineless format (practical for real-life kitchen use), old Venetian typefaces and beautiful photography come together to create not only an intoxicating hymn to Russell’s stripped-back foodie philosophy but a gorgeous and unfussy object in its own right. In fact so special is it as an object that the tome has just been named Book of the Year by Waterstones, whose judges praised the fact that in the age of the Kindle, “(Polpo) can only be properly appreciated in its printed form.” Other cookbooks take note, if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.
About the Author
Rob joined It’s Nice That as Online Editor in July 2011 before becoming Editor-in-Chief and working across all editorial projects including itsnicethat.com, Printed Pages, Here and Nicer Tuesdays. Rob left It’s Nice That in June 2015.