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Features / Miscellaneous

It’s Nice That’s Easter Break

It’s the Easter Bank Holiday weekend here in the UK, so we are out of the office for the next four days taking a breather and hopefully enjoying some great spring weather. To keep you entertained over the long weekend we have pulled together some of the highlights from the year so far. Below you can find the most read stories of the year to date, some films to watch, our favourite long-reads from 2017, our selection of music-related stories, and last, but by no means least, some of the weird, wonderful and NSFW articles that have appeared this year.

We will be back on Tuesday with more stories showcasing the best and most inspiring work from around the world.

Have a great weekend!

The It’s Nice That Team

Most Read 2017 (so far…)

  • Scenicsimpsonslist Work / Miscellaneous A chat with the anonymous curator behind Scenic Simpsons

    There is an Instagram account that every Simpsons fan should immediately follow. Or even if you’re just a fan of satisfyingly illustrated interiors and landscapes, this account is for you too. Scenic Simpsons is the work of an anonymous curator, whose knowledge of the Springfield area is second to none. The individual behind the account gave It’s Nice That an insight to his findings below.
    h3. How did Scenic Simpsons begin?

    Lucy Bourton
  • Heji_shin_eckhaus_latta_its_nice_that_li News / Fashion Eckhaus Latta SS17 campaign features real couples having sex shot by Heji Shin (NSFW)

    New York-based fashion label Eckhaus Latta has launched its SS17 campaign that features photographs of real couples having sex while wearing its latest designs. The campaign was shot by Heji Shin who, in 2011, gained recognition for photographing a German sex education book for teenagers. The casting, by Sam Muglia, sees real-life couples from a wide range of ethnicities and sexual orientations modelling for the series. The art direction by Eric Wren Office, design director of Art Forum , sees the most explicit parts of the images pixelated and the models bathed in natural light.

    Owen Pritchard

Features

  • Its_nice_that_liam_hodges15 Features / Fashion In chaos lies opportunity: designer Liam Hodges on leading a dystopian army

    In the three years since Liam Hodges launched his debut collection, the Hackney-based designer has scaled his way to the top of London’s creative pile. With his flag waved by Lulu Kennedy, who welcomed Liam into the Fashion East fold back in SS14, and continued support from Man, Newgen and Woolmark, Liam Hodges has cherry-picked UK culture from far-flung villages and satellite towns and sewn it onto the bodies of a “polysyllabic” tribe of likely lads. Roadies, morris dancers, scouts, cockney market stall-holders, boy racers and pirate radio producers: no corner of British masculinity has gone unprobed. “It’s not blokey for the sake of being blokey,” he insists. “It’s a masculinity that’s a little bit fragile and dishevelled.”

    Bryony Stone
  • Ulm_model_its_nice_that_list_image Features / Graphic Design The Ulm Model: a school and its pursuit of a critical design practice

    “My feeling is that the Bauhaus being conveniently located before the Second World War makes it safely historical,” says Dr. Peter Kapos. “Its objects have an antique character that is about as threatening as Arts and Crafts, whereas the problem with the Ulm School is that it’s too relevant. The questions raised about industrial design [still apply], and its project failed – its social project being particularly disappointing – which leaves awkward questions about where we are in the present.”

    Billie Muraben
  • Lubaina_himid_modern_art_oxford_int_list Features / Art Artist Lubaina Himid on making visible the “invisible histories” of black artists

    For Lubaina Himid making art has been a part of her life for as long as she can remember. “I’m not sure what I’d do if I wasn’t an artist. I’ve done a lot of things like working in art galleries as an exhibition officer, as a curator, and in the early days as a waitress – you know, all that stuff you do when you’re in your 20s while all the time making art,” she says.

    Rebecca Fulleylove
  • List_720 Features / Publication A creative composite of illustration: ten years of Christoph Ruckhäberle’s Lubok

    “I always like it when things fall into place,” says Christoph Ruckhäberle, the founder, editor and curator of Lubok, a publication that doesn’t stick to the same rules as its contemporaries. Based in Leipzig and sporadically released, the highlight of each issue is the element of surprise. Lubok covers are always vividly patterned, giving no indication to the often monochrome content that resides within it. Issues also differ entirely in terms of contributors, theme, design and weight. Issue nine for instance is as thick as a dictionary, ten is as thin as a standard magazine. However, what you are guaranteed is a publication of mass illustrational delight imbedded with hope, chance and historical context.
    The hope featured in each issue is a product of Christoph’s approach to collating the publication. Each double page spread of Lubok is a submission by a different creative given the same tool: a linoleum plate to cut into. His process is to send a plate to the creative, cross his fingers and wait for it to arrive back before going to print. The creatives Christoph commissions differ in numerous ways in order to “gather people from a large range of backgrounds,” he explains. “Each issue contains well-known creatives to the unknown, both the young and old, illustrators, painters, designers or even conceptual artists.” The consequent outcome is a narrative that writes itself. “It develops on its own. You never know what each person will cut into the lino in the end, it is always different to the one before. This is what makes it so interesting.”

    Lucy Bourton
  • List Features / Art Anxiety, speed and rave flyers: artist Mark Leckey on his iconic video "Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore"

    Artist Mark Leckey is glued to the internet, watching the closing days of his largest solo exhibition unfold across the Atlantic. Mark Leckey: Containers and Their Drivers, taking place at MoMA PS1 until 5 March, is both Mark’s first major US show and the first retrospective of his work.

    Bryony Stone
  • 00_list Features / International Women's Day Physical improbabilities made real: the work of French artist Marguerite Humeau

    “I see myself as an explorer – I like to question something and then I will try to go as deep as I can,” artist Marguerite Humeau says. “The research for me becomes a bit more of a performance in itself. Not in the live sense of the word, but it becomes part of the story I’m telling. It’s a long journey I have to take before I can actually realise or produce a physical outcome.” Marguerite feels she has a responsibility to “create an experience that tackles issues we have to think about today”. Living and working in London, France-born Marguerite, who graduated from the RCA just five years ago, is unlike many artists in that rather than create works about herself and her own journey, she dabbles with complex narratives and poses the biggest “what ifs?” imaginable. Each project we’ve come to know Marguerite for has been more complex and grand than the last and her research is just as much an artistic and creative process itself.

    Rebecca Fulleylove

Films

  • Uncertain_ewan_mcnicol_2 Work / Film Uncertain: a spellbinding documentary conflicting epic scenery and societal devastation in Texas

    Cinematic and yet mesmerisingly subtle, documentary film Uncertain has the viewer completely enthralled from the opening shot. Filmed in the town of Uncertain, Texas, it opens with a view of an eerily still bayou with low light twinkling through trees, and Henry Lewis, one of the films three focal characters, steering his boat through the water. With his expressive face and an accent so incomprehensible that he requires subtitles, Henry – like the scenery – doesn’t seem real, but that’s part of what makes this documentary so bewitching.

    Jenny Brewer
  • Alan_resnick_int_list Work / Animation Alan Resnick animates the adventures of his odd little character Johnny Bubble

    Visual artist and director Alan Resnick has created a series of bizarre animated shorts for online video platform Super Deluxe. Based in Baltimore, Alan has created the fictional character Johnny Bubble after Super Deluxe reached out for animation ideas. “He has lived a long and happy life with a beautiful family and has strong ties to the community,” says Alan. “I don’t know where the idea came from. The inspiration was more visual than narrative. I had ideas for material, colour, movement and tone and the details of the story filled themselves in as I was making it.”

    Rebecca Fulleylove

Music

The weird, wonderful and NSFW

  • Julian_glander_doppleglanders_int_list Work / Miscellaneous Doppelglanders: 3D animator Julian Glander interviews his name twin

    3D animator and illustrator Julian Glander has epitomised the notion of collaboration in his new project Doppelglanders, which sees him track down another Julian Glander through Facebook and then create a series of works with his internet twin. Julian has used the other Julian’s landscape photographs as a backdrop for his blobby, pastel characters, creating new scenes and narratives. The project is a humorous nod to the pair’s creative beginnings and explores themes such as twins, doppelgängers, doubles and parallel lives.

    Rebecca Fulleylove
  • Manabu_himeda_int_list Work / Animation Manabu Himeda’s trippy animation takes us on a colourful car ride

    Japanese animator and singer-songwriter Manabu Himeda’s latest short is an upbeat, brightly coloured jaunt through town. The animation tells the story of a man who takes his family on drive in a big car. Things go awry though when he drives so fast that his family and friends blow away, as do his clothes and body hair.

    Rebecca Fulleylove
  • Jc3 Work / Art Looking back at the work of bum-obsessed photorealist John Kacere (NSFW)

    It’s an adage straight out the Steve Jobs school of life: choose a job you love and you’ll never do a day’s work in your life. The late American artist John Kacere, reluctant grandfather of photorealism, did just that. Shifting from abstract expressionism towards a photorealistic style in the early 60s, John spent the last thirty years of his life painting the only thing that interested him: the mid-section of the female body. The kitsch paintings make for pleasurable viewing, not least for the sexually-charged subject matter. John’s incredibly tuned hyperreal style lends itself to the flawless skin of the idealised Caucasian bodies he paints as well as it does to the slippery silk and satin folds of lingerie and bedsheets. As the curve of each woman’s hips builds a terrain across each canvas, the scantily-clad female form becomes a landscape of sexual possibility.

    Bryony Stone