Review of the Year gives us time to reflect on the articles that have been published on the site during the year. With an ever-evolving palette of creatives and projects that continue to excite us, here we present a selection of ten articles as picked by Owen, Bryony, Jenny, Beccy and Lucy.
Parquet Courts’ Andrew Savage on the interchanging influence of art and musicLucy Bourton —
Since Parquet Courts’ inception in 2010, guitarist and vocalist Andrew Savage has gained recognition for his artistic talent as well as musical prowess. After studying drawing and painting at the University of North Texas, he has created a range of record sleeves that perfectly reflect the sound of each release. Andrew proves the distinctive quality of bands creating their own artwork. It allows the listener to take home an extra piece of the band that they can appreciate, encouraging the audience to buy into the band’s personality, not just their output.1
Benedict Redgrove’s beautifully hypnotic film about how a tennis ball is createdRebecca Fulleylove —
Photographer and filmmaker Benedict Redgrove has created this wonderful three-and-a-half-minute film for ESPN, which captures the process of making a tennis ball at the Wilson Factory in Thailand. Each ball in the factory goes through 24 steps, and the hypnotic operation sees the balls germinate from taut rubber sheets rotating on a machine into fluffy, fluorescent spheres of bounciness, all stamped with the Wilson logo.2
Charles Fréger’s enigmatic island of scary monsters and super creaturesJamie Green —Across Japan there are spirits and monsters residing atop the mountains, lurking deep within the seas and slumbering in the ancient shrines that dot the islands of the enigmatic archipelago. Charles Fréger, a portrait photographer whose arresting work captures the material traditions and folk characters that bind communities together, set out to encounter and document these Yokai spirits.3
Wilfred Limonious: the Jamaican illustrator who defined dancehall artAl Newman —
In Fine Style is the first book to explore the illustration and design work of Jamaican artist Wilfred Limonious, known as the father of dancehall art. Here, the book’s editor and One Love Books founder Al “Fingers” Newman writes about Limonious’ career and work that came to visually define a seminal era in Jamaican culture.4
The New Look: Looking back at Roundel’s 1980s identity design for British Rail’s RailfreightBillie Muraben —
At the launch of the Design Business Association in 1986, John Bateson, a graphic designer and later partner at design agency Roundel, met a product designer who was working with British Rail’s Railfreight on a repainting scheme. To the comment on their “not really knowing what colour to paint the trains,” John suggested that it really depended on “what they were going to put on them, before they could know what colour to use”.5
“People think of my work as ‘quirky’ but I just document groups”: Neal Slavin’s 40 years of mass portraitureRebecca Fulleylove —
It was 1972 when Neal Slavin stumbled on a group photograph of his brother-in-law as a child in his scout uniform with his fellow troopers, the photographer was immediately gripped by what might have happened to these kids and what they went on to do. “They came together for an instance in time and now all we have is a memory of them,” he explains on the phone from his New York studio. “I’d never considered the group form before but with all these questions and that feeling of wanting to find out who these people were, it became really fascinating to me.”6
An appetite for destruction: Nikita Teryoshin photographs weapons and canapés at an arms fairOwen Pritchard —
“I’m generally interested in trade fairs. Access for ordinary people is forbidden to these events and the visitors are usually exhibitors, professionals and reporters,” explains photographer Nikita Teryoshin. “Inside, you have a chance to take a look behind the scenes at the goings-on of an industry and also find some remarkable motives. It was only a question of time before I would visit an arms fair. After a hunting exhibition (Sons and Guns) I planned my next project. I wanted to show the opposite side of war and destruction.”7
American Studies: Jeremy Liebman unpacks his father’s photography archiveJeremy Liebman —
Photographer Jeremy Liebman has spent a number of years cataloguing the images created by his father, Richard Liebman. Here for the first time, Jeremy tells the story of his father’s life long passion for photography and the influence it’s had on him.8
Daniel Gordon plays with perspective with his brightly coloured collaged worksRebecca Fulleylove —
The work of artist Daniel Gordon is multicoloured, full of fruity shapes and vases, and organised into neat little tableau-like constructions. Combining found imagery from the internet with his own digitally drawn forms, Daniel uses both to create 3D scenes, which he then photographs with an 8 × 10 view camera. Changing the perspective and format of these works is a big part of his process as Daniel then dismantles the sculptures to use the parts in other pieces.9
Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec: Freunde von Freunden meets the first family of French product designDiane Vadino —
Erwan and Ronan Bouroullec’s studio is midway along a notably undramatic street in northeastern Paris, a few minutes walk from the Place de la République. Inside, the three-level space hums with activity; it is part office, laboratory, library, wood shop, and archive, with examples of the greatest hits from two decades of collaboration with renowned brands, mixed in with the tools of the trade: an antique sewing machine, power tools, a 3D printer.10
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