“Master the Force”, Mister Thoms’ mural for the Comasina district

“Master the Force”, Mister Thoms’ mural for the Comasina district

Giulia Guido · 4 weeks ago · Art

Art has always had the power to unite people, despite social, economic and cultural differences. Anyone can stop in front of a painting and enjoy its beauty, and since art has left museums and invaded the streets, thanks to the work of street and urban artists, it has become part of our lives, our journeys to work and our Sunday walks.
Until we see it with our own eyes, it is impossible to understand the power a mural can have, how its colours can really bring new life to a street or a neighbourhood and, above all, how the process of making it is a healthy moment of aggregation for citizens.
This is exactly what happened at the beginning of September in the Comasina neighbourhood, north of Milan, where for a week Mister Thoms worked incessantly on a mural created in collaboration with ActionAid as part of the UIA.Città di Milano project

Mister Thoms

On a wall in Piazza Gasparri, he created the mural entitled “Master the Force“, which gave shape to the fears, dreams and hopes of some of the boys and girls from the neighbourhood who had taken part in the Street Art Labs in July, learning how to translate their feelings and thoughts into art, and who then actually helped Mister Thoms to create the work. 

The artwork shows an enormous dragon, which besides recalling the Visconti bison – symbol of the city of Milan -, represents the inner strength that each of us has and that we must discover and learn to tame. This is where the name ‘Master the Force‘ comes from. Throughout its length, the dragon has various characters and elements on its back, each embodying superpowers or hopes described by the boys and girls during the art workshops. 

We start with the mechanisms that hold the dragon’s body together, a symbol of the industrialisation and evolution necessary for any city that wants to survive in today’s world, and we move on to fire, which has a dual meaning, on the one hand a destructive force and on the other a flame that nurtures the creativity typical of adolescence. 

We find an elderly man and a child together, representing two different generations living in the same community, just like the couple formed by mother and daughter, created as always following the idea of one of the girls who took part in the workshops, representative of the large Chinese community in the area.

There is also a masked figure resembling the character of a weapons master who prepares young warriors to face the demons of a well-known manga. 

Finally – by virtue of the link that the project wants to create between the centre and the suburbs – the Milan skyline cannot be missed, from Piazza Duomo, complete with a statue of Vittorio Emanuele II, to the unmistakable San Bernardo Parish in the Comasina district. 

We at Collater.al were lucky enough to follow the week of work and see the citizens of the neighbourhood discovering the progress of the mural day by day and giving their personal interpretations.
Take a look at the photos of the work below and watch the video to discover it through the words of Mister Thoms.

Mister Thoms
Mister Thoms

This document has been prepared for the European Commission however it reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

“Master the Force”, Mister Thoms’ mural for the Comasina district
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Black Dada by Adam Pendleton

Black Dada by Adam Pendleton

Chiara Sabella · 7 days ago · Art

Born in 1984, a research on language that synthesizes different styles, means and disciplines: Adam Pendleton is a conceptual artist from New York, twice included in Forbes Magazine‘s 30 Under 30 list. We find him in the collections of the Tate in London, the MoMA and the Guggenheim Museum in New York, with works that combine painting, screen printing, collage, video and performance in experimental and meaningful works. On the borderline between image and representation, long strokes of spray paint play on the perception of figures, without ever abstracting from reality, from our past and contemporary history. His is a cultural reflection before artistic, as in the works on Black Lives Matter where “The novelty is in the language, which is at the same time a public mourning, a battle cry and a poetic appeal”.

In 2011 the artist composed Black Dada Reader, a collection of photocopies, collages and statements assembled together for personal purposes, then distributed informally among friends and colleagues. The text is described by Pendleton as a “radical juxtaposition” and sees the names of Hugo Ball, W.E.B. Du Bois, Adrian Piper, Gertrude Stein, Sun Ra, Stokely Carmichael, Gilles Deleuze appear in an unexpected mix. The artist speaks to us through fragments of images and words taken from his personal library, side by side in the new practice of Black Dada.

Black assumes for Adam Pendleton an “open meaning” while Dada refers to the freedom of his works, inspired by the absurd works of the Avant-garde that gave an artistic response to history, challenging society. The anthology that conceptualized the poetics of Black Dada is now enriched with a second text. Ten years later, the artist again juxtaposes writers, artists, filmmakers, philosophers and critics to draw contemporary guidelines. The collection Pasts, Futures, and Aftermaths includes, among others, the writings of Sara Ahmed, Clarice Lispector and Malcolm X in a reflection on the current anti-racist and anti-capitalist movements.
We are faced with true artistic narratives: personal research, bibliographies and spiritual autobiographies that interpret contemporary complexity and bring forward, among other struggles, a critique of museum collecting practices. Adam Pendleton’s works are designed to influence the place that hosts them, giving new meanings and feelings to institutions. The artist believes in a well-rounded art: it is not possible to truly understand painting without fully understanding improvisation, poetry, and music. In this sense, the lyric becomes a meeting between political struggle and love, the writing a fundamental support of the work of art.

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“As Been By,” RIMOWA’s art exhibition in Paris

“As Been By,” RIMOWA’s art exhibition in Paris

Andrea Tuzio · 6 days ago · Art

RIMOWA is not a simple company that produces aluminum suitcases.
Over the years it has broadened its horizons becoming a true patron, in fact the German brand diversifies its collaborations more and more often focusing on cinema and art.

“As Been By” is the art exhibition conceived and organized by RIMOWA in collaboration with the art collective The Community. The project, started before the outbreak of the pandemic, aims to support art as a whole and for the occasion, the German company commissioned a series of emerging artists to create works of art using aluminum – the main material of RIMOWA products used since 1937 – and various spare parts of the suitcases produced by the brand. 
The result of this work is currently on display in Paris at the Dover Street Market concept store, a sort of mix between a boutique and a museum. 

Among the many international artists who have participated in the project are Quentin Vuong, Atelier Sohn, Irina Lotarevich and many others, all chosen for their distinctive aesthetics and the craftsmanship they express with their works.

The “As Been By” exhibition is currently on view in Paris and will remain so until tomorrow when it begins a tour that will take the artists’ work around the world.

“As Been By,” RIMOWA’s art exhibition in Paris
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Designing the perfect LEGO font

Designing the perfect LEGO font

Tommaso Berra · 5 days ago · Art

The community of enthusiasts in the world of LEGO is enormous and involves adults, children and adults who have remained a bit of a child. With LEGO, practically every type of scale reproduction has been created, from large monuments to the sets of movies and TV series. One of the latest projects created using the world’s most famous toy bricks is a typography studio, the brainchild of artist Craig Ward.
The English graphic designer and art director has a career in the important Grey communication agency, along with other very interesting projects, such as the rebranding of the English national soccer team (only the second designer in history to do so). Other projects include the Amazon best seller “Popular Lies* About Graphic Design”.

Craig Ward’s latest challenge is “the search for the perfect LEGO font,” as he calls the project, called Brik Font. Through combinations of LEGO, Ward reinvented numbers and letters, serif or sans, playing with the shapes of the bricks, both traditional squares and more unusual shapes such as round pieces or those cut at 45 degrees.

The study of lettering takes up some of the most famous fonts used in graphics and publishing. These include Helvetica, Futura, New Alphabet, Slab Serif and even Garamond, the font used for almost all books.
“The Brik Font project is driven by the idea that creativity thrives in restrictions – and I think the LEGO system clearly fits into that concept. The subtleties and nuances of font design often struggle with the shapes of the bricks, the curves and diagonal strokes in particular,” the artist told FrizziFrizzi.
The history of graphic design has always been the product of continuous experimentation with media, colors, shapes and tools, and Brik Font in a way is a union of all this.
Perhaps soon we will find a set of bricks made by Craig Ward in some LEGO store, but not before he has concluded his search for the perfect font.

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84 stamps inspired by famous novels

84 stamps inspired by famous novels

Tommaso Berra · 4 days ago · Art

Who knows what the writer Alberto Arbasino, used to send postcards as his favorite form of greeting, would have thought about the possibility of having stamps dedicated to Fratelli d’Italia and Super Eliogabalo, his most famous titles. Virginia Woolf, Voltaire, Emily Brontë, along with some of the greatest writers in history would now have stamps dedicated to their works, thanks to Dorothy‘s new graphic design.

After revisiting some of the most important music albums, the British graphic studio has created a series of illustrations, in stamp format, dedicated to the great novels of literature. There are a total of 84 two-dimensional and colorful drawings, indicating the title, the serial number, the author’s name and the year of publication. The works are divided and collected into two posters, the first dedicated to classic titles, the second to modern literature, from the 20th century to the present.
With a few forms of color Dorothy manages to encapsulate characteristics of the protagonists and settings of the great novels of Orwell, Kerouac, DeLillo, Murakami, Austen and many other authors.

This is not the first time that Dorothy dedicates projects to books, in the past she had done so by making a geographical map and a chromatic iris, perfect as a suggestion for essential reading, should the need arise.

Francobolli | Collater.al
Francobolli | Collater.al
Francobolli | Collater.al
84 stamps inspired by famous novels
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