The winter is still long, but there is always someone thinking about summer. Weekends at the beach or in the mountains, warmth and doing nothing. If there is anything that I connect directly with summer, it is those quiet moments when I am lying on a sun bed, on a lawn or sitting on a terrace, watching the world, which like me seems to need a break. The cool summer breeze caresses the leaves on the trees, the blades of grass, the beach towel hanging out to dry on the parasol. Imperceptible movements in harmony with my mood. Illustrator and visual artist Raj Jeshang seems to have a soft spot for all these suspended moments and captures them in simple drawings that he brings to life.
Raj Jeshang was born in Tanzania and after studying animation at the Savannah College of Art and Design he opened his own studio in Brooklyn, where he now lives and works, collaborating with clients such as Origins, Bumble and Bumble, NEST Fragrances, Topix Skin Care and Philosophy.
Raj Jeshang’s style is straightforward and essential and fits perfectly with his favourite subjects: ordinary everyday moments that often go unnoticed. The artist not only notices them, but turns them into art allowing everyone to see and enjoy them.
Have we become obsessed with shoes? How often do we find ourselves paying attention to what people are wearing on their feet? We can now say that trainers have become a real status and sometimes their prices reach staggering figures. These figures are even more surprising if you think that often true fans and collectors don’t even wear the shoes they buy. In practice, the world is full of models that will never see the light of day and will remain forever locked in a box or, in the best cases, under a display case. The multidisciplinary artistIzaak Brandt has analysed this issue with his series of sculptures entitled Deadstock.
The Bristol-born, London-based artist has reproduced some of the most famous and sought-after trainer models with the simple use of one of those 3D printing pens. Initially the project started with 6 models – Air Jordan 1, BAPESTA, adidas Superstar, Nike Air Force 1, Converse Chuck Taylor and Reebok Classic – but then Izaak Brandt continued to produce pair after pair of shoes that are impossible to wear.
Browsing through his Instagram profile, we can see that his “collection” now includes Crocs, Vibram FiveFingers and a pair of Yeezys.
“Deadstock explores archival sneaker culture in contemporary society. By reducing the functionality of sneakers like archives and collectors do, to a skeletal-like structure, the project examines our obsession with preservation and transformation of functionality to sculptural object.”
If Jordan Belfort, the Wolf of Wall Street played in Hollywood by Leonardo Di Caprio, had asked you to sell a pen it would probably have been difficult, but maybe not as difficult as creating a work of art with that same pen, a BIC let’s say. The most famous ballpoint pen in the world, however, is not only the most popular writing instrument, it is not only the pen with which we write assignments and sign contracts, but also a cult object for great artists, who have used it to create works of art. FerdinandLegér, MartinParr and AlighieroBoetti are just some of the names that have chosen the ballpoint pen presented in 1950 in Clichy (France) by Baron MarcelBich. Bich improved, and bought the rights, of the ballpoint pen invented by László József Bíró, making it a popular disposable product, which would be followed by the production of razors and lighters. If you have always been undecided about which color to choose, it might reassure you to discover that RenéMagritte chose blue for his self-portrait, Alberto Giacometti chose black for some sketches, Claude Closky in his Avant/Après (4 couleurs) instead also used red and green.
In 2018 at Gallery 104 in Paris, BIC organized an exhibition in which 140 works made with pens and other objects produced by the brand were on display. In addition to the aforementioned works by Magritte and Giacometti, there were also works by César, Giorgio Colombo, Lucio Fontana, Philippe Favier, Angiola Gatti and Mamadou Cissé to name but a few. Among these there was also GiuseppeStampone, for whom BIC in recent days has created a special ballpoint pen with the color “Giuseppe Stampone”, not for sale and that will be used only by the French-Italian artist for his works. The BIC collection includes in total about 250 works, not only ballpoint pen paintings, but also sculptures, such as the chair made by Kate Lennard with 1102 razors, or the outfit composed of shirt and pants (Out of the Blue) by designer Sophie Hardeman.
The screens, the lamps and all the physical and paper objects created from Marcel Bich’s idea are the highest expression of an idea born to be within everyone’s reach, an instrument of simplification that has entered everyone’s life. BIC has revolutionized the way of writing and jotting down information, has changed the speed of the act of writing making it more immediate and popular, changing a centuries-old habit, a capacity that only great design objects have. Artists of the new generation such as THE KID or Anne-Flore Cabanis have been inspired by it, just as Giacometti and Fontana were in the past, a sign that artistic expression and its gesture cannot be separated from the instrument, even better if it is fast and essential.
Artist DeanHoy, now 25, must have been thinking about his childhood when during the pandemic he decided to take old teddy bears back into his hands, trying to give them a new life, a different meaning than they had when he was a child. The artist began to fix some creased parts, to mess up others, burning them or adding thicker seams, more fur, pearls, scraps of lace, creating new puppets less harmless and tender but more disturbing. The works of the project “Bears Who Cares” have in fact grotesque aspects, perhaps not too reassuring if seen through the eyes of a child, but more impactful for the message they want to convey. Dean Hoy, taking puppets from charity stores, wants to make visible a theme that is often addressed but with which it is more difficult to come across in everyday life, such as the abandonment of animals. To do this, he needed a physical object, to touch and of which we could all recognize the feelings that it can transmit in its original state. The meaning of animals is also in the way we take care of them, this is the concept behind Hoy’s works, in which he denounces the disinterest and selfishness of man, the affections with the timer, opposed to childhood as a moment of purity.
Bari-based street artistNico Skolp has returned to work on asphalt with “48“, the pavement artwork he created in the new courtyard of Rovigo‘s “Urban Digital Center” on the occasion of the Rovigo Regeneration Festival 2021.
The mural starts from the number used as the title: 48 is defined as a “semi-perfect” number, as it is equal to the sum of some or all of its divisors. This is why the work consists of 48 geometric shapes that create a multicoloured pattern. The artwork covers the entire 300 square metres of the courtyard of the “Urban Digital Center”, making it also an immersive work, since it can be walked on and through to get from one part of the space to another.
This is not the first time that Nico Skolp has worked on a horizontal surface; a few years ago he created a work on a basketball court in Matera, and last year he proved that he could also manage a staircase in Santa Croce di Magliano. Each time, however, his interventions manage to amaze both for their size and their visual impact.
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