The Guestbook: our interview with João Marques

The Guestbook: our interview with João Marques

Giulia Guido · 2 years ago · Photography

It only took us a few seconds on his Instagram profile to fall in love with João Marques‘ shots, a photographer from Lisbon.

If we had to find a word to describe his photographs, it is contemplation, linked both to the subjects he takes and to the spectators. In fact, many of his images depict figures seen from behind with their eyes pointing towards the sky, at night, during the day, at sunset, full of stars or illuminated by the city lights. Like them, we too are completely enchanted by his work.

We asked João Marques a few questions and he told us how his passion for photography was born.

Tell us how you approached the photograph. Is there a particular moment that you remember?

It started when I was around 13, at that time I asked my dad to try out his digital camera, it was an Olympus and it was pretty cool to me. I started taking mostly portraits of my friends and it kinda was something that always sticked with me through the school years. I was living in a really small town and photography turned into my hobby, I was always filming and photographing my friends. When I was 17 I moved to Lisbon to finish high school and in the following year, I went to film school. In those 3 years, I focused mainly on cinema, I was watching a lot of movies and pretty much discovering my passion for cinema. Only in 2018 after finishing my degree and directing my first short-film ‘Incomum’ I stopped for a moment and thought it could be a cool idea to get some more serious knowledge on photography since it was part of my life for so long but never consciously. I went to Ar.Co and did a 1-year course and that’s when I started to do it again, and I just kept going.

What does photography mean to you and what do you try to tell through your shots?

I work most of the time by instinct, so there’s not that much of a reflection behind my work. At this point, something I understood about myself is that I have a need to create and express myself artistically in some form. I love that photography gave me this opportunity to produce instantly, create an idea or express my perception of a feeling on an image. For someone like me who already has a background also in the film world, where everything is much more complex and involves a lot of people, photography gives me the chance to make almost like a mood board to how I want my films to look and feel like. 

What equipment do you use to shoot? Which tools do you take with you when you shoot and why?

I shoot both analog and digital. My digital camera is a Sony A7 III and my film camera is Pentax K1000. It’s funny because actually I’ve never had other film cameras yet (besides point and shoot ones). I’ve been thinking about moving to a 120mm camera but for now still sticking with this one. I don’t like to do very much planning, so I guess most of the time I don’t take anything else besides the camera. If I take something it would be a small light or some prop that I would like to use on the shot.

Is there a shot you are closest to? Can you tell us about it?

If I had to choose one image, maybe this one. This image was taken around 2 am on January 1, 2019. This was the day where I started this series that I titled ‘the sky is a painting’ of night shots. This one represents all the other similar night images that I’ve done. I’ve always felt connected to night time and the sky. I used to stare a lot at the sky and have one of those moments of realizing how small we are. I like to play with this idea of the human vs universe. I would like to do in the future a photo book with all my night atmospheric shots.

Are there artists you follow or are you inspired by?

Sure. There are some other photographers I follow through social media that I find inspiring, mostly I think what attracts me is a personal point of view of the world and life. Some artists I highly recommend taking a look are Mia Novakova, Maya Beano, Tristan Hollingsworth and Edie Sunday for example. However, I think what I’m mostly inspired by is movies. Some filmmakers that have inspired me are David Lynch, Jonas Mekas, Teresa Villaverde, Wong Kar-Wai, and Robert Bresson.

The Guestbook: our interview with João Marques
Photography
The Guestbook: our interview with João Marques
The Guestbook: our interview with João Marques
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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.

Black Dada by Adam Pendleton
Art
Black Dada by Adam Pendleton
Black Dada by Adam Pendleton
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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
Art
“As Been By,” RIMOWA’s art exhibition in Paris
“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.

Designing the perfect LEGO font
Art
Designing the perfect LEGO font
Designing the perfect LEGO 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
Art
84 stamps inspired by famous novels
84 stamps inspired by famous novels
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