Abid Javed 14

Molecular Biologist By Day, Ceramicist By Night: How Science Informs Abid Javed’s Art

The Hong Kong–born, London-based artist Abid Javed became a ceramicist almost by accident: While studying for his PhD in biochemistry, Javed began searching for a medium he could dabble in to fulfill a desire to make 3D forms inspired by molecules. "I considered glass initially, but it seemed too technical to pursue as a hobby," Javed recalls. "Ceramics felt and became more intuitive." A hobby soon became a full-blown art practice; the resulting series is called Pleomorphs.
More
cherry_noir_grande-petite

Week of July 20, 2015

A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week: Nerding out on the science of chemical reactions, finding new uses for tie dye, and professing our love for iridescence and copper (yes, we’re predictable!). Discoveries We’ve always said that the only bad thing about the incredible roster of products made by Australian duo Daniel Emma is how few of them are available Stateside. Perhaps that will change now that their amazing Cherry on the Bottom light is being produced by the French company Petite Friture. In 2013, Daniel Emma first showed a self-produced edition of the lights in more fanciful colors, like baby blue and red; we much prefer the more sophisticated iterations shown here and at the top of this post, particularly (natch) the black and iridescent. The brand-new Museo del Design 1880-1980 is now open in Milan, tracing the history of Italian design from Art Nouveau to Memphis. As you might imagine, the permanent collection includes lots of chairs but our favorite might be this 1969 Mies seat, which was given by one member of Archizoom to the other as a wedding present. Not shown is the A+ illuminated footstool that typically accompanies the chair. An update from the Greece- and New York–based architecture firm LoT arrived in our inboxes this week, filled with lots of great new built work but also alerting us to their range of small goods, which they create under the name Objects of Common Interest. We’re especially partial to these copper table mirrors, whose bases are CNC milled from blocks of aerated concrete. Speaking of copper, we also got word this week of these beautiful copper bowls by Vancouver designer Ben Barber. Spun from solid copper sheets, the exteriors are powder-coated; “as the powder is baked into the copper, the copper undergoes a blooming process, giving each bowl a pearlescent hue; no two bowls are the same,” explains the designer. These ceramic bowls by Portuguese designer Sara de Campos are also the result of a relatively cool chemical reaction. Their blackened exteriors are formed using a dying Portuguese process called barro negro, in which the pieces are placed with burning firewood into a hole in the soil in the ground and covered with moss, leaves, or straw. East Village gallery Ed. Varie is leaving its 9th Street digs at the end of this month in search of artier surroundings, and before they leave, you should absolutely stop in and see the excellent exhibition on view, which includes one of our favorites, Malin Gabriella Nordin. … Continue reading Week of July 20, 2015
More
Freunde-von-Freunden-Huy-Bui004 copy

Huy Bui on Freunde Von Freunden

Though we have a particular fondness for so many of the designers we've featured or worked with in the five years since Sight Unseen began, Huy Bui might be the only one who can lay claim to being both one of our favorite designers and the co-founder of one of our favorite New York restaurants. As the founder of Plant-In City — or what he calls architectural terrariums for "the 21st century" — Bui was one of the inaugural exhibitors at our Sight Unseen OFFSITE showcase last year. And as the designer and co-founder of the Lower East Side Vietnamese eatery An Choi, Bui's provided the backdrop for many a late-night design date. So when Freunde von Freunden reached out with the opportunity to co-publish a story on Bui's Brooklyn apartment and studio — complete with cameos by the designer's sweet dog Loopy, one of the more popular attractions at OFFSITE last year — we jumped at the chance.
More
desk-1

Matthew Shlian, Paper Engineer

Knowing what we do about Matthew Shlian, it’s hard to believe that the Ann Arbor, Michigan–based artist ever thought he wanted to be a ceramicist. Ceramics is a medium of imprecision and risk, full of frequent failure and a high degree of unknowability. Shlian, on the other hand, can be found these days doing one of three things, each of which requires an almost uncanny amount of precision: drumming; working with scientists at the University of Michigan using paper to visualize structures at the micro and nano scales; or folding and gluing paper into intricate sculptures that range from 11x11-inch editions for Ghostly International to an 8-foot installation in the window of a New York Levi’s flagship. “I’ve always loved geometry,” Shlian says. “I understand spatial relations and I can envision the leap from 2D to 3D pretty easily. That kind of led the way to paper, and paper became the medium by which to execute a lot of my ideas.”
More
futureeyes01

Future Eyes on I’m Revolting

When we first began following the inspiration blog mysteriously known as I'm Revolting, we knew we'd found a kindred spirit, at least aesthetically. (If you're even the slightest fan of our Pinterest, you should know that many of our posts originate with I'm Revolting's boards, or result from tumbling down the internet rabbit hole after reading one of her posts.) But it was only when we asked the Los Angeles–based blogger — whose real name is Su Wu — to pen one of our Q&A columns that we truly knew we'd stumbled upon one of our own: A former journalist who threw the contents of her interior world online after the publication for which she was writing folded, Wu is an image collector, a thinker, and a fantastic writer to boot. Today for Sight Unseen she interviews Brent Pearson, the artist behind a heavy, handmade pair of kaleidoscopic glasses known as Future Eyes.
More
Lex Pott TRUE COLOURS 1_opener

Lex Pott’s True Colours Series

In some ways, it seems fate that Dutch designer Lex Pott would end up working in a studio housed in an old shipyard in the northern precincts of Amsterdam. As a child growing up in Hilversum, 30 miles outside the city, Pott was obsessed with boats, constantly crafting miniature ones from the natural debris he’d find in the forest around his house, and using old plastic bags as sails. And in the short time since he set up his studio, after graduating from Design Academy Eindhoven in 2009, he’s built up a small body of work centered around the very phenomenon that’s known to wreak havoc on seafaring vessels: oxidation. Pott has shot to fame in recent months on the basis of Transience, a series of silvered geometric mirrors designed in collaboration with fellow Eindhoven grad David Derksen. But the project that started it all, True Colours, was less a product than an investigation into the nature of color: Pott took standard sheets of industrial metals — copper, brass, steel, and aluminum — and played with oxidizing them by various methods, in the process creating a highly individualized palette he could, in theory, apply to any metal object.
More
KW_mausoleum2

Digital Artist and Scientist Krist Wood on Rhizome.org

Any first-time visitor to the internet-art blog Computers Club could be forgiven for getting lost in the meandering stream of digital illustrations, photo manipulations, and animated gifs created by its close-knit group of international contributors. With no real nav bar or About Us page to use as a guide, either, they would even be justified in wondering what, exactly, it all means. And if, like I did back in 2009, this visitor decided to trace the site all the way to its founder, they would discover an even bigger enigma: Krist Wood, a doctor in Yale University's Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology who spends his days studying the protein nanomotors responsible for cell motion, and who calls his scientific work "part of my art practice." Indeed, I found Wood so intriguing — and Computers Club so freakishly addictive — that I contacted him two years ago, when Sight Unseen was just about to launch, in the hopes that I could feature both him and his cohorts on the site somehow. And yet without a clear understanding of how to capture such a disparate and mysterious group, I let the ball drop, which is why I was so pleased to see an interview with Wood published at the always-thought-provoking Rhizome blog earlier this week, one that actually sheds light on Wood's oeuvre. It's partially excerpted here.
More
Inspiration behind your Hex Series: “I’ve been obsessed with crystals and polygonal structures since growing crystals in a can with a blue vitriol solution and making hexaflexagons as a child. Although the geometry that was taught at school seemed boring to me.”

Kostya Sasquatch, graphic designer and artist

The 28-year-old graphic designer Kostya Sasquatch makes thick, vector-like graphics on a PC, all cartoon colors and geometric shapes, odd logotypes that create iconographies for systems that seem to exist only in the designer’s mind. (He has a whole series called Donut Control.) They’re the kind of designs that could be from anywhere, but they might not have looked anything like they do if Sasquatch wasn’t from Moscow.
More