Following on from our Margaret Kilgallen post, we were thrilled to hear about mindthegap - the inaugural exhibition of Prism, an architecturally designed three-storey exhibition space and bookshop (below right) located on Sunset Boulevard, LA.

"The mission of the project space is to become a cornerstone of artistic experimentation, carving a new niche for the arts here in Southern California. The long-term exhibition program, featuring national and international artists, promises to be vibrant and thought-provoking as it works with creative minds to cultivate a challenging and diverse aesthetic experience for the public."

mindthegap features the work of 2 exceptional artists; Barry McGee (above) - husband of the late Margaret Kilgallen, a San Francisco based artist, "first known as 'Twist', the moniker under which he attained cult status among his peers as a graffiti writer" and Philip Frost (below left) - a self-taught artist and sculptor, "who began his career in the early '90s by aggressively blanketing New York City's streets and doorways with strips of brightly colored wheat-pasted posters".

Both Mcgee and Frost create strikingly bold, bright pieces - together their work will make a stunning exhibition. I just wish it was a bit nearer to the UK!

mindthegap is running until 20 February 2010.

Images copyright the artists from Prism and Keep Left.
Via Keep Left.

Margaret Kilgallen aka META / Matokie Slaughter

A couple of weeks ago I watched Beautiful Losers, a short film by Aaron Rose documenting the NYC art and graffiti scene in early 90's and celebrating, "the spirit behind one of the most influential cultural moments of a generation".

There are many talented artists in the film including Shepard Fairey, Barry McGee, Jo Jackson and Mike Mills, but for me it was Margaret Kilgallen's work that really stood out. I had seen some of it before, but had no idea who was behind it. The giant, typographic murals really struck me, they're fantastic - the colours, the scale and the typefaces, I just love them.

Her work was heavily influenced by American folk art which can be seen in the illustrations and colour palettes. She valued craftmanship and loved old hand-painted shop signs, something that clearly inspired her murals.

"I like things that are handmade and I like to see people's hand in the world, anywhere in the world; it doesn't matter to me where it is. And in my own work, I do everything by hand. I don't project or use anything mechanical, because even though I do spend a lot of time trying to perfect my line work and my hand, my hand will always be imperfect because it's human. And I think it's the part that's off that's interesting, that even if I'm doing really big letters and I spend a lot of time going over the line and over the line and trying to make it straight, I'll never be able to make it straight. From a distance it might look straight, but when you get close up, you can always see the line waver. And I think that's where the beauty is."

Margaret did many colaborations with other artists in the film including her husband, Barry Mcgee. She was also a grafitti artist on the freight trains, influenced by Hobo tradition, she worked under the tags 'Meta' and 'Matokie Slaughter'.

Sadly in 2001 Margaret Kilgallen died aged 33 of breast cancer just weeks after giving birth to her daughter, Asha. She was a talented and inspirational artist and I'm so pleased to have found her work. I really want to see it in the flesh and retrospectives do pop up now and again, but until then this Flickr group has a great collection of her work.

Images copyright the authors - from the Margaret Kilgallen Flickr.

New Limited Edition Prints at the Design Museum

The Design Museum have some great new limited edition screen-prints in stock. These 2 are my favourites:

'The Chairs', (above) by Konstantin Grcic - a wonderfully bold and bright, 7 colour (inc. 3 fluros) screen-print and 'Birdman', (below) by Tord Boontje - a whimsical, 2 colour screen-print.

There are 4 new A2 prints in total, each an edition of 100 and soley available from the Design Museum, check them all out here.

Images copyright The Design Museum.

Happy Birthday Hello Kitty!

This week marks the 35th birthday of one of my favourite characters, Hello Kitty. Now doesn't she look good for 35?

Hello Kitty was designed for Sanrio by Ikuko Shimizu. She was first introduced to the Japanese public on a small vinyl purse in 1974 and to the US public a few years later in 1976. The start of what they describe as a, "global Hello Kitty phenomenon", and who could disagree? Over the last 35 years many fictional characters have come and gone, but Hello Kitty is still going strong - stronger in fact!

To celebrate, Sanrio have teamed up with Jamie Rivadeneira, owner of pop-culture shop, JapanLa, to create a three week long exhibition, 'Three Apples Art Show' - "a multi-dimensional exhibition and celebration of all things Hello Kitty; the first ever event of its kind in the US!"

It incorporates an art exhibition showcasing one-of-a-kind Hello Kitty inspired pieces created by 80+ contemporary artists, a pop-up shop and unique product/design displays including a retrospective of products and collaborations from the last 35 years.

The event is currently running at the Royal, T café, shop and art space in Culver City, CA until 15 November.

For those of us that can't hop over to the West coast to see the exhibition, there are loads of 35th anniversary products available here.

Image copyright Sanrio.

Illustrator Stanley Hooper

These wonderfully, whimsical creations are the work of Brighton based illustrator, Stanley Hooper who describes himself as, “originally produced in Yorkshire, over 6ft and under 7ft tall, seagull expert, robot master, lover of pens, illustrator, motorbike rider and drinker of liquid”.

I love the muted colours he uses throughout his work creating a warm, nostalgic feel especially when combined with the collage and quirky compositions.

His work has graced the pages of numerous Uk and US publications/ newspapers including The Guardian, The Independent, National Geographic Adventure, Grand Designs Magazine and Waitrose Illustrated.

Some of his work is also available from his website as Giclee prints.

Images copyright Stanley Hooper.
Stanely Hooper is represented by Eastwing.

Photographic Collections

I collect vintage photos of cats and preferably people with their cats. It's something that I've done for many years now, but I have never come across an image as fantastic as this one.

I was delighted when I found it and even more delighted when I discovered it was part of Antique Animals, a Flickr group of vintage animal photographs - definitely worth a look!

Image copyright .Mooncalf.
Via ffffound.

Signs of the Times - Dennis Hopper

Ed Ruscha, 1964. Images copyright Dennis Hopper, courtesy Tony Shafrazi Gallery, NY.

James Rosenquist, 1964. Images copyright Dennis Hopper, courtesy Tony Shafrazi Gallery, NY.

Robert Fraser, Tijuana, 1965. Images copyright Dennis Hopper, courtesy Tony Shafrazi Gallery, NY.

Biker couple, 1961. Images copyright Dennis Hopper, courtesy Tony Shafrazi Gallery, NY.

These great snap shots of the 60’s are as seen through the eyes of Hollywood legend, Dennis Hopper. This Easy Rider, unbeknown to most, has been taking photographs since the 50’s. His own fame gave him easy access to America's elite and he photographed many iconic faces, from fellow actors, Dean Martin & John Wayne, to artists Andy Warhol, David Hockney & Roy Lichtenstein and musicians Tina & Ike Turner.

“His photos of a relaxed, shirtless Paul Newman and the cowboy-playing John Wayne and Dean Martin on the set of 'The Sons of Katie Elder' are visual gems”. Paul Laster for The Daily Beast.

Signs of the Times is an exhibition showcasing 110 of Hopper’s amazing images (1961-67), a selection of his new paintings and screenings of 40 of his films and TV shows. It runs from 24 October at the Tony Shafrazi Gallery, New York and will be accompanied by a 544 page limited edition book by Taschen of the same name.

Images copyright Dennis Hopper from The Daily Beast, courtesy Tony Shafrazi Gallery, NY.
Via Notcot.

Wish you were here...

We're on holiday for a whole week - see you all when we get back!

Lyka Photography

It's all about photography around here at the minute! Seventeen year old Lyka Orhel from the Philippines is another self-taught photographer with an eye for fashion. She fell in love with photography at 14 and has been pursuing her passion ever since.

Lyka's portfolio is extensive with some striking portraits and lovely sun-drenched fashion shots. You can see more of her work here and follow the day-today goings on in the world of Lyka Photography here. Incidentally her blog is a current finalist in the '2009 Candy Teen Blog Awards' for 'Best Use of Photography' and 'Best Overall Blog'. Congratulations and goodluck Lyka!

Images copyright Lyka Orhel.

Hott Pixels Photography

Big thanks to budding Australian photographer, Andy McMaster for sending us a link to his portfolio Hott Pixels Photography. At only 16 he has a great collection of fashion and beauty images as well as a few landscape shots which I really love - I think it's the stillness and serenity. Here's my favourite...

Images copyright Andy McMaster.

Megan Breukelman

These gorgeous images are the delightful work of 15 year old Megan Breukelman from Ontario, Canada who describes herself as, "an amateur photographer and professional dreamer".

Megan is a self-taught photographer and has only been practising her art for just over a year! She loves shooting portraits, nature and fashion, but has also got some great conceptual pieces on her website and some very professional looking wedding shots. The umbrella shot is my favourite, it's got a timeless, classic feel and looks like it came straight out of Vogue.

I'm totally amazed by the work of such young photographers, it's great to see raw talent and passion. Keep up the good work Megan!

Images copyright Megan Breukelman.

The Impossible Project - Re-inventing Instant Film

These gorgeous photos are of the currently disused Polaroid factory in the Netherlands the once home of Instant Integral production. Unfortunately the production of Polaroid Instant Film came to an end in June 2008 with the closure of the above factory and the Mexican, Instant Pack-film factory. It was sad news too many of us who still had, and loved our Polaroid cameras.

However, there maybe light at the end of the tunnel. A team of ex-Polaroid employees, engineers, chemists and technical specialists have embarked on 'The Impossible Project' to re-start the production of analog Integral Film for vintage Polaroid cameras by 2010!

They've already, "acquired the complete film production equipment in Enschede (NL) from Polaroid, has signed a 10-year lease agreement on the factory building; and has engaged the most experienced team of Integral Film experts worldwide". Their aim, "is NOT to re-build Polaroid Integral film but (with the help of strategic partners) to develop a new product with new characteristics, consisting of new optimised components, produced with a streamlined modern setup. An innovative and fresh analog material, sold under a new brand name that perfectly will match the global re-positioning of Integral Films."

What the team need now is the support of the Polaroid loving public to help fund the research and development. Click here to see how you can help.

Images copyright The Impossible Project.


Textile designer and photographer Paola De Giovanni aka MeanMagenta has some great photography on Flickr.

She has some beautiful colour images of flowers and some very striking, moody architectural compositions, but for me it's her balck and white portraiture and reportage style photographs of people going about their everyday lives that appeals. Especially this series of her mother making a dress with her 50's sewing machine, they have so much character and charm...

Check out Paola's textile design and photography over on Flickr and keep up-to-date with her new work and inspirations at MeanMagenta.

Images copyright Paola De Giovanni.