studiotwentysix2 the art + design of tom davie

Thursday, July 31, 2008

You’re The Best

It’s a long weekend for me...going out-of-town in a few hours to visit family, and then driving to the Radiohead concert in Indianapolis, Sunday night. I’ve been a fan of theirs since Pablo Honey, and am pretty excited because I’ve yet to see them perform live.

I’ll leave it up to Joe Esposito to start the weekend off right with an ass kickin’ Daniel Laruso video.

Jesus Sighting Update!!!

Man, do I love a good Jesus sighting. When somebody sends me a photo, or I come across a news story with the title, “Jesus face appears in Alabama couple’s potato salad”, I’m like a kid in a candy store. Rarely am I ever disappointed, and when I saw the recent headline, “Family Claims to See Jesus in Cat Fur”, I was downright giddy. But alas, disappointment ensued.

Jesus Sighting Update, Update!!!

I was so upset with my inability to see Jesus in these cat photos, that I magnified the image x 6400, and sure enough, Jesus is there. You might have to squint your eyes a bit, and turn your head slightly to the left, just as the sun is setting, but trust me, He’s there. *

* Oh snap, who just got punk’d? It’s really just my cat with a painting of Jesus slapped on. Try not to be so gullible next time.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Half-Blood Prince

I just finished watching the newly released 90-second trailer for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. It looks great, and based on the footage, seems much darker than the other Potter films.

  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
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    Van Gogh Portrait Revealed

    Scientists at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands utilized the super fancy-schmancy process of “synchrotron radiation induced X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy” to reveal a previously painted portrait under Vincent Van Gogh’s “Patch of Grass.”

    In case this technology ever becomes commonplace, I’m going to greet the science dorks with hidden messages in my paintings like “empirical observation is for milksops”, or “Ptolemy’s model is deplorable.” Burn.

    (Van Gogh’s “Patch of Grass” — unaltered view)

  • Van Gogh portrait revealed
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    Tuesday, July 29, 2008

    Pinup Goodness

    WARNING!!! Totally sexy post alert — and by totally sexy, I mean 1930’s & 40’s pinup girl kind of sexy. Meow.

    Here are links to two masters of the pinup, Alberto Vargas, a Peruvian artist known for his work with Esquire magazine and the “Varga” girl calendars; and George Petty, who paved the way for Varga at Esquire, through his hugely popular Petty Girl calendars. As good as Petty’s illustrations are, his compositions are as equally impressive.

    On a completely unrelated note, Petty attended evening classes at my alma mater, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago — but there’s nothing sexy about that, so go look at some pinups or something.

  • Alberto Vargas gallery

  • George Petty gallery
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    O Canada

    What’s not to like about Canada? The folks are friendly, the beer is like a fresh mountain stream and it’s the birthplace of my adolescent favorite, Linda Evangelista.

    As it turns out, Canada also has a mighty fine Design Resource blog, aptly titled, The Canadian Design Resource. The blog offers entries for every conceivable design discipline, including graphic, urban, furniture, toys and packaging. The site has a consistently interesting mix of both contemporary and historical design, including this 1972 Survey 68 catalog cover, designed by Gottschalk+Ash.

    Certainly worth a look and a bookmark.

  • The Canadian Design Resource
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    Sunday, July 27, 2008

    Font Conference

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    Saturday, July 26, 2008

    Anti-Gay Message?

    Critics and bloggers alike seem to think so.

    Nike, a worldwide leader in sporting apparel and shoe sales, has pulled a series of advertisements for its new Hyperdunk basketball shoes. The Wieden+Kennedy produced print ads have been removed from circulation due to criticism that the advertisements encourage anti-gay messages.

    The crux of the issue, aside from the face-in-the-crotch photography, stems from the ad’s “Punks Jump Up” tagline, which originated in a 1992 violence-toward-homosexuals rap by Brand Nubian.

    From a visual standpoint, I don’t see anti-gay — I see contact in sport. Even looking specifically for an anti-gay vibe, I’m having a hard time making any connection. I certainly agree that the “Punks Jump Up” ad should be pulled for the song that it references, but killing the other ads seems a bit rash.

    Here are two of the prime suspects, decide for yourself.

  • Hyperdunk ads pulled
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    Wednesday, July 16, 2008


    A wise man once told me that enthusiasm is contagious, but enthusiasm with a double-helping of thumbs, can move mountains.

    Oh yeah, he also told me that sometimes penguins mutate, bourbon is best in the morning, and discarded newspapers make an excellent form of insulation...oh, and crack is whack, can’t forget that one.



    Let’s Go To The Walmart!

    In what must have been an unintended leak, the brand spankin’ new Walmart logo found its way onto the Intertubes this weekend.

    I can only assume that the new mark is an attempt to soften the brand, and make it more appealing to a discerning shopper. I think the new type treatment is a positive step toward that goal. It is friendlier, has nice curves and eliminates the hyphenated star that previously separated the WAL and MART.

    The accompanying symbol however, comes across as arbitrary at best, and confusingly dumb at worst. Walmart does not represent the abstract or modern, so I fail to make the connection with the symbol. Is it a sun, rays of light, a star, a pinwheel, an energy-producing wind turbine, or possibly six lighthouses? I don’t know, and I’m certain that if I don’t get it upon first view, the typical Johnny NASCAR is not going to get it either.

    Which brings me to the question, why bother making the change in the first place?

    Walmart is going to spend millions, if not hundreds of millions of dollars — which could be going toward employee pay and benefits — attempting to cater to a crowd who just doesn’t care for them, or about them. Certain shoppers will never, under any circumstance, go to Walmart. They would rather drive an additional five or ten miles to go to Target, and spend slightly more on the same items. Walmart has become such a behemoth, that these remaining elusive shoppers must be the final frontier, because everyone else seems content with the status quo.

    Why risk alienating the traditional consumer base for a contemporary trend? My guess is that the typical Walmart shopper is not a huge advocate of change — ever. They like consistency, reliability, and dirt-cheap prices. Why potentially disrupt the formula that made them one of the most powerful corporations in U.S. history, and a global financial giant to boot? You got me.

    For the record, I’m not a big fan of Walmart, but I’m sure the new logo will convert many of the other elusive shoppers, by showing them the light...or sun, or pinwheel or energy-producing wind turbine.

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    Thursday, July 10, 2008

    Into The 3rd Century

    I’m a few posts late, but it’s time to bust-out the celebration monkeys. Last week, the blog surpassed the 200-post mark. Woo Hoo.

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    I Pity The Fool

    Now this is how you do moderate to moderately-low budget advertising:

    Poor photo-cropping...Check.

    Slapped-on typography...Check.

    Aging 80’s TV star with contemporary pop-culture appeal...Check.

    Waxed chest & stylish Mohawk...Check.

    19 pounds of 14 karat gold...Check.

    Borrowing the aging 80’s TV star with contemporary pop-culture appeal’s signature saying to sell unrelated products...Check.

    Implied threat of violence...Check.

    All this, and not a simulated image to be found. Thank you, Mr. T.

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    Thukral & Tagra

    I recently came across the work of Indian artists + designers Thukral & Tagra, and was really impressed with their work. Their style is an interesting mix of realism, pop culture, patterning and contemporary design. Based on the painting dimensions, the work appears to be life-sized, and I would imagine the pieces are quite engaging in a gallery setting. Here is a nice group of paintings at Bose Pacia...

  • Thukral & Tagra
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    Sunday, July 6, 2008

    Truth in Advertising?

    I think most educated, rational adults can appreciate that advertisements are intended to illuminate a product in the best possible light, while at the same time, gaining the trust of the consumer by showing truth within that depiction.

    On what planet, might these web ads be considered realistic depictions of product performance? Am I to assume based on these ads, that the products will transform the appearance of a 63 year-old meth addict, who hasn’t slept in weeks, into a lovely 30 year-old fashion model with beautifully-sculpted eyebrows and flowing hair? What a joke. I guess as long as you stuff the “simulated imagery” disclaimer in there, even if it is in 4-point type, any depiction becomes fair game.

    Apparently it is too much to ask that a company have integrity, morality and responsibility. I admit, these ads are great as a novelty, and if they were meant as satire, I would certainly appreciate the commentary on the beauty industry. But they are not comedy, they are real, and are preying on real people. I loathe the day that any depiction becomes fair representation, as long as the legal responsibilities are absolved through a simple, discreetly legible, disclaimer.



    Wednesday, July 2, 2008

    The Dark Knight

    I really like the newest poster for the upcoming The Dark Knight movie. The marketing and PR teams at Warner Brothers probably had a say in the final layout, but I think the poster would have been just as successful without The Dark Knight title at the bottom. The font usage is consistent throughout all of The Dark Knight promotional materials, but in this case, it just doesn’t seem to integrate as well as in some of the other posters. I will give it up for the designer / illustrator though, because I dig the Batman symbol that is created using handwritten text behind The Dark Knight title — excellent touch.

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    Tuesday, July 1, 2008

    Decked Out

    I posted these in the main site’s news section a few weeks back, but I figured not everybody keeps up with both sites, so I decided to show them here as well.

    A few months ago, I wondered how my art would translate onto skate decks — so I spent a few days playing around, and these four designs are what I came up with.

    Just a little update...

    On the fine art front, I have been working like a man possessed lately. The pieces are just flowing, and the new style and concept are coming together quite nicely. I have produced significantly more work than I have either written about or shown images of. I am going to hold-off showing a majority of the work until after I’m done contacting the 100 or so galleries that are still on my “to do” list. Here is one of the new pieces...

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