Continuing along the vein of remixing my childhood entertainment preferences, I recently came across these incredible lovely illustrations. Shoomlah, aka Claire Hummel of Los Angeles, is a concept artist for Microsoft Game Studios Publishing during the weekday, but somehow she also found the time to do some research into fashion history and put her considerable talent and imagination into conceptualizing some (more or less) ‘historically accurate’ character designs for the Disney princesses.
As someone who was greatly invested in the Disney princesses as a child- and as an adult, who are we kidding- and who is highly interested in history and mythology, this blend of history and fantasy is a beautiful interpretation and contextualization of stories that I and millions of people have spent their childhoods watching and rewatching, living and reliving. Even better: on her deviantart page, Shoomlah accompanies each image with some insights into her research process, her goals for the image, and the challenges and compromises involved in trying to interpret icons of cinema and pop culture that have been displaced from their historical origins.
High Medieval Sleeping Beauty/ La Dame et la Licorne, circa 1490
Late Renaissance Snow White/Cesare Vecellio Costume Woodcut, circa 1590
Rococo Beauty and the Beast/ Silk Taffeta Brocade Court Dress, British (c1750)
Antebellum Cinderella/ Harper’s Weekly Fashion Illustration, 1865
Edwardian Little Mermiad/ The Delineator Fashion Illustration, 1902
I’m a huge fan of Pogo’s remix videos, as I have mentioned before, not only because they are so brilliantly executed but also because it’s fun and nostalgic to see a new these beautiful permutations of movies that featured so prominently in my childhood. Today, however, I’m glad that I clicked the link on latest video to his blog because If I hadn’t, I never would have stumbled on these wonderful little documentary videos he made that provide insight into the non-magical side of things: the editing process. I think that as an artist and simply as a human being, it’s very important to understand how things come together. I know for some people it takes away the mystery of something enchanting like a movie, but for me it’s like figuring out the pieces of a very complex puzzle- engaging and marvelous! Unfortunately, the documentaries can’t be embedded, so please follow the links, and enjoy the finished versions of the remixes, which can also be found on his youtube channel.
Link: BANGARANG Breakdown
Link: WHISPERLUDE Breakdown
Latest artist crush: Christophe Roberts. He currently has four pieces on display at the non-profit gallery where I work- the Evanston Art Center (EAC)- and let me just tell you, they are pretty epic. Last Saturday I nearly had an anxiety attack because all the artists came at once to set up for the new show (which I’ve been anticipating for a while, like anyone cares) and there were too many people around me at once and I was almost universally filled with panic except for this guy and his posse, who were all so chill. Also they had a freaking GIANT CARDBOARD LION so I was doubly inclined to give them a free pass into Grace’s approved cool people club. Anyways, not all of these are from our exhibition, but if you’re in the Chicago area anytime before August 7th, come see this sort of thing in real life:
So yeah, there you go. Also, just as an addendum, I’ll put a little shameless self-promotion in here where I can. Check out the sweet vid I made for EAC Development department- one of my bosses requested I make a video slideshow for an education grant, showing what kind of organization we are, I think it turned out nice. I guess my point is that we are a community non-profit, so click the link way up above and give us the money, plzkthx.
20th century inspiration: I love modern art because it’s so challenging. Some of it is so breathtakingly transcendent that it almost validates the generations of capitalist “postmodern” bullshit it inspired. And what I love about the 20th century in art is that although revolutionary stylistic adjustments were being made for thousands of years, subject matter remained mainly similar- religious imagery, historical allegory and documentation, decorative ornament- and frankly style shifted by inches, not miles. Then, BOOM- the 20th century arrived on the heels of the Expressionists and everyone and their cat threw caution to the wind and just fucking experimented like no one ever had before because everything in the world was new and strange and beautiful and fearful and nothing would ever be the same again. And it’s completely sublime. But where does the sublime, sincere, curious inquiry end and the stream of aesthetically exploitive bullshit begin? It’s hard to say because quality in art is so often a matter of taste and preference.
However, one area of modern aesthetics that never fails to deliver is architecture, and I think that’s because however ridiculous or ugly you may think it is, the fact is that it always has a purpose. And the fact that people are constantly imagining new ways to synthesize functional space with what they consider to beautiful is astounding and endless in its potential because the technology for engineering and design is constantly advancing. Architecture never has the curse of fine art, which is to occasionally be feckless and insincere. Whether it is stuffy and imposing, playful and quirky, daring and modern, or traditional, architectural design literally challenges us to rethink the very way we live our day to day lives, by altering the shelters that contains all our worldly possessions and moments of personal joy, pain, work, and play into new and unexpected shapes and visions. And yes I may be a tad fanatical on the subject…. anyways, a few gems from my inspiration file:
This one actually reminds me of some sort of art deco Helm's Deep
Le Challenge: recreate this 3’x 5′ painting on a piece of paper of equal size, with pastels, by the end of the summer, for possible compensation. Challenge accepted! Also, for more of this guy’s work – Steve Penley, btw- check out this link to the Matre Gallery of Atlanta, Georgia, which is currently featuring him in an exhibition. This piece is simply titled, “Water Lillies.”