aesthetic perspectives

  • Beppe Giacobbe
  • Beppe Giacobbe
  • Beppe Giacobbe
  • Beppe Giacobbe

19 January 2014 | , , ,

Talk about the whole package, Beppe Giacobbe’s artful illustrations portray beauty and intelligence in a timeless style that has me smitten. His first monograph, Visionary Dictionary: Beppe Giacobbe from A to Z, is a trove of over 250 alphabetized illustrations of varied topics from the social to the political and beyond. A sophisticated rendering of the topic they’re supporting, Beppe’s visual interpretations fight the predictable image caption and instead strive for originality and presence. They conceptualize their topic in surprising ways, often times surreal, simple, but always thought provoking. Love Beppe’s work for its style, composition, and color; appreciate it for its originality and story; and above all enjoy it for being, it. Purchase the book here, and view more of Beppe’s work here.

  • Doeke van Nuil, Don't Look Down.
  • Doeke van Nuil, for Jamie magazine (Netherlands).
  • Doeke van Nuil, Doekes Kamasutra.
  • Doeke van Nuil, for Jamie magazine (Netherlands).
  • Doeke van Nuil, for It Grutte Foarlesboek children's book.

12 January 2014 | ,

Barcelona based illustrator Doeke van Nuil illustrates happiness. His unique amorphous characters wink, grin, grimace, peek, kamasutra, and make coffee on perfect compositions of vibrant color. I had the pleasure of asking Doeke about his work, he admits that “humor is really important, I want to make people smile—although my work has darker layers as well.” One of my personal favorites is Don’t Look Down, a simple and mysterious illustration inspired by swimming in the sea. “There’s this moment where I think, ‘Oh no! What’s down there?’ I get a little scared because there’s so many things happening underneath me.” This sense of uncertainty comes across in an eerie way, like an iceberg rising from the sea, and makes the piece very compelling. Doeke’s work has been exhibited in Amsterdam, Antwerp, and Barcelona, and he sees a big year ahead in 2014—I agree. Check out more of his work here.

  • Fiona Shaw and Daniel Hay Gordon, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
  • Fiona Shaw and Daniel Hay Gordon, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
  • Fiona Shaw and Daniel Hay Gordon, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

03 January 2014 | ,

The perfect storm of performance and poem, Fiona Shaw transforms this ghostly 18th century poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge into a powerful and chilling lived account of one mariner’s epic sea voyage. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner congers images of mystical and desolate sea exploration where madness and hunger reign. Transforming men into superstitious beasts hanging onto any thread of hope—for life or death. I was thrilled to see this at BAM, where Shaw slyly picked Daniel Hay Gordon out of the crowd to give a brilliant dance accompaniment. Surviving the crew, death himself, and an endless ocean of ice and slime, our ancient mariner recounts his tale to a sadder but wiser audience.

  • Norwegian Wood, Murakami

01 January 2014 | ,

An erotic, somber, and introverted look into one mans coming of age and complicated search for love. The Beatles Norwegian Wood aptly sets the mood, era, and title, for Haruki Murakami’s tale of sexual venture and tragedy set in 1960s Tokyo. Death is a central theme throughout the story, as much so as love, and provides a clear connection between the two—as both mysterious and devastating. Toru and Naoko are connected by death, the suicide of a friend, this death both haunts them and brings them together. Toru falls in love with Naoko, but she becomes further and further withdrawn from reality, hopelessly trapped in her past and mind. As Naoko searches to regain herself, Toru searches for solitude and peace of mind, but finds the extroverted Midori instead. Caught between two very different loves, Toru begins to fall apart just as Naoko does, but can love save them? Find out for yourself.

  • Pompeii, Frank Santoro
  • Pompeii, Frank Santoro
  • Pompeii, Frank Santoro
  • Pompeii, Frank Santoro

31 December 2013 | , ,

If anyone can draw a you into a story it’s Frank Santoro, especially when combining soap-opera-esque drama and historic tragedy, as he does with Pompeii. Drawn in moody sketches and watercolor, Pompeii looks and feels like a sketchbook, each scene beautifully composed telling the story of Marcus and his entangled relationships. Working as an artist’s apprentice, Marcus plays the middleman between Flavius (artist) and his romances, not to mention his own drama with his girlfriend Lucia. The story feels very human and relatable, an intimate look into a life in Pompeii through one man’s perspective. I love it for its originality and emotion, each sketch adding to the overall feel of the story, and its tragic, but lovely ending. I would definitely get it while you can from PictureBox, and learn more about Frank’s work here.

  • René Magritte, Not to be Reproduced, 1937.
  • René Magritte, The False Mirror, 1929.
  • René Magritte, An End to Contemplation, 1927.
  • René Magritte, Clairvoyance, 1936.

29 November 2013 | , ,

Step into a world where imagination and mystery blend into a surreal environment that challenges how you perceive what you see. The familiar becomes anything but, and maybe it never was to begin with, but now everything takes on new life and meaning as the familiar becomes increasingly fascinating. This world is René Magritte’s, the surrealist captivator now on show at the MoMA, Magritte: The Mystery of The Ordinary 1926–1938, brings together Magritte’s work from Brussels and Paris in a comprehensive and at times disturbing exhibition. Magritte gives the impression of a visual scientist, his work methodical and detailed, using a muted almost corpse-esque color palette to depict people and objects in bizarre circumstances and settings. The overall effect is thought provoking and haunting, stirring your curiosity in how the ordinary can be morphed in such a way. See the exhibition now through January 12, 2014, and learn more here.

  • NORWAY PLAYS: Drama Beyond Ibsen
  • The Returning, NORWAY PLAYS: Drama Beyond Ibsen

23 November 2013 | , ,

This dark comedy by Fredrik Brattberg and directed by Henning Hegland is centered around loss, joy, and selfishness. It asks, what’s the best thing that could happen to parents who’ve lost a son? …in this case their son knocking on the door and coming home, alive. What a relief It’d be to have their son back, to forget the pain and return to normalcy and happiness. But, what if the cycle continues, death, return, death, return, what then? What sort of emotions would take over then? The Returning answers this very question in a hilarious performance staring Kristoffer Tonning (as Gustav), Andrew Langton (as the father), and Ingrid Kullberg-Bendz (as the mother). Now at the Theater for The New City in the East Village, don’t miss out on this performance running now through December 1st. Get your tickets here.