Design Crisis Recommends

Now that you've undoubtedly wrapped up all your holiday shopping thanks to the gift guide Erin and I lovingly crafted last week, I think you've earned a little you time.  Forget the malls, holiday cookies and oh my god please don't think about swapping another white elephant.  You need to decompress!  We here at design crisis have pulled together a couple non-holiday adventures that are sure to give you the mental make over you need. First up:

Bauhaus 1919 - 1933: Workshops for Modernity at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY.  Admittedly, I've been a little obsessed with the Bauhaus lately, I'm not sure if I've been dialing into a social subconscious that's already decided this for me or if my interest is a strange coincidence but either way, I'd gladly consider donating my right left arm to go check out this show.

Already receiving rave reviews for the breath of work included, the MoMa, which itself is a nod to the Bauhaus movement, is exhibiting works that came out of the Bauhaus before it's fall to Nazi Germany.  The works are carefully arranged alongside historical documentation via photos, letters and films from the school, leading the viewer through an all encompassing journey of, what would become, the most powerful influence on modern design.  If you're within a 100 mile radius of Manhattan go to it and come back to me with a full play-by-play report.

If you're not in the New York area and don't have 24-hour access to a charter jet (great holiday gift idea, btw!) might I suggest the documentary Beautiful Losers.  Featuring such art and design heavy weights as Geoff McFetridge, Barry McGee, Harmony Korine, Shepard Fairey and the adorably crush-worthy Mike Mills, Beautiful Losers traces the lives of 14 artists as they collectively, and almost accidentally, re-defined the New York art scene (and modern art as we know it) in the early 90's.  Completely unpretentious and accessible, the documentary humanizes each artist while totally and completely inspiring it's viewers.

Here's the trailer if you don't believe me:

Beautiful Losers film trailer from beautifullosersfilm on Vimeo.

I caught this on Netflix on demand this weekend whilst nursing a hangover with my sure-fire hangover cure trifecta:  scrambled eggs, V8 and marathon documentaries.  I give the combo 5 stars.

Some other random recommendations for your enjoyment, in no particular order:

Book: Creative Space: Urban Homes of ARtisits and Innovators.  I received this as a gift from a most lovely house guest recently.  It is now completely defiled and covered in my drool.

TV: Ninja Warrior.  Everything you could ever want in a television show and more.  The new season is starting soon and I can barely contain myself

Music:  The new phoenix album is fantastic.  So what if one of the songs is on a car commercial?  As the lovely Geoff McFetridge points out in Beautiful Losers, the only difference between fine art and commercial art is intent.

Getting to know you: Geoff McFetridge

As a graphic designer by day and home obsessed fantasy decorator by night I can't help but have a big giant soft spot in my heart for Geoff McFetridge.  While I was mildly impressed by such yawn-inducing accomplishments as directing the Beastie Boy's magazine, Grand Royal, founding the Director's Guild with Sophia Coppola, and scribbling a bunch of silly doodles for some of the greatest movie opening credits ever; Geoff really stole my heart when he designed this wallpaper:

interior shots

(way to take the roll of the toilet before getting the shot, homeowner) 

Left: little whales in gray Right: shadows of the paranormal in red

I love how everything just looks like crazy insane shapes, but then you look closer and see this:

close up

Left: Shadows of the Paranormal in Gray

Right: All of Us in Black

Hello! Do you see how sasquatch's legs are actually a hunter shooting him?  Genius I say, mad genius.   With everyone and their kitten getting into wallpaper design these days, papers start to blur together and there's really only so many flowers and birds one girl can look at.  Geoff's designs quietly make their way through the crowd, not really asking to stand out, but really really standing out.  

According to an interview done with Geoff by Loftlife, most of his paper designs originate as art installations, others are cast off projects for various clients reincarnated through his own design company, Pottok.  Who would cast these off?  Probably the same people who would leave a roll of TP in a DAMN HOME DECOR SHOT. Let's get past the anger and see some more pics, shall we:

green paper

Dead Trees in Green

I love how each panel tells a story.  One day, when my entire house is covered floor to ceiling in his (ahem) $150 / roll paper I will spend hours and hours finding new secrets in each picture, my cat will be there, she will like it too, Matt will be somewhere else.  In addition to providing countless days of looking at walls in a dream-like state, my hard earned duckets will have also helped save my dear, precious life:  each of the papers is hand silks-creened on recycled paper with water based inks.  good for me, good for you.

When McFetridge isn't scheming to cause my soul and bank account heart break, he works on these amazing installations:

installation shot

the (in) Mind (or in the Mind), installation at the Seattle Art Museum Olympic Sculpture Park

hooray!  it's like his wallpaper in 3-D!  Or his wallpaper is the installation in 2-D?  Oh, deep thoughts, very chicken or the golden egg.

When looking at Geoff's work, I couldn't help but be reminded of uber-pattern designer, Alexander Girard, take a look at Girard's disigns:


Turns out, McFetridge is a big fan too.  There's the same stark contrast, pattern within pattern, and a sense of a story with Girard's work.  McFetridge's art really takes it one step further, sort of like a grande Girard acid trip.  I would love to tell you more but I am dead tired, mostly from all the wallpaper fantisizing, it tires a gal out.  So, why don't you go check out this great video on Geoff over at Western State and I'll get some dreamy sleep time.