Friday, November 30, 2007

Modernist Art and Battleships

"Like most of us, The Allies only turned to modern art out of desperation. German U-boats were sinking enormous amounts of shipping and there was no really effective defense against them. It is axiomatic that if you can't stop the people who are shooting at you, you should make it very hard for them to find you. Thus, camouflage.

Most camouflage is based on the idea of concealment and blending in with its surroundings. However another school of thought has argued for making the item in question appear to be a mashup of unrelated components. Naval camoufleurs found this theory particularly appealing. Blending didn't work because ships operated in two different and constantly changing color environments – sea and sky. Any camo that concealed in one environment was usually spectacularly conspicuous in others.

Norman Wilkinson, a British naval officer and painter, suggested a scheme that came to be known as Dazzle or Razzle Dazzle painting. Wilkinson believed that breaking up a ship's silhouette with brightly contrasting geometric designs would make it harder for U-boat captains to determine the ship's course."

Whether or not this tactic of Razzle Dazzle really worked is hard to determine as at the same time, the convoy system was also implemented. I'm sure the ships looked confusing, but to be honest, I reckon some of the designs are pretty over the top conceptions. I would have thought fractals of greys and blues would have worked better. (I'm no naval engineer though)But it does allow the naval ships to claim the honour of being the largest painted canvases ever!

Original Post and Description [VIA]


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Texhnolyze is a cyber-punk anime; it was first released on Japanese TV in 2003 and ran for 22 episodes. The series was directed by Hirotsugu Hamazaki, Yoshitoshi ABe was the character artist and Chiaki Konaka was the writer. Texhnolyse is sometimes referred to as the staff of Serial Experiments Lain's 5-year reunion because most of the staff worked on both anime series. Texhnolyze takes place in the underground city of Lukuss where the people live in despair scraping a living in this crumbling city. Lukuss is run by three rival factions the Organo, the Union, and the Racans. The Organo and the Union are the top dogs in the city and have come to an agreement to stop fighting each other so there can be some peace (however small) in the city. The members of these factions live a very privileged life while the rest of the population is very poor.

Texhnolyze is a term used in the anime that describes the advance technology that replaces human limbs with cybernetic ones. And only the privileged have them with the exception of the members of the Union (as they are against anything texhnolyzed). The main character is Ichise he was a sort of kick boxer (but more violent) who pissed off some lower members of the Organo, and got a leg and an arm chopped off for this then was left to die. Because he is so hell bent on getting revenge he drags himself into town looking for the ones that cut his limbs off. Eventually he passes out and is found by Doc who takes a liking to him and texhnolyzes him. Ichise goes through a series of events which sees him get his revenge, join the Organo, and because of his choices’ places him in the middle of a whole heap of crap.

This is a very dark anime and it is very drawn out in places; for example in the first episode there is very little talking and in the first 13 minutes there is no talking. For the first half of the series thats about 12 episodes it is very slow as the scene is set and the main characters are introduced. But in the last 10 episodes it really picks up and turns out to be a really kick ass anime. Now I liked this anime but I’m not going to lie to you it took me 6 months to watch it. After watching 3 episodes I turned it off and thought what a waist of money and this went on until the episode 13 then I could not stop watching it. The last 3 episodes in the whole anime is so awesome that it more then makes up for the slow start. I would recommend this anime to anyone that liked boogiepop phantom and Paranoia agent if you did not then this is probably not for you. It is packed full of violence and things that will make you think; all you have to do to enjoy this anime is be patient and enjoy the anime for what it is.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Coro 36

I spent over an hour on this guy's website just now. I was entranced. A huge library of work that justifiably needed poring over. Justin "Coro" Kaufman is a Fine Artist by love and a Concept Artist by trade. What I have selected for you is only from his illustrative and work with oil paint. There is so much more to look at like his amazing graphic design work and his 3d lighting projects for space-age metropolises.

Coro has contributed to over 70 AAA and next-gen video game titles and works as the Senior 2nd Art Director for Massive Black Inc. He is also one of the co-founders of ConceptArt.Org which is a good resource for talented artists coming up in the conceptual scene.

His work spans from the firm favourite of mine; Fantasy Mecha towards storyboarding for animations/video-games and aliens pestering bums trying to get a good hit of their crack pipes! Like I said, he covers everything!

Overall, an excellent blend of fantasy, realism, the macabre, technology and brilliance. He has just earned himself an avid fan from now on.......

Please visit his SITE, you won't be disappointed.
All images copyright of Justin Kaufman.

Ajee's SkullSkin Prototype

Saw this beauty of a 12" prototype on Plastic & Plush and really really dug it. It's made by Bonustoyz and French artist Ajee collaborating on the SkullSkin figure. Like P&P said, the angular aesthetic of the helmet, hair & armour makes the figure really stand out from your run-of-the-mill 12" figures.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Inverted Pendulum

This video shows the outcome of a project in automatic control. It was carried out by Magnus Linderoth and Kristian Soltesz during the winter 2006-2007 at the dept. of automatic control, LTH, Lund, Sweden (

Monday, November 26, 2007

Everyday Objects Into Art

It's good to see people getting more creative with potential rubbish/junk lying about their houses. Here are a collection of some of the most original and bizarre ways to make use of the objects that you may have given up hope with.

To see way more images from more frog designs to robots go HERE.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Adam Parker-Smith

Priska C. Juschka Fine Art gallery is holding an unusual show. "Bold as Love" is Adam Parker Smith’s first solo exhibition in New York City. "Created as an illustrative tableau to disseminate Smith’s ongoing explorations involving consumerist addiction to violence and the infatuation with the high school crush, Bold as Love combines craftwork and portraiture in order to present the aftermath of an imagined scene inspired by Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom The Bell Tolls."

An extremely interesting take on the use of plush materials taken away from its usual link to cuteness and put to better use in my opinion.

Images & Text [VIA]
Original Post [VIA]

721 Claps a Minute

Kent French is a nutter who holds a Guinness Record. He can clap at a rate of 12-14 claps per second! How do you find out these kinds of skills?

Sat One

Sat One originally comes from Munich and has been painting since 1993. He was quoted as saying, "It's very important to keep repetition to the minimum, to make given forms abstract and to redefine them within a new frame." - Taken from the book Graffiti World.

I personally love his style as the blend between traditional graff forms and his version of a graphic design edge are very well done. He has a huge range of work, from the streets to canvases, this guy has such a clean style, it's untouchable.


Friday, November 23, 2007

Red Hot Chili Peppers - Can't Stop (LEGO-REMIX)

Great visual remix of the Mark Romanek's video "Can't Stop"(2003). I love stop motion animations!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Animal VS Buddy Rich Drum Battle

Watch Animal from the Muppets tear it up on the drums whilst battling Buddy Rich. This episode was aired in 1978. Still as good now as it was then!

Rubiks Cube 3X3 Solved Blindfolded

Chris Krueger solves the Rubik's Cube blindfolded in 1:15.60 at the Canadian Open 2007, setting the World Record.

The rules are to memorize a randomly scrambled cube and to solve it without the aid of vision, the time includes the memorization.

And then a 14 year old, Mátyás Kuti from Hungary achieves the World Record with a crazy time of 54secs!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Parkour X Skate Pt.2

Once again, William Spencer makes me go WTF when I see his videos. For those of you who missed the first post on him, please check out that video too. This guy is the future of progressive skating! I still cant get over the end of video trick.....

Thanks MysteriousAl for the heads up!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Digital Vs. Organic Design Part 1

I have recently come across two very distinct, yet original ideas for battles/competitions that allow for freestyle flow but use two very different mediums for the artists to get their message across. In the red corner, we have the Digital Design Battle known as "Cut & Paste" from USA and in the blue corner, the Organic Design Battle known as "Secret Wars" from UK. I have to admit, when I first heard about graffiti artists/illustrators battling each other to see who could draw a better piece of work in a set time, I really wasn't a fan of the idea. I mean, how can you judge someone elses art as shitter than the other persons? Isn't art supposed to be subjective; beauty is in the eye of the beholder etc.? Even though this would be true in a utopian society, these two comps were borne from the gritty and dark streets of New York and London. Places where people's egos need to be satisfied, especially in the creative/media/design circles. I guess competitions like these were inevitable and therefore, should be looked at with an open mind. So morals aside, here's the scoop on the two events.


Cut&Paste was born in New York City back in November 2005. At the time 850 people came out to witness the first, live digital design tournament. Elbow to elbow, they packed a bar with designers winding wrists, judges taking their positions, a crowd swelling with drinks, gadgets warming up, and an immense energy that ran through speakers and skin.

Since then, Cut&Paste is finding new faces and homes, making moves to continue its modus operandi. They have done shows around the world, from La, to London, to Berlin, to Hong Kong.

All work must be completed in 15 minutes
Competitors are provided with themes for each round one week in advance
Competitors may bring in approved objects to capture with a digital camera
All approved objects are available for anyone to use during any round
No finished artwork, photographs, pre-made digital elements – all work must be constructed from scratch
Tools including digital cameras or the Wacom Cintiq are for the designers' benefit but not required to be used during competition

This video shows the Chicago leg of the comp in 2006

All pics are copyright of Cut & Paste and were taken from the Hong Kong leg of the tour where ESPV’s good friend Tat from Graphic Airlines won!

Jump to the next post which will showcase the Organic style of comp. by Secret Wars.

Digital Vs. Organic Design Part 2

This second post showcases the talents of the "organic" style of competition, using pens and paint.


Put simply, it's a war between artists. The ultimate question, however is who will remain supreme? The only weapon they have is a juicy Edding that they hold in their hands.

It started in London but has moved around to Birmingham, Southampton, Japan and a current European Tour.

You have one and a half hours to create your masterpiece.
There are two battles each date.
The colour palette is uniform black and white.
Only paint pens and acrylics can be used.
Judges decision is final.
You must stick to your side of the wall.

A look at the Semi-Finals and Finals of the UK 06/07 season.

All images are copyright of Monorex.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Toilet Restaurant Chain

In Taiwan, a new type of chain restaurant has appeared. The theme isn't so appetizing; cos it all revolves around the Toilet! The Modern Toilet, in fact.
Modern Toilet has opened its doors in the Shilin district in Taipei, Taiwan. All 100 seats in the crowded diner are made from toilet bowls, not chairs. The ice-cream is presented in that glorious swirl and your food is all served in toilet bowls.

Post [VIA]

Christophe Huet

Christophe Huet does some amazing work with photo retouching. His online gallery has slideshows detailing how he created many of his retouched photos.
Website :

Gunslinger Girl

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There was tie between Gunslinger girl and Texhnolyze so I have decided to review Gunslinger girl first and then Texhnolyze. There is a good reason for this order because I intend to review the other anime in the same genre as Texhnolyze. Now just to let everyone know I will be reviewing all the anime I put on the list in due time.
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Gunslinger girl was adapted into a 13 episode anime from the original (on going) manga by Yu Aida. This anime was directed by Morio Asaka who is known for directing anime from the female perspective. Gunslinger girl is set in modern-day Italy and follows a new and very secret government agency called the Social Welfare Agency. The girls that are selected to work for the agency, are picked out by a handler (male) then given new names, reconditioned and the majority of their body parts are replaced with cybernetic implants. The handler is responsible for the performance of his charge and can use whatever means he likes, one of the elements to the girls training is brainwashing also called conditioning, and the handler can use as much as he deems fit. This pair is called a fratello which is Italian for brother.

The girls are devoted to their handlers and are willing to die for them. Gunslinger girl touches on the morality of what the agency is doing to these girls. In other words is national security more important then the lives of a few girls. The anime also shows that even though these girls have been turned into cyborg killing machines they are still little girls that only want acceptance and love from their handlers.

I liked this anime although I thought the ending was left open, but the overall story line and animation was very good. Gunslinger girl is on the violent side but if you’re only looking for blood and guts then this is not going to be for you. If you want an anime that makes you think about morality and if the end justifies the means then you will like this anime. And if you’re only in it if the good character designs then this won’t disappoint as the animators have taken the time and effort to draw the guns used in this anime very accurately.
photos via photobucket

Thursday, November 15, 2007

PHESP Review (Start with A exhibition)

PHESP Review

(Start With A exhibition)
Last month saw some cool art coming out of Hong Kong (HK) including the Start From A joint exhibition featuring art in the Too Art Gallery from Ta&Vi from GraphicAirlines (GAL), Beverley Cheng, KS and Vivian Poon. ESPV was there to catch up with the peeps.
KS and GA are also a part of the HK art collective ST/ART ( and links to their websites can be found in our blog’s banners on the left.

Art by KS

Art by Tat (GAL)

Art by Vi (GAL)

Tat & Vi from GAL

Art by Vivian Poon

Art by Beverley Cheng

ST/ART HK and friends

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