Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Art, Bills and Some Sand

"This is an old building. This is an old chair from the 1700s. There's a pit of sand..." Without listening any further you might think this was some conceptual nonsense, but speaking to John Maeda -- the president of the Rhode Island School of Design -- at his new exhibition: John Maeda Is The Fortune Cookie, Crane.tv gets a little insight into what it means to be an artist, especially during an economic downturn that sees resources steadily being deflected from creative industries.

Sitting around his recent works at the The Riflemaker Gallery, London, Maeda -- himself a celebrated artist -- talks of how he spends long lengths of time answering questions in discussions, always searching and aiding others in their search, "when I listen I try to draw in the sand." Despite the confounding nature of his words and actions, he describes himself as interested in demystifying art, focusing on people's unique relationship with it. To him, being an artist refers to one's ability to re-figure and re-imagine. Which is why his focus today is on raising funds for scholarships, as well as promoting the arts to corporations and government bodies: how art can be integrated further into wider society. With changes in the UK's fiscal policy enforcing massive cuts in education, it results in the arts being the most wounded of all. Maeda persists, explaining that a reduction in the arts is fundamentally damaging for the UK -- and other countries -- as it reduces the possibility of innovation.

Reminding us of the fact that discovery itself is linked to artists and the way they think, it is important that we continue to bear this is mind. His fight for creativity, coupled with a firm belief that in essence creativity is a natural and normal process anyway, finds one answer in the form of a school that represents change, innovation and possibility. "I see so many countries trying to remove creativity from their agenda, the arts from their agenda. It'll mean a loss of innovation worldwide. Someone has to stick up for it." To just be curious and not stop the search for how seemingly disparate things connect is a basis for creativity; being free to discover and form these connections, is a lesson learned for us in general before it's too late.

Watch Crane.tv's video here:

Cox Cookies and Cake

Having heard whispers of the tasty delights at Patrick Cox's latest endeavour, we at Crane.tv couldn't contain ourselves and headed straight to sweet heart of it all: Cox Cookies and Cake. At first we thought, 'had we stumbled into a West End theatre?' its walls, moodily enveloped with shimmering discs, 'or is it soho?' glimpsing at the neons exaggeratingly highlighted against the dark backdrop, the mirrored ceiling ensured thoughts of 'sex club vibe' crossed our minds.

The sound of Cox's voice cut through our mental wanderings. After 20 wild years at the crux of the fashion world, the acclaimed shoe designer expressed that all he wanted was "to have fun again." And fun it is. Amongst the vast selection of treats, we're enthusiastically introduced to the Skull, Kiss and Pop designs. Cox jokingly describes how as a fierce monarchist, a Queen cupcake is next in line and later chuckles over how certain 8 year-olds have obsessions over his Boobie cake. At the start Cox had a visual idea and knew exactly what he wanted, but it was only after brainstorming and working with patissier extroadinaire Eric Lanlard behind Cake Boy Bakery in Battersea, did dream become reality.

"You walk into the store, you get two messages: It's black-and-sexy and it's neon." Relating to the design of the store, Cox's aim was to make it sexy, urban and in some cases - pointing to the Skull cakes - masculine. His winning formula combines a simple, clear design language, with select artworks suitably created for the store by equally celebrated friends, such as Tracey Emin's "I Keep Haunting You" scribed in neon across a wall.

Comparing the act of selling cakes with that of selling shoes, "it's the same look when I sell a girl a pair of shoes: really happy and thrilled." He reveres in the expression on all people's faces when they look at the counter, "my favourite reaction is when they come into the store and they smile." With these miniature works of art-cum-guilty pleasures flying out of the store, Cox has especially designed an extra Elton cake for World AIDS Day on December 1st, all the more reason to indulge yourself and all for a good cause.

Watch Crane.tv's video here:

The Fluid Dress

Would be far better de-cyberdog-ised..

Fluid Dress from Charlie Bucket on Vimeo.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Surf Dogs

Can't get over them.
(Poor old) Surf Dog @ Surf City Championships - LA


So... I finally give in to an uncontrollable cheese-crave.. Me being too lazy to take a trip to ole' Iceland, meant that my grubby hands took hold of this waxy number here..

After 3 years of being tucked away in the back of my refrigerator. The biggest question raised is whether it is still edible? - nb. ques being raised only by the irritating eco-food-manic-juicer-non-gluten-eater-near-vegan flatmate, as I would not be too fussed by the idea myself..
Despite all warning, I could no longer resist the temptation to pair the visual and dairy delight with equally stale crackers.

Result = Scrumminess albeit with an aftertaste of decomposing matter, arm ache, a broken knife and a lot of smelly mess.