Meet The Animation Studio, Juggling Wolf

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Animation Studios are steadily climbing the ranks of the film industry’s Most Influential Lists, challenging our perception of what innovative storytelling looks like. Memorable movies like Inside Out, ParaNorman and Coraline have made household names out of the most successful of them, Pixar and Laika.

Pixar’s successful touring exhibition, The Science Behind Pixar validates the growing public interest in the science and technology behind the magic and the creatives that bring our favorite animated movies to life.

Cinematic giants were bred somewhere, launched from small beginnings helmed by unknown creatives cloaked by these unassuming cool sounding company names.  So who are the new kids on the block? No pun intended.

I’d like to think I can predict the rise of young collectives churning out work with enough ingenuity to carry them to the main stage.  I’ve followed a local animation company whose handmade aesthetic is always captivating.  So I thought, why don’t I introduce you to them? You know – before they hit the pages of WIRED in a Cinderella-esque article that depresses me into wishing I didn’t miss the Van Gogh Boat.

Meet Juggling Wolf, a team of extraordinarily pioneering creative professionals who specialize in stop-motion.  This Philadelphia-based animation studio is the invention of Marina Gvozdeva (Video Editor), Ian Foster (Cinematographer) and Jason Chen (Color Grading Artist).

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Juggling Wolf: Jason Chen, Marina Gvozdeva, and Ian Foster

Out of their imaginations pool cleverly quirky meets cute videos that attract clients like Anthropologie and Popsicle; companies known for wooing the public with attractive doses of nostalgia and whimsy.

Now, this is where I ‘could’ have inserted a short reworked summary of their website’s ‘About Us’ page –most are planned to be the educational equivalent to a brief snooze in class. To our delight, Juggling Wolf’s is a classic old school dating profile – it reads better than anything we could have stated.  It pretty much speaks to why we’re obsessed with the company in the first place.

Name: Juggling Wolf

My Self Summary: I am an Animation Studio
Location: Philadelphia and New York
What am I doing with my life: Animating
I am really good at: Stop Motion Animation
The first things people usually notice about me: My handmade aesthetic
Favorite Books: The Animator’s Survival Kit
Favorite Movies: Click Here
Favorite Shows: Truly Detectives
Favorite Music: BBC1 Essential Mix
Favorite Food: Pho
The six things I can never do without: Lights, Cameras, Actions, After Effects, DragonFrame, Clients
I spend a lot of time thinking about: What’s for dinner?
On a typical Friday night I am: Animating
The most private thing I am willing to admit: I am not keen on writing bios
I am looking for: Clients who like animators – ages 0 – ∞ for long-term, short-term business relations.

Jim Bachor’s 2016 Pothole Art Installation ‘Pretty Trashed’

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Thanks to another successful Kickstarter campaign, Chicago artist, Jim Bachor has gotten started on his 2016 pothole art campaign.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, Bachor has been delighting art blogs since 2014 when he decided to put a beautiful spin on the excess of damaging potholes left from brutal Chicago winters.

We’ve been impatiently waiting for the next theme to his well-received pothole art installations – the new series is called Pretty Trashed.  This first mosaic dropped is ‘Beer Can’.  It’s located on Montrose, just east of California on the south side of the street. Go see it Chicago – you lucky ducks. The rest of us will just have to live vicariously through Bachor’s Instagram feed.

It’s not our first time covering Bachor’s cute mosaic potholes. You can check out his past mosaic themes here:

POTHOLE ART PROJECT LAUNCHES NEW SERIES – TREATS IN THE STREETS!

CHICAGO ARTIST FILLS POTHOLES WITH AMAZING MOSAICS

 

*photos courtesy of Jim Bachor

Your Art Fair Guide for Armory Week 2016

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It’s Armory Week and that means gaggles of art fairs will be taking place across New York City.  It’s going to be a whirlwind of amazing art from all over the world, informative talks and lots of Art Star Selfies.  We don’t suggest you try to tackle every fair, choose the ones that interest you the most and pace yourself. Fair fatigue is real–trying to see more art than your brain can process at one time will just ruin the whole experience. Trust us on this… Oh, and by all means, wear comfortable shoes.

 

1. Armory Show

The Armory Show is the daddy of all the fairs.  It’s the big Kahuna with over 200 galleries showing on Piers 92 & 94 for four days of incredible art, engaging talks and daring projects. Walking through both piers can be exhausting, take breaks, and check your coat.  The coat line is so long – one would think they were giving out free drinks – but it’s worth the hands-free next few hours.

DON’T MISS: Brooklyn’s Pierogi gallery will show Jonathan Schipper’s Slow Motion Car Crash, a “choreographed collision” timed to occur during the five-day fair.

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Jonathan Schipper, Slow Motion Car Crash. Photo: Courtesy The Armory Show.

March 3–6, 2016
Thursday–Sunday 12:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.
Pier 94 and Pier 92, 711 12th Avenue between West 55th Street and West 52nd Street
$45 general admission, or $60 with VOLTA admission

 

2. Volta NY

Volta is Armory’s sister fair – one that keeps getting better in terms of curation.  Its’ art boutique feel is a refreshing change from the chaos that will be happening at Pier 92 & 94 with the Armory crowd. By spotlighting artists through primarily solo projects, VOLTA NY refocuses the art fair experience back to its most fundamental point: the artists and their works.

The Volta fair takes place at Pier 90. Photo: David Williams, courtesy Volta.

The Volta fair takes place at Pier 90.
Photo: David Williams, courtesy Volta.

March 2–6, 2016
Wednesday 8:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday 12 p.m.–8:00 p.m.; Sunday 12:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m.
Pier 90, 711 12th Avenue at West 48th Street
$22.96 general admission, or $55.11 with Armory Show admission

 

3. Spring Break Art Show

Spring/Break is one of the Armory Week attractions I try not to miss, it unapologetically has fun with art – blocking out the cynical in favor of its ‘Look at what I did Ma’ art school vibe.  This year, the annual curator-driven art show, chose ⌘COPY⌘PASTE” as its theme.  We’re still sad the fair had to move out of the Old School on Mott Street in Nolita (making way for a depressing condo development), to the Moynihan Station. The new space retains that feeling of being sent off to the races – with a familiar three-floor execution of exhibits – room after room of romping and art browsing. The rooms can be a showdown of hit-or-miss aesthetics, but I continue to enjoy the discovery beyond each door.

Installation by Taezoo Park, curated by Peter Gynd.

Installation by Taezoo Park, curated by Peter Gynd.

March 2–7
Skylight at Moynihan Station, 421 8th Avenue at West 31st Street
Wednesday–Sunday 12:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m.; Monday 12:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m.
$10 general admission for advance tickets, $15 at the door

 

4. Scope

SCOPE NY brings an array of contemporary art down to the Piers. Thank goodness SCOPE is staying close to the Armory Show again – nothing like being able to stroll, and not UBER to the main fair. This year they’re promising a new “open-plan” layout and 60 international exhibitors.

Erik Jones, Joseph Gross Gallery

Erik Jones, Joseph Gross Gallery

March 3–6, 2016
Thursday 6:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m.; Friday–Sunday 11:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m.
Metropolitan Pavilion West 60 galleries, 639 W 46th Street
$35 general admission

 

5. Pulse

Last year, PULSE New York was a bit of a snooze fest. This year the fair is back at its normal location,  Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 West 18th Street.   With the focus on a smaller scale – 45 galleries from four continents.  Hopefully this tightly curated content will play out better than last year’s hodge-podge.

Pulse Art Fair NYC Front Entrance

Pulse Art Fair NYC Front Entrance

March 3–6
Thursday 1:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 11:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m.; Sunday 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
The Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 West 18th Street
$25 general admission

 

6. Art on Paper

Art on Paper returns to Manhattan’s Lower East Side in March 2016, building on the success of the fair’s inaugural 2015 edition. It may be further away from the main fair, but it’s well worth the trip to see how artists are transforming paper into extrodinary works of art.  We’re especially looking forward to the lineup from first-time exhibitors Paradigm Gallery + Studio, representing Philadelphia, PA.

Courtesy of Art on Paper

Courtesy of Art on Paper

March 3–6
Thursday 6:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m.; Friday–Saturday, 11:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m.; Sunday 12:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.
Pier 36, 299 South Street on the East River
$25 general admission

 

7. ADAA Art Show

28th edition, of the Art Dealers Association of America’s annual fair, is back at that glorious Park Avenue Armory space.  With 72 exhibitors of fine art.  Newcomers include Hauser & Wirth, presenting works by the Modernist Italian sculptor, installation artist, and poet Fausto Melotti, and Tilton Gallery, showing new sculptures by Chicago-born artist Simone Leigh, whose work explores female African-American subjectivity.

Courtesy of the ADAA

Courtesy of the ADAA

March 2–6
Wednesday–Friday 12:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m.; Saturday 12:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.; Sunday 12:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.
Park Avenue Armory, Park Avenue at East 67th Street
$25 general admission

 

8. Independent

Dont’ go looking for the Independent in Chelsea, the fair has taken up residence in Tribeca’s Spring Studios.  The popular fair’s niche market is international galleries and non-profit institutions.

March 3–6, 2016
Thursday 6:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 12:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.; Sunday 12:00 p.m.–6:00p.m.
Spring Street Studios, 50 Varick Street
$25 general admission/$15 for students

 

9. Clio Art Fair

CLIO ART FAIR is a curated fair created with the idea of discovering independent artists and showcasing the careers and achievements of already affirmed creative minds. Labeled the “anti-fair for independent artists,” Clio provides a showcase for artists without gallery representation, selected for inclusion in the fair by a panel of judges.
March 3–6
Thursday 6:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday 10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.; Sunday 12:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m.
508–526 West 26th St.
Free

10. New City Art Fair

This small contemporary Asian art fair, which focuses on emerging artists, is now in its fifth year.

March 3–6
Thursday 11:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 11:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.; Sunday 12:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m.
hpgrp Gallery New York, 434 Greenwich Street
Free

Insomnia: Drew Mcleod — Flux

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A video posted by David McLeod (@david_mcleod) on

3D artist David McLeod plays with motion — trippy art experiments that explore flocking behavior. Mesmerizing is how I’ll describe the state of these objects in flux crashing over his website. Slow movements that crash into and pull away from each other in a seductive play that gives me further proof of my attraction to art.

That is all. Press play on the Instagram posts…I want you to fall into this rabbit hole with me.

David McLeod
Website / Instagram / Facebook

A photo posted by David McLeod (@david_mcleod) on

E is for Eckman-Lawn — Alex Eckman-Lawn

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This is Alex Eckman-Lawn’s bio… “Alex Eckman-Lawn is a Philadelphia born illustrator who lives in the gutter and sleeps in the sewer. His work has appeared in comic books, on album covers, book covers, T-shirts, music videos, and posters. He is currently hard at work trying to burn his name into the ground and pull the sun out of the sky.”

Yup, he is that freaking cool.

No matter what medium he’s working with, it’s trademarked with complicated dark overtures layered in emotion. Our personal favorite — his contemporary framed cut paper collage pieces, each layer stacked upon another create a dense narrative that unveils a story slowly being released to the viewer.

At first glance, the narratives of his work seems peppered with themes of loneliness and fear — but the graceful shafts of light and placement of color betray a sense of hope and redemption.  It’s not hard to see the painstaking care and finesse layered in his pieces – so exacting in trying to maintain a compulsive control over chaotic worlds.

Check out the video below to see Eckman-Lawn discuss his process.

Alex Eckman-Lawn on Social Media
Website/Instagram / Tumblr

Alex’s work appears in the following comics:
Awakening Volumes 1 and 2, Popgun volume 4 (Rusted: Faded Signal), Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard (Leviathan), The Graphic Canon Vol.1 (Forgive Us Our Trespasses), and Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream. He is working on an all-ages adventure book called Thanatos Diver right now.

Photo Essay – The Ghosts of Coney Island

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by Leighkaren Labay

I was wondering if I would have any trouble finding a parking spot due to all the snow, but the minute I turned onto Ocean Avenue, I saw it would be easy. The street showed no signs of life. I pulled my car up in front of Nathan’s and went in. I needed a hot dog for sustenance. Even though the streets were empty and covered in snow, I was happy to be at Coney Island. This was the place my family had been going to as a summer hotspot for three generations. It was a part of my heritage. And it was totally deserted on this cold, winter’s day.

To me, one of the saddest things is an amusement park in the winter time. There is a particular brand of melancholy that I associate with it. It’s like ghosts are all around, the gloomy ghosts left behind when summer went away and all the people went home. Lonely, but sadly beautiful.

The pictures that this essay accompanies were taken on one of the coldest days of last winter. There were, surprisingly, many more people walking on the boardwalk and on the beach than I thought. Leave it to New York: people in the most unlikely of places at the most unlikely of times. No surprise there.

I walked on the deserted boardwalk; past the tattoo parlors, the Nathan’s, Astroland, and the Wonder Wheel. Walking on the beach was lovely, and I sat on the deserted benches and watched the cold Atlantic wax and wane. I thought about the brave swimmers of the Polar Bear Club. This was their kind of day.

The sun was beginning to go down, and the shadows on the fairway were lengthening. I don’t think I would want to be here in full darkness. Those ghosts that I felt barely touching me earlier would be out in full force soon enough, sadly waiting in their melancholy way for the fun to begin again, and for the people to come back.

Now go see: Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland, 1861–2008 at the Brooklyn Museum thru March 13, 2016.  “Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland, 1861–2008 is the first major exhibition to explore the kaleidoscopic visual record they created, documenting the historic destination’s beginnings as a watering hole for the wealthy, its transformation into a popular beach resort and amusement mecca, its decades of urban decline culminating in the closing of Astroland, and its recent revival as a vibrant and growing community.”

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SPOTLIGHT: Norman Rockwell and Ruby Bridges

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We start our Black History Month art series with a look at Norman Rockwell’s painting, The Problem We All Live With. I’ve heard it said that Norman Rockwell was safe because he strayed away from depicting any direct social commentary in his work — then what were all those paintings of ‘Life Americana’ that I remember growing up seeing in my mom’s art books supposed to be saying to me?

How could you ignore his painting of a six-year-old Ruby Bridges being escorted to school amidst the chaos of protestors that didn’t agree with the United States Supreme Court Brown v. Board of Education? That unpopular ruling that declared the state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students were unconstitutional could not be more frankly expressed in this emotional tribute to courage.

In 1963, Rockwell confronted the issue of prejudice head-on with one of his most powerful paintings.  At the time editorial policies governed the placement of minorities in his illustrations (restricting them to service industry positions only). The painting was a clear indicator that Rockwell was supporting equality and tolerance.

*“The Problem We All Live With,” Norman Rockwell, 1963 Oil on canvas, 36” x 58” Illustration for “Look,” January 14, 1964 Licensed by Norman Rockwell Licensing, Niles, IL. From the permanent collection of Norman Rockwell Museum*

Learn More:

Learn more about that landmark United States Supreme Court case at PBS/The Supreme Court — Expanding Civil Rights.

Surviving Black History Month

Black History is American History

by Kimberly Drew

Black History is American History

 

A firm believer in the placebo that is a new year, I get excited as December winds down. I set my sneakers near my door with the hopes that on January 1st I’ll magically wake up and be ready to run the Boston marathon. As January creeps along I attempt to turn my resolutions into effortless routines. This year rather than vowing to lose half my body weight I decided to try something a little more useful. My resolution for 2013 was surviving Black History Month.

Now I know you’re reading and thinking this chick is crazy. Why would a black person cringe at the month that should stand for their annual dosage of 40 acres and a mule? Why? Because it’s an anxiety inducing month. Twenty-eightish days designed to encompass (and in turn pathologize) Black history.

As an undergrad at Smith College I was a scholar in African-American studies. After studying blackness around the clock the idea that Black History Month can serve it’s role in our society is a hyperbolic and insulting one. So, for all of those spirits who are plagued by the second month of the year I thought I’d outfit each of you with a Black History Month survival guide.

1

Celebrate otherness. While race is a social construct, it dictates the way that we view others and are seen by others. Accepting that you are different is the first step in guiding your way through a month that can limit your identity. A song that I’ve been using to remind myself of this fact is by a gentleman named Two Chainz.

2

Avoid advertising ploys. As Hank Willis Thomas said, “race has been the most successful marketing ploy in the history of the world.” Don’t let corporations bait you with schemes that do nothing but enforce corporate monopolies. Don’t believe me? Visit Vintage Black Ads on Tumblr to see generations of advertisements that were designed to target black audiences.

3

Read, read, read… literacy is a privilege; take head. Let Black History Month be your excuse to rediscover Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, fall in love with Jean Toomer’s Cane or delve into the four volumes of Henry Louis Gates and David Bindman’s The Image of the Black in Western Art. There is agency seeded in every page turn and every click-through on articles about Black history.

4

Don’t watch the Grammys or the Oscars. Yeah I said it, ignore the academy at all costs. As a survivor of this year’s Grammys and Seth McFarlane’s wildly offensive take on hosting the Oscars, I can testify that it’ll do no one any good feeding into a system that works to remind women and minorities that they will never be good enough.

5

Know that Black history is American history… It’s in our best interest to celebrate different aspects of American life, see how they intersect and deconstruct our preconceived prejudices. Black History Month places Black history in a vacuum. The month should be a celebration of racial progress, cultural difference and a time to reflect on contemporary blackness. Our only hope in successfully surviving Black History Month is a universal understanding that these things are not exclusive to racial blackness.

 

*amazing gif borrowed from Tumblr staff

Matthew Grabelsky and his Concrete Jungles

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Call of the wild in a concrete jungle.  Or maybe, it’s the wild side of the urban dweller unleashed in these Matthew Grabelsky oil paintings that I can’t stop smiling at.

Maybe it’s the name of the paintings that grab me.  Most of his works are named after New York City Train Line destinations (Exit at Union Square, 1 to Penn Station).  His subway riders show off in contemporary settings, playfully executing everyday stances that make the paintings seem less fantasy and more realistic.  There’s no separation in the ease of the female subjects as they cozy up to their confident counter parts of a beastly nature. Mixing the physical world and it’s attributes to the beast within makes for an interesting look at your next commute.

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Insomnia: Great Art in Ugly Rooms

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The following images have been culled from the nightmares of gallery owners and artists.  Or at least that’s what I wanted this hilarious Tumblr to secretly be about.  All this museum grade art cast in a sarcastic drama of really ugly rooms is from a fun blog, Great Art in Ugly Rooms.

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Cindy Sherman

We keep saying art is subjective and this Tumblr takes that concept to the extreme, editing images of masterpieces into rooms that are decorated in poor taste or simply disastrous locales.  The flip side of this is pretty funny as well, too often I find myself in elaborately decorated rooms surrounded by ugly ridiculous art. You’ll find hilariously smart examples of this scrolling through the blog created by Paul Kremer.

The Rothko perfectly matched with a girly room of cotton candy painted tones, a Modigliani sitting above a white toilet in a graffiti laced bathroom, Whistlers mother in a dentist office waiting room.  My personal favorite – Damien Hirst sitting in a nursery like a baby shower gift from a over-enthused taxidermist.

*Easter Eggs: A few of these contain art within art and one painting is at an actual location – notice it yet?

I have to admit, I wish those Nan Goldin’s were exhibited with this kind of gritty intention in art institutions – it kinda all fits together doesn’t it?

Thomas Kinkade

Thomas Kinkade

Rothko

Mark Rothko

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Leonardo Da Vinci

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Norman Rockwell

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James McNeill Whistler

Barbara Kruger

Barbara Kruger

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Martin Creed

Nan Goldin

Nan Goldin

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Modigliani

 

Beautifully Creepy Bonsai Skulls

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It’s a rare sight – a traditional bonsai garden and a graveyard perched atop a skull, cherry blossom trees cradling eye sockets, there’s something so fragile about the delicate balance of life and death they maintain.

Each skull by handmade by Australian artist, Andrew Firth.  The skulls are cast in PVC plastic and molded from a real human skull.  Firth’s company, Jack of the Dust gets its name of an obsolete United States Navy occupational designation. The term has its origin in the royal navy of the early 1800’s when ship’s stewards were known as “Jack-of-the-dust”, referring to the dusty atmosphere created by issuing quantities of flour and dried biscuit.

It’s a rather unique take on “Momento Mori,”(which means “remember that you can die” in Latin).

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Where Literary Meets Art: The Paper Sculptures of Su Blackwell

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To Kill a Mocking Bird

In the spaces where literary meets art, UK based artist, Su Blackwell transforms words from the page to tangible manifestations of imagination.  The Paper Sculptures of Su Blackwell enchantingly capture the essence of a story, turning them into dizzying tales of deconstructed lore artfully reconstructed as a thing of childlike beauty. Under her hands, she brings to life beloved stories – transforming them into fragile ephemeral whims that make you want to inhabit these places.

“I often work within the realm of fairy-tales and folk-lore. I began making a series of book-sculpture, cutting-out images from old books to create three-dimensional diorama’s, and displaying them inside wooden boxes. For the cut out illustrations, I tend to lean towards young-girl characters, placing them in haunting, fragile settings, expressing the vulnerability of childhood, while also conveying a sense of childhood anxiety and wonder. There is a quiet melancholy in the work, depicted in the material used, and choice of subtle color.”

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Girl in the Wood

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20,000 Leagues Under The Sea

Cabin in the Trees

Cabin in the Trees

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Matilda

Take some time and check out her installation work as well.

Links & 1 Charming Video: Su Blackwell Website