165 Artists In The Haus!

Oh, this is something I wish I could see in person. If you have the chance, take it, because the building is slated to be destroyed in the beginning of June.

Base23 uses 3D installations in his room at THE HAUS. Image courtesy of Million Motions and the artist.

What happens when 165 street artists take over a single building in Berlin? The result is a five-floor urban art labyrinth boasting the work of creators from over 70 countries. There’s not a single canvas in sight. Filled with low-lights, sound effects, 3D casts, growing things, unnerving portraiture, tape, stickers, and smells, it feels as far from a traditional gallery as you can get.

This building was once an abandoned bank on the famous avenue Kurfürstendamm (colloquially “Ku’damm”). Now overflowing with indoor street art, it’s set to be demolished in June to make way for apartment buildings. But that’s part of the fun of it, according to the artists. And until then, anyone willing to brave the two-hour line outside is welcome inside, free of charge.

THE HAUS (tag-lined “Berlin Art Bang”) is a project kicked off by Kimo, Bolle and Jörni (all aliases), a trio of creators on the Berlin urban art scene for more than 20 years. While they operate Xi-Design, a hand-painted advertisements company, it’s their never-for-profit crew Die Dixons that built THE HAUS. After inviting their expansive network of artists to participate, they created the packed-out platform to put street art in the spotlight, offering a temporary, no-fee experience much like street art itself. “We have a huge network,” Kimo tells Creators, “and we’re very organized, but all this really came from the heart and from people’s willingness to do it.”

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Artists range from Berlin natives to international activists, established crews to newbie collaborators, and individuals to nonprofit giants. Solo artist Urzula Amen constructed a fake grocery store-like room with graphic health-hazard labels in the style of cigarette warnings. Only rooms away, International Justice Mission created a room to look like an Indian brothel, complete with VR goggles to visualize the plight of a modern-day prostitute.

As for the no-phone zone, it’s there for audiences to “get back to the roots,” as Kimo puts it. “Use your eyes and feelings and emotions, standing in the rooms. Step back, look again, touch it. Stop looking at things through your phone, or on the internet. Experience it for yourself, and focus on the moment.”

[…]

Die Dixons are currently exploring new places to build another Haus. “We’re getting inquiries from Belgium, The Netherlands, and several other countries,” says Kimo. “They’re all saying ‘we have a building for you!’ This will not be the last Haus.”

Rotkäppchen Goliath is an agency for urban communication that was founded in 2014 in Vienna. Image courtesy of Million Motions and the artist.

THE HAUS will be destroyed at the beginning of June. For a floor plan and extensive artist overview, check out THE HAUS website. Follow them on Instagram @thehausberlin.

You can see more at The Creators Project.

4/20 Five Top Designs.

Dezeen is not neglecting 4/20, they have an article up with their 5 top picks in the burgeoning weed business. Just a few here, click on over to see them all, and read about them!

Snoop Dogg’s Leaf Collection.

US rapper Snoop Dogg launched his Leafs line of edible cannabis products with packaging designed by Pentagram to skirt around US laws on controlled substances. The collection encompasses a variety of products containing cannabis, including chocolate bars, drops and gummy sweets, as well as boxes of flowers from various strains of the plant.

Jamie Wolfond.

Canadian designer Jamie Wolfond designed this simple glass pipe for smoking accessory brand Tetra. Crafted from borosilicate glass that doesn’t conduct heat, the pipe features a short stem pointing downwards, a long stem from which the smoke is inhaled, and a shallow chamber to hold the user’s substance of choice.

Printabowl.

Seattle startup Printabowl intended these water pipes for smoking pot to be put on display rather than be hidden “in a shoebox under your bed”. Each 3D-printed bong features a designs that references organic forms, such as angular crystals and rippling liquid.

See more, and read all about them at Dezeen!

4/20: Art and Weed, Weed, Weed.

It’s 4/20, if you have it, smoke it, and get your art on. There’s a lot to explore in the world of art and weed. We start with an exhibit at the Chesterfield Gallery in New York, with their show, Lit!

David Colton, ‘Untitled 2.’ Images courtesy of the Chesterfield Gallery.

You can see and read more here.

Sergio Garcia.

Dallas-based artist Sergio Garcia’s anatomical sculptures also point out the absurdity of weed being illegal.

Illustration by Lia Kantrowitz.

Where the hell does “Roll It, Lick It, Smoke It” actually come from?

Nico Mazza.

These Pussy Pipes Remind Us “We Have Been Smoking Out Of Dicks”.

Also see:

Zooted Illustrations Depict Everyday People Smoking Weed at Home.

Miniature Weed Worlds Blend Tiny Toys and Stoner Humor.

Traditional Chinese Paintings of Cannabis Aim to Change Perceptions About the Medicinal Plant.

Weed-Friendly Art Classes Invite People to ‘Puff, Pass & Paint’.

“PeopleIRollOn” Gives Celebrities the Best Weed Beards on Instagram.

Happy 4/20 everyone!

Art, Illness, and An iPad.

Three Dotty Foxes in the Pines.

The textural, nuanced scenes of brightly colored, frolicking creatures look collaged out of paper or brushed onto canvas, but in actuality, Michèle Brown paints with pixels on an iPad. A former art teacher and typography-trained artist who worked in fine art for most of her adult career, Brown was forced to pivot her professional and artistic goals due to an unexpected change in her health.

“I had to stop working because of a long-term illness,” Brown tells Creators, “which only allows me to be out of bed for about five hours a day. When the iPhone came out, I started playing and drawing on it while I was bed bound, and really got into it when the iPad first came out. I have tried all sorts of styles with it, but it really seems to suit my illustrative and imaginative side.”

Brown’s scenes evoke children’s book visuals are defined by an earth-toned texture and warmth. Her individual artworks often include imagery of wide-eyed animals that slice together large swaths of color, coming together in a scene that mimics a paper mâché or acrylic piece, but in reality, is a work of tablet and iPhone artistry. Brown’s fine art offerings are similarly immersive. Less amiable and imbued with their own unique texture, the artist’s fine art works possess a different lexicon of shape and form. Based in Cornwall, the British artist grew up both in France and the UK and has honed her bilingual skills and understanding of both cultures.

“I’ve created an imaginary world which I call Spottyland because of one of the first characters to come out of it, Spotty the fox. Nothing awful happens in Spottyland; the animals can be a bit naughty, but they are all vegetarian and underneath they have hearts of gold. Humor is a big part of what I do. I’ve been influenced by cartoon strips and dreadful puns, but only if it is kind. I like to make people smile and bring a bit of lightly mischievous harmony to the world. It is a place of safe retreat in an increasingly uncertain world.”

You can see and read more at The Creators Project. To see more works by Michèle Brown, visit her main Instagram, as well as Spotty the Fox’s website, and Brown’s fine art Instagram.

The Hague Goes Mondriaan.

WHO’S AFRAID OF RED, YELLOW AND BLUE: Citydressing Campaign / Mondriaan to Dutch Design / The Haque (NL)  2017.

THE CITY AS CANVAS
Dutch art movement De Stijl was founded one hundred years ago this year. Inspired by Stijl artist like Piet Mondriaan, Bart van der Leck, Gerrit Rietveld and Theo van Doesburg, studio VOLLAERSZWART developed this citydressing campaign to “Mondriaanising” The Hague.

FREESTYLE
To start the citydressing for the celebration of the theme year “Mondriaan To Dutch Design, The Hague unveiled the largest Mondriaan in the world. The painting with the familiar red, yellow and blue surfaces and straight lines is being exhibited in one of the city’s most striking buildings: City Hall. A unique composition, precisely because of the combination of Mondriaan’s work and the iconic architecture of architect Richard Meier. The Hague City Council decided to honour the world renowned artist, as Gemeentemuseum The Hague has no less than 300 of his paintings in its possession. The design was created by artists Madje Vollaers and Pascal Zwart of Studio VOLLAERSZWART. Last weeks, a number of prominent buildings and locations in The Hague got a Mondriaan / De Stijl makeover.

Special Thanks to: Gemeentemuseum The Hague, Municipality The Hague, The Hague Citymarketing and Cubord Signmakers.

What an amazing celebration! I love all of it. There’s much more to see at the website!

Happy Ēostre Day!

“Ostara” (1901) by Johannes Gehrts.

Eostur-monath, qui nunc Paschalis mensis interpretatur, quondam a Dea illorum quæ Eostre vocabatur, et cui in illo festa celebrabant nomen habuit: a cujus nomine nunc Paschale tempus cognominant, consueto antiquæ observationis vocabulo gaudia novæ solemnitatis vocantes.

Eosturmonath has a name which is now translated “Paschal month”, and which was once called after a goddess of theirs named Eostre, in whose honour feasts were celebrated in that month. Now they designate that Paschal season by her name, calling the joys of the new rite by the time-honoured name of the old observance. – Bede, in De temporum ratione.

Don’t know about you, but Ēostre has smiled upon me, the sun is shining today! Hope everyone has a lovely day, and remember, Jesus is mything in action!

Friendship Benches.

Like many simple ideas, friendship benches and grandmothers is an absolutely brilliant one. Zimbabwe has a wealth of people suffering ills, much like every place else on the planet. Mental and emotional difficulties and struggles are stigmatized all over the world, and even when there are abundant resources, many people won’t reach out because of that stigma. Most places don’t have abundant resources, but they do have troubled people who do not want to be stigmatized. So, what to do? There’s a small program in parts of Zimbabwe, where older women receive training, and they spend time on the friendship benches, where people can come and talk them, and be listened to, which I feel is a cure for a great many ills. Most people simply don’t listen, and often, even when someone does, they get awkward and embarrassed because they can’t fix a person’s problem. What gets missed much of the time is that people aren’t necessarily looking for a fix, they simply need someone to listen, someone to care. The Grandmothers are also happy, because they feel needed, rather than lonely and neglected. Friendship benches are an idea which needs to be widespread, all over the world.

The therapy room is a patch of waste ground, and the therapist’s couch a wooden bench under a tree. The therapist is an elderly Zimbabwean woman, in a long brown dress and headscarf.

Her patients call her “Grandmother” when they come along to sit on her bench and discuss their feelings, their depression or other mental health issues.

[…]

The benches are a safe place for people struggling with depression, which in the Shona language is called kufungisisa, “thinking too much”.

It is a world away from conventional approaches to mental healthcare, but the Friendship Bench project has changed the lives of an estimated 27,000 Zimbabweans suffering from depression and other mental disorders.

The grandmothers, all of whom are trained to improve a patient’s ability to cope with mental stress, listen and nod, offering only an occasional word of encouragement.

[…]

“When they first get to the bench, we use an intervention which we call kuvhura pfungwa [opening of the mind]. They sit and talk about their problems. Through that process, the grandmothers enable that patient to select a specific problem to focus on, and they help them through it,” he says.

Through at least six one-on-one sessions with the health workers, the patients are encouraged to speak about their problems and their mental illness.

Traditionally, elderly women play the role of counsellor for younger members of the community. On the bench, however, the grandmothers listen more, and lecture less.

“We used to talk a lot, ‘Do this, do that’. But now we ask them to open up, open their minds and hearts,” says Sheba Khumalo, a grandmother.

The Guardian has the full story.

The Amazing World of AMKK!

Azuma Mokoto and Shiinuke Shunsuke.

Need to brighten up your universe and recapture a sense of wonder, delight, and glee? Look no further than AMKK, a world of intense, joyful artistry and botany. They are featured on The Creators Project, where you can see so much, and read all about these magical artists, then you can go and wander over to their website, and get absolutely lost in the most amazing, oh, well, just have a wander, it will do your non-existent soul so much good!

The Edinburgh Remakery.

Here’s a grand undertaking, and one desperately needed all over the place. We have become so accustomed to living in a consumer driven throwaway manner, and even when people want to be thrifty, or would prefer to fix something, there’s often no option to do so.

The Edinburgh Remakery is a social enterprise that teaches repair. The shop sells refurbished computers and furniture, and hosts workshops where people can come along and learn how to repair their own things. There’s a big vision behind it: “we want to generate a repair revolution. This means changing the way people use and dispose of resources, encouraging manufacturers to build things to last and to be fixable, and making sure the facilities are in place to allow people to repair and reuse.”

Films for Action has the full story.

The Hat’s Limitation.

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A collaborative project between architect Kosaku Matsumoto and Japan Braid Hat Mfg. Co., ltd.

Japan Braid Hat is known for making blade hats (or Sanada hat) woven with fabric tape and natural grass straw in a swirl-like pattern. Unlike hats made by sewing, they are woven seamlessly together and completely jointless. The hat has an elegant simplicity of shape and form that made feasible to increase the hat’s scale to the limit. How big can a hat really be?

The outcome of this experiment was a hat five times larger than the standard, stretching the technical limit of the craftsman, and extending the very definition of we can see as a hat. It has been expanded so much that the brim cannot bear its own weight, draping toward the ground to cascade and wrap the whole body of who wears it. Like a coat, a veil, or a small, sculptural tent, the hat gives various fluid impressions according to the way it is worn.

By challenging the very definition and the limitation of a hat, the work attempts to discover a scale of new functions and design possibilities in what we understand as a blade hat.

Photo by Nobutada OMOTE.

You can see much more at Kosaku Matsumoto. Via Spoon & Tamago.