News - All the latest news straight from the artists themselves
Esquire, the smart man’s guide to the best life has to offer, has set on a journey to explore why some of the most stylish male icons belong all to a bygone era. The article, bluntly titled “How come all the most enduring icons of masculine style are six feet under?”, is definitely not about project nostalgia but stating an unquestionable fact: these men’s style has stood against time and still inspires us nowadays (Tom Ford anyone?). To make this aspect unequivocally clear, Hélène Builly was called to illustrate the feature, using her eye for composition and beautiful colouring to imbue the image with a contemporary feel.
“The concept for this illustration was inspired by the 40th-anniversary cover of Esquire where they featured all their literary contributors together,” says Esquire’s Creative Director Nick Millington. “We asked Hélène to piece together a host of classic images, creating a legendary event where the most enduring icons of men’s style were together in one room. Finishing it off by colouring it up like we’ve never seen before made for an arresting image.”
The illustration sees film stars Steve McQueen, Marlon Brando, James Dean and Paul Newman rubbing elbows with Frank Sinatra and Miles Davis and bona fide legend Muhammad Ali amongst other. “The playful nature of the collage,” continues Nick, “combined with Helene’s elegant and sophisticated aesthetic lends itself perfectly to an Esquire feature.”
See more of Hélène Builly’s work here.
After the launch of Zara Home’s biggest store in the world and last year’s Milan Design Week window displays, Wanda Barcelona consolidate the collaboration with Zara Home with another daring project: bringing an underwater fantasy into the heart of the Swiss Alps.
With an impressive 600 square metres store located over three floors on the famed Bahnhofstrasse, the grand opening of Zara Home’s third Swiss store called for an outstanding installation.
Inspired by the SS17 collection, Wanda Barcelona immersed the building facade into a paper sea landscape, creating a stark yet elegantly beautiful contrast with the surrounding environment.
500 white corals of different sizes and genre delicately grew out of stone slabs and metal structure, as it would normally do in Switzerland. To balance form and function, Wanda Barcelona selected a 100% waterproof Japanese paper normally used for scuba maps, which guarantees a premium finish as well as an excellent performance in case of adverse weather conditions, quite common in this period of the year.
The installation, which required twenty hours to be rigged, was on display for a week and marks another outstanding creation worth of the Studio’s motto “Paper Dreams”.
Fortune’s annual “100 Best Companies to Work For” list, dubbed as the most extensive employee survey in corporate America, isn’t solely a snapshot of the companies who provide the most lavish policy or fanciest freebie. It is rather an indicator of employees’ trust in their co-workers and managers, which in returns translate into profitability, revenue growth, stock performance, and other key business measures. To highlight the importance of this crucial human factor, Fortune reached out to commission Jonathan to bring his quirky style to the table.
Although Jonathan is mostly known for his one-line style, he’s not new to creating whimsical vector character that would be either part of his pattern or a stand-alone (we love and cherish our own Wonder Woman print from the “Fat Super Heros” series!).
From bell boy to the Google employees squad, the top ranking companies received the Calugi’s treatment which included a short animation done in collaboration with long-time collaborator Simone Brillarelli and Nicola Giannini
More of Jonathan’s work here.
Milan is one of the epicentres of Italian style and home to a growing number of cultural spaces that put fashion and design at their core. To celebrate Milan Design Week, the city’s most exciting cultural event of the year that is taking place this week, Shop Magazine has commissioned Matteo Berton to envision the city’s new icons but with a twist.
Matteo used his architectural drawing skills and camera-like eye for composition to create a visual interpretation of the new Italian cultural hub. The cover depicts a leafy road dotted with quite recognisable buildings exceptionally standing side by side: the Prada Foundation, the architectonic austerity of the Armani Silos Museum, Villa Necchi of Guadagnino’s “I Am Love” fame, the brand new Museo del Design and the historic Pinoteca di Brera. New buildings adjoining historic landmarks highlight how the city’s DNA is steeped in design heritage and projected into the future.
Matteo saturated the image with sun-drenched hues to recreate an astoundingly unique Italian landscape, something that all the visitors of the Salone del Mobile are bound the see!
See more of Matteo Berton’s here
Science Magazine, one of the most reputable academic publications in the world, has just released a special issue focusing on cancer therapy. To illustrate such a sensitive and far-reaching subject, Science was on the lookout for an artist capable of conveying the conceptual background of the results as well as the positive scenario that they presented in the magazine and Ray Oranges was their choice.
The overall purpose of the issue was to feature some of the exciting new (or “newly reborn”) therapies that perhaps have not received as much attention as they should because the cancer research field is intensely focused on immunotherapy. Researchers believe that five of these new-found therapies could then be combined into the perfect “drug cocktail”.
The project comprised of two illustrations, a cover and a double spread page, that would live off each other, one further elaborating the idea presented in the cover. Science “felt this concept would be great for Ray because of his ability to use simple shapes that at one glance just look like an abstract grouping of elements, but at a second glance look like recognizable forms.”
The smooth transition between Fernando Chamarelli’s dynamic designs and his native Brazil is plain to see. In a country full of life, inspiration is everywhere. So naturally, Fernando’s signature vibrancy soaks in the atmospheric melting pot of his country, and when Stella Artois sought an artist to channel the vitality of their heritage for a limited edition water.org beer chalice, Fernando’s Brazilian flair flavoured the cup.
Stella Artois and the London agency Mother were on the look out for a meaningful aesthetic to illuminate their Buy a Lady a Drink campaign in support of water.org’s provision of clean drinking water for women in less economically developed countries. Fernando’s colourful designs became the vital splash for the packaging, where a bold pattern was needed to adorn the box, whilst the chalice required graphic detail to appear as an etching encircling the glass rim.
“I did not have much difficulty to work on the two versions,” says Fernando, “because before starting a painting and using infinite colours of paint I always make sketches on paper, using a lot of lines and studying shapes. All I needed to do to make the chalice illustration as strong as the packaging was to improve the outlines and to not think of colours.”
Fernando’s thirst for design flows within his distinctive style. Having grown up around the waterfalls and rivers of central Brazil, his undulating forms and curvilinear shapes are a nod to the organic movement of his country’s wilderness. Today Fernando juxtaposes everything from street art, tattoo art to pre-Columbian figures in celebratory hues that declare the vigour and indomitable resilience of his culture. For Stella Artois’ packaging pattern, spiralling waves of kaleidoscopic colours wrap around figures enjoying the natural rhythm of life. A man caresses a bongo drum whilst further figures soak in the sun or melt into the sea referencing Brazil’s active beach scene. For the chalice design, these figures appear in etched form as they link together floating like mermaids and life givers enjoying the fresh waters of Brazil—as it should be.
Fernando has always been very open about his social and political beliefs, and the project is very close to his heart. “This project is important to Brazilians and me. I get involved in social projects whenever I can, and if I through my art, something I love to do, I can somehow help people, well this is great. The partnership between Stella Artois and water.org is a fantastic initiative and should be taken as inspiration by other big companies.”
“Water is an issue in Brazil: we recently had a president that was born in an almost desertic area in the northeastern region; he secured and completed this year a major project to divert the route from one of the largest rivers in Brazil to this dry region and provide people with water. It was amazing!
Brazil is in a terrible economic crisis at the moment, and we have a really bad president and rulers. We can not count on them to help poor people. So the “Buy A Lady A Drink” campaign is important: everyone can help so that we can turn Brazil and the world into a better place.”
The campaign viral reach is supported by a 30’ and a 60’ TV spot featuring water.org’s founder and Hollywood actor Matt Damon holding Fernando’s chalice and also comprises of “Our Dream of Water” a full-length documentary presented at the Sundance Festival and produced in collaboration with National Geographic.With the joyous energy of Fernando’s uplifting patterns, the positive change of having access to clean drinking water is as clear as crystal.
“Episode” is Arte’s weekly series that discusses a broad range of topics, from aliens to family values and anything in between, all through international TV series and using solely striking illustration and animation to accompany their articles.
Arte was looking for an Italian artist to create an artwork to capture the legacy of iconic 80’s TV series “La Piovra”, and Matteo dramatic storytelling was deemed perfect to represent the apparently simple complexity of the subject.
In fact, it is worth to note that “La Piovra” not only was broadcasted in Italy for nearly 17 years racking impressively high ratings but transcended the Italian borders to become a successful export of the Italian TV entertainment industry, a trailblazer for the widely acclaimed Gomorra and Netflix’s Suburra.
Even if it was clearly entertainment, figures like Berlusconi singled out “La Piovra” with being one of the main culprits of the bad rep often given to Italy (surely it his Bunga Bunga parties were innocuous activities meant to promote communication between representatives of different countries). Propaganda declarations aside, it’s unquestionable that “La Piovra” dealt with an extremely serious subject and it was instrumental in defining the way the Mafia is portraited—that sense of oppression and ubiquity of “La Piovra” (or “The Octopus”) is still part of the Italian imaginary.
Although Matteo was too young to see the series in its heydeys, he was intrigued to take the challenge and put his art at work to represent such a strong metaphor. His artwork portrays a headless Octopus looming over a Sicilian port town, with its tentacles intertwined with buildings, arms protruding from doors and windows, menacingly embracing houses as well as towers. The illustration not so subtly avoids showing the actual head of the Octopus, perfectly focusing on the inescapability of the reach of its tentacle but also its biggest strength: its faceless identity. “The one that you cannot mention,” said once a very respectable woman with her granddaughter I met in Palermo.
This project seemed perfect for Matteo because he was able to skilfully play with the perspective and geometry of the city while incorporating more organic elements. Matteo used his signature colour palette with lots of pink and purple tones to create a dramatic effect, where a sun-drenched sunset on the Mediterranean takes a darker twist.
We would like to thank Arte and Ex-Nihilo for the creative direction and freedom that made this collaboration so great!
Jonathan Calugi has quite the reputation for uniting figures together. At One Airbnb, Airbnb’s San Francisco gathering of employees from around the world, the spotlight centred on celebrating individuality whilst championing a sense of belonging. So naturally, Jonathan’s sinuous one-line illustrations emerged as an organic fit for connecting and celebrating diversity. “Jonathan played a fundamental role in bringing One Airbnb 2017 to life,” says Airbnb Creative Director Andrew Schapiro. Selecting him to contribute illustration to the entire visual communications for the three-day conference, Jonathan’s work was brought to life across screen-based content, print, ambient graphics and merchandise.
“Jonathan’s whimsical illustrations beautifully capture the energy and spirit of our global team. He went above and beyond to deliver work that resonates with our entire team“ declares Andrew. “Everyone from our CEO down has shared excitement about how perfectly the branding of the event tells the story of our company today and evokes a sense of togetherness as we come together as one.“What better way to convey the multilayered narratives of wide-ranging individuals moving, mingling and relating than Jonathan’s strong, line illustrations?
This simple yet iconic aesthetic is an effortless declaration of Airbnb’s forward-facing outlook and focus on human connection. Yet Jonathan’s visual simplicity shields the project’s complexity. With a narrow time frame to deliver five original graphics and a further set of individual portraits illustrating the unique characteristics of each employee, a meticulous plan was required. So how did Jonathan navigate the work?
Using just one singular line, a breadth of teams across offices around the world are connected with vivid detail. The line turns and twists to reveal a new detail for the viewer to observe with every fresh look, whilst bright pops of colour punctuate the artwork with joyful tempo. Jonathan is no stranger to finely-tuned designs, but in this expansive artwork every element has been fastidiously considered.
As the diverse characters collectively unite to face in the same direction, One Airbnb’s message is voiced loud and clear. Although this year’s One Airbnb saw a significant increase in employees attending, Jonathan’s image celebrates their individuality and explores the exciting possibilities of their connection as one.
Developing the simplicity of his new style even further, Jonathan created two further abstract patterns. The first consisting purely of swirling lines reminiscent of the curvilinear figures and the second a concise mirror of the colourfully hued shapes of heads and objects playfully bounding in space. These patterns were cleverly repeated for visual communication from presentation graphics to souvenir bags.
The finishing touch? In a nod to previous employee events where guests received a unique illustration of themselves, this year Airbnb wanted to repeat the feat, only on a bigger scale! With twice as many attendees as at the last One Airbnb and only a matter of weeks to create the images, Jonathan was game to illustrate hundreds of individualised portraits. Despite the gargantuan scale of the project, this gesture evidences every person’s significant part in the whole of Airbnb. Jonathan’s contemporary finish and sleek line style fittingly convey the brand’s own development in refining its direction and advancing towards future goals.
Storytellers are by nature, inventive. Always motivated by new ideas, they let their curiosity lead their creation of fascinating landscapes and unusual subject matters. Perhaps this is why Matteo Berton constantly surprises us with his innovative exploration of space and colour. It’s also the likely reason why Matteo has a constant flow of editorial commissions. Over the last few months his illustrations have seen him determining dinner party etiquette for Wired UK, escaping to festival fields for The Pitch Fork Review (US), seeking out urban secrets for Donna Moderna (ITA), grappling with the future of immense American forests for Oprah (US) and relating humans with nature for Usbek & Rica (FRA).
So how does Matteo manage to conjure the details of such varied narratives? The clue is in the composition. Just as the differing articles present unique views of their topics, Matteo’s sensitive eye anchors them in unusual perspectival angles. ‘I like noticing details’ admits Matteo. ‘shifting from macro to micro is one narrative solution that I really love’. This approach is plain to see.
Matteo’s four illustrations for Donna Moderna capture the spirit of Palermo, Naples, Milan and Rome by considering how light controls the atmosphere of semi-urban expanse. His images’ off-centre rear view enables the viewer the sense of being a first-hand witnesses. Matteo’s ability to draw the viewer in takes flight from his own involvement with the scenes. ‘Most of the time I get inspired by overwhelming landscapes and architectures. I love feeling small in big spaces’. Like memories or snapshots in time, Matteo captures architecture’s sense of temporal infinity by stripping back the images to just two colours. Detail is then developed through a clever layering of lighter and darker hues against the bold stretches of monochromatic colour. Similarly in another illustration for Donna Moderna, a man setting up a Nativity Scene is positioned face on to the viewer so that they become enveloped into the narrative.
Matteo is equally in his element creating figurative scenes. Where his landscape works carry a calming purity, Matteo adapts his approach to depict the kinetic vigour of people in action. For Wired UK a more varied palette consisting of hues at peak saturation play off one another illuminating the lively conversations and ripe animation of dinner party guests. As the host lays out cheese and guests linger over wine or peruse the ample bookshelf, Matteo’s warm representation lends the narrative a relatable familiarity. So where does Matteo look when creating his resonant illustrations? ’References come from everywhere’ admits Matteo. ‘I guess I first have a blurry idea of the image’s elements and then I go looking for them’.
In The Pitch Fork Review Matteo’s illustrations concentrate on the alternative escapism offered by the Phish festival. The image combines his natural instinct for nature with his observant portrayal of people and movement. ‘I’m definitely suited to work on this subject. I enjoy highlighting the contrast between insignificant human matters and the magnificence of nature’. Choppy, juxtaposed shapes add depth to the Phish fields as people blend seamlessly into the landscape. Similarly Matteo’s images for Oprah magazine depict the co-existence of man and nature. Using a reduced, contemporary aesthetic Matteo captures the haunting, desolate effect when man tries to fight organic matter.
For France Usbek & Rica’s Future of Mankind article, Matteo’s acute vision rekindles the harmonious relationship between modern humans and nature. ‘I decided to start playing with the angle of view’ Matteo admits. Rather than a frontal or side view, land, sky and humans meet in compositional balance. With Matteo’s understanding of weight, shape and colour, it seems he has many stories to tell.
See more of Matteo’s work here
Money and Morals don’t necessarily go hand in hand. Yet Ray Oranges doesn’t shy away from non-obvious subject matters. His bold shapes and geometric compositions offer clarity to topics that range from the esoteric to the economic. Ray cleverly twists everyday forms so that recognisable objects and buildings reveal more than first meets the eye. When The New York Times’ brand marketing agency T Brand Studio looked for illustrations for a feature focused on environmental and social investment, Ray’s graphic designs capture the interception where money meets humanity.
Throughout this feature for Northern Trust, natural foliage flanks building blocks of urban space as city high-rises morph into notes and coins. ‘Northern Trust create eco-sustainable capital. It’s so important to introduce the optimistic aspect of eco-sustainability’ exclaims Ray. His positive approach to the project plays out throughout the imagery. Green hues are a nod towards the environment whilst Ray’s signature bright shades and uplifting skies lend the article a sense of optimism.
Illustrations bare dual symbolism as money combines with social conscience. ‘My imagination comes into its own when I make images with layered narratives’ explains Ray. “Although urban infrastructure is very suited to mathematical subject matters’. A curvilinear progression of rising towers that lift up towards the sun adds an architectural element to a traditional financial bar chart. A bold, earthy colour palette announces the positive impact of responsible investment.
Ray’s striking illustrations are a natural fit with digital features. When producing images for this article, Ray carefully considered technological elements such as web scrolling. His well defined shapes and use of popping colour translates into kinaesthetic visuals with fluid ease. Additionally, the digital format explores the potential of Ray’s work with arresting on-screen results. Ray himself embraces this digital direction and the opportunity it offers to ‘interpret illustrations with a more interactive, dynamic approach’. Combining organic forms, fiscal symbols and human action, the illustration asserts responsible investment as the root of positive environmental and social change. The effortless conversion of Ray’s illustration into moving graphics is an engaging call to the user.
In thinking of rich colours, vibrant blossom and escapist symbols, no-one more than Machas artist Olaf Hajek can inspire such vivid imagery. So when hot drink company YuYo looked to rebrand themselves with a Latin-American influenced identity, Olaf’s arresting illustrations brought their vision to life.
Moving away from the brands’ original name as TeaTonics, YuYo hoped to evoke the idiosyncratic flavours of their ‘Yerba Mate’ drink. The change of name called for transformed packaging, and Olaf’s designs became the visual voice of YuYo’s spirit. Characters embellished in bold botanicals, curled cornucopia and quixotic creatures declare YuYo as a brand bursting with pungent aromas. Instead of the muted monochromes used by many tea and coffee competitors, Olaf’s curvilinear paintings announce the brand’s tagline ‘Escape the Ordinary’.
Indeed it was YuYo’s founders’ Rosie and Charles’ own escape to South America that enabled them to discover Yerba Mate and create their brand. Building YuYo’s story around the sights, sounds and experiences they gained on their own travels, Olaf created original artwork that invites audiences to share the discovery of YuYo’s distinctive tastes. Olaf worked directly with Rosie and Charles to translate their photographs into stand-out visuals. Surreal shapes collide in an explosion that recalls the dynamism of South American artwork and the continent’s wild plants and animals. Olaf’s detailed brushwork and saturated colour pigments ignite curiosity as the packaging’s revitalised into an atmospheric festival of flavours. Yuyo’s new brand position as a unique blend distinctive from everyday tea and coffee is announced loud and proud with Olaf’s vibrant invitation to escape normality.
Discover more of Olaf’s work here
It’s not every day that you see a rouge tressed woman with Winter berries, floating nightingales and toy nutcrackers blossoming from her hair. Yet Olaf Hajek is known for just this style of rich and fantastical imagery. So when luxury German department store Breuninger looked to sprinkle some yuletide magic, Olaf’s illustrations became a dreamy fit.
Olaf’s work usually takes flight from the realm of myths, mystery and reverie. Weaving intricate details into surreal scenes, Olaf conjures narratives where nothing is what it seems and everything is possible. Scenes beckon for closer inspection as organic forms, flora and fauna intrigue and delight. For this project, Olaf was commissioned to embellish the exterior, street-walls of Breuninger. The result? A wondrous lady, accessorised by a bursting mane of exciting objects and joyful creatures, gazes out from the store in a blaze of royal tones. Just like the alluring array of gifts and treasures brimming inside the Breuninger shop floor, Olaf’s lady captures the gaze and demands a second look.
Covering the perimeter of an entire two sides of Breuninger, the uplifting jubilation of the scene certainly adds a festive spring to the step of passers by. Olaf’s Christmas lady symbolises the joyful spirit and mesmerising attraction of Breuninger. Therefore naturally it made sense for them to also champion his illustrations on their e-store. Here, a vivid close up of the original image forms an impelling advent calendar for shoppers to experience the Christmas merriment online. After clicking on each calendar date, users see a selection of Breuninger’s daily gift recommendations illuminated by Olaf’s vibrant Poinsettia and a drumming soldier-boy. With Olaf’s dreamy visions channelling the Festive spirit both in reality and digitally, it seems a very merry Christmas can be had by one and all.
Staying top of the game is no mean feat. When you’re a leading ice hockey team, it requires technical skills, energy and the ability to work together as one. Qualities shared by Jonathan Calugi’s whirling order of interconnected lines. So when digital technology and communication brand Bouvet wanted to share their lasting relationship with Nordic ice hockey team the Stavanger-Oilers, Jonathan’s illustrative style surfaced as a winning match.
Hoping to aid positive vibes within the DNB-Arena and business rooms, Bouvet chose Jonathan’s work to bring a ‘smile to the mind’ after it was presented by design agency Montaag in collaboration with Machas. The Machas team managed the communication concept working with Jonathan to create two large scale wall drawings.
The end result? Imagine watching a game of ice hockey with your eyes slightly ajar. What would you see? Perhaps quick movements, curvilinear stretched forms and dashes of bold colour. You may sense the elation, excitement and cheering in the arena around you. Now imagine this abstracted vision and passionate spirit distilled into intertwining lines and you have Jonathan’s impactive designs. Lively kinetic transitions see Jonathan’s playful spacial layering as audience and athletes connect.
Now to bring this collaborative sense of fun into the workplace. Fingers flex and brains get switched on as workers wire up to exchange ideas in Jonathan’s interconnecting grid of people, technology and communication. Clever details in the simplified compositions mean there’s always something new for eyes.
“We knew that collaborating with Jonathan would create work of impact. Again he surprised us and did work that we never could have imagined, brilliant work” exclaims Montaag designer and partner Øyvind Kristian Tendenes.
“Calugi’s ability to communicate and illustrate ‘a day at work’ and ‘a hockey game’ in a style that gives you a ‘smile in the mind’ is something completely new in the arena and has been a massive success for the client”. Discussing the project with the client, Øyvind noted that Bouvet employees embraced Jonathan’swork, as they connect and identify with his illustrations. In the words of Øyvind, “the people working at DNB-Arena and the players of the Stavanger-Oilers really enjoy the hockey illustration and say that they ‘see new images all the times’, ‘it has captured hockey in a new way’ and ‘gives energy and really fits the arena with beautiful lines’”.
In fact the designs were so successful that new merchandise featuring the illustrations are set to be created. With Jonathan’s lively images everyone can take away a piece of the action.
It’s fair to say that experiencing a new place as a local is the Holy Grail of travelling. Although unwillingly succumbing to tourist-traps or being caught in the midst of smartphone-snapping hoards is nowadays avoidable, it still requires a bit of resourcefulness and dedication.
Airbnb has then used its knowledge to expand its mobile app services and facilitate the interaction between visitors and locals.
The San Francisco travel giant had presented the self-defined “Future of Travel” app on Thursday the 17th of November and for the big launch has commissioned a series of illustrated artworks, asking various artists across the globe to capture the place they live in.
Ray Oranges, a Calabria native but living in Florence since 2002, was called to represent the Tuscan city. The brief required the Artist to bring to the table his experience and knowledge of the territory, not only with his visual language but also with his choice of subjects.
“It is impossible to talk about Florence without mentioning the magnificent Brunelleschi’s dome, so that was an obvious choice,” says Ray, “it’s such an ubiquitous image. It has been printed on a vast array of merchandise: from books to mugs, from calendars to aprons, but it never fails to impress. Even if it’s the millionth time I see it: it’s the symbol of the city, and deservedly so.”
“I’ve added next to the Dome an icon that is probably not even on the radar of the many visitors who come to Florence,” continues Ray “, but equally striking in my opinion: the Church of the Autostrada. Created in the 60s by Michelucci, one of Tuscany’s most influential architects, it’s an extraordinary edifice that it’s excitingly modern, both outside and inside— I love being in that building, it’s so trippy! My passion for architecture is well known, and I liked the idea of representing an unusual aspect of Florence.”
“The whole composition is tied together by the rolling hills that surrounds the city and that makes this place so special.”
To see more of Ray’s work click here
We are used to associating the words pop-up and paper with playfully inventive books, but when we are talking about Wanda Barcelona, who have made a career out of exploring the limitless possibilities of paper, the two words open up to a new world of possibilities.
And that is the case for their latest collaboration with luxury Arabic sandal brand Private Collection, for which the studio has created an original temporary space in the Dubai Mall out of paper.
Situated in the front atrium of the Dubai Mall, the pop-up’s walls were surprisingly made of feather-light golden paper strands woven into intricate square panels. The result? A temporary treasure chest as intriguing from its exterior walls as the interior items waiting inside.
Further still, the popup was a fitting tribute to the country’s own architectural details. The intertwined paper features of the shimmering walls became a fitting homage to the Arabian penchant for patterns and geometric decoration. With a heavy foot fall flowing into the space, it seems that Wanda looks set to prove to the public that paper can take flight in any form imaginable.
See more of Wanda Barcelona works here
The best relationships are built on trust, and this could not be truer of the collaboration between Leonardoworx and Elena Ghisellini. The luxury fashion accessories designer was so impressed by their first project together that not only did she ask Leo for a second instalment but she also gave him complete creative freedom. ‘We are a super-combo!’ exclaims Leo. ‘It’s amazing how our taste and creative process are so similar’.
‘Everything started when Elena called me because she needed a new animation to embody the collection’, Leo recalls. ‘I wanted to create a visual journey, a story about the Ghisellini woman and her personality, all set against epic abstract landscapes inspired by Elena bags’ elements’.
So what do the multimedia artist and the leading Florentine fashion genius have in common? ‘For a start, we both love geometrics. We use the same basic three angles, and our work stems from there. It’s a very organic approach’ explains Leo. ‘these geometric foundations provide the initial spark and our creativity, which is quite fluid, ensure that every piece is completely different’. Elena’s train of inspiration leads to intriguing symbols such as her signature feline faces, but it is mostly the Ghisellini woman that holds the same qualities intrinsic to Leo’s work. ‘Elena designs for women that are strong, focused and yet still passionate about living life to its fullest’ Leo reveals. ‘It is a woman that can walk through flames, fly above clouds — she can do anything she sets her mind on! And that is the connection between Elena’s and my work: both are strong, both have something to say and have deep emotional inner states’. To realise Elena’s brief, Leo channelled his own interpretive prowess. ‘In my opinion, the goal was to express the naturally unlimited force of this woman through an unforgettable audio-visual experience’.
Despite the pair’s similarity, the project wasn’t without a challenge. ‘Elena came to me nine days before the event launch she needed the film for. She showed me the mood paper and said she would like to see the video only when finished’. With complete free creative reign yet intense time limits, Leo had to act fast. ‘I think I slept only a few hours during those days,’ laughs Leo. Multitasking became key to the project’s success. ‘When I had an animation scene ready, I launched the render so I could work on the music’.
Leo imaginatively translated Elena’s concept with great speed. ‘Although we come from different fields, our similar creative approach and taste really helped to secure the success of the project. I explored the idea of Inferno and Heaven and told the story of how these elements combine. The figure in my tale travels in an abstract landscape, she oscillates between dark and angelic places, informed by the enigmatic states of the environment she visits’.
Guests at the press launch were treated to a captivating immersion into Elena’s conceptual space. ‘There was the perfect balance between the location, the bags and my video projected on four different walls. We all had a good time, and the event pulled in a really cool, interesting crowd’. Did Leo have a favourite scene? ‘Definitely the last one, when the white sphere disintegrates in a circular movement revealing a crystal sphere inside. It’s so powerful, clean and completely represents the video in an abstract way. It gives a sense of something returning but yet different each time. The journey is never ending’.
See more of Leonardoworx here.
There’s a delicate line between fine and commercial art — and Olaf Hajek knows all about delicate lines. His meticulously detailed brushstrokes and multi-layered aesthetic allow him to be a masterful illustrator and a potent fine artist. And Olaf’s latest solo show at the Anna Jill Lüpertz Gallery in Munich opening on the 3rd of November takes his work to new heights.
The exhibition’s ‘Jäger und Sammler’, featuring in full the ‘hunter-gatherer’ series of paintings, is layered with themes of concealing and revelation. “I was playing with the idea of masks and identities and the relationships of humans with nature” explains Olaf. Measuring around 100 centimetres wide and 150 centimetres tall, the surreal twelve new narratives tell arcane stories of compelling firewatchers, ancient forests and cryptic folklores.
“I was taking the South German old Mardi Gras aesthetics as an inspiration” Olaf continues. Although the figurative compositions reference a classical look and feel, their bewitching vigour allows parallel lands to co-exist with the viewer, evoking an omniscient presence. Intricate details invite a closer look before morphing into uncanny, familiar symbols. Colours burst out from the ornate scenes before fading into dissolved background textures. It is as though Olaf conjures the arresting immediacy of vibrant memories before enchanting viewers into the painting’s elusive world of ambiguous dreams, desires and the subconscious.
Olaf’s paintings, as well as his book cover designs, editorial and advertising works, take inspiration from fascinating characters, exotic cosmos and spellbound dreams, often engaging the enigmatic depths of the human spirit and the mysticism of the imagination.
JÄGER UND SAMMLER – A SOLO SHOW BY OLAF HAJEK
03 NOVEMBER - 26 NOVEMBER 2016
Anna Jill Lüpertz Gallery München
Brienner Strasse 48
See more of Olaf’s work here.
In worldwide wedding brand Pronovias’ continued quest to breath life into fantastical bridal dreams they called Wanda Barcelona to inspire shoppers. The pairing couldn’t have been a more perfect marriage. Inti Velez Botero, Dani Mancini and Iris Joval from the Wanda team certainly know a thing or two about building reality out of reverie. But with Pronovias having 4000 points of sale in 105 countries, this project required Wanda to deliver dreams on a colossal scale.
“Pronovias contacted us in 2015 and offered us the design and production of all their window displays, 2 a year” explains Dani. The exciting proposal not only required the team to envisage an artistic concept for their mesmerising paperworks. They also had to get creative with the implementation of their window scenes. Just as every memorable fairy-tale has the structure of a complex plot, Wanda Barcelona had to conceive a sound design solution for their captivating pieces to take flight. “Designing Pronovias is always a huge challenge: we have to work with a limited budget, a humongous production and yet still must create something impressive and potent” continues Dani. The team had to concoct an effective scheme that could translate on a mass scale whilst also being easy and simple enough for each store’s visual merchandiser to assemble. Wanda always has a hands-on approach to their work but as Dani states “it is impossible for us to travel to 105 countries so we have to produce a complete set of instructions so that anyone can rig it”.
The final concept for Wanda’s second worldwide window display? “A downpour of vegetation, inspired in wisterias, weeping willows and hanging plants. A sublime backdrop for a wedding dress”. With 34,000 bronze and pink paper plants, meticulously packed for their journey into boutiques world over, Wanda Barcelona’s garden of delight was truly able to blossom.
See more of Wanda Barcelona’s work here
When Omotesando Hills shopping mall in Tokyo wanted to design their Summer Edition catalogue they looked to Jonathan Calugi to capture the excitement of the new season. As a destination that inspires transformative trends, Jonathan’s sinuous lines reflect the evolving fashions of shoppers.
His work for Omotesando Hills marks another collaboration in Jonathan’s new style. His signature illustrations regularly follow singular flowing lines often looking like intricate doodles. Here Jonathan’s graphics gain an elongated sophistication to entwine individual figures into a connected narrative. Four diverse figures enjoy the rich pickings of the mall in a bold intersection of gestures, shapes and colours. Reflecting the campaign’s theme of LOVE and MODE, the characters’ sense of kinetic vigour vibrantly unites their shared love of fashion. Jonathan offset vivid yet contrasting hues to mirror the variation of personalities that choose Omotesando as their top clothing, beauty and food destination. Jutting, abstracted bodies nod towards edgy tastes and presents the innovative light, visuals and sounds that fill the mall space. Yet it is the clever simplicity of Jonathan’s swirling figurative outlines that reveals the true essence of the story.
Architecture is concealing a great problem. When design and architecture magazine Icon decided to put the UK’s social housing issues under fire, it called Ray Oranges to inspire the new breed of architects. What better way to translate the utopia captured by Icon’s leading feature than through Ray’s visionary compositions?
Space to dream is a recurrent theme in Ray’s artwork. For this issue of Icon, Ray’s work narrates the story of a vibrant future that architecture has the potential to achieve. Leading the way with his bright graphics and simple, well chosen details Ray’s illustrations bring the promise of tomorrow. His decluttered structures leave room for the imagination to take flight. Light and shadow exist in juxtaposed play, working in tandem to create a compelling absence that narrates a bold presence. His vast urbanscapes call the minds and abilities of architects everywhere to visualise ambitious concepts and palpably act upon ideological aims. Capturing the futuristic foundations of chimeric yet functional housing is a challenging balance. Using a jewell palette of jade green, turquoise, ochre and coral to offset hues that mirror a pastel sunrise, the weight of reality is lifted by optimism. With Ray’s insightful vision of voluminous walkways, floating houses and streets in the air he spins a sense of collective hope.
Icon and Ray were destined to slot together. His background in product development and studies in Architecture enable Ray to marry aesthetic appeal with an innate understanding of responsible design. For this feature, the argument goes that architects must reconsider their working practise and take the reigns to positively launch tomorrows social effectivity. Icon’s article examines how the discipline once constructed buildings made to matter in people’s lives and argues that today’s urban infrastructure instead centres around luxury apartments and capital gain. In Ray’s seamless integration of Utopian belief with systematic contours the spirit of architectural optimism well and truly lives on.
Filling the colossal walls of the biggest print and cross-media trade show, Drupa in Dusseldorf would be a difficult prospect for most. Filling these spaces entirely with paper is even more of a challenge. Not for paper design studio Wanda Barcelona. ‘Drupa commissioned us to create two installations for their two most important public spaces inside the fair grounds; the Entrance Hall and the Drupa Cube’ says Daniel Mancini, the group’s founder and designer in charge. The team’s background in architecture, design and art regularly sees them exploit the potential of paper with mesmerising effect. The astonishing results of their installations at Drupa is no exception.
For the Wanda team, the ability to transform Drupa’s space came as a dream project. ‘For the entrance Hall, we designed and built an impressive Wisteria floating garden. 40,000 pendulous racemes created by more than a million flowers suspended elegantly under a crystal dome that bathed our sculpture with mesmerising light, changing it´s hue across the day’ explains Daniel. The team’s artistic inspiration arose early on. The strong Japanese influence over the city of Dusseldorf materialised into an immersive experience interpreting the light, floral beauty of Japanese gardens. The resulting ethereal wonder of the gossamer structure created a breathtaking display for visitors.
Wanda’s creative freedom had further reign in the Drupa Cube. ‘We created two colossal walls made out of 3,400 pendant papers, each one unique, with wisteria laser-cut branches forming six vast climbing vines’, continues Daniel; “ We used white paper and printed over one of its sides using the 6 Drupa colours, which were visible through the cut-out flowers. Each wall was 27 meters long and 8 meters high. 3,400 individually unique pendant papers created two walls measuring 27 meters long and 8 meters high.’ The artworks reflect Wanda’s signature approach of combining traditional artisanal skills with innovative new technologies.
The installation emerged as Wanda’s largest scale project to date and required the team to deliver ‘something humongous, mesmerising and blissful—with hints of spring. After over a year of meticulous planning, making and creating, the practical reality of such large scale work saw the team delve into new skills. A fear of heights was not an option for the Wanda team. ‘The eight of us who went to Dusseldorf had to take a course on driving construction cranes and get a diploma to be able to work at such heights. It was definitely an exciting and challenging project as we spent weeks designing the structure. Paper is a very light material, but as we were working with a conspicuous amount of paper, the total weight of the installation became significant, and we had to put extra attention into supporting such weight using beautiful and almost imperceptible structures.’ Combining the ephemerality of paper with expert prowess, Wanda’s blissful oasis offered Drupa visitors an escape into a world where the chimeric potential of paper took full flight.
Milan Design Week is an event of such magnitude that an ever-growing, international crowd gathers each year in Milan to enjoy the best design has to offer.
The “Salone Del Mobile”, as Italians commonly refer to it, has overgrown his initial in-the-known industry devotees to engage a broad and enthusiastic audience. To celebrate what has become the most important event in Milan, Sephora and event agency Exhibita invited Ray Oranges to redesign the beauty chain largest store window in the city overlooking the newly renovated Piazza Gae Aulenti.
Ray used the windows’ irregular pattern as a grid to develop a bold yet elegant composition, seamlessly tying together Sephora’s “Mummy Chic” campaign key features with design objects.
To achieve such result, Ray stripped down the elements of the composition to their essential shape and arranged them with a smart play with scale and a restricted colour palette.
In the process of removing all is not strictly necessary, Ray opted for leaving few spots on the window clear, thus creating a dialogue between the inside of the store and the artwork, reinforced by few 3D elements such as a dot-shaped orange seating.
Aptly named “The Design of Life” the installation shows how design permeates and enhances every aspect of our life.
To see more of Ray’s work click here.
It just take a quick look at Leonardoworx’ social platforms to notice that he is constantly creating new art. The man is unstoppable. Commissioned jobs are sitting alongside personal works in a fascinating world that blurs the line between the two. It is not uncommon that the boldness and sheer visual beauty of his personal works have inspired clients to commission a similar treatment for their projects — and this exactly is what happened with his latest collaboration with Adobe.
Soon after the release and the success of the Instafluid Series, a series of short animation in which lightweight materials are floating in a nondescript gallery environment, the Californian software giant contacted Leonardoworx to use that treatment on their iconic logo for the launch of their Marketing Cloud.
“The art director of Adobe got in touch after seeing one of my most recent personal projects called Instafluid. It was a series of 15 seconds animations where abstract shapes moved like fluids but had the texture of a fabrics”, Leonardoworx recalls.
“The idea for Instafluid came about as a reflection on 3D software: nowadays it is quite tempting to simulate the physics of everyday lives. But in my opinion is more interesting to subvert the physical laws and find a visual common ground between reality and imagination.”
“Adobe was looking to produce a 13 seconds animation in which an abstract fluid morphs into the Adobe logo. It had to represent a sort of trophy, hence the gold material. First I had to find a balance between shutter-level (including the abstract animation), morphing and the Adobe logo. As the materials had to be metallic, different from the ones used in Instafluid project, I had to do several tests before I could find the right combination of textures and colours. Last but not least, Adobe specifically asked to achieve a look and feel that was less “digital” and “more organic” whilst keeping the logo immediately recognisable - a simple brief but a lot of thought went into it!”
This is not the first collaboration with Adobe: “Correct, I had the pleasure to be involved with The Bully Project Mural, an artwork presented at the Adobe Max in Los Angeles to support the charity which helps raise awareness about bullying. They also used one of my “Nassa series” artwork for the homepage of the Adobe site on the occasion of Black Friday.”
After designing various tee graphics and the ubiquitous doodle style “Just Do It” that can be found printed on Nike Town bags all over the world, Jonathan Calugi collaborates with Nike once again, this time for one of their Milan flagship stores.
Jonathan has created for the central Corso Buenos Aires store, a site specific 12 meters mural of Nike’s “There Is No Finish Line” call to action — the Calugi way of course!
Each letter is a one-line style illustration of men and women training together mixed with some of Milan’s most iconic locations and Nike logos, from the classic Nike Air to Milan’s Red Snakes Running Club, from retro Oregon to Inter A.C.
The mural is a permanent installation and is visible during normal business hours.
See more of Jonathan’s work here.
Illustrators normally work on a project basis although it is not rare to see one commission blossoming into a fruitful collaboration. And this is exactly what happened between Ray Oranges and Monocle: from an editorial feature to the cover The Escapist, Monocle’s bi annual publication, the team of the prestigious lifestyle magazine seem to have found in ray an exciting new artist to give shape to their creative vision.
Ray has been recently commissioned to illustrate Timekeeping & Penmanship, Monocle’s insert focusing on luxury accessories; our Florentinian artist has created for the insert cover an elegant juxtaposition of two stylized shapes of a pen and a watch, which the geometrical shades perfectly balances the composition whilst the bright and warm, summery color palette.
And speaking of summer: in the following issue, Ray was called to illustrate the view from a window of train, where warm nuances and faraway places and landscapes, inspire the readers imagination with the upcoming summer season.
To see more of Ray’s work click here
Singapore’s government is very serious about education and they have developed a selection of free courses aimed at different age groups: whether you are a young family with children or a senior citizen it’s never too late to embark on a new career path or to learn a new skill. Sounds good but quite serious? Not at all! Learning can be fun and it is better if it is shared together!
Based on this concept, Y&R Singapore indentified Jonathan Calugi’s style as the perfect fit to capture in beautifully simple and playful images both the message as well as the broad range of courses available.
Jonathan used his one line style to create a series of images in which all the characters are connected and joyously share the same experience, learning together and having fun.
The campaign was developed into a integrated campaign that included ATL, BTL, digital and of course events and Jonathan’s characters were spotted everywhere in Singapore from billboards to cut outs at the actual event, on the internet as well as on brochures.
See more of Jonathan’s work here.
It is with tremendous excitement that we are announcing that Olaf Hajek has now joined Machas. Olaf’s “painterly illustrations”, where folk and primitive art are combined with contemporary elements and symbols of different cultures, are a milestone in the illustration world.
Whether commissioned or independently initiated, each artwork distinguish itself for being meticulously painted, sometime on paper, sometimes on other surfaces such as wood or chipboard. If required, the artwork is subsequently scanned allowing Olaf to grace installations, packaging, textiles and animation with his wonderful visions.
What it is even more impressive, is that Olaf managed in his extremely prolific 20 years career to achieve what most illustrators only dream of: successfully balancing fine and commercial art, often bridging the skills learnt in one field to the other, whilst always maintaining his distinctive visual approach.
It is so refreshing to see that each brief is welcomed with enthusiasm and a propositive mindset that lead to the extraordinary outcomes that he’s well renewed for.
Although Olaf has been working with brands such as Coca Cola, Mercedes, Lotte, Mont Blanc, Swatch amongst others, exhibited in London, New York, Atlanta, Buenos Aires, Berlin, most recently in Cape Town and published three monographs with German art publisher Gestalten, he has one of the humblest and most positive personalities in the industry that leaves a lasting impression on anyone who has met him.
All those characteristics make everyone here at Machas very proud to start this collaboration with such an outstanding artist and please enjoy this section of works as a preview of what still has to come.
to see more of Olaf’s work click here
Lately Hélène has been working on several international editorial contents, capturing the audience with charming photo-realistic collages and intriguing storytelling.
Editorial for: Wired, Le Parisien, La Rue, L’OBS, Hatier, Telerama.
to see more of Hélène’s work click here
If in the last couple of months you’ve passed by the London Underground and picked up a copy of ES Magazine (one of the best free fashion magazine around), you might have seen some very familiar dancers and your guess was right: Jonathan Calugi has been busy experimenting with his latest minimal style.
Jonathan’s dancers are appearing in the magazine together with some very stylised, one-line hands that are cheekily interacting with the photos; the graphic and sleek artworks dotting the glossy pages have appeared to be a very smart way to spice up product and event features.
The collaboration with ES Magazine will continue throughout the upcoming months — try to spot the others!
See more of Jonathan’s work here.
Since joining Machas, Matteo Berton has been incredibly busy working with some of the most influential magazines, such as Monocle, Wired UK and The New Yorker.
His interesting blend of architectural elements, human figures and subtle colour palettes was immediately picked up by the editors, who decided to commission him straight away.
Matteo says about the experience: “I used to buy all those magazines and spent hours reading them and now I am so excited to finally had the chance to collaborate with them - all at once!”
See more of Matteo’s work here.
Paper Art studio Wanda Barcelona dived into TASCHEN’s extensive book collection to create the #Taschenworlds windows installation, a series of magical landscapes mixing natural and cultural wonders from some of German publisher’s bestselling titles.
The collage-inspired installations were developed by Wanda integrating iconic images straight from the books’ pages with different techniques, from 2D cut outs, 3D elements, popigami inserts, all whilst providing display supports for selected books. To add further depth of field to the composition, Wanda Barcelona finished off each window with a vinyl layer.
As all the displays were double-sided, the #Taschenworlds experience was taken inside the store as well and the lucky guests of the Milan store could also enjoy a splendid re-interpretation of the logo placed on luscious bush of roses and Andy Wahrol’s Polaroid plinth display surrounded by a swirling flight of weightless butterflies.
The installations were visible in all TASCHEN’s flagship stores around the world and Wanda themselves designed all the elements to be easy to ship and assemble.
To see more of Wanda Barcelona’s click here.
Diet Coke has taken re-tweets to the next level, not by just sharing the fans’ messages on its social media platforms but by putting them out in the real world as beautifully designed artworks on billboards, accessories, magazine pages and more.
Machas’ lettering artist supreme Jeff Rogers was one of the artists called to give shape to the cheerful messages delivering a captivating artwork featuring both lettering and illustrative elements all created in the trademark white black and red nuances.
His instantly recognisable artwork popped up on a massive LED billboard in Times Square, appeared on various magazine and gracefully adorned accessories like towels or iPhone covers — even a guitar case!
To see more of Jeff works click here
When he’s not busy with his commissioned work or skating a good two hours a day, Leonardoworx somehow manages to find the time to nurture his personal projects, a personal playground where to test new techniques and new concepts.
The latest personal project to go live is Infinite Numbers, a series of one-line calligraphy applied to 3D flowing paint artworks. Sculpted, glass-like integers are set against the anonymously sleek background of contemporary art gallery and, as with most Leonardoworx’ creations, they are much more than just a pretty image.
“Infinite Number is a reflection on the infinite numbers an integer can contain beyond its floating point (for the non-initiated the floating point is also known as decimal point, a dot or comma that indicates the presence of numbers smaller than 1)” explains Leonardoworx. “It sounds very abstract but thanks to this system we can quantify the distance between galaxies or the diameter of an atomic nucleus, always with the same unit of length. As a result of this dynamic range, all the numbers can be represented are not uniformly spaced and are all different.”
“I wanted to reflect this in the artwork so I started from an handwritten integer (very analogic!) that I reproduced into a 3D environment. I then represented all the numbers after the floating point as a series of grading colours and different textures applied to the 3D models. As with the Iterative Method, behind a beautifully looking artwork lies a strong mathematical system.”
Since its release the Infinite Number series was heavily featured from the likes of Adobe, Abduzeedo, Betype and Behance. See more of Leonardoworx’ portfolio here
Machas is constantly searching for new talent and when we came across the work of Matteo we knew there was something special about him. The portfolio we saw was compelling yet raw. Each artwork immediately captured the gaze with unexpected prospectives and complex compositions, whilst the use of color was almost instinctual, expressive, underlined by the use of thick brushes and few tighter lines.
Despite starting taking drawing classes only at the age of 18, Matteo posses an interesting mix of works, where branded content sit side by side with book illustrations and concert flyers, proving his hand to be comfortable with a broad range of subjects, from architecture to the human figure, from objects to fantastic creatures.
“My style has changed a lot recently ,” recalls Matteo, ”but there are few things that are a constant in the way I illustrate: first and foremost the attention to composition, which is always of primary importance to me. Other elements are definitely limited palette of colours and the stark contrast of the human figure against the great outdoors — whether it is natural or urban, I love landscapes as it is an exciting challenge to work out an effective and stylised composition.”
The attention to composition and the dramatic use of the point of view is definitely a distinctive trait of Matteo’s work, “and I think that is because I first started in comics”, suggests Matteo. “I always had a clear idea of the directorial choices I wanted to take and how I wanted to experiment with camera angles and light, as these are the tools I use to guide the viewer to what is important for me.”
Awarded with the 2016’s gold and silver medal of the Society of Illustrators of New York, Matteo has just completed commissions for The New Yorker, Airbnb, Monocle and Wired UK whilst working on illustrating Jules Verne’s book for Italian publisher Mondadori due to release early next year.
See more of Matteo’s portfolio here.
Ray Oranges’ rigorous illustrated shapes has met the meticulously exact type of Federico Landini to create four limited edition prints. The project, a spontaneous collaboration between two long time friends, was originated from the shared passion for creativity and went on to win the 2016’s Type Directors Club Certificate of Typographic Excellence. As Ray admits “Federico and I both have a shared love for geometric, rational, angular art and I immediately loved the idea to collaborate on a illustrated version of his type”.
The inspiration for the artwork came from a very personal approach aimed at creating a colourful patchwork of letters: “we focused from the very beginning on two, very different approaches,” recalls Federico: “ to develop very colourful and geometric shapes, even if they weren’t that easy to read, whilst leaving room for the viewer to experience each artwork with her own imagination. I think Ray’s art allows a multiplicity of point of views and I wanted to explore it through my type design.”
“We chose the four words Life, Love, Home, Time because they are the axis of human existence,” tells Ray. “Four universal concepts that happens to be all four letters words — quite convenient as well!” adds Federico.
The project is the first collaboration between Ray and Federico and it was a surprisingly rewarding experience, “ a chance to participate to a completely different creative process” as Ray puts it.
The project was submitted to the annual Type Directors Club and was awarded the Certificate of Typographic Excellence award, a welcomed recognition of Federico’s excellent typographic work and Ray’s art versatility.
Wired UK February issue now in the newsstand features Machas Artist Hélène Builly, the latest addition to our roster — in fact Wired’s deputy editor Ben Fraser was so impressed with Helene’s portfolio that decided to commission her straight away.
Machas’ new collage artist created 12 spots illustrations for the Food of The Future issue and can be found throughout the magazine and on the online website, showing how incredibly versatile her style is.
What a great way to celebrate out first collaboration with Hélène and expect more of her work in Wired UK March issue!
Vem Juntos, Nike Rio do Janeiro’s new online platform, promotes running as a movement for positive change, not just for the individual but for society as well.
The platform is designed to improve the running experience and training whilst bring people together in a positive and fun way, sharing experiences and creative ideas.
For the launch of the new project, Nike invited Machas’ Artist Fernando Chamarelli to create a mural in Rio de Janeiro, in the central area of Arcos da Lapa.
Fernando who has produced outstanding outdoor art in the past (most notably a 28 meters long mural at SESC in Sao Paulo),mixed for the project a black and white photo of a group of runners gliding through a bold visual representation of a music theme. This was the first time Fernando worked with mixed media and the result is quite stunning, as it adds another layer of storytelling to an already rich visual language.
Fernando’s mural has become a manifesto to experience the streets differently.
To know more about Fernando click here
Hélène is a softly spoken young woman, with an broad, contagious smile and a certain je n’è sais quoi that is a trademark of Parisian women.
Hélène is a collage artist and her work is distinctive with a peculiar sense of depth that bridges almost into a metaphysical composition of space.
The viewer is literally projected into her fascinating world, where the reality is frequently questioned through elegantly sleek images and an interesting use of light; boundaries of perception are constantly pushed, achieving a elegant short circuit that alerts but not derails the viewer’s cognitive structure. The result is a mild vertigo, like when standing on the edge of a cliff.
Her commercial work is not that openly challenging but still retain this visual sleekness and edginess but with a more fun, graphic and lighthearted twist. We immediately thought there was something special about this Parisian lady and ask her to be part of the Machas family!
As usual we sat down with Hélène and asked her few questions to get to know her better.
1. would it be very rude to ask how old are you?
2. home - where is it?
In central Paris, just above the Passage des Panoramas.
3. when did you think “art could be my job”?
I never thought otherwise.
4. why collage?
“Je n’aime rien tant que ce qui va se produire » P. Valery “I like nothing so much as what’s going to happen”
5. most recent art obsession?
6. any tool / object that you couldn’t live without?
Color and perfume.
Life and theater faces.
Rauschenberg, Maurice Denis, John Heartfield, John Stezaker, Louise de Vilmorin, Alfred Jarry, Brian Eno, Philip Glass
8. what do you love about your job?
The science of imaginary solutions.
9. and what do you wish it was not part of your job?
10. an advice for someone 10 years younger than you
Financial scarsity is a big input to generate creative ideas.
11. your favourite project ?
Projects which allow me to learn other things beyond my job.
12. your last project?
Les Cahiers de l’imaginaire # 8 - La rue.
13. and, most importantly, do you like cats?
Bison under my hoodie.> (see picture)
See more of Helene’s work here.
Elena Ghisellini is one of the hottest name in the fashion accessories world but she’s far from being new to the industry: chances are that you already own or seriously desire a bag the Florentinian designer has created. In fact Elena not just has spearheaded the accessories division at Trussardi, Salvatore Ferragamo, Emilio Pucci but whilst at Givenchy she’s masterminded two of the house most iconic bags, the “Nightingdale” the “Antigona” bag and “Pandora” bag
For the launch of her eponymous new collection Elena contacted Leonardoworx to create a video that would introduce her key bag, the splendid “Felina”, and that could also be projected during two event launches, one in New York and the other at Milan Fashion Week.
“Elena saw my reel and she wanted to meet”, recall Leonardoworx; “we both live in Florence so I went to her studio and as soon as we started talking about our creative process we immediately found many similarities.”
“She showed me the collection and I was really impressed: the designs were exquisitely original, elegant, geometric and organic at the same time. The concept behind each bag is so strong that it is immediately recognisable as Ghisellini: timeless, contemporary, heartfelt pieces for a charismatic, creative woman who’s in constant evolution and loves nature”, continues Leonardoworx. “It was also really interesting to see that the key aesthetic element of the “Felina” bag is a geometric combination of leather layers, very symmetric, which is quite similar to the themes I’m exploring with my artworks.”
“Since our first meeting I felt that Leonardo was a special artist: sensitive and visionary at the same time.” recall Elena Ghisellini. “His thinking goes Beyond the sensory and tactile dimension. A modern artist who expresses his enthusiasm only through the glance of his eye. I believe that the aim of an artist is not only to become deeply involved in the work that is creating but also to make the viewer interested and make him think but Leonardo did more than that: he created an art piece within my creation of the Feline…”
“The starting point for me was the “Felina” bag, so Elena arranged to have one delivered to my studio: I’ve looked at every single detail and stitching and then I started shooting; I wanted to capture the impressions and suggestions that I got from the bag and translate them in images and sounds. I also wanted to find a recurrent element as the fil rouge for the video, something that I could play around with, transform into abstract, optical and organic words — and that something was the geometric pattern right at the centre of the bag.”
“Elena had only one request: that the video should be able not just to represent her but also to make a connection on an emotional level with the viewer. And then she gave me complete freedom, to the point that she didn’t want to see the work in progress but only the final piece — it was like she commissioned an art piece.”
“I always admired artists and I am constantly inspired by arts for my creations.” recall Elena Ghisellini. “Working with Leonardo proved immediately that our collaboration was smooth and natural. I left him complete freedom to express himself.”
“This approach allowed us to go beyond the traditional fashion or advertising video and to fully embrace the essence of the bag, both on a emotional and communication level. It was clear that this bag embodies the passion, creativity, craftsmanship and vision of its designer. Getting to know Elena and work with her was a truly rewarding experience.” said Leonardoworx.
“I quickly realised the power expressed by his thoughts and his imagination.” said Elena Ghisellini. “Emotion is one of the cornerstones on which my collection is made and he was the right artist to interpret this emotion. I am sure we will work together again in the future.”
See more of Leonardoworx’ work here.
Immediately after a brief email exchange with the owner of luxury bathroom furniture Artelinea and its communication agency, Jonathan Calugi and Machas were invited to a meeting at the company’s offices. We were heading to the luscious Tuscan countryside to discuss a possible collaboration project and, excitingly enough, the scope of this collaboration was completely open to the artist’s interpretation.
Upon our arrival and a quick tour of the factory, we both realised that Artelinea was a perfect example of the Made in Italy brand: a fully owned family business that combines craftsmanships and excellent designs with innovative products.
Jonathan’s attention was instantly caught by a glass base material that doubles as furniture and tiles surface. We all agreed it was the perfect ready-made canvass for the first step of the collaboration: a live painting performance at Cersaie 2015, the International Exhibition of Ceramic Tile and Luxury Furnishings.
The tiles, designed to have incredibility sleek look as well as the highest standard of durability and resistance to wear, required Jonathan to perform multiple testing on the material to guarantee the perfect result — and Artelinea’s 100% Italian production provided a vital technical support.
The project, aptly named Arte&Linea as a clear reference both to the company’s name and to Jonathan’s style, saw the Machas Artist developing a fascinating series of One Line Dancers, in black, intuitive stokes were balanced out by colourful geometrical shapes. A total of 32 ballerinas, the tiles were gifted to Artelinea’s premium customers at the conclusion of the tradeshow.
Rarely we have seen a collaboration growing as organically as the one between Jonathan Calugi and Artelinea and we are all looking forward to the future developments.
See more of Jonathan’s work here.
UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, in collaboration with TBWA/Spain has launched #UnitedTweetsForRefugees, a solidarity action across social networks to help improving awareness on refugees family reunification.
On the landing page of the dedicated website, the viewer see a visualisation of the physical separation between a mother and her child, who are divided by a long, tortuous road set against an abstract desert-like landscape.
The distance that lies ahead of child can only be covered with the help of our retweets of the image of the mother and her child — two retweets that should always go together, just like families should. As the action #UnitedTweetsForRefugees goes viral the distance between the refugee family will be getting shorter and the color palette grows warmer until they will finally reunite.
“#UnitedTweetsForRefugees has been from the very start a project we’ve worked very hard on and we’ve given all the love we could” says Marta Marco, art director of the campaign from TBWA/Spain.“When we first approached Machas we were looking for an illustrator who could translate our idea and we found the right fit with Tooco.”
“We briefed him the idea and we got that good feeling straight away: from his first rough we knew that Tooco’s vision was the one that we were looking for. We didn’t want a realistic representation of the desert.” continues Marta, “We wanted something surrealistic that could relate to what that’s happening with the refugees around the world and also an illustration that would catch the user for its charm and flow over time. The result is a marvellous illustration, full of details and that really gets to show the tough path that refugees have to go through to be reunited with their families.”
”This has been a very important project for Tooco and Machas” add Valentina from Machas “ we were very keen to get involved with this important cause as it is an tragic reality for so many families.”
To help spread awareness on refugees family reunification, please go to www.unitedtweets.org and retweet the pair of United Tweets.
Despite the unrelenting flow of less than edifying news on failing public services and corrupted local administration, Rome has been in the spotlight for an interesting grassroots art movement: with artists such as Blu, Vhils, Reka, Moneyless and local Agostino Iacurci and Stan & Lex using the buildings as their canvas and art projects such as Big City Life and Outdoor Festival engaging the creative industry as well as the art curious, Rome in expressing a lively resistance to be pigeonholed in the postcard fantasy somewhere in between Martin Parr and Sorrentino’s Great Beauty that we grew so accustomed to.
Outdoor Festival is one of the most interesting projects both for the artists selection and the stunning location (an abandoned factory that has been saved from oblivion — or more certainly, redevelopment), and this year’s edition has opened its doors to Italianism, a one-day event focusing on the new Italian visual scene.
“ The aim is to capture the contemporary Italian creative scene with the help of young and original talents”, says Renato Fontana creative director of the event.
“The geographical migration of Italian talents to other countries and that recently had a significant increment has produced an interesting phenomenon — we think it is more correct to say “Made by Italians” rather than “Made in Italy”.
With the contribution of 100 and plus artists, Italianism presented original artwork in form of an exhibition on a “I” canvass as well as live talks aimed at exploring first hand the experiences of the Made by Italians. Although Machas was created and developed in the UK and has fiercely created a global approach, it is undeniable that it is part of the Made by Italians movement — and we were absolutely delighted to contribute the event, both with our Artists and as Machas.
Machas Artists Ray and Jonathan created two original artworks for the art exhibition, Ufo5 performed a paper live installation, Leonardoworx created the bumper video for the event whilst Machas’ founder Valentina took the live stage to discuss the perks and lows of being an Italian born living and working abroad.
“The conference was incredibly interesting as it gave the opportunity to a very different audience to listen and exchange ideas on how people in the creative world can achieve their goals and aspirations,” Valentina says.”We were asked to share how Machas started, how the English bureaucracy was instrumental in making our vision reality and, more in detail, the peculiarity of our approach to nurturing talents.”
Italianism first edition was a very successful and as Valentina highlights “it was great to see that people are not giving up on Italy but they are actually trying really hard to make a change — for the better. I felt honoured to be here and share my experience of Machas. Renato was the perfect host and I am sure this is only be the beginning of Italianism”.
The Universal Exhibition, also commonly known as Expo, has been founded to provide the perfect stage to show off the most ambitious successes that man has achieved over time.
As Expo 2015 host, Milan has chosen to bring in the world’s public spotlight the pressing theme of feeding the planet in a healthy, safe and sustainable way. Expo Milan is literally becoming the world’s biggest restaurant and Moretti, as the Official Beer Partner of Expo, is focusing its presence on its key values of quality, sustainability and Made in Italy.
For the occasion Moretti’s advertising agency Armando Testa created a print, digital and OOH campaign that references Italian futurism re-visited with a contemporary sensibility and Machas was involved to manage the talent that would bring to life such vision.
After discussing with Armando Testa different visual options, Machas commissioned Danish illustrator to work on the six images released over the six months duration of Expo.
Ilaria Accornero Art Director of Armando Testa says:
Moretti asked a campaign that everybody could hang at home, graphically appealing and meaningful as the vintage poster advertising. Based on our brief, Machas rapidly suggested a list of artists among them we found the right one.
We worked closely with Machas and Mads, dealing with emergencies, changes, sleepless nights and countless phone calls with Valentina (also on Saturday night and yes, even at two in the morning!), we have produced a strong campaign and people are still asking to buy a poster size to have it at home.
Thanks to his immediately recognisable shading technique, geometric composition and bright, modern colours, Mads worked closely together with the creative team to develop a series of striking images, each one of them featuring the Moretti bottle as a perfect complement of the scene. Adjusting his color palette to the warm, saturated nuances of the Italian landscape Mads perfectly captured Moretti’s long standing tradition as well as projecting the brand into the future.
When working together for months at such a fast paced, it was great to still be able to smile in stressful situations. Thanks to Valentina we were always able to mediate and to work without too many difficulties.
Machas has been an important partner and was able to put together an advertising agency like us with an artist, even though we didn’t always have the same vision. This project was not only a great professional experience, but it gave me a big satisfaction from a human point of view, because of our collaboration with an excellent artist and the strong bond we created with Machas.
Jonathan’s latest one line style is proving to be quite a hit and many forward-thinking brands are reaching out to involve his minimal, witty, graphically striking style into their storytelling — and that’s exactly what new car insurance Guevara did.
The brand’s inspiration is as outside the box as the name itself and Jonathan had at to illustrate the origin of the Guevara’s idea inspired from Nairobi’s chana, the slum’s native accident-cover system, and then create four concise images to explain how it works.
After the successful digital launch Guevara want Jonathan to create a bespoke image for the Brighton launch, a huge pattern than mixed visual elements from the website artwork with the coastal city’s peculiar mix of street art, architecture and lifestyle.
See more of Jonathan’s work here
With more than 20 artworks produced over a period of more than two years, BECHA’s ENI ReThink campaign is without doubt one of the most successful and long-standing campaigns of the European energy supplier.
Focusing on promoting a sustainable and more conscious approach to energy consumption both at the supplier and user end, the campaign comprises of different artworks in which the subjects emerge from BECHA’s elaborate use of collage and intuitive paint strokes.
For all of you familiar with BECHA’s style, the Eni campaign stands out for the very different approach to her collage technique: “the client required this campaign to be instantly recognisable but at the same time to adopt a visual solution that could be applied not just to one or four ads but 10 or more ads with different motives”, BECHA recalls. “We ended up producing more than 20 ads whilst presenting each time a different message in a visually interesting way.”
Upon closer inspection each subject reveals an intricate collage pattern of carefully arranged photos, depicting gestures relevant to the campaign’s message such as switching off the light or turning down the thermostat.
“The main element I used were the photos of the gestures”, says BECHA. “Each photo was printed, some of which were treated with water-colour strokes and some weren’t, and then photographed again. After that I created the main image with photographed material using Photoshop and lots of digital brushes.”
“It wasn’t the first time I did ‘real’ collage” recalls BECHA, “as at school I started learning the traditional technique first. I am glad that after such a long time a commercial project was the starting point for taking paper and graphic tools in my hands again. Of course, since the deadline for every ad was tight I had to finish some part of the collage digitally but I tried my best to keep that analog feeling.”
Such an interesting and unusual approach required preparation: “at the beginning we made a lot of sketches and back and forward with TBWA’s creative director to find a strong art direction. But that was a good basis for whole project and then it was fun to work on new subjects with an established process.”
The campaign was seen everywhere in Europe: from billboards to newspapers, from POS to digital. It was even in St. Peter’s Square in Rome as a 5 by 6 meters hoarding!
“I think that was the first image I made and it was the first time that I saw it on air. I mean, I was satisfied with results but watching it on the screen and in real life it’s a completely different thing. So, at first I thought “Oh, this came out really nice…” , and then “...oh my, is that St. Peter’s Square?!?!?!”
See more of BECHA’s work here.
Monocle, the global business and lifestyle publisher launched its second yearly publication, The Escapist. As the title reveals, the magazine is focused on the concept of travelling both as physical movement through space and as a state of mind.
Machas’ artist Ray Oranges was invited to work on the cover design by exploring the best creative way to represent the act of travelling. As the readers are invited to discover several travel related features, Ray’s visual language creates a connection between the magazine and the gorgeously vivid world revealed in its pages, the cover morphing into an open-ticket to a tempting landscape of minimal and geometrical shapes and summery nuances.
The magazine’s launch was very successful and created an international buzz which included the praises of Moma PS1, Highsnobiety alongside other avant-guard brands and publishers.
Tyler Brûlé, the editor-in-chief at Monocle, said: “The Escapist has been created for our core audience who like to take time off but are always scanning the horizon for a new business to invest in, an architect to commission or a new plot to develop. This is a magazine for people who use their holiday time to dream up their next scheme and want a jolt of business inspiration while they’re stretched out on their lounger.”
After several collaborations, Ray’s visual storytelling is definitely the right fit for Monocle’s issues.
See more of Ray’s work here.
Working side by side with multimedia artist Leonardoworx is not a merely professional duty, it’s an incredible experience. His latest project, aptly called The Iterative Method, sees Leonardoworx raising the bar of his comprehensive approach to visual art and music, this time using a combination of maths, physics and coding to generate art.
Every shape, line or movement of The Iterative Method hasn’t been put together in a software suite but has been originated by an array of numbers (variables) set into formulas created by artist himself and that followed the paradigm of Quantic Physics. That is to say that Leonardo didn’t know the visual outcome of the artworks he was creating, just that if the math was correct they were going to appear as an orderly shape—the incredible beauty of the project lies both in the final result and in the creative process, which required an astonishing amount of skills and knowledge.
But if you are like us and mathematical functions are just a fading high school memory, what is The Iterative Method? We asked Leonardoworx to give us an insight for Dummies on this incredibly complex yet fascinating project that expands the realm of aesthetics into math, physics and coding and ultimately to philosophy.
M: The artwork we see in the Iterative Method was completely created by mathematical functions: how did this idea came about?
LWX: It all started when I was working on the House of Peroni installation, as it was the first time I used iterative functions translated in coding with Processing. I was immediately intrigued by the idea of creating an infinite number of auto-generative artworks that evolve from a simple structure into more and more complex creations that I call module or DNA — for its similarity to genetic code. The Iterative Method gives an infinite number of options to create these complex modules, however I intentionally decided to keep the function simple in order to unveil its beauty.
M: The Iterative Method project encompassed maths, physics and coding: how did those three elements worked together?
LWX: The goal of physics is to study all natural events, events that can described and quantified mathematically. This is the reason why the connection between mathematics and physics (especially with the evolution of the modules movements) was quite natural. The coding was simply the language I’ve used to communicate to the computer the formula that governed the generation of the modules.
M: How did you create these modules? How did you choose them?
LWX: In order to have more control on both the shape and the movements of the modules I’ve used just a limited amount of variables. The process was quite straight forward: once I inserted variables into the functions, the Mac would generate an endless series of modules. I then chose a range of variables in a set moment of time that would create the modules I thought were more interesting and emotionally engaging.
M: Were all the modules you’ve created used for the project or was there one that didn’t make the final cut?
LWX: I discarded one and that’s because it kind of looked like a flying saucer.
M: That’s interesting: most of the modules were good from the very start: is it fair to say that it wasn’t a tentative creative process?
LWX: I’m so used to write coding that whenever I write strings I can already visualise what it is going to appear on the screen and to be honest, if the math is right there is no chaos.
M: How did this project effect your creative process?
LWX: There was definitely a shift in my approach, especially as this time I wasn’t using a 3D or interface-based software: I was working directly with the computer, forcing myself to create a fully functioning basic language able to run complex creative process.
M: You’ve also made a series of artworks to complement the video the project: how are they linked together?
LWX: Each complex module has been originated by running the function of “simplier” modules (respectively the orange, cyan, violet and yellow) in the iterative function.
M: What was your inspiration for the music?
LWX: I composed everything on a OP-1 and a Maschine. Mirroring the visual part, I wrote the score with a pattern form on Max Msp and then reused them. I didn’t use any sound design as I wanted the sound to be very minimal and focusing mostly on the voice of Alison (the computer who introduces the modules). Speaking of Alison, I think that I worked so much on this project that I might had a chat or two with her in my coffee break!
M: Although The Iterative Method is based on math and physics the result is not cold at all, quite the contrary, is incredibly powerful from the emotional point of view.
LWX: When I started this project I felt there was a strong connection between the iterative method and some of my personal experiences, although I didn’t clearly understand why. I then started researching online and went through a lot of M.I.T. papers, thesis, TED talks and all those sources shared one idea: that all our feelings, like the love for someone, even someone who is not with us anymore, go beyond a determined space and time and follow an iterative pattern that can be quantified with one “value” that we already know. This is the reason why I did The Iterative Method.
See more of Leonardoworx’ here
Take the stunning rooftop of one of London’s top ad agencies and seven great movies, each one representing a basic storytelling plot; then show them on a big screen, add some astroturf to give that it’s-warm-again! feeling, plenty of refreshments and finish it with Ray Oranges’ posters and what you get is one amazing Film Festival experience to celebrate summer season.
From Whiplash to the Big Lebowski, the audience plunged into the rooftop cinema experience right from the invite that Ray designed, in which the distinctive art deco features of McCann’s building are seen as looking from the top down on the street below.
The bird-eye view is the fil rouge connecting all the Up The Roof posters, as if spectators were glimpsing at key scenes of the movies from the rooftop at the time. “McCann’s Creative director Max Chanan wanted to use very same view for all posters”, say Ray Oranges, “and this bird-eye view makes everything much more intriguing and dramatic; it fits perfectly with my love for geometry and I was able to create different compositions, with lights, shapes and shadows.”
Each poster shows the main characters surrounded by beautiful geometrical shapes created by mixing the set elements with spot lights and colors, sometimes creating surreals results. Ray’s style is again instrumental to introducing different stories through a balanced and stunning visual treatment without compromising the singularity of the narrative plots.
See more of Ray’s work here
When Jonathan Calugi read Dawn Cai’s mail to commission him for the Washington Post’s Fringe Festival issue, he could hardly hold his excitement: it was the first project endorsing his new and abstract, Picasso-inspired style. We all thought it was a pretty daring move, especially as the very style was deemed not figurative or commercial enough in the past but were absolutely sure that, if the client didn’t have a last-minute change of heart, the outcome was going to be outstanding. We embarked then on an exceptionally smooth production and few weeks later the result was gracing the pages of the Post’s supplement. We caught up with Dawn to go behind the scenes of the project from a her prospective.
You asked Jonathan to create the artworks using one of the most recent and abstract style — it was a very bold move; what was so intriguing about it and why did you think it was fitting for the issue?
I think it’s a combination of the story and personal background. The story is about Fringe Festival, an innovative, quirky, adventurous and creative contemporary art festival in Washington, DC. It is very conceptual and abstract in itself; it honestly took me a while to research and take a grasp on what this contemporary art festival really is about. The audience who are interested in this type of art is very bold, adventurous; in fact, the mission of the Fringe is to engage and challenge the audience with experimental performances. Therefore, I feel in our visual presentation, we should provide something different to challenge and engage our readers as well. The abstract and weird nature of the event gave me a free-range in terms of creativity. It made me very excited, as someone coming from an art history background, particularly with interest in modern and contemporary art. I’ve always been intrigued abut the crossover between art and design, where is the line if there is one and how can the two merge. I feel this is a perfect opportunity to integrate the two. I thought I wanted something different, something artsy, abstract, experimental and raw. The first idea is lines, because of the literal meaning of “fringe” as well as it’s a cutting-edge art event, then from lines I thought of Jonathan’s line works which I’ve been admiring for a long time. Then I went and checked his work and saw his latest works fit exactly what I want: something different, artsy, abstract, experimental, raw but at the same time full of energy. It just seems very fitful and kind of break the boundary between illustration and art. And I’m very glad I got to bring something different and all the editors and everyone involved in the project all embraced this direction.
How did you came across Jonathan’s work?
Honestly I don’t even remember how I came across his work in the first place. Maybe it’s from Behance, a very long time ago. One of my favorite things to do when I’m bored is just to scroll the Internet to look at best design works out there. Maybe it was from PUF! Identity project? I remember I was very struck by his use of color and blown away by how he masters the usage of lines. And also his website is called Happy Lovers Town, I thought, he must be an awesome person. I’m a very happy person who is kind of obsessed/intrigued with love and the idea of love, so that got me more interested in Jonathan and see how he plays out the ideas of happiness and love in his work. I love how his work is really fun, spontaneous and striking at the same time.
Any particular anecdote about the project that you would like to share with us?
I am new to DC and didn’t know much about the Fringe prior to this, and the first thing I learned about this festival is one of my coworkers describing one of the performances as this artist would come to your house, do your dishes, and do a monologue for you. So I was like “o..k.. This is gonna be fun, haha.” Another thing is that after we chose the direction and got the first sketches, it’s always interesting to get reaction from people who hasn’t seen this kind of work before. One of the editors remarked it reminded her of Matisse when I showed the sketches, some people read into it very literally trying to figure out what they are doing, a lot of people pointed out it seemed like there were sexual references in there somehow, and some people said it was very primitive. But then all in al they are not real people they are more like ideas of people and gestures. So I love these conceptual interpretations that happened.
See more of Jonathan’s work here
Monocle’s new issue has just hit the newsstands and it features a very substantial contribution from Machas Artists’ Jonathan Calugi and Ray Oranges.
True to its global approach, Monocle Issue 85 is investigating the best city lifestyles and means of transportation around the planet - and for the very first time it has invited illustrators Jonathan Calugi and Ray Oranges to contribute to startling visuals the magazine has become renewed for.
Jonathan’s brief called for a representation of the latest innovations in the transport industry and he developed a set of minimal elements as a decoding system of each context, adopting his elegant Picasso-inspired line doodle punctuated by bold graphic shapes .
While Jonathan explored this new style, Ray was called to represent the urban lifestyle of eight different cities. By creating the perfect combination of urban elements, geometrical shapes and sophisticated colours he connected apparently distant concepts such as art and social housing.
Jonathan and Ray’s images provide a visual support to uncover how technological evolution can modify the perception of space.
Beside being one of the most exciting lettering artist of the planet, Jeff Rogers is a trained musician and an overall great performer: whether he is touring the US with his band or paint live the man never fails to instil a positive aura and to inspire.
Many many years ago when Jeff was still at high school he was prompted by one of his teacher to focus on just one outlet for his creativity — but was that really a good advice?
Have a look for yourself!
With smart phones and watches organising our life and constantly monitoring our health, it’s no surprise that even lawyers want to step in the modern age and adopt digitalised tools to speed up their job.
Stradalex fills the gap by offering a digital library that gives instant access to hundreds and hundreds of publications; the message is simple: less time spent on searches means more free time to enjoy the best life has to offer — and the artist called to represent the beauty of making the most of time is our Ray Oranges.
The subtle nuances and the minimal shapes presented in the three artworks are an invitation to relax, whilst the abundance of empty spaces allows imagination to roam free way beyond the office walls. Whether is the beach, the swimming pool or just world outside the window, Ray’s illustrations channel that space between the desire and the reality.
See more of Ray’s work here.
Who wouldn’t love to own a house in the heart of Stockholm’s thriving network of museums, bars and cosy cafeterias? And what if that house is a brand new luxurious designer penthouse with large glass windows overlooking the gardens and fountains below?
The Corner House is such place and when they were looking for an illustrator to launch their online presence and highlight the lifestyle attainable in such premises we knew it was going to be the perfect project for Ray Oranges’ illustrations.
It’s no secret that Ray’s style, with its clean lines, dramatic prospectives and play with scale, is heavily influenced by modernist architecture and the Corner House project was going to put his aesthetics to good use. The brief also required an illustrated a map of the building location and Ray, instead of opting for a familiar bird-eye view map, suggest an interesting faux-3D approach that definitely created an unexpected result.
Ray’s map and illustrations can be seen on The Corner House’ website at thecornerhouse.se
To see more of Ray’s work click here.
Paper art studio Wanda Barcelona have created yet another astonishing installation for «ModeMethode», Karl Lagerfeld’s retrospective now showing at the Bundeskunsthalle Bonn.
The exhibition is a fascinating journey through Lagerfeld’s body of work: it begins with a replica of the designer sketchbook-covered desk, where discarded ideas lies around as crumpled paper, and culminates in Wanda Barcelona’s 500 square meters paper palace that houses his Chanel Couture most emblematic pieces.
The palace is composed by precious floating foliage that seemingly pours in columns out of books positioned across the floor and required more than 15.000 laser-cut pieces of paper to create a three naves hall. The paper’s delicate creamy hue and subtle burned outline elegantly compliments the beauty and craftsmanship of the couture creations and resonates of Lagerfeld’s modus operandi, in which every idea is drawn on paper and is either produced or discarded and incinerated.
«We knew that it was key to show Lagerfeld’s approach to design, his ModeMethode» says Wanda’s architect Inti Velez Botero, «so we embraced the importance of paper in his creative process, the gesture of drawing and of crumpling paper, the way some ideas make it to production and the way some others… just vanish.»
“The brief from Steidl, the book editor who designed the exhibition, was clear: they wanted a palace and they wanted WOW — which was great!”, continues Inti. “ The only challenge we had was to create such a complex installation in such a little time, because when you have time you can do everything and in this case we didn’t have that luxury.”
“It was an incredible project and every single hour was so much fun! Just imagine the constant daily routine of this latino noisy group of Colombians inside a German museum… how to start….. it was LOL!”
Created and executed in three weeks, the paper palace has been defined by Vogue as «paper couture installation» and it could be visited at the Bundenkunsthalle in Bonn (Germany) until September 2015.
Every artist here at Machas has a very strong fine art background and Tooco’s latest solo show is a perfect example of how an artist can excel at working with a brief and communicate to a broader audience and can create abstract art showed in established galleries.
“El espacio que ocupan las cosas”, which translates to “the space that things occupy”, is a series of painted wood sculptures that was inspired by Hieronymus Bosch’s “The Garden of Earthly Delights” and now on display at the Beatrix Roads Gallery in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
“Many of Hieronymus Bosch’s paintings have the triptych format, some of those representing three different stages: that’s exactly what has inspired me” says Tooco from his studio, “of course it is my very personal interpretation of this concept.”
“Instead of canvas I used each wall of the gallery as an element of my triptych. In the first wall I represented the origin, the genesis of life before man appeared on Earth. This is the reason why I used white as the main color, as a symbol of purity, with protruding shapes underlined by subtle coloured borders that can only be seen from the sides. Most of the shapes are curved to recall an organic manifestation of life, emulating water, the fundamental component that has generated life.
“Right in the middle of the first wall the viewer will see a piece called ‘THE FIRST SECONDS’, which is kind of egg/uterus composition that gives life to the universe. This is a direct reference to the central element painted in the first panel of ‘The Garden of Earthly Delights’.
“The second wall represents the appearance of man on Earth, with elements that resemble mechanic structures, engines. Electricity, mechanics, inventions: the human world.
“One piece in particular represents the human Beauty as the most perfect aspect of human beings. But at the same time, the title give us an idea of what is coming: “WAITING FOR THE CHAOS” — it like a pause before the end of life.
“And finally, on the third wall, destruction appears, the chaos, the end of life — this wall is specular to the first one. There are two complete black relief artworks: with their sharp, geometrical lines they sit opposite to the first white curved pieces, representing death, the end of matter. In the middle of both, an engraved wooden piece called ‘THE SINKING’, a reference to Caspar David Friedrich’s painting ‘Die Eismeer / The Wreck of Hope’.”
Discover more of Tooco’s work here.
A quick glimpse at Coca Cola’s history will clearly reveal how art has been an instrumental factor in transforming a well-designed and appealing product such as the Contour bottle into an icon that proceeded to go beyond its product category to embrace all American and Western culture.
To celebrate the 100 years of the Contour bottle, Coca Cola has commissioned 100 creative minds from all around the world to re-interpret few key images of their archive where the Contour bottle is the main protagonist — and our Ray was one of the artists that Coca Cola reached out to.
Ray’s poster is particularly striking as it uses Coca Cola’s key colours but has added a vaguely sensuous twist to the familiar woman-drinking- Coke archetype. “Many will find my choice unexpected as Coca Cola is mostly perceived as a family-oriented brand” admits Ray, “however if you take a look at their archive you will see subtle elements that drift away from an unidimensional communication towards a more adult yet ‘stubborn optimistic’ approach. That’s where my inspiration came from. My body of work is featuring in great part very abstract subjects but now the human form is becoming more present; with this poster I wanted to explore an aspect, a nuance that my artworks haven’t revealed yet — until now ”.
With less than two months before the gates of Milan Expo 2015 will be open to the public, Dubai has already unveiled the big plans it has in store for their upcoming celebration of global technological excellence.
Together with McCann London, Dubai has commissioned 21 artists from all around the world to represent in the form of 4m high modular sculptures the 21 topics that embody the core values of Expo 2020; these sculptures, placed in key locations around the capital of the United Arab Emirates, combined together will form Expo 2020’s logo.
As Dubai is planning to go further beyond bringing people together and to facilitate the exchanges that will build the future, Jonathan was chosen to interpret the key topic of collaboration.
“I was given a lot of creative freedom,” says Jonathan, “and initially my attention was drawn to the pentagonal shape of the sculpture rather than the artwork, which was a bit tricky; but when I focused on the topic of “connection”, the whole work came together really quickly and I’ve designed a one-line artwork where all the elements are joined together. It was fun to do and also really interesting to channel different ethnicities with my one-line style whilst keeping the minimalistic effect.”
Together with the sculptures, McCann has produced a series of videos shot in the studio of the artists involved in the project. “When we did a video call from my studio before the crew came here to film, “ recalls Jonathan, “my studio was a total mess! And the heating was also broken so I had this massive beard and one of those improbable hand-made woollen jumpers on — I thought I’d scared the people at McCann!”
“Anyway, I really like how the video came out, especially as it shows how messy I am and how neat my work is! The whole project has been great and it’s so fascinating to see the differences in style and personality of all the artists involved.”
See more of Jonathan’s work here.
We are beyond excited to announce that Wanda Barcelona have joined Machas!
Wanda Barcelona has became known all around the world for their unique take on paper art which fuses traditional techniques with innovative approaches, avant-garde design with a touch of playfulness.
The Barcelona-based trio has a brilliant mix of skills that allow them to consistently crafting outstanding visions: Inti, the architect, is in charge of creating spaces that Dani, the designer, fills with unique objects while Iris, the artist in the family, surprises the viewer with subtle tickles up the spine.
Whether is creating fully immersive paper architectures, fascinating window displays or intriguing origami-style objects, Wanda Barcelona’s art is a feast for the eyes and a splendid sensorial experience — and here at Machas we love fiercely creative talent!
See more of Wanda’s work here.
As anyone who’d visited Rome will tell you, the Eternal City is a place of astonishing beauty. The golden light, the texture of the buildings’ surface and the insanely high concentration of historic remains per square meter makes Rome one of the most unique places on Earth. Even so reproducing Rome in images can be very tricky: its views have been so deeply engrained in our visual data base that quite frequently we are one step away from the stereotype, as Martin Parr showed in his brilliant Tutta Roma.
When Ray Oranges was called to join the second instalment of the House of Peroni event in Holborn, London, and create an installation for the client’s private Meeting Room, he was asked to capture the essence of the Nastro Azzurro’s birthplace through his contemporary vision.
The brief required the artist to bring the true Rome to those who never been there or show a different angle to it, whilst focusing on the brand, its authenticity, vivacious and provocative spirit. Ray used a visual representation of the liquid of the brew that tied elements dear to the Nastro Azzurro history together.
The artwork created featured Ray’s trademark play with scale composition, where architectural elements are blended in with the landscape and people, drenched in a breezy blu hue. The sheer dimensions of the artwork, which totalled to two 6.50 by 4,20 meters panels that were going to be installed in the meeting room, required particular attention to the production phase, as such a beautiful artwork deserved an excellent delivery.
The team at Machas knew exactly who could deliver such project to the highest standard and picked up the phone to call the lovely people at Vinyl Impression. Ed the owner and Joe worked side by side with us to make sure that every detail would be looked after and that the installing phase would be an extremely straight-forward process. The result? Ray’s artwork was printed on a premium matte vinyl which had a fantastic texture, leaving most of the guests baffled to know that it was indeed vinyl. The client was particularly satisfied with Ray’s interpretation of the brand that steered away from pointless corporate celebration and delve deep into beauty and taste.
See more of Ray’s artwork here.
It’s no secret that everyone here at Machas HQ is a sort of closeted Crazy Cat Lady (or Crazy Cat Gentlemen — and by the way, does that definition even exist??) and we are very fond of Jeff Rogers’ new campaign for Friskies.
The ATL and BTL campaign designed to launch Friskies’ new BBQ-inspired range of cat food sees Jeff delving into his Texan roots to create astonishing hand written type and drawings that spring out of real life situations.
From print ad to the TV commercial, from POS to digital, the cat food range gets the Rogers’ trade mark treatment of fun, beautiful, colourful artwork.
Jeff, how did the project came about? “The art director on the project pulled several portfolios to present to the client. Three artists were chosen and hired to do a round of visual explorations around the idea. They included typographic treatments, ad layouts, possible animation ideas, etc. After the exploratory round was completed, I was awarded the project.”
What is your favorite part of the project?
“I’d have to say seeing the way it came to life as an animated spot. I think they did a good job at animating it. That and the little grill cow! ”
Any challenge or fun bits?
“I really don’t care for cats because I’m extremely allergic! so early on I sent a note to what I thought was a friend saying, “I need to work “death to all cats” in there somewhere” and accidentally sent it to the agency. They weren’t amused. ha! But I won them over by the end and we still keep in touch. It ended up being like a 3 month long process. I really enjoyed developing the grill animals (which we referred to as “magicons” for some reason) since I usually just focus on typography.”
Jeff, we still like you even if you want to kill our cats! See more of Jeff works here.
Our favourite type master has been incredibly busy the last couple of months here is a selection of his editorial work.
Covers for: Adweek, Wired USA, Georgia tech, Real Estate and Advertising Age
to see more of Jeff’s work click here
Google’s love affair with illustration stronger than ever and Jonathan Calugi was one of the artists called to design their latest US advertorial campaign for the entertainment platform Google Play.
Taking cue from the payoff “The Magic That Inspired Us To Dream”, each artist was given a specific fairy-tale theme to develop; Jonathan’s pick was the Princess in the Castle and with his doodle style he created a dreamlike image in which an enigmatic princes is reigning over a floating of magic castles.
See more of Jonathan’s work here
Ray Oranges has created this winter season’s cover for Austria edition of SHOP Magazine.
Inspired by the magazine’s main feature on how to dress well for the Austrian winter, the cover shows a woman whose scarf is billowing in the wind, becoming wintry hills, mountains and buildings.
“Ray’s clever use of space and scale makes him the perfect illustrator for this cover!”, said the team at Global Blue.
To see more of Ray’s work see here.
“Our bank is pro young people” one said Ubi Bank’s CEO and the communication campaigns developed so far visually reflect the bank focus. To launch a new mortgage product Tooco was called to illustrate in a playful style how house renovations could be easier than one would expect.
See more of Tooco’s work here.
In occasion for Eni’s Gas & Power conference, Fernando Chamarelli has been chosen to create the key image for the annual sales meeting.
Consolidating the team efforts and energising the sale force were the key objectives of the conference and Eni deemed Fernando’s artwork the perfect medium to channel those messages.
Fernando, who has exhibited his artwork in galleries and murals all over the world, has a fluid and quite distinctive style, in which all the elements appear to be connected and participating of a continuous flow of energy.
The production process seen in the images in the post here sheds a fascinating light on the creative mind of the artist and after testing different compositions, the final image strikes a balance between the complexity of the elements and the different sizes and surfaces it was going to be apply to.
See more of Fernando’s work here.
Diente, the Argentinean annual creativity award prize, celebrates the best and most innovative communications produced in the Latin American country and Tooco excelled in the illustration category.
The Campari campaign was aimed at promoting a new spin on the classic Italian drink and has been developed to represent the values of the brand: the spirit of a young drink that mixes Campari with orange juice, bringing a distinctive, new flavour to one of aperitivo favourites.
As the Italians here at Machas can confirm, aperitivo o’clock is the moment when day blends into the night and Tooco perfectly captured in a visual form this moment — as well representing Campari’s ingredients in his distinctive visual language, where organic shapes are seamlessly blended with precise geometries.
When we asked Tooco about the project he just answered “Basically they like my stile and they gave me freedom to create—it was great! This is my first Prize in the Advertising field! SUPER HAPPY!!!”
See more of Tooco’s work here
Whether you’re happily walking out of Nike Town with the store bag firmly clutched in your hand or watching the new Apple Macbook Air TV ad, spotting Jonathan’s work is easier than saying “vector”.
However Jonathan is not one to rest on the laurels and he is constantly pushing himself to explore new expression of his style. The recent illustrations he has created to illustrate Herman Miller’s hospital furniture range Palisade on WHY magazine are seeing the talented Tuscan artist steering his doodle style towards a more minimal, one-line approach, moving away from the pattern inspired of his early works.
“I’ve been thinking about finding different ways for the lines to interact for a while now”, says Jonathan. “I wanted to move away from the cut & paste type of image and I also I was really intrigued by the possibilities of the GIF that I’ve created for this project— in this case the lines are creating the backdrops but that could be made of blocks or even photographs. Everything is in constant evolution and I’ve been extremely lucky to work with clients such has Herman Miller, who are not afraid of letting the artist explore new ways of expression”.
The designer who created the Palisade range referenced one of Eames’ most famous quotes as starting point to resolve the design problem ahead of him: “a designer must willingly and enthusiastically work within a series of constrains”. Anyone familiar with Jonathan’s work knows that is a key element of his artistic vision; “ We are all constantly working within constrains, constrains created by ourselves or by the way we grew up, the society and so on. I believe that is unrealistic to work with absolute freedom and that actually it’s the constrain that pushes the designer to achieve something new”
See more of Jonathan’s work here
Bloomberg’s annual list of the 50 most influential of global finance this year crowns the “Global Disrupters”, people that have acquired their power not by following well-throdden paths but by challenging the status quo.
The Global Disrupters piece required a Creative Disrupter such as Leonardoworx as opening image and in just three days the Machas multimedia artist has created this Tron-inspired 3D artwork.
The image was also used in occasion of the fourth annual Bloomberg Markets Most Influential Summit in New York City.
Discover Leonardoworx here
60 years of passion, anecdotes, technological innovations which have established the myth of Alfa Romeo’s Giulietta have been represented on the coupé’s bodywork by Jonathan Calugi.
In occasion of the Mille Miglia historic race, one of the world’s most renowned vintage car parades, Alfa Romeo asked Jonathan to identify the key elements of Giulietta’s rich history and illustrate them with his trademark one-line style — this time not digitally but live in front of the curious public who could stop by and interact with the artist himself.
Jonathan is well known for his vector art but he’s surely not one to focus on one medium only and was extremely excited at the idea of going analog for this project. “I’m constantly exploring new venues to express my approach to design and to push my comfort threshold even further”, says Jonathan.
“The main challenge of the project was to recreate the essential sleekness of the vector line whilst retaining the charme of the freehand trait. It might be because I’m from Tuscany but I opted for the dusting technique, which was used quite frequently during the Reinassance period, mostly for frescos and ceramics.
It consists of puncturing the desired design on a sheet of paper, which is then placed to the surface that has to be decorated and then coloured. The ink seeps through the holes and when the paper is removed, you have a quite detailed outline that only needs a final finish.”
“It sounds like a labour heavy technique but I was able to illustrate the whole car in less than two days!”
See more of Jonathan’s work here
A very special thanks to Caterina and everyone at Green Records (Padua)
It’s no secret that Becha has been extremely busy working on the advertising side of the creative divide, and very soon we will share all the information about the biggest campaign of her career so far; however being occupied with the advertising industry doesn’t necessary mean she’s lost interest in fashion illustration — quite the contrary.
After the incredible success of the Silent Spring and Never Forever series which has made her style immediate recognisable and was featured on the leading digital art publications, Becha’s recent illustrations for Glamour Italia show the Serbian artist exploring a yet different side of her visual language.
For Glamour Italia Becha has developed a subtler version of her pop and bold mood, achieving a skilfully balanced composition between illustrative and collage elements.
“For the horoscope illustration I didn’t want to simply combine a fashion element and the sign”, Becha says. “ I was more intrigued by the personality of each sign and I wanted to represent their character and personality”.
See more of Becha’s work here
After two award winning campaigns with the New York Lottery and countless editorial illustrations on both sides of the pond, Ray Oranges has landed his very first British campaign.
Grey London selected Ray to bring to life the HSBC joint campaign with British watchmaker Bremont “Make Time Travel”, aimed at inspiring businesses to take off — quite literally!
Ray’s outstanding play on scale approach is the key visual element of the quirky yet charming ad, in line with HSBC determination in involving the brightest illustration talents for their communication.
If you want to see more of Ray’s portfolio click here
Adobe reached out to Leonardoworx to be one of the sixteen Behance artists from around the world and partecipate to the Bully Project Mosaic.
Each one of the artists involved worked independently to create one unified piece, an expression of how community and commitment can change the world against bullying, a social plague that affects the life of million of teenagers around the world.
Leonardoworx’ work title is called Keep Ya Head Up and it’s about “the necessity to keep your head up, to hug people and spread love; true love will give you a colourful and strong feedback that generates beauty.”. Leonardoworx, who experienced the viciousness bullying himself, wholeheartedly embrace the project. “I believe that the force of creativity and art is really powerful”, says Leonardoworx, “It can fight physical violence using beauty and win. And this movement is great. I hope it grows to involve more and more talented creatives and artists.”
The Bully Project Mosaic and the accompanying website, The BULLY Project Mural, which an ever-changing digital mural to which people can contribute artwork and stories, were donated
to Lee Hirsch during the Adobe MAX, the filmmaker behind the 2012 documentary BULLY who has inspired the Bully Project, an american social action campaign.
To know more about the Bully Project and how to take personal action to make a change, visit www.thebullyproject.com
Here in England there is a lot of buzz going around the latest Wired UK issue and it’s main feature on the burgeoning data industry: it is literally a journalistic outing of the big white elephant in the room, as most of us consumers are blissfully unaware (or disinterested) of the constant profiling we are subjected to.
However, if you want to forget about Big Brother for a second, flip to the How To section and be inspired on how to build a roller coaster in your garden while enjoying a brand new full page illustration by our Ray Oranges. If you reading the magazine from your iPad you can also see the animated version — we all love it here because it brings to the light a more playful aspect in Ray’s style.
And if you still want to build that roller coaster, just make sure you don’t use your credit card to buy the materials!
We have to admit it: here at Machas we have a soft spot for the House of Peroni, the London-based month-long celebration of Italian creativity.
It all started this spring when we were contacted by M&C Saatchi to unleash Leonardoworx multi-faceted talent on the House residency’s theme: 1963, the birth year of the Nastro Azzurro blend.
Leonardoworx jumped at the idea paying tribute to a year that marked a pivotal moment for contemporary design and music. In the design world architect Mario Bellini joined Roberto Olivetti and Pier Giorgio Pianotto at Olivetti to start working on the first very personal computer of human history ( the P101).
Olivetti broke the concept of desk computer, minimising the bulky and very expensive IBM RAMs into hand-held components woven out of intertwined piano strings. While Bellini gave shape to this historic change and elaborated a machine designed to feel natural to the user, Luciano Berio brought contemporary music to new frontiers, leaving the traditional concept of “structured score” he ventured into the realm of “sound events” where music becomes geometry.
Leonardoworx, a trained musician as well as what we informally call in awe a “ninja nerd master”, has been literally brought up with the influences of those visionaries — his very first computer was an Olivetti designed by Mario Bellini! Leonardoworx celebrated the cultural richness of 1963 with “Shine”, a multi-sensorial immersive installation in which user controlled visuals and sounds enhanced social interaction.
The fluctuating polygons controlled by the Guests travel against a code-generated oniric landscape, creating each time new shapes and new sounds as they draw closer together, in a metaphoric re-enactment of the gesture of cheering.
As the experience is naturally intuitive and playfully engaging the work that went behind “Shine” is really impressive and required all of Leonardoworx’ knowledge to deliver it in an exceptionally fast turn around— a month!
Beside his coding skills and musical education, he brought to the table his physics notions to allow the polygons a floating movement rather than a boring mouse-like scrolling and, most importantly his hacker skill, the latter being instrumental in making the whole react vision technology work. The react vision technology employs an external USB camera that captures the movements of the IDs and translates them into what is written in the code. Unfortunately Apple’s then new iOs, Mavericks, could read only between 3 and 5 fps instead of the standard 30 fps and if Leonardoworx didn’t take the matter in his own hands “we would have got an installation looking like a stop-motion video!”, he recalls. A couple of hours later he managed to changed the settings to 120 fps, allowing a incredibly smooth interaction.
The installation was extremely successful and fun to use. For Leonardoworx “the challenge was to connect people using the installation as an intuitive and immersive language to communicate with. Many new relationships started in Shine installation room while drinking a Nastro Azzurro!”
On the eve of the new House of Peroni residency which will feature Machas’ hand made paper cut master Ufo5 and Cannes-winner illustrator Ray Oranges we know that with Leonardoworx’ installation we set the bar high.
We are all well aware of a certain fruit-titled global brand and it probably ranks at the top of most artists dream client list. Well, this month Machas’ illustrator Jonathan Calugi popped a great big tick next to “Apple” as his work was featured in the technology titan’s brand new press and TV campaign.
Drawing attention to the countless and varied ways folks utilise the MacBook Air, the worldwide advertising campaign is a fast-edited video mix of a selection of the imagery pinned to front of the slick super machine.
Jonathan created with his well-recognisable single stylised line a uber fun camera, which beautifully carries the concept of the world right at your fingertips — alike the MacBook Air itself!
Watch the ad below!
Unless you’ve spent the past week vacationing on Mars (and we all know how bad is the wifi there), you’ve probably come across the global maelstrom of posts that the new Airbnb logo kickstarted. From serious articles on the Guardian to facetious analysis on Mashable, everybody with an internet connection was evaluating if the new logo had a vague resemblance with something we can all relate to.
Whether that would be the case or not, we personally don’t mind — quite the contrary! And most importantly we were really happy to participate to this major restyling launch with some artwork of our Love Man Supremo, Jonathan Calugi.
Jonathan created a series of animal themed vector illustrations that can be intertwined into AIRBNB’s new logo: animals such as elephants and snakes and, of course, a cheeky cat is in the mix too.
If you want to have a go at personalising your own Airbnb logo and playing around with Jonathan’s animals just head down to the CREATE section of Airbnb’s website and have fun!
We all know Ray Oranges is an illustrator renowned for his soft gradients, negative spaces and play on scale. This month however, he was asked to play with scales of a different kind! Ray created the front cover image plus three internal illustrations for July’s edition of Modus magazine tackling the subject matter of the balance of power!
Sunday Publishing’s slick and informative Modus Magazine covers all aspects of land, property, construction and the built environment we live in, an area Ray is familiar with following his architectural past! This month focuses on the geopolitical, industrial and economical “Balance of Power” and how this balance is soon to shift and the inevitable effects this will have of the industries professions in coming years.
With a subject matter both abstract and specific, Ray was granted creative freedom to illustrate the topics in his well defined style, applying his trademark textures, dramatic shadows and abstract shapes with his thorough understanding of the subject matter itself!
The leading article features experts from different fields asked for their often controversial opinions on how and why power relationships will change and the likely effect it will have on the land, property and construction sectors. Ray teams up the text that takes on a powerful and potent study with strong and vibrant imagery to match, a finishing result with the balance of power exactly right!
This month has seen nations from around the globe chant and cheer on their homeland in the 2014 World Cup! Coinciding with the football festivities, James Braithwaite teamed up with our lovely friends from Blue Hive Roma to create a viral web campaign for Ford!
In promotion of their brand spanking new Ford Ecosport car, the leading motor company is running a competition for the chance to win a trip to one of the most beautiful spots in the world; Rio de Janeiro!
Following a meeting with Blue Hive Roma earlier this summer, James Braithwaite’s witty pen and ink style was flagged up as the perfect solution to their upcoming project with Ford! Realising the brief with animated characters, a colour palette inspired by the Brazilian flag and of course the inclusion of a cute kitten, James has created a viral animation both entertaining and informative; encouraging the viewer to shout a “GOOOALLLL!!!!” of their own to submit to the site! Each submission contributes to the visual representation of the journey from Rome to Rio and can be listened to on the Ford Ecosport page!
So what are you waiting for? Gear up and shout yourself a GOAL!
Ladies and Gentlemen, can we get a drum roll please!
It is with great pleasure we are to announce we now have a Cannes award winning illustrator amongst our roster of Machas artists!
This month Ray Oranges and Machas were announced title holder of prestigious Cannes Silver Lion Press award for his well renowned advertising campaign “Thoughts” with DDB NY and New York Lottery.
We are undeniably proud of this monumental achievement and would once again like to thank all at DDB NY for making this possible!
For a little reminder of the widely championed series, click here!
There is no denying we all live in an age dominated by social media and sharing, it is no surprise to learn recent studies have revealed the “share” button as one of the most used functions on the internet! Now a natural part of our day to day life, we offer much of ourselves to others; photos, articles, thoughts, experiences and more.
This nature of jovial sharing often only ever seems to occur in the virtual realms of the web. What if we wanted to share, share and share again the most important thing of all: life itself. With an innovative campaign from The World Health Organisation, Namibia we now can.
Honing in on modern day social media use, the charity invited the world to celebrate and share the amazing World Blood Donation Day! Hosting the occasion from it’s Facebook homepage, the page offers an abundance of insightful information alongside the opportunity for each individual to make a difference!
Sharing World Blood Donation Day homepage is encouraged with a little help from illustrator Jonathan Calugi, accompanying the cause with some lovely stylised single line work! Illustrating a diverse variety of people, Jonathan’s image enables each viewer to identify with at least one character portrayed. Be it the dog walker in the park, the cuddling couple or the Mother and her children, the campaign is a reminder all blood donation really does benefit everybody.
With both this thought and Jonathan’s beautiful cursive work in minds eye, the visitor is offered the opportunity to get a little more generous and give for good with a redirection their closest blood donation bank.
Sharing is caring and donating is doing an act so kind, it can save another’s life. C’mon folks, we can Share life. Share blood.
One of the world’s leading suppliers of mailroom solutions both globally and in the UK, Neopost celebrated 2013 as yet another very big year for the company! With customers in over 90 countries, more than 6000 employees and a firm presence on the Paris stock market, Neopost is proud to share another year of successes — and what is going to make shareholders bubble with excitement other than impressive numbers? An Annual Report illustrated throughout by the king of stylised doodles Machas Artist Jonathan Calugi!
Working alongside Marie Louise DDB Paris, Neopost’s Annual Report presents the data of yet another impressive year paired with vibrant and and eye-catching visuals. Jonathan Calugi has extensively explored a new development of his trademark doodle style for Neopost, including little letters, parcels and tablets into one single continuous line.
With Annual Reports another notch to add to his bedpost, we are looking forward to seeing where Jonathan Calugi will take his sophisticated style next!
We have tickled and teased you lot for weeks with sneak peeks and snippets of Fernando Chamarelli’s upcoming artworks for his show in Berlin and now we can finally reveal the final pieces in all their glory!
Earlier this month Fernando arrived in Berlin to partake Project M/4’s very first Pop Up show in Berlin, a week of events championing the diverse talent of internationally acclaimed innovative contemporary artists and curated by the creative force of Urban Nation Director Yasha Young.
Fernando joined Dabs Myla, C215, Word To Mother, Pixel Pancho and many others to exhibit for the launch of LAX/TXL, a pop up show located in a building usually unoccupied in a prominently residential area in Berlin.
We spoke to the Brazilian Boy with the brushes to find out more about the project:
M: Who approached you to feature in LAX/TXL exhibition?
FC: I have a really good working relationship with the ThinkSpace Gallery in Los Angeles and its co-owner Andrew Hosner. As it turns out he was helping to curate the Project M exhibition and invited me over to partake in the pop up exhibition launch!
M: What inspired your artwork?
FC: For these two pieces I was really inspired by Ancient Mythology. This subject area is so vast, encompassing so many different, interesting aspects — I really felt like I could take the inspiration from this anywhere!
M: Did you face any challenges with your artwork?
FC: It’s funny you ask that because it was in fact the canvases themselves that were the biggest challenge: I have never painted on a canvas so large it wouldn’t fit on my wall, they were both almost 3 meters tall and they were so big I had to paint each of them on the floor! They were honestly the largest canvases I have ever painted.
M: How did you transport it to Berlin?!
FC: Well, that wasn’t too difficult to be honest! I rolled them up, popped them in a tube and took them with me on the plane.
M: Are you happy with the outcome?
FC: Yes, I am very, very happy indeed with the results! One of the best parts of participating in the project was the opportunity to meet other artists alike. I really did make some great people. You should all come next year and join the fun!
Thanks Fernando, we are sure we will!
SHOP Magazine called on us last month with an interesting brief: in need of an artist with soft gradients, elegance and sparkle and shine, at Machas we knew we had the perfect person for the job: illustrator Ray Oranges!
Global Blue’s SHOP Magazine is a slick city guide meets luxury fashion mag that features the best places to shop and spend in style all over the world. Each issue is published with an eye-catching cover and this month SHOP’s Belgium edition is no different! Featuring an interesting piece on the history of Belgium’s diamond industry and the jewellery designers evolving within it, the article touches on the pace of new technologies and influences of the trade from the renewed Antwerp Six.
The brief called for the incorporation of nods toward iconic Belgium’s landmarks alongside a focus on the main star and shine of the show: diamonds! Ray’s architectural background and signature use of soft gradients and dramatic shapes allowed for a harmonious blend between all elements.
An abundance of research on Belgian landmarks and culture followed by many hours spent scrubbing diamond facets and softening shadows in Illustrator, Ray’s final piece for SHOP Magazine is not only stunningly captivating, but also a true representation of the wonders of Belgium and its beautiful diamonds.
We caught up Global Blue’s lovely Picture Editor Dorcas Brown for a little chat and an insight into the selection of Ray as the ideal illustrator for the job!
Please can you share with us a little more about this months edition of Belgium SHOP Magazine?
SHOP Belgium is a luxury city guide magazine published twice a year covering the cities of Brussels, Antwerp and Bruges. For the Spring/Summer 2014 edition we featured the best high end clothes and products available in Belgium for summer 2014, the most notable local boutiques and places to visit, and features about local trends and designers. Our cover feature explores the country’s expertise for diamond production and the innovative and contemporary jewellery designers that are carrying on the tradition in new and exciting ways.
What was it that drew you to commission Ray’s work for SHOP Magazine?
We wanted a chic, shiny aesthetic for this cover - an illustrator who could work with soft gradients to achieve a sheen you would associate with diamonds. Belgium is so well known as a diamond producing country and so this is the focus on the illustration, but in addition to this we liked the diamond for its faceted appearance giving us the opportunity to play on words ‘multi-faceted’ in reference to the many innovative contemporary jewellery makers. This was our brief and our concept.
Ray has a beautiful chic and smooth finish to his work, very subtle gradients and a luxurious feel. We could see from his portfolio that he also tackles conceptual briefs well and so along with the aesthetic finish he gives to his work he became the ideal choice for the brief.
At Machas it is no secret we love an unlikely collaboration and this may be the most unlikely yet lovely of them all! Jonathan Calugi collaborated with Gibraltar Remedies; an up and coming American brand specialising in natural medicines to create a surprising match made in heaven.
Gibraltar remedies are shaping the landscape of the future of medicine; one cure at a time! Using exclusively natural ingredients from the plant world, the range offers new solutions to regular day to day challenges we face in everyday life. This includes weight problems, forgetfulness and insomnia to name a few.
Such a beautiful ethos called out loud for a product packaging design to match. Everybody’s doodle friend Jonathan Calugi responded to the call with a parade of playful and serene patterns, bringing the characteristics of Gibraltar remedies products to life.
With another collaboration of the two already in the pipelines; at Machas we think it may be official: Jonathan Calugi really can turn his hand to illustrate and transform anything! We met up with Gibraltar remedies founder Sara to hear her take on events…
Hello Sarah! Please can you share with us a little more about your products?
Gibraltar remedies provide solutions for challenges we face in our every day lives. These remedies invite us to enter the divine and mysterious world of plants, which brings us closer to our primary connection to nature. Healing beyond the physical can only occur when we open to nature and its power to transform.
What was it that made you choose Jonathan’s style to represent your vision?
I chose Jonathan’s style because it best represents what I want Gibraltar products to convey; out of the ordinary, highly original, unexpected, playful, deeply intelligent, personable and created with love and joy.
We have spotted an elephant amongst the pattern! Tell us a little more about this…
Jonathan added the elephant without my asking! Funnily enough, a percentage of my profits are going towards helping African elephants so it was perfect. The elephant adds a magic and mystery to the plant theme and it reminds us we are all connected through nature.
We are fan of your remedies, where can we find them?
The products are carried in the United States and soon available online too!
We are very, very pleased to announce Ray Orange’s New York Lottery campaign “Thoughts” has been both nominated and announced winner of two awards!
The series designed for NY Lottery and developed from creative concepts provided by DDB New York has been selected as one of the leading advertising campaigns worldwide by Lürzer’s International Archive and has also won New York Festival Finalist award and Silver at the International Andy Awards!
Recognition came at the beginning of spring from Lürzer’s International Archive from: the prestigious publication that champions the collaboration of artists and agencies alike, selecting “Thoughts” as one of 200 of the best advertising campaigns of 2013.
The outstanding result of Ray’s very first advertising campaign was soon followed by a nomination from the International Andy Awards: coinciding with their 50th anniversary of honouring creativity and advertising throughout the world, “Thoughts” was awarded Silver for 2014’s Out of Home category.
As Ray’s collection continues to grow, he has recently been announced as a winner by the New York Festival’s International Advertising Awards. Yet another prestigious trophy to place among the rest!
We have a feeling we know the shape of things to come for Ray Oranges… world domination!
Enjoy a little reminder of Ray’s “Thoughts” campaign here
Do you remember the striking and surreal wonderland images from Becha’s collaboration with BodyGlove Smoothie Swimsuits “Imagine Your World” campaign? Well, get yourself in the mood for summer with the next serving of the Smoothie Swimsuits series!
Taking cue from the payoff Becha has imagined four new worlds inhabited by even more powerful, graceful and always gorgeous females; in which photographic and illustration elements are blended together into visionary landscapes.
Each of the eight ladies have their own distinct identity; we asked Becha if it was difficult to achieve this result: “searching for right symbols and elements for each women was very inspiring and fun”, Becha told us. “It was a challenging project but extremely relaxing! In fact the very first condition to enjoy working on a job is to have room for freedom — and in this case that’s exactly what the client gave me.”
Becha has also recently completed yet another campaign for BodyGlove due for release soon — stay tuned!
Ray Oranges is steadily working his way through his dream client list as he ticks off none other than the prestigious Creative Review!
Almost a month ago at Machas we received a brief for an editorial illustration commission for Ray Oranges! The piece was to accompany an article written by the talented York based Writer and Graphic Designer Daniel Benneworth Gray.
For the first time to collaborate with Creative Review, Ray jumped at the idea of lending his well defined style to Daniel’s column. This month’s piece is an interesting insight on people lucky enough to have a job they enjoy so much, they would consider it their hobby too.
Daniel wrote of the possibilities of separating work and pleasure and pondered whether they could be something different, or the same thing. He briefly toyed with the idea of joining York’s Viking dress up scene - surely a bold move in a bid to nail down a hobby of his own away from work!
Ray used this witty quip as the main inspiration for his illustration and in applying his own trademark textures and play on scale signature he perfectly captured the playful attitude of the author.
Will we see Daniel Benneworth-Gray stomping around the cobbled streets of York donning an axe and horned helmet? You’ll have to read this months Creative Review to find out!
We had a chat with Ray to find out all the juicy bits of his first collaboration with Creative Review!
Hi Ray! So tell us, is the first time you’ve worked with Creative Review?
RAY: Yes! Machas rang me up saying there was an editorial commission for me and I was absolutely thrilled when I learned the brief was from CREATIVE REVIEW. I have always been a huge fan of the magazine, I was very very happy indeed to work with them, they are a globally recognised publication!
What was your inspiration for the illustration?
RAY: The brief was for an editorial to accompany an article written by Daniel Grey and in his article inquired whether it was OK to be so passionate about one’s job that there’s is no need for anything else or if one’s need to find a hobby outside his career! Daniel lives in York, England, famous for its Viking history and toyed with the idea of taking up a viking based hobby!
Did you face any challenges in this commission?
RAY: After having already sent three roughs to present to the client, I felt unexcited and unsure by what I had put forward. It was at this point I decided to make another option, which I managed to present just in time! In the end, I was really happy with the result. I really liked that I was able to take extracts from the text and convey them in a simple illustration.
We hear Daniel Gray contacted you personally!
RAY: I was in a business meeting in Milan with my agents Valentina and Rita when I received a Twitter notification from Daniel Gray who wrote: “Have not seen this month ‘s yet, but looking forward to a @ ray_oranges creation…Perhaps Involving Vikings”.
Recently featured as one of 90 best illustrators in the world by Taschen’s Fashion Illustration Now!, Machas artist Spiros Halaris’ stylish pencil work and vivid brush stoke style is taking the fashion illustration world by storm. At the ripe age of 25 years old; Spiros has already lent his art to high-end brand titans such as Harrods, Revlon, Dolce & Gabbana and Bloomingdale’s to name a few.
Spiros’ fashion illustration success is evident, but it was upon Machas meeting with The Sunday Times supplement Style Magazine that a different side to Spiros caught the eye of the creative department; more specifically it was the alias of his personal works, under the name of Kokomi Studio.
Spiros’ eye-catching alter ego boasts a bold graphic style, popping with coloured bubbles and geometric shapes, scattered on the surface of glossy fashion photography, a nod to Sottsass’ innovative designs. If fashion editorials are about taking risks, here at Machas we definitely wanted to show Style Magazine something fresh.
Our risk taking was proven to be a good move, as in the following months we received a brief for Spiros to takeover Style Magazine’s 136-page fashion special issue with his striking KOKOMI style. With the creation of three different front covers and partitioning pages strewn with shapes and pattern this seasons colour pallet is brandished throughout the issue!
KOKOMI’s never been seen before style hit the magazines stands last Sunday in a debut bold and strong. We have a feeling we will be seeing much more of the lesser known KOKOMI in months to come…
January 2012. Jonathan Calugi, Valentina and I were sipping our coffees in the beautiful wooden bar of the Marriott Grand Hotel Flora in Rome, waiting for our meeting attendee to arrive. Our table was next to a window overlooking the leafy Via Veneto — that Via Veneto. Black and white images of the Dolce Vita were resurfacing right in front of our eyes, snapshots of great talents in the making and glamorous love interests trysts papped by Tazio Secchiaroli. It was almost impossible to elude those memories as they radiated from every corner. “The Rome Marriott Grand Hotel Flora was Fellini’s Roman headquarter” told us Stefania Sarno, SNG Hotels’ marketing director, ” and we kept his suite as it was”. In line with the hotel’s tradition of excellence we were in Rome to discuss a project between Jonathan and SNG Hotels. As Stefania explained us “the SNG Hotels, Rome Marriott Grand Hotel Flora and the Renaissance Naples Hotel Mediterraneo are tailoring a lifestyle, a complete experience for their guests, way beyond providing just a service. Our Communication & Marketing department has been collaborating with talented young designers for many years now, always looking to create a communication that is tailored around our clients.”
Fast forward to December 2013 and the long awaited collaboration has been released: titled “Never Ending Journey”, consisting of a print, an agenda and small travel trolley produced by Italian suitcase maker Carpisa, all bearing a bespoke artwork by Jonathan Calugi. Given as a Christmas present to all SNG’s top clients and business partners all over the world, the suitcase could also be purchased in the hotels’ gift store.
“The concept of the Journey was the main focus of the collaboration” recalls Jonathan, “but other than that I was given complete creative freedom. I started jotting down words and sentences that I felt were relevant to the theme, using them as an inspiration for the artwork. As per usual we discussed the project with the Machas team, and we you came up with the “Never Ending Journey”. I knew immediately the phrase would work well. I then built the artwork around this, creating a world where everything is connected.”
“This is not the first time that I have ventured into design territory, I collaborated in the past with Delonghi, Nike, Logitech. I think that my artwork adapts very easily to different uses, whether it is for brand identity, an advertising campaign or printed on tees. I believe that creating an artwork that can translate on different platforms is vital nowadays. Personally, I like working on design projects as the final result is a real object that you can touch, handle and store. It’s quite frequent that most of the projects I work on end up archived as a file on a hard drive and, if you are like me, chances are that they might get lost! Whereas with design projects I can keep them and see how time passing changes things.”
“Saying that, I don’t think there is a big difference between design and illustration - although many will beg to differ. I don’t want to be in purist of focusing solely on one aspect of my trade, I like the cross-pollination between different fields of creativity and I feel at ease trying my hand to new things. I once did an artwork for a t-shirt that said ” Free To Be Free” — kind of cheesy, but i feel it is the most difficult goal to achieve.”
On the client side, Stefania was satisfied with the outcome of the collaboration and she noted that “one of our top clients, who travels all over the world and is courted by many General Managers had sent a thank you note for his gifts, writing that the presents were the that makes you focus on the real world and on what really matters. He added that in his opinion, it was the best way to start the new year.”
“We fell in love with Jonathan’s style right from the very start,” explains Stefania, “we knew his lines would reveal a language that would be perfect for the mood we were looking for. He really did put his soul in the project, even going beyond his original commission by putting himself in the shoes of our Guests and dreaming with us!”
Turin, Italy home to The Galo Art Gallery opened it’s doors this month with an exclusive invitation to The Bermuda Shorts Forest exhibition.
Sharing the gallery harmoniously was papercut artist UFO5 and illustrator and animation director Will Barras. The artists intwined together their two very different artistic backgrounds and techniques into one space in a cordial collaboration for all to see! Laid out in a series of check point installations, UFO5’s huge paper pieces drew pathways through the gallery, leading the audience through the vast paper forest toward smaller, more delicate pieces.
It’s these smaller papercut pieces that showcase the intricacy of UFO5’s practice. Dozens of layers of painstakingly hand cut paper layered over light boxes created landscapes and scenery with dramatic shadows and vast depth. His smaller installations reflect elements from his better known large scale pieces that had originally been designed for fashion shows, theaters and window displays. Truly the best of both papercut worlds.
We had a little chat with UFO5 about what happened in The Bernumda Shorts Forest…
How were you asked to exhibit at the Galo Art Gallery?
Everything started one evening in December when I was having a chat with gallery owner and street artist GALO. We were looking around and we noticed that space was very interesting: divided into various floors it was the perfect location to showcase two different and complementary artists — that’s where the idea of a duo show came about! GALO suggested artist Will Barras and I thought it was a fantastic idea, my paper works are mostly in a monochrome white, whilst his work is an explosion of colours — I only noticed at a later date that we both use layers in our artworks.
What piece did you submit to the huge exhibition space?
Well, I submitted a lot, and my pieces have a tendency to be big! On arrival I cut the paper forest pathway, alongside this I exhibited five papercut lightboxes, two large elements from previous installations (as big as 100x70!), a giant baroque frame, an old painted skateboard, a precious stencil I carved more than 10 years ago, and many, many other things including one of the main stars of the show, a 3D papercut tree inside a bell jar.
What inspired your piece for the exhibition?
I have currently been researching the reactions between paper and physical space for an upcoming project I’m working on, a lot of the inspiration for the subjects within the Bermuda Shorts Forest derived from my current research
How many meters of paper did you use?!
I get asked that a lot! For this exhibition I used 50meters. I also took with me multiple items from previous installations, and cut new and additional elements on site.
Did you have any problems with the piece?
The most complex part was to create many original, unpublished works in a short timeframe, most of which were as complex as the papercut. It was a tight schedule but I made it!
What was the best part of the exhibition?
I am very happy with the outcome, my favourite pieces are the Ligthboxes.
Where would you like to exhibit next?!
For the next show I participate in, I think I would like to exhibit in a place with really high ceilings and dramatic shadows. Maybe something like an abandoned theater or cinema! That would be great!
Many Thanks to Stefano Guastella for the photographs and Galo Art Gallery for hosting
“I remember I was at a friend’s house, an architect mind you, and we were chatting about work, women and the situation of our country”, recollects Ray, “when at 19:30 I receive a mail from Wallpaper: they want me to illustrate a bespoke supplement for their magazine. The brief more specifically called for illustrating in an abstract style Airbnb’s luxury houses - abstract style? That’s my bread and butter!!”
“The project was really straight forward and I made the illustration in few days. It was great for me: I was an interior designer and an avid Wallpaper reader: I’d never thought that one day I’ll ended up having my work into that magazine.”
Multidisciplinary maverick Leonardoworx has wrapped up yet another year of technological experimentations in a high energy showreel. Shifting through highlights of the year such as collaborating with energy supplying giant ENI and giving birth to the floating underwater phytoplanktons in his personal project “Submerse”, Leonardoworx has been busy honing in on his skill set, and for his showreel he has composed a score to represent the fast paced year of his that was 2013.
We caught up with Leonardoworx for a chat and a look back on the year that has passed:
2013 was a busy year for you Leo! Tell us, which project did you must enjoy working on?
LWX: As I love skateboarding, I wanted to create a project that focused on skateboard visuals and materials. I used a 3D skull as a centre point and I added other components such trucks, bolts and a deck wood effect and I appropriately titled the piece “Ride or Die”…Surprisingly it was actually a really quick project, I really enjoyed working on it!
We know how much you love your technology, is there any weird and wonderful new software you discovered?!
LWX: There’s no specific software, but I am currently focusing on fractals and chaos functions to use them in my live 3D projects. This technique also works really well for interactive visuals and music as it has a magical ability to humanize cold topics such as math and numbers…I’m really exited about utilizing this quality in future projects!
What would you say is your proudest moment of last year?
LWX: Definitely the animation I did for Eni! It was a really complex project for a really big client. I’m happy I had the opportunity to work on a piece that allowed me to create both the animation and the music and it was interesting to mix my language with pop culture: not just the images that were quite abstract for such a commercial work but also the music — in fact for this project I’ve made an electronic remix of Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop”! Since the video was released it has received a lot of positive feedback from all around the world!
Is there anything you would like to discover more of in 2014?
LWX: Right now I’m concentrating on interactive art performances and installations, and the integration of my 3D work on real shooting (movies and stills). Then I want to focus more on the human bodies, landscapes and objects.
Last year you conquered the art of 3D metallic liquids! What would you like to master this year?
LWX: Who knows? As I finish one project, my mind automatically starts wandering, always on the look out for what’s next. Ideas come in form of visions, either as stills or moving images — when that happens I’ll start finding a way to bring them to life.
Out of all the curve balls you were thrown in 2013, what would you say you found most challenging?
LWX: Because I work such long hours, I kind of overdid my Redbull intake… It helped me keep my eyes open but I drank way too much of that stuff!!! Luckily I found the way to stop guzzling it!
Who is your dream client to collaborate with?
LWX: Anyone and everyone that has nice vibes and is looking to create something astonishing to inspire people!
And last but not least: in many of your status updates you mention this word “nassa”, please can you share with us what this means?!
LWX: Okay, I hope you are sitting comfortably because is kind of a contorted concept to grasp… “Nassa” literally translates as “Lobster Pot” and once the lobster gets in the trap it seems that there is no way out. So in Florence it has become a slang word to mean that there’s a problem to solve — isn’t what life is all about?
Thanks Leo! That’s that problem solved!
At the beginning of the 20th century in New York City, nine artists and one businessman gathered together to lay the foundations of the Society of Illustrators, all guided by the following credo: “The object of the Society shall be to promote generally the art of illustration”. More than one hundred years later the association is still feverishly loyal to their motto, actively nurturing and promoting the work of the best illustrators on the planet, which this year includes the work of Ray Oranges and his the highly successful New York Lottery campaign “Thoughts”.
“I was really happy to receive the Society’s invitation”, admits Ray. “I have always dreamed to be invited to their annual exhibition and in the past I submitted an illustration, “Uncommissioned”, but unfortunately it wasn’t selected. You can imagine how great it was to know that “Thoughts” was picked to be in this year exhibition - thank you Jury!”
“I’ve just finished a video for a luxury jewelry brand and I wanted to have a bit more fun with gold. I’m quite accustomed to see gold used in jewels and fashion accessories but I wanted see in a liquid state, mixed with other materials created in 3D.
I also wanted to make them explode and visualize how liquids with different density collide - obviously the challenge was to find the balance in the composition.
I think that the moment when the explosion happens is very fascinating: it is an exceptional event that last a fraction of a second but has a lasting impact. Our perception of this event is somehow dilated, perceived as a slow motion made by our own brain and this is the reason why I wanted to create a series of artworks where this moment is captured.”
The 85th edition of Pitti Uomo has started today and as the tagline “Rock Me Pitti” suggests the fashion crowd is set to rock the Tuscan capital. To celebrate the world’s leading fashion menswear trade show La Rinascente has called seven leading artists, from architecture to paper cut, to visualize seven different musical genres for an art take-over of their window displays.
Ufo5 has lent is hand made paper cut skills to bring to life Baroque music and we caught up for a chat and know more about the project.
It’s quite interesting to see that there is no product in the windows.
UFO5: Yes it is indeed. However the concept was to create a sort of gallery open to the public 7 days a week for a month and a half.
Out all the musical genres you’ve picked baroque music: how did you come to this choice?
UFO5: I really like baroque music and I think that my work shares many similarities with it, like the importance given to craftsmanship and technical virtuosism.
How did you approach this project?
UFO5: I had to pay particular attention to the study of the location - as it is always the case with window installations. Then I’ve researched for images to inspire me like antique instruments, baroque patterns and paintings of musicians then in made a rough to scale of the installation. The paper was cut in my studio and then transported to Florence, where it was set up in one night.
That must have been a challenge:
UFO5: Actually the real challenge was to cut large sheets of paper with very intricate patterns and figures without the aid of any support other than the paper itself.
Was there a particular pleasant moment?
UFO5: Once the installation was completed the white sheet that completely covered the window was removed and the people that were passing by stopped and came to look what was happening. That was the very first time I could see the work completed and as you can imagine one thing is to see the work from the inside, as you set it up, one from the viewer’s position.
Were you happy with the result?
UFO5: Very much indeed - and Florence as setting has definitely helped!
After the astonishing result of Moncler’s IPO last week, the financial newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore and its Saturday supplement Plus have investigated on the scenarios the stock market holds for Italian fashion brands.
The article, after highlighting how a relatively small company that operates in the luxury market has become the best European IPO of 2013, delves deep into analysing if this could be a path suitable for other brands — and Ray Oranges’ illustration captures the sense of opportunity that lies ahead of the fashion industry.
“As I was reading the brief I had one thing clear in mind: I wanted to make a clear visual reference to Piazza Affari [the Italian stock market building] and turn it into a pattern. Then I needed to find the key element at the centre of the image but I didn’t want to do anything too literal — and boring.”
“At first I was thinking about adding elements from Cattellan’s brilliant sculpture that is located in Piazza Affari, especially as quite often sculptures are placed in the centre of the italian piazza. But then I looked at the main entrance of the building and it looked more and more like the shape of a purse and I imagined this elegant hand of a woman that it is about to pick this purse up and go somewhere interesting.”
Il Sole 24 Ore Plus “Piazza Fashion” is out today.
For most part of 2013 the most irritating people coming out of Canada were Justin Bieber and Avril Lavigne — not bad for a country with more than 33 million souls. But fast forward to October and here comes a new villain in town, Toronto’s Mayor Ford.
Mayor Ford is now globally renewed passion for booze, class A drugs and racial slurs but also for his very right wing approach to public spending. Toronto is the home of one of the best and biggest public system in the world and it’s no surprise that this non-profit service has come under the radar of his ruthless chopping board.
However the people of Toronto wouldn’t have any of this nonsense and decided to join forces and create a network called OurPublicLibrary.to in order to defend this valuable asset for the community. Machas Artist James Braithwaite and friend and animator Josh Ruskin joined their plight and created a very smart and witty viral video, we called James up to shed some light on their new work.
M: How did you get involved in this project? it is not an issue that affects your city as you live in Montreal, correct?
JB: I have worked with a great man named Bill Reno for a few years on a series of union related projects. He brought up the idea of making a video for the Toronto Library Workers Union, and I wanted to get my old friend, and collaborator Josh involved in the project. I do, however, live in Montreal, so I went down to Toronto for three months to work on this project. Sorry, Emily [James’ wife].
M: Who came up with the creative concept and how was it developed?
JB: The creative concept was devised by Josh and I. Our original idea was to steer clear of making a simple digital animation. Right from the beginning, we wanted to stay away from the clean and make the project feel tactile and handmade. So we decided to do something slightly crazy: I drew all the pieces, Josh animated them in After Effects, and the we printed all the frames out and bound them into a series of 6 books. From there, we re-shot the book in stop-motion to bring it back to life.
M: That was quite of a challenge!
JB: It was a bit of a nightmare but we had a book-binding wizard, named Ali Qadeer, to guide us through the darker bits. One of the main concerns was that the registration had to be spot on, or as close to spot on as possible, or the animation would be a wobbling disaster. Printing is an inexact science, so getting things to register for the books was a long process and we ended up cutting all the pages out by hand to make sure it was as close as could be.
M: Was there anything that you wish you’d done differently? Maybe a crack pipe in Ford’s hand?
JB: The Rob Ford thing happened right in the middle of production. It was a blessing and a curse at the same time. Rob Ford is the most hilariously awful politician since Berlusconi and we all love him dearly. I pray to the GODS ABOVE, that we never see film of a Rob Ford bunga bunga party.
M: This is not the first time you work with Josh, actually we can say you’re a great team! I mean you guys have won an Emmy and got nominated to an Academy Awards… How was working together this time?
JB: I have worked with Josh many times over the last few years, but this is the longest, most intense animation romance we’ve had since The Walrus. For a whole week, Josh was draped over my shoulders, moving my hands millimetres for each shot. It both was extremely romantic, and the closest I’ve ever come to killing someone.
In an age when even uber-wealthy types like Kanye West and Kim Kardashian are stressing about piling up as much royalties as possible just to be sure to provide for their spawn (really!), it is quite clear that money dominates the majority of people’s brain.
But unlike Kimye, most of us normal people are not really scheming to achieve world domination. Actually, being the owner of a winning lottery ticket would be quite an achievement. Even a frugal thousand dollar ticket would do — no need to be greedy! A healthy account balance would make most people happy, plus Mr. Brain wouldn’t get bogged down anymore by annoying money related worries. So what to do with all this free time? This is exactly what DDB New York went out to discover for their brand new New York Lottery campaign illustrated by Ray Oranges.
DDB NY had a clear vision of how to visually execute the campaign and, although they showed a strong interest in Ray’s work from the very start, he was asked first to participate in a pitch phase against two other artists. “It was a bit tense as this was the chance of doing my first ever campaign”, remembers Ray, “and I surely didn’t want to miss out on this great occasion!”
“For the pitch phase I was presented with six possible scenarios to chose from, and right after the initial conference call I had one word scribbled written all over my notepad: “simplicity”! So I opted for a scenario that would use just one colour and the sea as seen from above was the perfect solution.”
The artwork presented, an elegant woman on a boat sunbathing in the warm summer light , granted Ray the job and, under the creative guidance of the DDB team, he went on to create four ads that balance beauty with witty copy, spacious landscapes and the human figure. “Finding a good balance in the composition between the vast settings and the human element was relatively easy - the fact that I could create such landscapes allowed me to nestle the subject in a very organic way” explains Ray. “I have also tried to avoid referencing any specific location and to use one dominant colour so that it could be easier to create an empathic feeling with the viewer.”
This was Ray’s first foray into the advertising world, noticing a remarkable difference from the editorial world: “the purpose of editorial illustration is completely different from the advertising one: the first has to make an impact on the mind, whereas the latter aims straight to the heart. However this campaign was quite interesting because it blended the best of the two worlds: an illustration to win over the heart of the viewer and a strong copy to intrigue the mind - a very good mix!”
We got in touch with the man behind the ad Carlos Wigle, Art Director at DDB NY, and asked him his point of view on Ray’s work on the campaign: “We at DDB were looking for something unique that would cut through the clutter of the ordinary advertising convention. Our new lottery campaign required visuals that would catch the consumers eye in an artistic way creating a different type of band connection. When I saw Ray’s work, I knew he was the perfect fit. Ray has a great way of using negative space to his advantage. His use of color and texture can make even a simple scene feel extremely dynamic. The reaction to our campaign prove that his illustrations helped our insight come to life in the best possible way. Thanks Ray!”
The campaign has also been featured on the pages of the New York Times
One of the questions that we are asked more frequently is how we’ve found the artists we represent. We don’t have a rule set in stone: some artists contacted us, or sometimes it was the other way around and we made the first move. Or sometimes the artist belonged to the Machas Artist Network and after working together on a project we found ourselves thinking: “You know what? This guy is great, and ticks off all the right boxes — why not!”.
That is exactly how the story went with Ray Oranges: he has been on our Network for a while and after we worked together on a US campaign we understood that not just he has an incredible talent but he’s also a great guy, very professional and fun to work with — in fact it was not rare to see Valentina giggling behind her computer screen while working with Ray!
There is definitely something special about Ray’s artwork, especially the more abstract illustrations: he has the ability tell a whole story with just few well chosen details. The absence of cluttering matter, enhanced by the mastery use of long shadows and bursts of light, creates an emotional response in the viewer.
Although the message is always well communicated, strong and to the point, it’s never aggressive. Ray’s artwork doesn’t aim at shouting louder than all its surroundings — it doesn’t have to. The skilful use of full and empty spaces in the composition, with a predominance of the latter, is open territory for the viewer’s to fill it with one’s feelings, one’s experiences, feelings and experiences, creating a sort of meaningful dialogue with the viewer rather than establishing a relationship of command.
Since Ray’s illustration debut with editorial work, his style has rapidly evolved and is now exploring different outlets such as advertising and animation, whilst keeping his love for editorial illustration alive and kicking.
As per Machas’ tradition we met up with Ray to have a chat and get to know him better.
When did you start drawing?
RO: As a kid I had this magnifying glass and I used it to etch with the sunlight the plywood sheets I found in the garden. I drew what I saw around or the images I had in my mind, plus I loved the smell of burned wood! I think I’ve always been fascinated with bright colours, vast spaces and the shadows created by the sun.
You have a degree in graphic design and you weren’t always involved in illustration, correct?
RO: Yes. As soon as I’ve graduated I worked with different agencies and architecture studios. I’ve always been fascinated with architecture and I think that this experience has consolidated my passion for geometries and clean lines. I love geometry in illustration however I try to mellow the harshness of it by connecting them with flowing lines.
What’s your creative process?
RO: The first step is to turn on the music and blast out some tunes: Apparat, Jon Hopkins, Vector Lovers, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Daft Punk. Then I jot down all the words associated with the brief, I find the connections between these words and I write down other words associated with them. Next step is to represent all these words in the space of the illustration, trying to find a balance. When I’m happy with the result I make everything digital.
What does inspire you?
RO: Everything that surrounds me is a source of inspiration, as well as experiences and people. However I try to keep a minimal approach, without adding unnecessary details.
Why did you join Machas?
RO: We worked together and it was a very good experience, so I thought it would be great to be a part of this team.
You mean basket team, right? You must have known that we have other basketball players like yourself in Machas (like Jonathan Calugi) and you want to start a team!
RO: of course! I can totally see the parquet, the outfit, the ball — all designed by Machas Artists. We would make tournaments up against other agencies but we will trash them because we have Calugi!
Last but not least: is Ray your real name?
RO: Not really. I was Paris and after spending the a whole day at the Centre Pompidou I realised that the artist that impressed me the most was Man Ray. Ray sounds good with Oranges, my real surname, so it stuck with me.
Spiros Halaris’ versatile talent is able to capture the human body as well as objects with unparalleled elegance. The objects he portraits are often immersed in a natural or abstract surrounding achieving a emotional landscape.
His recognisable approach to still life made Spiros the artist of choice to create Bloomingdale’s press ad for the upcoming Fragrance Fête event; for one night only the costumers of the American department store will be taken on a sensory journey to discover the craftsmanship behind fragrances.
The ad has appeared on the pages of New York Magazine.