Chinese artist Xu Lei has been selected to follow in the footsteps of Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali and design the label for the 2008 vintage of the French winemaker Chateau Mouton-Rothschild. Click through to see the best of previous labels…
The theory of patterns
From the structure of a black hole to the weave of a tea towel, patterns are integral to the fabric of the universe.
Noticing that the relationship between architecture and patterns had not been addressed in almost 30 years, architect Paul Andersen and assistant professor in the Department of Architecture at Syracuse University David Salomon set out to create a thorough and academic study of how pattern is has been used in the discipline, both now and in the past.
The new book, The Architecture of Patterns, draws on the work of international architects to dissect the various formal and functional capacities of forms such as the elastic diagrid and promiscuous diagrid.
As well as tracking the definitions of a number of patters in a variety of fields, the books also suggests how patterns can evolve for in the design of the future.
The book is a challenging read – one that I wouldn’t care to approach without a good dictionary – but succeeds in documenting and theorising the way in which patterns and definitions of patterns are changing.
The Architecture of Patterns by Paul Andersen and David Salomon is available from Norton, priced at £18.99.
Damien Hirst: Spinning Into Control
I’d never have guessed that inspiration for a creative/design blog could have come out of a car showroom, but so it did. Whilst I was browsing around an Audi showroom last weekend, a salesman presented me with some sales literature about the launch of the new Audi A1, for which Damien Hirst has designed the bodywork for a one-off custom model.
Damien Hirst is one of Britain’s most famous living artists – and certainly the wealthiest. When Charles Saatchi said that he would pay Hirst for whatever he decided to create back in the early ’90s, he (Hirst) was always going to be on to a winner. As was Saatchi, as it turned out. There are a few artists who can pretty much do anything and it will instantly be worth a fortune; Tracey Emin being another example. Hirst is probably most famous for his shark in formaldehyde – or, as it is actually called, The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living – which cost him £6,000 (including to have the shark caught) and earned him £50,000 from Charles Saatchi, who then went on to sell it for a whopping £7 million to an American investor who donated it to the MoMA in New York.
Back in 2008, Sotheby’s hosted an auction of 96 pieces by Hirst. Every single one of them sold, raking in £70.5 million – the most expensive being the Golden Calf which sold for £10.3 million. Whilst money clearly makes the world round, a sceptic might argue that selling a dead cow for a lottery-winning amount of money is just a little bit loopy. So it’s refreshing that Hirst has done his bit for charity this time in this collaboration with Audi: the car was sold for £350,000 this year in support of the Elton John Aids Foundation.
Those familiar with Hirst’s work outside of preserved members of the animal kingdom will know that he is fond of a technique called spinning. As the name suggests, paint is dripped onto a canvas which is then spun around, letting the centrifugal force push the colours and lines in whichever direction the laws of physics might take them. More paint can then be added and the canvas spun again to get a layered effect.
Hirst first started creating spin paintings in the same year as he won the Turner Prize – 1995. At first, the critics seemed a bit confused, suggesting that it didn’t take much artistic talent to create a piece of spin art. Not even a steady hand. Hirst replied that he did indeed first get the inspiration from watching children’s programme Blue Peter, but the fact that he is still spinning and is also one of the most collectible artists in the world confirms that it wasn’t just a whim.
With the production of the custom-designed Audi A1, the question is how Hirst managed to adapt this process to work with the panels which make up the car’s body. Well, the answer is that he didn’t, really; he just used a much bigger turntable. But it was no mean feat to unbolt the doors, side panels, tailgate and bonnet – as well as cut off the roof and rear panels (which are welded together) – and secure them so that they could be spun at high speeds. And it was Hirst who was at the helm from start to finish – not an assistant; it even says so on the vehicle’s registration document.
I suppose the one thing that occurs to me is who would want to drive it? It is, after all, a fully-functioning and road-legal car. But then again, it’s also a Damien Hirst artwork, so I wouldn’t be in the least bit surprised if it ended up sitting in some climate-controlled garage somewhere for the rest of its days. Unless, of course, it somehow finds its way to the MoMA to sit beside the shark…
by Ashley Morrison
Ashley is a blogger, copywriter and editor
Camberwell School of art has produced some great designers and artists since the second world war.
What was the key region that influenced a great many of these creatives?
I will add artwork during December 2010 from the 2 regions that will have you intrigued.