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Thursday
Jan152015

art basel miami: cb2 + dan elliott

What: ‘Freedom Lies in Being Bold’ art installation, by Dan Elliott
When: December 5-6, 2014
Where: CB2 South Beach Miami

Last month during Art Basel Miami, artist Dan Elliott not only installed but created ‘Freedom Lies in Being Bold’ in CB2’s South Beach store windows.

An artist and graphic designer who plays at the intersection of his two fields, Dan uses expressive and abstract forms that interplay with typography and bridge the often murky waters between art and design. His work ranges between hand­-cut stencil typography, letterpress printing and photography.

This specific project was a branch off the map series Dan has been building where he utilizes hand­- cut typographic stencils to expose sections of vintage road maps. In that series, the phrases used express notions of ideals or place in regards to the location the road map portrays.

For the first time, Dan ventured away from using maps as the surface and instead focused on communicating those same notions through the marks on the canvas as well as the composition of the typography and relationship between each panel.

‘Freedom Lies in Being Bold’ knocked out of bright, bold, colorful and layered strokes reflected Dan’s feelings of Miami­—warm, bright, bold and free.

For more about him, check out Dan’s artist profile. For more about the installation, read on!

First, working as stencils, hand-cut black vinyl letters about 25” tall are applied to four canvas banners, each banner measuring 41” wide.

A large printmaking roller was used to apply the bright colors—it was a serious workout, even with an extender added to the inks to help make them a bit more transparent and mix a bit more than usual on the canvas. For the actual inking process, one color was applied at a time—starting with layers of the yellow on the first day, and following with magenta and cyan on the second day.

When the inks were dry, the vinyl letters were removed to expose the canvas and create the bold typographic message and the large scale piece was ready to install.

The banners were constructed with a pocket at the top and bottom to slide a dowel rod through and create an even, flat wall hanging. The final installation measured 108” tall and 164” wide—the far left and right banners hung about 6” back from the windows with the middle two banners hanging about 18” back from the front banners to further enhance the depth and dimension of the piece.

Thursday
Jan152015

artist profile: dan elliott

Where was your favorite place to live?
Chicago. Easily. By Far. The food, the people, the art, the community, the culture, all amazing. However, I don’t miss the parking tickets.

What’s your favorite room in your home?
I would have to say the kitchen. I love food and I love cooking with my wife.

What are your sources of inspiration?
Life. Music. Art. Books.

What do you drive?
A motorcycle. currently an older Honda (which is a work in progress). My dream is to own an old BSA or Triumph.

What one item do you wish you owned?
An old BSA or Triumph. ha. aside from that I would love to own a Vandercook Universal IV letterpress.

What are your interests outside of design?
My family—my wife and two small boys. Motorcycles. Travel.

Who are your design icons?
I’ve always been inspired by the avant garde movements of the early 20th century (the Bauhaus, Dada, Russian Constructivism, de Stijl, etc). El Lissitzky, Kurt Schwitters, Theo Van Doesburg, Piet Zwart, László Moholy-Nagy, as well as the folks they paved the way for: Armin Hofmann, Emil Ruder, et al. 

In your opinion, what is the best designed item of all time?
Hmmmm. The alphabet. Written language. It has the ability to be a physical vehicle for countless languages allowing people to communicate to one another without requiring the two to be in the same place at the same time.

Form vs. function?
Yes please? I guess this depends on what I am working on, but a good relationship between the two never hurt anyone. A spoon with a hole in the middle of it isn’t good for eating soup however cool it looks.

What is your personal decorating style? 
Eclectic? Maybe there is no real style. I like things with character that tell a story through the dings they’ve picked up over the years or flaws through the process of making it.

What’s your favorite possession?
Prints/art I’ve received from family, friends and other printers. I have a growing collection and each piece reminds of the person I received it from. 

What was/is your biggest indulgence?
Taking the long way home.

What’s the best career advice you ever received? Ever gave?
Work hard doing what you love and don’t worry about what other people are doing. Do it because you are passionate about it, not others.  Also, don’t wait or look for permission, try it and don’t worry about failing.

To see all of Dan’s current works for CB2, go here.

‘Freedom Lies in Being Bold’ Art Basel Miami Installation, 2015

Monday
Jan122015

watch: menswear

Friday
Jan092015

spring favorites: april

copper arc table lamp
a great way to show off stylish
light bulbs!
suspend media console
marble and mid-tone have never looked so good together!
atrium display cabinet
I would love to start a rotating art installation inside…like a mini storefront window display!

Thanks to april, catalog merchandise manager, for this submission.

Thursday
Jan082015

how it's made: frida and diego pendant lights

For centuries, the people in the south of Mexico have made use of the palm plant—a sustainable natural fiber that grows abundantly and wild.

The word ‘makaua’ in the Nahuatl —or Aztec—language has two meanings: hand to hand; or the act of giving a hand.

More than 700 families are a part of this project and each and every hand that has touched these products is recognized and valued—each one makes this story possible.

Artisans use the techniques that have been passed from generation to generation—beginning with the simple process of cutting, boiling and letting the palm branches dry under the sun.

Next, the palm fibers are braided into long strands making them more durable and easier to build into large forms—such as placemats, sun hats or baskets.

Palm strands are dyed into beautiful custom colors which artisans use to create interesting patterns. Sewing machines are then used to stitch the strands together, finally giving shape and dimension to the oversized shades of the frida and diego pendant lights.

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