Author Archive for: Alessandra Baggio

Alessandra Baggio

About Alessandra Baggio

Trevigiana di nascita, cittadina del mondo. Laureata in Economia per i Beni Culturali all’università Ca’ Foscari di Venezia. Affascinata dalla creatività, dall’Arte, dalla musica e dal design: mi piace tutto ciò che scaturisce in me curiosità.
    JORDDVN ATELIER

    JORDDVN ATELIER

    Minimal mood, essentiality and harmony are the essential for the illustrations of Jorddvn Atelier, an extraordinary duo made in the empire state of Brussels. Excited by fashion, internet culture and commercial, Jorddvn Atelier expresses itself through bright visions of the real world giving a sense of naïve and of absolute harmony.

    But less words and more talk, let’s go deep in our conversation with Jorddvn atelier.

    Hélène & Ferdinand
    Hélène & Ferdinand
    Logo
    Logo

    Who hides behind the name Jorddvn atelier ?

    We are Hélène and Ferdinand, we are in love, we are almost 25, we are French and we live together in Brussels for five years. Our small apartment is also the place where we do all of our creations. In “real life”, Hélène is a graphic designer and Ferdinand is a web writer. As far as we remember, we both have always loved to draw. But one year ago, Hélène had the idea to create a postcards collection by combining our drawings on a same support : that’s how Jorddvn Atelier was born. When she has a pen, Hélène draws small thoughtful characters, some teasing hands and mysterious shapes. Ferdinand has fun at inventing impossible clothes and everyday objects. We both have a very spontaneous approach of drawing and we love to clash childish visuals and sexy and erotic content.

    Little by little, our atelier has grown : we’ve made stickers, notebooks, t-shirts and more recently tote-bags. Step by step, all these creations led us to experiment different creative processes : cutouts, cadavres exquis, Photoshop…
    Indeed, it’s not that easy to build harmony with four hands and two brains ! We can say that our main and daily challenge is to combine both our styles and references on the same place with harmony.
    Since we created our Etsy shop, our creations traveled all around the world : in France, Holland, Canada, the USA, Germany, Belgium… and soon in Italy ! And thanks to social medias and more particularly Instagram, we met people with who we did very nice collaborations : we’ve made an illustration for the Pussy Party Collective, a Planned Parenthood based in the USA ; we’ve created t-shirts with Petit_Shirt, a French textile studio ; and we’ve also drawn tattoos with Rozita_ttoo, a girl from Hungar.

    Postcards
    Notebook
    Stickers

    What inspires you?

    To be honest, we’re very curious ! We mostly get inspired by classical art : Modigliani, Vermeer, Léger, Matisse, Botero, Bosch, Le Douanier Rousseau, Brueghel… All these painters are fully part of our imaginary creative. But we are also fascinated by contemporary and popular iconography : clips (Ferdinand worships Nicki Minaj…), fashion (Balenciaga, Raf Simons, Fendi, Vetements…), commercials, Internet culture, movies, sculpture, design, minimalism, nature, ​tattoos. We are used to saving a lot of pictures on our computers and to re-draw them on our very own ways.
    We’re also amazed by all the creations which are exposed on Instagram. This social media is so rich and leads to know so many artists ! Lately, we’re fascinated by ceramic creations…

    Gauguin revisited
    Nicki Minaj & Da Vinci

    Do your works want to deliver any message?

    As you might have understood, we love to mix up a lot of styles and eras. So, with a little bit of pretension, we can say that we deliver a “post-modern” message because of our taste to blend references together.
    But we are far from trying to deliver any political message into our work. When we draw, we just let our hands get expressed without trying to evoke any discourse. Our process of creation doesn’t work when we start by thinking of what message we can deliver. With experience, we noticed that it prevents our creativity to pop up. For example, a few months ago we wanted to participate to a poster competition. There was an imposed theme to respect, something like “the future of the world”. We tried and tried, but finally we didn’t like none of our works, so we decided to abandon the project!

    To conclude, we’re more like avoiding to deliver a message to let people just interpret our work as they want to. We believe that the most important message is being just appreciated.

    Tote-bag
    T-Shirt 1

    What is your relationship with colours?

    Most of our illustrations are drawn with black pens, with no colours. We want to keep a minimal mood in our creations, we don’t want to add colours because they saturate our drawings.
    However, we use colours as a tool to highlight harmony between both of our drawings : we keep on using only three different colours (green, blue, pink, yellow) as backgrounds or pattern shapes. It allows to create a conductive thread all along our creations.

    Shoes
    Shoes
    Tote-bag visual
    Tote-bag visual

    How the place you live inspire your work?

    Brussels is an amazing city regarding culture. Here, there is always something to do  : exhibitions, clubbing, little shops… All this effervescence led us to hope that 2018 will be the year in which we will get exposed for the first time. And it might be the case! We are actually planning a collab with a little second-hand shop named “La Caravane”, in which we’ll be soon exposed for a month.

    Poster
    Poster
    Sticker
    Sticker
    Postcard
    Postcard
    Photo credits: Jorddvn Atelier

    Big thanks for their disponibility

    Find out more on Jordvvn Atelier:

    The doodle-shaped world: David Shrigley

    The doodle-shaped world: David Shrigley

    Do you know the feeling when you are mad at someone, you want to shout out your inner feelings and you turn the worst things on earth over in your mind? Ok, there is no need to overthink about bad and unlucky situations, David Shrigley has already put everything on paper.

    Born in Macclesfield, UK in 1968, David Shrigley is part of the leading generation of British contemporary artists, achieving recognitions and great success in the entire world. He received his BFA from the Glasgow School of Art in 1991 and was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2013.
    Shringley’s best known works are doodle-like captioned images that capture the absurdity of human conditions, it is a great mixture between clear honesty and nervous introspection. Here lies the genius, being able to shout through these capital handwritings the feelings of the world of today.

    “I suspect that the deformity displayed in my work is a natural curse, as I am not very good at rendering beauty”, that’s how the British artist thinks about his oeuvres. In fact, drawings look deformed and cartoonish, as if they came out of a confused trauma. He works sloppily and haphazardly:” it’s not the kind of drawing where you’re trying to get their eyes in the right place, you’re just trying to tell something as directly as possible. It’s something between handwriting and drawing”.

    painting-look-closely-untitled
    Dirt

    Albeit drawing cartoonish figure is possibly one of his most recognised practice (see for example his collaboration with Danish retailing chain Flying Tiger in 2016), he works even with a wide range of media including sculpture, animation, photography and music.
    In September 2016, he displayed a giant thumb-up in Trafalgar Square, London titled ‘Really Good’, commissioned by the Fourth Plinth Commission. The seven-meter bronze hand, with elongated thumbs up was promoting the ever-optimistic positivity of the British spirit.

    Really Good

    His animations aim at narrating slices of life always in a grotesque and satiric way: there is always humor in his animations in how he presents topics and issues of daily life. Animations such as ‘Lightswitch’, ‘New Friends’ or ‘The Flame’ want to show off what Shrigley’s calls “the economy of telling stories”.
    Quoting Shrigley: “My work is fiction, it’s not autobiography, and the things I say, the voice of my work, isn’t necessarily my voice. It’s the voice of an invented character perhaps.”

    nw-6-13-56
    Black Polish
    The faceless memories of Gideon Rubin

    The faceless memories of Gideon Rubin

    Gideon Rubin is a contemporary Israeli artist based in London. He started painting only at 22 years old when, soon after his military service, he travelled to South America. Since then, as he said, he didn’t find anything that was particularly good at, so when he discovered painting he thought “I’m not letting this go”.
    His oeuvres are distinguished by the mindsets of nostalgia, intimacy, sensitiveness and flawlessness. The spectators, who find themselves in front of his artworks, have to create a sort of personal dialogue with the piece of art: seeing the piece of art becomes a reconstruction of a memory that has vanished within the years, as if they have to fill the voids with their own memories.

    Gideon Rubin

    Gideon Rubin found himself in New York when the tragic facts of September 11th occurred. After seeing this tragedy, he understood he had to share his point of view in a more direct way. He abandoned his observational painting style in order to adopt a straighter method. From then, he started painting old dolls and toy soldiers in a peculiar and new way: only traces of their facial features were left.
    Gradually he began painting people again, but becoming much looser and more simplified when inspiration came from anonymous portraits found in photograph albums of early 20th century. As he says:” I loved the anonymity of the subjects. On the one hand, these people had nothing to do with me—unlike my earlier paintings, which were of myself, my family, and my friends; on the other hand, it was as if each of these people was holding a key to a story, a history that I was trying to tap into.”

    Untitled
    Untitled
    Ladybug
    Ladybug
    Untitled
    Untitled

    Rubin selects characters and scenes which he conveys onto canvas or linen. Using broad brushstrokes and a muted palette the figures and landscapes are often abstracted; details are effaced and scenes move in and out of the picture plane. The surfaces of the paintings reveal strata of previous paintings or are scraped back to reveal the canvas beneath, in other instances Rubin leaves entire areas of canvas untouched so that they become integral parts of the work whilst drawing attention to the paintings support. Embedded within layers of paint or receding from view it is as if his selected characters are entrenched in multiple histories or are unrecoverable in the here and now.

    When art becomes music (or music is already a piece of art)

    When art becomes music (or music is already a piece of art)

    Let’s make an experiment. You hear a track where the following people who made history are mentioned: Elizabeth ‘Lee’ Miller, Man Ray, Anne Boleyn, Henry Tudor and Pablo Picasso. What do you think you are listening to? What would you choose between an audio book of the latest publication of art critic Philippe Daverio or an indie rock song?

    Put your headphones on, push play on this track and check it by yourself!

    Surprised? You shouldn’t! Alt-J are not new to this kind of inspiration for their lyrics.

    Former fine art and literature students, the trio met at the laundry of University of Leeds and, after a conversation about British visual artist David Shrigley, they decided to start a band. After all, as Joe Newman (voice + guitar) reveals “I basically went to art school to start a band”. Triangles are their favorite shape (listen to Tessellate to get this reference), in fact their symbol is a delta ∆ that comes out if you type Alt + J on a Mac. They seem to pretty like making allusions on the delta: take in example the cover picture of their debut album ‘An Awesome Wave’. The artwork literally depicts the delta of Ganges river in Bangladesh: it is a multi-layered image of the river where this multitude of colors arises from different background radiations.

    Their songs and videos have more cultural references than a book of Bruno Munari. The song ‘Taro’ is completely about photographers Gerda Taro and Robert Capa, the video of ‘Tessellate’ is a clear reference to the fresco ‘Scuola di Atene’ by Raffaello, part of the lyrics of ‘Breezeblocks’ are inspired by Maurice Sendak’s children’s picture book “Where the Wild Things Are”, ‘In Cold Blood’ is named after the homonymous book by Truman Capote, just to mention a few.

    A picture taken from music video 'Tessellate' and comparison to 'Scuola di Atene'

    But let’s go back to ‘Deadcrush’. The song is based on the creepy concept of having a crush on someone whose dead. But it is not as bad as it seems! The band thought about going on a date with an historical figure who particularly inspired each member of the trio. Who did they pick? American photographer Elizabeth ‘Lee’ Miller, poet Sylvia Plath and… Anne Boleyn.

    Going through the lyrics you can get a brief biography of these DC (deadcrushes). The first verse is dedicated to the photographer and it tells about her beauty, in fact she was a model before becoming a professional photographer, her liaison with Man Ray and her rumored affair with Pablo Picasso. Lee Miller started her career in New York as fashion model and, soon after 1929, she moved to Paris where she wanted to become Man Ray’s apprentice announcing to him “I’m your student”. In fact, she became his muse and collaborator and many of the photographs taken in this period credited to Man Ray were actually taken by Lee Miller. During the Second World War she was war correspondent for Vogue, covering events such as the liberation of Paris and the concentration camps of Dachau and Buchenwald.

    Anne Boleyn in the music video directed by YOUNG REPLICANT

    The second verse is about the life of Anne Boleyn and the fact that Henry Tudor left her lifeless in 1536. In addition to this, there is a reference to an unknown artist who painted one of her most recognizable portrait. Just to light up your curiosity: did you know that after her execution, many of her portraits were destroyed for fear of upsetting the King? No?! Me neither, I discovered it listening to alt-J!

    Exploring creativity: a chat with Andy Rementer

    Exploring creativity: a chat with Andy Rementer

    Imagine yourself wandering lonely in a city you discover for the first time. Put on your glasses and try to observe people surrounding you. You possibly feel overwhelmed by busy people running all over the places keeping up with their daily life activities, checking the time or making important phone calls regarding the upcoming meeting with the Japanese clients. Then stop over a café and, while sipping your chai tea latte, take a window seat in order to take a closer look to the city encircling you. You notice an ad panel plugging the latest film starring the actor you love most, that man with a nice hat having a smoke and that cozy terrace where people are sunbathing. That is what I feel every time I lose myself in Andy Rementer’s artworks.

    Andy Rementer
    Andy Rementer

    Born in the USA, Andy Rementer graduated from the University of the Arts in 2004 and, after an Italian parenthesis working at Fabrica (one of Italy’s most creative and inspiring place, in my opinion), he settled in the US where he shares his creativity and his life with Margherita Urbani.
    He divides his working life between drawing, cartooning, painting and animating. Moreover, he counts many important collaborations with The New Yorker, MTV, We Transfer and Pull&Bear, just to mention a few.
    Andy Rementer has the capability to give a sense of flatness in a three-dimensional perception of the surrounding space, where every detail is distinguished by contrasting bright colors but defined by black outlines. The result is a peaceful universe, an idyllic picture of our messed-up world.

    How and what influenced you developing your style?

    There are many factors that have influenced me over the years. I remember discovering underground comics as a young adult, and being very inspired by that. Cartoonists like Robert Crumb and Chris Ware are early heroes of mine. I also studied graphic design, so I feel there is a strong sense of order, composition and typography that influence everything I do. My time spent living in Italy, where I made frequent trips to Venice and was surrounded by beautiful art and architecture also had a profound effect on my creative growth.

    A page from a Sketchbook, Venice
    A page from a Sketchbook, Venice
    APARTAMENTO MAGAZINE
    APARTAMENTO MAGAZINE
    How does inspiration works in your mind? And what is for you inspirational?

    I never understand how, why, where, or when inspiration happens. I guess it occurs the most for me while working deeply on something. Often a visual thought or creative gesture can unexplainable lead to something bigger and better, and that, for me, is very exciting. In general, I get inspired a lot, so that’s why I carry a sketchbook with me wherever I go, so I can record my thoughts and observations for later… otherwise I might forget!

    DC Shoes x Pick Me Up London
    DC Shoes x Pick Me Up London
    Illustration for the International New York Times
    Illustration for the International New York Times
    How your daily life experience and your connection within the city you live affects your drawings?

    I live and work in a city, and love to travel to cities, so as a result I get a lot of inspiration from that. I love observing characters, gritty urban textures, as well as overheard conversations. All of this stuff filters into my sketchbook and my work somehow.

    Do you see yourself as an artist?

    I see myself as an artist because creativity is my means of expressing myself.

    ASICS Gel-Kayano Evo_One With the City
    Cover of Volkskrant Magazine (The Netherlands)

    To know more about Andy Rementer’s universe just click here: andyrementer.com

    When school matters: the Antwerp 6

    When school matters: the Antwerp 6

    Antwerp in the late 70s was a quiet Flemish town known in the outer world for being the mother town of the 17th-century painter Peter Paul Rubens and for the trade of diamonds; but the destiny of this calm center on the borders of Belgium was meant to change. By the 80s six designers took over the city’s old-fellow trademark and turned into the avant-garde couture heaven that is today. This mutation took place in the so-called ‘Koninklijke academie Voor schone Kunsten’ (also known as Royal Academy of Fine Arts) where, under the teachings of the talented fashion designer Linda Loppa, six exceptional fashion designers graduated between 1980 and 1981.

    Dries Van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester, Dirk Van Saene, Walt Van Beirendonck, Dirk Bikkembergs and Marina Yee represented a turning point in fashion: they were the rare phenomenon of a group making an impact on international stages simultaneously. It was not only a matter of managing fabrics, but a new manner of idealizing fashion: couture was no longer connected to artistry, lavishness and abstraction but it merged imagination with deconstruction becoming a surrealistic totality. The Academy itself thought a crucial lesson to the ‘Six’: what is important in the fashion industry is to be creative and to differ from the others: “when you leave the course, you know how to design, and nothing else”. They did not have the urge to emerge and to succeed in the immediate future, avoiding massive advertising strategies. They had this naivety to believe that one day they would make it.

    Antwerp Six

    The breakthrough occurred in 1986 when they rented a van and took to London for the British Designers Show with their collections. The first impact of these foreigners was not positive, but by midday of the next day, thanks to self-made publicity, they attracted many journalists and Barney’s (the American chain of luxury department stores) who made the first orders.

    The name just happened: they have been named ‘Antwerp Six’ by the British press in a way to get around the difficulties of pronouncing their surnames. Since this phenomenon started many kept asking questions as: “What’s in the tap water in Antwerp?” or “What’s up with these six?”, “What is the magic formula behind this collective?”.

    The sextet found itself in the right place at the right time: the world was changing very fast becoming a melted global community and, in addition to this, Belgium was heavily investing in fashion funding, subsidizing the ‘Textile Plan’. Moreover, the fashion industry was mutating: there was an opening and a will to invest on young experimental talents. The designers after that, they all went on with individual career and became famous singularly each one with its own distinctive style.

    Anne Demeulemeester's boys
    Who is an art advisor?

    Who is an art advisor?

    It is not easy to be oriented in the insidious art market to who are unfamiliar with the rules and dynamics of this evolving market. This might seem treacherous and it could mask hidden danger. For this reason, a new professional figure has been set up in the private banking area to take on the demand of specialisation: the art advisor.

    Starting from 1980s, art advisory has become a core service both for banks and art galleries. The first finance corporation to have embodied among its functions the art banking service was Citibank in New York. As today, this service was reserved to the High Net Worth Individual, so to people who have the possibility to invest a large amount of money and that place trust in the bank. At that time investing in art was a cost-effective investment, due to the glorious rise of the international art scene. Consequently, this euphoria led to the 1989- 1990’s speculative bubble and to the destabilization of artwork prices. Nevertheless, during the 1990s art prices started rising, following the outcome of the stock exchange indexes. Due to this rise in value, this facility spread out to other international banks such as Ubs, Deutsche Bank, Paribas and Schroders.
In Italy not every bank offers an art advisory service: 44% of the banks do not offer the service at all, 28% of the banks have this service as an outsourcing, 15% of the institutions have it within its services whereas 13% is staging the facility.

    What does an art advisor do? Generally, the role of an art advisor is to guide his clients through the art market making recommendations on which artwork is profitable to buy. He points out suitable investments, underlining reference values and indications referring to processes of enhancement, transportation, conservation and legal issues. His work includes after-sales support such as market evaluation, heirloom consultancy, insurance and artistic/historic issues and authenticity certifications. It is not to be forgotten that he has to be constantly up to date with the art market situation as one of his tasks is to keep his clients abreast. The purpose of the art advisor is to guide the purchase choices of the client in a long term period of time supporting his aesthetic, cultural and artistic values broadening his horizons to an international context. The sustainability of the purchase entails the knowledge of the operating principles of the art and financial market. In addition to this, the art advisor needs to be familiar with all the mechanisms of buying and selling, how prices are set and which documentation is suitable for a purchase.

    Can art be an investment?

    Can art be an investment?

    Quoting Andy Warhol: “being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art. Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art”. Is it possible to enhance one’s income through accurate and focused investments in art? In recent years, we have seen that this is more than reality.

    Due to the financial crisis that occurred in 2008, art has become a commodity and the life of an artwork follows the same life-cycle stages of shares in the stock exchange market. A piece of art is bought by a collector, it will probably rise in value thanks to the work and efforts of galleries and museums and, in a mid-long term, it will be sold again in order to benefit from it increased economic value. It is to be said that art, differently from standardized methods of investment, has the ‘power’ to keep a permanent value: it is difficult that an important piece of artwork would be devaluated.
    Art investment is a popular method of diversifying the investor’s portfolio in economies where there is high inflation, where financial markets are less developed and more volatile. That is why in MiddleEastern and Far-Eastern countries this type of investment is more common compared to European or North-American nations.

    Andy Warhol, "Dollar sign"

    Different are the motivations why investors are willing to buy art.

    For most wealthy individuals, emotional motivations are the foremost reasons for buying art. Art pieces can be enjoyed for their aesthetic value, to be shared with friends and with the general public. Owning pieces of art confers to the patron a high social status, also becoming a property to be inherited by future generations. Almost two-thirds of the treasure purchased by collectors from all over the world is held because of the pleasure that it brings them. Heirloom is a strong motivation for collecting art. This means that collectors are willing to protect and keep together their treasure in order to be shielded through generations. Investors who maintain precious pieces of art, antiquities and jewelry in their property, do so mainly because it is part of the culture and tradition of their family. Art can be bought for social motivations. It is connected to the pleasure derived from the fruition of the artwork. The purchaser confers to the oeuvre an aesthetic betterment and a high symbolic value. This hedonism is originated from a long and devious path, through which collectors cultivate their artistic tastes and define their parameter in order to outline their art collection. This typology of collector is not usually affected by speculative and financial aspirations.