Archives for the month of: March, 2013

Gavin Turk, born in 1967, is a British artist and is considered to be one of the Young British Artists (also known as the YBAs); the loose group of visual artists who first began to exhibit together in London in 1988. Many of the artists graduated from the BA Fine Art course at Goldsmiths, in the late 1980s. Turk’s oeuvre or ‘theme’ plays with issues of authenticity and identity, engaged with modernist and avant-garde debates surrounding the ‘myth’ of the artist and the ‘authorship’ of a work of art. In the Herbert gallery, there were two pieces of work by Turk called ‘Signature Car Boots’, both 2007 (picture below, my photography as I ‘think’ it was allowed in this part of the exhibition).


IMG_20130321_112245These 3d pieces are stunning in person. As an avid car fan (even though I’m still only learning how to drive, and have no intention of getting a car when/if I pass), I really loved these sculptures (if you can call them that). There wasn’t too much ‘about’ these boots – they were both stripped of number plates and then signed by Gavin Turk himself. All the sign signature remained, and the signature acts like another piece of information about the car – so it poses as a collaboration between Honda (bottom image) and Gavin Turk (the artist).

A question/hint I read at the exhibition:

“Have you ever written your name on a piece of artwork you have done? Why did you do this?

Find the artist’s name on this artwork. Would you think differently about the artwork if it wasn’t signed?”

I think this sums up the concept behind this piece perfectly. It’s very simple and make it a very personal piece for Gavin Turk – as the artwork is ‘made’ by him signing it.


Johnathan Barnbrook of Barnbrook Design, was born in 1966 and is a British graphic designer, film maker and typographer. He trained at many institutions including the Royal College of Art. Barnbrook is arguably most-recognized for his design of the cover artwork of David Bowie’s 2002 album Heathen (pictured below) which featured the debut for his ‘Priori’ typeface.


This is particularly appropriate as Barnbrook cites record cover artwork as an early design influence, and possibly the interest that drew him to graphic design. Barnbrook is also a well known font designer. These are released through ‘VirusFonts’ and include Bastard, Exocet, False Idol, Infidel, Moron, Newspeak, Olympukes, Sarcastic, Shock & Awe.

At the Herbert Gallery, there was only one piece of work my Jonathan Barnbrook (I think). Pictured below, As Long As We Know What We’re Fighting For (1992) was featured on the longest wall of the exhibition next to the likes of Kennardphillipps and Blek Le Rat, and like these artist, stood out to me greatly.


I absolutely love this design. Standing in front of it, I ‘googled’ the title to find a High Res digital file, but couldn’t at the time so I left it til I got home (and still to this very day can’t find a single image on the net bar the above). I think the one of the single things that pops out to me is the use of branding. Texaco, the huge fuel company appear on this design. As Barnbrook founded his studio in 1990, he started to produce anti-advertising and political work in the aim to inform and educate people about social and political issues. In this above work, the US Air Force logo has been removed and replaced with the Texaco branding, making clear his feelings about the real reason for the war – fuel.

Apart from the concept behind the design, I also love it as a piece of design in it’s layout and shape. It looks very current and digital – something I’m finding an awful lot with Art & Design from the past. I know this is only 20 odd year old, but it looks something that the Illustrator would be perfect for. The use of photograph and illustrations (both of planes) is brilliant – the use of transparency with the illustration and the layers of shape give the piece a real depth – combining with the angle of the planes really gives you the birds eye view angle – making the piece look more realistic like a map/photography.

In whole, this was probably my favourite piece of design from the whole exhibition, and I really wish I could view a high res photo or even to see is with my own eyes again. This really makes me want to go back to Coventry before July when the exhibition closes to view this and many more pieces again.

KENNARDPHILLIPPS  are a collaboration (Peter Kennard and Cat Picton Phillipps) who have beed working since 2002 to produce art in response to the invasion (and war) of Iraq. It has evolved to confront power and war all across the globe; focusing mainly on the UK’s political figures. The work is made for the street, the gallery, the web, newspapers & magazines, and his lead to workshops that develops peoples’ skills and help them express their thoughts on what’s happening in the world through visual means. There were a number of Kennardphillipps’ work in the Herbert Gallery, many of which I loved.


The first piece I saw, which is pictured above, was a image called Photo-OP (2005), and has become synonymous with anti-war movements and has appeared in numereous publications, newspapers and television programmes since it’s release.

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair (pictured above) strongly supported te foreign policies of the US in his reign from 2000 to 2008. Together the US and Britain led the invasion of Iraq in 2003. This met with strong political and public opposition and millions across the world protested. The playwright Harold Pinted accused Tony Blair of being a war criminal, and this lead to this very design.


This is the 2nd out of 3 or 4 pieces by Kennardphillipps in the Gallery, this one called Solider 1 or ‘Soldier’. It was displayed on a (estimate) a 22ft long, 8ft high wall in the middle of the main art exhibition room. We also discussed this piece in a lecture the following day (back at Uni), and it was very interesting to find out what other people thought about it, including people who could distinguish hidden factors that helped us come to conclusion of what the piece meant. As you can see, the main focus of the piece is the Solider kicking through a door in this very bold, strong, action-filled pose. Below him, is what looks to be a flip flop lying on the floor – this could have something to do with the standard attire of an Iraqi, and then relating to the object we often wear in the ‘heat’ of summer – whether it be a rare occasion in England, or a trip into Europe and the rest of the world in the summer months. You then see very subtle, blurred silhouettes of what seems to be humans – probably intentionally the people of Iraq, signifying us (the UK/US Soldiers) are infiltrating their country, their homes and more importantly their lives.

This piece of work has been displayed in many different forms of media – usually billboards, or in exhibitions, but I love this version, where Kennardphillipps have made more of a 3D model using printouts and just gave the solider his own space off the canvas:


Shortly after entering the Herbert, and after seeing the first piece of work by Banksy, my eye was drawn to these two colourful typographic pieces by Michael Peel. The two pieces the Herbert featured were War Graves (1991) (top image) and Warning (1996) (bottom left image, other two completed the series but weren’t featured in the Gallery.).



These two pieces of work featured in The Herbert are part of Michael Peel’s Modern World series; were the designs were created in response to the First Gulf War & Political events, and use images and pieces of text taken from the media. ‘Warning’ comment on the conflict in Yugoslavia, and War Graves was design about the soldiers in Iraq; with the images being rather ghostly implying that’s what they will inevitably become.

These pieces are designed using visual hierarchy that is designed to bring the eye into the piece and guide it around smoothly. You can therefore imagine how this was one of the very first pieces of work I was drawn to. I really like both these pieces – they both use very simple grid arrangements, using a back background, with borders varying between white, grey and black, and then a black and white image. He then uses newsprint type on top on the image as the title, using highly contrasting letters, rotating the use between type and background each letter. The more subtler type in these piece are what interest me an awful lot. They make the pieces look very informative (which they are), like a poster, but the way they are under lapped and ‘faded’ in with the backgrounds make it all seem very fluid.

I also love (on War Graves) how Peel has let type ran off the page into black space (without a page border). It makes me want to read more in to the artwork – finding out what the sentences would say complete and the meaning behind why they are used. It also gives a very nature and un-edited feel – like the articles was simply roughly cut out off a newspaper – but very clean in the process as the edges are smooth, crisp and form a perfect rectangular shape. Again, subtle uses of colour in the circle and plus signs in each bottom corner give the piece more personality, and more reason to doubt and question why they are there.

At entering The Herbert Gallery in Coventry, we immediately (as a group) went in to the main art exhibiton room, and on the very first wall infront of us, were pieces of work by Banksy. I have been a huge fan of Banksy since (around) 2006 as I saw a piece of his work on Brick Lane, on my first EVER visit to London. I have previously talked about Banksy in an ITAP Lecture – rather in the same way he was portrayed at The Herbert. The first piece of work by Banksy, Napalm, 2004 (pictured below), was situated next to Suburban Summer Evenings by Bob Barron (pictured below), painted in the early-mid 80’s.


(c) Bob Barron; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

They both feature versions of Nick Ut’s 1972 Pulitzer Prize–winning photograph of nine year old Kim Phuc; the girl that ran down a road nude near Trang Bang after an Air Force napalm attack in South Vietnam. Banksy is somewhat ‘known’ to be this ‘original, new, street artist’ – and don’t get me wrong – I love Banksy and his work, but there were people before him, such as Blek Le Rat (to be featured later), who had similar ‘outrageous and controversial’  styles to Art, known as Satirical Street Art. You can see in these two images how both artists have used the iconic image in a controversial manor; taking the mick a bit with how they have been used and concept behind the piece. Out of the two, I prefer Banksy’s take on this iconic 20th Century photograph, as it has more of a visual concept and the viewer can easily understand it’s meaning. Banksy probably learnt from Barron’s ‘mistakes’, and then obviously applied his own style. The below images, Bomb Hugger (2002), top image, and CND Soldiers (2005), bottom image, were also works by Banksy both featured at the Exhibiton.



CND Soldiers was positioned next to Desert Storm by Blek Le Rat (image below). Another little ‘play’ by the exhibitors placing artworks next to each other that one was clearly an influence to the other (Le Rat being the influence to Banksy).


Both are forms of Satirical Art, with Banksy playing on the Soldiers supporting CND and peace – which is the total opposite of their profession, and Blek Le Rat using the desert camouflage pattern (which is quite big and has made it’s comeback into fashion at the moment), with birds and bats camouflaged in, and the stenciled design of the solider (with no eyes), and the symbols of execution.

This was one thing I wasn’t expecting from the exhibition prior to going to see it, and was pleasantly surprised at finding two of my favourite street artist had been featured in it.

Brian Donnelly, born in 1974, professionally known as KAWS, is a New York-based artist and designer of limited edition toys and clothing. He graduated from the School of Visual Arts in New York with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in illustration in 1996. After graduation, KAWS briefly worked for Disney as a freelance animator painting backgrounds, and contributed to animated series’ such as 101 Dalmatians. He began his career as a graffiti artist as he grew up in New Jersey. As he moved to New York City in the 90s, KAWS started subverting imagery on billboards, bus shelters and phone booth advertisements. These reworked advertisements were at first left alone, lasting for several months, but as KAWS’ popularity skyrocketed, the ads became increasingly sought after. In addition to New York, KAWS has done work in Paris, London, Berlin and Tokyo.

In the late 90s, KAWS began to design and produce limited edition vinyl toys, which were an instant hit with the global art toy-collecting community, especially in Japan, where this genre is well respected and widespread. KAWS has participated in commercial collaborations with Nigo for A Bathing Ape, Original Fake, sneakers with Nike and Vans & many more.

Below are a few of my favourite toys, images and designs by KAWS:


Posters KAWS did with the streetwear brand Supreme featuring Kermit the Frog, photographed by Terry Richardson. This was made into a toy by Supreme, aswell as being an advertising range for Supreme’s basic box logo tee.


This was a piece KAWS did for the Stussy (another streetwear, graffiti brand) store in LA. As you can see, the design goes over doors and door frames, and leaves the handles clear. I really do love this design, and I do have a better picture that my friend had took, but neither of us could find the High Res file.


This is the Original (Original Fake) toy KAWS designed. this model/design was the first toy produces, and has been adapted into new colour ways, developed shapes and style, and then onto new toys for other brands and collaborations.

KAWS toys all look very good photographed – and this is how I know of KAWS’ work, as I’ve never seen one of his toys in person. I really like how KAWS has created and adapted his style – you can easily notice a piece of work by KAWS compared to many other artists. The range of work he has produced he made him very well known, working with brands such as Bathing Ape and Musicians such as Kanye West – which are both very well publicised. KAWS has created his very well known style, and this is something which I am to so within my graphic design and illustration.

Alfred Ambrose Chew Leete was a British graphic artist who was born in 1882 and died at the age of 51 in 1933. His career as a professional paid artist started when the Daily Graphic accepted one of his drawings at the age of 16. He later contributed regularly to a number of magazines including Punch magazine, the Strand magazine & Tatler. As a commercial artist, Leete designed numerous posters and advertisements, especially in the 1910s and 1920s, for brands such as Rowntrees, Guinness and Bovril. His series of advertisements for the “Underground Electric Railway Company” (the London Underground as we know it) were very well known, and extremely under wraps as the only was to view the work is to visit the London Underground Museum  His work as a wartime propagandist includes the poster for which he is the most known; The “Lord Kitchener” Poster Design, which first appeared on the cover of the weekly magazine London Opinion on 5 September 1914.


The above image is the first ‘edition’ of the Lord Kitchener Ad, featured as the cover for the London Opinion. This cover was the very first edition to be seen by the world. The below image, was edited by the printers, and they added the background/paper colour and made the fonts bolder.


This design was printed over 54 million times in all forms of sizes and on all types of media and adverts. The design was ‘aimed’ to bringing in 100,000 new volunteers, as the UK was the only country in Europe at the time to use recruitment and not conscription, meaning the UK required volunteers and couldn’t pick people to join the army. In fact, the design prompted an extra 500,000 English volunteers for the First World War. It’s no wonder that Campaign Magazine voted the Lord Kitchener Poster Design the second best Ad of all time.

Over the years, there have been many imitations of this design – including other counties such as America, Germany & Russia. My favourite of the bunch is the Uncle Sam imitation (from the USA). If anything, I think the Uncle Sam design (image below) is more famous than the original – I know it was pictured in my History Room at High School, and when I thought of the I want you campaign (for this lecture), I thought of the Uncle Sam edition.


I prefer this design because it is much more patriotic – the colours (or should i say colors) really relate to America with the red, white and blue and the use of the stars. The font also works a lot better on this one – its much bolder and looks more digital than the original, although it was only done three years later in 1917. The colours are much bolder and richer, and the outlining of the letters really brings them out of the white space. The image is a lot sterner also – giving it more of an impact on the eye.

I’ve heard today that this type of propaganda imagery may/will be at the Exhibition in Coventry we will be visiting next week, so I expect this research and my opinion to give me more of an in depth experience.

Today, March 14th, our ITAP lecture was combined with the Animation course for a lecture from our guest Tim Allen. Tim has been a professional animator for thirteen years, and has worked on many Feature films, Commercials and TV series such as Frankenweenie, Corpse Bride, Fantastic Mr Fox, Peter & the Wolf, Shaun the Sheep, Fireman Sam, Creature Comforts & many more. He focuses in Stop Motion animation – something which I am quite interested in, and probably my favourite area/type of animation, as I find it quite do-able without too much equipment/props.

The lecture was very good – Tim was very informative in his methods and his journey from college to work to where he is now. Tim spent 18 months doing part time work for the council, and then had un-paid work experience with a number of names before he got his first professionally paid job. It was great to see some of Tim’s work from when he was at Uni – I know that wasn’t was important to me as it was for the Animation students in the lecture, but it was great to see the level clients require, compared to in education.

Another aspect I found amazing were the auditions Tim had to do for jobs he had applied for. He would received documents showing the style and personality of the character – such as its mouth when talking, their walk or their posture when standing still. Tim would then make a short animation using the puppet, and the client would asses him on that. He would often have to add his own opinion on to how the puppet would move, talk or finish – and sometimes the client wouldn’t like these touches, but would give him the job knowing that he was capable of doing it right in the future.

The final element I was amazed at (before I talk about some of Tim’s work), was how critical the clients/directors/producers were. Tim shown us footage at a frame by frame rate, and would explain were the client has picked out his bad points – such as a leg moving too fast in frames 1-5 and then slow in 6-10 when it should be a fluent movement. But with the strict time frame animators are on, Tim couldn’t just go back and re-do the areas that were wrong – they would just have to run with it, and see what could be edited out frame by frame.

Images below are some of my personal favourite pieces of work by Tim, including Creature comforts, Fireman Sam and many more.






Imagery from


Riccardo Tisci is a 38 year old Italian Fashion Designer. In 1999, Tisci graduated from London’s Central Saint Martins Academy with a Degree in Art & Design, and in 2005 was named Creative Director for Givenchy Womenswear, and in May 2008 he was also named as menswear and accessories designer of the Givenchy men’s division. Tisci has an apparent fascination with Gothic touches and space-age minimalism, which have both drawn new attention to the Givenchy brand.

The first range, and my favourite by Tisci for Givenchy is ‘Rottweiler’ Series first featured in the Fall/Winter 2011 range. This range featured sweaters and t-shirts, all featuring the Rottweiler print, my favourite two are pictured below:


Givenchy then went on to use the Rottweiler print on a button up shirt as a second winter release in 2011, and returned in the Spring/Summer of 2012 with 15 Graphic Print T-Shirts, including one with a mixture of the Rottweiler print and a flower print, pictured below:


After the huge success of the Rottweiler print within the High Fashion and Streetwear cultures, Givenchy created a series of phone/tablet cases, wallets/purses, bags and accessories with the Rottweiler print on, and then created a Pre-Autumn Graphic Print T-Shirt range, and due to the Rottweiler dog print had being a massive success, they continued with the animal theme.

I am forever scouring eBay for ANY of the Rottweiler print T-Shirts or Sweatshirts, but with the demand being so high, whenever I can bid on an authentic item, someone in the world is always willing to outbid me. This is my favourite Givenchy range by far because it doesn’t follow the same ‘guidelines’ as many other High Fashion brands. These ranges fit in with an average outfit so easily – they are more ‘urban’ than anything Givenchy had produced before. The quality of the items is outstanding, and anyone would be very lucky to own one piece from this collection.

Another of my favourite ranges/additions from Riccardo Tisci was the Givenchy Watch The Throne Tour T-Shirts. Worn on stage by Kanye West and Jay-Z on The Throne Tour (which I was lucky enough to see), these t-shirts pictured the ‘branding’ behind Watch The Throne perfectly. As Tisci had designed the videos, the Album Cover aswell as the covers for the released singles, it fitted perfectly that he designed the clothing for the tour too. Kanye West himself was a big wearer of the Givenchy Rottweiler print, and the two ranges I have featured have many similiarities.



I am probably very biased being a huge fan of this Album and the tour, I did really like the apparel created for this tour. I don’t usually buy merchandise from concerts and tours I attend, but I would have brought T-Shirts from this tour hands down. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a chance, because I had a Maths Exam the following morning, as soon as the concert ended, we left very quickly and ran to the train station, so we didn’t have time to go to the stands, and being positioned in the standing stalls didn’t help. Pictured below is the T-Shirt I would brought if I had the chance at the tour (circles in red). As you can see, it is a simpler model than the tee’s worn by the artists themselves, but extremely similar and have the same style.


After developing the previous cover, I decided to make one cover per song, much like “Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy”. These four images below are the final developments up to the final feedback session with Jane on Thursday. I’m sure more will be added after that session, along with a poster, back cover(s) and inlays etc, and they will be featured on here after completion.

Click the image for High Res & Zoom.