We’ve reached the conclusion that something must be going on in Holland and Dutch brains that we can’t grasp. If not, we can’t understand why their creativity -and their madness- are in a whole new level. To show you we are not a bit over the top, we present Studio Job, a pair of designers that are up for everything. Their Neo-Rococo (we allow ourselves to name their aesthetic) is shown in wardrobes, dinner tables and pottery. They’ve even created a dinnerware set inspired in the Last Supper! They’re also outstanding in the lighting field; they’ve got chandeliers, a reworked Eiffel Tower or luminous tits (we want them NOW). If you, demanding beings, are still not convinced about how cool this guys are, we can say they also design wallpaper that would make some mum’s faint and they work hand in hand with Viktor&Rolf in their catwalk scenographies. Not bad, right?
If there are capital sins at all, in Spain we’d always have the envy sin hanged on the back. We are, culturally, quite jealous of our neighbour upstair, the one below, the one by us and everyone of the block in front too. We sometimes get so green with envy that we could be easily confused with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles country.
Put it down to that or because we got a saying that actually says “no one is a prophet in his own land”, we seem to forget that our gross creative product exists and it’s good enough to be there with foreign schools. Like Noelia Lozano, Graphic Designer and Art Director from Madrid. After working for the prestigious Serial Cut studio and having published in magazines like Computer Arts or IdN, this freelance presents us a very talented manual work, with a turn to the analog versus the digital. The know-how, the colours and shapes are the best paella and sangria that Lozano can export. Olé!
Sheer fabrics, fringe, dégradé, fluor, more fluor, stripes, spandex, bright pink, more fringe if there wasn’t enough before, pattern layers, leopard print, denim, overalls, tye-dye, waterproof garments, American flags, are we forgetting something? Oh, yeah, more fringe. Don’t you worry, we’re not in the middle of a seizure in Matalan, we’re just naming SOME of the elements that designer Bernhard Willhelm has used for his upcoming Summer fashion collection.
As big fans of excess that we are, we admire the eclecticism that this German (he’s got nothing of the strict and square clichés) combines in all of his designs. You might think “shit, I wear two patterns together and I instantly look like coming out of Woodstock”. That’s the point, my friends. You gotta go beyond – stripes and checks together are already boring, as fringe and dégradé are -, now you have to let your hair down and just put on everything together. It’s gotta be done in the Bernhard way; all or nothing.
In Biology, symbiosis happens when there’s an association of individuals, animals or vegetables of different species and both parts get benefits out from their life together. This nature phenomenon can also be found on the clubbing and drinking territories and inside the music industry, where that intense union of DJ’s and illustrators take place. But if there’s a pair that is above all due to their perfect combination this is, without a doubt, that formed by our beloved nordics Bendik Kaltenborn and Todd Terje. Illustrator and DJ have been collaborating for years now, building a bright colour and disproportioned figure imagery and creating a visual universe that totally fits into what Todd’s music is.
There is a reason behind us mentioning this pair today; it’s not just because we love the electrifying rhythms of the Norwegian musician or because we think it was one of the best gigs at Sonar 2014. We’re mentioning it because, thanks to the Apolo (Barcelona) booking guys, this 28th of November, Todd Terje will be here live and club about to leave us in a zombie state for a week or so, who knows if also showing Bendik’s visuals. As a therapeutic method, here at La Monda we recommend you to listen to his last release “It’s Album Time” to endure the week ahead and, if you still think this is not enough, play the various versions of Standbar while you have a look at Kaltenborn’s portfolio. Sounds about right!
Photographer Hubert Crabières comes from Paris and he is not the gray tone kind. His characters pose in the strangest, least attractive and more bizarre ways they can. What’s the use in complication. He places them in front of the camera and they show pure untidiness and little shame, creating moments as cheeky as excellent.
Crabières has a sinister but delightfully grotesque touch that turns his images into something more than just portraits of a generation; they are examples of rejection to beauty, which, at the same time, makes them more appealing. For Hubert, colour and composition are basic when shooting. He has no fear of over-using flash if needed and generates such a weird athmosphere that makes us want to know what’s going on behind his pictures.
The true esthete doesn’t need any reasons; an object takes over a place not for functionality, an act is not deliberate but born in the guts, things happen just because. The esthete eats a steak while throwing confetti and listens to someone playing Brahms’s compositions backwards just because. Because it’s artistic. Speak old English dressed in Moorish tunics with a lobster on his head, just because. Because it looks nice.
Lonneke Van Der Palen must be a bit of an esthete because, even though we can’t find a clear reason behind her pictures, they’re so graphically amazing it’s difficult to ask “why”. This Dutch artist/photographer specialises in still life and finished her studies in the prestigious The Hague Royal Academy of Art on 2011. That’s like, yesterday. Van Der Palen, who has collaborated with publications like Elle, Glamour France, Dust, Wad, Frame or Bullet, uses objects, both everyday or luxury items, nearly like a chromatic excuse to create her aesthetic ode. Just because; and she hits right on the spot.
Switzerland is a European country known for their extreme punctuality, their exquisite manners and their constant neutral position in every political shenanigan that’s going on. Not only these clichés define Europe’s #1 tax haven (chocolate and cuckoo clocks are on the list too), but Swiss are also exceedingly good in the graphic design area. Besides being the creators of the more than used Helvetica type, they constantly promote new aesthetic ways inside the graphic communication world. An example of this is the poster master Felix Pfäffli and his design studio Feixen, who present us a collection of posters where typography mixed with degrade and bright colours and compositions that challenge the neatness of the Swiss 70’s design are the main course. He is the perfect example of the new design wave of the neutral country that can’t stop being a trend in Europe; it is not the most functional of them, but aesthetically is just too much.
Washing your hands it’s a thing you do automatically. But do you also do it systematically? There are about 1500 bacteria per square centimeter. Does your automatic hand-washing technique clean all dimples and edges of your hands?
Dave Hakkens wanted to make the world a better and cleaner place and he succeeded. He came up with some brilliant hand washing design for us to never miss a dirty spot. Breaksoap is the perfect OCD wet dream. You break a block of soap. You rub your hands with it. You let it solve completely. And you are finished. Completely washed. That’s easy isn’t it? You think you got it? Let’s do that again; take the breaksoap. Break it. Touch it. Rub it. Turn it. Solve it. Clean it. Auto-matic. When you start to feel the rhythm it becomes pretty pleasant. Break it. Touch it. Rub it. Actually, you are unstoppable. Actually, you’re a washing MACHINE. Clean it. Auto-Matic.
If Magritte would raise from the grave and he saw British artist Mat Maitland‘s work, he’d probably get down on his knees and he’d kiss his feet. It turns out that we’re already in that very position, praising Mat’s collage projects. Without the shadow of a doubt, he’s the king. His work is like a perfect fruit salad or a rave party in a tropical forest (and lots of drugs). It’s a shame is not only us who’s in love with this guy (we’re a bit possessive that way), since others with an eye as good as ours have already hired him. Brands like Kenzo or Hunter have collaborated with Maitland for their campaigns and artists such as Kylie Minogue, Jean Paul Gaultier, Goldfrapp or Michael Jackson have been his clients. Do you remember that cover for the Xscape album? Yeah, Mat did it. Kneel down with us!
Do you remember those times when they said that extreme specialisation was a good idea? Those times when there was people that committed their life to studying the ways of mating of a certain type of crab that only lives in like 5 miles of beach in the world? And can you remember those who thought that the opposite way was the way to bathe in champagne and oysters? Those who said “you gotta know how to do everything and how to do it well”? Filming, editing, painting, illustrating, building and, if needed, singing popular songs with satanic voices?
Jonathan Zawada demolishes all theories. He’s specialised in his thing (“his thing” as something really wide, what he can do, “the touch”), and, at the same time, he’s broken professional barriers being, on the paper, a Graphic Designer but also going into fashion design, illustration, product design and so on. His work has been published in many many places (Pretty Ugly, Precursor, Juxtapoz, Bullet…) and he’s also held exhibitions. Jonathan Zawada is the way to follow, he’s the talent transcending. I’m sure he can even sing popular songs in satanic style.