With the passing of David Bowie still fresh in our minds, we pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and remember what he taught us: If you can imagine it, you can live it. This week, we get turned on to an amazing Brazilian street artist with a Cure fixation, lose ourselves in a colorful, complicated woodcut three years in the making, and watch mystified as a two-volume book set mimics…rain? (Previous Cool Designs of the Week can be found here.)
The Cure for Ugly Street Art
If you had told us that Brazilian street art inspired by The Cure’s Robert Smith would be some of the most eye-catching art we’d see in the first month of 2016… Well, suffice it to say that Butcher Billy has somehow blended eye-poppingly bright colors, gorgeous illustrations of Mr. Smith, and a ’50s horror comic sensibility to create stickers, cards, posters and other novelties that are both absurd and endlessly inventive. Each takes a lyric from The Cure and runs with it in a gloriously madcap way. Rarely have we seen anything that so clearly takes advantage of the texture of the paper it’s printed on and the simple joy of artistic expression – wonderful, wonderful stuff.
Wild Woodcut Print Design
Normally we’d be worried that the stats behind this woodcut would outshine the print itself: three years of work, created from 5 plates (including 4 color blocks and a black block on top), all carved on 3/4″ birch plywood. But then you begin to drink in the details of this 46″-x-30″ triumph and you realize how unfounded that worry is. This print, “Overlook,” by Valerie Lueth and Paul Roden of Tugboat Printshop, stands on its own gorgeous merits. A limited run of 100 copies can be pre-ordered now.
“Chove (It Rains)” Book Design
We’ve been accused of “concrete thinking” more than once, and usually run a mile lest we be dragooned into “appreciating” abstract art or design. But there’s just something about designer/artist Henrique Martin’s two-volume visual celebration of rain. The 128-page first volume, “Narrative,” uses various symbols loosely or densely distributed to create an overall simulation of rain as you flip through its pages. The 96-page companion volume, “Processes,” hits you with the artist’s notes, sketches, and research. Both books feature exposed spines so that they may be opened fully, the better to show off the artwork inside. (Those curious about the types of bindings used will want to download our free Binding Cheat Sheet.)