In September of 1970 the band called Alice Cooper had been living out of their suitcases for a year; playing gigs across the country nonstop since leaving California in 1969. Choosing to put down roots in just outside of Detroit, in the center of the Midwest rust belt, proved to be one of the best decisions the band ever made, both creatively and financially. With two commercially unsuccessful albums behind them, Michael Bruce, Glen Buxton, Vince Furnier (aka Alice Cooper), Dennis Dunaway and Neal Smith were at the threshold of turning their music into Gold and Platinum for the first time. In the dawn of a decade bookended by The Beatles and Punk Rock, Alice Cooper exploded as a revolutionary force in theatrical American Rock ‘n’ Roll.
Alice Cooper in the 1970s: Decades, a new book by UK-based author Chris Sutton explores the story of Alice Cooper from their early years as band of five guys through to the end of the decade, when Alice launched a solo career after the band dissolved.
Award-winning aerial photographer Brad Walls, also known as Bradscanvas, has just released his highly-anticipated new series, Pools From Above – an ode to the beauty found in the shapes, colors and textures of swimming pools. This unique and never-before-seen perspective uses Walls’ clean, minimal aesthetic to visually showcase interesting pools from around the world.
Inspired by his travels throughout Southeast Asia and within his own home country of Australia, Walls’ journey initially began by capturing the bodies of water simply to document holiday memories. It wasn’t until picking up the bestselling Annie Kelly coffee table book Splash: The Art of the Swimming Pool, however, that Walls began investing time and passion into curating a series, stating that “As I turned each page of Kelly’s book, a wave of childhood nostalgia washed over me, spending hours in the pool over summer.” Paying powerful homage to Kelly, Walls’ series chooses to keenly focus on pools’ elements of composition from a bird’s eye view. “I fell in love with the lines, curves and negative space of the pools, which – without alternate perspective from a drone – would have been lost.”
Pools From Above is also an integral part of a much larger project which is aimed at a book release in the not-too-distant future, as Walls says “The response from viewers has been positive, asking for the series to be among their coffee table books.” Looking ahead, once the world finally re-opens, Walls has no plans of slowing down. He plans to capture even more world-renowned swimming pools across an array of idyllic locations, including Palm Springs, Mexico and the Mediterranean.
Since bursting onto the photography scene in early 2019, Brad Walls has gone on to produce award-winning photographs and garner worldwide media attention, with a primary focus on capturing aerial portraits of athletes like synchronized swimmers, gymnasts and ice skaters from unique perspectives and angles that audiences are normally unable to see. He is a featured artist for the Inaugural 2020 Aerial Photography Awards in October 2020, and already shortlisted for the Drone Photo Awards in Siena, Italy, within the Sport and People categories. You can view the Pools From Above series at This Link!
Oh man, I can’t even tell you how much I miss being able to go out to see new art, or attend my favorite design shows, such as the Architectural Digest Design Show and ICFF. Maybe you feel as I do, and are looking for new, creative ways to fight lockdown boredom, while also exercising your artistic talent and flair for design. If that is the case, then you will be excited to hear that manufacturers of custom, Mid-century design furniture, Joybird has created a free, downloadable coloring book featuring 8 escape-worthy living spaces for the interior design lover to color as they choose To start coloring, download the PDFs available at This Link and print them – it’s that easy. Here are a few of the cool room designs included.
Joybird would love to see the designs you come up with, so feel free to share your creations on social media with the hashtag #joybirdcolors.
Scene From 1944 Film National Velvet Starring Elizabeth Taylor
Horses have long been a source of inspiration for writers. While they are often viewed as books for younger readers, the truth is that some of the finest equine stories are recommended for people of any age.
Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
This is probably the most famous book about horses ever written. You might think that it is a children’s tale because of the animated film versions it has inspired. Yet, Black Beauty is a serious tale about the need to better look-after animals. The story is told by the horse itself. We learn that this noble animal has a variety of owners over the years, with some of them being kind to him and others treating him badly. He meets a variety of interesting characters and lives through some tense moments.
Black Beauty was the author’s only published book and it was a massive success. Black Beauty helped the public to gain a better understanding of animal welfare and possibly led to some of the legal changes that were introduced now long afterwards.
National Velvet by Enid Bagnold
You probably know of this book mainly because of the wonderful 1944 movie that featured a young Elizabeth Taylor alongside Mickey Rooney. Velvet Brown is a 12-year old girl who dreams of riding a horse in a race. She wins a horse in a raffle and learns how to ride it. At the end, Velvet wins the Grand National Steeplechase on her beloved horse. The story is unbelievable, but the book is slightly less dramatic than the movie. It is definitely worth reading regardless of whether or not you have ever seen the famous film version.
The Red Pony by John Steinbeck
This is one of the famed author’s earliest books. It follows the life of Jody, a boy who grows up surrounded by horses on a Californian ranch. While he loves being around horses, Jody also lives through a number of dramatic moments with them that teach him valuable life lessons. The Red Pony was first published by magazines in 4 different chapters, all between 1933 and 1936. All of the stories were then gathered together in a single book that was published in 1937.
Jody is the main protagonist, rather than a horse. However, many of the book’s best stories involve horses and their impact on the people around them.
Horse Heaven by Jane Smiley
This book takes a close look at the world of competitive horse racing. It is set in California and provides a fascinating insight into what goes on behind-the-scenes at big race meetings. A rich variety of characters – both human and equine – help to make this an interesting read from start to finish. The action takes place over the course of a couple of years and feels sort of like a glamorous soap opera in a type of setting we don’t normally get to see.
Horse racing fans will be pleased to find out some useful information on the sport and how it works. Even if you have never looked for the latest Kentucky Derby odds on horses, there is a lot to like about Horse Heaven, though.
The Kellys and the O’Kellys by Anthony Trollope
In The Kellys and the O’Kellys, we get to see behind-the-scenes of the Irish horse racing business. Since it was originally published in 1848, it is also a historical look at the sport and the country in those times. The main characters are called Martin Kelly, and Frank O’Kelly. While much of the plot centers on their money and love lives, the horse racing element helps to bring it to life. A well-worked hunting scene also adds to the excitement.
These are all terrific examples of books that feature horses, but there are plenty of others for you to explore, too.
Over six decades, Elaine Lustig Cohen (1927 – 2016) moved among diverse activities, including art, design, and rare-book dealing. She began her career as a graphic designer in the mid-1950s, extending the vocabulary of European Modernism — Constructivism, Dada, and the Bauhaus — into an American context for publishers, architects and cultural Institutions.
From 1962 to 1967, she helped shape the Jewish Museum’s intuitional identity, directing the design of catalogues, posters, booklets and other printed material for its progressive exhibition program. At the same time, Lustig Cohen developed a hard-edge style as a painter, with a formal language of solid colors, abstract geometric shapes, and minimally visible brushstrokes, her paintings directly relate to her design work and to the movement called Postpainterly Abstraction. Lustig Cohen’s artistic contributions demonstrate that the lineage of Postpainterly Abstraction should been expanded beyond the fine arts to include postwar graphic design.
One of Lustig Cohen’s key projects was the design of book jackets for Meridian Publishers. Drawing on her knowledge modern typography and avant-garde design principles, such as asymmetrical composition dramatic scale, and image montage, Lustig Cohen forged a distinctive graphic voice.
For book jackets, she described her process as one of distillation, in which she would identify the central ideas of the text and render then abstractly with bold lettering, expressive forms, and playfully collaged photographic elements.
“My Favorite Color is Rainbow” (All Photos By Gail)
It must have been some kind of cosmic coincidence that, while walking to the train after attending a late night Birthday party for Randy Jones, best known as The Cowboy from ’70s Disco legends The Village People, I passed right by the iconic NYC department store, Bergdorf Goodman, and got a face full of this mind-blowing, disco ball extravaganza window display.
My Favorite Color is Rainbow is just one in series of over-the-top window display tableaus created by W Magazine in honor of Italian fashion editor and stylist Giovanna Battaglia‘s new book Gio_Graphy: Fun in the Wild World of Fashion. The hardcover book is described as, “A witty guide to living the glam the life from an international style star, featuring hilarious anecdotes, fashion advice, and much more. Dubbed a “cyber icon” and “fashion heroine” by the New York Times, Battaglia is known for her colorful street style and fun-loving personality. Her monthly column in W chronicles fashion, art, and adventure. In this, her first book, she has written an irreverent how-to guide for dressing for every occasion, finding fashion inspiration, living stylishly, and having fun while doing it. Heck Yeah!
Covering style and beauty for daytime, nighttime, travel, and work, this book is brimming with chic and inspirational wisdom, from how to pull off bold fashion moves like barely-there tops, enormous hats, and powerful reds; advice for how to survive fashion emergencies (like what happens when you show up to an event in the same dress as someone else); and her secrets for donning multiple outfits in a day (bodysuits are key). Also featured are tips and tricks she has learned from fashion-world friends. Filled with humor and style, this is a must-have book for anyone interested in fashion and having a good time.
If you can’t make it to Bergdorf Goodman (located at 754 5th Avenue (at 58th Street), New York, NY 10019 you can buy the book (which has a publication date of October 24, 2017) at This Link!
A few weeks ago, we went over to The Fashion Institute of Technology to check out the 2017 MFA in Illustration Visual Thesis Exhibition, which was entitled 13 Stories. It is while visiting the exhibit that I discovered a cool Pink Thing created by FIT student and MFA candidate Necdet Yilmaz, who is a native of Turkey. Necdet’s visual thesis, Happy Tank, is a story about a little machine built for war that doesn’t want to fight. Happy Tank must be sent to war, but refuses to fire at a large building where a child is seen crying. For disobeying the order, Happy Tank is decommissioned and melted down. The story concludes with Happy Tank being recycled and used to construct a playground years after the war is over.
Screen Shots from Happy Tank Animated Film (Above and Below)
Necdet explains that this project “is related to my written thesis, War Themed Childrn’s Books and Propaganda. In wars, children are often affected and exploited as a propaganda tool. However, my project is in opposition to what I researched in my thesis. Personally, I am inspired to create these piece because of my background. My home country, Turkey, is located near the Middle East where there is constant war. This instability affects people in the region, like myself, economically, socially and psychologically.
“This body of work is executed in three different mediums: animation, print in the form of a children’s book and toy design. Using pdf software and animation for the first time while I was creating this work was an exciting challenge for me. I learned a lot about myself while discovering the intricacies of unfamiliar technologies. In particular, especially, when I created the animation I learned how designing three-dimensional characters, objects and environments, using different camera angles, lighting and sound in combination enhanced my creative skill.”
Given our political climate today, Happy Tank could be considered more relevant now than ever. You can see more projects by Necdet at his website, located at This Link.
Photographed in the Museum at FIT, Located on Seventh Avenue at 27th Street, as Part of the 13 Stories Exhibit, which is now Closed.