Archive for April, 2009

The aesthetics of monsters

14 April 2009

Extraordinary insight from a NY Times op-ed piece today on the book Pride and Prejudice and Zombies:

Monster stories are a projection of our collective anxieties — and that may explain why in the current economic downturn, zombies are starting to catch up with the long-fashionable vampire. Vampires are sleek demons for good times. They suavely leach off society — like investment bankers who plunder outsize shares of deals for themselves or rapacious fund managers.

Zombies are more bluntly menacing. When they rise up, what results is a “zombie apocalypse,” or complete social breakdown. That image resonated in 1968, the chaotic year when “Night of the Living Dead,” the black-and-white zombie classic, was released. And it resonates today, when the banking system teeters on the brink of collapse and once-solid companies like Lehman Brothers are melting into air.

“Vampires are sleek demons for good times.” Yes, it does feel like we’ve no more blood left to drain, doesn’t it?

Hand-sketching logos

12 April 2009

Working on a logo for a little concept project. The brand name is Cloudfish. Ever since reading this book I’ve been doing a lot more exploratory design work by hand, so for this one I did a bunch of sketches with cut paper, origami, and watercolor. For this fishie, I used tissue paper layered on top of watercolor paper and bled the pigment from it with a wet sable brush.

Green porno

5 April 2009

Is Isabella Rossellini the only woman who can be elegant while humping a giant model of a fly? I think so.

I just discovered her Green Porno series on the Sundance channel, which totally blows my mind. Basically a set of mini webisodes pantomiming in graphic detail the mating habits of insects and sea creatures, Green Porno has it all: snail sadomasochism, 69ing earthworms, nymphomaniac flies, hermaphroditic fish. The sets and costume design smack of lower school plays, giving each minute-long episode an ironic charm. It’s especially funny how she plays the male animal in each mating pair, her silky, feminine voice explaining the unspeakable things she intends to do to her invertebrate lovers.