Bunny of Leaves

Bunny of Leaves

In the same way the embroidery tattoo trend of a couple of years back caught peoples attention this image’s idiosyncratic use, or illusion of material on an unsuited canvas is captivating. There’s always the question of how and why certain animals are anthropomorphized in the way that they are; A fox, perhaps because of the similarity in hues to that of autumn leaves would seem to be the obvious choice for this composition. Is the grey mold, should we take the shapes to be comprised of a man made material merely mirroring nature. The dead eyes and whiskers might suggest that. The eye’s realistically aren’t merely dead, they aren’t blended and don’t interact with the form. The eyes almost feel like Pareidolia made evident. It’s as if the artist saw it and is here sharing the experience. Nothing this perfect it likely to be found and that’s without the unnatural coloring that takes sometime to actually appreciate. The image is an assemblage of leaves, but there aren’t bits and scraps lying around a digital space. The intrusion of the unnatural elements (the eyes and whiskers) might then suggest that we neither see or appreciate icons, archetypes, symbols, within nature. It is only through the reshuffling and manipulation, through the re-contextualization of our devices that we can see, and fail to recognize meaning in our environment.

Design by: NemiMakeit
Price:  $22.00 @ DesignbyHumans
Colors: White, Navy, Blue, Black, Grey

Bicycle Wheel

Bicycle Wheel

Supposedly this is an image depicting the very first of Duchamp’s “readymades” (circa. 1913), which seems like a bit of a misnomer. In the context of fine art ‘”readymade” seems as though it were once interchangeable with the term “found object”. As Duchamp assembled this object from two disparate elements it is hard to see how it might be considered “found” or “ready made”; Both terms seem to imply a Homunculus, or ‘fully formed’ state of being prior to the re-contextualization of an object from the Mundane to that of fine art. Looking at the more famous example one wonders if ‘R Mutt’ is really “found” if the signature wasn’t also there to begin with. The signature feels like an apology upon a piece that is suppose to be and have been revolutionary.

Nevertheless this work is important to the history of art. It speaks to Dada and even suggests some of the principals of bauhaus in the simple geometry the photograph itself captures. As a design, independent of context, it works as something refined in its simplicity; within context though, if one sees it and knows anything of Modern Art, one knows that the wearer has cherrypicked one of the more important and under appreciated works within the canon. It’s a good, slightly snobby, work. It channels the spirit of Dada spirit and Gonzo sensibilities quite well.

Design by: Fruitjuice
Price:  $25.00 @ DesignbyHumans
Colors: White

Speed is Relative

Speed is Relative

Fuck yeah! Can this please exist in reality and it does really needs to. If a bear, a lion, and a tiger, can be besties why not a tortoise and a sloth? It’s hard to imagine a symbiotic relationship between these two species, because it seems like the sloth would just get a free ride, but the quiet, serene contemplation that the image seems to represent needs to exist. The image does well in that the color scheme is consistent and the image itself possesses enough novelty to make it worth one’s attention. The wearer might identify with the “turtle and the hare allegory”, (yes, this is a tortoise, but still) or it might be the meditative, chilled out posture of the sloth. In a world of social media, and ever fragmenting attention there’s something nice, maybe noble, about creatures that enjoy a slower pace of life. Has the Dalai Lhama condemned social media, or is he a willing participant? Nevermind, and fuck that. This shirt is worth highlighting because the idea of slowing down and deliberate action is something that is steadily being eroded away in modern times. Maybe that’s a good thing, maybe not, but the older way of life certainly still has value and might inform our decisions and our views moving forward; that is what this design seems to represent.

Design by: MUsarter3D
Price:  $25.00 @ Designbyhumans
Colors: Black, White, Grey, Light Blue

Urban Cartoon Collage

Urban Cartoon Collage

This design is a confluence of art forms that lend it its mass appeal. Influences of, or the design’s allusion to hip hop, graffiti, streetwear, and classic American cartoon are all evident. These various forms themselves are massively popular and deeply intertwined.

Two asides: (1) for those not in the know “bombing” is a term that means to create graffiti (2) one thing to notice when looking at a cartoon character is where the wedge in a cartoons pupil is taken; if it’s the side that was traditionally Disney, if it’s the top then that was Dr Seuss.

Within the design there are stylistic references to: Disney, Hannah-Barbera, Tex Avery, and Jon Kricfalusi. This Color pallet was extremely popular in the mid 90’s, and then reemerged in the late oughts; since then the influence of the cyberpunk aesthetic has meant that colors have gotten much more saturated. While the use of eyes on inanimate objects is nothing new, post “Cup Head” it does seem to be more prevalent. The design is wild and chaotic without being aggressive. It’s a touch of excitement an on ode a more reckless and frenetic past. In summary it’s a strong design with almost universal appeal.

Design by: HumanRockets
Price:  $22.38 @ Designbyhumans
Colors: Black, White

Colorful Architect

Colorful Architect

There’s something to be said for simplicity. While the Bauhaus Movement generally gets its due in the world of furniture, architecture, and luxury items such as watches and apple products; within the wold of graphic tees it is severely underrepresented. Of all the artistic movements within wester canon Art Nouveau in general, and Alphonse Mucha in particular, receives the lions share of imitators.

The hallmarks of Bauhaus are a streamlined simplicity with a focus on utility, craftsmanship, and ease of mass production. The lego bricks within the design, and as a product in general, are in keeping with its credo. The CYM + black pallet speaks of modernity in a way that Mondrian couldn’t have foreseen and will now never capture with his pallet of black, white, red, yellow, and blue. Much like the image suggests CYM is the foundation of print and packaging. It’s odd, upon reflection that no one has thought to update Mondrian’s Neo-Plastacisist works. Lastly there is what the brick will be if they do in fact fall into place, which is a shape that calls to mind a piece of architecture that those of the bauhaus might approve of, or at least begin with in planning a structure. The design is a tribute. What makes it’s interesting is how subtle it is for such a bold design.

Design by: Bacht
Price:  $25.00 @ Designbyhumans
Colors: Black, White, Light Grey, Light Blue

Toshio Saeki

Toshio Saeki

There’s a certain allure to the morbid. It’s not new or modern, it’s as old as basic artistic aptitude. What is interesting and what might be distinct within the cannon is violence paired with indifference; it’s s&m before the term, the words, and the underlying power dynamics they represented paired with mortality (supposedly “the great equalizer”). If you’ll indulge this writer, there’s something gloriously lo-fi about this image. The fact that this term isn’t more commonly used in the context of visual art seems to be a huge oversight. When you hear Daniel Johnston’s Music and see art the connection is obvious. His art was not merely “outsider” art and neither is this design.

Within psychology there’s something called the ‘TAT‘ (Thematic Appreciation TEST) where a subject is shown a number of images and asked to supply the context. Based on the stories the subject concocts the administrator is suppose to glean things about the persons psychological state. This image seems to be- not straight forward, but not to complex; that is until one sees that the nail going through the man’s skull first past through the woman’s hand. So many questions. Who the hell held the nail for her? The ambiguity is what makes it interesting.

While the style doesn’t need to be minimal in the way that is in order to function, the simple style lends it a bored ‘fantasy doodle’ sort of quality that ads depth to the image. The man, or maybe the boy appears to be wearing a Japanese school uniform whereas the woman seems look and be dressed as a young adult woman. The style of the image seems to break the fourth wall and tell us of a bored school boy drawing this image as envisaged by the real life creator of this design. One can therefore speculate on the scene, and the artist who’s notebook and sun-conscious we’ve been given a peek into. The design is great for the deceptiveness of its simplicity, besides the overall merit of its composition.

Design by: Fruitjuice
Price:  $25.00 @ Designbyhumans
Colors: White, Light Yellow, Light Blue

Modern Lotus

Modern Lotus

Perhaps pcb boards are a little outmoded at this point; yes we still use and rely upon them, but in the era of computer chips and nano technology that allow electronics to be infinitesimally compact they feel less and less relevant. ‘Modern Lotus’ points to that connection between pcb and art deco. A connection that was never truly made within the artistic community. They both relied upon geometry, simplicity, and both interacted with negative space in similar ways.

This design seems to join a bygone aesthetic of the the 1920’s with a modern, technical, and perhaps spiritual inclination of minimalism of ‘less is more’ within contemporary society. The design isn’t minimalist in itself, rather the design, however complex and through gilded and technological reference, points to complexity beneath the surface. It is both western decadence in form and (through the eastern symbolism surrounding the lotus) simplicity in aspiration.

One can read into what they want as far as Globalization, or eastern manufacturing for western consumption. The image is strong enough to stand independent of all that. It would be surprising in fact if the artist thought that far, as more often than not it is the critic not the artist that thinks in terms of meaning when approaching a work of art; still, there’s plenty to think and feel about this design if one can find the thread.

Design by: ecologyink
Price:  $22.38 @ Designbyhumans
Colors: Black, White, Army Green, Red, Navy