The Mancave: Part 1

Man cave: “A room or other part of a home regarded as a refuge for the man or men of a household”

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Building The Perfect Man Cave…

So, now that we’ve got the definition out of the way, let’s talk about designing. How do you style the perfect space that represents everything manly? First step: color. Color sets the tone for any room, so think of colors that represent what mood you want to convey. Try staying away from bright colors. Although they may be more inviting, they can also be very intimidating to the average man. So with that being said, neutral and earth tone colors such as dark blues, reds, browns, greens or beige are always the way to go, as these colors are more relaxing and calming. Imagine coming home after a long day of work and walking into a dimly lit room, putting your feet up and having an ice cold beer or drink.  It gets the job done every time.

Here are a few examples of some well designed man caves…

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Here are a few sample swatch colors by Benjamin Moore that would be perfect in a manly space…

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Stay tuned to Men’s Life Styl’d for Part 2 of the “Mancave”.

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The Art of Self-Pleasure

The Freud Museum in London recently unveiled their latest exhibition titled Solitary Pleasures. The exhibition has contributions from various Artists and explicitly paints the picture of self-pleasure, literally. The museum’s namesake, Sigmund Freud, was a Neurologist and founder of psychoanalytic therapy. Freud was never one to shy away from taboo subjects such as masturbation, once describing it as the first “primal” addiction and stating, “the only shame in masturbation is the shame of not doing it well.” He also has publications about the subject. Nevertheless, if you are in London between the dates of April 18, 2018 – May 13, 2018, you can stop by and see the exhibition.

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Lamassu Statue Unveiled in London

A remarkable statue of a lamassu has recently been unveiled in London.  The sculpture was created by American Artist, Michael Rakowitz, and it is titled “The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist”.  Lamassu’s are a part of Assyrian culture, and they are depicted as having a human’s head, the body of a bull or lion, and the wings of a bird.  They are considered deities in the culture. They are large in stature and were normally positioned at the entrance of palace doorways as guards and protection from evil spirits.  In 2015, Islamic militants seized a museum in the Middle East, and destroyed an original statue, amongst many other artifacts, that date back to the eighth century B.C.

The new statue is a direct replication of the destroyed one, but with a very modern twist.  It is comprised of 10,500 flattened date syrup cans.  Although the original sculpture could never be replaced, faith in humanity remains.  For, being commissioned for such a large task and openly and willingly welcoming it does show that there is unity against violence.

It is an amazing recreation.  You can also find lamassu’s at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

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Digital Art: Program Buying Guide 4/18

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Corel Painter 2018 (Windows/Mac – $98.99) – Corel has for years impressed designers with their awesome graphics and digital art and painting capabilities. Developers of Corel have successfully been able to create a software that allows designers to paint on a digital platform and to do so naturally. Some of the latest features in the 2018 version of Corel are thick paint in which a designer can pile up, push around, carve into, scrape and blend their way into painted perfection. There are cloning capabilities where designers can clone sources in the program, or import and adjust the size and shape of the clone source on the fly. In addition, there is texture synthesis where you can select an area on your canvas or favorite texture and allow the program to use its DNA to automatically generate a larger image for you. There is also 2.5D texture brushes, drip and liquid technologies, random grain rotation and new texture fills. Composition tools, signature brushes and natural media selection are also amongst the unique attributes to Corel 2018.

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Adobe Photoshop CC (Windows/Mac – $29.99) – A new approach is being undertaken to many design programs which is placing them on a Cloud based platform. The entire Adobe Creative Suite is now available on-demand and as needed. Labeled the best imaging and design app, designers can create and enhance photographs, illustrations, and 3D artwork. There are also capabilities for designing websites and mobile apps as well as editing videos, simulating real-life paintings and more. Users can design various branding items like logos, posters, banners and packaging. They can transform photos with manipulation techniques, effects and retouching tools. Original illustrations can also be created in which 3D artwork can be animated and printed. Photoshop CC is a clear evolution from the previous versions allowing designers to do more than just edit simple photos.

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Xara (Windows Software – $49.99) – Features an extensive collection of illustration tools and vector quality similar to that of Adobe Illustrator. It offers a variety of different brushes and the opportunity to create your own custom brushes as well as adjusting weight, stroke and color. It also offers 522 different font styles and unique 3-D effects. Rulers, grids and snapping capabilities helps the user to ensure they create the most accurate designs. Tools are available to edit photos with 55 different filters and manipulation techniques. There are also many templates a designer can utilize with the ability to mask, distort and resize their photos. Although features may seem complex, Xara still maintains its user-friendly nature by providing responsive tools and processes for design, tips for guidance and the addition of resources to view for tutorials and manuals. Purchase Xara Here.

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Serif DrawPlus X8 (Windows Software – $119.99) – Serif DrawPlus is a program that is unique as it wields tools that are required for both online and print designs. Although it does not have the high quality photo editing features of other similar programs, Serif is easy to learn and navigate through which is perfect for beginner and experienced designers. Serif has simple to use tools tat can be used to develop animations, to logos and posters. It also features strong support and sharing options, a customizable workspace, a wide assortment of illustration tools and editing and alteration features for photos.

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Sketch (Mac – $99/year) – There are many digital design programs for Mac-based computers, but Sketch offers a design toolkit to help users create their best work from start to finish.

Make “T” Something Challenge

The New York Times has a segment called “Make T Something” challenge.  It is where an artist makes the legendary mag a piece of art in less than an hour.  They select one item and then build the art around it.  In the latest edition of the challenge, artist Kenny Scharf uses an old toy car as the foundation of his masterpiece.  See what he constructed below.

 

 

FBI Art Crime Team Recovers Painting Stolen 30 Years Ago

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A painting stolen 30 years ago was recovered this month.  The original piece of artwork titled Othello and Desdemona, by Marc Chagall, dates back to 1911.  It was stolen from an Upper East Side apartment in New York in 1988.  The owners of the artwork were philanthropists in the art world, as well as collectors, and also owned original artwork by Picasso.  While it was a robbery that included theft of jewelry and other items, it is unknown if this particular piece was singled out over the other works of art.  The finding was the result of a failed sell on the black-market that was subsequently reported to the FBI.  That is how the piece was discovered.  Apparently, there is an actual FBI Art Crime Team.  Nevertheless, the value of the painting is said to be $600,000.  It will be sold with the proceeds going to charity.

Eccentricity in Art: The Work of Takashi Murakami

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We all remember the cover to one of Kanye West’s most popular albums, Graduation. But, do you know who the creative mind was behind that compiled artwork within?  His name is Takashi Murakami.

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Fostering a palpable and inimitable style of creativity, Murakami in his younger years was a fan of anime and manga and attended the Tokyo University of the Arts to enhance his skills and fulfill his desire to become an Animator. However, he became a major in Nihonja (traditional Japanese painting) and earned a Ph.D. in the artform. Having been dissatisfied with the state of contemporary art in his country, he slowly developed his own form of art, developing signature figures and icons representing both his style and personality.

Murakami’s dissatisfaction also led him to build a new type of art market which he would take from Western influence and import to Japan, showcasing Japanese culture and history, but still remaining rooted to his origins. His focus therefore reverted to both elements from Japanese high art and low culture, respectively, with influences from anime and otaku cultures. Murakami would later coin the term “superflat” to describe the legacy of flat, 2-dimensional imagery from Japanese art history in manga and anime. It also describes a post-war class differentiation of high and low cultures by melding the two and creating something fresh and original.

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Murakami has also worked with several notable figures such as designer Marc Jacobs and has had a long-lasting collaboration with the fashion brand Louis Vuitton. He has also been active in producing sculptures, directing music, producing feature films, and displaying high class exhibits.

Some more examples of Murakami’s work are below.

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Check out more of Murakami’s work on his personal website by clicking Here.

Will the Mona Lisa be Coming to the US?

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If you’ve ever wanted to see the Mona Lisa in person, chances are, you’ll probably have to travel to Paris, France. The Mona Lisa painting, by Leonardo da Vinci, is arguably the most well-known piece of artwork in history. It is currently on display in the Louvre Museum, the world’s largest art museum, in Paris. In March, the idea of putting the painting on a “grand tour” was proposed by the Culture Minister of France, Francoise Nyssen. However, the Director of the Louvre, Jean Luc Martinez, decided that the painting will not be moved, citing that the painting can’t be because it is too fragile. Understandably so, due to its value as well.

The last time it was moved was in 1974 in which it was sent to Japan for display. The Mona Lisa is currently on exhibition at the Louvre, housed in a temperature controlled box with bullet proof glass. In addition, it is sectioned off, allowing the public to view from a distance that keeps it safe, but close enough to appease its gazers.

For what it is worth, I have seen the painting in person. It is as beautiful as one would think. However, the painting is much smaller in person, and the fact that it is roped off does take away from the experience. While it will not be venturing outside of Paris anytime soon, if you are in the area, it’s worth a stop.

Artist’s Spotlight: Yakusan Kairu

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Born and raised in the heart of Brooklyn, New York, Yakusan Kairu has consistently demonstrated his unique craft in animation and manga with years of experience in artistry. He received formal tutelage in fine arts in high school and was exposed to traditional portraiture using only charcoal mediums. However, in order to hone his personal style he sought a more direct approach to his career choice as a manga artist which traditional schooling could not achieve. Yakusan left school to pursue work in his own, self built, art studio equipped with all the tools he needed to attain his freelance goals. Taking inspiration from his artistic father and others whose footsteps he was influenced by, Yakusan continues to bless fans and media with his bold art pieces.

Yakusan considers his style to be Japanese manga combined with a touch of fine art realism. He utilizes both traditional and digital mediums as well as older methods of inking and screen toning with brush pens and placing heavy emphases on hatching and cross hatching. Influences of his include Kentaro Miura (Berserk), Takehiko Inoue (Vagabond), Tetsuo Hara (Fist of the North Star), and Leonardo da Vinci for his anatomical works.

Check out some of Yakusan’s work Here and below.