Saturday, July 4, 2009

Best picks from 1st Annual Renegade Craft Fair in LA: Art

Things just got bigger for Rags to Reverie! I...expanded my blog posts to 500 pixels in width! Exciting? I felt the need to do this since my blog is sort of getting to be image-oriented and when it comes to pictures, bigger is better! Most of the time.

Moving on; here's part deux of my round up of best artists and products from Renegade Craft Fair, which will take place at Los Angeles' California Market Center on Saturday and Sunday, July 11 & 12. Here's some excellent art for those blank walls...

Clockwise (starting from banner):
Regularly commissioned by Renegade Craft, Mat Daly produces the fair's graphic posters, like the set of geometric owl posters for Boston's 2005 - 2007 fairs ($40 for whole set).  He also sells large, abstract test prints that would also complement your indoor lighting!

The first one of Kevin Tong's concert posters that I saw was his work for one of my FAVorite artists Beck ($25) on  Kevin's designs are quite detailed and complex; I'm not sure how he does it.  His other commissions came from the likes of indie artists Jenny Lewis ($40), Pinback, and My Bloody Valentine as well as more mainstream musicians MGMT, The Shins, and Weezer.

Michelle Caplan's mixed-media art pieces are marked by nostalgia and whimsy with overlayed bright polka dots, patterned tissue paper, newspaper articles, vintage black and white portraits.  I LOVE her pieces like the Lola print ($25 for 8"x10" print), and she even does custom orders with your own photos!

Clockwise (from top right):
Micah Smith's digital illustrations always bear a stand-out graphic.  While his poster for Justice ($30) is very graphic on its own, Micah's test prints feature layers of random characters that he has put in his past works.  I didn't know this before I found out about Renegade Craft, but Micah, aka My Associate Cornelius, was often commissioned by Myspace to create posters for the social network's secret shows with headliners that included The Bravery, Maroon 5, and Phantom Planet.  I scrutinized his secret shows posters back in my Myspace days. It seemed like Micah had a list of animals and objects the he wanted to include in his posters and everytime he got a commission, he would look down his list, cross something out, and create an illustration of that something, eventually turning it in to a poster.  Oh, he also made a poster for a guy named Bob Dylan who didn't have a Myspace show because he's better than that.

I've seen Frank Chimero's logo and site before and he has an impressive portfolio with illustrations that have been featured in Business Week, Good Magazine, and The New York Times.  I love his posters that take inspiration from the practice of graphic design, American state silhouettes, and even John and Yoko's anti-war activism.

Nate Duval's posters are hand-drawn like The Decemberists poster ($30) and/or hand-printed. I threw in his Gossip poster ($20) because we all know who Beth Ditto is (and if you don't know who she is, she won the title of Sexiest Woman of the Year (2007) at the NME Awards. Excited to Google her name now, eh?), plus it shows a different style of poster art he can achieve.  Duval has also made posters for music festival favorites Explosions in the Sky ($25), Flight of the Conchords, Santigold, and Grizzly Bear.

Some of the artists sign their merchandise, and that makes a print more than just a print! By the way, a lot of the music artists that these graphic designers have created posters for performed at my school.  Who exactly...let's see...just in the past year: Ben Kweller, Jenny Lewis, Colin Meloy, Rob Crowe of Pinback, Ra Ra Riot, Rogue Wave, Flight of the Conchords, and Death Cab for Cutie.  Yeah, we're pretty cool. *wink*

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