Dusseldorf: A Beautiful German Loft by Atelier d’Architecture Bruno Erpicum & Partners

Fun fact: Germany has one of the lowest home-ownership rates in the world. With stabilized rental prices, great taxes, and a healthy economy – there simply isn’t much of an incentive for a German citizen to own a house. The flip side of this is that it makes for a fantastic foreign investment opportunity which is what we are seeing today. The rise in foreign investments is the driving force behind the architectural enlightenment of everything from business buildings to lofts. In fact one group of architects, Atelier d’Architecture Bruno Erpicum & Partners, stands out when it comes to designing and creating contemporary, structural masterpieces. To illustrate their technical and creative skill, we need only look towards one of their latest projects: a warehouse-turned-loft in Desseldorf, Germany.

Dusseldorf: A Beautiful German Loft by Atelier d’Architecture Bruno Erpicum & Partners

The building is a fantastic example of renovating a home while keeping the original aesthetic. Brick walls seamlessly transition into pure white and large glass windows let the surrounding neighborhood provide an urban skyline from almost any vantage point in the home. Despite being Belgian architects, the feel of a post-war German warehouse remains intact. This ability to design across cultures comes as no surprising considering the team’s philosophy and 25 years of experience designing at home and abroad:

An architectural project is worked out while answering a multitude of constraints, it acts to create an environment favourable for human activity. We all know that we do not only live thanks to some protéïnes which enable us to function : the quality of our life, the force of our memories, the importance of our interpersonal exchanges, the reading of the environment, all these moments wake up in us emotions.

We have realized constructions in the following countries : Belgium, Caribbean, Germany, Greece, France, Great-Britain, Italy, Maroc, The Netherlands, Peru, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, United States.

Dusseldorf: A Beautiful German Loft by Atelier d’Architecture Bruno Erpicum & Partners

Architects Bruno Erpicum were entrusted with renovating the loft and turning it into a beautiful home for a couple. The team was instructed to keep the feel of one of Dusseldorf’s rare ruins while modernizing it from the ground up. Here’s what the team had to say about the conversion process:

The reconversion was closely overseen by the administrative authorities, since this old factory in the city centre miraculously avoided damage during the many bombings of World War II. Across from the coachman’s passageway are some garages that stand in front of the entrance court. The court is dotted with screens that flank the entrance and seclude off the “day patio”. The history of the city is reflected in the glass panels, reminding you of the building’s heritage. A facade made entirely of glass stands completely independently of the old structures, showing off their immense scale. The building is now protected against the elements and complies with energy performance requirements.

Words cannot do the property justice; the home was designed in such a way that light naturally illuminates the interior evenly regardless of the texture involved. In fact, the use of lighting (both natural and artificial) is what helps the home feel like one cohesive environment. There is a seamless transition from indoor to outdoor space as you step into your semi-private background. The white fence is surrounded by the tops of the old neighborhood creating a modern oasis in an old town. Take a look at the images below and see the property for yourself:

More About Atelier d’Architecture Bruno Erpicum & Partners:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/AABE-Atelier-dArchitecture-Bruno-Erpicum-Partners/340127526093906
Photographer: Jean Luc LALOUX
Location: Avenue Baron Albert | 1950 Kraainem | Belgium
Tel: +32 2 687 27 17
Fax: +32 2 687 56 80
Email: [email protected]

The Triumph of Form / Andrey Yakovlev & Lili Aleeva

Modeling photography is usually a hit-or-miss affair when it comes to success. The majority of fashion photography which utilizes models does so in a way that completely removes any level of agency from the model (whether it be a man or woman) and treats the model as a posable clothes hanger whose purpose is to be controlled by the art director. Recently I came across an artistic duo that takes models and uses them to create fantastic imagery where the models are at the center of attention, not the clothing. Those artists are photographer Andrey Yakovlev & art director Lili Aleeva. Recently I came across their project The Triumph of Form which is possible one of the most well done examples of fine art photography. Each picture is lush and filled with character and color; the composition of each shot left me in disbelief that these were photographs and not paintings. Moreover, I appreciate Lili’s art direction which pays homage to earlier Russian art periods through the use of color and clothing.

Take a look at the images below and enjoy the work as much as I did!

Artist Information

Photographer: Andrey Yakovlev
Art director: Lili Aleeva
Models: Sofia S, Anastasia V, Alla A (MD models)
Make-up: Natalia Bondarchuk
Hair style: Oxana Zavarzina, Anton Dimitriev
Style: Aidar Sakhapov
Client: Boutigue leonardo-picasso.ru

The Vitalizing Illustrations of Vladimir Stankovic

One of the reasons I wanted to recommend this artist today was because of the focus of his works. Vladimir Stankovic is a traditional illustrator and the majority of his projects take inspiration from an already established theme. Where he goes with that theme is entirely up to him, and it makes for a pretty unique take on several subjects. It was his entomology drew me in, and while I found his work on insects compelling, I stayed along for that little brand of quirkiness that fills each one of his pieces.

Vladimir Stankovic Vladimir Stankovic

Vladimir’s art is a joy to look at. In particular, his Cryptozoology series really caught my eye. It was fun to look at his interpretations of different urban legends and there was even a few from my home country. Seeing how they differed from my own views on the subject was neat, and there’s probably at least one legend in there for everybody to recognise. In his own words:

I try to combine my love and passion towards illustration and graphic design, with the use of both traditional and digital media. My inspiration comes from science and nature on one hand, and fantasy, fairy tales and all sorts of mysteries on the other.”

Vladimir Stankovic Vladimir Stankovic

With fine details, rich colours and imaginative designs, Vladimir’s art is both appreciatively luxurious and warmly entertaining. From the cute to the creepy, from the relevant to the fantastical, it’s a bit like cartoons for grown-ups.

Although I assume that since a bunch of his stuff would actually terrify kids I guess that’s exactly what it is. Head on over to his site to check out the rest of his gorgeous gallery.
Artist website: http://vladillus.com/
Behance: https://www.behance.net/vladimirsartdesign
Tumblr: http://fairytalesandvampires.tumblr.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/artrusdesign
Society6: http://society6.com/vladimirstankovic
Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/vladimirsart?ref=top_trail

Eye Candy from Jacob Myrick

We got a sub from a Jacob Myrick the other day, introducing himself as ‘an early career illustrator’. His work portfolio is sparse in this stage of his career but you can check his social network galleries for unpublished works to see his artistic interests and progress snaps.

Myrick’s work may be simple in its design, but I think he’s hitting all the right prompts here. It’s bright, it’s colourful and it relies on neat style rather than flashy techniques. Myrick is obviously a traditional artist that enjoys what he does and doesn’t feel the need to hide behind gimmicks to get his point across. It shows in his work. You know, sometimes it’s nice to just look at something fun, and this artist definitely delivers on that.

Also it kind of reminds me of a fruit salad? I’d totally like to see some fruit from this guy.

This artist is available for commission: Jacob at jacobmyrick.com
Website: http://www.jacobmyrick.com/
Tumblr: http://deliciouslydesigned.tumblr.com/
Instagram: https://instagram.com/jacob.myrick/

Introducing the Gamvel ( Game + Novel ) – Sunset

Sunset is a game so realistically depressing that I had to Google to see if the setting of Anchuria was a real place.

Fred asked me to review the Tale-of-Tales game, Sunset. I tried to refuse but he did that friendship guilt thing, “Do it for me, buddy. You don’t even have to post it up.” I tend not to give informative opinions on the narratives of the chocolate folk. After all, the last thing anyone needs is another white person explaining shit – that’s a powder keg of misplaced good will if ever I saw it. Even if my opinions are ten times more valid (read: I’m white) the only thing that accomplishes is an argument with the But Statistics! and shoves the victims out of their own forum.

Still, Fred lent me money once so I’m pretty much in his debt forever. Progress!

Sunset Tale of Tales

Sunset is a game so realistically depressing that I had to Google to see if the setting of Anchuria was a real place. Spell check assures me it’s not. So did the search results. I’m still not entirely certain. You play as Angela Burnes, an African-American lady who majored in engineering now trapped by war in the city of San Bavón. In order to make ends meet you take up a job as a housekeeper, employed by a certain Gabriel Ortega, wealthy bachelor and art aficionado. For one hour before sunset each week, you let yourself into his lofty apartment to perform set tasks and tidy up a bit.

Gameplay is simple. Head into the apartment, do your damn job. Señor Ortega will leave you a list of tasks each week and you can perform these in one of two ways. Warmly, or professionally. Warm interactions will slowly result in the ever-absent Ortega becoming romantically interested in you. This is further established by the little casual notes he leaves scattered around the apartment for you to reply to. Brush him off or respond with a number of increasingly awkward and dramatic replies that may leave you cringing or wondering just how far you can push this guy without getting fired. For a game this would have been shoehorned, for an interactive fiction this… well I guess that means options are unlimited and they can put in anything they want.

Sunset Tale of Tales

Will you be a rebel? Will you be a romantic? Will you play through the entire game without realising you can actually have different results until you read the sales intro?

I think what Sunset really made me think about is the direction where games are heading these days. I know it’s a tired argument that never seems to go away but I think that’s because no one has really found an answer to it yet. I’m certainly not going to do it here. To call Sunset a game is a bit of a misnomer. It’s an interactive fiction that requires you to look for the next paragraph. Sitting in Gabriel’s favourite chair prompts Angela to write in her diary. This is optional, and you may well not even find time to complete your set tasks and take a break when you’re only employed for one hour each week. (Tip: Do it at the end of your tasks, the timer will run out but there’s no such thing as ‘mission failed’ in Sunset.) Doing so, however, will give you an insight into her character, what she’s thinking about, how she’s coping with her situation. It’s worth getting invested into the character because unless you purchased the game purely to simulate housework, there’s dick-all else to do.

Sunset Tale of Tales

The mission statement of the developer company, Tale of Tales, states that their goal is to “create elegant and emotionally rich interactive entertainment”. That may be the most pamphlet thing ever said, but I suppose if they were calling it games I may have a bit of an issue. As it stands, it’s probably time for us to stop thinking of anything that has controllable characters as a game. It’s a book, a choose-your-own-adventure novel. Whether this is anything of an improvement, I’m not entirely sure. Does taking away the ability to really immerse yourself in scenes and characters and settings really warrant the trade-off of kind of immersing yourself in a pre-built navigable map? For authors, is building the set with models preferable to building it with words? And if the prose is optional what’s the point in thinking of it as a kind of book? And if it’s not a kind of book then what the hell is it?

Sunset Tale of Tales

I won’t give away the story, you’ll have to play it for yourself, but it hardly needs to be said that having something written from the point of view of a person of colour was refreshing. Reading about her struggles with racism and prejudice in such a flawlessly natural way was appreciated. It’s not often you find something that discusses these kinds of issues without the use of side-apologies, but then it is a gamvel about classism, so I suppose it’s a given. Either way, it was well done.

That’s the word for it now, by the way. Gamvel.

On the other hand I do think the story is suited to a specific kind of audience – that is, a smarter one than mine. I can’t blame the directors for it, but I found the story a little above me. There were many references to art and culture that I’m not personally familiar with, and I think that resulted in me missing out on experiences that a more culturally educated person may experience. I won’t give my personal opinion on how I feel about that, but then I didn’t have to pay for it out of my own pocket. It’s clearly not for everyone, but if you have any background knowledge or interest in how art reflects civil rights and opinions, then this may be just the thing for you.

Sunset Tale of Tales

And because The People Deserve To Know, despite recently trading my dignity for a new video card, for a game with concept art infinitely better than the graphics actually used in play, it still made my PC cry a little. Absolutely check specs before handing over your cash-cash.

Following their Kickstarter success, you can now purchase Sunset on Steam, or get it directly from the developers. Tale of Tales lists play time as ranging from an hour to six, depending on your play style, but unless you’re prepared to put the effort into searching every corner of the apartment and reading everything you can get your hands on, it would really just leave you playing Depressed Maid Simulator.

Well, whatever works for you.

Developer: http://tale-of-tales.com/
Steam Store page: http://store.steampowered.com/app/287600//
Tale of Tales store: http://tale-of-tales.com/Sunset/
Tale of Tales Twitterhttps://twitter.com/taleoftales

The Surreal Photography of Studio Peripetie

Studio Peripetie is perhaps one of the most impressive, contemporary photography studios I’ve encountered. Under the creative direction of photographer Sylwana Zybura, the studio crafts fine art photography that rivals ancient art masters who worked with the brush. Sylwana Zybura, also known as Madame Peripetie, is a Polish-German linguist and image maker whose work draws inspiration and pays homage to surrealists, cubists, and European theatre. Sylwana’s photography explores the boundaries between fashion and art and within that blurred space she creates master pieces that are eccentric, colourful, and meaningful.

It should be no surprise that her work has garnered worldwide attention. Top fashion brands such as Topshop and Hunger Magazine have hired her to develop exciting fashion campaigns that break the mundane billboards you see walking around your city. Moreover, she has received awards from IPA, PX3, The Art Director’s Club, LICC, and Katapult.

The photography that comes out of Studio Peripetie should leave no doubt in your mind that fine art photography is here to stay. Enjoy some choice images below and get lost in the blurred space between high fashion and surreal art.

Madame Peripetie

Madame Peripetie

Madame Peripetie

Studio Peripetie

Studio Peripetie

Artist Information:

Portfolio: http://studio-peripetie.com/
Instagram: http://instagram.com/studio_peripetie

The Surreal Studies of Illustrator Samuel Robertson

You know, I’m finding it really hard to decide why Samuel Robertson’s art interests me. It’s not my thing, it’s not my style, and yet for some reason I couldn’t bring myself to pass it by. When I browse his work I’m torn between hating and liking his illustrations without understanding what it is that irks me about it. If I had to describe the feeling, it would be like looking in a mirror and realising that your eyes are upside-down.

I’m stuck at a confusing crossroad leading to several places I don’t even want to be.

And then it struck me. That’s exactly what he was going for.

In his own words, I study people and our relationships to appetite, commodities, technology, animals, and each other … drawing inspiration from corners of our culture that seem representative or vaguely symbolic of something larger about people and our appetite as a society.”


Numbers 3.11

There’s always a special place in my heart for people who set out to create something through art and actually reach that destination, and Robertson has done exactly that. That awkward, uncomfortable feeling I get when I look at his work? It’s because I can relate to it. I’ve never played the trumpet while standing over a vacuum cleaner, but fuck if it doesn’t resonate with me in some grotesque, perfect kind of way.

I think that’s a wonderful thing about art. You don’t have to like it to appreciate it. It doesn’t have to be pretty to be enjoyable. The best kind of art is art that makes you feel, makes you wonder, and Robertson has done just that.

Robertson is currently working on illustrating the Old Testament of the King James’ bible, a work which he says will be complete on Christmas day of 2016. That’s an oddly specific date, but I’m not going to oppress his schedule. Perhaps we’ll check in on him then and see how it goes.

Meanwhile you can follow his progress at his site: http://www.misterrobertson.com/

Artist Information:

Tumblr: http://srobertsonart.tumblr.com/
Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/MisterRobertson
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/misterrobertson?ref=hl