Kæmpe Pålæg Packaging

When my roommate brought home this kæmpe pålæg chokolade and a giant loaf of fresh french bread, then offered that I have some, I nearly squealed in delight. Oh wait, I did squeal in delight.

First off, these small thin pieces of chocolate hold special memories for me…my Danish grandmother would always let my sister and I have a special treat sandwich after our regular lunch of rye bread and pickled herring that consisted of pålæg chokolade on a buttered piece of white bread. In our minds and bellies this was a slice of heaven on top of a slice of heaven, and we called it a Mormor Mad (grandmother sandwich).

Secondly, look at that packaging! Unabashedly simplistic and retro in all the right ways: a strong diagonal and utilitarian color palette, rad Danish letters, and exactly duplicate front and back designs (who needs to know more than that this small cardboard box contains LARGE DARK CHOCOLATE TO PUT ON SANDWICHES?).

I love it. I wish it were a poster. Maybe it will be someday.

Tom's kæmpe pålæg mørk chokolade, chocolate pieces for putting on white bread.

This Is A Circle

Every morning I wake up to a giant piece of ceiling stucco above me. It is centered over my bed and 4 feet wide, so I don’t even have to twist my head to see it. Hello, good morning, it says to me. I’m still here.

Lately I’ve been rising earlier than my alarm, so I lie awake in the morning sun tracing the circle with my eyes, practicing the shape over and over, as if I were training for something, perhaps a professional circle drawing contest.

So, as I frequently do with things stuck in my brain, I put this circle on paper, cave man style and to the power of 10. Yowza.

Cave man aztec style pattern circle illustration with neon 80s color scheme.
Click image to zoom.
Close up.

Fictive Reality by Gregory Crewdson

While in Danmark over the holidays I visited the National Library in Copenhagen to see a photography exhibit by Gregory Crewdson. The library is nicknamed “The Black Diamond” after its 1999 addition of black marble that juts over the water. Split up the center of the coal structure are undulating balconies that connect the inside of the library to the outside harbor seamlessly. Moving back through the library is like peeling back the skin of an onion, as the more historic section of the library is fully intact and like stepping through a time warp to a century ago.

Photos of the library by Jan Lykke.

Outside view of the library at night.
Looking into the library and up the channel that connects the new addition to the old building.

I was vaguely familiar with Crewdson’s work beforehand, knowing that his signature was to create elaborately produced photos. The exhibit was a great mix of showing the process he uses to set up his scenes (much like filming a movie with constructed sets, fake snow and fog machines) and a wide range of his work (from photos of Americana to ghost towns to fireflies). While I personally subscribe more closely to a “keep it real” policy, Crewdson’s ability to finely tune the details of a scene to the nth degree is exquisite. While these hyper-realistic scenes are entirely staged fiction, the talent to envision these photos is nothing but real. Here are a few photos from the exhibit that made me shiver, aptly named “In A Lonely Place”. Continue reading “Fictive Reality by Gregory Crewdson”

Favorites from ARoS

Here are a few of my favorite pieces from the ARoS art museum in Århus, Denmark. It’s a great little museum with a nice diversity of exhibits, just enough that you feel like you’ve seen enough but not too much that you are tired of museums at the end.

Ung Dame i Lyseblåt by Harald Giersing, 1918
Little Sister by Fredrik Raddum, 2010

The most recent grand addition to the museum was also very nice, the Rainbow Panorama by Olafur Eliasson. A circular pathway built atop the museum, you can see all of Århus from it thru it’s ever-shifting hues.

Rainbow Panorama by Olafur Eliasson, 2011

Inside the museum were additional parts of the exhibit, my favorite of which was a room filled with fog and that immersed you completely within seconds of entering the room. Sight was limited to three feet in front of you and as you moved around the room the color of light continuously changed, resulting in a very sensory experience.

A room filled with fog and lights. Pretty spectacular.

On the Road with Moveable Type

Back in May I helped my letterpress friend Kyle Durrie with her project Moveable Type. She was getting ready to take her custom built van on the road and teach letterpress classes out of it, so I made her a logo and website. Now, I and many others are enjoying the fruits of her travels as she criss crosses this big country. Check out her blog for some great road trip pictures…one of my favorites being this pig statue.

The Phoenix is Closer than it Appears

One of the exhibits I saw this summer at Ålborg’s art museum, Kunsten, is a piece by Thilo Frank called “The Phoenix is Closer than it Appears”. Frank focuses on creating collaboration between the artist’s work and the public.

This piece is a giant glass cube with a swing inside. One person is allowed inside at a time, creating a strange feeling of isolation while being surrounded by a gajillion mirror images of yourself.

Glass cube exterior at Ålborg kunstmuseet by Thilo Frank.
What you see on the outside...
Glass cube interior at Ålborg kunstmuseet by Thilo Frank.
What you see on the inside...

The Domestic Transformer

This is a video about Gary Chang, a Hong Kong architect who transformed his 330-square foot apartment into a super-efficient “24-room” domicile. What an incredible use of space that shows the versatility of what a home can be, and what can be achieved even with such strict parameters. Design solved this nicely.

Lego Logo Wall

While in Copenhagen this summer I stopped into a Lego store to browse, and was rewarded with a little designer treat – a giant wall of Lego’s logo history, surrounded by an even more giant lego dragon hovering ominously over a replica of the fuzzy-hatted Danish soldiers that guard the royal palace.

A history of Lego logos in a Copenhagen Lego store.