Posts Tagged ‘New York’

Y Water Takes Manhattan

Monday, January 11th, 2010

When great design inspires healthy living, there’s not much more we
can ask for. Y Water’s perfect union combines a cool and kid-friendly,
100% recyclable bottle with removable, biodegradable labeling and
a flavored, vitamin- and mineral-rich, low-sugar, organic beverage.
Once empty, the container becomes a toy that kids can link to other
bottles through biodegradable, connectable rubber “Y knots,” letting
them create spaceships, animals, robots, or whatever else their
imaginations can dream up. When all is said and done, parents can
log onto and receive a free mailer to send the bottle
back for recycling.

The cheery Y-shape inspired the drink’s name, a playful riff on two
of the most commonly asked kiddie questions: “Why?” and “Why
not?” As Y-Water designer Yves Béhar says, “The brand, the bottle,
the graphics, the name … everything is one, connected by the idea
of giving a smarter, healthier and much more fun experience. The
category is so bland, so un-original … but kids are open-minded to
new and creative things, and that is what we wanted to give them.”

To read my full review for Clear Magazine, click here.

Absolutely Stefan

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

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above: images from Stefan Sagmeister’s 2008 book, “Things I’ve learned in my life so far”

Absolut Vodka‘s ads are immediately recognizable, and over the years, their campaigns have become truly iconic. However, the company’s newest tv ad campaign, produced by  TBWA/Chiat/Day, is a bit too similar to another icon’s work for my liking.

While beautiful, the ad’s imagery and tagline (“Doing something differently leads to something exceptional.”) are incredibly similar in look and concept to graphic design star Stefan Sagmeister‘s  2008 “Things I have learned in my life so far.” A successful design book and exhibit at Deitch gallery in NY, “Things I have learned in my life so far” was inspired by a list of life lessons Sagmeister jotted down while on sabbatical the year before, and then spelled out using creative environmental typographic tools – everything from hangers to body paint, furniture to food, lightboxes to giant, white inflatable monkeys.

I interviewed Sagmeister in 2008 right after the book came out for Graphis. Just this week, I had the pleasure of interviewing Sagmeister again for the upcoming fall issue of Clear Magazine. He returns to NY from his latest sabbatical year (in Bali) in September, and told me that when approached for this tv spot, he declined to work with the firm, as he’d committed to only personal design work over the year, and wasn’t taking any new client work.

Take a look for yourself below. And check out my interview with Stefan Sagmeister for Graphis by visiting my Writing Samples page or clicking here: The Art of Introspection.

Fashion District Surfs into Summer

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009
"Surf into Summer" by Mitchell Schorr

"Surf into Summer" by Mitchell Schorr

"Surf into Summer" by Mitchell Schorr

"Surf into Summer" by Mitchell Schorr

This July, the Fashion Center Business Improvement District (BID) displays Surf into Summer, a new series by artist Mitchell Schorr. A native New Yorker, Schorr is probably best known for his colorful murals (often placed in public spaces) and for a style and content consistently inspired by city life. Drawing from everyday scenes, Schorr’s work is energetic and vibrant, revealing a real sense of movement and love of color.

The paintings in this beach scene tableau installation depict surfers as they ride waves up to 60 feet tall. Says Schorr, “It’s like surfing a six-story building as it falls.”

Surf into Summer is on display in a street-level window at 215 West 38th Street through July 30th. The free exhibit is part of BID’s continuing series of public art exhibits, and is presented by the Fashion Center Space for Public Art, which celebrates the work of talented local artists throughout the year. BID, a not-for-profit corporation, was established in 1993 to improve the quality of life and economic vitality of Manhattan ’s Fashion District.

I Heart Public Art!

For more information on Mitchell Schorr, visit

To learn more about BID, check out

To read my interview with MItchell for from May ’09, visit Gourmet Groceries and Foodie Art.

Signs of the Times

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

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Clic Gallery presents a new show called “Store Front” by James and Karla Murray, a photographic survey documenting New York City’s fast disappearing mom-and-pop shops.

The accomplished artist/author duo spent over 10 years photographing the storied storefronts of family-run shops throughout the city. According to Clic Gallery, “From cheerful Italian bakeries with hand-painted murals to the dingy dive bar that became a local institution, the Murrays’ bright photographs are a striking visual record of how colorful and idiosyncratic each block of New York’s streetscape once was.”

Preview images reveal both richness and simplicity, as well as the Murrays’ talent for conveying a moving intimacy with subjects. Many of the shops photographed have since closed, pushed out by larger chains. “Store Front” opens in two weeks, running July 15th through August 30th, 2009. The companion book to the show, “Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York” (Gingko Press, 2008), is for sale at Clic Bookstore.

Artist Bio: James and Karla Murray are specialists in urban photography. They have co-authored two books on New York City graffiti art, “Broken Windows-Graffiti NYC” (Gingko Press 2002) and “Burning New York” (Gingko 2006). Their work has been the subject of exhibitions at the New-York Historical Society and the Brooklyn Historical Society, and is part of the permanent collections of the Smithsonian and the New York Public Library.

Images courtesy of Clic Gallery.
For more information, visit Clic Gallery or James and Karla Murray.

Naked City

Friday, June 12th, 2009

Photographer Miru Kim is an urban explorer. The Korean-born, New York-based artist spoke at the 2008 TED Conference about her ongoing series, Naked City Spleen. Juxtaposing her own delicate human form with haunting, industrial ruins, Kim’s work alternately reveals extreme loneliness and a bold fearlessness, and contrasts the living, supple world with a decaying one. In Naked City Spleen, we follow Kim’s fictional main character through abandoned factories, hospitals, subways and catacombs around the globe. Kim is also the founder of Naked City Arts, a New York-based organization dedicated to promoting young artists in the city and drawing artists down to lower Manhattan.

To learn more about Miru Kim, check out my interview with the artist in the upcoming issue of Clear Magazine.

For additional information, visit