Alex and Chloe: Black Diamonds

Alex and Chloe, our favorite line of un-boring jewelry, just released their latest collection of individualist-friendly neckwear. Sharply geometric and modern (in its mod-est sense), Black Diamonds features bold shapes in Alex and Chloe’s signature lucite, again incorporating elements like classic typefaces and minimalistic shapes to create something best described as “significantly badass.” Unlike seasons past, Black Diamonds currently offers none of the 14k gold goodness I get drool-y over — but, on a positive note, the gold from a few months ago is complacently timeless (14k Can Tab; I would have worn it in 6th grade, I would wear it today, and (depending on how awesome I wind up in my later years) I like to think I’ll rock it at Bingo matches to come). My personal favorites this time around are: Love is Dead, Alex’s Zero Carat Diamond in Black, and Bauhaus Paris (pictured), all of which are available in Alex and Chloe’s online shop.

White Desert: Chilly Thrills

Antarctica is no place for babies. However, thanks to White Desert, an eco-tourism company ran by outdoor enthusiasts, it is now a place for luxury travelers in seek of some frosty fun. Somewhat frosty, anyway; the luxury camp, located near the “unexplored mountains of Dronning Maud Land” and perched on a 150-foot ice-cliff, spoils adventurers with solar-powered heating, cuisine by an award-winning chef, and care from ultra-experienced guides. The cozy camp serves as homebase after traveler’s chosen adventures, which can be as mellow as a stroll with the penguins or an igloo sleepover, and as adrenaline-soaked as kite-skiing into the “amazing loneliness of the polar plateau.” White Desert is offering four 10-day trips this season, running through the end of this month through the beginning of February (and making Christmas sound terribly dull in comparison). Find full dates and details here.

Siggi Eggertsson

Some have already picked up on Iceland-born illustrator Siggi Eggertsson, but we’d be both remiss and a bad friend if we didn’t introduce his awesome portfolio to you just in case "” in fact, you might have already seen his pixel pictures for Stussy and H&M without even knowing it was him. Eggertsson works from the creative mecca that is London after previous stints in Berlin and New York, the experience of which likely helped him hone his style to a T (with Stussy, it was in the literal sense, too). In 2006, Print magazine ranked him as one of the 20 most promising designers under 30 years old, so we’re keeping an eye on him. In the meantime, get familiar with Eggertsson’s work because it looks like you’ll be seeing it more often and will prove useful as a casual name-drop in artsy conversation.

START SOMA x Zazzle

As you may recall, back in March we told you that Vulcan bombed some servers at Google. This wasn’t an act of tech-terrorism, but an act of art. The Vulcan in question wasn’t played by Leonard Nimoy and nothing actually got blown up. Those in the know, know that bombing is slang for painting graffiti on something (or at least it was when I saw the movie Beat Street way back in the 1980′s). Graffiti artist Vulcan, had been commissioned to paint a line of servers for Google in conjunction with his solo show.

He recently returned to Silicon Valley to dole out some more street cred, this time the target was the office of online t-shirt and apparel merchants at Zazzle. This time Vulcan wasn’t alone. He was joined by fellow Graffiti gods and START SOMA artists in residence Chor Boogie and Apex to create the Trifecta Mural, an absolutely wondrous creation of urban artistry that will no doubt make the Zazzle offices the envy of many a gallery owner. If you’re not in awe enough after looking at this incredibly complex mural, just take a gander at the making of video making of video. Who knows, with Silicon Valley so enamored with their work Steve Jobs just might have to commission these guys to make the GraffitiPod.

The Little Friends of Printmaking

Little Friends of Printmaking, the husband-and-wife silkscreening team based in Milwaukee, have been making poster art since 2003. Their name should ring bells for you, as their work is well known, well loved, and has been published in several recent, well distributed books. Their name certainly rang bells for me, so when I saw that a reader had suggested we check them out, my first reaction was, “Silly, we already did!” However, after sifting through the site, I found that, yes, Little Friends of Printmaking had been mentioned, but deep within other posts, and never in a post of their own. In other words, it’s about time for us to formally introduce you to the slightly irreverent, considerably talented pair, and we can’t think of a much better way to do so than to A) Tell you that they’re awesome; and B) Point you to the Winter Cavalcade of Awesome, a poster sale currently happening at Little Friends of Printmaking’s online store. If you’re the sort of customer who is concerned about the paper stock on which said posters are printed, you’ll have to send them an email (because I don’t know the answer), but if you are solely concerned about the visual success of said posters, I think you’ll be one happy camper.

Erik Natzke

You may or may not be familiar with Erik Natzke. I mentioned him the other day in a post about Shiftspace, but prior to visiting OFFF last weekend, I hadn’t heard of him. Once you see his work though, the only question that comes to mind is how the heck have I NOT heard of this guy before? My speculation on that point is that Erik is just a quiet guy.

His work, however, speaks volumes. Erik is pushing the limits of Flash beyond what even Adobe ever expected the program to be used for – Erik even mentioned that he’s driven the development team nuts by pushing them for further functionality. Lately he’s been working on a “paint by numbers” approach that combines his interests in photography with his expertise in flash to create amazing images like the one we’ve shown here.

Something else to note about Erik is his willingness to help others understands — or at least try — what he’s doing and to explain his process. At OFFF, Erik was passing out CD’s of his work so that people could deconstruct it and his Flickr feed contains lengthy discussions about his process with anyone willing to ask a few questions. So Flash gurus, go forth and ask. You couldn’t find a better teacher if you searched for a year.

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