KK OUTLET GALLERY 2009

5.5 DESIGNERS – CLONING

Cloning is a method of creating objects based on your own image, a way to offer unique, personalized products which are more emotionally engaging for the consumer. Ever been told you’ve got beautiful blue eyes? Have them immortalized in a unique lamp. Do you yearn for a pillow as soft as your stomach? No problem. Come along to Cloning and witness this ingenious project from 5.5 Designers.

The aesthetic of this collection is defined by the physical characteristics of your own body. Products are the result of a process which begins by taking data from your physical characteristics, the color of your eyes, of your hair, your height, and weight and using this data to change or personalize the product, making it as unique to you as your own fingerprint.

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CUM* WET YOUR WHISTLE

Don’t let the name fool you, CUM* have more to offer than a raised eyebrow or two. The Belgium-based art collective have been making a name for themselves with their experimental mix of erotic street art.

Consisting of three artists, CUM* began life in 2002. Using their graffiti-art background they blitzed the backstreets of Ghent with punk inspired salacious posters. Building on themes of voyeurism, free internet pornography and pin up girls, Cum*’s first works took online porn out of our computers and unleashed it onto our streets. It was artwork built out of curiosity; CUM* just wanted to see how the public would react.

With their varied use of media, ranging from silkscreen to acrylic paint, CUM* have taken a tired art-form that lived and died by the spray-can stencil and given it a new pornographic life. Clearly their suggestive concepts are proving to be effective with companies such as Fontshop, Eskimo Records and Delvaux lining up to work with them, as well as exhibition across Europe and the USA.

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EWEN SPENCERWAG LAD

Photographer Ewen Spencer’s most recent project explores what it means to be male in the 21st Century. Nearly all masculine youth trends are co-opted by commercial forces, repackaged and resold as marketing solutions. One group though, has defied market forces, and it is this, which interests him most – the modern dandy. Plucked, perfumed, tanned and trim, these effeminate, overtly vain male subjects are a heterosexual sub-culture that raises all sorts of questions about what it means to be a man in today’s environment.

Though firmly rooted in the chauvinistic attitudes of older male generations, they are thoroughly modern in their consumption of beauty products and rituals. They pluck, they tan, they wax, they apply make-up and obsess over clothes, yet they still chase skirt. This fascinating exploration looks at this masculine sub-culture through a microscopic lense, similar to the ones they use to scrutinize their pores and wrinkles.

Tipped by Martin Parr as the most promising newcomer in the pages of Vissionaire magazine, Ewen also gained a reputation for his work with bands such as The Streets and The White Stripes. Creating some of the most celebrated cover art over the last decade. Recent commissions have seen successful projects for Nike, Sony, Puma and Universal Music and most recently the karaoke campaign for T-Mobile. Ewen is also a regular contributor to C Photo in Madrid, The Fader magazine in New York and Numero in Paris.

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GRANIPH TSHIRT DESIGN AWARD

The T-shirt has always been a perfect blank canvas for designers and artists to express themselves. Rather than become a walking advert the t-shirt offers the opportunity to communicate a message or align yourself with a certain tribe, political party, gang or band.

Since its inception in Japan in 2001 graniph has worked with leading designers and artists to pioneer a new culture of fusing art and fashion on the timeless, blank canvas of the T-shirt. In 2006 the graniph design award was launched. It is a global design competition open to everyone and anyone regardless of age, location or experience. Thousands of entries were received this year and twenty three winning designs have been selected. From 6 August 2009 KK Outlet will host an exhibition showcasing the winning finalists. The result is an array of established and breakthrough talent; hand sketched designs are juxtaposed with photographic images and typography. Some show off slick graphic design skills but all are limited edition and for sale throughout the exhibition.

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HELMUT SMITSA RETROSPECTIVE, AND ONE OR TWO NEW WORKS

Rotterdam artist Helmut Smits wildly varied output is united by his subversive sense of humour. Sometimes dark, sometimes playful, but always engaging. Installations such as a Coca-Cola purifying machine turn Coca-Cola into pure drinking water. Tree In Front Of A Billboard places a tree which flowers in front of a billboard, producing a more attractive view for all but those paying for the advertising. Darker piece, The End, depicts all military fatalities in Afghanistan in the form of a film end-title sequence. At KK Outlet he will show a retrospective of various projects and installations.

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JUST WHAT I NEVER WANTED

In association with the UK homeless charity Shelter, KK Outlet are hosting a Christmas exhibition, Just What I Never Wanted . A range of prestigious names in art, fashion, design, literature and music have donated a gift they have received in the past which was just what they never wanted yet which stills conjures some emotion.

The exhibition will be made up of weird and wonderful items all singed by the artists and accompanied with a story explaining where the gift originally came from. Items which range from Deer antlers to a Rambo mirror, will be sold at a special opening event taking place on Thursday 3 December. Gifts which do not sell on the night will be entered into an Ebay auction. All proceeds will go to Shelter.

Drinks kindly supplied by Tiger

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KEETRA DEAN DIXONIT’S ALL AROUND YOU ALL THE TIME

Keetra Dean Dixon is a genuine source of wonder. Attracting the title of “Experiential Choreographer” you never quite know what to expect from this designer/artist. From exquisite typography to multi-media installations, her work guarantees delight.

Dean Dixon hails from Alaska, but currently resides in Brooklyn, New York. Increasing recognition of her talent, earned her the accolade of ADC Young Gun in 2008. In addition, her work is featured in the SFMOMA permanent collection and was included in the 2009 Presidential Inaugural Exhibition. Her show at KK Outlet will be her first solo exhibition.

The pieces on display aim to lift the lid on the fantasies we live out in our head and in our everyday lives. It’s All Around You All the Time, encourages the viewer to explore the ridiculous and lovely moments of a relationship. Willing Wonder, records the seconds of anticipation, vulnerability & splendor in a breath. The Anonymous Hugging Wall addresses an extreme longing to make a personal connection, combined with the fear of breaking social boundaries – simultaneously maintaining & stretching these boundaries. Other highlights include The Pleading Blanket and the Now Here/Nowhere Sleeping Bag.

In the same way Miranda July makes the emotionally vulnerable beautiful, Keetra Dean Dixon encourages us Brits to get in touch with ourselves, our loved ones and even random strangers in a way that doesn’t make you cringe. Wonderful!

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KK JOB CENTRE

KK Job Centre presents a selection of the best of this year’s graduate graphic designers and illustrators from across the United Kingdom all of whom are part of the Just Us Design Collective. The exhibition is designed as a kitsch job-centre, with tongue-in-cheek references to the social and economic problems associated with the current credit-crunch recession. All of this is a reaction to the student fears of finding jobs after graduating university.

The interior of KK Outlet will be transformed into a mock job centre with queues leading nowhere, disgruntled job seekers, a ticket machine to take your turn in the interview room, as well as a showcase for the members of Just Us Design Collective all of whom graduated this Summer from eight different institutions across the UK.

The exhibition will present a diverse range of disciplines and the best young designers from a number of different institutions, indicating current styles and approaches to design communication.

Every year KK Outlet makes its gallery space available to design and advertising graduates to present their work to a wider public. It comes as a response to the high prices of venues, and lack of availability for students to present their work.

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PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE NOTES

Stolen ketchup, slammed doors, unwashed dishes: all mundane issues, but these incidents can be a cause of mounting frustration that is often expressed indirectly, even unconsciously in the form of scrawled post-it notes, flow-charts, and sometimes self-constructed banners. Which at first glance can seem polite but with a closer look err on the aggressive side.

These notes are barbed criticism disguised as helpful advice, a gentle reminder, a friendly joke – anger sugarcoated with pleasantries and smiley faces, but betrayed by one too many exclamation points. And it’s these passive aggressive notes that form the basis of a new exhibition at KK Outlet on show from 4th June.

Full of well executed wit and spewed bile this collection of anger led messages left on fridge doors and empty loo rolls tell us what happens when the softly, softly approach no longer works and that a declaration of war can begin with the word “please”

Passiveaggressivenotes.com started in May 2007 by Kerry Miller after the trauma of living in a shared house. Her blog of anger filled messages has been a constant source of amusement for anyone who knows what it’s like to live with others. Gaining many plaudits it has over 3 million hits a month, won numerous website awards and spawned the book YOUR MOTHER DOESN’T WORK HERE: Painfully Polite and Hilariously Hostile Writings

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TYPOGRAPHICAL TART CARDS

London is not short of iconography. Red double-decker buses, black cabs, gherkins and wheels. But there is a more pervasive if ephemeral symbol of the city. Tart cards are the lo-fi promotional tools of many London prostitutes. Step into almost any central London phone box and you can contemplate any number of cards inviting you to be tied, teased, spanked or massaged either in luxury apartments, fully equipped chambers or the privacy of your own hotel room. All this and more is just ‘one minute’ away from the box in which you are standing.

Even if a police crackdown, the internet and the increasing use of mobile phones suggest their days must be numbered, tart cards are still so pervasive they are regarded as items of accidental art and have something of a cult following Once on the periphery of design, tart cards have influenced the work of many mainstream artists such as Royal Academician Tom Philips and Sex Pistols designers Ray and Nils Stevenson.

To coincide with the magazine’s first ever Sex Issue, Wallpaper* – in conjunction with Type LLP and St Bride Library – asked designers from students to superstars, to find the tart hiding in every type and provide their own graphic content.

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ULI WESTPHALMUTATOES

The Mutato-Archive is a collection of non-standard fruits roots and vegetables, displaying a dazzling variety of forms, colours and textures, that only reveal themselves when lawfully enforced standards cease to exist. The complete absence of botanical anomalies in our supermarkets has caused us to regard the consistency of produce presented there as natural. Produce has become a highly designed, monotonous product. We have forgotten, and in many cases never experienced, the way fruits, roots, and vegetables can actually look. The Mutato-Project serves to document and preserve these last survivors of biological variety.

Uli Westphal’s work evolves around magnificent natural phenomena, as well as human conceptions and misconceptions of nature. Utilizing scientific methods such as simulations, collections, classification- and representation-systems, he thereby generates a new type of natural history; one that is based on actual, existing occurrences, but that defines the term nature as a primarily cultural construct.

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WE ARE ART

We Are Art Directors explores the thin line between Art Director and Artist. The aim of the exhibition is to explore the creative output of art directors when they’re not art directing, a role that used to be very clearly (even rigidly) defined.

Simply put, an art director created advertising concepts and oversaw photographers, designers and directors.

It’s a job description that sometimes persists. But art directors are changing. The art school education system is such that students are trained in a multitude of skills and disciplines, meaning they’re very likely to exhibit an equally diverse range of interests.

We Are Art Directors embraces this new way of working, by showcasing the personal work of KesselsKramer creatives. Sometimes serious, sometimes playful, the pieces demonstrate the non-commercial side of commercial artists working today. Some of the participants include:

Jennifer Skupin, in a series entitled ‘Soft Porn’ she creates artwork out of marshmallows.

Angela Lidderdale displays her ‘Food Fight’ series, each painting comprising an image of violence and food surrealistically intertwined.

Christian Borstlap, shows acrylic paintings which depict everyday life recreated in an almost impressionistic style.

Fabienne Feltus has created an installation celebrating international football by printing her funny, idiosyncratic drawings on sports memorabilia.

Ewoudt Boonstra’s ominous gravestone houses images of beautiful decay shot on soon-to-be-extinct Polaroid 600 film.

Together with work from other KesselsKramer creatives, these artworks comprise a snapshot of a new generation of art directors, whose work outside the strict boundaries of advertising and design helps infuse their 9-5 output.

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Frans Hals Museum
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Frans Hals Museum
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