Tag Archives: Art

I like good art and good dads

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the measure of a father is his ability to make lunches for his kids in the morning. My dad did it for me; his dad did it for him; I will do it for my kids someday. This is the way of fatherhood.

Another well-established fact is this: in elementary school the only thing that matters is having an awesome lunch box. When I was growing up I had a great GI Joe lunch box. Unfortunately it was offset by the fact that I had a white-boy spiky flat-top with a huge cowlick that turned it into some hollow Vanilla Ice-looking hairdo. There’s no recovering from that. Anyway, what if you could have an awesome lunch box custom made for you every single day?

Enter Lunch Bag Art. This is the photo blog of a dad who draws awesome things on his kids’ lunch bags every day. That’s it. Just pictures of cool lunch bags. It’s enough to get me wasting about twenty minutes, which is all I can ask for.

Here are a couple of my favorites:

HT: The Ridiculant

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I like the shape of things to come

lolcatIf you’re at all like me–and I’m sure you are–you’ve spent hours upon lonely hours in your mansion, expensive microbrew in hand, pondering this simple question: why is the internet?

It is a question that has plagued the mind of man for thousands of years, keeping sophisticates of all stripes up many a sleepless night. For many moon naive and simple people convinced some that the answer to that vexing question was just this: the internet is for the purposes of freedom of information, worldwide commerce, increased diplomacy, and online dating for farmers.

Now we can look back on those dark days and laugh as we realize just how far we’ve come. Now, of course, we’ve realized that the internet is to be used above all else as a showcase for animals doing odd/cute/funny/destructive things and also as a cesspool for the narcissistic ramblings of a generation of self-centered tweens.

The only thing we’re missing in this new world  of internet possibilities is a soundtrack fitting for the grandeur we have just begun to create.

Enter Parry Gripp. You may recognize his name from the video I had up awhile ago, Spaghetti Cat (I Weep for You). Kanye West says that he’s the voice of this generation, but Kayne’s autotuned hip-pop sounds like Mozart compared to the shallow, short and sweet songs of Parry Gripp. He writes songs for some of the most random and popular videos on YouTube and posts a new song (sans video) each week on his website.

I’ve spent upwards of three hours listening to his songs and watching the videos so that I could present you with my three favorites:

Young Girl Talking About Herself

Chimpanzee Riding a Segway

Wiener Dog Riding a Skateboard

Go check out Parry Gripp’s website and YouTube channel for more.

PS – If you would truly like to enter a tunnel of despair and hopelessness towards what your kids may one day be like, you really should click the link above labelled “self-centered tweens” and watch it to the end. It’s a response to a video titled “Emo/Scene Kids Suck.” The tunnel starts there and ends somewhere in the abyss of YouTube after passing through this, this, this, and this.

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I like opposable thumbs

hammertime

**Update: In the comments section for this post, Liz mentioned some mosaic tile graffiti-type stuff that she’s seen in a couple different places. I looked around for a little while and found the artist’s website. Check it out: Space Invaders!**

The ability to think on one’s feet when in a bathroom stall with a permanent marker is the only thing that separates us from the animals. And with the dark forces of PETA gathering in Mordor and growing stronger by the day, it is a privilege and a distinction that we must assert early and often. No matter how close monkeys (why is that not “monkies”?) might be to us, they will never, EVER, have the intellectual capacity and good sense to draw alien eyes on a Donald Trump poster and write “I’ve got your soul” next to his face. Not ever.

The problem is, I live in the suburbs where people don’t vandalize things too often (only peasants do that). And I go to a seminary, so the only things written on the bathroom walls there are the occasional rebellious NT Wright quotes followed by “Wright is wrong!” and closely after that, “God answers kneemail, FTW!”  So where can I go to catch the best in cutting edge property debasement?

Fortunately for me, someone has gathered together a gallery of walls with writing on them and made it available for public perusal. With a name as witty as some of the pictures contained therein, Pictures of Walls is the best place on the internet to find some interesting, funny, witty, and completely pointless graffiti. A lot of the stuff in here has vulgarity in it, so if that offends you, stay away. There’s also a lot of stupid stuff in the galleries, but when you find one of the good ones it more than makes up for it. So go check it out and enjoy the fruits of someone else’s mischievous bravery.

If you’re looking for something a little more artistic, you’ve got to check out a guy named Banksy, one of the most famous graffiti artists in the world. He’s done stuff all over the world and his graffiti is some of the most politically charged and clever stuff I’ve ever seen. Here’s his website: Banksy.

Enjoy!

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I like Questionable Content

James DeanHave you ever had one of those moments where you take a step back, assess the situation, and realize that you are cool as hell? I’m talking about the kind of moment when you think, “Man, if the cool kids from high school could see me right now, they would totally accept me.” The type of moment when you see your life for what it really is, and you come to the logical conclusion, based on the preponderance of the evidence, that your life–and yourself–is cooler than almost anyone you’ve ever met, even counting MySpace.

Well *confident chuckle*, I have. In fact, I feel that way almost constantly; not in a condescending way, just in a reality way.

The most recent example of this, however, came just a few days ago, when I found myself sitting naked in my bed (I sleep naked and you should too) at four o’clock in the afternoon, having skipped breakfast and lunch for the second day in a row so that I could keep feeding my insatiable digi-crack addiction to the online comic, Questionable Content. It was when I reached strip #350 after reading the comic for those two days straight (and completely disregarding my Greek studies) that I realized that I had just self-actualized and have now reached the pinnacle of my coolness.

Now I know what you’re thinking: “Oh my God, Chris, I may not ever speak to you again because you’re coolness could make my head explode.” And if you’re not thinking that, then I still know what you’re thinking, and let me just say: it’s not a porno.

Questionable Content is a web comic about some indie-kid 20-somethings hanging out and doing normal things. Sound exciting? It is! If I try to explain anything more about it, it will just melt your brain, so do yourself a favor and go to the website so you can start catching up. There are 1319 strips to read, so get started. You’ve got all weekend long so you’re good to go.

Here’s a link to Questionable Content Number One: Employment Sucks. If the illustration doesn’t wow you at first, just keep going, it gets much better as the comic progresses.

HT: Mark Traphagen who sent me this strip in which one of the main characters defends the honor of General Robert E Lee.

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I like indulging my wanderlust

Open RoadI know I’ve said this before, but I like to travel. A lot. If the right song is on when I’m driving on a sunny afternoon, it’s a struggle to convince myself not to just “keep the car in drive and leave it all behind” (I know…I know…I’m better than using a John Mayer reference…it was a moment of weakness). Unfortunately for me, I am a man of limited funds and one gigantic responsibility (i.e. seminary and the rest of my life looming menacingly over every big decision I make right now). So, the prospects of me dropping everything and becoming a world traveler are slim. But what if there was a way to just torture myself with impossibilities by looking at pictures of exotic locales from all over the world?

Enter Woophy. Woophy stands for WOrld Of PHotographY and the site describes itself as attempting to “create an accessible, visual, current, democratic and collective work of art comprised of a database picturing our remarkable world.” As fancy as that sounds, the site is actually very simple: people upload pictures of different places and the pictures are placed on a world map. You can either search through the pictures using a search engine or you can just roam around the map and discover random places that you never even knew existed. Either way, this website will keep you occupied for hours.

So, go to Woophy and explore the world.

PS- If it seems like it’s taking a little while to load, just give it a few seconds. There’s something like 400,000 pictures in the database so it can slow down every once in awhile.

PPS- Check out this video I just linked to on the ‘Who?’ page. It’s about a hobo/hippie village on the river in Columbia, SC (where I’m from). It’s called Zooville and the video shows some good shots of the scenery that I miss so much now that I’m up here in Philadelphia.

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I like understanding modern art

duchampurinalI was a Media Arts major in undergrad at the University of South Carolina so you’d think I’d understand a little bit about art history and contemporary art. Unfortunately for me, my awesomely amazing powers of persuasion got me out of taking any art history while I was at USC. So I suck at understanding art. I can understand about as much as the average slightly artistic person but that’s not useful at all when you’re looking at a bag of trash on a pedestal in the middle of an art gallery.

But now I have help! The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) has created an interactive website called Explore Modern Art to help all of us uncultured swine understand the background, themes, and stylistic elements of modern art so that we can finally stop thinking “Seriously? I could make this myself” when we’re in museums. The website is easy-to-use, interesting, and chock-full of information, interviews with artists, and examples of pieces of art in the museum’s collection. 

So, go check out Explore Modern Art and stop being such a peasant.

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