Banksy recently updated his website with a number of new works that have been making the rounds the last day or so. My favorite new artwork is this simple piece depicting a spray-painted ballerina delicately traversing the string on the back of a picture frame like a tight rope.
The Association of Photographers' Student Awards have been announced with Jordi Ruiz Cirera from London College of Communications named as the 2012 Student Photographer of the Year
Ruiz Cirera's series of portraits of members of the Mennonite communities in Eastern Bolivia won him the top prize. The Mennonites emigrated to Bolivia in the 50s hoping to be able to preserve their traditional lifestyle away from the trappings of the 20th century. "This series of portraits intends to showcase the relations and the family roles within the Mennonite community, as well as their deep isolation from contemporary society," says Ruiz Cirera.
Ruiz Cirera originally hails from Barcelona but graduated from the MA in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at LCC last year. He spent a year working on the Mennonite project, a second series from which (one shown below) won him a Merit at the AOP Student Awards.
Peter Mendelsund isn't generally known as a designer who makes garish book covers. But in his recent designs for three late works by Simone de Beauvoir, he's done exactly that. And for good reason...
His covers for de Beauvoir's memoirs Adieux and A Very Easy Death, and the novella collection The Woman Destroyed apparently reference the look of the handmade protest posters seen on the streets of Paris in 1968.
Bringing the look up to date, the lettering has the quality of freshly daubed marker pen, while the illustrations are in bright blocky colours – the messy imagery on The Woman Destroyed reminiscent of an early MS Paint application.
"I wanted a style that had a certain directness – and I liked the idea of co-opting the visual language of revolution for a writer who was nothing if not (philosophically, politically) revolutionary," writes Mendelsund on his blog Jacket Mechanical. "Also the style is more or less temporally and geographically correct. The simplicity of the style made it possible for me, with my limited skills, to make them myself."
This is an unusual direction for Mendelsund who, as an associate art director at Knopf in the US, has a reputation for producing some quite beautiful and elegant book covers for writers such as Michel Foucault, Roberto Calasso and Franz Kafka (whose entire works he recovered in 2010 – we reported on the series, here).
On his blog, Mendelsund writes that his work for the de Beauvoir project sought to be both brash and attractive at the same time. "I've certainly made ugly covers before; and I hope that I've made pretty ones," he writes. "But it's the coexistence of both attributes that makes me happy here."
Mendelsund also prefaces his explanation of the cover direction with a smart essay on the relationship between de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Satre, using a single photograph of the couple as his starting point.