Thursday, December 3, 2009

Contest Glimpse: Week of November 26

With the holiday last week and some relatively slow contest weeks due to it, we've got only a miniature Contest Watch tonight, so we're calling it a glimpse. Three great Threadless tees that deserve your support. Beforehand, though, we have some big re-sub news. A couple heavy hitters were subbed over at Scopial for your potential voting and support. Both are by Buko: the amazing Cacophony, and his collab Grande Elusion. I have no idea why Threadless would have passed on either, let alone both, but if Scopial makes Threadless' loss their gain, that'd be quite the coup. Anyway, as buko prints so often anyway, it's not even half the disappointment that is seeing The Ominous and Ghastly Mont Noir by Againstbound up at Threadless. As one of the best of DBH's 10K finalists, and certainly the most intriguing of the 20, it's just ridiculous that pieces like the nigh-invisible "Fear the Pastels" got optioned yet there was no room to take a risk on this. It's always sad when unknown variables like potential sales get in the way of sheer quality art... if all you care about is the sales, maybe art and design was the wrong business to get involved in.

That out of the way, there were a couple pieces at Threadless that hit just the right buttons, as opposed to the resub list which jabbed at all the wrong ones (seriously, that Love shirt last week was better than Grande Elusion? But I digress again). We'll start with a-man's "Intruder," which is introduced by the artist with a solid inspiration: "Slayer of birds... I've had enough of bird designs, so there's a new trend..." Any trend can use a good slaying... even if it's continually solid, putting it to rest keeps it fresh, and overplaying it kills the quality, so this snake's mission is a positive one. As with all things snaking and snakelike, the twisting, serpentine body helps add plenty of visual interest to the piece, adding color along with its motion of coming in and out of the multitude of birdhouses. Those houses themselves are well constructed, too. The wood toning looks great, and I enjoy the extra panels nailed on to create a bit of a bird apartment look. The joined houses create a much more intriguing shape. The piece on the whole makes excellent use of space, also, filling the shirt from bottom to top with the well-meaning harbinger of doom. My only wish is that the textured backdrop shown here were part of the print, but the overall piece will still look great sported (I can especially see it framed well with an overshirt).

In the "sheer and glorious oddity department" this week is joaolauro's extensively named piece, "The Cat Who Mistook His Wife (And the Kids, and the Furniture and Even the Parrot) For a Hat." The title is a play off a classic psychology text, but the result is wonderfully fun, as the image replicates the title, and with a title like that, you can hardly expect anything but a wonderfully fun image. Surely that imagery is part of what has made the book so popular. The great thing here, however, is that while the cat's tower of haberdashery is certainly a wonder to behold, he's so great below the forehead, as well. The artist is skillful in creating a wonderful, oldtimey character and style, and Mr. Cat is stylin' in his suitcoat and gratuitous mustache. As if that's not enough, he's rocking a high-wheeler, with a Victrola horn, and as an added bonus, his high-wheeler contains a second high-wheeler for his mouse friend. It's almost like Death by Chocolate... too much of an awesome thing... but it evens out to being just enough surplus of greatness. It might be a bit too amazing for the average cat person, but the average cat person is boring.

Finally, in the "parody is great if you also consider art in the mix" department, Alexmdc gives us a master class in the artfully done pop culture piece with "Boom Box." The designer is well known for his expert craftsmanship, and you can see this all over this piece, from the details of the boombox to the shine on the bomb character. The parody aspects are brilliant for a number of reasons: the concept fits the use of the character, for one. The punchline that a bomb-man would use a boom-box is obvious, which makes this totally wearable even for those who are not gamers. Less obvious but also nice is how the 80s feel is infused throughout... an 80s character in a very 80s pose with some totally 80s shoes. It all feels linked, not just shoehorned in for the sake of a reference. Even then, the great thing about the reference is that the Bob-omb is distinctive without being boring and overdone, like Mario himself is. Picking a lesser character keeps the parody far fresher, and that's part of what a parody should be about, to some degree... if it's not fresh, is it really parody and not just copying? But even for a lesser concept, I am simply drawn to the way the black and gold elements here seem to simply shine off the aqua blank. The combo is killer and, dare I say it, explosive, and I can only hope this is not the only tee with this palette in my future.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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