Monthly Archives: September 2011

Gwon Osang sculpts photographs

Gwon Osang is a Korean artist who creates what have come to be known as photographic sculptures. These pieces are made from hundreds of photographs of the original subjects that are collaged onto life-sized mannequins or other armature. This certainly achieves an otherworldly effect. One quality he gets from this process that we really like is how the hiker’s face below is quite surreal but other elements, like his shoes, don’t appear that much different because of their very nature. Osang says, “In sculpture, we sculpt an object and cast it into plaster which is no different from the process of developing negatives in film. Also, the process of re-making the original object from the plaster cast is parallel to the printing
process in photography.”

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Plain or Simple should never be Boring or Dull

Today’s post is from the front lines, courtesy of our Milford store manager, Jake.

Just the other day I was working with a woman on a design for a photo of her son. It was a professional photograph and very smart-looking. Obviously, I wanted to show her something that would look amazing, and as we began looking at materials she said, “I don’t want a look that’ll take away from the photo.” When I asked her what she meant exactly, it was clear that she didn’t want to include any materials she thought were fancy. She was hesitant to do anything that wasn’t just a black frame and a white mat. So I explained a theory that I find myself sharing with customers more than any other issue regarding custom framing. I told her that a common mistake is to under dress a photo when framing it. You don’t want to undersell your picture, to discount it with a frame that isn’t deserving of what’s going into it. My favorite analogy is this: when you go to a job interview, you would never want the interviewer to remember your suit more than you. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t wear your very best suit. It’s about presentation. If you ever find yourself noticing a frame more than the art it’s displaying, it’s not because the frame is too fancy or dramatic. It’s because the design wasn’t done well. You can do “plain” or “simple”, just make sure you’re not making it boring or dull!
For instance, one white mat is lazy. If you don’t like an accent color on your black & white photo try 2 of the same white mat, tone on tone. That’s a simple, yet very polished look. If you like plain black frames, add a black fillet on the white mat so that the entire package looks intentional and not a design that was just defaulted to.
Those extra features will make any design memorable and truly unique to you. That’s the advantage of custom framing.

How to sew a drawing

See, that’s the thing – you go years without seeing any pin & thread art and then BAM! All of a sudden yer hip deep in artists using pins & thread.
Okay, maybe not hip deep. But we did notice a few sites this past week featuring Dominique Falla’s entry for the Positive Posters competition, “We are all a Part of the Same Thing.” We wanted to feature some work that didn’t get the same kind of hype. Debbie Smyth is a UK artist who does wall-sized illustrations that are much more organic. These pieces are part textile art, part drawing. We like that there’s no pretense about what the medium is – she’s not trying to make these appear as if they’ve been done with anything but thread and needles. Before you make a final judgement on these, we recommend you watch the video at the bottom – it includes some time-lapse footage of Smyth working on one these installations. First off, you can’t get a sense of how big these are from just the still photos. And you’ll see right away that there’re several different skills involved, along with a lot of planning.

These tape installations took GRIT

Take a close look at these photos. There isn’t any trick photography or computer graphics going on here. That’s a tape installation done in real space by artist Stephen Doyle of Doyle Partners. The photos were used by New York Times magazine to illustrate different traits being taught at KIPP Infinity middle school in Manhattan. Each photo took about six hours of taping by seven tapers and roughly four weeks of planning.
Once you know that, you can spot the texture of the tape in the letters, but we still had a hard time wrapping our heads around the process of the installation. Fortunately, there’s a slick video at the bottom that shows how they did it.

There be giants in EVOL’s underground Rural City

Have you ever wanted to stomp up and down tiny city streets as a giant, angry lizard? Impossible, you say? Not if you were to visit the interactive installation just outside of Hamburg, Germany created by EVOL. The German artist excavated a miniature city block in the shape of an X for the MS Dockville music and art festival last month. EVOL says, “Usually I prefer to work on site by interfering with already existing structures. As I came there first, that’s what I found: endless meadow, trees and blue sky. Not exactly what I play with usually. So I decided to cut open the idyll, and pretend there is no endless meadow, but only rooftop-gardens of the disgust underneath. Eight exhausting days of hard work (at least for people who usually cut paper only).” The ‘Rural City’ is comprised of thin trenches about 1.5 meters deep that viewers can walk thru like so many King Kong stunt doubles.

Printing & framing your photos is as easy as 1-2-3

Hey, you remember those photos you took of Mom & Susan at Arches National Park from that road trip last May?
Oh, sorry – I was thinking of somebody else.

Well, regardless, I don’t think I’d be going out on a limb if I were to guess that you’ve got photos of somebody somewhere taken during a memorable event or trip. Maybe they’re even of you – no need to be modest! Mmm, I thought so. Wouldn’t you like to be able to look at those photos? They’re not doing anybody any good on the computer – you might as well bury ’em old-school style in a *shudder* photo album at the back of a book shelf. Nawww, you want them up on the wall so that you can appreciate them, show ’em off, where those photos will remind you of that wonderful moment in your life.

Rather than taking the time and trouble to schlep your photos around so you can get ’em printed and then find a framer, now you can do it all in one fell swoop from the safety and comfort of your own home! Big Picture Framing, yours truly, is introducing our new online framing program called Picture It Framed. You can access the service directly on our website. It’s as easy as

1. Upload your picture You can chose from 10 print sizes.

2. Click a Frame We offer 8 beautiful frame finishes and mat colors.

3. Pick it up We’ll call you when it’s ready and you just pick it up at one of our 10 Boston area stores. There’s also the option to have it shipped it to your door.

Feel free to call any one of our locations if you have any questions. We think you’ll be thrilled at how easy it is to print and frame your photos with us!

How to build a Ford Mustang from scratch. By hand. Using only paper.

You can file this one under “It’ll make yer brain melt if you really think about it.” Brooklyn artist Jonathan Brand constructed every single part of a 1969 Mustang coupe at 1:1 scale out of nothing but paper. The obvious question – well, one of ’em anyway – is, “Does it run?” No – he reproduced the car in its entirety, right down to the nuts and bolts, but is displaying it as individual collected parts, rather than as a single object. It’s the centerpiece of Brand’s second solo exhibition at Hosfelt Gallery, New York from September 20th – October 29th. Another obvious question is, “How?” He used computer drawings created with large-format inkjet printers as stencils. Then he cut, folded, and glued the shapes together. Many more questions are answered in the great video at the bottom – we like the part where he talks about the structural qualities of steel vs the structural qualities of paper.



Thanks to Chrispopher on Collossal for first featuring this.

Miha Artnak reveals our world’s hidden layers

We haven’t looked at any street artists in a while. After finding one that was as unusual as Miha Artnak, it was time for a closer look. “Layers” is a photo series that Artnak has used to create the illusion of multiple realities. Currently located in Slovenia, he is the co-founder of the creative group ZEK. This new project involves photographic layers that are cleverly placed on the corner of different objects or structures. They reveal other worlds or objects behind the more mundane items they’re stuck to. The layer of the back of a book cover shows a red heart, a high voltage breaker box is actually covering an infinite sky. It’s such a simple idea but it definitely has a hook that makes you want to see more of them. We find ourselves imagining where we’d place those stickers and what would be revealed if the layer was peeled back…

We’d like to be under the sea, in an octopus’ gallery

We dove deep into the briny depths of the interwebs and found this treasure trove on 1800Recycling. It’s an underwater art gallery created by Austrian advertising photographer and artist Andreas Franke. His project, “The Vandenberg: Life Below The Surface” can be found about 7 miles off Key West, FL in a ship that is the world’s second largest artificial reef.

Franke photographed the Vandenberg and digitally inserted figures and different scenes. The waterproof gallery features 12 of his best pieces at a depth of 93 feet along the Vandenberg’s starboard deck. Since August 4, 2011, any certified diver can visit. Each photograph is pressed between two sheets of Plexiglas and enclosed by a stainless steel frame that has been sealed with silicone to keep out the water. The frames are attached to the ship’s walls with strong magnets, making it easy to remove them at the end of the exhibition.

If ya want something done right…

If you spend half as much time online as we do, then you may have seen this ad by London-based Johnny Kelly that uses stop motion animation. Many who first saw it thought that it was done with computers because of how smooth and seamless the visuals are. But we’ve included a behind-the-scenes video by the production team at Clapham Road Studios that shows how it was done. Let’s start with the video itself for those of you who haven’t seen it…

Now, remind yourself again that this was created with traditional stop motion animation techniques. It’s true that some modern tools were utilized. For instance, the figures like the farmer and his family were created using 3D printers. But in our minds, that’s trumped by many of the low tech tricks that are revealed in the making-of video. Check out the brilliant method that’s used to precisely “move” the pigs along the conveyor belt, 3:50 into the clip.


As custom framers, this approach wherein each set piece is specifically crafted to suit the needs of the artistry is very appealing. The entire production is endearing – we love the tactile quality of the world depicted and the soundtrack really completes the mood. Willie Nelson’s interpretation of Coldplay’s “The Scientist” pulls at your heartstrings and snips a couple of ’em, too.
Thanks to Mad Men, any of us can appreciate the value of a good advertising campaign. This team not only succeeded in communicating Chipotle’s message, but they embodied the message of singular production in the communication itself.