For New Year's Eve, The Party Hat In Art by 16 Artists From Jeff Koons to Redshift.

With New Year's Eve tonight and a new year of birthdays coming up, I was inspired by the notion of 'Party Hats' and wanted to see what was out there in terms of fine art that incorporated the classic pointed hat. I was not disappointed and I hope you won't be either.

Stunning Print Advertising for the World Wildlife Fund by Contrapunto BBDO.

above: detail from World Wildlife Fund print ad, "Elephant"

Ads of the World, a fast growing site which features advertising from... yes, that's right, all over the world, makes monthly picks for what they consider the best advertising in film (tv), print, ambient, outdoor, online and direct mail.

Their choice for the Best Print work of November 2011 is this simple but visually stunning campaign for the World Wildlife Fund by Spain's BBDO office, Contrapunto BBDO. Three spread ads with the same headline. Same message. Same visual effect. Still beautifully compelling with a well executed effect.






The headline on all three reads "Desertification destroys 6,000 species every year." By the way, since it's not a commonly used term desertification means "The process by which fertile land becomes desert, typically as a result of drought, deforestation, or inappropriate agriculture."

Advertising Agency: Contrapunto BBDO, Madrid, Spain
Chief Creative Officers: Carlos Jorge, Félix Del Valle
Art Directors / Copywriters: Aurora Hidalgo, Raúl López
Account Manager: Paco Ribera
Producer: Javier Luján, Raúl López
Account Executives: Verónica Félez, Dalal Solaim

The Year in Digital And The Brands Using It Most Wisely According to the L2 Think Tank.

A look at The Year In Digital (social media, online commerce, mobile, content sharing) as well as the 2011 luxury brand digital "geniuses" from a year's worth of L2's Digital IQ Index® research.

L2, a think tank for Digital Innovation, has selected what they are referring to as the Eight Most Innovative Digital Programs in Prestige/Luxury and 2011′s Geniuses. Brands that understand how Americans interact and engage with social media, spending more time on social sites than they do on portal sites (with 95% of that social networking time spent now spent on Facebook)

These brands have figured out how to make meaning in the fire hose of daily tweets and video uploads. They understand the implications of a world where e-commerce volume will reach $197 billion by year end (Amazon is 1/3 of that number), 85 percent of the population is blanketed with a commercial wireless signal, and Facebook hosts tens times more photos than the Library of Congress.

L2 states that "The taste for luxury goods will always endure, but the digital world moves quickly. Today’s giants have created tremendous opportunity for themselves in the marketplace, but on the web there’s always room for the rise of the unexpected, the meme, and the new, next, next thing."

And here are their picks for the The Eight Most Innovative Digital Programs in Prestige:

#1 Burberry

#2 Lancome

#3 Oscar de la Renta

#4 Estee Lauder

#5 Dior

#6 Sephora

#7 Benefit Cosmetics

#8 Kate Spade

Consumers are hungry and today digital represents the greatest opportunity for brands to punch above their weight class. As their benchmarking tracks into 2012 it looks like there are quite a few brands bulking up and throwing punches.

Here are their picks for the 2011 Digital Geniuses

Fashion: Burberry, Kate Spade, Coach, Gucci

Watches & Jewelry: Tiffany & Co.

Beauty: MAC, Clinique

China: Audi, BMW, Burberry

Specialty Retail: Victoria’s Secret, Nordstrom, Macy’s

Magazines: Time

Facebook: BMW, Audi, Belvedere Vodka, Bare Escentuals, Infiniti, Clinique, Ferrari, Bobbi Brown, Lexus, Tory Burch, Lancome, Johnny Walker

Travel: Airlines – Southwest, Delta, Continental Airlines, American Airlines; Hotels – Westin, W Hotels, Hilton

L2 looks at the state of digital (social media, online commerce, mobile, content sharing) as well as luxury and prestige brand digital "geniuses" from a year's worth of our Digital IQ Index® research.

Be sure to check out their informative library of individual videos of the ways brands are using digital here on Vimeo.

Follow them on twitter

Visit them at L2 Think Tank

Vintage Looking Photos Are Actually Miniature Pencil Drawings by Artist Paul Chiappe.

above: Paul Chiappe, Untitled 6, 2007 Pencil on paper, 5 x 2.5cm (note how he included Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy in the above image)

I came across Paul Chiappe's unusual and frankly, astonishing, work while reading this wonderful 5 part series of 100 artists to watch at ArtInfo.

above: Untitled 48, 2010 Pencil on paper 3.6 x 3.4cm

above: Untitled 44, 2010 Pencil on paper 2.5 x 2cm

At first I thought they were slightly out of focus, vintage family and yearbook photos and then I realized I was looking at miniature masterpieces using mainly pencil (some are done using paint which is then airbrushed).

above: Untitled 46, 2010 Pencil on paper 3.4 x 3.4cm

above: Untitled 49, Paul Chiappe 2011. Pencil on Paper. 4 x 6 cm

A little Sally Mann-meets-Diane Arbus (two of my favorite photographers), Paul's drawings are simultaneously haunting and nostalgic. And small. Scarcely larger than 5cm in width, the 27 year old Scottish artist's images replicate elementary school photos, yearbook photos and what look like posed family photos - not unlike with what my own childhood albums are filled.

above: Untitled 34, 2008 Pencil on paper 3.8 x 2.4cm

above: Yearbook 1 drawings (grouping)

above: four separate images from his Yearbook 1 series

The subjects are dressed and styled in clothing from bygone eras, ranging from the Victorian period to the 1970s, with blurred and distressed faces and surroundings. The pieces are so small that sometimes a subject's face is no more than 2mm in size. It requires a magnifying glass to truly see the details.

above: A Crow Left of the Murder, 2007 Pencil on paper

above: A Crow Left of the Murder (detail), 2007 Pencil on paper

above: Untitled 29, 2008 Pencil on paper 3.4 x 5cm

above: Untitled 2, 2005 Pencil on paper 7 x 5cm

As quoted in an article by Jessica Satherly from the UK's Daily Mail, Paul, who presently works and lives in Edinburgh, says ‘I enjoy trawling through old nostalgic photographs, wherever I come across them.

above: Untitled 8, 2007 Pencil on paper 5 x 3cm

‘I find it particularly interesting looking at people in old photographs and appreciating the differences and similarities, across different periods, cultures and personalities.

above: Untitled 47, Paul Chiappe 2010. Pencil on Paper. 3.3 x 5.35cm

‘My interest is captured by the naive charm and androgyny of the children in the images I use, who display obvious personalities.

above: Untitled 42, 2010 Pencil & Acrylic on paper 5.9 x 4.4cm

‘Using old photos allows me to play with the idea of memory more than a very current image would and works as a device to force people to cast their minds back.’

'The scale stems from an interest in miniatures, where there is an intimacy forged between the viewer and drawing,' adds the 27-year-old artist.

Paul continued: ‘The scale stems from an interest in miniatures, where there is an intimacy forged between the viewer and drawing.

‘I also like working on a small scale for technical reasons - it makes sense for me to produce small work because it wouldn't be practical to produce large works with the same level of detail.

‘Often people don't realise when looking at my drawings on a computer screen that sometimes the faces in the drawings are in fact as small as 2mm.

‘I am constantly experimenting with other mediums and surfaces. I have drawn with pencil since primary school.

‘I remember even in primary school meticulously copying images for art class.

'I would end up drawing dolphins and things from wildlife books.

‘Basically, anything I would draw I'd make sure it was as realistic as possible.

‘I feel comfortable using this medium and enjoy the control pencil affords me.

‘I also like the fact that complex images can be produced using such a rudimentary medium.

‘I've always done quite realistic drawings.’

Images and info from the artist and the Daily Mail.

Paul Chiappe

Representing Gallery:
Madder 139
137 Whitecross Street & Playhouse Yard, London, EH1Y 8JL
+44(0)20 7490 3667

Custom Light Up Beer Pong Tables Add A Little Taste To The Game.

Custom designed and built Beer Pong Tables turn a college drinking game into... well, a college drinking game with a good looking playing field.

Handmade by Chippewa Five in Chicago, Il. the custom Beer Pong tables are crafted with exterior surfaces of Poplar wood. The legs are dining quality cast iron and the body is seamless, free of any visible screws and/or nails.

Wiring for the light-up Beer Pong Cup set is completely internal and plugs into a power source on the bottom of the table leg. The inset triangles are red plexiglass (they have two special editions in green and purple) and lit by long-lasting LED lights (no heat emission).

The rear panels detach for easy maintenance. Price? $799.

Two Special Edition Beer Pong tables with Green and Purple triangles ($649 each):

Purple lighting:

Green lighting:

Newly added lighting makes beer pong even easier in soft lighting or darkness by illuminating the underside and surrounding floor.

Exterior Surfaces are Poplar wood. Legs are dining quality cast iron. Body is seamless, free of any visible screws and/or nails. Wiring for light up Beer Pong Cup set up is completely internal and plugs into power source on bottom of leg. Triangles are red plexiglass and lit by long-lasting LED lights (no heat emission).

Shop for these at their etsy store.

A Picture Is Worth A Couple Hundred Thousand Sales. Or Not. The Best & Worst Selling Magazine Covers of 2011.

Ordinarily I try to write original content for the blog and do not reprint an article by another source. However, this article by John Koblin for WWD is a nice informative wrap up (albeit lacking for other variables) on what magazine covers were hits and which were bombs in 2011. Ten images accompanied the article, but I know that upon reading it, I felt the need to see all the magazine covers to which they were referring so I've found each and every one and included them here for you. Enjoy!

No matter what crisis there is on the newsstand, there are a few people who sell no matter what.

Take Sarah Jessica Parker. She pops up on the cover of Elle back in January, Vogue in August and Marie Claire in September and delivers each monthly its second or third best seller of the year.

Sarah Jessica Parker 2011 Covers:

Or, let’s consider Heidi Klum, who can help deliver Lucky its second best seller in March (175,000 sales in a year when they need it!) or bring the August Glamour its second best performer (510,000 sales, in a year when they really need it!).

Heidi Klum 2011 Covers:

Or Jennifer Aniston, who was Marie Claire’s top seller of the year in that sleepy summer month of July, and, from all indications, delivered Elle one of its best performers of the year in November.

Jennifer Aniston 2011 Covers:

It’s that time of year, everyone. Time to look back and see who sold (and who didn’t) at the newsstand for monthly magazines in 2011. All data is taken is from the Audit Bureau of Circulations, much of it from the Rapid Report, which is subject to minor change since it has not been audited. The majority of publishers have filed results through October or November issues.

So, if SJP, Heidi and Jen are consistently sellers — and have been for some time — isn’t there a newcomer we can add to the list?

Mila Kunis was the new runaway success of 2011. Kunis’ August GQ cover delivered 205,000 sales, by far its biggest hit of the year, through November. She took to W in March and delivered sales 15 percent above average for the fashion monthly. She was the February cover star of Cosmopolitan and brought in 1.7 million sales, which is nearly 10 percent better than the monthly’s average for the first half. And then she graced the cover of Elle in August in a portrait with Justin Timberlake, which brought in 250,000 sales, fourth best of the year for Elle.

Mila Kunis 2011 Covers:

And, apparently, Timberlake needed the Kunis boost. Timberlake’s W cover with Amanda Seyfried, for instance, bombed, selling a mere 15,000 copies, the title’s second worst performer of the year. And then Timberlake’s solo cover for Esquire in October brought in a teeny 73,000 sales, its worst performer of the year.

Justin Timberlake 2011 Covers:

But Timberlake should take comfort in the fact that he isn’t the only heartthrob who can’t sell: Justin Bieber bombed, too. Bieber took Vanity Fair’s cover in February and tanked — it sold 245,800 copies, the third worst seller since Graydon Carter took over the magazine in 1992. Bieber then appeared on the cover of a Rolling Stone issue in March, and sold 5 percent worse than average for the biweekly. But we’ve known this for some time. He appeared on the cover of Teen Vogue and sat down with People last year and sold 10 percent and 25 percent worse, respectively, than average for both titles.

Justin Bieber 2011 Covers:

Other bad years: Mrs. Andy Roddick, Brooklyn Decker, posted 81,000 sales for Esquire in February, its second worst performance of the year. Apparently she doesn’t work for women’s books either, as she brought in a mere 182,000 sales for Self, which is 25 percent below the monthly’s average in the first half. Moral of this story, Brooklyn: Stick with Sports Illustrated.

Brooklyn Decker (Mrs. Andy Roddick) 2011 Covers:

Fergie struggled at the newsstand as well, with the worst seller of the year for Allure in July and the fourth worst cover for Lucky in June.

Fergie 2011 Covers:

Also, Michelle Williams sold poorly at Marie Claire (third worst performer with 202,000 sales) and for Vogue (second worst performer with 296,000 sales).

Michelle Williams 2011 Covers:

Likewise, Reese Witherspoon struck out with Vogue (303,000 sales), Marie Claire (242,000 sales) and Glamour (440,000 sales), which represented a below-average performance for each of the monthlies.

Reese Witherspoon 2011 Covers:

It’s impossible to talk newsstand in 2011 without mentioning the person who landed on more covers than anyone: Kim Kardashian. She was Glamour’s bestseller of the year with her February cover and Cosmopolitans’s bestseller as well, when she helped bring in 1.8 million sales in August. But her results elsewhere were mixed. Her Harper’s Bazaar cover in March, her April Self cover and her November Lucky cover were all mild hits — they sold a few percentage points above average. Her December Marie Claire cover isn’t expected to be a barn burner, and a source said that her January 2012 Glamour cover with sisters Khloé and Kourtney is on track to fall below 400,000 sales — a really poor performance. Perhaps the Kardashian Krash is beginning?

Kim Kardashian 2011 Covers:

In the battle of New York athletes: Mark Sanchez’s September GQ brought in 175,000 sales over Derek Jeter’s April issue, which had 142,000 (J-E-T-S! Jets Jets Jets!).

GQ 2011 Covers:

And then there were the performers who had an up-and-down year: Gwyneth Paltrow was Elle’s best and Self’s second best, but her Bon Appétit cover in June and her January InStyle cover both sold below average for the monthlies.

Gwyneth Paltrow 2011 Covers:

Emma Stone’s July Elle cover was the monthly’s worst performer and her Vanity Fair cover was its third worst, but she scored with Teen Vogue (second best) Glamour and W.

Emma Stone 2011 Covers:

Olivia Wilde scored big with Women’s Health (its best), Allure (its second best) and Cosmo (third best), but not Marie Claire (below average) and Glamour (its third worst).

Olivia Wilde 2011 Covers:

And finally: What about Lady Gaga? Last year, Gaga was the absolute star of the newsstand. This year? She finally showed some chink in her armor. And why? She wasn’t in costume. Her October Harper’s Bazaar, which featured a Gaga close-up without any makeup, sold only 119,000 copies, its third worst seller of the year.

But when Gaga got all dolled up, she worked: Her March Vogue cover was its second best seller of the year and her May Harper’s Bazaar cover did far better than its autumn counterpart: It sold 159,000 copies, its third best of the year.

Lady Gaga 2011 Covers:

Last year, Jessica Simpson went without makeup for Marie Claire and it was one of its biggest bombs of the year.

Jessica Simpson's Make-up Free Cover:

So, Graydon, take comfort in your January 2012 cover with Gaga. She’s dressed up just fine. (I took the liberty of including the January VF cover with Lady Gaga shot by Annie Leibovitz below for your enjoyment)

C'mon people, it's only a dollar.