The Brilliance!

HTTP://WWW.THEBRILLIANCE.COM

We’re really internet and we’re really back. A website about things Benjamin , Chuck , Virgil , and various friends & guests think are interesting. Little-to-no specific focus, a bit odd, speling errors, and incredibly culturally relevant.

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Jake and Amir, who needs cable TV?!

I seriously haven’t had cable TV in 3 years, maybe 4? Who needs it when you have the internet. And it doesn’t get much more ‘internet’ than Jake and Amir. It’s actually a bit hard to define what they do…these like 1-2 minute shorts that are reality style, but not reality…they are hilariously bizarre and kind of addicting. So yeah, I won’t pretend to know the entire back story on these guys, but they work at Connect Ventures in the CollegeHumor.com ‘division’ if thats what they’d call it and apparently they started doing these little short films for fun. They became popular, and are now actually part of their ‘job’ at CollegeHumor.com by way of a reoccurring series called ‘Hardly Working’. I swear, the whole Connected Ventures lifestyle is crazy…new business at its finest. Ehh…I feel like explaining all this is making it less funny. It’s easier to just enjoy their perfect-subtle-witty-weird-humor for yourself and go from there. Here’s one of my favorites. Might not be ‘Safe for Work’.

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Necessary Documentary: OFF BOWERY!!

So I’ve only seen a little bit of documentation on this whole A-Ron evolution. I am interested because he’s been BRILLIANCE family since this site started. Thanks to Heron for getting that video interview the other week to kind of resurface that rogue New York energy. I have always been a fan of this swagger and in 10 years when we look back at these times he’s gonna be the one of those people, people reference. Too many times in this modern age of “being cool” its all about knocking trends, telling people they are late and sitting on the sideline trying to keep something secret. Instead A-Ron looks at the ‘scene’ like a participation sport. You get what you put into it. I respect that and I respect the hustle it takes to get back in the game after what seems to be a rocky start with aNYthing, once “the only brand that mattered”. That no longer seems to be the case, the new kids are back on the block, again. His pop-up store/performance space will exist somewhere in Soho/LES for like 2 months and be torn down….the only thing left after it’s gone will be a Playboy documentary?!?! Only in NYC and only A-ron.

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Chicago: NoPattern & ElectricHeat gallery openings this weekend!!

This Thursday, January 31st I will be on hand at Country Club Chicago along with Ben, Virgil, and a ton of other good people (did somebody say Nat Thomson!?!? ha, see you there Nat) for the one-night only gallery showing of some of my illustration work. Going to have some enormous canvas prints that hopefully everyone enjoys. This show is in collaboration with Mountain Dew’s Green Label Art artist bottle program. There will be a bunch of really cool giveaways - trust me - we’ve got some really awesome stuff you’ll get for free if you’re one of the first 100 people in the doors. So definitely come on out, say hi, and have fun. The show runs from 7-10PM. See more info on the flyer - here. But hey kids, the fun don’t stop there! Ha…The next night, Friday Feb. 1, my good friend Nigel Dennis of ElectricHeat will be hosting his gallery opening at the Threadless Store from 7-10. So come out for that too! Myself, Ben, and Virgil should all be there for that as well. So come say hi, have a fun filled art weekend in Chicago, and give Nigel a wet willy when you see him. I should also mention a big huge thank you on behalf of both myself and Nigel to Michael and Brad over at Elevate Printing for being an amazing printer and working so hard to get stuff done for our shows. If you need art prints - big or small - definitely go with these guys…amazing quality and great dudes.

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Minor Threat/Dischord Records eBay auction!!

Friend of the Brilliance Ryan Sievert just emailed me today about a pretty crazy auction going on on eBay. Jeff Nelson of Minor Threat/Dischord fame has put a bunch of rare and classic punk/hardcore memorabilia up for sale including old flyers, 12” and 7” records, original pressings, and test pressings from bands like Minor Threat, TSOL, The Vibrators, Scream, and more. Even if you’re not interested in buying any of this stuff, which will surely end up going for a good bit of $$$, it’s really cool to see some good shots of this stuff. Not sure what exactly is motivating him to get rid of all this but hey, whose complaining? Definitely a fantastic chance to own some great pieces of punk rock history. Link below.

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Say Cheese…The Sartorialist!!!

For me The Sartorialist has been a daily read for easily more than the past year. Scott Schuman a photographer started his street style blog and its blown up to turn around and really start to effect fashion. Based out of NYC he’s gotten a ton of notoriety which has sent him to all the major shows to shoot the people behind the scene. All the people with wyw catching style in their element, on the streets. The best element of his site are almost the comments…people really start to breaks down the looks and get into the small details. The only reason I have been waiting to post this is cause I’d rather have had an interview, but judging by the latest agencys that have picked him up, it may be a bit difficult to nail down. Conde Nast sends him to Pitti Uomo in Milan which is like the Super Bowl for men’s fashion which was last week. It’s cool to see what far out runway looks that debut on the runway one season end up on real people like the Comme triple layer suits. So if you see him on the streets, smile and get your shirt cuff length just right, and be glad you wore that outfit that day.

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So can I. New NoPattern stuff!

I usually don’t like to post about my own work on here…I always ask Ben to do it for me. But I’ve been working on this stuff for months and I am in ‘get it off my chest’ mode and am excited to share it with people. So that said, I just put 12 new pieces of work up at NoPattern, and all the work is for sale on my online store, NP&CO. 8 of them are archival quality giclee prints on Hahnemuhle photo rag - and if you’ve ever seen a print on that up close, you know it’s some beautiful paper. Anyways - check it out and enjoy. Also - if you’re going to be in Chicago on January 31st, I will be having a one-night only gallery show at Country Club Chicago. I will be there and hopefully Ben and Virgil will too, so come by to see some new work, hang out, and have a good time. The next night, Feb. 1, one of my BFF4LIFEs, Nigel Dennis of ElectricHeat, will be having his gallery opening at the Threadless Store so come out for that too.

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I can post anything I want… J. Crew model girls!

You can add this post to the ‘really random’ folder. I don’t care man…ha, I can post whatever I want. And matter of fact, we used to make a lot more random-type posts. So, I’m not really like an ‘oogler-googler’ over the ladies…mainly cause I’m stupid picky. Whatever. I mean, unless its St. Barths, which is just…something else man, wowzers. I guess I have an appreciation for understated beauty…enter J. Crew model girls. Now the reality is, their clothes fit pretty poorly, its a ‘mall’ brand, and their demographic is actually pretty corny…but all that aside, lets live in the catalog world they’ve created for a minute, dream with me. Without question, the best ‘curated’ female models for a brand with sweaters under $100…ever. I get their little catalogs in my mail box every month or so, and I’m always stunned at their photos/models for the women’s collection. It’s this perfectly created alternate reality with yellow trench coats, skinny jeans, flats, perfect fitting stripped cardigans and classically beautiful girls that don’t wear make-up casually enjoying life with their only concern being which sailboat they’ll be taking a sunset cruise on. Like the quintessential ‘good life’ you know? Ha…this has got to be one of the weirdest posts I’ve ever made. Nothing wrong with appreciating really beautiful girls mixed with good branding. Bottom line is, J. Crew is killing the catalog and model curating game - they build such a perfect image. Other brands take note. ***Quick disclaimer: their mens line is a 6 out of 10…step it up.

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Somewhere 13 hours ahead, Tokyo!!!

I am still in the building….just in another one on the other side of the world! So yeah with about 13 hours notice I was sent out to Japan which is a 13 hour flight and 13 hours ahead of Chicago. Good thing I am not superstitious. I love traveling and the past few months have ben pretty crazy. Like yesterday I reached in my pocket to fing my hotel key and pulled up 3 different cards, none of them for the hotel I am actually in, Grand Hyatt Roppongi Hills the number one contender for my all time favorite hotel. Its bound to happen when you borderline live in a hotel where every detail is considered. I have been here for almost a week and finally made it out of our make shift studio out to hit some spots. Check out Flickr for some Flicks.

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Computer Arts Projects magazine, my editorial debut!

Ha…I don’t know about debut…but I was asked to write their “Last Word” for this months issue about graphic design and fashion. Actually, they asked Chuck first, but he passed…so its kind of ‘second-tier-stunting’ if you will, ha. So yeah, they have this section in every issue to close it out called “Last Word” and the subject I was asked to write about was “Are we obsessed with fashion?” I’ve never actually written anything for a magazine really…maybe been interviewed about a project or two I’ve worked on, but never like an editorial thing like this. And fashion? I mean, yeah, I dig fashion…I participate in it, etc. I’m not going to claim “best dressed” or anything…that would have to go Virgil. Either way, it proved to be a cool outlet to get my views out on what I feel “fashion” actually is, you know? I won’t spoil it and re-write my thoughts here, just check the link below to our Flickr for a view of it. Yeah, fun stuff…and, believe it or not, they paid me for it. So…I’m writing about myself writing in a magazine…ha. And that’s my post. ***And no, I didn’t do or pick that design work. Not knocking it, just fyi.

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Revisionaries: A Decade of Art in TOKION!!

My first post of the new year and first one in a while…sorry about that for those of you who have been refreshing the page for a post from me like it was a Macworld announcement. Earlier in 2007, I got an email from Ken Miller of Tokion (who by the way recently gave their magazine a complete overhaul that looks absolutely incredible, check it out) about being in a book he was putting together called Revisionaries : A Decade of Art in Tokion. I was thrilled to be asked to have some work in it but was even more excited when I got the book in the mail a few weeks ago and saw who I was alongside of. Dalek, Geoff McFetridge, Jose Parla, Maya Hayuk, Erika Somogyi, Os Gemeos, Marcel Dzama, Barry McGee, David Shrigley, Jim Houser, Saiman Chow, and many, many more. Would you believe that’s only about a tenth of the people in the book!? It’s certainly one of the most thorough, quality, and enjoyable books on my shelf now. 160 pages and hardcover, you would be doing yourself a huge favor by picking this up if for no reason other than to be completely inspired. You can pick it up on Amazon for a measly $22. I’d honestly pay much more for it. Nice job getting an incredible batch of people together, Ken and Tokion. I should also mention that every artist has one spread and not only with images, but with some great Q&A for everyone as well. My favorite question everyone had to answer was “What is the most frustrating thing to hear about your work?” It’s really interesting to read everyone’s answers, it’s a very nice, intimate look into these artists’ personalities.