The Brilliance!


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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For one, I am really interested in commercial architecture, mainly fashion brands because they go above and beyond when building out their retail spaces. Since Marc Jacobs just announced he’s opening up a shop around the corner from my apartment I thought it would be cool to highlight his right hand architect, Stephan Jaklitsch. He’s got a cool boutique firm that specializes in retails spaces all over the world. Just like the Marc Jacobs aesthetic, the retail design is simple and more often than not, on point. Peek around and get hip.

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Julie Mehretu : Black City!!!

Julie Mehretu is an incredible artist. Originally from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and now living and working in NYC, her paintings are some of the most detailed and fascinating I’ve really ever seen. In short, they are a crazy mash-up of architectural drawings, organic and abstract forms, historical references, graffiti, and from what I can tell, comic book linework. You really have to take a look at her paintings yourself to see and understand all the influences I just mentioned. What blows me away though, as an artist myself, is the level of detail she achieves while still maintaining structure and good composition. It almost feels like a more planned out, purposeful version of Jackson Pollock’s work sometimes to me. Anyways, Julie has a new monograph out called Black City that shows a lot of her work and goes into good detail about it….definitely do yourself a favor and check it out…link below…

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New interview with Ricardo Campa and other stuff!

Good morning everyone…it’s freezing cold outside here in Grand Rapids, but perhaps our interview with Ricardo Campa from sunny, beautiful both in culture and landscape will work you up. Ha, that intro was very PBS or maybe even National Geogrpahic…ha. Anyway, yeah…great new interview up, good stuff…posts as always, the Flickr page, etc. Ah, THE BRILLIANCE…so much fun. We’ve been quite a busy trio of creatives ourselves here (Chuck, Virgil & myself) working on our projects, lives, vacations, etc…maybe we should interview ourselves again, that was pretty fun the first round. Alright, well I’m off to get a cinnamon roll and a diet coke from the Beanery – have a good day everyone.

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Movie music!

This is a slightly random post…and for whatever reason I’ve been doing a lot of music posts lately. In fact, I should get into the music biz, hmm…I just can’t keep a beat though…I’ll figure something out. Anyway, I was talking with Chuck earlier today about this, and I figured it was worth a mention here. I was getting ready for a meeting this morning – and I wanted some new driving music as the client was about a 30 minute drive. I needed something different, something with an elegant or distinguished mood to it – something to make my life feel like a movie, right? A soundtrack. Ocean’s 12 – full of that type of music. For today’s ride I had the track ‘Crepuscolo Sul Mare’ by Piero Umiliani on repeat while I drove way, way to fast to my meeting…love that song, it’s just beautiful. Songs like that, or ‘Girl From Ipanema’, or whatever that one song is from Gold Finger when he is driving in Switzerland…great stuff. I swear, for me at least, it makes everything you do that much more…important feeling. Weird post, THE BRILLIANCE.

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Red Bull gives you music!!

Still stuck on finding an alternative to music while trapped on the computer I recommend getting into these streaming lectures on Red Bull Music Academy’s site. I first heard of this academy Red Bull put on annually from one of those flyers strewn about the floors of some record shop. I read it and couldn’t believe it was true. Basically it is a international music retreat in a random place anywhere in the world with the most innovative producers of the time. All on Red Bull dime and all you have to do is fill out an application to go. Even if you don’t get in anyone still get a glimpse into what goes down with their vast archived lecture section. In honor of J. Dilla I’ll recommend this bugged out Madlib one. But I guarantee everyone of our readers loves on of these artist on the main link. So scroll thru and find your favorite producer, Dj, or musician and get in tune with their story.

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Jade Mountain - St. Lucia with missing walls!

When your hotel is on the cover of Caribbean T&L with the tag line ‘The most exciting new hotel in the world’ you are most certainly doing something right. This place is honestly nuts. I recommend you grab the latest issue of Caribbean T&L (or ‘read-steal-it’ ha) for a more thorough review with amazing pictures…but I’ll give you a quick-and-short here. First off, its on the beautiful, although somewhat beachless, Caribbean island of St. Lucia – with its amazing Pitons in full view via personal infinity pools in each room…wow. It’s not just a ‘wow-that’s-really-luxurious-and-expensive’ hotel…it really has some amazing architecture, beautifully modern yet warm interior design, an amazing translucent multi-colored glass tile bottom infinity pool that (my favorite part) is half inside your room and half outside…with no fourth wall. Just a plain open view of the Pitons and the Caribbean waters. Seriously beautiful stuff. Of course it’s not cheap – but they have some great packages and I honestly think this one would be worth the money spent. Compared to what $1000 a night gets you in NYC…this place wins without question. Flights to St. Lucia are not terribly expensive either, abut $600 on average from my research. So yeah…another wild island destination vouched for by the brilliance gang.

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Pret A Manger!!!

It’s lunchtime in Chicago and I am starving. If only I were in London I’d he heading to Pret A Manger. Trolling the internet, I came across the fact that they have been slowing taking over NYC. Fast food is a sore spot for me. Continuing with the theme of all things that taste good are bad for you, I would end up with a heart attack if I at Mc Donald’s or any other fast food spot, every time I wanted to. Contrary to that thought, Pret A Manger brings the quality when it comes food an presentation without the guilty greasy feeling you get eating things like Harold’s Chicken a Chicago staple. Pret’s got “proper sandwiches using natural, preservative-free ingredients” and like that two British college friends are turning over 300 million dollars. At least they understand they need to expand in the US market outside of NYC, I’ll just keep hoping they hit Chicago next.

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McRad! Old memories, good times…

Man, I’m getting more and more random with the music stuff. From chopped and screwed, spaced cadet nerd stuff, mellow stuff, ska, & whatever else…I love it all. So this McRad stuff…I was having a much needed ‘shred session’ (I was rusty!) the other night at Premier’s basement-session-skate-park and my guy Josh (owner) throws on some McRad – the track ‘Weakness’. Man, you know how music can just transport you back or to a given place?! It was so perfect, I hadn’t skated in months and on comes one of my favorite tracks from my all-time favorite skate video, Public Domain from Powell Peralta. The next day I grabbed them on iTunes…so perfect. To a certain extent I guess you would have to have been skating during that whole Powell era – but if you were, then you’d knows McRad’s ‘Weakness’ and ‘McShred’ are two wild jams. Gnarly, extra gnarly jamzzz. Introducing the amazing rubber-boys!!

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New NoPattern, 2007!!!

I usually ask Ben or Virgil to do these writeups for me when I do a new site or have something new to announce about my own work…but I didn’t feel like making them try to come up with something this time. I’ll keep this short and to-the-point as best I can…I just put a new site up this past week - NoPattern 2007. Just crisp and clean… Anyways, I’ve also got a new print for sale - “Places You Can’t Imagine, I”. This is the first in a series of prints I’m going to do at this size with this theme. It’s in an edition of 125, 3x2 feet (36x24 in.), offset print for $50. So pick one up if you dig it. If you don’t, I’d advise you to save your money, because what would be the point of buying it if you don’t really like it that much? You follow me?

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Did MCM disappear too??

Nah, Married to The Mob kinda resurrected them. Streetwear evidently doesn’t have to be as depressing as we once thought. With one fell collaboration, we have a reminder theres tons of uncharted waters left. And who else to take the plunge but the originators of their style, MOB. You gotta love how this collaboration they secured leap frogged them into another category most brands didn’t realize. Skip the peers and go for the super lux for collaboration. MCM is such an interesting brand. With an iconic monogram that was prolific with early hip hop kids that were into SPX . Props to MOB for pulling in a nostalgic lux brand and props to MCM for staying relevant, on the street level that is.