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.


The new best thing on the internet: The Met puts 400,000 (!) works of hi-res art online!!!

WHATS MORE RARE: FINDING A PICASSO AT A GARAGE SALE OR A POST ON THE BRILLIANCE!?!? lol. Anyways, let’s get real. This, to me, is unbelievable on so many levels. You can now search to see ~400,000 (394,000 to be exact) works of art in beautiful hi-res and it is amazing. When I say hi-res, I really mean it. Most images appears to be in the 10-12 megapixel range, which is more than sufficient to make any of this stuff a background on your phone or desktop, and still plenty sufficient to make some nice prints at home if you wanted to. But most of all, I feel like the reason this is important is because it creates a brand new entrypoint for people to look at art close up and really appreciate the details, ultimately encouraging them to become fans and patrons of it. The cracks in the paint, the erosion of metals and clay, the imperfections that make this stuff perfect. Of course, the ultimate goal here is to get you to go look at these works in person…but this really is as ‘now’ as it gets: hi-res images of historic, fine art on the internet so some 9 year old kid on his iPad can explore it close-up then tell his parents he wants to go to an art museum to see for him/herself. So an artist in need of inspiration can get lost for a few hours poring over the details of some newly discovered Albrecht Dürer illustration. So those of us already in love with art can fall further in love with it and those who aren’t can give it a shot. Can you imagine the amount of work that has gone into doing this too by the way? 394,000!! Insane. I assume this has been years and years in the making. From the Met’s own announcement about this, “...[works] may be downloaded directly from the Museum’s website for non-commercial use—including in scholarly publications in any media—without permission from the Museum and without a fee.” And from Thomas P. Campbell, CEO of the Met, “I am delighted that digital technology can open the doors to this trove of images from our encyclopedic collection.” Go explore.


HEY ITS LIKE 2014 AND STUFF!!!!##!#!!#!!!

Ok, ok…so we haven’t posted since October 24. I know. But we’re like all busy and stuff. “Sorry, I’m just really slammed right now.” “Sorry - just really bogged down with work, haven’t had a spare moment!” “Man, super sorry…just been way behind on all my internet responsibilities.” You know how it goes. Like when someone is waiting for you to get back to an email or something and these are what you come up with. “SLAMMED! IM SLAMMED!! SORRY! HAVENT FORGOTTEN! SLAMMED!!! SLAMMED RIGHT NOW!!!!” Haha. Anyways…we’re still here. As for me, I recently launched a new podcast called Life+Limb which really was an extension for me of the interviews we’ve done here on THE BRILLIANCE! over the years. Like a spin-off, like, THE BRILLIANCE! is the White Stripes and Life+Limb is my solo album or the Raconteurs or something. Anyways, it’s going super well and has been a ton of fun. Been live just a couple weeks and is already the #2 podcast in iTunes Arts-Design section so that’s how you know this thing is cool as hell. I’m basically Howard Stern now, basically. So…go check that out at - I’ll probably make another post just about this eventually but be on the lookout for episodes with Benjamin & Virgil in the new year… Speaking of Benjamin & Virgil, they both have a lot of good shit going on right now too. Benjamin is DJ’ing and making clothes and traveling and continuing to grow the success story that is Boxed Water. Virgil recently launched OFF-WHITE which is his continuation of PYREX VISION and is obviously amazing, and the new #BEENTRILL site BEENTRILL.COM launched today which is also super good…it was made by the way by our friends over at OKFocus who are easily the coolest creative agency on the planet (their words but also mine). Anyways…so that’s whats up. I don’t know if we’ll post 4 times or 40000 times in 2014, but just because it gets quiet around here doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten about THE BRILLIANCE! If anything, it just means we’re all cooking up something good that will eventually get posted about. HEY GO FOLLOW THE BRILLIANCE ON TWITTER @THEBRILLIANCE OK BYE HAPPY NEW YEAR OMG


Gifpop!! Physical, actual GIFs you can hold. Like, in your hand.

This is the epitome of the internet coming full circle, off the screen and into the real world and in such a cool, simple way. From the (successfully funded) Gifpop Kickstarter page: “Gifpop is a tool to make custom cards from animated gifs, using the magic of lenticular printing.” Lenticular printing, the same lenticular printing that has been used for years on the sides of plastic souvenir cups at events, on sports cards, on hokey bus shelter ads and really anything else you can think of. GIFs, the same gifs that have been practically a part of the internet since the internet existed… but put the two together and it’s something new entirely in concept. Holding a favorite gif in the palm of your hand, something to collect, to give to a friend, to use as a giveaway for artists or bands or designers or brands or whoever - honestly, so perfectly simple. Plus, I love that they’re working with two of the absolute best gif artists around and equally cool dudes, Mr Div and Davidope, guys I’ve followed for a while now and I love to see their craft moving to a physical product. And make no mistakes, gifs are a craft now and certainly even making moves into a more accepted form of fine art. Emailing with Benjamin about this and another awesome gif artist, Zack Dougherty, Benjamin said “THIS is what I want to see in art museums right now.” Couldn’t agree more. Go check out the Gifpop kickstarter if you want to contribute, although its been 3x successfully funded which is really great for a creative project like this. The project was conceived by 2 designers/programmers named Rachel Binx and Sha Hwang and we wish them nothing but success with this. #VERY #VERY #VERY #INTERNET


Nicolas Berggruen, homeless billionaire.

If you ask my friends, they’d tell you about how I kind of romanticize hotels for their focus on extreme connivence, comfort, often luxury, all in an oddly transient context. I love the idea of being a bit of very comfortable…but productive transient. Which is pretty much exactly what Nicolas Berggruen is doing. I found out about him a while ago - some New York Times article or something, can’t remember. Super fascinating. He’s kind of the prototype of what I envision for the maybe overly eccentric creative entrepreneur is, no? Something I aspire to a bit myself.

Grew up in France, was super leftwing socialist, then as a teenager headed to London to explore capitalism and the “real world” as he describes it. That led to starting a hedge-fund with the son of a tycoon from Colombia (ha), sold it, followed by a zillion other successful investments, fell in love with privacy, ditched all his personal belongs including his homes and decided to live anywhere he wanted in the world via hotels and his private jet. He has since transitioned from a bit of a playboy to a political voice/theorist through his org that focuses on “new ideas of good governance”. This is the quick and very chopped version of his life - google him, pretty wild. The thinking man’s gypsy??? Interview at link below is a good one.

***This link too.



From the NYT article:

“It’s hard to overstate the gamble Jobs took when he decided to unveil the iPhone back in January 2007. Not only was he introducing a new kind of phone — something Apple had never made before — he was doing so with a prototype that barely worked.”

Did you read this?! Too good, like, this article is better than the whole JOBS movie - honestly. It’s such a vivid picture of what innovation ACTUALLY looks like..not just the romance of what it looks like once its launched and everyone loves/hates it. The amount of stuff that needed to actually be invented to make just one product is unreal. The multi-touch screen. The software. The physical device/shell. The hardware. Even the concepts of pinch-to-zoom, inertial scrolling, full internal gyroscope, etc. All of it invented for 1 product. When Steve was on stage saying, “this is 5 years beyond anything anyone else is doing”, it wasn’t just shit talking - it was the result of the massive, massive risk they took - and he was 100% correct. You don’t get that far ahead of everyone else in an industry you’ve never participated in without taking insane risk like that. Can you imagine if it had flopped? Where would Apple be? What other companies take risks like that? Which ones are doing that today? I know I make posts about Apple a lot, or used to, but put yourself in that teams shoes the day they launched this thing…my goodness. Reminds me to attempt the possible and never let your imagination be limited by what can be done with today’s technology… A story about risk and return, link below.


BAD BLUEPRINTS!!! GIFs by Alec Mackenzie…

Is there anything “more internet” than a GIF? They’re ubiquitous, have been for a while now, completely and wholly a part of our culture but can only really live on the internet. GIFs are truly the perfect encapsulation of my generations attention span. Satisfaction in ~3 seconds and you move on. Anyways, half the fun in writing a post on here is picking what to put in that little 100x100 square you see to the right. For this post I honestly made about 10 different options until I was like, yeah…that’s the one. It was almost just too easy to choose some skull on a colorful cube or something, had to dig a little deeper. Artist Alec Mackenzie’s blog is titled ‘bad blueprints’, and it’s just page after page of the most amazing, weird, screwed up little gifs of glitchy, 3D nightmarish odds and ends and I honestly didn’t want the pages to end. Actually haven’t gotten to the end yet. I think what I love about a lot of ‘internet art’ is how it doesn’t make you feel any way in particular. Or it does, there’s just not a good adjective for it. I mean, what exactly is your brain doing as it processes the visual of a 5-frame loop of a giant businessman standing on a table spinning his arms around as 6 seated businessmen sit there staring at him or a head that spins around but the eyeballs stay stationary leaving a momentary 3D mess of red flesh. Like, you don’t just look at these once for a quick second and move on, you sit and you stare, at least I do, for an inexplicable amount of time. It’s totally mesmerizing. I really can’t find much more information about Alec anywhere…mostly just other blog posts like this featuring his work and whatnot…but I’m gonna try and track him down because I think he’d be a fun interview. So go look at Bad Blueprints, GIFs by Alec Mackenzie!!!11!


3-SWEEP is for the kids!

!!! Maybe I don’t spend enough time on the internet - ha… - but you only see stuff like this once or twice a year. Best bet is to watch the video at the link below before reading this post. Maybe I’m growing up or something, but what immediately came to my mind was young kids and this being a replacement to the expression of ideas in 3D that LEGOs gave me when I was kid. LEGOs + our hands were the first 3D printers kinda, yeah?

I think of my 8 year old nephew using the zillionth iteration of this 3-SWEEP software on an iPad and being able to take a picture of anything in his surroundings: the museum, on a hike, his backyard, an airplane flying over him, his friends, a tool in the garage, etc…or even better, finding any image he can dream of on Google Images…then converting it into a 3D object as shown in the video, then editing it into anything his wildest imagination can conjure up. Then printing it out via a 3D printer in whatever material he’d like. And doing all the in like 10 minutes. Forgive me for nerding out on this - but anything that accelerates imagination and creation im ALL IN on.

Can’t wait to see 4-SWEEP.

And I want a Bulls “3-PEAT” starter hat…but says “3-SWEEP”.

Brilll krule

It’s a Krule world out there, no one is safe from !!!

That moment when you hear of a new artist in like 6 different ways in as many days is amazing. Amongst the monstrous ## music trades, mentions previous, instagram feeds of “this-is-that-kid?” and friends-of-friends comes King Krule. Honesty in voice is the best way I can describe his sound. His voice has an aesthetic. The melody and tone are real. With music is in such a weird place it refreshing. In this case the music says it all. Check out this live set at Mercury Lounge. Never trust anyone that over talks the music. Those are critics. I hate critics. Ha.


Artists I’m digging right now…

I’ve always really loved having THE BRILLIANCE! as an outlet to share with you the artists that I come across daily who inspire me and make work I find really fascinating, creative, imaginative, etc etc. Here’s a few of the latest…
•Jiro Bevis - I don’t know if I love Jiro’s name or his work more. “Jiro Bevis”. That’s just not a name you ever have to worry about people forgetting or mixing up with someone else. Anyways - Jiro is one of my absolute favorite illustrators. His work is so fun…I think that’s why his site’s sections are labeled ‘Fun’, ‘More Fun’, ‘Work’, etc…anyways - comic book, punk rock, cartoon, old skateboard art a la Jim Phillips all come to mind with his stuff. I actually just snagged a few prints from him for my new office.. nice dude to boot. JIRO BEVIS!!!11!1!!
•Fabian Oefner - Man…I really, really love just staring at Fabian’s work…experimental photography at its best, but with work like Fabian’s the photography is always only half the story. The other half is in the experimentation with paint, balloons, fast lenses, lighting, and - I would assume - lots of trial and error. The ‘Black Hole’ series is the shit. What else can I say? Connecting a rod to a drill and covering it in paint, then turning the drill on so it whips the paint in a 360° circle and capturing that with a 1/40,000 shot…pretty nuts. All his work though - just click around and get lost in it for a bit.
•Santtu Mustonen - you’re damn right I had to copy and paste that name. Santtu Mustonen. So far all these guys have really specific names. Anyways - Santtu’s colorful work and abstract patterns have long been a favorite of mine but it wasn’t until recently that I put a name to the images, which I’d seen in various magazines and on every other Tumblr and FFFFound page. This piece is one of the first of his that I saw and I always really dug it. Creating that really organic, natural texture digitally is not easy to do. Super cool stuff.
•That’s it. I’m just keeping it to 3.

Brill flyknit

Flyknits!!! iPod level innovation happening as we speak!!! aka Retros are funny!!!

It’s happening. What I consider the best product invention since the iPod, Nike Flyknit, is changing footwear from the most difficult angle. Aesthetics. But not only pure aesthetics, aesthetics formed by function. What a killer design story too. They simply imagined making a shoe by forgetting how shoes have been made in the past. What that did was removed the mass amount of fabric waste that happened between pattern pieces and traded it for the only waste made in flyknits is the few inches of knit yarn that extend from one shoe to the next. After all what a better system to mold around a foot that a knitted sock. The design story is everything. So modern. So modern it’s going to kick a dent into retro sneaker business. After all we all love those Sony yellow Sports Discmans but not in 2013. Lol.