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.


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.



“Starting something.” I’ve only had like 1 regular “job” in my whole life, and even that was start-up that only had 7 employees when I started - 160 when I left. I have zero college education. Got held back a grade in school. I don’t have a resume. Never really done a job interview. And in the last 5-6 years almost every thing I work on I was part of the creation of or the actual founder. Lots have failed - some are doing good. Some are just getting started. Some I’m just dreaming about a lot. This is going to be one of those random, rambling, drifting posts, but whatever I feel like its important to write this stuff. All the kids out there like me that simply cannot do something they don’t love - we’re all on some sort of team together. Kids who insist on figuring out how to live off the ideas in their heads. Kids who lose sleep off the hope and hustle of never having a “job” but instead having an amazing life that pays for itself. I’m there right now, …again. I just started another new project, tiny right now - more on it to come in the future, but I’d forgotten what those first few days after launch feel like. Taking something from: IDEA -> PROJECT -> BUSINE$$. Or as I call it, “from photoshop to real life.” It’s so wild. Especially in an area that me and the co-founder know NOTHING about. I’m almost convinced now that knowing nothing going in is an asset. Doing something new requires new thinking, no??? Anyway, thats my post, man. My hat off to all you guys - I’m honored to be on the same team with you. The “kids doing stuff” team.



Honestly - does anything get done on Fridays around 2:30? I’m not sure I’ve ever actually been hard at work on a Friday at 2:30. I might be at my computer and I’d tell people I’m “at work” but..yeah…nothing’s really…happening. Anyways - a little Friday reading for you.

☃ THEWORSTPORTFOLIOEVER - shout out to Alex Cornell for this one. “The worst portfolio ever” (TWPE) is a 110% hater but like 120% accurate so I’m good with it. Illustrating the proliferation of run-of-the-mill design portfolio sites that fall victim to mundane trends, TWPE tells it like it is. Little to no design being shown, glamour shots of Apple products with a designer’s work on it but real small, too much talking about themselves and their interests, not enough just…“here’s my work.” You can actually just read this bio intro and you’ll get it…ha. “I am a 23 year old designer/thinker living and making in sunny San Francisco. A penetrating storyteller, I like to massage my hand-crafted, beautiful pixels. I’m obsessed with kitesurfing, minimalism and making things easier and more delightful. I make stuff, I ship stuff, and I like creating engaging visual experiences for real people. I also like craft beers and whales.”

✏ I don’t play guitar, but I’ve been really enjoying Noisey’s series ‘Guitar Moves’ lately. Finding it really inspiring and just a lot of fun to watch. Matt Sweeney, a musician & the host of the ~10 minute episodes, basically sits down with renown musicians like Josh Homme, St. Vincent, James Williamson from the Stooges, Dan Auerbach, and others with a guitar and just picks their brain about how they learned to play guitar. They show some of their best stuff, play slowly so Matt and viewers can try to mimic what they’re doing, and it’s just fun to be a fly on the wall of what feels like a high-end guitar lesson.

☮ I know this absolutely deserves its own post, but have you seen this Nike Flyknit technology video?? Man…Nike just never settles for anything but the very best when it comes to their film, commercials, ads, everything. The detail in this is stunning…honestly one of the most visually memorable spots I’ve seen in a while. It was created by Digital Domain, who were actually also responsible for Hologram Tupac (!!!)

♫ Check out the work of Terry Fuiz . Outer space paint splatter jellyfish whatever. Dig it.

✞ ¯(ツ)/¯ still the best.

☸ I just closed this window on accident and thought I lost this post, but then I reopened it and here it is, so that’s good.

☣ Instagram video. I’m still torn on whether I love that it exists or hate it… a part of me “misses the old Instagram”, but it’s cool. I guess I just loved how simple Instagram was, but video was inevitable. There’s like a million articles about this, so whatever, just check out Benjamin’s one and only video he’s posted to IG so far. It’s the best thing.

▀▀█▀▀ █░░█ █▀▀ █▀▀▄ █▀▀█ ░▀░ █░░ █░░ ░▀░ █▀▀█ █▀▀▄ █▀▀ █▀▀ █ █
░░█░░ █▀▀█ █▀▀ █▀▀▄ █▄▄▀ ▀█▀ █░░ █░░ ▀█▀ █▄▄█ █░░█ █░░ █▀▀ ▀ ▀
░░▀░░ ▀░░▀ ▀▀▀ ▀▀▀░ ▀░▀▀ ▀▀▀ ▀▀▀ ▀▀▀ ▀▀▀ ▀░░▀ ▀░░▀ ▀▀▀ ▀▀▀ ▄ ▄

Have a cool weekend.


A blog post about the APC & Kanye Collaboration

Have you read the article from with Jean Touitou about this?? Like, better to start there I think than my post here. This is a JEAN TOUITOU and Kanye collaboration - APC is Jean Touitou. As simple as that sounds - these are the companies I have such a tendency to fall in love with - ones that have a figure head. I once heard a quote, something like: “Companies can’t be run by democracy. They need a competent tyrant.” Love that. I also love the concept of two insanely passionate characters like Ye and Jean working together - in a room - actually figuring it out. The “figuring it out” part is the challenge. I don’t have a ton of experience in fashion - but I have some. I’ve designed and produced a tiny collection - I’ve sold in stores. I’ve used 3-4 different manufactures. I’ve interned for a women’s formalwear company as a vacation in NYC once. Fashion is super hard. It can really suck sometimes. It’s not photoshop. Obviously its much easier for APC to execute these things - they have a proper supply chain built - but its still challenging to come up with something cohesive, wearable, even manufacturable, and then ultimately sellable at a price point that actually makes money. So yeah, take two characters like Touitou and Ye - its wild, its impressive. And I love that its so focused - I love focus. Everyone loves it - even if they don’t concisely know it. The products/business that are successful are the ones with intense focused.

Anyway, I have to be honest, when I clicked “checkout” on this morning I did it as an act of participation in the hustle/struggle/adventure that is this clothing & fashion space. Maybe I’m looking for some sort of fashion business karma - but my goal is to create participants of my collection at some point - work to earn their interest the same way Ye and Jean Toutiou grabbed mine.


Jay’s new one, Magna Carta

Not even trying to do a long review cause honestly at this point, what else could one of his albums be but good? Question is just like how good? Almost feel like I should be critical, like I just instantly like all his stuff for the most part. The whole Samsung thing was kinda weird, whatever. But shit, let me say this: a large portion of the people critiquing him, saying he’s selling out, will work the majority of their hours awake doing something they aren’t even passion about for $75K-$125K a year. He got $20M for a mutually advantageous distribution deal doing something he loves… ... ... ... ...

Back to this too short album review: **Stand out for me off the bat was the Rick Ross track. I love that Jay knows how to integrate someone like Ross so well, man, just ride around playing that song while planning a vacation to Europe, right? “Shopping bags, I’m a tourist…” *After that, the Frank Ocean one is perfect - love the visuals. *Tom Ford, he’s still got such a perfect sense of humor, you know? Someone asked me like, what does molly have to do with him wearing Tom Ford - how do they even relate? It’s like…exactly, they don’t. LOL. *Best line??? Hmm, “Yellow Basquiat in my kitchen corner, go ahead lean on that shit Blue, you own it.” Ahhh, he paints the picture perfect, more ways than one. **Bunch of other super good ones, grab it…

***And!!! Yimmy Yayo did all those videos, #too #current

Brill hedi

Man!!! Hedi Slimane is not messing around…

One of the best fashion stories of our time is the whole Hedi Slimane’s departure and return. Proper fashion drama. A year and change in we were foolish to expect a drastic evolution. Mies van der Rohe didn’t get bored one day and all of a sudden believe in a new aesthetic. The point is Hedi lives in his look and has refined that aesthetic to a best made level. Perfect example of perfection. Any creative director can see the long emails, firey conference calls and emergency finance meetings anytime you see something amazing go to market like what he’s putting in consumers hands. I love those that can pull off no compromise. No one does it better. Thanks God he’s back.

Screen shot 2013 07 03 at 11.14.40 am

NeverWet!! Waterproof everything!! Cover yourself in it and jump in a pool!

When we started THE BRILLIANCE!, Ben & I would write posts about things like edamame, Scrabble, and Carmex, for example, then email each other and be like “I don’t know dude…I don’t think people are going to want to read about that…” and then we came to our senses and were like, whatever…who cares. Just write about what you dig and people will dig it too. So when our friend Nicolai tipped us off to this spray you put on anything to completely waterproof it, I was like, I’m posting about that. That is very THE BRILLIANCE. “Very THE BRILLIANCE.” Good tshirt idea. Anyways. I’m like a paragraph in and I haven’t told you what this is about yet. Haha. Ok. OK!! Anyways…this stuff NeverWet is nuts - and honestly you’ve got to watch the video. You spray this (presumably super hazardous chemical??) on anything and it becomes completely resistant to liquids. Not only water though - check the video the dude squeezing chocolate syrup ALL OVER a pair of the whitest Vans ever and the stuff just like, slides right off of it. Mustard too. It’s cool to watch because it’s like one of those science videos you’ll find yourself killing time on YouTube with but it’s actually attainable now for 20 bucks a bottle, not like “Perhaps someday this will be available to consumers” type thing. What I want to know is, what if I put it all over myself and hop in the pool? Do I just get out and I don’t need to dry off?? Hmm. Is this going to kill the towel industry? Are napkin CEOs freaking out?? Honestly when I have kids eventually I’m putting this stuff all over them and their clothes before I go to any restaurant or to a park. You could go like a week without bathing them. That’s a weird thing to say. Anyways - the craziest thing of all this I think is when they show how to open up an iPhone, coat the whole thing inside and out, and it becomes completely waterproof. I wouldn’t do it personally, but it’s pretty amazing that something this powerful is available as a mass market thing. Imagine this for photographers though - lenses, gear, lighting..?? If you could go shoot without having to worry about screwing up all the electronics in your stuff…I don’t know, we geek out about this stuff over here plus its been a stressful week so this was fun to watch and write about. Alright, lemme go buy a can of this and spray it on my TV then throw my TV in a pool just because. Watch this video.


Bro, Google. Reader, bro. C’mon bro.

I don’t do a lot of “complaining posts” - at least I try not to. And this is kind of hilarious cause I was totally not into RSS a few years ago, this site itself didn’t have it. That said, once you get hooked on using RSS readers its really hard to switch back. So yeah, Google’s fantastically simple RSS Reader closes today. I imagine it did cost quite a lot to run it - and most users were using a 3rd party reader which doesn’t allow google to serve ads against it - so it doesn’t make a lot of money I would assume. But come on dude!!!! Ha. Now I’m using Feedly which has an ugly icon, has way over-designed UX stuff, uses “cool internet colors like purple and bright green” which is distracting from the whole point of RSS being just text and reading - no design, etc, etc. I can nerd out for a while on this. Thing that really bugs me is that I didn’t develop something - or that one of my favorite apps, “Reeder”, didn’t develop their own solution. I feel like that dude just shrugged his shoulders and went on vacation. I would love to take a stab at this…maybe I still should? Perfect practice in minimal & thoughtful design. I still think the whole RSS space is still too complicated - find a service, find a reader, etc. Should be simpler. That’s it, thats all I have to offer in this post. Mostly just complaining. #websites & #internet I’m going to start VRSS, very rare simple syndication.


Friday RANDOMZZZ ##### !!

I love doing these. Last one I did was like 3 years ago, ha. Internet No Rules!!1

Chuck sent me this Robert Longo interview piece on Nowness yesterday. I’m not an expert in artist interviews, but this is like the most insightful ones I’ve ever seen. I’m a huge, huge fan of his work and to hear him explain/talk about the balance of being an artist creating sellable work vs an artist creating work no one wants. Man, just really struck a cord with me. I’m not buying super expensive stuff, I hang around in the $500-1000 mark with a couple over that - but I go to a lot of shows/opening, etc, and what he’s saying has been a topic between artist friends for a while. Like, how to actually make a living as an artist.

Speaking of chuck? You following him on vine?! Sheesh.

I’m getting hip to marble in general, Carrara marble. Actually did some rough “honing” for a new project I’m working on.

I’ve never been to New Orleans. Been on my list, need to go. I love how the pool at this hotel looks. Seems like everything is so affordable.

Neo-Georgian architecture is my favorite right now.

I’m actually nervous this whole heavy black & white wave is going to crash and all sorts of pastels and wacky colors are going to be the next move. : /

Nike Flyknit thing has grabbed my attention, and money, like nothing. So fascinated with the technology.

That group Rhye? They’re the American Sebastian Tellier? #very good.

Do you lean or hang your artwork in your home? I’m a leaner. Like with big piece, 6x6, etc, it makes everything in your place feel taller. Speaking of that, I have been remodeling my condo for like 2 years, ha, finally coming together. Cork floors are amazing.

You guys heard the new Kanye album????????????!??!111