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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Jazz - the only music worth listening to.

Bold title, I know. But at the end of the day, the only albums I feel like I cannot exhaust to the point of being tired of them are my jazz albums. Specifically Thelonious Monk. I have been a Monk fiend lately. I cannot stop listening to him. I’ve been noticing heavy influences from jazz in my art lately as well, and that’s fine by me. I’m no jazz expert and I’ll be quite honest, my love of jazz does not go back very far, it is actually fairly recent, within the last 2 years or so. But I cannot for the life of me think of any better music to work to than jazz, especially if you sit at a computer all day. I don’t know, is it just me? I could listen to Monk’s “Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea” or Coltrane’s “Like Sonny” on repeat for hours and probably not get bored. This goes hand-in-hand with my love for bookstores too…just the most relaxing thing to me, bookstores and jazz. I know it sounds super artsy fartsy but whatever, I can talk about whatever I want on here and you can’t stop me. What do you think about that, huh? Well anyways, there’s not much of a real point to this, except to maybe encourage some people to check out some new music. And that’s that. Link below to my favorite album…

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Saab AeroX!

We have all seen concept cars…almost like…who cares, you know? Like, wow, another car that is way over-priced and will never come out. But for whatever reason, I got a different vibe on this one. First of all, I absolutely love the Saab brand. This will be my third post about them…the main one would be the credo for the ‘born from jets’ campaign. So this new Aero X is honestly amazing. It really just exudes the Saab brand at every end. Truly a car that mimics the styling of a jet. Few quick facts…it has a V6 biofuel (I love this!) engine that produces 400bhp, LED head-lamps that suggest the color of ice with day-running LED lights hued in a slight green, wheels that mimic the pattern of a jet-turbine while pulling heat away from the brakes, and then there is the ‘cock-pit’ which is just surreal. Check these pictures or the site below to see it in action. Can you even imagine hopping into this thing?! Too much, but not too much, right? Seriously, the whole design of this Saab is brilliant…such a muscular stance, aggressive lines, the wheels (!), etc…what more can I say…check the pictures. And if anyone who reads this has connections with Saab please get at us, we would love to connect for an interview or something with their design team. I think I really want this car…in white. Thanks to Ryan on the link for this one…

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I found out about Stefan and Nicole Andrén in the latest issue of my favorite magazine Dwell. Quickly - Dwell is a beautiful magazine you need to read if you don’t already. Anyways, Stefan and Nicole work for Nike and Wieden+Kennedy respectively and live in Portland, Oregon. They moved there and found the condos to be too overpriced, and as Dwell says, they were inspired by defeat. So they took it upon themselves to create and design their own place on a sloped hill in the woods. The result is an absolutely beautiful home they call Skybox. So first - you must read the whole article in Dwell. One of the most important and commendable aspects of the project was to use affordable materials. Lots of IKEA, lots of basic things from Home Depot that were customized…simple, efficient, practical thinking that resulted in a masterpiece of a home, if you ask me. Then there is Krownlab, which is their architecture and interior design studio. You must check out Krownlab and the Dwell article asap. Go ahead, get off your futon and stop looking around the internet for funny pictures to post on your friend’s MySpace. Ok?!

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Fernanda Cohen!!

We get a lot of emails from people submitting their sites or news but truth be told, we are both very picky about what we choose to post. 90% of the time we post about things we find on our own. However, on occasion, we get a gem of a submission and have to post it. Ben and I both felt that Fernanda Cohen’s work was deserving of a post and are also considering doing an interview with her. We love her work. As an artist myself, I can’t say enough how refreshing it is to see something different, original, and just fresh. Fernanda is definitely doing her thing in every sense of the phrase. The illustration style is her own - I have not seen many others do work quite as nice as hers. Check out the stuff for Target and Flavorpill specifically! And doing windows for stores in Times Square is nothing short of major. The ‘Personal’ section is full of beautiful pieces too. I’m rather speechless, I just really love her work. Much respect to you Fernanda - you’ve got some new fans here at The Brilliance.

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I Chunk Up The Deuce!

It’s been a warm minute since I did an ignorant post about some ‘new joint’ I’m liking. I love this southern stuff…just doesn’t get old to me. Simple beats, screwed hooks, and talking about wood steering wheels, slabs, ‘dripping’ paint, screens falling, diamond slugged grills, popped neon trunks (hater hurter), 5th wheels, 84s, drinking barre, etc… Something about the whole scene in Houston is refreshing to me. Like, doesn’t seem as intense, or maybe serious, as all the other coasts…its just bragging, fun, party music…pure entertainment to me. And the lack of violent-type (no plexing!) stuff…to a certain degree. **Anyway team, check this new track with Paul Wall, Keke, Pimp C and Bun…I just had two cheese dogs and a side of fries. Wifi at the hot dog spot on Ionia. *From Chuck: I saw Bun B at O’Hare airport a few weeks ago. He bought about $24 worth of magazines and I saw him take his shoes off in the security line and walk in his socks. Wow.

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Man, I almost feel like I should be making more sneaker and t-shirt posts…or maybe not. I just bought some new Vans if that helps. So I’ve been researching some designers/products for a new bathroom I might be designing for a new condo I might be buying. Might. Anyway…I’m trying to go really, really minimal you know? Polished concrete floors, lots of hard edges, frosted glass, white, white, white…real open floor plan and all that. So, you read Dwell magazine or whatever and they have these shower basins and bath tubs that are beautiful…but like $15k…yikes. Just not trying to spend that kind of money you know? So I’ve been researching this company in Finland called Durat® that does all this polyester-based custom formed stuff. Real fresh stuff…that rectangle tub they have is nuts though. Absolutely beautiful. Check it out… I honestly have no idea how much the stuff costs yet, but I’m sure it’ll be disappointingly expensive. Anyway…random post, right?

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NoPattern and NP&CO!

Updated, updated, and updated. My man Chuck comes thru with heavy updates…Nike, Less Than Jake, Men’s Health, Columbia College…and more. Plus a new print up at NP&CO. for sale. I always give my little thoughts or whatever on where Chuck is at…as I got to see his work from when we drew stuff in Microsoft Paint when he was like 11 up until now. By the way, the stuff he did in paint is hilarious man, trust me. So this new update…first thing, both with his new site design as well as the new print for sale…different, right? I’m into it man. I love progression, you know? And all his client work is getting better with each iteration as well. The whole ‘outer glow champ’ thing actually has merit to it…cause they get better, more organic, and more…professional each time. Just my thoughts. But yeah, go get that print…another big sized one. Also, check the new logo setups on both sites…! ***Bite his work ethic, not his style.

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David Gensler video interview!

Dave is one of the reasons I’m doing what I’m doing today. He has supported me from the beginning, supported The Brilliance from the beginning, and has always been one of my favorite people to work with and chat with about design/ideas/life/rainbows/ponies/etc…
Anyways, he just did this new interview with Piers Fawkes on PSFK, which by the way is an incredible resource and news site…The video interview is interesting - Dave covers a lot of ground including what brands are hot and why, his inspirations, what’s up with street culture and mash culture and design, and more…Definitely worth checking out. It’s kind of funny to me when that dude in the background at one point has to up and leave in the middle of it…just an awkward break and Dave’s looking like…hmm…alright…Ha. Just funny to me! Yup! Thanks to Manny for the tip…

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Joshua Davis & BMW!

I love this collaboration. I almost don’t want to type collaboration…such an over-used cliché word right now. But Joshua Davis and the new BMW Z4 is a fantastic look. The gist of the project is that Mr. Davis was commissioned to create unique, one-off prints inspired by the beautiful lines that make up BMW’s new Z4. I love how BMW embraces the real art culture, it’s very apparent and so genuine. And I personally like the Joshua Davis brand…a good example of being a ‘business, man’ not a ‘businessman’ know? Not to mention how genuinely nice the guy is…got to spend some time with dude at Semi-Perm 05 this past year….good guy. So yeah…check the link below for the whole ‘making of’ this project. Very inspiring. The prints are for sale as well…get familiar.

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NYC & The Maritime Hotel

I was in NYC last weekend (not this past weekend, but last weekend.) I got out of there JUST in time too. I changed my flight from Sunday afternoon to Saturday evening and got the last flight out of LaGuardia to Chicago before all the cancellations and the storm hit and all that super fun stuff. Anyways, I’m going to make a separate post about why exactly I was in NYC for 3 days…so this is just to give some shine to the Maritime Hotel. I was put up in the Maritime by the organization that brought me out to NYC, so it wasn’t my own choice to stay there. However, I’m happy to say that I’m glad they put me there and I enjoyed it quite a bit. The bathroom was beautiful…huge shower, decent size room for a boutique hotel, free wireless, big giant circle windows, and very helpful and nice staff. Also, I had breakfast there on my last day and it was really, really good…nice atmosphere in the whole place. I’m sure you’d like to hear a review of the bar but too bad, I’m not 21 yet. But I heard the bar is good and apparently Matsuri is incredible if you like sushi, which I don’t know that I do. Also, apprently the 2nd floor of the hotel is haunted, specifically room 208. I was in room 207. Don’t take my word for it though, stay on the 2nd floor and hear the screaming ghost children and virgin Mary crying for yourself! Kidding! Zing! But yeah, nice place in Chelsea, good experience. AAAA+++ WOULD STAY AGAIN.