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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Alife’s new shop in LA!

Yikes…I hope you didn’t just put the finishing touches on what you think is the ‘coolest streetwear store design ever’…because Alife’s new spot is sure to be about 5x better. Ouch, ha. Alife is such a wild brand to me…they keep such a constant path with their design/branding, amazing retail spaces, and overall attention to detail. And they’re a really ‘quiet’ brand too. I always feel like its just them chilling while every other streetwear brand is like screaming for your attention. I dig that, it works so well. So yeah, via SlamXHype, check the pictures of the new shop…really, really brilliant. Really. Love the concept. Keep doing whatever it is you’re doing Alife. What’s up Rob.

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New Grand Rapids Art Museum!!

Hey…where have I been? No posts in like a week? Ever since the iPhone came out I can’t do my little ‘OMG check out this new phone that has a keyboard!!’ posts you know? I feel like that really limits me you know? Ha. Long intro…for something we here in Grand Rapids have waited a long time for: The new GRAM, Grand Rapids Art Museum. I’m quite a fan of my little-big-city so seeing something as beautiful as this literally smack in the middle of my downtown is an amazing thing. I’ve been a downtown resident for about 5 years now…and man has the landscape changed. I could have never imagined such a beautiful multi-multi-million dollar structure like this downtown. So awesome. It’s also, FYI, the first LEED certified museum in the world if I’m not mistaken – keeping it real green! As for the art? Not too much is being said about what pieces will be there…but I have heard we acquired a rare Rembrandt print, they already hung a huge, huge Ellsworth Kelly piece, and I assume we’ll have a couple Calder pieces in there as well mixed with who knows what else. It opens September 29th. ***To the writers of the Grand Rapids Press who criticized that Ellsworth Kelly piece for not being ‘art’…that’s the type of attitude that keeps West Michigan tied to the stigma of strictly blue-collar manufacturing work and being stuck in the past. Find something productive to write about or move to another city.

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The new word art: Who does this!?!

I came across these images yesterday on a totally random ‘funny picture’ internet site kind of thing…unfortunately the site focuses on things that are just cool looking with no focus on who created it. I sent it to Ben and Virgil and they were both equally pretty blown away by these drawings. So - can anybody reading this put us on to the person who creates this super cool “word art”!? As Ben put it in his email to me…“Someone post this up and be like ‘WHO IS THIS?!?!’ I just see a huge amount of merit in these, more than just fun internet doodles. So many interesting ways that this kind of work could be expanded upon - that is unless someone out there has a portfolio full of this stuff already (wink wink -

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Who stole my visa? Genius!!!

Glad to see M.I.A. is fairly high on the iTunes sales chart. I not gonna lie, I downloaded it too, but I am for sure buying a retail copy because I am in to her artwork and am looking forward to how she handled that. One of the many highlights on the album is the verse from Afrikan Boy. Any African descent kid like me loves the accent and the wittiness this kid has is outright entertaining. The track “Lidl” is foolishly fresh. Having been to Lidl myself the idea of stealing from there is ridiculous. It is the US equivalent of Aldi. Do they have Aldi’s outside the Midwest? Listen to M.I.A. breakdown how their relationship came about…

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Artists to enjoy, No. 1

I’m trying to think of some funny, clever title for this series of posts I’m going to start doing, but I think a simple “Artists to enjoy” gets the point across best. Better than my original title, “Links to various websites of artists that do work of a respectable caliber and higher than average level of quality.” Anyways, I find myself very inspired lately by a lot of really incredible artists I’ve been discovering as I go through the internet, magazines, books, etc… There is a lot of talent floating around right now and a lot of these people aren’t nearly getting the amount of recognition they deserve, so I’m doing my part to help out and give them some more spotlight. So - let me begin…
Andy Gilmore - Andy Gilmore’s work is fascinating to look at…especially these bird drawings he does. The compositions are clean and ultimately simple, but its in the details where you get a little lost, wishing you could take a closer look. It’s actually pretty astounding at the amount of detail in Andy’s linework (example). His work all at once reminds me of Lance Sells, Matthew Woodson, and Phil Hale, for different but great reasons alike. Check out some of Gilmore’s stuff on Etsy
Jenny Mortsell - Almost as intriguing as her work is the URL of her site, ‘’...I like that. What I love is the resurgence of traditional illustration lately - it’s everywhere. I appreciate Jenny’s work because it reminds me that not everybody just traces photos of people in Illustrator to achieve good portrait illustration. Awesome work, nice, clean lines….simple simple simple.
Mathew Cerletty - Paintings this simple aren’t for everybody. You have to appreciate what Ed Ruscha does to even begin appreciate a more broken down version of a simple ‘text painting’...But there’s something fun about stuff like that juxtaposed with stuff in the same portfolio like this. Good variety…More at Rivington Arms
Grandpeople - Beautiful typography, fresh colors, good concepts…all nice things to have in a portfolio. Even nicer when you’re showing so much work on a site like Grandpeople does and those things are consistent throughout. No filler…
Thanks in part to Jan of Varshava for helping me discover some of these artists…

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So who’s seen that movie trailer with no movie title, much like this post. The opening scene is some New York house party with a bunch of 20 somethings and all of a sudden stuff gets all apocalyptic. The Statue of Liberty’s head is rolling up the East Village its not looking good for the character you just got acquainted with. All of a sudden, the scene cuts away and it goes into another trailer, for another movie. AWESOME idea. My first thought was how do you even google a movie that has no title. I tried to a few weeks ago and came up with nothing. Two thumbs up for crazy experimental movie marketing. Supposedly its J.J. Abrams is behind the project and the title is Cloverfield . Is this like, trailer hype and a weak movie?

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That A-ron feature in i-D magazine!

Late…as usual. Actually, I’m not late…cause I’m not posting this as news, I’m posting it after actually really reading the article and letting it marinate a bit. Just right off the bat – what a great feature. Not focusing on the streetwear end of things, not focusing on all things LES, no focusing just on products…in fact, they had a good quote in there. Something like, ‘A-ron doesn’t make products with a lifestyle in mind – he lives an amazing lifestyle that occasionally creates products.’ THAT is how this stuff should be looked at. That’s why you can put these brands like Supreme and Louis Vuitton in the same sentence and not feel too weird about it. Anyway, the article…seriously good stuff. Really focusing on why A-ron is a conduit (as James Jebbia said in our interview!) in the current-culture, right-now, genre-now of New York. Talks about how he is bringing creative culture together. Talks about the whole hating out-of-towners thing and how he doesn’t at all subscribe to that. How keeping a scene totally lifestyle-agnostic is what will ultimately build great communities. How its not a bad thing to capitalize off your passions and a lifestyle created. Talks a bit about opening a store in Time Square. Just a good read in general. The interview he did with us is still one of my favorites to read…I personally think A-ron is somone to really pay attention to as a cultural figure for our generation…or maybe just our niche, who knows? ***And yeah…I’m not sure exactly whats going on with the aNYthing brand and the whole different blog thing, etc. But this whole ‘New Work’ thing is pretty genius.

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Did you know?! Fun Factz (#1)

Something new? I’m going to do these often, fun factz. Why not…I nerd out on fun facts, so you should too. So when I was younger, like 12ish maybe, I was obsessed with carnivorous plants…I thought they were too cool. Plants that eat things…that’s wild right?! Someone had a desktop image of a Venus Flytrap today that reminded me…DID YOU KNOW, that Venus Flytraps only grow naturally in a 100 mile radius of North Carolina? Now tell me thats not crazy. 100 mile radius and that’s it…only place in the world they naturally grow. Now you’ve got something super nerd-out to talk about at your next dinner party…do you guys go to dinner parties? I do.

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Porsche Cayenne Hybrid!

Bing! Maybe I’m late but I love this. Few things. (1) Yeah, it won’t sound all loud and Porsche-like…who cares, it looks great. (2) Yeah, its kind of random that Porsche is doing this before Land Rover. What happened to that whole ‘Tread Lightly’ campaign guys?! You’re slacking. (3) Will it really make a difference? 25% increase in gas mileage is not exactly saving the planet…but it’s a step in the right direction from a brand that matters. In case you didn’t know, Porsche is one of the most profitable auto manufactures…so they are doing this proactively not reactively. Good for them. I’m still wishy-washy on the whole idea of a Porsche SUV…but after using one a few times I can say I do enjoy the driving experience.

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M.I.A. & Cassette Playa!!!

Its animated GIF time! Promoters are really embracing this and online flyers are forever changed, gotta love the internet. Anyways…two girls, one awesome movement. Like Benjamin was saying we got the awesome opportunity to check out M.I.A.’s live show. I have seen the million posts on her over years and just wasn’t ready to buy the hype. I can only absorb like 3 internet hyped music acts a year. We’ll I gotta admit, M.I.A. is a no brainer. This is progression. She is really connecting the global dots with her brand of music especially with this KALA album. I mean anyone that’s spent time in 3rd world countries around the globe knows this is how they get down. Polyrhythms, vocally & physically dancing all over the tracks. She deserves an applause and now “hype” sounds like a diss to her real talent. I got a chance to aske her about Cassette Playa cause its really struck a chord design wise with me. Come to find out they are all good friends and they stylistically came up together. With websites much like their sounds and aesthetic, its not for the average person but the real fun and the trendsetters are on the fringes anyway.