A Bible for the Religion of Art
Artists’ work is a residue of our culture and their time. The work stands after time has passed us by as a relic of what came before; an artifact of events reminding us of who we are, and eventually who we were. OFFF is a festival taking place in Barcelona every year where artists and scientists from around the world converge and speak creatively. There is little more broad structure than that. It is a consortium of curiosity with performances, panels, and social gatherings to swap ideas and build on creativity. It is boundless in scope and fenced only by the limits of imagination.
The residue of this annual festival is an enigmatic book that can be shelved and reinvestigated, as the ephemeral nature of the festival erodes to imperfect memory. Like some kind of biblical text, this artifact calls the future as if it were written during another life; a yearbook of a cult conference after meeting the shadow of god. OFFF Unmasked, as it is titled, was designed by design studio Vasava. Acting as the creative shepherd, an incredible volume of work by dozens of participants fit between the hardbound covers of OFFF Unmasked. The narrative shifts through each section from dogmatic scripture, to a personal investigation replete with evidence and exhibits, and even a section entitled “Believe” with a smattering of art that stretches the mind and challenges perception.
The roster of OFFF’s participants are represented in Unmasked as imagery created by Serial Cut in collaboration with Bartholot. These portraits are more figurative than photographic, displaying the essence of the creative as anonymous costumed force, draped in the tones of their surrounding environment. It is the surreal joining of figure and place, each holding a contrasting object that represents the work and passions of the figure. At once alarming and enthralling, these portraits provide a vision of what makes these creative valuable in a way their human form regretfully can not show.
The XV COMMANDMENTS were enriched by Rizon Parein, Vasava, and Craig Ward. Rizon helps us to remember that artists must “Give Change” with their work. Vasava encourages creatives to give over to the unknown. And Craig Ward’s filthy typography reminds us to get our hands dirty.
Sawdust provided the imagery behind the fifth and final sin in the “V SINS” section that outlines cardinal creative sins. “Complaining,” the sin reads. “Do not whine about challenges; instead, drink the wine of opportunities.” The composition shows the result of energy scattered by whining, struggling to return into the forms of letters. It wants to communicate, to come into focus, all it requires is the commitment to the artist’s moment and not their basest childishness.
In a conference that gives over to the divine power behind investigation, deeper exploration requires an almost religious adherence. Vasava’s OFFF Unmasked is the resulting bible of this study, and something we can all learn invaluable lessons from.
Kai & Sunny, Shotopop, and Vasava in Johnnie Walker 'Gallery'
The Johnnie Walker Blue Label Gallery, currently situated in London's Heathrow Airport, showcases interpretations of the brand's "Ultimate Blend" by Kai & Sunny and Shotopop.
Kai & Sunny's contribution unites Blue Label's rare character with the artists' recognizable line work. "We created a series of symbols – the flowers represent the whiskey's flavor, the sycamore seeds stand in for memory, and the birds speak to the development over a period of time," said Kai Clements. The duo passed along their illustrations to fellow B&A-ers Vasava to be animated.
"The challenge for this piece was to bring to life the abstract Kai & Sunny's abstract world," remarked Enric Godes of Vasava. "The pair reduces natural forms to geometric patterns and we maintained that sort of tension by studying the movement of the flowers and seeds, and flap of the birds."
Shotopop concentrated on the craft behind the whiskey-making process, depicting liquid in a cask as a gleaming diamond. "Our team put together a number of paper sculptures and tactile elements; each is extremely detailed and handmade," Casper Franken noted.
Both Kai & Sunny's and Shotopop's pieces are projected onto three-meter-tall Blue Label bottles, and the 3D installation will remain in Heathrow's Terminal 5 through February before moving to its next destination. Johnnie Walker also released 750 limited-edition Blue Label bottles etched with the London skyline in a rare, gold-liquid imprint, available only at World Duty Free stores, as part of the gallery's opening.
Vasava Spans the Globe for Louis Vuitton
Communication studio Vasava and fashion illustrator Jordi Labanda recently collaborated on a series of short films to promote Louis Vuitton's m-commerce in the U.S., Japan, and Canada, and e-commerce in Brazil.
"Vuitton's maison approached Jordi, since they have partnered in the past and the house thought his style would fit the mood," explained Vasava's Enric Godes. "Jordi has done some animated films before, but in this case, he wanted to work closely with the animation studio – be there to control each detail and make sure his needs were understood – so he hopped on a plane to Barcelona and stayed here during the production process."
The brand asked for a sophisticated narrative touting the various digital ways to purchase its products. "We created a simple story that shows a customer ordering Vuitton goods and, all of a sudden the Pont Alexandre III takes off from Paris, crosses the ocean, and the package is delivered to the woman. During the trip, different monuments and landmarks from the two countries pop up, lending an air of 'Paris-fication' to either the U.S., Japan, Canada, or Brazil," Godes said.
He noted that the aesthetic is one-hundred percent Labanda and Vasava's challenge was to bring his illustrations to life with a retro feel and without too many fireworks: "We scanned in Jordi's hand-painted elements and retouched them, built the scenery and created the Alexandre III bridge in 3D. We did the animation in Photoshop and After Effects."
"It was great to team up with Jordi once again and, also, the client side was extremely supportive," Godes added. "They had a lot of respect for the artistic part of the project."
A Dip in Vasava's 'Poool'
Participants in Barcelona's recent OFFF design festival went home with free copies of the Poool – "A MAGAZINE YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO HAVE BUT NOBODY DARED TO DO," according to the event's caps lock-happy website. Communication studio Vasava put together the packaging, a cover, dysfunctional typography, and an eight-page-long photo-essay for the edition.
"Our inspiration for the essay came from seventeenth-century Dutch still lifes," Vasava's Enric Godes explained. "We intended to set the futility of life's pleasures against the certainty of death, encouraging the adoption of a depressing worldview. Every scene, using a contemporary perspective, depicts some of mankind's biggest issues: false idols, good and evil, war, hope, utopias, and a sense of understanding. Instead of using classic and more obvious visual references, like skulls or dried flowers, we wanted to give it a twist, employing a more modern language."
Photography: Leila Méndez
GE Magic with Vasava
From line art to CGI, several artists were asked to create monograms as gifts for GE employees. Vasava teamed with agency Addison to incorporate a variety of GE products into a stunning design that focuses on the future look of the brand. The beautiful blend of electric purples, pinks and blues resulted in a gorgeous monogram that gave the traditional logo a retro futuristic twist.
Client: General Electric