This week, The Beat’s creative director, Greg Chinn, gives us a peek into some of the things piquing his interest these days. His always fun blend of fine art and pop culture is giving us life these days. Check it out.
The true G.O.A.T., Michael Jordan has given us so much, from NBA greatness to Space Jam, from pioneering modern sports/culture marketing to endless memes. But it’s his relationship with Nike that has proven to be the most iconic. Combining Jordan’s vision with Peter Moore, Tinker Hatfield and other design geniuses, Air Jordans hit the scene in the 1980s and swiftly appeared on the feet of athletes, rappers and every kid in both the suburbs and the cities. Today, the 80s and 90s Air Jordans are a popular (and expensive) retro choice, while all the new Jordan brand shoes continue to dominate the market.
The influence of Mexico’s Luis Barragán on modern and contemporary architecture can’t be understated. His trademark plinth-like, monolithic shapes in earthy colors and his long, low galleries embody his belief that a home should have an emotional connection to its humans and that "any work of architecture which does not express serenity is a mistake.” His own home, which is a UNESCO heritage site, is unassuming from the street, but inside it is a wonderland of color, gentle shapes and unexpected, welcoming spaces.
Greg pays tribute to Alexander Calder, perhaps the most famous kinetic artist, in today’s illustration. From Naum Gabo in the 1920s to Anne Lilly today, the field of moving art has produced a number of great artists and scores of gorgeous works. While Calder’s elegant and colorful blend of modernism and minimalism has captured our attention for many years, the kinetic art world is wide-ranging. Venezuela’s Jesús Rafael Soto created simple, brilliant works that moved directly in relation to the audience (if you’ve ever been to LACMA, you’ve walked through one). From monumental mobiles to Jean Tinguely’s tabletop industrial marvels, this is an art form that always moves us.
What’s your favorite? Greg gives us Bazooka, with its WWII-inspired name and timeless comic strips featuring the exploits of Bazooka Joe. Bazooka’s packaging design is iconic — and definitely longer lasting than the gum’s flavor. Whether you love Hubba Bubba, Double Bubble or Big League Chew, you know the taste, the unmistakeable smell and the little powdery residue. You’ve felt it hardened and stuck to the bottom of a school desk, and you’ve probably gotten it stuck to your shoe or, heaven forbid, in your hair. We’ve been chewing gum for a lot longer than you probably think.