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Volume 18, Number 1
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Loyalty & Blood

loyaltyandblood.com
Assorted items, $24 – $60

Founded by the husband-and-wife team of David Denosowicz and Maggie Doyle (both MFA 2004 Fine Arts), Loyalty & Blood creates clothing and accessories that combine a handmade aesthetic, hard-edge design and a hip-but-not-overdone sensibility. The Loyalty & Blood catalog features a line of jewelry, T-shirts and tote bags that is born out of the art of illustration. All of the T’s and totes are hand screened in the company’s Brooklyn studio using water-based inks for maximum softness. The jewelry line features laser-cut pendant necklaces in both abstract forms and recognizable shapes such as swords, arrows and various animals.

Originally from Austin, Texas, Denosowicz and Doyle moved to New York City to attend SVA’s graduate fine arts program. The pair quickly embraced the energy of the city and the creative community of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, their adopted neighborhood. After graduation, the duo combined their training in printmaking and metalworking, embraced the emerging DIY ethic for handcrafted products and, in 2006, launched Loyalty & Blood. Their wares can be found nationally at Urban Outfitters, locally at the Brooklyn Flea, and always online at the company’s Web site, loyaltyandblood.com. 
[John Wyszniewski]

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Flow: The Cultural Story of Menstruation
Elissa Stein
(BFA 1994 Graphic Design)
& Susan Kim
St. Martin’s Griffin
Hardcover, 288 pages, $27.99

 

The Fathers Are Coming Home
Illustrated by Stephen Savage
(MFA 1996 Illustration as Visual Essay; faculty, BFA Illustration and Cartooning)
Margaret K. McElderry
Hardcover, 32 pages, $16.99

 

From Head to Hand:
Art and the Manual

David Levi Strauss
(Chair, MFA Art Criticism and
Writing Department)
Oxford University Press
Hardcover, 224 pages, $24.95

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In Their Youth: Early Portraits
Greg Gorman
Damiani
Hardcover, 140 pages, $50

In his new book In Their Youth: Early Portraits, photographer and MPS Digital Photography Department faculty member Greg Gorman highlights unpublished black-and-white photographs from the past three decades, including early portraits of some of Hollywood’s most appealing leading men. Early shots of Brad Pitt, Viggo Mortensen, Jude Law, Tom Cruise, as well as a 24-year-old Rupert Everett (on the cover), are all captured unguarded on their road to stardom.

Juxtaposed with these celebrity portraits are photographs of promising unknowns, who in the next 10 years might possibly become the next Pitt or Cruise. “I decided to do a project that expressed my infatuation with male beauty,” states Gorman from a printed conversation with Audrey Wells, “especially in terms of youth…the portraits don’t have lots of backgrounds; they’re straightforward. It’s really about the person, not the elements. It boils down to the graphics of the individual more than the graphics of the setting.”

Filled with more than 200 photographs, In Their Youth serves as a historical look at some beloved Hollywood icons and a glance ahead at fresh faces of people who are perhaps on the verge of fame, while also serving as a testament to the power and beauty of the male form and the sly honesty of youth. [Dan Halm]

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Humpday
Written and directed by Lynn Shelton
Magnolia Home Entertainment
DVD, $26.98

Hollywood filmmakers have had great success mining the recent trend of “bromance” films, which explore the non-romantic (but often just barely so) bonds between heterosexual male friends. For her 2009 feature film Humpday, alumnus Lynn Shelton (MFA 1995 Photography and Related Media) ratcheted up the tension inherent in the bromance concept by telling a story about two straight male friends (played by Mark Duplass and Joshua Leonard) who accept a drunken dare to make an amateur pornographic film together—starring themselves.

Shelton takes this essentially outlandish concept and plays it for laughs by taking it seriously. Ben (Duplass) and Andrew (Leonard) initially prop up the dare on the notion that they’re making transgressive art, and then go on to rethink their relationship to each other, their ideas about love and sex, and how the different paths they’ve taken in life have lead to places they hadn’t quite anticipated. By the time Humpday climaxes (pun intended) with the two men in a hotel room with a video camera, the storyline has barreled right through Ben’s marriage and Andrew’s failed career as an artist, all the while finding comedy in often uncomfortable places.

The DVD edition of Humpday includes the full theatrical release, along with a short behind-the-scenes featurette, deleted scenes and commentary tracks with Shelton, Duplass, Leonard and other members of the crew discussing the making of the film. 
[Brian Glaser]
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Seeing Out Louder
Jerry Saltz
(Faculty, MFA Fine Arts)
Hudson Hills Press LLC
Hardcover, 420 pages, $40
 

marketing

Upon Secrecy
Illustrated by Jeff Crosby and
Shelley Ann Jackson

(both MFA 1997 Illustration
as Visual Essay)
Calkins Creek
Hardcover, 32 pages, $17.95

 

moonshot

Sandhogs
Gina LeVay
(MFA 2004 Photography,
Video and Related Media)
powerHouse Books
Die-cut hardcover, 120 pages, $40

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The Paper Bride
Esther K. Smith
Potter Craft
Hardcover, 144 pages, $24.99

When BFA Fine Arts Department faculty member Esther K. Smith got married to Dikko Faust in 1980, neither of them had much money. Both were artists: Faust did hand-set letterpress work and Smith was a costume designer. Three years earlier they had founded Purgatory Pie Press, where they hand-printed limited edition books, cards and prints. One way they decided to save money on their wedding was to design and print their own invitations. The results were so successful that soon friends and strangers alike were requesting bespoke invitations for their weddings.

Drawing on this experience, Smith wrote The Paper Bride, a DIY guide to creating one-of-a-kind wedding invitations and other nuptial items. The projects are primarily made with paper and range from the standard—“save the date” postcards, handmade envelopes with decorative lining, hand-stitched guest books—to more offbeat items such as paper headdresses for the bridal party, cake toppers and table runners.

All of the designs come with lists of materials and easy-to-follow directions illustrated by Liz Zanis. For each project, Smith makes suggestions for “crafty” brides-to-be to add thoughtful personal touches to their creations. A “Paper Bride Handwriting Guide” is included for those looking to refine their script for hand-addressed envelopes, as well as cutting templates for some of the more complex projects. The Paper Bride proves that even though you may have to be (or want to be) frugal with your wedding plans, it doesn’t mean you have to skimp on beautiful design. [Elizabeth Masella]

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Design School Confidential: Extraordinary Class Projects from International Design Schools
Steven Heller and Lita Talarico
Rockport Publishers
Hardcover, 224 pages, $40

Design School Confidential gathers more than 50 notable student projects into a concise overview of work from art schools worldwide. Written and curated by Steven Heller and Lita Talarico, co-chairs of the MFA Design Department at SVA, the book lays out work from a spectrum of disciplines into a smorgasbord of solid design thinking. A few examples showing less-clearly defined goals and somewhat unresolved outcomes point to a student’s freedom to push an idea too far, or not far enough, during the learning process. Elements of environmental sustainability and social awareness found in many of the projects demonstrate the growing role of design as a vehicle for change: for example, student projects for Water, Politics and Hope focus on the relationship between water and life itself, exploring the cultural significance of this crucial substance taken for granted by the developed world.

Designing a book about design poses significant challenges for a creative team. The target reader, after all, is sure to take a critical view of every visual aspect of the work—from the typefaces used to the quality of the printing to the choice of paper. In other words, design books are often judged by their covers. Design School Confidential succeeds in this regard, borrowing its gently rounded corners and nifty elastic closure from the Moleskine notebooks beloved by creative sorts. Add the appealing, well-organized page design to the equation for proof that art director Regina Grenier and designer Rick Landers spent some quality time on their homework from Heller and Talarico. [Angela Riechers]

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Rat Busters
Strategic Design Lab
iPhone app, $1.99

Thanks to the thousands of downloadable game apps available, Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch have become popular as mobile gaming devices. One new app available from the iTunes store springs from the imagination of alumnus Jung-mi Lee (BFA 2007 Computer Art), who created Rat Busters in collaboration with other artists and programmers at Strategic Design Lab. The game is a point-of-view adventure that puts the player in the parks, sewers and subway tunnels of Gotham City (loosely based on New York), which are crawling with giant mutant rats engineered by the evil Dr. Wasabi.

After choosing one of three different characters—special pest-control agents Hans, Luke or Mia—gamers then start using laser blasts and fireballs to kill the mutated rodents and make their way through 12 levels of action. The final stage of the game is a one-on-one shootout in Dr. Wasabi’s lab with the Boss Rat (who is a mutant version of the mad doctor). Rat Busters strikes a balance between challenge and playability; each stage requires some solid gaming skills while also allowing more casual players to move through the game’s levels. Level 7 includes a nod to Lee’s alma mater, as players navigate their way through “Cramacy Park”—Gramercy Park is, of course, an SVA neighbor—on the way to Gotham’s rat-infested sewers. Offered for a reasonable price at the iTunes App Store, Rat Busters is a solid way to occupy time between classes, between appointments or during a (hopefully) rat-free subway ride. [Brian Glaser]

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Credits            From the President            sva.edu