Date
Volume 22, Number 1
0 What's In Store 0
0
0
0 0

Ass Backwards Apparel
Silvio Capoferri and Matthew Cardinali
assbackwardsapparel.com
T-shirts, $20

Ass Backwards Apparel was founded as a response to crushing boredom— the type felt by teenagers everywhere. Instead of turning to mischief, mayhem and other predictable adolescent pursuits, childhood friends and current SVA students Silvio Capoferri (BFA Illustration) and Matthew Cardinali (BFA Photography) of Bridgewater, New Jersey, pooled some cash they got from their parents and started a T-shirt company in 2012, at the end of their senior year. The shirts’ brightly colored designs draw upon a diverse pool of 20th-century visual references: the work of cartoonist R. Crumb, a range of vintage Coney Island and roadside signage (hey, is that Bob’s Big Boy?) and lettering inspired by old baseball jerseys and chrome automotive nameplates.

Things were a bit rocky at first. “Our website was pretty bad,” Cardinali says. “We didn’t know how to make it easy to use or even how to make it look good. We really had no idea what we were doing.” Business pickedup once they started selling the shirts at local concerts and shows, setting up at merchandise tables provided by the people running the gigs. Capoferri, who does most of the artwork, enrolled in SVA’s precollege course in cartooning three times, progressively expanding and building on his work. He urged Cardinali, who was undecided about his post-high school plans but was handling the finance and tech details of the business, to take a precollege course in photography. Both were accepted to SVA and chose to room together as undergraduates.

A successful campaign the pair conducted on the SVA Kickstarter page raised money for their next line of shirts and long-overdue website improvements, and the partners plan to stay committed to their company and keep expanding in the future, no matter where their individual paths may lead after graduation.
[Angela Riechers]

0
0
 

GreyMatters
Jennifer Rozbruch
greymatterstous.com

For six years, Jennifer Rozbruch (MFA 2013 Design) witnessed her grandmother Frieda’s heartbreaking decline into a world of complete dependence on others. A formerly sharp, strong-willed Holocaust survivor, Frieda had a condition known as advanced vascular dementia, leaving her with limited mobility, virtually no short-term memory and an inability to communicate.

But Rozbruch observed that companionship and cognitive stimulation could sometimes bring about a spark of vitality in her grandmother. “Her spirit and long-term memory came out dramatically through activities like listening to music from her youth, looking through old family photos and hearing her life story told to her,” Rozbruch says. “It was amazing to see how her mood and manner changed when she was engaged.”

That firsthand experience with the realities of dementia—and the occasional glimpses of the grandmother she had once known—inspired Rozbruch’s final thesis project. The result is GreyMatters, an interactive tablet application designed for patients and their loved ones to use together as a way to pre­serve memories and share joyful moments. Fully customizable, GreyMatters is a personalized life-story book that engages patients through music, games and photos. Rozbruch expects the app to be released and ready for download this year.

Frieda died last November, but Rozbruch remains passionate about using design to make a difference in dementia care. She hopes that GreyMatters will be only the first in a line of digital and soft-tool dementia care products. “I firmly believe that people with dementia are ‘still here,’” she says, “and they deserve to experience joy. It’s the small moments—like seeing a song spark a memory or witnessing a glimpse of former vitality—that can have an enormous effect on the well-being of both the patient and caregiver.”
[Lisa Batchelder]

0
0
0

Paula Greif Ceramics
Paula Greif
paulagreifceramics.com
$75 – $340

Over the course of an enviable design career, Paula Greif (BFA 1976 Media Arts) has made some of the very first music videos for MTV, designed album covers for the likes of Madonna and Blondie, worked in Rolling Stone’s art department, served as an art director at Mademoiselle and Barneys New York, and collaborated with photographer Richard Avedon. Her latest venture, a collection of ceramics—wavy-striped bowls, pitchers, plates and serving utensils in blue, cream, rust and brown—is so popular that collectors rush to buy new work the very day it comes out of the kiln.

Greif’s recent interest in handicraft was inspired by a passage in the book Calder at Home—a lively account of the life and work of famous sculptor Alexander Calder—that tells how Calder’s wife, Louisa, made hooked rugs based on the artist’s drawings. Greif made a few rugs herself, then tried her hand at pottery and realized she’d found her next medium. “I thought, ‘My life is so bourgeois, all this stuff from IKEA and Pottery Barn!’ I wanted to have more handmade stuff in my home,” she says. “At first I didn’t know how to make cups, so we made these little bowls for drinking coffee. My daughter would say to her friends, ‘Come over and have a cup of bowled coffee.’”

Asked whether each different design discipline with which she has been involved has informed the others, Greif says, “I think I’ve always been a graphic designer at heart. Even when I was doing videos, they never had a story but were more about color and shape and form and line and space.
I just keep doing the same thing in a different medium.”

Greif’s ceramics are sold through her website and at Beautiful Dreamers in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Join her email list at paulagreifceramics.com to be alerted whenever new pieces become available.
[AR]

0
0
0

The Glow:
An Inspiring Guide to Stylish Motherhood

Violet Gaynor and Kelly Stuart;
foreword by Cynthia Rowley
Stewart, Tabori & Chang
Hardcover, 224 pages, $29.95

In 2011, friends Kelly Stuart (BFA 2001 Photography) and Violet Gaynor founded TheGlow.com, a website featuring original photo spreads and interviews with enviably hip and successful working mothers. The Glow was (and is) a moonlighting endeavor—Stuart is photo director at Hearst Digital Media, Gaynor is senior fashion editor at InStyle.com—but it soon found a sizable audience and attention from advertisers like Coach and J. Crew. This spring, the two published The Glow: An Inspiring Guide to Stylish Motherhood, a compilation of new material (including photos of homes in New York, Los Angeles, London, Nashville and Paris) and profiles from the site. The more than 50 subjects include fitness guru Tracy Anderson, Modern Family star Julie Bowen, designers Cynthia Rowley and Rebecca Minkoff, and model and cosmetics entrepreneur Josie Maran.
[Greg Herbowy]

0
0
0

The New Forty-Niners
Sarina Finkelstein
Kehrer Verlag
Hardcover, 120 pages, $33.99

Sarina Finkelstein (MFA 2004 Photography, Video and Related Media) not only struck gold with her latest photo project, she also managed to capture something just as valuable—the spirit of the 21st-century people who hunt for it. Shot over the span of four years, Finkelstein’s series The New Forty-Niners, now available in a book of the same name, documents the new wave of gold prospectors who flocked to California more than a century and a half after the original Gold Rush of 1849.

Finkelstein started the project in 2009 after reading about people hoping to survive the recession by trying their luck at finding the precious stuff in California when its price was then at an all-time high. It was shortly after the death of her mother, a time when she was looking for a project to immerse herself in. “I felt a strange connection to this particular group that was struggling to make a go of it—often having had to sell or leave their permanent homes or having lost their jobs—and I also felt a profound respect for their passion and determination,” she says. “They really got me working again—got me interested and excited—and so I just kept going out, trip after trip.”

Although the prospectors Finkelstein photographed lived rugged, “bare bones” lives—which “allowed them to support themselves with the small amount of gold they’d find,” she says—not all were down on their luck. “Some were just born adventurers—they gave up what most would consider perfectly stable lives or office jobs to just go off the grid. Some were loners who just wanted to live in the woods.” But Finkelstein found that many shared a common bond. “There’s a spirituality to prospecting that is shared by those in the ‘inner circle.’ It stems from this unwavering faith that one day, someday, you’ll find gold.”
[Ken Switzer]

0
0
0

Lee Danielsí The Butler
Directed by Lee Daniels;
visual effects by numerous alumni
Weinstein Company/Anchor Bay
DVD/Blu-ray, $19.96/$29.96;
available to stream on Amazon.com

A number of SVA alumni worked on the post-production of Lee Daniels’ The Butler (2013), a historical drama starring Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey. The Molecule, a visual effects and motion graphics company co-run by Luke DiTommaso (BFA 2001 Computer Art), was hired to create various effects for the movie, which follows a White House butler’s life as he serves eight U.S. presidents. DiTommaso was the film’s visual effects supervisor; fellow BFA Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects alumni Osvaldo Andreaus (2010), Henry Jean (2011), Maxim Kornev (2008), Victoria Penzes (2013), Kenneth Polonski (2007), Chad M. Sikora (2007) and Selim Yang (2011) all contributed to the project.
[KS]

0
0
0

La Camioneta: The Journey of One American School Bus
Mark Kendall
lacamionetafilm.com
DVD, $25; iTunes download, $12.99

In his 2012 documentary La Camioneta, Mark Kendall (MFA 2011 Social Documentary Film) explores the second life of some of the big yellow buses familiar to school kids across America. After a decade or so of ferrying U.S. children around, many of these buses are decommissioned, sold at auction and driven to Guatemala, where they undergo a startling transformation, becoming a kind of folk art with a practical purpose. They are repaired, given a healthy dose of extra chrome and repainted in blazing colors for their next act as camionetas, the vehicles that serve as the public transportation system in Guatemala. The system, unfortunately, poses considerable risks for its workers. In the last seven years, more than 1,000 of their drivers have been murdered for either refusing or being unable to pay the extortion money demanded by local gangs.

During a six-week trip through Central America in 2009, Kendall struck up a conversation with the driver of the camioneta on which he was riding and was astonished to learn that the bus had originally come from a school district 20 miles away from Kendall’s childhood home in Tennessee. A story took root in his imagination, and Kendall enrolled in MFA Social Documentary Film in order to be able to tell it. La Camioneta, a 2013 New York Times Critics’ Pick, follows one bus and its driver on a journey from Spotsylvania County, Virginia, to Guatemala, where it is refurbished and set off to service the route between Ciudad Quetzal and Guatemala City. The film’s narrative touches on themes of rebirth, creativity and the ability to persevere in the face of economic hardship and constant danger in the hope for a better future.

After a week’s run in New York City, La Camioneta was distributed to art houses and museums in 40 other U.S. cities. It went into wide release in Guatemala at the end of January 2014, thanks to funding provided by the cultural affairs department of the U.S. embassy in Guatemala.
[AR]

0
0
0

Last Train to Paris
Michele Zackheim
Europa Editions
Paperback, 320 pages, $17

Michele Zackheim, an MFA Illustration as Visual Essay faculty member, began her professional career in New York City as an artist and illustrator, though at some point, she says, she “wrote herself off the canvas and into a notebook.” Zackheim is the author of the novels Broken Colors (Europa, 2007) and Violette’s Embrace (Riverhead, 1996) and the nonfiction book Einstein’s Daughter: The Search for Lieserl (Riverhead, 1999). Her third novel and latest work, Last Train to Paris, was published in January.

In her preface to Last Train, Zackheim reveals the book’s real-life origins: In 1937 in Paris, a distant cousin of hers was abducted and, eventually, killed by a serial kidnapper and his three cohorts. The event made news in both Europe and the United States. Zackheim says that she initially set out to write a nonfiction work, but in the end created a fictional story based on the embers of fact.

The protagonist of Last Train to Paris is Rose Bell Manon, an aspiring journalist from a small Nevada town who moves to New York City to pursue her dream of writing. Rose’s talent and ambition eventually take her to France, where she finds work as a Paris Courier correspondent and, amid the threat of war, is transferred to the newspaper’s Berlin office. Following Kristallnacht—the November 1938 night when synagogues and Jewish homes and businesses in Germany, Austria and elsewhere were destroyed—and the expulsion of Americans from Germany, Rose must choose who will accompany her on the last train to Paris.

In Last Train, Zackheim takes a personal approach in setting up the characters and settings. She uses warm descriptions, simultaneously allowing her language to breathe. The story proves to be a refreshing twist of events embedded in a dynamic plot. Zackheim says that she has already begun work on her next book.
[Christopher Darling]

0
0
0

Lovability Condoms
Tiffany Gaines
lovabilitycondoms.com
$7.99 – $17.99

Dissatisfied with the alternately clinical and cartoonishly macho branding of male prophylactics, student Tiffany Gaines (MFA Design for Social Innovation) created Lovability Condoms, a line designed for and marketed to women. The product is packaged in metal tins, with each condom individually wrapped in easy-to-open foil, which makes tearing or damaging one less likely. Gaines’ goal: for those with more delicate sensibilities to feel less embarrassed about buying, carrying or, most importantly, initiating the use of condoms. In addition to being sold online, Lovability Condoms are available in such New York City stores as Azaleas, La Petite Coquette and Only Hearts. Women interested in becoming “Lovability Lady” merchandisers can apply at lovabilitycondoms.com.
[GH]

0
0
0

marketing

Iron Bound
Brendan Leach
(MFA 2010 Illustration as Visual Essay)
Secret Acres
Paperback, 252 pages, $21.95

marketing

Wolf Pull Toy
Keith Haring (1979 Fine Arts)
Artware Editions
Solid painted wood with string, $80

moonshot

Sound of a Train
Gilbert Girion
(faculty, BFA Film and Video)
Pleasure Boat Studio
Paperback, 107 pages, $17

0
0
0

marketing

Big Snow
Jonathan Bean (MFA 2005
Illustration as Visual Essay)
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Hardcover, 32 pages, $16.99

marketing

The Forest Feast: Simple
Vegetarian Recipes from My Cabin in the Woods
Erin Gleeson (MFA 2007
Photography, Video
and Related Media)
Stewart, Tabori & Chang
Hardcover, 240 pages, $35

moonshot

The Cute Girl Network
Greg Means and Joe Flood
(BFA 2002 Cartooning)
First Second Books
Paperback, 192 pages, $17.99

0
0
0

marketing

Ethics in Art Therapy: Challenging Topics for a Complex Modality
Lisa Furman
(faculty, MPS Art Therapy)
Jessica Kingsley Publishers
Paperback, 128 pages, $26.95

marketing

Torture Chamber
Dante Tomaselli
(BFA 1992 Advertising)
Gaiam Vivendi Entertainment
DVD, $14.93

moonshot

0
0
0
To submit a product for What's in Store, please send information to [email protected]
0
0
0
Credits            From the President            sva.edu