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Andrew Garn's brilliant photographs of pigeons, the "gateway drug to nature" for city dwellers

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Moostang-photography-itsnicethat-5list Work / Photography Photography duo Moos-Tang's elegant take on a nightmare scenario

From Night of the Living Dead to When a Stranger Calls, a large, eerie house with a number of intruder-friendly hiding places is top of my list of possible nightmare scenarios. I was therefore intrigued when I discovered that Moo-Tang’s latest photography series transforms this unwelcome dream into an elegant and visually impeccable tale. A young, fashionable woman alone in her stately manor goes about her daily activities — lifting weights, swimming and eating pizza — blissfully unaware of the unnerving, ominous figures that on occasion appear behind her.

Amelie-kahn-ackermann-sijiagou-remembering-home-photography-its-nice-that-11list Work / Photography Amelie Kahn-Ackermann's latest series is an ode to one of China’s most remote regions

“I always carried a little snapshot camera with me as a child, but I started taking photography more seriously when I was a teenager living in Beijing. After graduating from high school, I started studying photography at Berlin’s Ostkreuzschule für Fotografie,” Amelie Kahn-Ackermann tells It’s Nice That. Amelie has spent her entire life in metropolises; born in Beijing and studying in Berlin, the cosmopolitan photographer is accustomed to the fast-paced intensity of urban life. Her latest series Sijiagou – Remembering Home, however, is a celebration of one of China’s most remote regions, the home of her grandfather’s village, Sijiagou. Populated by far-reaching hills and magnificent mountain ranges, Sijiagou is made up of a small community of people whose days are determined by seasonal changes and manual labour.

Hedvigjenning-nand-itsnicethat-photography-list Work / Photography Hedvig Jenning's dreamy fashion photography creates and captures individual characters

Soft, pastel hues permeate Swedish photographer Hedvig Jenning’s work, whether it’s a fashion shoot for The Guardian or a body positivity series for Odda magazine. Her images are romantic and dreamy, but maintain a lighthearted tone due to subtle, humorous details. Hedvig grew up in a small village in rural Sweden where she spent her days watching films, reading magazines and listening to music. Popular culture played a pivotal role in getting her interested in photography and pursuing a creative career.

Yarza-twins-graphic-design-itsnicethat-list Work / Graphic Design Hilario, The Yarza Twins' latest typeface is inspired by goats' eyes and Eastern Europe

Eva and Marta Yarza AKA, The Yarza Twins have become known for their playful approach to design, having previously branded an abandoned bread factory and the small Galician town of Oia. Despite becoming somewhat accustomed to their unusual projects and inspirations, when we enquired about their latest typeface, Hilario, we weren’t expecting their response…

Keith_haring_60th_birthday_celebration_art_itsnicethat Features / Art Celebrating the life, work and enduring legacy of Keith Haring on his 60th birthday

Keith Haring’s life, and New York’s Downtown Scene, and perhaps culture as a whole changed in 1980 when Andy Warhol and the art dealer Tony Shafrazi strolled into the basement of Club 57, which neither had ever stepped foot into before, and which Haring had filled with hundreds of drawings in gold and silver magic marker. It was the night of his opening. “We were all buzzing,” recalls Kim Hastreiter, who would soon afterwards found Paper magazine, “‘UH OH,’ ‘What are THEY doing here?’ We were suspicious and in a sense excited and sad at the same time – because that night it felt like our amazing secret world Downtown was being invaded and discovered and wouldn’t be the same again.” In many ways she was right. But first of all, Haring would be catapulted into the limelight.Warhol invited him to his Factory for lunch and they soon became good friends; Haring kept Warhol up to date with 80s youth culture, and Warhol in turn introduced him to the glittering world of celebrity and success. In 1982, Haring had his breakthrough solo show at Tony Shafrazi’s illustrious gallery on Mercer Street. The following year, he collaborated with Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren on their autumn/winter 1983 Witches collection, and Madonna wearing a leather jacket he hand-painted to perform Like a Virgin on Top of the Pops. In 1985, he drew graffiti all over Grace Jones’ naked body for her live shows at Paradise Garage. He was at the heart of both modern art and pop culture, which is exactly where he wanted to be. Had he not passed away of AIDS-related complications in 1990, aged 31, Keith Haring would be celebrating his 60th birthday today – which makes this a good moment to consider his life and his legacy.“I arrived in New York at a time when the most beautiful paintings being shown in the city were on wheels, on trains,” he once said, remembering coming to the city in 1978, “paintings that travelled to you instead of vice versa.” But rather than copying the Wild Style graffiti artists, Haring found a different way of working underground. Noticing one day that unsold advertising spaces on the New York City subway were filled with plain black paper, he ran up the stairs to Times Square, bought some white chalk, ran back underground and began drawing in his trademark language of comic figures and squiggles. Before long, he had made thousands of drawings – up to 40 a day – as he rode the subways across the five boroughs, to and from school, work, clubs, parties and cruising spots. His works would be seen by a colossal number of people every day, and because they were so often replaced, he had to keep coming up with fresh new ideas continually.Haring loved the subway, with all its advertising posters, painted trains and flows of people, and also loved the secret Downtown, the hidden world of metropolitan fucking and clubbing. He loved dancing the night away at now legendary dives like Club 57, Paradise Garage and the Mudd Club, or cruising public bathhouses, or the backrooms of S/M orgy clubs like the Anvil, for the kind of sex that wasn’t so readily available back home in rural Pennsylvania. “He suddenly popped out like a flower, like a seed in that cauldron of energy: New York City,” Timothy Leary once said about Haring, “and he put all his remarkable energy together – the wall, the easel, the canvas, the pigment… it’s a dance!” The city’s nightlife, with all its joie de vivre, its shuddering, intertwined bodies and explosions of colour, was where he found his inspiration but also, in those hardcore early years, before the dangers of AIDs became so well known, and before he became such a prominent advocate of safe sex, that Haring contracted the HIV that would eventually lead to his death. In a classical tragic trajectory, New York is what made Keith Haring and also what killed him, all in the space of just over a decade.His deep love for nightclubs, and for black and Latino culture, and everything around them, was also a huge inspiration for Haring. In that sense, his legacy can be seen in the practices of younger artists like Eddie Peake: who makes bright, graffiti-inspired work, and takes much of his inspiration from gay culture, black culture, club culture and pirate radio culture, and who strips his performers naked and covers them in paint, like Haring and Grace Jones. But of course he’s just one of many artists continuing Haring’s legacy in their own way.

Lukaskeysell-architekton-publication-itsnicethat-4list Work / Publication “Architecture is approaching sculpture": Lukas Keysell’s publication Architekton

“Architecture is approaching sculpture and sculpture is approaching architecture” are words spoken by historian and architecture critic Sigfried Giedion in 1982. It’s this thought-provoking phrase that inspired London-based graphic artist and current third year Winchester School of Art student Lukas Keysell’s publication Architekton, which charts how the meaning of the word ‘architect’ has changed from ancient Greece to the present day.


Annamarchinicamia-inthelandofshitandsugar-publication-itsnicethat-13list Work / Publication In the Land of Shit and Sugar: an all-you-can-eat menu of cheesy hotdogs and marshmallow paste

“I’ve been collecting all kinds of weirdly-designed food packaging over the years and I always intended to do something with it but, for a long time, I couldn’t figure out exactly what,” Anna Marchini Camia tells It’s Nice That. Anna is a Zurich-based illustrator and graphic designer whose route into the creative industry was, she says, as conventional as it gets. After completing her design foundation year in Lucerne, Anna went on to study style and design — a form of concept design — at ZHdK. During her undergraduate, she met four other students — cultural journalist Mona Altheimer, digital artist Corinne Hepting, design manager Elena Frischknecht and photographer Céline Lütolf — and, together, they conceptualised and created food design-based publication In the Land of Shit and Sugar.

Janbuchczik-illustration-itsnicethat-list Work / Illustration Jan Buchczik's latest book illustrates the "rocky road of finding yourself”

In just a few line marks Frankfurt-based illustrator Jan Buchczik can draw a character’s face which displays a complete personality. Worried, joyful, lonely or silly, Jan can portray it all in an L-shaped nose, two tiny eye dots, and a certain concave smile. It’s a skill we’ve had the pleasure to write about countless times on It’s Nice That since it started, but the illustrator’s latest book, The One & The Many might just be his best yet.

Usage-magazine-publication-itsnicethat-list Work / Publication Meet Usage – the slick, glossy magazine injecting creativity into the beauty industry

“Today’s beauty industry is losing its creativity whilst climbing a commercial escalator,” explain Stanislas Nommick and Guillaume Lauruol of Paris-based art direction and graphic design studio, Atrois. Having started working together in 2015, the pair have a love of minimalism, typography, grid construction and photography (particularly still life) and wanted to channel these interests into a magazine that challenges this “commercial escalator”.

List8 Work / Photograhy “I’ve tried to prove that being a woman doesn’t mean weakness”: Fatemeh Behboudi on photographing Iran

“Documentary photography is very young in Iran,” Tehran-based photographer Fatemeh Behboudi tells It’s Nice That as we chat about her decade capturing Iranian life and culture over email. “Art, especially photography, has a weak position in Iran and documentary photographers work without any support and with extensive restrictions and therefore, we’re lagging behind. But in recent years, a large number of people have shown interest in documentary photography in Iran, which can be a good opportunity if proper grounds are provided for it.”

Kajlehmann-graphicdesign-itsnicethat-6list Work / Graphic Design Designer Kaj Lehmann on his clean and satisfying portfolio of work

A clean, neat and slick portfolio of work is what you can expect from ECAL’s type design master’s student Kaj Lehmann. With projects ranging from custom letterings to visual identities, Kaj has accumulated a huge amount of experience under his belt over the past five years. “I remember seeing posters of Lukas Zimmermann posted across Zurich. They left a strong impression on me. These posters were what motivated me to experiment with tools other than the computer. It was probably these experiments that got me into art school,” Kaj tells It’s Nice That. 


Nicer-tuesdays-april-its-nice-that-roundup-list Regulars / Nicer Tuesdays Birds doing yoga, watermelon heads and The Truman Show: highlights from April’s Nicer Tuesdays

Last night saw the return of our monthly event, Nicer Tuesdays and it was a truly genre-spanning set of talks. Over the course of the evening, we heard from Natalia Stuyk, Max Siedentopf, Will Anderson and Marion Deuchars who took us through the ins and outs of illustration, filmmaking, graphic design, photography, animation, art direction, installation, storytelling and even a bit of fruit sculpture. Check out some of best bits we learned from April’s line-up below. h3. Shard-like objects can look digital and natural at the same time

List-people-on-the-high-sea-copy Work / Digital Donghwan Kam: the VR photographer shooting alternative angles to international news

From refugees reaching the Sicilian coast after turbulent Mediterranean crossings to protestors scaling Paris’ Place de la République following the Charlie Hebdo shootings, designer and photographer Donghwan Kam creates VR environments based on world-changing events. With a homemade VR point-and-shoot camera developed from sensors and a shutter mechanism, he explores these carefully constructed landscapes, capturing alternative images to the much-repeated photographs circulated by the international press.

Moostang-photography-itsnicethat-5list Work / Photography Photography duo Moos-Tang's elegant take on a nightmare scenario

From Night of the Living Dead to When a Stranger Calls, a large, eerie house with a number of intruder-friendly hiding places is top of my list of possible nightmare scenarios. I was therefore intrigued when I discovered that Moo-Tang’s latest photography series transforms this unwelcome dream into an elegant and visually impeccable tale. A young, fashionable woman alone in her stately manor goes about her daily activities — lifting weights, swimming and eating pizza — blissfully unaware of the unnerving, ominous figures that on occasion appear behind her.

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