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Beauty through the eyes of Stefan Sagmeister and Jessica Walsh

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Sagmeisterandwalsh-thomashedger-itsnicethat-graphicdesign-list Features / Graphic Design Beauty through the eyes of Stefan Sagmeister and Jessica Walsh

Stefan Sagmeister and Jessica Walsh have been thinking about beauty. This might seem unsurprising, as both are designers who occupy the upper echelons of the design hierarchy, and aesthetics, you’d imagine, would be an ongoing concern. “One part of what we are doing is aiming to eradicate the tired notion that beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” says Stefan with a laugh. “Because it’s not.” I’m sat at the control centre of the Stefan and Jessica show, an office just off Broadway in Manhattan. Outside the meeting room where we are sat, a small team is working away diligently.

Chrismaggio-thenewageofnewage-photography-itsnicethat-list Work / Photography Chris Maggio's oxymoronic series The New Age of The New Age in Arizona

Wellness eh? Is it for real? Is it a joke? Is coconut water actually just gross? In our age of sharing every minute detail of our lives online, it feels like everyone is looking after themselves so successfully it’s envy-inducing, following a routine of cold press juices and hot yoga. The accompaniment to this is the concept of “finding yourself” which is warping into a new kind of spiritual group, using methods of 1970s New Age spiritual and religious beliefs but in a current age where switching off means that your smartphone is most definitely still on.

Soufianeababri-art-itsnicethat-list Work / Art Soufiane Ababri's vibrant drawings are driven by political activism

Soufiane Ababri is tired of the status quo. Angry at society’s underlying racist, sexist, homophobic and transphobic biases, Soufiane’s work is characterised by a political agency. The Tangier-born artist has been living in France for the past 14 years since studying at the National School of Decorative Arts and completing a master’s at Lyon’s School of Fine Arts. “My drawings tell the stories of the communities in which I belong. I am a homosexual North African immigrant who is part of a small middle class in a postcolonial generation. My experiences are central to my drawings and I hope they can highlight some of society’s stigmas,” Soufiane tells us.

Main_ident_724 Regulars / The Graduates 2018 Apply for The Graduates 2018, now open to global applicants for the first time!

Each year as university graduates hand in their final assignments, begin building degree shows and place orders for their cap and gowns, we have our own graduation class too. The It’s Nice That Graduates celebrates its tenth anniversary this year, and if you have graduated or are graduating from an undergraduate creative course (bachelor’s or equivalent) in 2018 we want to hear from you!

Itsnicethat_diary_june_2018 Regulars / Diary June diary: this month’s must-see events and exhibitions

Whether you’re hitting up grad shows or making the most of longer days taking in one of the plethora of inspiring new shows opening for summer, June is the perfect time to broaden your cultural peripherals. From the V&A’s blockbuster Frida Kahlo show to a design summer school in Galway, there’s truly something for everyone. The It’s Nice That editorial team has picked out ten, five in the UK and five around the world, to help you choose.h3. Dorothea Lange: Politics of Seeing and Vanessa Winship: And Time Folds
22 June – 2 September 2018
The Barbican, London

Bradley_kerl Regulars / Friday Mixtape Friday Mixtape: Texan artist Bradley Kerl's mix to ease you into a hot humid summer

We’re longtime fans of Texan artist Bradley Kerl. His still lifes are little portals into his own life, gathering bits and bobs together, and there’s always a bunch of calming plants featured too. A couple of weeks ago we published an interview with Parquet Courts’ A.Savage where the artist and musician told us that coincidentally he and Bradley were old pals, they studied painting together and were even a band for a number of years called Teenage Cool Kids.

Andy-baker_nx-worries_music-video_animation_itsnicethat_list Work / Animation Behind the making of NxWorries’ sexy, summery Lyk Dis video with Andy Baker and Robin Velghe

If you weren’t already in the mood for the summer holidays then NxWorries’ latest video is sure to get you daydreaming. Illustrated by Robin Velghe and animated by Andy Baker, and co-directed by the two creatives, the video stars animated versions of Anderson.Paak and Knxwledge as they cruise through balmy LA with the car roof down, checking out beautiful ladies and sunsets alike along the way. Andy and Robin tell It’s Nice That that the project began with both duos chatting and sharing ideas about the track’s themes, discussing retro 90s references, a chilled LA setting and, specifically, a BMW 2002.

Laetitianegre-photography-itsnicethat-list Work / Photography Laetitia Negre's experimental and disorientating photography

Half-dressed torsos and life-sized leopard-like sculptures, it can be difficult to tell what you’re looking at in Laetitia Negre’s photographs. Her experimental, action-packed images sit at the intersection of performance art, film and photography, inviting the viewer to imagine the snapshot’s preceding and subsequent moments. After working with the likes of Dazed, i-D and collaborating with legendary fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, the French-born, London-based photographer has accumulated an enviable portfolio over the past few years.

Mequittaahuja-notations-art-itsnicethat-1 Work / Art Artist Mequitta Ahuja's self-portraits shine light on the construction of identity

For centuries, artists have used images to convey ideas about specific identities. The visual language they have used has shaped and moulded how we perceive gender, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation. Artist Mequitta Ahuja hopes to shine light on the construction of identity in art through her large-scale self-portraits. “I am African-American on my mother’s side and South-Asian on my father’s side. I use my work to unify my mixed heritage. As I got older, concerns about my identity become less pressing and, instead, I find myself reflecting on self-portraiture as being about the artist as a picture-maker. In other words, I increasingly focus on the artist’s self-portrait as a discourse of representation,” Mequitta tells It’s Nice That.

List15 Work / Photography Introducing the fabulous and fantastical worlds of photographer Alessandro Merlo

From alt beauty Harry Charlesworth strutting his stuff in a cornfield to a modern-day Cinderella with a towering blonde wig and party frock gaffer-taped to her bare skin, the portfolio of photographer Alessandro Merlo is packed with fierce individuals living their best lives. Alessandro’s work perfectly captures the feeling that his subjects are utterly themselves, even if trying on outlandish outfits and even more outrageous personalities.

Nicer-tuesdays-may-recap-list Regulars / Nicer Tuesdays From Migrant Journal to Isle of Dogs, Nicer Tuesdays May explored great creative works

Nicer Tuesdays always spans an eclectic mix of topics, but May’s edition was a veritable smorgasbord of creative inspiration. Taking to the podium at Oval Space, Offshore Studio’s Christoph Miler discussed the “missing voice” of the discourse surrounding the migrant crisis, before Kyle Platts explored character design and animation; then graphic designer Erica Dorn shared the intricate research undertaken for Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs; before Sam Conniff taught us about the Golden Age of Pirates. Here, we pick out just some of the learnings from last night.h3. Independent publishing has the power to impact history

Listebastiankoenig_illu_makesclick_i_15 Work / Illustration Sebastian König on creating an "ah-ha" moment with the most simple of illustrations

“I am fascinated by the functional principal of simple picture stories,” says German illustrator and art director Sebastian König of his four-pane comics series Strips. “You look at four images, realise the meaning in their context and have that little film-like sequence in your head. Your brain loves to decode such things and then rewards you with that feeling when you get it.” That’s the joy in Sebastian’s work – his grainy illustration are incredibly simple, yet there’s often a touch of quirk that causes you to linger in anticipation of a payoff. Sometimes it comes, but at other times you’re left tantalisingly bemused.

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