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Heather Phillipson presents 80-metre large, egg-themed artwork for Art on the Underground

Lucy-hardcastle-art-its-nice-that-list Regulars / Ones To Watch 2018 Lucy Hardcastle and Ryan Hopkinson on taking their collaboration in new directions

It’s Nice That’s Ones to Watch shines a light on 12 emerging talents who we think will conquer the creative world in 2018. From a global pool of creative talent, we have chosen our 2018 Ones To Watch for their ability to consistently produce inspiring and engaging work across a diverse range of disciplines. Each of our selections continually pushes the boundaries of what is possible with their creative output. Ones to Watch 2018 is supported by Uniqlo.

Christabel_macgreevy-art-itsnicethat-list Work / Art Artist Christabel MacGreevy's new show explores the fluid nature of gender identity

Central St Martins fine art graduate Christabel MacGreevy kicked off her career as a fashion illustrator making work for LOVE magazine. Having garnered public attention with her patch brand Itchy Scratchy Patchy, which she co-founded with her friend model Edie Campbell, the London-born artist went on to pursue an MA in drawing at The Royal Drawing School.

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.

Austineddy-art-itsnicethat-list Work / Art Austin Eddy on uprooting his studio from Brooklyn to west London for a month of speedy painting

During a month in London’s so-called spring earlier this year, New York-based artist Austin Eddy uprooted his practice from Greenpoint Brooklyn to west London for a month. As part of a residency at Liquitex Cadmium-Free Research Residency in Griffin Gallery, Austin was given the opportunity to invest time in a series of works, checking into the space every day and treating it like a nine to five job. The result is a painting a day for 30 days, each nestling in nicely with the artist’s other portfolio pieces, but with a slightly different subject matter built from new surroundings.

Jillsenft-treemendous-art-itsnicethat-list Work / Art Jill Senft pairs her fascination with trees and puns in new book Treemendous

Alongside her practice of painting wobbling characters into the funniest and most absurd scenarios, Berlin-based artist Jill Senft has developed a fascination with trees. In particular, it’s when a cluster of trees are horticultured together in an arboretum that caught the painter’s eye, thinking she would collect the different trees together in some sort of book or zine, “which I quickly found boring as it already exists,” she says.

Hinds Regulars / Friday Mixtape Friday Mixtape: a collection of bangers from Spanish band Hinds

This week’s Friday Mixtape comes from the always smiling Madrid-based group, Hinds! With a reputation for the most joyfully infectious live shows, Carlotta, Ana, Ade and Amber’s mixtape is a collection of indie focused bangers, with a few Spanish hits thrown in for good measure.

Listvansnew Work / Illustration A return to the satirical surrealism of illustrator Alex Gamsu Jenkins

Since we last spoke to illustrator Alex Gamsu Jenkins two years ago, his work has ramped up a gear. Yes, the Camberwell grad still renders satire in grainy newsprint-like scenes. And Lordy, his work is still pretty gory. But the scale of his pieces has expanded to create more involved, more surreal narratives where the gag isn’t always obvious at first sight. You feel compelled to give his gruesome scenes a second take.

Pouya-ahmadi-publication-itsnicethat-list Work / Publication Pouya Ahmadi’s publication Amalgam is “a somewhat contradictory situation”

Amalgam is an ad-hoc transdisciplinary journal that explores the intersection of type, language and the visual arts: a perfect combination of subjects for anyone who, like us, obsesses over design and typography. With a graphically bold cover and equally intriguing name, Amalgam is the latest project from Swiss graphic designer Pouya Ahmadi.

Seungwhankim-illustration-itsnicethat-08 Work / Illustration Seungwhan Kim's sweet illustrations delve into inner emotions

Over in Seoul illustrator Seungwhan Kim sweetly illustrates the “paradoxical situations that we face in everyday life,” he tells It’s Nice That. Both a little strange but also relatable, Seungwhan’s illustration style picks up on life’s double-sided contradictions implying them in his work. He does this by noticing and drawing inner emotions, “jealousy, inferiority and dissatisfaction” for instance, as the illustrator finds “behaviours and situations associated with such emotions intriguing”.

Listgen_image_01 Work / Graphic Design Wolff Olins on the tech-fuelled future of the humancentric rebrand

As many companies rebrand in a way that increasingly seems generic and homogenous, the way we consider branding needs to change, argues Chris Moody, chief design officer at brand consultancy Wolff Olins. Chris suggests that we have come to a pivot point where virtual reality, augmented reality and voice-activation are changing the way we define brand presence. A brand identity must now be an ‘intelligent identity’, that uses responsive assets, new platforms and technologies to create a conversation on a human level, and at scale.

2001-a-space-odyssesy-film-itsnicethat-list Features / Film "Something bold, something pure" – the 50-year long legacy of 2001: A Space Odyssey

When 2001: A Space Odyssey premiered on 10 May 1968 – 50 years ago today – it somehow captured the imagination of its viewers: an audience who was yet to experience footage of the moon landing over a year later. Packed full of lengthy sequences and free from dialogue or even sound, its imagery, directed by Stanley Kubrick, is tranquil to the point of being static at times. This combined with its understandably puzzling ending meant the film received mixed reviews from critics upon its release. Despite this, it quickly garnered a ferocious cult following and became the highest grossing film of that year: the only Kubrick motion picture to hold this status.

01-list-img-template-margins-2-up Work / Publication Nataal’s debut print magazine captures the creative energy of Africa and its diaspora

“This is a magazine for anyone who wants to engage with, be inspired by or learn about the abundant energy coming from visual arts, fashion and cultural communities inspired by the spirit of Africa,” says Helen Jennings, the editorial director of Nataal. Established as a digital platform in 2015 and growing to include exhibitions and now its debut print magazine, the Afrocentric showcase champions the artists who are shaping new global narratives around the continent, via fashion shoots, long-form writing and visual essays.

Buffalo_replacement Work / Publication Buffalo Zine are back with issue 7 and it’s a fashion fiesta

Independent print might be thriving, but there are fewer magazines we look forward to more than the eternally shapeshifting Buffalo Zine. With every issue comes a complete redesign, the magazine bowing deferentiently to the theme that dictates it’s format. With past issues masquerading as shopping catalogues, home and interiors magazines and tabloid newspapers, nothing is quite what it seems.

Scamp-publication-itsnicethat-3list Work / Publication Scamp magazine is a must-have item for any “art and fashion shiterati” (NSFW)

In the late 1950s, a Playboy-aspirant magazine was established that delved deep into life’s big enigmas like “A Short History of Undress” and “How to Make it Big in Café Society”. Despite its undeniable contribution to literary culture, the publication was sadly discontinued shortly after its launch. The magazine’s influence, however, lives on in the form of the brilliantly hilarious and wonderfully tacky modern-day Scamp, which has just seen the release of its second issue. Run by Oskar Oprey, Jam Steward and John William, Scamp is a must-have item for any “art and fashion shiterati”.

Studiodumbar-graphicdesign-itsnicethat-1list Work / Graphic Design Studio Dumbar on its dynamic identity for youth foundation Jeugdfonds

The legendary Rotterdam-based Studio Dumbar is known for some of the most iconic identities since its establishment in 1977. Its creative team has designed some of the Holland’s most recognisable visual identities, including rebrands for the Dutch railway systems, the Dutch government, Mauritshuis Royal Picture Gallery and the budget airline Transavia. The studio can now add another impressive project to its list of achievements: the dynamic and vibrant work for children’s cultural institutions Jeugdsportfonds – Youth Sport Foundation – and Jeugdcultuurfonds – Youth Culture Foundation.

List4 Work / Animation Jun Seo Hahm’s animated characters straddle the terrifying line of cute and icky

In French there’s the term ‘jolie laide’, or pretty-ugly, to describe a unconventional hottie whose attractiveness hinges on a crooked nose or a scraggle of teeth. In Japan the phenomenon of kimo-kawaii (cute-gross) illustration has ballooned in popularity in recent years, with even Sanrio, the creator of kitsch queen Hello Kitty, getting in on the creepy character game (see Kirimi-chan, an anthropomorphic salmon steak). There’s something about human nature that means this intersection between sweet and weird, sexy and repulsive, really gets under our skin. And it’s at this oh-so-freaky juncture that the work of animator Jun Seo Hahm sits, waiting to lick your hand affectionately – or bite off all your digits.

Chantal-jahchan-publication-itsnicethat-list Work / Publication Chantal Jahchan explores the Arabic type design landscape and concepts of modernity in En Route

“I was born in Rabieh, Lebanon and came to the US when I was five years old,” New York-based graphic designer Chantal Jahchan tells It’s Nice That. “Ever since then, I have been interested in the ways that language can be both a barrier and a tool for communication.” In a project that fully embodies this experience, Chantal explores what “modernity” might mean for Lebanon, specifically through a typographic and linguist lens in her publication En Route.

Louiebanks-photography-itsnicethat-22 Work / Photography "I aim to inject my work with a sense of empowerment": photographer Louie Banks

We have been following Louie Banks for some time now; partly because of his impossibly cute snaps of pets Babs and Pig but, more so, because of his endless turnover of honest, perceptive and arresting portraits. Louie has worked with the likes of iD, Vogue Italia and Love magazine and photographed legendary club icons like Amanda Lepore, fashion it-girls like Aweng Chuol, not to mention half of London’s underground scene.

Nicer-tuesdays-may-launch-list Regulars / Nicer Tuesdays Get tickets now for May’s Nicer Tuesdays

This month at Nicer Tuesdays on 29 May, we’ll be hearing about the graphic design for Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs, plus brilliantly odd illustration, inspiring publication design and how to Be More Pirate in our work and life. Get tickets now to hear from Erica Dorn, Sam Conniff, Kyle Platts and Offshore Studio at Oval Space.
If you stopped to admire the incredible graphic details in Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs, you were most likely admiring the work of Erica Dorn. As the lead graphic designer on the film, Erica was responsible for bringing together everything from the Japanese woodblock-inspired artworks to printed documents, product packaging and signage, which added beautifully intricate detail to the dystopian future world Anderson was creating for his canine stars. Erica will be showcasing her research, references, sketches, final pieces and behind the scenes snippets from the project.There’s no mistaking the handiwork of illustrator and animation director Kyle Platts. Vivid and cartoonish compositions filled with strange, wobbly characters, their ballooned foreheads in profile bearing enlarged eyes, are his forte, and a long-time favourite of the It’s Nice That team. He’ll be joining us to share insights to his creative process, particularly for recent projects for the likes of Vice, Bloomberg, Zeit Leo and GQ_.In past lives, Sam Conniff was the founder of creative network Livity and media platform Don’t Panic, but recently he’s gone rogue with a new mission: to encourage everyone to "_Be More Pirate.":https://www.bemorepirate.com/ Born from research into the radical strategies of Golden Age pirates, his new ethos and book of the same name (with an added explanatory strapline “Or How to Take On The World And Win”) adapts these strategies for 21st Century work and life, and aligns them with modern day innovators or “rebels” like Elon Musk and Malala Yousafzai.Zurich-based graphic design studio Offshore is one of It’s Nice That’s Ones to Watch 2018 and with good reason. Founders Christoph Miler and Isabel Seiffert are behind the design of Migrant Journal, for which the duo created a bespoke typeface and visually arresting design. Politically conscious, sensitive and striking all at the same time, it sums up the designers’ capability way beyond their years. They’ll be telling us more about their recent work, and the aesthetic combination of Swiss design sensibilities and international influences that makes their work truly distinctive.

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