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Revel in the many strands of Oscar Grønner's skillful illustrations

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Adasokol-art-itsnicethat-11 Work / Art Artist Ada Sokol on the evolving role of 3D in visual culture

Ada Sokol sums up her work with two words: “innovation, sleekness”. A chance encounter with the Paris-based, Polish-born artist and 3D designer’s work quickly had us hooked and digging deep into her portfolio rich with commissioned and personal projects. With a flair for 3D rendering which is so photorealistic, it left us wondering where the constructed ended and the real began, Ada is a future talent destined for great things.

Markwhalen-art-itsnicethat-list Work / Art Get caught up in Mark Whalen’s bold, playful art

A lot has changed since the last time we spoke to artist Mark Whalen. Having turned his attention away from pastel-coloured landscapes and graceful figures, Mark considers his newest work’s media, forms and themes: “I’ve been wanting to create a broader conversation using different mediums over the past few years. All of my attention has been focused on evolving scale, how to make engaging work with size, colour, and textural forms.” Mark’s large-scale canvases depict characters struggling to untangle themselves from unyielding linear structures. The bright colours and playful compositions add humour to the otherwise severe predicaments his characters find themselves in.

Th_web_list Features / Art Performance art's "master" Tehching Hsieh on the importance of isolation

As for so many artists before him, recognition came late to Taiwanese performance artist Tehching Hsieh. 30 years stretched between Hsieh’s first performance in his Tribeca studio to the artist’s inclusion in the 2009 Guggenheim exhibition “The Third Mind: American Artists Contemplate Asia, 1860-1989”. Now, the elusive artist is in higher demand than ever, last year filling the Taiwan Pavilion at Venice Biennale with “Doing Time”, an exhibition which took a backwards look at his work. When the Live Art Development Agency presented “Outside Again”, a film directed by Adrian Heathfield and Hugo Glendinning about the artist’s legacy, It’s Nice That took the rare opportunity to sit down with Tehching at LADA’s new home in the Garratt Centre, Bethnal Green in an attempt to find out why the artist gave over his life to art.

Unnamed Work / Art Anna Mond’s cigarette-smoking, beer-drinking Fantastical Beings

Artist Anna Mond’s universe is filled with otherworldly creatures smoking cigarettes and drinking beer. Fantastical Beings is her series of paintings depicting strange, alien-like figures gazing out of the canvas with unsettlingly captivating eyes. After years of working on musical projects, Anna’s creations came about organically when she “rediscovered the magic of painting. Within a short period of time, these wonderful creatures started to materialise,” she tells It’s Nice That.
 
The paintings tease the viewer as Anna masterfully pushes the boundaries of our imagination and incites our curiosity through these strange characters. One being is dressed like a priest with a black cross on its chest and a cigarette poking out of its mouth, while another is ready to take off on the next space mission in its astronaut gear. In Anna’s world, smoking cigarettes inside space helmets is commonplace. “When I sell my paintings they often travel to many different countries. But the Fantastical Beings are always connected and communicate with each other in mysterious ways,” Anna explains. Riddles are at the heart of Anna’s work and her strength lies in withholding easy explanations. Who are these creatures? Are they friendly or hostile? Happy or sad? Or perhaps we should consider how these anthropomorphic characters relate to ourselves. Like us, they wear Breton stripes, cowboy hats and speak on the phone, but their expressions are alien. Anna’s paintings invite us to imagine what might lie behind the faces we encounter.


Oscargronner-art-itsnicethat-list Work / Art Revel in the many strands of Oscar Grønner's skillful illustrations

“It’s hard for me to say exactly how my style has changed,” Oslo-based artist Oscar Grønner muses. “But I can see a difference from earlier work. I feel that I have many styles. I get bored of doing the same thing over and over and I like to explore new ways of doing things. I’m rarely happy with my own work so I guess I’m always trying to get there by changing.”

Cassandra-klos-photography-itsnicethat-list Features / Photography Photographer Cassandra Klos documents 'life on Mars' in the Hawaiian desert

It’s the summer of 2014 and six people are returning to Earth after half a year of isolation. With only each other’s company and no phones or Skype, a file drop or email (with a 20-minute delay) has been their only means of communication with any human outside of their circle. Having experienced weeks of eating only freeze-dried food and living in a uniform of prototype space suits, the crew are welcomed back to normality by Canadian astronaut-turned-social-media-star, Chris Hadfield on Twitter.

Lukaszgole%cc%a8dzinowski-illustration-itsnicethat-list Work / Illustration "I observe people’s behaviour with curiosity": meet the people-watching illustrator Łukasz Golędzinowski

Łukasz Golędzinowski is a Warsaw-based illustrator who depicts daily encounters through his vibrant images. “My illustrations show scenes of local life. The main goal of my works is to make people smile and to provoke a reflection. Everyone has their own interpretations so it’s not for me to say much more,” the artist tells It’s Nice That. His work exposes a beautifully optimistic attitude towards human relationships, materialised through the bold colours and fluid shapes in his illustrations of common people. 


Adasokol-art-itsnicethat-11 Work / Art Artist Ada Sokol on the evolving role of 3D in visual culture

Ada Sokol sums up her work with two words: “innovation, sleekness”. A chance encounter with the Paris-based, Polish-born artist and 3D designer’s work quickly had us hooked and digging deep into her portfolio rich with commissioned and personal projects. With a flair for 3D rendering which is so photorealistic, it left us wondering where the constructed ended and the real began, Ada is a future talent destined for great things.

Markwhalen-art-itsnicethat-list Work / Art Get caught up in Mark Whalen’s bold, playful art

A lot has changed since the last time we spoke to artist Mark Whalen. Having turned his attention away from pastel-coloured landscapes and graceful figures, Mark considers his newest work’s media, forms and themes: “I’ve been wanting to create a broader conversation using different mediums over the past few years. All of my attention has been focused on evolving scale, how to make engaging work with size, colour, and textural forms.” Mark’s large-scale canvases depict characters struggling to untangle themselves from unyielding linear structures. The bright colours and playful compositions add humour to the otherwise severe predicaments his characters find themselves in.

Motherdesign-callenlorde-graphicdesign-itsnicethat-08 Work / Graphic Design Mother Design creates an empowering identity for LGBTQ health organisation, Callen-Lorde

Mother Design’s New York office has created a boldly colourful and impactful identity for Callen-Lorde, a community centre for LGBTQ healthcare. Across its programmes, services and two locations in New York, it’s an organisation dedicated to providing healthcare to the city’s “lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities — in all their diversity — regardless of ability to pay”. An institution of such devotion and sensitive care deserves approachable, awe-inspiring graphic design, and Mother Design have done exactly that.

Stephentayo-photography-itsnicethat-11 Work / Photography Stephen Tayo's photographs "create a visual narrative" of everyday encounters

Stephen Tayo is a true flaneur, wandering around Lagos observing and examining everyone he sees. The young documentary photographer recently graduated from the University of Lagos in Nigeria with a philosophy degree, but has chosen a different path for himself: “I got into photography to express what I felt as a young boy growing up. I also wanted to create a story made up of the people I see and the places I visit,” Stephen tells It’s Nice That.

Daniel-weiss-photography-itsnicethat-7 Work / Photography Photographer Daniel Weiss tells the story of the New York he grew up with

“[The images in my series] may be slightly romanticised, but I really do love New York,” photographer Daniel Weiss tells It’s Nice That. Daniel’s images are American through and through, documenting everything from Elvis impersonators to bowling alleys and motorcycle racers. Although his subjects are wide-ranging as well as captivating, it is his ongoing series New York, depicting the city where he was born and bred, that particularly caught our eye.

Studiofeixen-graphicdesign-itsnicethat-list Work / Graphic Design The year of the gif: Studio Feixen’s multitude of moving posters

During 2017 Swiss graphic designers Studio Feixen expanded its impressive portfolio even wider. The studio redesigned the widely read Swiss newspaper 20 Minuten for the day, it created a Hermés Christmas perfume campaign with ping-pong balls and diamonds, it made a digital music playing poster for cultural evening Oto Nové Swiss, and contributed to a campaign for trainer fanatics’ favourite day of the year, Air Max Day. Due to these landmark design achievements it’s safe to say the studio had a pretty brilliant year, one that was met with personal achievements too, and to celebrate they made an animation for each.

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