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Studio Swine creates a 20-tonne ceramic sculpture that blows smoke rings for the Eden Project

Rade_pertasevic-art-itsnicethat-list Work / Art Rade Petrasevic reimagines still lifes in his vibrant, large-scale drawings

Whether it’s Paul Cezanne’s The Basket of Apples or Caravaggio’s Basket of Fruit, we’re sure you’ve seen more still life paintings than you can name. But we’re also certain that you haven’t seen a still life quite like Rade Petrasevic’s interpretation of the genre. Rade, who lives and works in Vienna, decided to pursue art after leaving school at 14 as “there was no opportunity to study anything else”. The Austrian artist now spends his time reimagining and revising the traditional still life through his delicate and deceptively simple large-scale drawings of chairs, vases, flowers and sculptures.

Jyanku-illustration-itsnicethat-list Work / Illustration Get to know Jyan Ku's lovely hybrid of "friendly art, not difficult art"

When South Korean-born and Brooklyn-based Jyan Ku sent over the illustrations to be featured in this article, the titles of the works had us in stitches. The file names such as, “Why Crying”, “A Little Bit of Juice For You” and “Hey Sweetie”, each describes the cutesy narrative displayed in Jyan’s work, but also comment on contemporary culture succinctly, particularly our interactions with one another.

Listgb Work / Art Artist Genesis Belanger explores the strange things that advertising conditions us to want

From hot dogs peeping out of handbags and squeezing into strappy sandals to fruit bowls filled with bananas, strawberries and a casual boob, Brooklyn-based artist Genesis Belanger’s ceramic sculptures mix consumer goods with more than a touch of the surreal. Inspired by claymation, cartoons like The Simpsons as well as artists Dorothea Tanning, Louise Bourgeois and Fernando Botero, her work also draws heavily on the advertising industry, where she worked until breaking away to focus on sculpture. “The advertising industry understands the strength of visual persuasion and I find it fascinating that our desires can be manipulated through aesthetics,” Genesis tells It’s Nice That. “I use elements of that persuasive language in my work.”

Listimage2 Features / Art Sound and vision: Parquet Courts' A. Savage on life as an artist and musician

A. Savage is an artist who is always walking the ledge between two creative worlds. The first is a musical one, where he throttles through songs playing in Parquet Courts. But the second is a slower paced painting career, where his enviable talent for building a narrative shifts from songwriting onto canvas. While he has no plans to settle in either camp permanently, his painting studio is “wonderful” the artist tells It’s Nice That. “It’s my favourite place in the world.”

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.

List-sophiejanestafford4 Work / Photography Photographer Sophie Stafford on shooting the Saharan desert’s largest celebration

To bring in the new year, the desert oasis of Douz in Tunisia transforms into an anarchic and event-packed four-day-long festival celebrating northern African Berber traditions. Featuring horse and camel racing, falconry, dancing and parades, it’s a visual feast as well as an important part of Tunisian heritage – a wonderland for a photographer keen to capture the heightened emotions of two worlds meeting.

Rade_pertasevic-art-itsnicethat-list Work / Art Rade Petrasevic reimagines still lifes in his vibrant, large-scale drawings

Whether it’s Paul Cezanne’s The Basket of Apples or Caravaggio’s Basket of Fruit, we’re sure you’ve seen more still life paintings than you can name. But we’re also certain that you haven’t seen a still life quite like Rade Petrasevic’s interpretation of the genre. Rade, who lives and works in Vienna, decided to pursue art after leaving school at 14 as “there was no opportunity to study anything else”. The Austrian artist now spends his time reimagining and revising the traditional still life through his delicate and deceptively simple large-scale drawings of chairs, vases, flowers and sculptures.

Laura-jayne-hodkin-animation-itsnicethat-list Work / Animation Boys and beer: animator Laura Jayne Hodkin's hilariously unapologetic depiction of female friendship

It’s pretty rare that a piece of work really makes you laugh out loud, however, our first (and every subsequent) viewing of illustrator and animator Laura Jayne Hodkin’s Haley and Joanna had us in stitches. Although depicting an essentially mundane conversation between friends, Laura’s ability to comedically spotlight moments creates a weird but altogether relatable short that pokes fun at and celebrates female friendship.

Jimjocoy-orderofappearance-photography-itsnicethat-11list Work / Photography Photographer Jim Jocoy's book chronicles San Francisco’s booming 1970s music scene

During a phone call with Korean-born, California-based photographer Jim Jocoy, he tells me about a night he spent with Mick Jagger and Patti Smith after a stranger invited him to a party on New York’s subway. In light of this, it comes as no surprise that Jim’s latest book, Order of Appearance, chronicles his youthful years during San Francisco’s booming music scene in the late 1970s. Filled with snapshots of musicians applying final layers of make-up before going on stage and photos of drunken teens struggling to find their way home, Order of Appearance is a celebration of the vibrancy and dynamism of youth.

Jyanku-illustration-itsnicethat-list Work / Illustration Get to know Jyan Ku's lovely hybrid of "friendly art, not difficult art"

When South Korean-born and Brooklyn-based Jyan Ku sent over the illustrations to be featured in this article, the titles of the works had us in stitches. The file names such as, “Why Crying”, “A Little Bit of Juice For You” and “Hey Sweetie”, each describes the cutesy narrative displayed in Jyan’s work, but also comment on contemporary culture succinctly, particularly our interactions with one another.

List-int13 Work / Photography Tom Fox Shea’s portrait of Utah shows a sleepy state with underlying tensions

“I think Utah has a unique atmosphere with its extraordinary landscapes and the highly religious overtones of the population,” says photographer Tom Fox Shea, whose work often depicts the still, sometimes eerie suburbia of his home state. Part of the tension brewing in Tom’s photographs stems from the current mood in Utah, where religious Mormons (who are primarily Republican with high moral standards and conservative views) are struggling with life under President Trump. “As you can imagine, it makes for a divisive atmosphere, not only within the religion itself, but on top of an already divided state,” Tom tells It’s Nice That. “I think I’m often looking for the juxtaposition of this mood, trying to highlight a sense of calm or if showing stress, it’s under a subdued surface.”

Benedict-morgan_photography_itsnicethat_tableware-list Work / Photography Benedict Morgan exposes the trickery of a photography set in his Tableware series

There’s always something intriguing about how a visual illusion is performed, and it’s our curiosity towards such trickery that photographer Benedict Morgan has been investigating for years now. His latest personal work to do so is Tableware, a set of images revealing the “truths” of a photography set. Each shot – co-created with set designer Lisa Jahovic – is split in half, the top showing a printed photograph, the bottom showing the set in real life, immaculately sewn together in-camera. The results make anyone want to look closer.

List03-list-img-template-2-up-portrait Work / Photography Photographer Fred Lahache captures Morocco through the eyes of his childhood friend

When you’re a kid, stories of your mates’ exotic holidays to anywhere further than Bognor warrant considerable fuel for the imagination. For Paris-based photographer Fred Lahache, his best mate Hamza’s visits to Morocco would inspire hours of conversation between the two 12-year-olds, with Fred captivated by the very different experience of his closest pal. “I remember the stories he would tell me after each summer in Morocco with his family – the time of year we could not be together for a while,” says Fred. His latest project Looking for Hamza is an ode to the power of these stories and Morocco as an imagined destination – a visual diary of a holiday together that the pair never had.

Atelier_baudelaire-generalpublic-graphicdesign-itsnicethat-04 Work / Graphic Design Salon de Montrouge's identity sees deep reds and pale pinks sweep through the gallery

The annual Montrouge Contemporary Art Fair (Salon de Montrouge) fills galleries with the upcoming artists to keep an eye on. An art fair full of excitement, possibilities and new talent needs an identity that embodies this sentiment, with graphic design of a high calibre to match the work it represents. Since 2016 this has been a task entrusted with Atelier Baudelaire, a Paris-based design studio well versed in applying creative direction to the cultural field.

Listgb Work / Art Artist Genesis Belanger explores the strange things that advertising conditions us to want

From hot dogs peeping out of handbags and squeezing into strappy sandals to fruit bowls filled with bananas, strawberries and a casual boob, Brooklyn-based artist Genesis Belanger’s ceramic sculptures mix consumer goods with more than a touch of the surreal. Inspired by claymation, cartoons like The Simpsons as well as artists Dorothea Tanning, Louise Bourgeois and Fernando Botero, her work also draws heavily on the advertising industry, where she worked until breaking away to focus on sculpture. “The advertising industry understands the strength of visual persuasion and I find it fascinating that our desires can be manipulated through aesthetics,” Genesis tells It’s Nice That. “I use elements of that persuasive language in my work.”

Londonembroiderystudiolist2 Work / Animation "Football's Bayeux Tapestry": behind the scenes of the embroidered BBC World Cup trailer animation

Viewers who gathered in pubs and living rooms across the globe to watch the FA Cup final on Saturday were treated to an embroidered history of football at half-time. The short, made in the lead-up to the World Cup starting this June, is the product of months of work undertaken by The London Embroidery Studio and animator (and It’s Nice That Ones to Watch 2017) Nicos Livesey.

Bonjour-garcon-graphic-design-itsnicethat-list-alt Work / Graphic Design Bonjour Garçon combines photography and graphic design to make "strong and delicate" work

The brainchild of designers Romain Fritiau and Pierre Tostain, Bonjour Garçon is a studio with a distinct visual language, despite having only started working together in 2017. With a portfolio that consists of photography and graphic design, Romain and Pierre produce work that merges the two in a series of considered and clean projects.

Anton-gottlob-photography-itsnicethat-list-alt Work / Photography The spontaneous, saturated and energetic portfolio of photographer Anton Gottlob

“My work is quite spontaneous,” London-based photographer Anton Gottlob tells It’s Nice That. “The initial excitement of an idea or project is always the most exciting time for me. I don’t like spending days creating mood boards.” This quick-witted approach to the medium is evident when looking at Anton’s portfolio. Full of saturated colours, unusual compositions and plenty of high flash, his images are full of energy, feeling more like stills from a video rather than photographs.

Alexandermourant-odyssey-photography-itsnicethat-4list Work / Photography Alexander Mourant's photographs trace a road-trip he took down the length of Africa

Odyssey is photographer Alexander Mourant’s awe-inspiring series tracing a road-trip he took down the length of Africa, from Cairo to Cape Town. “Odyssey was born through an editorial assignment titled Cairo to Cape Town: Africa’s Plastic Footprint with RAW Foundation. We set off to track and document Africa’s plastic footprint,” Alexander tells It’s Nice That. Camera in hand, Alexander’s aim was to shine a light on the enormous scale and wide-ranging reach of the plastic pollution problem while photographing the interesting individuals he met on the way. Once he returned home, the London-based photographer evaluated his shots, selecting and compiling his personal favourites into the final series.

Nicer-tuesdays-april-natalia-stuyk-list Regulars / Nicer Tuesdays Video artist Natalia Stuyk on crossing from the digital to the physical world

Natalia Stuyk is a video and digital artist who creates surreal, warping imagery in vivid saturated colours. Her commercial work often sees her collaborate with brands such as Kenzo, Nike and Stella McCartney, making fashion films, music videos and everything in between. Much more at home in the digital space, Natalia spoke at Nicer Tuesdays about her recent move into the physical space, collaborating on installations for Galeria Melissa in New York over the coming summer.

Francaballero-illustration-itsnicethat-9list Work / Illustration Illustrator Fran Caballero on “living that not-awful-at-all freelance/bartender lifestyle”

Fran Caballero is a Glasgow-based illustrator whose playful drawings have pleased us for some time. This year alone, Fran has been featured in the latest Ladybeard issue, Popeye magazine and has created his first piece of homeware, the February Throw. It’s safe to say that Fran is, as he puts it, “living that not-awful-at-all freelance/bartender lifestyle”. That Fran followed a creative pathway comes as no surprise when the illustrator thinks back to his childhood. “I pretty much drew all the time as a kid but grew more interested and aware of illustration around secondary school, through Ed Banger Records LPs with artwork by So-Me. I bought my first graphics tablet around then,” the artist tells It’s Nice That.

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