Fontaine Fluorescent Font Friday

Claire Fontaine artwork - "AMERIKA"

Claire Fontaine is an art collective based in Paris, making, among other things, large-scale words and phrases out of fluorescent light tubes. The font used is called “K”, a typeface in turn taking its name from the Czech author Franz Kafka, as a tribute to him and to his unfinished work Amerika.

From the artists’ website, in translation:

Claire Fontaine is a Paris-based collective artist, founded in 2004. After lifting her name from a popular brand of school notebooks, Claire Fontaine declared herself a “readymade artist” and began to elaborate a version of neo-conceptual art that often looks like other people’s work. Working in neon, video, sculpture, painting and text, her practice can be described as an ongoing interrogation of the political impotence and the crisis of singularity that seem to define contemporary art today.

Selected artwork is shown below.

Claire Fontaine artwork - "Amerika"

Claire Fontaine, Amerika (k. font / Mexican), 2009 mexican double ballast lamps and fittings, 96, 72 and 48 inches, cables and transformers Installation view, Regina Gallery, Moscow (photo courtesy of:

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The National Gallery of Art is sitting on a goldmine of 21,000 paints, varnishes, pigments and primers

A great article about a museum collection of the pigments in artists’ paint tubes, preserved for posterity (more pix at the link). From Atlas Obscura

One of the lesser known collections at the National Gallery of Art lies behind an unmarked door in the employees-only section, where conservators have amassed an unrivaled hoard of 21,000 paints, varnishes, pigments and primers.

Drawers of samples of dried paint on glass slides - photo by Elliot Carter
Drawers of samples of dried paint on glass slides – photo by Elliot Carter

Continue reading “The National Gallery of Art is sitting on a goldmine of 21,000 paints, varnishes, pigments and primers”

Food Font Friday 2

Font Friday chocolate bars

Typografische Schokolade (Typographic Chocolate)

From (See also my blog post Food Font Friday 1: a Typographic Map of American foods and Food Font Friday 3: typography of food and drink logos.)

Typographic Chocolate is a student project of the University of Applied Sciences Berlin, Department of Communication Design, under the direction of Prof. Jürgen Huber.

The aim of the course was to create a product with typographic reference for the Museum of Letters Berlin. The Museum of Letters is devoted to preserving and documenting letterforms. Hundreds of signs have already been rescued from decay and the scrap heap. Typographic elements are selected independently of culture, region, language and script system. We wanted to create a product that is directly related to the museum.

It was important to create a keepsake that serves as a souvenir of Berlin and the museum and it should be salable at a fairly low price and be reproducible – whether in small editions or series production. We designed an own chocolate mold, packaging and presentation in the museum shop. Our product is aimed at design-oriented museum visitors, who appreciate handcraft products.

Lisa-Marie Peters and Christian Pannicke
University of Applied Sciences Berlin
5th semester

World’s Smallest Museum Finds the Wonder in Everyday Objects

Toothpaste tube

By Lisa Hix from

Tucked away in a lower Manhattan back alley, the freight-elevator-sized, generically named Museum is one of New York City’s newest curiosities. While it’s only open 16 hours a week, during the day on Saturdays and Sundays, the museum’s contents are viewable 24/7, lit and sealed by glass doors.

Passers-by are encouraged to call a toll-free number to learn about the 15 collections, comprising 200 objects, inside, including a series of Disney-themed bulletproof backpacks; U.S. paper money and coins so mutilated the Fed has deemed them unfit for currency, gathered by artist and writer Harley Spiller, a.k.a. Inspector Collector; a selection of objects from a fake Mars excavation; and personal items fabricated by prisoners, such as dice made out of bread, collected by multimedia artist Baron Von Fancy. Museum also offers several unique ways to experience the world: You can compare industrial designer Tucker Viemeister’s collection of toothpaste tubes from all over the map, or potato chip bags from various countries (collected by an eighth-grade class), as well as a globetrotting fake vomit collection. And that’s just the beginning.

“People say to us, ‘Oh, my gosh, you have to meet this person. They have a collection of potato chips that look like presidents!’”

Individually, many of these objects seem suited to a landfill, but taken together, they serve as a testament to the collecting spirit. At least, that’s how Museum co-founder Alex Kalman explains it, as he waxes poetic about the lessons everyday items can teach us. Kalman, along with brothers Benny and Josh Safdie, run the film production company Red Bucket Films upstairs from Museum, at 368 Broadway in TriBeCa. When the building owners offered them a defunct freight-elevator shaft on Cordlandt Alley out back, the filmmakers knew they had a place to showcase the weird cultural detritus they’d gathered over the years—such as a shoe rumored to be the one thrown at George W. Bush in 2008.

The three partners opened the free, nonprofit Museum to much fanfare in May 2012, with financial backing from the Spade Family, including Andy and Kate Spade (yes, of the purse company Kate Spade). Kalman spoke to us about what you’ll find in the current season of Museum, and how anyone can put his or her quirky collection into the spotlight.

Top: You'd never guess a tiny museum was behind these wrought-iron doors in a New York City alley. Click the image for a closer look. Photo by Naho Kubota. Above: A tube of Teelak teeth-whitening gel—sold in Spain starting around 1960 as a remedy for nicotine stains—from Tucker Viemiester's collection. Via mmuseumm.comA tube of Teelak teeth-whitening gel—sold in Spain starting around 1960 as a remedy for nicotine stains—from Tucker Viemiester’s collection. Via

Collectors Weekly: Could you tell me about the concept behind Museum?

Alex Kalman: We find amazing stories—as well as beauty and absurdity and inspiration—in what many would consider the vernacular. Our backgrounds are in filmmaking, and in many of our films, the stories are very much about the details of everyday life. We look at small, intimate moments and try to draw the poetry, or the universal meaning, out of them. These are moments we can all feel a certain level of familiarity with, much like a tube of toothpaste.

For us, Museum was about creating an institution that celebrates the extraordinariness of the seemingly ordinary. You can obviously learn a lot about the world by reading the newspaper every day, watching movies, or studying political science. But you can also learn a lot about the world by looking at the smallest things that cultures create and seeing the similarities and differences between them.

Mutilated-money collector Harley Spiller, a.k.a. Inspector Collector, says this graffiti-covered dollar was given as change. Via

Mutilated-money collector Harley Spiller, a.k.a. Inspector Collector, says this graffiti-covered dollar was given as change. Via

Honestly, there wasn’t as much of an articulated philosophy when we were starting out. It was something we naturally did. When we were filming movies, we were always collecting what we call “modern-day artifacts,” which we would bring back to the studio and share with each other. It was always about having the eye to find the absurd detail in something that others might pass over because it appears to be just another bag of potato chips, or another shoe. But in fact, there’s something insightful or crazy, funny or sad, ugly or beautiful about it. As we were collecting these artifacts, we thought to ourselves that we wanted to open an institution for these things. We wanted to put them on display in the way that we saw them. And that would be, of course, in the form of a museum.

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Flashmob Recreates Rembrandt’s “The Night Watch” in a Dutch Shopping Mall

Men in costume

Men in costumeFlashmob actors posed as in paintingThe European banking sector may still be on shaky footing. But it’s not stopping European banks from putting together a good flashmob. Last year, the Spanish bank, Banco Sabadell, brought together 100 professional musicians and singers to perform the anthem of the European Union — Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” from his Symphony No. 9. And movingly so. It all happened in the Plaça de Sant Roc in Sabadell, Spain, a little north of Barcelona.

This year, we travel north to the city of Breda in Holland, where the Dutch multinational bank ING paid performers to recreate Rembrandt’s famous painting, The Night Watch, in a shopping center. The occasion? The re-opening of The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam on April 13 after a long 10-year renovation.

via The Guardian

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