Friday links

Delve

Delve is a weekly newsletter from Human After All and a coterie of film critics (Ian Freer, Peter Bradshaw, Tim Robey, Karen Krizanovich and Jonathan Crocker). It's basically a film-of-the-week thing with a bundle of interesting related links thrown in, but the best bit is the new limited edition artwork that accompanies each issue – often better than any official posters. David Mahoney's Arrival piece is suitably ominous, and just imagine if Karolis Strautniekas' Spectre artwork was the basis for the film's opening credits. Gorgeous stuff. Obviously, all of these deserve to exist outside of your inbox, so thankfully prints are available from the Delve shop.

Dystopia

"I’ve always been taken aback by the assumption that my vision is fundamentally dystopian. I suspect that the people who say I’m dystopian must be living completely sheltered and fortunate lives."

— William Gibson, The Paris Review

Simon Stalenhag

If you aren't already familiar with Simon Stalenhag's Scandi-scifi art, I suggest you get over to his site at once. He paints an ominous blend of the nightmarish and the calm, landscapes depicting the aftermath (or normalisation) of some horrifying techno-biological events. Often narratively linked, Stalenhag's work looks like concept art for the greatest film never made. It's surely only a matter of time before Hollywood comes calling – just imagine him paired up with Alex Garland, David Fincher or Denis Villeneuve.

The Recorder #4

The Recorder, Monotype's relaunched/redesigned magazine that explores type in a wider cultural context, has very quickly become a must-have for studio shelves. Issue four is particularly splendid. Not because of the exceptional (and refreshingly colourful) art direction from Luke Tonge, or Adrian Shaughnessy's look at the history of record sleeve design, or even Nicole Phillips' fascinating look at typography in education.

No, it's because 1990 Amiga classic Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe (one of the greatest games ever) is on the cover, and every time I see it, I'm struck by waves of nostalgia and joy. The smile only gets bigger when you reach Darren Wall's article inside, looking at the pixelated type of Doom, Sensible Soccer, Street Fighter II, etc. Well worth the cover price alone.

Residents: Inside the Iconic Barbican Estate

As both a professional photographer and resident of the Barbican Estate resident, Anton Rodriguez has combined his passions to make the excellent Residents: Inside the Iconic Barbican Estate. The book explores the interiors and inhabitants of 22 flats; a sun-drenched blend of iconic modernist furniture and personal stories. There's also an essay by Katie Treggiden, looking at the history of the site and exploring why there is such an interest in peeking behind those curtains. It's a wonderful book about a wonderful place – probably the closest you'll get to actually living their yourself. 

 
 

Neil Gaiman on cities

"For now cities sleep. But there are rumblings. Things change. And what if, tomorrow, cities woke, and went walking? If Tokyo engulfed your town? If Vienna came striding over the hill toward you? If the city you inhabit today just upped and left, and you woke tomorrow wrapped in a thin blanket on an empty plain, where Detroit once stood, or Sydney, or Moscow? Don't ever take a city for granted. After all, it is bigger than you are; it is older; and it has learned how to wait …"

— Neil Gaiman, Cities are not people (found in the SimCity 2000 library)

Flesh

Since reopening last year, York Art Gallery has become one of the finest galleries in the country, with some fantastic permanent and temporary collections. A great example of this is Flesh, a major exhibition looking at how artists represent flesh (often in rather unpleasant ways – the show could easily have been called Meat). The word gets bandied about a lot and is almost meaningless these days, but this is curation at its finest, with work from the likes of Bacon, Jen Davis, Degas, Sarah Lucas, Steve McQueen, Bruce Nauman, Rubens and John Stezaker all skillfully selected, arranged and juxtaposed. Catch it while you can – it only runs until 19 March.

 
 
 

Love

"Love is a snowmobile racing across the tundra and then suddenly it flips over, pinning you underneath. At night, the ice weasels come."

— Matt Groening, Life in Hell

Alexay Kondakov

I keep seeing Alexay Kondakov pictures all over the web at the moment (although ironically, not in the real world), so I thought I'd pick out a few of my favourites. To those not familair with his work: he basically places characters from classical paintings into contemporary urban settings, imbuing the figures with a new seediness and violence. As well as some deft Photoshoppery, the real beauty of these is in the well-observed pairing of painting, location and lighting. I particularly like the comic shop one – those looks of indifferent superiority are absolutely spot on.