Arts

In the Data Era, Theater Marketers Can No Longer Act Like Digital Understudies

Marketing for plays and musicals probably hasn't been this tough since the Great Depression—even on Broadway. Producers can largely thank the Internet and smartphones for that tough reality, though.

Ghastly and Gorgeous: Intricate Paper Art Replicates Human Innards

Not many artists find inspiration among cadaver slices, but Lisa Nilsson is clearly not your average artist. Nilsson has created an amazingly intricate art style that uses folded paper and book remnants to create accurate reproductions of human organs, bones and tissues.The result, on display through this week at New York's Pavel Zoubok Gallery, is both macabre and mind-blowing. Using a Renaissance-era technique called quilling, Nilsson folds strips of Japanese mulberry paper into shapes and patterns drawn from medical references (including the actual wafer slices of cadavers from the National Library of Medicine's Visible Human Project).On her website, Nilsson shares many pieces of her work and more background on the quilling technique. "I find quilling exquisitely satisfying for rendering the densely squished and lovely internal landscape of the human body in cross section," she says.More images below. Via Fast Company.

See the New York City Ballet’s Remarkable Film That Quietly and Beautifully Honors 9/11

Most of the brand talk around 9/11 this year was about marketers doing it wrong. But DDB New York and the New York City Ballet quietly did it right with a wonderful tribute called "New Beginnings," intended as a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and a tribute to the future of the city.The video shows NYCB principal dancers Maria Kowroski and Ask la Cour performing on the 57th-floor terrace of Four World Trade Center in lower Manhattan. The backdrop, of course, is One World Trade Center. The dancers perform an excerpt from choreographer Christopher Wheeldon's poignant "After the Rain" pas de deux—signifying new beginnings in New York City. The film, directed by Davi Russo and produced by Radical Media, was posted at sunrise (6:34 a.m. EST) on Sept. 12 to NYCB's social channels, with the hashtag #NewBeginnings. "Our hope is that 9/12 can now be rebranded as a day of optimism and new beginnings," says Matt Eastwood, chief creative officer of DDB N.Y.Check out the film, and full credits, below.

Striking Billboards and Bus Ads Tell L.A. That ‘Arts Matter’

Product advertising banished from some Los Angeles buses and billboards in favor of a thoughtful campaign supporting the arts?! What's our consumer society coming to? The "Arts Matter" effort by ForYourArt on behalf of the nonprofit Los Angeles Fund for Public Education is designed to raise $1.5 million for arts education in the city's schools. Clear Channel and CBS donated $4 million in media space, including 12 buses wrapped in provocative, eye-catching text designed by conceptual artist Barbara Kruger. Slogans rendered in bold white letters against stark black or red backgrounds include H.G. Wells's "Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe," and Kruger's own "Art is as heavy as sorrow. As light as a breeze. As bright as an idea. As pretty as a picture. As funny as money. And as fugitive as fraud." Well, duh, who doesn't know that? Personally, I prefer real ads. When I ride inside public transportation plastered with pictures of Photoshopped Big Macs and bulimic models in skinny jeans, I feel like a true American. But that's just me. Angelenos seem to be responding to the arts push, which is nearly one-third of the way to its monetary target. Artists using the machinery of commerce to achieve their goals?! We're all doomed! Photos by @jeff6arcia, @Waltarrrr and kjjargon28. More below.

English National Opera Releases Un-Opera-Like Condom Ad

The English National Opera is courting controversy with an ad campaign for its production of Mozart's Don Giovanni that pairs the image of an open condom wrapper with the familiar phrase, "Coming Soon." Some people are upset about the double entend

BBH Challenges You to Restore Your Own ‘Ecce Homo’

Ecce Homer. The patriarch from The Simpsons is just one image created by participants in BBH London's sarcastic Cecilia Prize competition, honoring the world's most infamous amateur art restorer, Cecilia Gimenez of Spain, who made headlines for ruining Ecce Homo, a 19th-century church fresco of Christ she was attempting to, um, resurrect. Folks looking to waste time online—that means all of us—can have a go at "restoring" Elías García Martínez's religious painting themselves, thanks to a simple and fun site engineered by Viv Yapp and Ak Parker. Visitors can "paint over" the masterpiece in any way they see fit, and tweet the results (along with #ceciliaprize) for a chance to win a poster of Gimenez's version. To my eye, her effort is pretty striking, like a post-modern, neo-expressonistic reappraisal of its subject, open to many interpretations, scarred by the irony surrounding its creation. Or else it's a ruined picture of Jesus. I say tomato, right? The Cecilia Prize entries are a mixed bag, with less random weirdness than I'd have expected, and lots of humor, horror and some surprising social commentary (insights, perhaps, into our collective consumerized, celebrity-obsessed psyche). So far, visitors have drawn heavily on pop-culture and media references, with some themes—such as Batman and related characters—appearing numerous times. They've also re-imagined Christ as Superman, Spider-Man, the Mad Men Draper silhouette, the white-skull-masked killer from Scream, Peter from Family Guy, Kenny from South Park, Ronald McDonald, Google's Android icon, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Darth Vader, Robert Smith of The Cure, TV clown Bozo (Ecce Bozo!), and a great many more. One submission is literally Divine—with a capital "D," as in the cross-dressing star of John Waters' cult films. Aging (but heaven knows, eternally relevant) rockers Kiss seem disproportionately represented. There were, when I last checked, three likenesses of Gene Simmons and a Paul Stanley. What, no Ace Frehley? Blasphemous! Via Creative Review. Also, after the jump, check out an image from Reddit explaining how advertising is like the Ecce Homo disaster.

Impress Your Neighbors With a 3-D Fantasy Garage-Door Mural

StyleYourGarage.com, a German company that makes "garage billboards printed with images that show exactly what every car owner would like to have in their garage," might not sit well with most people. But the idea of attaching a 3-D photo motif to one's garage door with Velcro is rednecky in such a Baltimore way that I can't dislike it, especially when the options include "a real fighter jet, a fancy boat, a thoroughbred horse, or a quaint wine cellar." (There's also a stripper-pole option, with a couple of ladies included, for the truly shameless homeowner.) I'd love it if they made enough money to crank out some Frank Frazetta fantasy paintings instead of the cheesy upward-class-mobility fantasy paintings they're making now. But this is assuming anyone who would buy one of these things has a garage in the first place. More images after the jump.

Ad of the Day: Credit Suisse

In the classic tradition of the financial world bankrolling the artistic one, Credit Suisse is sponsoring an exhibition titled Metamorphosis: Titian 2012 at London's National Gallery this summer—and called on Euro RSCG in London for a haunting short film to promote it.

Banksy on Advertising: Guess What? He Doesn’t Love It

Hey, I bet you've been wondering what Banksy—the maverick graffiti artist and filmmaker from England—thinks about advertising. Who hasn't?! I'm gonna take a wild stab here and say … he's against it! That would be a logical conclusion based on these potently pissy paragraphs.

H&M in Social-Media Scuffle Ahead of Its Super Bowl Spot

In the worst timing imaginable for H&M, the clothing store is trying to put out a fire in social media just days before it's set to air its first Super Bowl commercial ever. At issue is a collection of H&M products, including doormats, pillows and towels, that are emblazoned with the words "You look nice today," alongside a heart shape.