30 March 2011 ~ 0 Comments

Threadless: New this week

Pizza Loves Pizza by Matthew Dent (state28) is arguably the greatest shirt ever created in the history of the entire universe. It’s a delicious concept, because just about everyone loves pizza. And there’s always humor to be mined in giving nonhuman things human qualities. But it goes beyond that- the artist brilliantly uses the pizza’s shape to create an elegant and simple moment, one piece slightly moved from the circle to create a mouth. It’s the classiest kind of cannibalism I can imagine, and executed with a highly enjoyable 60s Saul Bass-like flair.

The Brewery by Aaron Jay (randyotter3000) succeeds through great use of color and repetition. The bright, fun shades pull you right in, and the gentle rhythm of small objects keeps your eyes bouncing around the scene. The little orange dudes strike me as being kind of chinchilla-like, these rodenty fellows who are easy to believe as factory workers. And while the factory in question is fanciful and imaginative, it’s also darkly creepy. Each cup and creature holding the liquid takes on a lobotomized quality, missing the top of its head and being mined for goo. Cute, weird, and unsettling all at the same time, and I dig it.

Love is Love by Victor Maury (moulin bleu) is, well, a pretty cheesy sentiment. That said, there’s a surprising amount of appeal in the design itself. The generic male and female icons are in the plain, washroom signage style we all know, so the artist flips that uniformity on its head with the other figures. Instead of being gender symbols, many exaggerate other traits- some (like the wizard) quite fantastic. The overall message then is that in the great scheme of things, love is more important than any of the differences (or similarities) displayed. But one pairing kind of puts me off. Yup, I’m looking at you, shark. I’m choosing to believe that the fisherman just really loves fishing, because if it turns out that he loves sharks, uh, THAT way… it would seem to kind of destroy the message of the shirt.

Lunar Phases of Sleep by Lawrence Villanueva (boostr29) does a bang-up job of portraying the moon as a sleepy dude tossing and turning on his way to slumber. It’s a pretty genius interpretation of  the moon’s phases as being the result of a blanket. I find the moon’s silly expressions very charming, and his quest for a good night’s sleep is eminently relatable. Overall, a very successful and memorable tee.

Happy Accident by Aaron Hogg (hogboy) is probably one of the most far-fetched gags you’ll ever see on the shirt. The concept is that a clown car has a huge clown sign mounted to the top of it, and a pie truck has a big pie affixed as well. There’s a crash, and the pie goes airborne- poised to smack the clown sign right in the face. It’s an amusingly absurd joke, but takes a second to catch on to (in a way equally bizarre but more simple concepts like a Nes-k design, for example, do not). So as far as the idea goes, it’s an average sort of piece. Where it comes alive is in the style- there is some really tremendous use of color, line, texture and shape that conspires to create a design that delights the eye at every turn. I’m hugely impressed with the level of craft displayed.

I’m just going to come right out and say it- Abraham LINKoln by Joshua Kemble (polynothing) really, really creeps me out. Somehow it combines the uglier, weirder characteristics of each person, leaving him looking more like a neckbeard-y cosplayer than a former president and gaming legend. It’s like instead of the fusion creating a more powerful character, instead it mixed together the odds and ends leftover. I want to see the other guy, who I imagine to be a young elfin warrior with a stovepipe hat. This dude, while well-drawn, isn’t something I’d ever want to wear.

Many Hands… by David Creighton-Pester (WanderingBert) was the very worthy winner of the Threadless Causes Architecture for Humanity contest. What I dig about this tee is that it’s very specific to the event, featuring Christchurch’s famous cathedral in pieces and being reassembled. And yet, though it’s specific, it’s also a wearable design for those who don’t recognize the building. The idea of hands piecing something together has more power than just this one moment, making it the sort of design you can keep wearing long after the repairs have been made.

Rebuild Japan by Jason Yang (invisibleelement) won the Threadless Causes Japan and Pacific Relief contest, and also has the distinction of being the best Japan relief design I’ve seen. Like many of them, it relies on the red circle. But unlike most, it elegantly shows the goal being worked towards. I find this much more inspiring that other pieces that focused on the damage, and it’s excellently done. There’s a clean, geometric precision to the piece that feels Asian without being overly reliant on traditional building styles of the region. This is a modern city, and a beautiful one. And it’s on it’s way back. That’s a fantastic message, and way above and beyond my expectations for the contest.

Threadless prints new shirts every week, chosen from the designs submitted by and voted on by site members. Winners get $2000 cash and $500 in Threadless credit, with the possibility to earn more through Bestee awards, poster prints, and reprints.

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