Romer Young Gallery in San Francisco presents and/both by Erik Scollon, on display through April 2, 2016. These vibrantly painted sculptures are an exploration in functional ceramics and the artist considers them to be a physical manifestation of his interior self. While we are intrigued by the story and captivated by the intense colors and creative glazing, what we love most is the playful way these pieces invite the viewer to interact. This is art that one should not be afraid to touch, and even sit on! Check out the gallery and artist's Instagram feeds to see some very little (and very cute) art aficionados enjoying these wonderful pieces.
We're charmed by this New York Times Magazine essay by Rivka Galchen about the French artist Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun, an 18th century society portraitist. While Le Brun's work was revered by some and reviled by others, we are fascinated by the writer's note that "Children in her paintings appear at ease, about to move; their postures look awkward, and accurate. . . . It’s as though the work confesses frankly that to catch honest sight of a child requires an imaginary angle of reflection." Accompanying the essay is an excellent slideshow depicting the work of contemporary artists who have captured their children through their craft (like this lovely and ethereal portraitof artist John Currin's daughter) - see the selections here.
March 14, 2016
You might know designer Takeshi Sawada from kM's Sheep & Bambi chairs (produced by Elements Optimal). But that's not all this talented Japanese designer has in his repertoire. When designing objects, he believes each one has "the ability to bring a smile to our faces, heal, and sometimes even make us cry--jolting our emotions and bringing about new sensations" and always keeps in mind "the capacity of objects to evoke new feelings." Check out the website for his design studio, kamina&C, to see more of his products, including another animal-inspired chair, a fun and practical peacock, and a nature-loving desk. We love his work for its whimsy and playfulness, as well as strong function and immense practicality.
March 11, 2016
The Tilt Kids Festival is in full swing this month with exhibits and activities around New York City hoping to “redefine art for young audiences.” Presented by theFrench Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) and theCultural Services of the French Embassy, the festival features innovative artist, performers, and parenting experts, including Ionna Vautrin, Camille Boitel, 600 Highwaymen, DUO1804, and Wylie Dufresne. Visit the Tilt Kids website to learn more about the festival and what’s going on this weekend and beyond!
February 26, 2016
This is Not a Book by whimsical French illustrator Jean Jullien approaches the everyday world with fresh and playful eyes. In the words of the author, “This Is Not A Book is a toy with many pages! Playfulness is something that I hold very dear as it encourages us to experiment and challenge our surroundings.” Each full page spread reimagines the book into something new and exciting, from a laptop to a monster. As children are encouraged to reinterpret the book into other creatures and characters, they begin to think creatively about all the objects they encounter, nurturing the big imaginations of growing minds. We love the artist's bright colors and bold drawings and can't wait to bring this fun book home!
This is Not a Book by Jean Jullien is currently available for pre-order on phaidon.com.
February 23, 2016
How cool are these “blocks” by Japanese design firm B6 Studio? Designed to look like steel frames, they add a raw, industrial element to the common building toy. Sleek and stunning, yet expertly constructed, they are perfect for rough play or a polished deskscape. B6 is also known for their creative up-cycling, winning awards for Bird Call, a sweet toy made from recycled xylophone parts. Check out their website to see all of their fun, creative, and super playful projects.
February 17, 2016
Don’t miss out on this playful exhibition at Catinca Tabacaru Gallery! These new works by Japanese artist Shinji Murakami explore the world of avatars and emojis, exploring the new and transcendent ways we use digital and visual vocabulary to express a broader range of complicated emotion. Not only are we attracted to the bright colors and whimsical subjects, we also love the exquisite craftsmanship and Murakami’s thoughtful engagement with centuries of Japanese woodworking tradition.
SHINJI MURAKAMI: 🌺🌷🌼💗 🐴✨🌈🌸🌹️ On display through Sunday, February 21, 2016. Catinca Tabacaru Gallery. 250 Broome Street, New York City. Wednesday-Sunday, 11am-6pm.
February 12, 2016
Maybe this dreary winter weather has us wishing for spring and outdoor fun, but we’re loving the idea of an indoor swing! Two of our favorites are Rafa’s simple “S” swing, designed by Agata and Arek Seredyn. Made in the Netherlands from Finnish Birch Plywood, it can be attached to the ceiling for indoor play or tied to a branch once summer comes. Visit Rafa’s website to get one of your own!
BAL(L)ANÇOIRE by French designer Benjamin Helle is more than just an indoor swing, it’s, in the words of the designer, “an interpretation of a desert island.” Playful, yet sophisticated, it’s perfect for anyone searching for a vacation in the everyday. Visit Helle’s website to see his sketches and learn more about his fascinating design process.
January 29, 2016
We’re crazy for building blocks here at kinder MODERN (have you seen our newest offering from the always chic and uber cool Brooklyn-based Fort Makers?) and we continue to scour the globe for the best of the best! This week we’re digging Swedish company SNEGO. These blocks, designed by Katarina Hornwall and Gabriella Rubin, are made from salvaged wood, all-natural dyes, and finished with beeswax and olive oil. We love the jewel-shaped, stackable pieces, perfect for playroom or deskscape, for their one-of-a-kind geometric shapes, vibrant, yet natural, tones, hand-made sophistication, and sustainable production. Visit SNEGO’s website to learn more about the blocks and their production, and to order a set of your very own.
January 28, 2016
These magnetized "building tiles" from Tukluk give kids the tools to build amazing forts, oversized imaginary friends, multi-colored tumbling pads, and more. In the words of the creators, "Tukluk stands for the unexpected. We love things that encourage movement and creativity, and design toys for spaces where imagination can roam." Manufactured in Romania from luxury materials, these soft, yet light and durable, geometric shapes are the perfect additions to any playroom. Visit their cheerful website to see this product in action or even purchase one of your own!
January 22, 2016
The kinder MODERN team (including the smallest member) had a blast last weekend at the opening of Le Bestiaire at the FIAF Gallery. Conceived and curated by artist Ionna Vautrin, Le Bestiaire features a dreamy and whimsical collection of paper costumes, each depicting an imaginary animal by a different artist. Le Bestiaire is on display through April 2, 2016 and also boasts innovative family programming, including two artistworkshops (Saturday, March 12 and April 2, 2016 at 3:30pm). At each workshop, children are invited to create their own costumes and use their imaginations to explore natural forms in their wildest and most fanciful incarnations. Le bestiaire is part of Oui Design, a program initiated by Cultural Services of the French Embassy and the Tilt Kids Festival.
The FIAF gallery is located at 22 E. 60th St. in New York City. It is open Monday–Thursday: 8:30am–8pm; Friday: 8:30am–6pm; and Saturday: 9am–5pm. It is free and open to the public. All workshops are $15.
January 20, 2016
Already looking ahead to the weekend and thinking about how to beat the impending winter storm? Get your tickets for the Whitney Museum of American Art and take advantage of this weekend’s family tour “Painting in Motion” for kids ages 6-10, exploring the work of iconic artist Frank Stella. Little ones will learn how Stella was inspired by motion in nature and technology. The tour takes place this Saturday, January 23rd, 2016 from 2:30-4:30pm. Tickets are $10 per child. Can’t make it this weekend? Saturday, January 30th, 2016 from 10:30-3pm is the “Think Big!” Open Studio day, continuing the celebration of Stella in conjunction with the retrospective exhibit. Open Studio is free with museum admission and includes the chance to participate in a large scale collaborative installation. Visit the Whitney’s website to purchase your admission tickets and learn more about these fun events!
January 19, 2016
We're all about the adult coloring craze, encouraging creativity (and stress relief!) in kids of all ages. How fun are these by textile company Hable? Their two coloring books feature Hable's signature designs and one of a kind aesthetic, and support local Athens, GA event space arrow. arrow is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping children learn through play and the creative arts. Visit arrow's website to learn more about their amazing programming, and then head over to Hable's to support this worthy space with a book of your own!
January 15, 2016
While we're all about the best design for kids, we also love products for grown-ups that are inspired by childhood and play. The Pumpal Lamp by British designer Ewan Cashman is just that. Sleek and sophisticated, the tall lamp resembles an oversized spinning top (and even takes it's name from the Bulgarian word for the ubiquitous toy). Cashman envisions this concrete and wood fixture as the perfect light for the family home, rotating 360 degrees to throw light wherever it's most needed. Cashmere says of his work, "I wanted to create an object of playful engagement as well as practicality. I like the idea of taking the form of a toy that we all understand and recognise, and seeing what practical purposes can be discovered from it." Visit Cashman's website to learn more about his work.
January 13, 2016
When graphic designer David Bennet's son was in the hospital, he saw a need for creative, non-digital ways way to distract children during what can be a frightful, yet boring time. After consulting with other creative professionals, the Daub Creative Workbook was born. This fun book goes way beyond simple coloring and uses the creative contributions of graphic designers from around the world to encourage children to draw, write, and imagine in an infinite number of ways. The first run of the innovative workbook was donated to King's College Hospital in London. Visit the Daub website to learn how to support future printings of this creative and thoughtful not-for-profit product.