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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Karl Grandin

Fashion Print Designer, Sweden

Written by Melodie Ash

Manchester’s never been quite the same for me since the first day I ever saw Kid Carpet, side effects buy information pills AKA Ed Patrick, at the Academy some 4, 5 years ago. It was like losing your virginity. After a few sold out gigs more than a year ago, Manchester has been dry, an endless desert waiting for an oasis. The man hasn’t been on the road for some time, having kids and what not so to arrive tonight to a crowd of about 15 was a massive shock to say the least. The supporting bands all had their family contingents, but they’d all scarpered before the real show began. Talk about gratitude. You’d think after being given the opportunity to support one of the most exciting artists of the last five years they’d at least stick around and show their support. Some people!

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That said this in no means distracted him from putting on his regular and exuberant performance. In fact he seemed to enjoy the chance to get the few members of the crowd really involved in the set. He also got an opportunity to perform a bunch of stuff I hadn’t heard before. He introduced a ditty for a cosmetic surgery advert and ‘Help Yourself’ a re-working of the Tom Jones classic (for a porno film about the Welsh crooner’s most used appendage).

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Plus if I’m not mistaken I also spotted a pastiche to Moondog’s ‘Enough about human rights’ and a Metallica cover re-titled ‘Back to the shops’. All the while the 15 strong crowd kept the energy going the entire way though.
After the encore, he came out to give everyone in the audience free copies of all his 7” singles, signed on request. What a kind man, he’s a very kind man. He told me he’ll be back soon and with a much bigger crowd in tow. We should all look forward to that.

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It seems Scandinavian designers have been occupying my thoughts this week, more about what with Peter Jensen yesterday and today I salute print designer Karl Grandin. I just can’t seem to get enough of their effortlessly stylish and innovative approach to design!

Karl Grandin is as prolific as print designers get, visit this the Swedish based artist has such an endless list of clients it made my head spin just attempting to digest it all. Where to start, pharmacy well there are his worldwide exhibitions in far-flung realms from Amsterdam to Tokyo (just imagine the air miles there, I bet he boasts a fine passport) Then In conjunction to his extensive array of shows he works closely with humanitarian charities such as Amnesty International. Then the crème de la crème has to be his endless list of magazine contributions with fashion giants Wallpaper, Vogue, Tokion and Pop Magazine. It’s a boastful array of clients if ever I saw one.

Then as if that wasn’t enough he has been working closely with top designers to create capsule collections for the likes of hip collaborative Cheap Monday and Wknd. My favourite has to be his vivacious hurricane designs. His cut and paste aesthetic is almost reminiscent of a child’s collage book!

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The piece that left me completely enamoured however had to be this animal print sweater. Its almost like Noah and his ark has re-formed but this time instead of a boat for refuge they all bundled onto this sweater! Its like an animal where’s Wally! 180 animals run wild in this computerized knit, go on I urge you to count them all!

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Inspired to create a piece to politicise the plight of endangered pieces, Grandin pays homage to mother nature emphasising its beauty and fragility. Nature is a topic so often broached by designers; fashion is brimming with animal prints or floral motifs to which we enjoy on merely face value so much so it’s almost become banal. Grandin is attempting in his piece to encourage a more thought provoking approach to nature, he states “ We have cultivated nature for our own convenience. Now it is instead man-made cultural constructions that are becoming increasingly autonomous and slipping out of our control. Wild systems like brands, stock markets and traffic is the wilderness of today. Nature has become culture and culture is turning into our new nature”.

Grandin is a designer that doesn’t merely create aesthetically pleasing pieces; you get a real sense of his devotion to change within the design sphere to create ethical yet energetic pieces. He gets a big Amelia’s Magazine thumbs up, hoorah!

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