Gettin' Down With Gelman

By Tk Published on .

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Alexander Gelman, head of Design Machine and design director at Charlex, had an unusual bash thrown in his honor last month in New York, as design met commerce in a distinctly party-hearty atmosphere. The event was hosted by Japan's Idea Magazine, whose recent issue #304 featured a Special Project section devoted to, and designed, by Gelman. The party, at downtown fashion boutique Memes, featured Gelman-themed and

-designed merchandise for the occasion, including skateboards and T-shirts flaunting various iterations of his name and face as a logo. In addition, in a Gelman-conceived people's art happening, the usual wall of hats in the store was replaced by plain orange hats and black markers, so partygoers could draw on them-these graffiti lids are also for sale. Better yet, though she's not for sale, there was also a topless bartender, and "I stenciled my name in gold on her chest," says Gelman somewhat sheepishly. "Everyone was talking about that, of course." Unfortunately, a good picture of this body-art flourish, worthy of Goldfinger, wasn't available at press time.

And at the afterparty-what good party doesn't have an afterparty?-at a club called Luke and Leroy, admission required a 3-D Gelman-face button. As for the Idea project (seen here in the three images at top), it's a retrospective of Gelman's work, but with a twist; "It was done as a sort of compilation/remix, in which all the work was laid out basically as a texture," he explains. "Everything was printed with different colors and inks-fluorescents, metallics-and different papers, all specifically for this issue. It's intended as grids and sequences designed to create a rich visual flow." Which is why the captions ID'ing the work are microscopic: "They aren't important. So often, designers and art directors show work and talk about the story behind it and go on about the concepts-but this is just about the work as fine art."

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