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June 22, 2010

Here at Dwell we've always acknowledged the power of great art, whether it's adorning the walls of a modern house, or gracing the pages of our magazine. Through the years, illustration and graphic design has played a huge role in the way we portray and interpret modern life. So, to celebrate our 10th anniversary here at Dwell, we've collaborated with art magazine Arkitip and asked 10 artists to produce illustrations of 10 houses featured in the magazine. Stop by the Dwell Store and pick up your favorite, while supplies last! 

Dwell and Arkitip Artist Series Andrew Holder

"Each print has been inspired by a past Dwelling that was featured in Dwell," says Dwell's creative director Kyle Blue. "We selected one story for each of the past 10 years." With a decade's worth of housing trends as well as extreme geographic diversity, Blue, who also writes for Arkitip, and Arkitip's creative director Scott A. Sant' Angelo cast a wide net to find illustrators and designers who could take on each Dwelling. "Many of the artist are past contributors to the magazine as well as a few new people we have been interested in working with," says Blue. The all-star lineup includes: Andrew Holder, Nat Russell, Steven Harrington, Mark Giglio, Daniel Carlsten, Dan Funderburgh, Todd St. John, Mike Perry and Adrian Johnson. The work of these 10 very different artists will be printed in editions of 100 each, for a total of 1,000 available prints. Here's a sneak peek of three prints and some insight from the three artists about their process.

Andrew Holder, whose sherbet-colored neighborhoods have graced the pages of Dwell before, is not new to illustrating architecture: A previous edition for Arkitip featured Holder's renderings of various properties owned by hotelier André Balazs, including the New York location of the Standard that proudly straddles the High Line. Holder was assigned a house located in Phoenix, Arizona, which was notable because of the way the desert landscape had been incorporated into the structure—stunning in real life, but challenging for a 2D illustration. "Since I knew it would be screenprinted, it was hard to show how it had a connection to the earth," says Holder. He inserted plant patterns and earthy textures into his signature geometric shapes, and added an orange sun rising languidly over the ripples of the pool. As a longtime fan of the magazine, Holder wanted to make sure he accurately captured the house's vibe, he says. "At Dwell it's all about the architecture so I felt the pressure to represent it in the right way."

Dwell and Arkitip Artist Series Dan Funderburgh

Brooklyn–based Dan Funderburgh took on the Moriyama House, a unique compound of six apartments on a double suburban lot in Tokyo. The spaces, designed by the Office of Ryue Nishizawa, now of Pritzker Prize-winning SANAA, felt to Funderburgh like a simple container within a larger, bustling community. "The clean buildings are a contrast to the visual noise of suburban Tokyo," he says. Funderburgh, who is known for his intricate patterns that make beautiful wallpapers, surrounded the house with an isometric quilt that contains geometric patterns inspired by traditional Japanese textiles, thanks to a stack of books on kimonos and Japanese family crests. But he also was sure to add the very random elements of everyday life, he says. "I thought the photos of the house made it clear that the evidence of life—the bikes, the potted plants, the slippers and laundry—brought the modern shapes a sense of warmth and humanity that I tried to capture in the designs."

Dwell and Arkitip Artist Series Nat Russell

For surfer-sympathizer Nat Russell, a beach house in East Hampton, New York, seemed to align perfectly with his freewheeling characters found in surf shop-slash-design store Mollusk. "As far as I can tell, it's sort of a modern super-functional, low maintenance weekend shack—I'm using that term really really loosely—for surfer and beach bros," he says. To capture the dreamy, dune-situated house, Russell used pen and ink on very old paper so the lines bled into watery waves. The stars are scanned in from a vintage star map. In illustrating the beach house, Russell says his goal was as much about representing the house as it was about representing its unique location. "That's one thing I'm into about architecture: Where it is and how it fits in," he says. "As you can see in the print, I made it about the place the house is in, the big picture."

The Dwell/Arkitip Artist Series prints will be sold at the Dwell on Design/A+R store at Dwell on Design, June 25-27 in Los Angeles, and on dwell.com in mid-September. Register now, and be first in line to grab one—they are definitely going to sell out! 

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