Data + Design Project
Liam Smith

About Liam Smith



A typical idealistic/naive New York City twenty-something, hovering on the outskirts of the art world, who is fascinated by the creative process. Loves to find out how people make what they make or do what they do. Daydreams of the good old days he never experienced and exotic locations he will probably never be fortunate enough to occupy.

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Francis Bacon: The Man Behind The World’s Most Expensive Work Of Art

Tuesday 04.08.2014 , Posted by
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The unimaginably expensive prices works of art can go for these days may leave those who pay attention to the art market gratified, or depressed. The most expensive painting in the world right now is Three Studies of Lucian Freud, (above) which was purchased for an incredible 142.4 million dollars at a New York Sotheby’s auction this past November. [Read more...]

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5 Great Reasons To Read Hunter S. Thompson

Friday 03.14.2014 , Posted by
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I have loved Hunter Thompson’s writing ever since, in high school, the film of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas starring Johnny Depp turned me on to the book of the same name. You don’t forget a sentence like, “We were somewhere around Barstow when the drugs began to take hold.”

And you shouldn’t dismiss him, as some critics have, as a sloppy, self-indulgent, drug-ingesting hack. He took a lot of drugs, drank too much, loved guns and women (and excess in general) – he was a bit of a maniac to be sure, an imperfect character if there ever was one… and it is unfortunate that these facts obscure his real talent. Here are some of the best reasons why you should read his books and take him seriously. [Read more...]

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How Creatives Work: Philip Seymour Hoffman

Thursday 02.20.2014 , Posted by
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Philip Seymour Hoffman died earlier this month of a heroin overdose. Many critics have said that he was perhaps the greatest actor of his generation and one of the greatest who ever lived. What made Hoffman so beloved by so many was his mixture of pure skill, drive to work, and humility. The ambition of his acting and his ability to rise to any occasion allowed him to become famous, but also are evidence of his ability to submerge himself deep into a role.  It was his honesty in his many performances that set them apart and made them memorable. [Read more...]

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How Creatives Work: Andy Warhol

Tuesday 02.04.2014 , Posted by
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Andy Warhol was an extremely complex figure, with a lot depth in his work and personality – despite his own assertion that all that he was, was on the surface. The creation of the persona and brand ‘Andy Warhol’ was probably his most successful work of art, at least commercially. It is hard to know how much of this was real and how much was constructed. What we can gather about Warhol was that he was an incredibly hard worker and was (at least during his first decade of production) redefining what was possible in a number of different artistic modes. [Read more...]

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How Creatives Work: RIP Peter O’Toole

Monday 01.13.2014 , Posted by
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Peter O’Toole, one of the great figures of stage and screen died in December at the age of 81. Most famous for his turn in David Lean’s 1962 epic Lawrence of Arabia, as well as his strong performances in such classics as Beckett and The Lion in Winter, O’Toole has often been called one of the greatest actors of his generation. [Read more...]

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How Creatives Work: The Visual Playground of Charles and Ray Eames

Friday 12.20.2013 , Posted by
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Charles and Ray Eames were more than just designers. One of the visual arts most famous and influential married couples, they redefined much of the world that now surrounds us. They also touched multiple disciplines, leaving their mark on architecture, furniture design, interior design, exhibition design, toy design, fine art, photography, and film. They saw themselves as educators and they were definitely innovators. [Read more...]

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How Creatives Work: The Ever Playful Alexander Calder

Thursday 12.05.2013 , Posted by

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Alexander Calder made play the major theme of his art. Over the course of more than fifty years, he worked harder than most in the pursuit of the creation of his own universe, invented a whole new genre, an art of moving sculpture known as ‘mobiles,’ and made works on an unsurpassed scale. But he was also an incredibly interesting character, a man who had a childlike view of life which translated seamlessly into his work. [Read more...]

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How Creatives Work: Woody Allen

Thursday 11.21.2013 , Posted by

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Woody Allen loves the writing process. He says he can get up in the morning and go write in his room. He is a workaholic. As soon as he has finished a script he cannot relax until he begins working on the next one.  He doesn’t believe in taking any time off, averaging one movie every year or so. As a director, comedian, screenwriter of his own films, playwright, writer of New Yorker articles, and even a clarinetist in a jazz band, he has made waves in every creative direction he has delved into. His films have incredible range, going from the broadest of comedies to the most serious of dramas and every shade in between. [Read more...]

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How Creatives Work: The Amazing Portraits of Chuck Close

Tuesday 11.05.2013 , Posted by

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Painting is a magical medium. It is a window onto a world created out of colored dirt. An artist can manipulate the image and create another world in front of our eyes. This is how the painter Chuck Close sees it anyway. He has been painting huge, beautiful, and awe-inspiring portraits (or what he calls ‘heads’) since the 1960s. [Read more...]

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How Creatives Work: The Emotional Performance Art of Marina Abramović

Friday 10.25.2013 , Posted by

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It is 2010 and a woman sits in the atrium of The Museum of Modern Art. She wears a white robe and across from her sits someone else, a museum patron, or more generally a human being. The woman sits motionless, staring straight into the face of the person facing her, not looking away or breaking eye contact for any reason. When the patron in front of her feels like they have had the experience they wanted, they get up and walk away. The woman looks down with eyes shut, preparing herself for the next person. [Read more...]

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