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DESIGN
Alex Trochut's Binary Prints
The designer's new patented process awakens some of contemporary music's finest artists
by Hans Aschim
on 20 June 2013
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Illustrator, designer and typographer Alex Trochut creates art for some of the world's best-known brands including Coca-Cola, Nike and the New York Times. Working between Barcelona and Brooklyn, Trochut is admired for his ability to take simple text and imagery and seamlessly craft it into ornate, colorful, memorable art. In his latest project, "Binary Prints," Trochut uses a new process he invented (and patented) in which two images are shown on the same surface, with one image appearing in the light and the other in the dark. "I like discovery and surprise in each piece I create, something to reward the viewer after capturing their attention for awhile," Trochut says.

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Released at Barcelona's Sónar Festival, "Binary Prints" features portraits of some of the most critically acclaimed contemporary electronic artists and DJs including Four Tet, James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem, Caribou and John Talabot. Trochut sought to explore the often overlooked people behind electronic music. In the light, the artists appear sleeping or closed off in their portraits. However turn off the lights and the portraits come alive, just as DJs cast their spell on crowds in the moonlit hours.

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"Anyone who has been present at those transcendental moments of communion at a show can attest to the experience as an awakening," says Trochut, "a nighttime rebirth of mind and body." The imagery in Trochut's portraits evokes a similar aesthetic to each artist's music. For example, Talabot's dark portrait reveals a starry night that calls to mind his dreamy samples and deep house-style beats. Meanwhile, Murphy is clad in sunglasses with a loud, pop art-inspired background, a nod to LCD Soundsystem as a go-to party soundtrack.

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After publishing his design philosophy in hardcover, "More is More," where he hid an image within a blank surface, Trochut became interested in duplicity in two-dimensional surfaces. "I started to wonder if I could work with two images on the same surface," Trochut says, and he eventually developed a new, innovative printing and design process. Two images are placed in separate grid spaces without overlapping. Black ink fills the black grid for the lights-on portrait while glow-in-the-dark ink fills the white grid for the lights-out portrait. "After many tests, I found the way and thought that showing two different sides of a person would be a great subject to explore this technique," explains Trochut. "Binary Prints" are currently offered for $200 or $750 signed by their respective artist. Autographed prints are limited to 10 per artist, with 30% of proceeds going to each artist's charity of choice. Check out the project's website.

Images courtesy of Alex Trochut

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