Archives for the month of: September, 2017

In honor of National Coffee Day, we thought it fitting to showcase an artist who (subtly) uses the magical brown elixir to make art. Maui-based mixed-media artist Alessandra Maria creates beautifully detailed, dark and delicate portraits using little more than a pencil, black ink and gold leaf on coffee-stained paper. Inspired by Austrian symbolist painter Gustav Klimt, Maria’s haunting life-like portraits evoke fantasy and mystery with intricate details set on an eerily enigmatic surface achieved through the coffee’s dark brown grounds. There are even religious overtones in these thought-provoking masterpieces. Maria’s work is simply beautiful and poignant.

Via alessandramaria.com

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For most artists, the palette knife is used for mixing paint, and in conjunction with brushes for applying paint. Tehran-based artist Salman Khoshroo eliminates brushes altogether. He applies thick layers of oil paint to his (massive) canvases with an arsenal of palette knives with such deliberate precision. Not only does Khoshroo have a deep visual understanding of the human form, but his sense of color is truly astounding. For an application process that seems so heavy-handed, Khoshroo remarkably uses color in clever and sometimes subtle ways as to establish cohesion in these borderline abstract works. We’d love to see a Bob Ross-style process video by Khoshroo… We find his method and resulting work equally intriguing.

Via salmankhoshroo.com

Melbourne, Australia-based contemporary artist Ben Frost has a pop art aesthetic with a subversive, confrontational spirit. In some of his most recent work, Frost essentially uses mainly (junk) food and pharmaceutical packaging as a canvas for his bold illustrations inspired by pop culture, Roy Lichtenstein, and manga. His mashups are not random, though… Frost exhibits his mastery of juxtaposition with these works in a way that can be truly provocative. Through his work, Frost continually pushes boundaries and challenges social norms while addressing our advertising-soaked, consumer-obsessed culture. In his own statement, Frost describes: “By subverting mainstream iconography from the worlds of advertising, entertainment, and politics, he creates a visual framework that is bold, confronting and often controversial.”

Via benfrostisdead.com

LEGO bricks are no longer just plastic construction toys, they have permeated all facets of pop culture lately… showing up on the silver screen, in video games, on clothing and even fine art. Classically trained Italian artist Stefano Bolcato has had such a penchant for the timeless toys since childhood that he began using them, and specifically the yellow minifigures, as subject matter for years. Recently, Bolcato took this a step further by reimagining classic paintings with LEGO figures in his series titled People. From Andy Warhol’s legendary Marilyn Diptych to Frida Kahlo’s Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird and Leonardo da Vinci’s Portrait of an Unknown Woman (La Belle Ferroniere), Bolcato’s oil paintings are fun and approachable. We’d love to see him expand on the series…. The possibilities are endless.

More LEGO art here and here and here.

Via stefanobolcato.com and Instagram

With one of his latest masterpieces, Wreck, Brooklyn-based sculptor/artist Jordan Griska beautifully juxtaposes opulence and misfortune in a truly provocative way. Painstakingly crafted from over 12,000 individual pieces of mirror-finish stainless steel over the course of almost two years, Griska’s Wreck tells the story of a (life-size) Mercedes-Benz S550 involved in a fatality wreck. We are absolutely in awe of this piece, and Griska multi-disciplinary approach, from 3D modeling technology, engineering proficiency, precision laser cutting and good old fashioned hand assembly. Not only is this fascinating sculpture beautiful, but it also evokes very relevant and stimulating sociopolitical concepts surrounding wealth and debauchery. Griska says it best: “The perfect geometry and flawless materiality of the piece reflect the inspiration of idealized digital design, in stark contrast with the grimness of the reality it represents. Beauty, technology and engineering collide with death and reality.”

Via jordangriska.com

Jordan Griska's Wreck on view at Pier 9 today till Sunday, 11 – 7. Across from @fringearts #pcwreck

A post shared by Philadelphia Contemporary (@philadelphiacontemporary) on

What do you get when you unite a talented, young, rebellious artist with discarded artwork? Renaissance paintings that demand a double-take, for one. French artist Blase, aka Blasepheme, has artistic skills rooted in time-honored techniques. But his subversive sense of humor will not allow him to simply restore flea market finds. Blase does much more than that… he scours sales and brings old paintings back to life with fresh concepts and often satirical touches. Some may question a lack of respect for artists who came before him, but Blase can rest easy knowing that he is in the business of resurrecting these otherwise unwanted works, and giving them relevance. Proved by this very post… we’re talking about said paintings from some 3,600 miles away over the internet in 2017! Blase’s work is nothing short of badass, and we applaud not only his artistic prowess but also his defiant spirit.

More artistic renegades here and here and here.

Via blasepheme.com

In his latest project, HI-RES, Madrid-based artist Rómulo Celdrán explores the convergence of digital art and fine art through sculpture. Celdrán’s analytical curiosity is especially intriguing for designers like us, who are constantly analyzing, consciously or subconsciously, the visual qualities of otherwise mundane objects all around us. These large-scale, visually arresting creations are really something. Not only is it compelling to look at three-dimensional pixelation before your eyes, but Celdrán uses these works to comment on the role 3D computer modeling now plays on visual perception. In his own words, Celdrán discusses the project: “Just as photography did with the two-dimensional still image and film did with the moving image, the current digital technologies that are used to generate 3D image models are revolutionizing the way we look at reality, understand it and relate to it. Whether it is the world of 3D scanning, photogrammetry, 3D design or any of their multiple forms and applications (technical, medico-scientific, recreational…) the 3D digital model shows us a reality beyond reality, a hyper-real reality.”

Via romuloceldran.com

Creative duo Michelle Maguire and Kelsey McClellan, otherwise known as Terrence Caviar, are a stylist and photographer team, respectively, whose latest project marries some of our favorites: color, series, and of course food. At its core, Wardrobe Snacks explores thoughtful pairings of various colors and textures. McClellan’s closely cropped photos perfectly capture Maguire’s monochromatic styling, all while touching on a familiar scenario: eating on the go. In their own words, Terrence Caviar describe the series in their own words: “Wardrobe Snacks was inspired by diners lacking the luxury of being seated at a table: Michelle’s stepdad who rests his sandwich on his thigh (hell with a plate!) in between bites while he blasts an action movie on his TV; a commuter cramped up on a crowded bus retrieving an item from a bag or pocket; a lunch-breaker on a park bench eating from her lap. They’re informal — perhaps even a bit awkward — spaces as far as eating is concerned, yet the diner always appears to be comfortable and perfectly satisfied with his chosen snack, almost zen-like.” Prints available here. More conceptual photography posts here and here and here.

Via terrencecaviar.com

In recent years, much has been made about America’s addiction to sugar (eye-opening 60 Minutes piece of journalism, here). It really is an epidemic whose impact has yet to be truly realized. But we are slowly waking up to the fact that our sugar-loaded diet is not only making us fat, but it’s also killing us with covert toxicity. New York-based production company Dress Code recently tackled the subject through a thoughtful animated short, aptly titled Coke Habit. Though Dress Code’s usual workload is of the commercial variety, original content plays an important role in any creative enterprise. This superbly crafted surrealist mini masterpiece, featuring arguably the most iconic brand on the planet, tells a true childhood story of staffer “Mike” and his Coke addiction… as in seemingly benign Coca-Cola. From their adept use of color to their masterful storytelling, Dress Code hits all the marks with this brilliant little film.

Via Vimeo and dresscodeny.com

Some could argue that our Commander in Chief would be better suited for monarchy than a democracy (Jimmy Kimmel certainly thinks so, here). But the tomfoolery of New Jersey-based designer and Photoshop extraordinaire Michal Krauthamer is just that. Photoshop shenanigans created simply for your amusement. Krauthamer’s ongoing series TrumpQueen is not about political commentary, but simply a fun exercise in Photoshop face swapping. And Krauthamer does it masterfully, we must acknowledge. Go ahead and laugh. It’s okay. Really. Here are some of our favorites.

Via michalkrauthamer.com

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