Archives for category: Election

Okay, we’re gonna take some liberties and very loosely classify this as art in honor of the upcoming President’s Day holiday. No one can deny it’s fun, though. And, what the heck? It’s Friday…. You may or may not have heard of the growing popularity of “face-swapping” apps (like the aptly named FaceApp), used to engage in all sorts of shenanigans (swapping faces of Disney characters, babies, etc.). But Reddit user known simply as “ygdrssl” decided to rewrite history and imagine past U.S. Presidents as women. And the results are, well, funny. From Helen Hoover to Joan F. Kennedy to Lynda B Johnson, we are laughing out loud about this alternate universe. Rest assured the underlying gender dialogue is not lost on ygdrssl, who commented: “It’s strange to think that these people would never have been elected president because of that pesky troll X chromosome.” Art? Maybe, maybe not. But most certainly creative and thought-provoking.

Via Reddit

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French artist/industrial designer known only as Parse/Error recently created an object that is both beautiful and troubling all at the same time. At face value, the Political Lamp is an aesthetically appealing decor piece… a lovely cylindrical dome housing a curious cloud. But behind this facade is a much darker reality, an intentional and well-conceived parallel to the current political climate. The lamp is actually connected to the internet and designed to react to tweets by President Donald Trump (and other political events) by triggering a storm beneath the dome, complete with lightning rolling in the cloud and disturbing the otherwise peaceful glow of the lamp itself. We are utterly intrigued by this piece, and hope for a day when we can look back in relief that the forecasted storm did not do as much damage as predicted. In his own words, the artist explains the project: “The choice of setting the Political Lamp to follow the tweets of Donald Trump is explained by the fact that he perfectly embodies a dangerous era. A world where the words of one man, released without reflection and with spontaneity on a global social network, can endanger the fate of millions by spreading the ghost of nuclear war on the planet…. the idea of the Political Lamp is to hide its true nature behind a beautiful object, which immediately modifies the observer’s behavior when its purpose is revealed, causing anxiety and fascination.”

Via parseerror.ufunk.net

We have long commented on the convergence of history and art. They are intrinsically intertwined, reliant on one another in many ways. So when an artist turns the documentation and storytelling aspect of said junction on its head, we surely take notice. For his series The American Revolution Revolution, Denver-based artist Shawn Huckins masterfully juxtaposes early American portraiture with social media jargon. Thoughtfully conceptualized and brilliantly executed, Huckins’s incredible work succeeds on so many levels. And it’s also important to note that these are physical paintings, should Huckins’s artistic ability ever come into question. Huckins is a superb American artist who is clearly inspired by American Neo-Classical painters, as well as more contemporary Pop artists. In his own words, Huckins explains the series: “The American Revolution was conceived through an exchange of a few well-formed ideas communicated in person and by handwritten letters. Imagine what George & Co. could have done with the Internet. Or not. Technology influences how much we know and what we believe, as well as how quickly and intelligently we convey our ideas. But does how we communicate govern the value of what we communicate? The physical act of typing very fast on small devices has undeniably impacted spelling, grammar, and punctuation, encouraging a degree of illiteracy that has become the new social norm. As goes our grammatical literacy, do our social and cultural literacies follow?”

Via shawnhuckins.com

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Italian photographer Dan Bannino is a consummate storyteller with a particular penchant for still life and commercial photography. Much of his work could just as easily find a home on a gallery wall as in the pages of a mass market magazine, like National Geographic, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Cosmopolitan and many others. With his terrific Power and Food series, Bannino explores the eating habits of powerful and influential people from around the world. In our celebrity-obsessed culture any glimpse “behind the curtain,” so to speak, is valued. A look into the private lives of public figures, no matter how brief or inconsequential, makes us feel a little closer to them. Bannino’s series capitalizes on that curiosity, with his vibrant and arresting images. We particularly love his compositions and bold style. In his own words, Bannino states, “If you’re a fast food aficionado or a pizza freak, you have more in common with Mr. Donald J. Trump, and Pope Francis himself than you ever imagined. Check out some of the most unexpected food patterns of the world’s leaders, and you’ll never eat the same way again.”

Via danbannino.com

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A lot has happened in the world since we last visited the quirky and thought-provoking work of Atlanta-based BBDO Creative Director Stephen McMennamy. Yet his steadfast #ComboPhotos project continues to churn out clever mashups and engage people around the globe. In fact, as cited in our previous post (here) back in September 2015, he had almost 50K Instagram followers… well, his following has ballooned to 226K and growing. And for good reason. His compositions, which are all comprised of original, thoughtfully captured photography (rather than stock images) are simple and fun. Their brilliance is in their subtlety, and also the purposeful absence of Photoshop blending tools. McMennamy’s work makes us do a double-take, which is a sure measure of something special in our minds. His work is as impressive as ever… can’t wait to check back in another 16 months to see what McMennamy has conjured up.

Via Instagram

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It is said that art is often an honest reflection of societal issues at large. History shows that for centuries art has been a sort of barometer, documenting larger issues through the lens of the artist. This certainly holds true for the work of Italian artist Alessandro Rabatti. His series Facebank serves as commentary for the very uncertain financial state of the world today, with a humorous bent, of course. Rabatti alters iconic faces on currency (related posts here and here and here) from around the world, “disguising” them as fictional superheroes. Despite the seemingly fun nature of these pieces, Rabatti’s intent and message is likely much deeper. For one, by altering the faces of these historical figures to look like familiar comic book characters with a rich (albeit fictional) history of their own, Rabatti remarks on their economic and political status, looking to them as possible “saviors” of the global economic crisis. There is an implied trust in these figures, both real and fictional, so the dialogue Rabatti initiates with this series could really go on and on. Oh, and these works are just plain cool looking. From conception to execution, we’d say Rabatti has creative super powers of his own.

Via alessandrorabatti.com

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With financial matters on the minds of many around the world on the heals of our historic presidential election just one week ago, we thought it fitting to share this project by Georgian illustrator/designer Tatiana Trikoz. Commissioned by Swiss banking group Swissquote, Trikoz created these incredibly intricate currency portraits featuring some of the world’s most famous billionaires – Mark Zuckerberg, Richard Branson and Elon Musk. Trikoz seamlessly adheres to the look of the existing currency she aims to mimic… we are in awe of the stunning details. Perhaps our president-elect will commission her to imagine his likeness on U.S. currency in the near future? Crazier things have happened….

Via Behance

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On this Election Day, we bring you some of our favorite works inspired by this historic election season. In order: Boston-based artist and collage master Molly Scannell; Brooklyn-based artist and educator David Hollier; Nashville-based artist and sculptor Herb Williams (previous posts here and here); Brazilian artist Butcher Billy (previous post here); Nashville-based (Rochester-born) painter Kristin Llamas. Politics as the subject of art has never been more prevalent. Whether it be the polarizing nature of this particular presidential election, or the reach of social media (probably both, actually), talented artists from all over the country and world have been churning our artwork inspired by this moment in history. Let’s just hope everyone is as energized to vote. Go vote!

Via Instagram, Instagram, Flickr, Behance and kllamas.com

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On this Election Day eve, perhaps the most historic U.S. election in our lifetime, a large swath of the population is bound to be unsatisfied with the outcome. With that in mind, we bring you a short video by Paris-based motion design studio Parallel that’s both amusing and unnerving. Though it has no relation to the election itself, it’s a terrifically animated short about everyday situations that are simply unsatisfying. The appeal of this video is twofold for us: not only is it highly relatable (we can honestly say that we’ve felt the frustration of every scenario depicted), but the quality of the work, from the overall style, use of color, animation and sound design, are totally on point. Having realized they really tapped into something, Parallel Studio is now conducting a challenge (here) to fellow animators no matter their skill level, to submit creative takes on other unsatisfying situations.

Via parallelproduction.tv

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We are compelled to check in on the work of renowned Russian illustrator/graphic designer Eiko Ojala every so often (here and here) because he’s just so good. Ojala’s style is distinct… we now recognize it from a mile away. These are truly mixed media endeavors, mixing digital illustration, paper textures, and both real and artificial shadows. His adept sense of color, composition and depth are hallmarks of his incredible body of work, which includes illustrations for a variety of impressive clients including The New York Times, National Geographic Traveler Magazine, Herman Miller, Harvard Business Review, Scientific American Mind, Ebony Magazine and The New Yorker. Here’s a sampling of some of his more recent work, including a children’s book he recently illustrated (available for purchase here). Enjoy.

Via ploom.tv

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