Archives for category: Painting

Love is in the air on this Valentine’s Day, but Los Angeles-based artists DJ Neff and Paul Ramirez promote a different kind of love. Started in 2011, this collaboration has blossomed into a full-fledged non-profit organization, CANLOVE, whose mission is to upcycle otherwise discarded or abandoned spray paint cans. Over the years, they have saved (by hand!) some 15,000+ spray paint cans from the landfill. And in the process created some beautiful, innovative and intriguing artwork. Armed with “spray bouquets”, blooming flower creations and heart-shaped works, CANLOVE can suit all your Valentine’s Day needs (visit their Flower Shop here). Not only do we love their work on a purely artistic level, but the fact that this work also has a purpose really makes our hearts pound.

Via canlove.org

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Some of the most moving pieces of art involve the human form. After all, everyone on the planet can relate in some capacity… we are all human. Nature is also an ever-present theme, and artists sometimes explore the relationship between the two. Which is exactly the case for the work of Virginia-based sculptor Christopher David White. But what is really intriguing about White’s incredible body of work is his ability to manipulate perception… in essence, his mastery of illusion (or in art-speak, trompe l’oeil, visual illusion in art, which literally translates to “deceives the eye” from French). Upon inspection, White’s work appears to be intricately sculpted from petrified wood. We might add, if these pieces were sculpted from wood, that would be impressive in and of itself. But these stunning sculptures are actually rendered from clay with an astounding attention to detail. At its core, White’s work is about change. In his own words: “Change is a constant reminder that permanence is the ultimate illusion. It is through the creation of hyper-realistic sculpture that I explore the relationship between nature, man, and the phenomenon of impermanence.”

Via christopherdavidwhite.com

Musical mashups often produce unexpectedly interesting results. The fusion of contrasting artists and genres can make for some pretty special compositions. Los Angeles-based artist (and United States Air Force Staff Sergeant) Corban Lundborg, also known as COLD, recently explored this concept visually after being commissioned to create artwork inspired by vinyl (hence the 12″ square design). Lundborg draws inspiration from both arresting and iconic vinyl logos, and his love of hip-hop. His series VINYL features hip-hop legends adorned with classic rock logos, and the result is terrific. But Lundborg doesn’t just haphazardly create these combos… his process seems much more thoughtful than that. Take “West Side of the Moon” for instance. Perhaps the strongest of the bunch, Lundborg places Pink Floyd’s famous Dark Side of the Moon logo over Tupac’s third eye, “inspired by his revolutionary message and social maturity. The refracting of light occurs when a wave enters a medium where its speed is different, and Tupac approached the music industry at an unmatched momentum.” Lundborg’s work, too, embodies a rebellious spirit that we really admire. His clear creative talent paired with his contemplative approach is a recipe for success. And we wish nothing but the best for this brilliant young artist’s future.

Via cold-studio.com

British artist Nick Smith speaks the visual language of a true contemporary artist. His work is thoughtful, compelling and current. Seemingly inspired by 8-bit graphics of his youth, Smith recreates recognizable paintings from a variety of famous artists using little more than a brilliant sense of color and some custom Pantone Color Chips. Though the work he’s recreating employs broad ranges of color and is often very detailed, his pixelated reinterpretations are still remarkably recognizable. True to Smith’s attention to detail, he does not use standard Pantone chips, but rather customizes them with specific names that relate to the artwork they comprise, adding another layer of dimension to these already impressive works.

More pixelated work here and here and here.

Via smithandstuff.com and Instagram

Posters are some of our favorite, yet challenging, projects. Poster design is a marriage between visual aesthetic and the delivery of information, between textual and graphical elements… the very fundamentals of graphic design. It should come as no surprise, then, that an institution as important and influential as the New York Film Festival places great emphasis on this visual embodiment of its annual event. Festival organizers manage to recruit some truly respected artists and photographers year after year for its remarkable posters. Below is just a sampling, starting with this year’s by renowned sculptor Richard Serra.

Via nytimes.com

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

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

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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