Archives for category: Retro

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

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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

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

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

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

Our penchant for serial works never diminishes. There’s just something about the natural order of things that is so satisfying. Glasgow-based illustrator/designer Jack Daly taps into that systemization while exploring his love of illustration, typography, and travel with his aptly titled Wanderlust Alphabet. And we have to say, the results, so far, are pretty great. It goes without saying that Daly is a terrific artist, and his adept use of color and sense of composition really make each of these pieces sing. Having just tackled the very beginning of the alphabet so far, Daly differentiates each letter/city with signature landmarks, architecture, local customs, etc. We are really taken with Daly’s style and cannot wait to see this alphabet grow. The possibilities are endless! In the meantime, prints available here.

Via Behance and Instagram

You may recognize Perler beads from your childhood. or perhaps your children (or you) enjoy these tactile “pixels” today, whose novelty bucks the digital trend. One thing is for sure, these tiny fusible plastic beads have an appeal that transcends age and skill level. Romanian artist Claudiu Alexandru takes beading to a whole new level, having spent some 85 hours and 45,000 beads with little more than a pair of tweezers (and lots of patience) on his latest masterpiece. The result is quite something.

Via Facebook

In an effort to pay homage to some superb Italian design manifested widely through consumer goods, Italian-American designer Gianluca Gimini conceived this series of fictional co-branded sneakers. Looking at Gimini’s body of work, particularly this imaginative series, appropriately titled “Sneakered”, it’s clear that Gimini operates on a creative plane not easily defined. At a time when consumers (very broadly speaking) seem to be steeped in the marketing of nostalgia, Gimini capitalizes on that trend and also taps into a youth culture that holds footwear, specifically sneakers, in high regard. Think of it as an exercise in mashing up historical examples of excellent product design with a vehicle that has global youth appeal (sneakers). Brilliant.

Via Behance

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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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