Archives for posts with tag: Chuck Close

We’ve featured California-based contemporary artist Andrew Myers before (here), but his awesome work deserves a revisit. Myers amalgamates sculpture and portraiture in some really intriguing ways. Whether intentional or not, on some level Myers’ work bears some resemblance (at least conceptually) to that of the great Chuck Close. Rather than splotchy “pixels” of paint, Myers’ work is comprised of screws (yes, as in something you’d get from a hardware store). He painstakingly drives thousands of screws by hand (ranging from a few thousand to over 10,000) at various depths into his “canvas”, then paints over each screw head to create these brilliant works, that in the end are basically three dimensional sculptures. These stunning portraits are engaging viewed from near or far, but as one gets closer, it’s clear that Myers spends some serious time creating these works. He has an obvious love for working with his hands and clearly knows his way around a tool bench… hardware seems to be a common theme in all of his work, from these aforementioned screws to steel rods and even automotive paint. You will see in the video below, Myers has the hands of a carpenter, and we can see why. Tremendous, tactile work… we absolutely love it.

Via andrewmyersart.com

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You may already be familiar with the work of contemporary American artist Scott Blake. Blake’s work is not only visually compelling, but also engaging and usually interactive. Some of his most prominent works involve bar codes (aptly called Barcode Art), which fittingly mock consumerism and the increasing societal dominance of big data. Blake has a clear love of technology, and uses it in incredible, sometimes controversial, ways. His “Chuck Close Filter” which emulated a technique made famous by the celebrated artist, for instance, was shut down by Close himself, citing jeopardy to his livelihood and trivializing his work. We are not even scratching the surface of Blake’s growing body of work, nor are we doing it much justice. Be sure to visit Blake’s site and take it all in first-hand.

Via barcodeart.com and YouTube

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The decorative art of mosaics dates back thousands of years, yet this art form never ceases to amaze us (here and here and here). Artists continue to find new ways to push boundaries, creating intricate photorealistic works with a variety of materials. One such master is British mosaic artist Ed Chapman. Influenced by artists like Chuck Close, Robert Rauschenberg, and Jamie Reid, Chapman works with a variety of materials to create some incredible pieces, often inspired by music, movies, and pop culture in general. One particularly notable piece is Chapman’s Jimi Hendrix portrait comprised of thousands of Fender guitar picks. It was auctioned off several years ago for £23,000 (over $37,000) at Abbey Road Studios in London as part of Cancer Research’s Sound & Vision fundraiser. Chapman also creates works commissioned by private art collectors and corporations from around the world.

Via edchapman-mosaics.co.uk

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Collage is often thought of as an amalgamation of different materials. But for Brooklyn-based artist Mark Wagner, his ongoing collage work is almost always comprised of a single material: one dollar bills. But to simply refer to what he creates as collages probably doesn’t do them justice. Wagner’s work is extremely intricate and meticulous; he gives purpose to the placement of each shred of currency. We don’t doubt that whatever the material, Wagner could compose a masterpiece beyond our wildest imagination. But part of the intrigue here is certainly the taboo nature of destroying dollar bills. In his own words, Wagner discusses his choice of material: “The one dollar bill is the most ubiquitous piece of paper in America. Collage asks the question: what might be done to make it something else? It is a ripe material: intaglio printed on sturdy linen stock, covered in decorative filigree, and steeped in symbolism and concept. Blade and glue transform it-reproducing the effects of tapestries, paints, engravings, mosaics, and computers—striving for something bizarre, beautiful, or unbelievable… the foreign in the familiar.”

Be sure to also check out the terrific process video below.

Via markwagnerinc.com

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Chicago-based artist (and self-described “agitator”) Mary Ellen Croteau has a body of work that spans over two decades. Her work has always challenged the ridiculousness of social norms, and her latest, constructed of non-recycled plastic waste, is no different. Influenced by Chuck Close, Croteau arranges thousands of bottle caps in their original color and size to reveal incredible compositions. But it’s not enough to be drawn in by the inventive repurposing of otherwise wasteful material… Croteau is looking to shake things up a bit by demonstrating the huge amounts of trash we are consuming and sending into the environment. In her own words: “I personally think that single-serve plastic bottles are a major curse on our environment, and most especially water bottles. Most of us do not need to have bottled water at hand. Getting people used to spending more money for water than they spend for a gallon of gasoline is devious and disastrous for the future of the planet, letting corporations control our water sources is evil.” More work with resourcefully repurposed materials here and here and here.

Via maryellencroteau.net

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Though these photos probably don’t do them justice, British contemporary artist Joe Black’s large-scale compositions are stunning. Composed of thousands of small objects, such as Lego bricks, ball bearings, plastic toy soldiers, buttons and badges, these pieces are not simply visually stimulating, but also thought provoking. The Captain America likeness of Black’s piece titled “Carry Your Own Sins Missy” is composed of 1,478 handmade badges of collected imagery, from Elvis and Disney cartoons to the Vietnam War. In his own words, “The iconic image of Captain America encapsulates the idea of America as the hero nation. However, within the image we glimpse the conflicts and contradictions of the all-American dream.” Similarly, the Superman likeness is made up of 1,389 badges of Western cultural imagery interspersed with corporate logos, fast food and obesity. Black has an incredible eye for tonal composition. We only wish we could see these in person… spectacular work.

Via mrjoeblack.com

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Nashville-based sculpture Herb Williams never put down his crayons. His work in this unique medium (crayon sculptures) is awe-inspiring (previous post here). This commissioned piece, composed of about 25,000 crayons, took about two months to complete. In Williams’ own words, “The real fun of the portrait is in adding colors that aren’t really there to make it more interesting, almost like a Chuck Close when you’re right up to the portrait, it’s abstract, but from a distance it completely works.” It really does work on so many levels… we are thoroughly impressed. Be sure to check out more of his work here.

Via mymodernmet.com

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