Archives for posts with tag: contemporary art

When one thinks of hand embroidery, a little old lady in her rocker with a wooden hoop on her lap sewing “Home Sweet Home” may immediately come to mind. Young Malaysian artist Sheena Liam turns that notion of traditional hand embroidery on its head with her simple yet smart creations. Using little more than black thread and her own imagination and experiences, Liam adds another dimension to what is traditionally a two-dimensional art. Hair is the focal point of Liam’s work, and her subjects’ long tresses flowing from her circular canvases is her signature. This clever touch elevates her work, and we absolutely love it.

Via Instagram

 

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We always find it interesting when artists figuratively blur the lines of media, and in this case literally. The work of South African artist Philip Barlow appears to be one thing but is actually another, and we are utterly intrigued. What looks like beautifully composed out-of-focus photographs are actually masterfully created oil paintings. Barlow focuses (no pun intended) on the interaction of light with his subjects, and the results are quite stunning. In his own words, “The figures in the landscape serve as carriers and reflectors of the light that falls upon them. Bathed in the luminosity, it is my hope that they would become more beautiful. To me, light is the ultimate subject because it embodies the pinnacle of all reality.” In works where the details are not at all sharp, we are taken with Barlow’s astounding attention to detail. The soft edges and bokeh effect are quite beautiful, and Barlow’s deep understanding of color is an artistic revelation. We are in awe.

Via philipbarlow.com and Instagram

The beauty of the mosaic art form is how the experience changes based on the viewing distance. Wisconsin-bred, New York-based artist Kevin Champeny capitalizes on this dichotomy by creating custom hand cast urethane objects that comprise the resulting assemblage that complement the full meaning of each piece. Champeny’s work is not only visually impactful, but he drives his concepts further through these distinctive methods. Champeny explains in his own words: “I create a style of work that blurs the lines between photography, painting, and sculpting. Mosaics enable me to elicit the tension and stories between the sculpted and cast pixels and the overall image they compose. My art opens a conversation for the viewer. I want people to think about what these pieces mean to them and how their own experiences make sense of the choices I made when creating the work.”

More mosaic art here and here and here.

Via kevinchampeny.com

 

Playing with one’s food is a favorite pastime for many. Few carry that over into adulthood, but we certainly appreciate when artists take food to another level (here and here and here). So when we came across the work of this Russian art duo, we just had to share. Food stylist Tatiana Shkondina and photographer Sasha Tivanov collaborated to recreate famous paintings… using food, and they really nailed them. Their attention to detail is just incredible. Their love of both food and art is clear. Just as food tastes better when it’s “made with love”, the same applies to art, in our estimation. Shkondina and Tivanov love what they do, and it shows.

Via Behance

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

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

We’ve seen a lot of intricate artwork fabricated from paper in new and interesting ways, but nothing quite like this. It’s the work of Cuban-born, North Carolina-based artist Felix Semper. While his sculptures resemble traditional stone busts, Semper injects a bit of a twist, literally, into these awesome creations. Rather than a hefty, solid material, Semper’s sculptures are crafted from hundreds of layers of glued paper to allow for surprising and awe-inspiring movement. With these stunning works, Sember flips the art of sculpture on its head… allowing a seemingly solid mass to twist and stretch. While we love all of his work, his most notable piece “Big Poppa” modeled after the late rap icon Notorious B.I.G. really strikes a chord. The juxtaposition of a contemporary figure in such a traditional art form is intriguing in and of itself, but the kinetic nature of Sember’s work makes it truly groundbreaking.

More paper artwork here and here and here.

Via felixsemper.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

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

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

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