Archives for posts with tag: contemporary

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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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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Pop art is alive and well. Having materialized in the 1950s as an alternative to the traditions of fine art, the movement draws from popular culture and often relies on irony. As we’ve noted before, our highly connected, celebrity-obsessed culture is a breeding ground for such art, so it’s no surprise that it seems to be a particularly thriving art scene these days. And many artist have emerged as household names through the years, such as Andy Warhol, Keith Haring and Roy Lichtenstein. Though not quite that prominent (yet), Brazilian artist and designer known as Butcher Billy has a tremendous body of work that pushes pop art forward, while also paying tribute to the past. Butcher Billy is “known for his illustrations based on the contemporary pop art movement. His work has a strong vintage comic book and street art influence while also making use of pop cultural references in music, cinema, art, literature, games, history and politics.” This is just a small sample of his extensive, diverse portfolio. If you didn’t know Butcher Billy’s work, now you do. Killin’ it, indeed.

Via Behance and curioos.com

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Hyper-realistic drawing and painting is an incredible skill that really gives us pause. Especially in the age of high resolution cameras on just about everyone’s phone, and the proliferation of Photoshop-aided art. We sort of take realistic and surrealistic views for granted, but when we look at super-realistic art done by hand, like the work of Australian artist Joel Rea, we ponder the extraordinary artistic dexterity involved. Rea’s breathtaking work clearly draws much inspiration from nature, particularly the ocean. And for anyone who has tried, depicting water realistically is no small feat. Never mind clouds, sand and the human form. Rea’s masterful paintings are not only visually precise, but also do a fantastic job of conveying emotion, whether it be a sense of fear, hope or liberation. These contemporary surrealist works have some real substance, and we look forward to what the future holds for this phenomenal young artist.

Via joelrea.com.au

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Chinese sculptor Li Lihong juxtaposes contemporary corporate logos with traditional Chinese imagery and ceramic techniques, with fantastic results. The series is a sculptural mashup of corporate identity and fine art, of contemporary and traditional, of East and West, of old and new. Western business has become integrated into Chinese culture, and Lihong’s work seems to embrace it.

Via Facebook

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