Archives for posts with tag: dark

Disney characters are so ubiquitous in today’s popular culture that they are sometimes the subject of a less wholesome narrative (as seen here and here). In his series Noir Princesses, San Diego-based illustrator/artist Astor Alexander explores Disney princesses in a darker light. These highly stylized portraits harken back to mystery novels and films of the 1940s and 50s and tell stories centered around said princesses as noir fiction protagonists. Alexander’s talent is undeniable, and his aesthetic is right on the money. He captures the individual personality of each recognizable princess character while transporting them all to a less familiar setting with a foreboding cinematic quality.

Prints available here.

Via Behance and Instagram

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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

In honor of National Coffee Day, we thought it fitting to showcase an artist who (subtly) uses the magical brown elixir to make art. Maui-based mixed-media artist Alessandra Maria creates beautifully detailed, dark and delicate portraits using little more than a pencil, black ink and gold leaf on coffee-stained paper. Inspired by Austrian symbolist painter Gustav Klimt, Maria’s haunting life-like portraits evoke fantasy and mystery with intricate details set on an eerily enigmatic surface achieved through the coffee’s dark brown grounds. There are even religious overtones in these thought-provoking masterpieces. Maria’s work is simply beautiful and poignant.

Via alessandramaria.com

We’ve seen art created from a wide variety of media, but nothing quite like this. As a matter of fact, if you had to guess how these were created just by looking at them, you’d probably have a hard time figuring it out. Relying on little more than brown packing tape, an Xacto and the filtering of light behind a translucent surface, Amsterdam-based artist Max Zorn’s work is awe-inspiring. The nuance in shading he achieves by layering tape is astounding all on its own. Never mind Zorn’s ability to manipulate the tape so intricately. It’s interesting how these works, composed of such an unexpected and artless material, are so beautiful. Zorn clearly has a penchant for the past, as indicated by his choice of subjects for the majority of his work. Interestingly, Zorn’s fondness for packing tape began as street art, as he describes in his own words: “There’s a lot of great street art by day, but it disappears after dark. I wanted to come up with urban art that uses nighttime as a setting, and there was nothing more inviting than the street lamps in Amsterdam. In the beginning I used packing tape to fill in larger sections of my marker drawings. Once I hung them on street lamps, the light’s effect opened up new ideas with ditching markers and just using tape.”

Via maxzorn.com and YouTube

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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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It wasn’t long ago we featured the work of Hungarian photographer/artist Flora Borsi. Once again, Borsi brings a certain edginess to the art of digital manipulation. While retouching can sometimes be seen as gratuitous, Borsi elevates photo-manipulation to an art form. Her work is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. In her latest series of self-portraits she calls Animeyed, Borsi poses with animals in such a way that they seem to share an eye. Her work has an interesting way of coming across as playful, but also slightly uncomfortable at the same time. Creative, clever and captivating. Once again, we love it.

Via floraborsi.com

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Pumpkin carving can really be an art. It seems that over the past few years, the bar has been raised. The traditional jack-o’-lantern has given way to intricate masterpieces. RISE of the Jack O’Lanterns is a consortium of expert carvers who join efforts to put on incredible displays of over 5,000 hand-carved illuminated jack-o’-lantern in New York and Los Angeles around this time each year. These gorgeous gourds feature carvings that depict everything from deceased celebrities to dinosaurs, video games to venomous snakes, fictional characters to fantastic “underwater” displays. Some take a few minutes, others take up to 20 hours, and, as magical as it all looks, they have not figured a way to keep the pumpkins from rotting… they replace them weekly as needed. Wow!

Via therise.org

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San Francisco-based designer/illustrator Khoa Ho explores the past and present of some notable superheroes in this terrific series. The minimal, monochromatic style gives them some gravitas appropriate to the subject matter. In his own words, Ho says “I took a dive into the origins of these individuals and who they were before they became superheroes to remind us that despite the trials of our past, what we choose to do moving forward is much more important to us and the world we share.” Style-wise, this series is sort of reminiscent of work by Marko Manev.

Via khoaho-thisisforyou.com

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This is some superhero art like we’ve never seen. Macedonia-based designer/illustrator/artist Marko Manev’s black and white depictions of select superheros really capture something special. While we’ve all seen appropriately colorful superhero portrayals, this series explores a darker side, and with phenomenal results. We really love his style, which is a refreshing departure from typical fan art. Iconic scenes in this stirring series feature Batman, Hulk, Captain America, Spider-Man, Silver Surfer, Thor, Iron Man, Superman, Dr. Manhattan, and Wolverine. If you’re interested in purchasing prints, Manev seems to be selling limited edition prints every so often (they sell out quick!).

Via markomanev.com and Facebook

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