Archives for posts with tag: juxtapose

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

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With one of his latest masterpieces, Wreck, Brooklyn-based sculptor/artist Jordan Griska beautifully juxtaposes opulence and misfortune in a truly provocative way. Painstakingly crafted from over 12,000 individual pieces of mirror-finish stainless steel over the course of almost two years, Griska’s Wreck tells the story of a (life-size) Mercedes-Benz S550 involved in a fatality wreck. We are absolutely in awe of this piece, and Griska multi-disciplinary approach, from 3D modeling technology, engineering proficiency, precision laser cutting and good old fashioned hand assembly. Not only is this fascinating sculpture beautiful, but it also evokes very relevant and stimulating sociopolitical concepts surrounding wealth and debauchery. Griska says it best: “The perfect geometry and flawless materiality of the piece reflect the inspiration of idealized digital design, in stark contrast with the grimness of the reality it represents. Beauty, technology and engineering collide with death and reality.”

Via jordangriska.com

Jordan Griska's Wreck on view at Pier 9 today till Sunday, 11 – 7. Across from @fringearts #pcwreck

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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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With the latest Apple releases, so too will come the flood of YouTube videos of folks “testing” the new devices in all sorts of precarious scenarios (submerging your new iPhone in a vat of soda, then freezing it for 12 hours, anyone?). New Zealand-born, Brooklyn-based photographer/artist Henry Hargreaves (whose stellar work we’ve discussed here and here) takes a more cerebral approach to a practice that is no less cringe-inducing to us gadget geeks. Hargreaves, along with his stylist partner Caitlin Levin, whose incredible collaborations almost always employ food as the medium, juxtaposes said electronic devices with fast food in their series Deep Fried Gadgets. While we do shudder slightly at the sight of intentionally defacing these gizmos that we hold in such high regard, we certainly appreciate the concept and commentary, not to mention the fascinatingly engaging visuals. In Hargreaves’s own words, “I like to play with food and the juxtaposition of different worlds. I found a video of some Japanese kids trying to deep fry a PSP and eat it, it didn’t work and they made a mess of it, but I loved the idea and thought it could be expanded and photographed in a beautiful way. Electronics have become almost a holy device, the way a new apple device sends people out of their minds. But as soon as the next model comes out the last is immediately forgotten. This is a commentary about the similarities between tech culture and fast food. Quickly devoured and then discarded because of our appetite for the newest product.”

Via hargreavesandlevin.com

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Tattoos are often very telling. Each and every one seems to have a story behind it, and for those who are covered, it’s like a novel. British photographer Alan Powdrill brings some of these stories to light, with his latest project and exhibition, aptly titled Covered. Looking at Powdrill’s portfolio as a whole, we love his edginess, which seems to be a common thread. Here, Powdrill features subjects who are literally walking canvases, their bodies covered in ink, underneath their everyday garb. This series presents a nice juxtaposition, and gets our minds racing about the evolution of the indelible artwork for each subject, and which unassuming individuals in our own community might be adorned in tattoos in a similar fashion. Powdrill really gets to the heart of photography here… storytelling is fundamental, and his work is quite poetic. Fascinating project, and very well executed.

Via alanpowdrill.com

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With the proliferation of digital photography, pared with editing software like Photoshop, photo retouching is basically the norm these days. There has certainly been some controversy (good example here) surrounding the practice, especially when it comes to the issue of misrepresentation. Hungarian photographer/artist Flora Borsi specializes in digital manipulation, but with surprising effect that can even be described as unnerving. Turning retouching on its head, with her project Stockify, Borsi’s work clearly finds inspiration from legendary surrealist painters that came before her, most notably Picasso and Dali. Borsi brings the fundamentals of surrealist artwork, particularly unexpected juxtapositions, to the digital age with this arresting series. In her own words, “In this project I’ve been analyzing some fashion portraits, how perfect they are. So I made the opposite of retouching, somehow I distouched these pictures of perfect models. This project is connected to surrealist painters point of view: beauty wasn’t enough to give me interest. I love imperfections as much as I love surrealism. These pictures are my little monsters, no one wants to look like them, because they are totally unique.”

Via floraborsi.com

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In keeping with our (hopefully) weeklong theme of Create Upstate 2015 (other posts here and here), we turn the spotlight on fellow Rochester-based designer (and educator/writer) Mitch Goldstein. Those behind the planning of Create Upstate clearly made a deliberate decision to have Goldstein kick off the main event. Goldstein is the perfect blend of adept designer and engaging speaker, and his talk about The Habit of Making got us charged up right out of the box. It almost felt like church for designers, and Goldstein was giving a homily. In essence, Goldstein discussed his habit of making for the sake of making, and how it has made him a better designer. This daily 30-minute creative exercise, which he and his wife Anne Jordan call “inside walking”, has given way to some pretty impressive work (below and here). Goldstein stressed the importance of letting go, and not worrying about making something “good” or even “finished”, but just focus on the making part. We are not really doing Goldstein’s sermon any justice here, just know that this is sage advice that we hope to get into the habit of following. Be sure to scroll down for products from Goldstein’s “walks”, and a sampling of his superb client work, some of which originated directly from said walks.

Via mitchgoldstein.com and Tumblr

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We’ve all been there before… a dreaded lecture, and one’s mind starts to wander as pencil meets paper to create some nonsensical drawing. Doodling is a favorite pastime of bored students the world over. But when elevated to this level of artistry, we sit up and take notice. Japanese artist Keita Sagaki’s prolific body of (rather time consuming) work is really impressive. Sagaki juxtaposes recreations of well-known fine art pieces with what would otherwise be considered notebook doodles. From a distance these large-scale works (often several feet in length) bear a striking resemblance to such masterpieces as the Mona Lisa, The Great Wave off Kanagawa, and The Last Supper. But upon closer examination, they are actually densely hand-drawn improvised doodles. Sagaki has even been commissioned to apply his unique method of art making to create famous landmarks from around the world. Just amazing.

Via sagakikeita.com

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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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