Archives for posts with tag: Marilyn Monroe

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

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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

Autumn is finally upon us, and time for all things pumpkin spice (don’t get us started), as well as corn mazes and such. Which got us thinking… have you ever seen rice paddy art? Originating in Japan, rice paddy art is achieved when people plant rice of various types and colors to create giant pictures in a paddy field. Inakadate, a Japanese village in the prefecture of Aomori is thought to be the birthplace of this fascinating art form that dates back not thousands of years, but to the early 1990s. As a way to revitalize their village, officials of Inakadate decided to cleverly capitalize on a natural resource of 2,000+ years as a way to boost tourism and celebrate their culture. Since then stunning aerial masterpieces have been created year after year, gaining Inakadate recognition not only through local tourism but also through astounded onlookers by way of the internet (much like yourself). Media company Great Big Story, with their uncanny ability to tell stories, recently produced a beautifully shot piece profiling Inakadate, which garnered their stunning landscape and ingenuity further attention.

Via greatbigstory.com and vill.inakadate.lg.jp

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

Pointillism, a painting technique in which distinct dots of color are applied in patterns to form an image, dates back some 130 years, though the technique is actually analogous to four-color CMYK printing process and RGB displays we designers are all too familiar with. Some of the most notable artists who have employed this technique are van Gogh and Seurat, but the art movement was relatively brief. But contemporary South African artist Gavin Rain makes a great case for bringing it back. Rain seems to have mastered the complex technique, as exhibited in his stellar body of work. In his own words, Rain explains that he developed his style “from the need to tell a story – to present a perspective. I usually dislike art that doesn’t communicate anything. I also hate it when I’m viewing art and I don’t know the message. I wanted to avoid that – everyone has to get my message – which is to step back.” We imagine Rain’s layering process takes quite some time, but the result is absolutely breathtaking. His unique perspective, and ability for visual conveyance, is just incredible.

Via gavinrain.com

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Sure, we’ve seen paper cut art before (here and here and here), and we’re very fond of it, by the way. But we’ve never seen anything quite like this. London-based artist/photographer Rich McCor (otherwise known as @paperboyo) brilliantly pairs his paper cut skills with his keen eye for photography. And the results are clever, playful and unexpected. McCor’s carefully crafted silhouettes are brought to life against sometimes familiar and iconic backdrops. While his work may seem simple in concept, there’s no doubt in our minds that these smart compositions require much more skill than one may think. Needless to say, we are thoroughly impressed and inspired. And his growing base of 175,000 Instagram followers would surely agree.

Via Instagram

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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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Exercises in typographic and mosaic compositions bring us back to our early studies as designers. Not because they are novice or effortless, but because they touch on the fundamentals of good design. Italian artist/designer known as Antonio Village9991 is quite adept at both, as exhibited by this sampling of his impressive body of work. For almost twenty years, Antonio has been creating these digital compositions that are much more difficult than they may look. It takes an acute sense of space and a savvy discernment of color to engineer these beautifully intricate pieces. Antonio’s work lends itself to multiple viewing distances… truly incredible details up close, with the larger image emerging the further away you move. Some may rely on complex algorithms to accomplish this, but what makes Antonio’s work so special is that it comes from his creative thought processes and keen attention to detail. One word: wow!

More mosaics here and here and here.

Via village9991.it and Behance

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Trash versus treasure is all relative, as everyone pretty much knows by now. Rhode Island-based artist Tom Deininger takes the old adage to heart through his remarkable collage work. From idealistic landscapes (one of which is inspired by Impressionist master Monet), to detailed portraiture, to denim seascapes, to large-scale commissions, Deininger truly transforms found, often discarded, objects into things of beauty and awe. We imagine his workspace to look like The Island of Misfit Toys. It takes true skill, an acute sense of space and color, to compose these stunning pieces. To say that Deininger is an accomplished collage artist is an understatement. Incredible work.

More killer collage work here, here and here.

Via tomdeiningerart.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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