Archives for posts with tag: Politics

Some could argue that our Commander in Chief would be better suited for monarchy than a democracy (Jimmy Kimmel certainly thinks so, here). But the tomfoolery of New Jersey-based designer and Photoshop extraordinaire Michal Krauthamer is just that. Photoshop shenanigans created simply for your amusement. Krauthamer’s ongoing series TrumpQueen is not about political commentary, but simply a fun exercise in Photoshop face swapping. And Krauthamer does it masterfully, we must acknowledge. Go ahead and laugh. It’s okay. Really. Here are some of our favorites.

Via michalkrauthamer.com

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Italian photographer Dan Bannino is a consummate storyteller with a particular penchant for still life and commercial photography. Much of his work could just as easily find a home on a gallery wall as in the pages of a mass market magazine, like National Geographic, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Cosmopolitan and many others. With his terrific Power and Food series, Bannino explores the eating habits of powerful and influential people from around the world. In our celebrity-obsessed culture any glimpse “behind the curtain,” so to speak, is valued. A look into the private lives of public figures, no matter how brief or inconsequential, makes us feel a little closer to them. Bannino’s series capitalizes on that curiosity, with his vibrant and arresting images. We particularly love his compositions and bold style. In his own words, Bannino states, “If you’re a fast food aficionado or a pizza freak, you have more in common with Mr. Donald J. Trump, and Pope Francis himself than you ever imagined. Check out some of the most unexpected food patterns of the world’s leaders, and you’ll never eat the same way again.”

Via danbannino.com

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It is said that art is often an honest reflection of societal issues at large. History shows that for centuries art has been a sort of barometer, documenting larger issues through the lens of the artist. This certainly holds true for the work of Italian artist Alessandro Rabatti. His series Facebank serves as commentary for the very uncertain financial state of the world today, with a humorous bent, of course. Rabatti alters iconic faces on currency (related posts here and here and here) from around the world, “disguising” them as fictional superheroes. Despite the seemingly fun nature of these pieces, Rabatti’s intent and message is likely much deeper. For one, by altering the faces of these historical figures to look like familiar comic book characters with a rich (albeit fictional) history of their own, Rabatti remarks on their economic and political status, looking to them as possible “saviors” of the global economic crisis. There is an implied trust in these figures, both real and fictional, so the dialogue Rabatti initiates with this series could really go on and on. Oh, and these works are just plain cool looking. From conception to execution, we’d say Rabatti has creative super powers of his own.

Via alessandrorabatti.com

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On this Election Day, we bring you some of our favorite works inspired by this historic election season. In order: Boston-based artist and collage master Molly Scannell; Brooklyn-based artist and educator David Hollier; Nashville-based artist and sculptor Herb Williams (previous posts here and here); Brazilian artist Butcher Billy (previous post here); Nashville-based (Rochester-born) painter Kristin Llamas. Politics as the subject of art has never been more prevalent. Whether it be the polarizing nature of this particular presidential election, or the reach of social media (probably both, actually), talented artists from all over the country and world have been churning our artwork inspired by this moment in history. Let’s just hope everyone is as energized to vote. Go vote!

Via Instagram, Instagram, Flickr, Behance and kllamas.com

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We are compelled to check in on the work of renowned Russian illustrator/graphic designer Eiko Ojala every so often (here and here) because he’s just so good. Ojala’s style is distinct… we now recognize it from a mile away. These are truly mixed media endeavors, mixing digital illustration, paper textures, and both real and artificial shadows. His adept sense of color, composition and depth are hallmarks of his incredible body of work, which includes illustrations for a variety of impressive clients including The New York Times, National Geographic Traveler Magazine, Herman Miller, Harvard Business Review, Scientific American Mind, Ebony Magazine and The New Yorker. Here’s a sampling of some of his more recent work, including a children’s book he recently illustrated (available for purchase here). Enjoy.

Via ploom.tv

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On the heals of a dark and bizarre U.S. presidential debate the other night, and the seemingly endless campaign (thankfully) coming to a close in exactly four weeks, we thought it fitting to take a look at artwork with world leaders as subject matter. This is, of course, not regal portraiture hung in the Smithsonian in gilded frames. Israeli illustrator/designer/artist Amit Shimoni’s Hipstory series reimagines world leaders (wanna-be and actual), past and present, is hipsters from all walks of life, complete with piercings, facial hair, and all sorts of hairdos. We appreciate that Simoni’s work (for sale here) is free of political agenda, but rather casts these larger-than-life figures in a new, fresh light. Simply fun and a bit thought-provoking.

Via shimoni-illustration.com

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Fresh on the minds of Americans in this spirited election season, and following last night’s first presidential debate, Donald Trump has firmly cemented his Q Rating (whether favorable or not) into the public consciousness. It should come as no surprise, then, when artwork reflects current affairs (related posts here and here). We’ve discussed the awesome and thought-provoking work of Brazilian artist Butcher Billy not long ago (here), and thought it fitting to share his recent series featuring Trump. Butcher Billy’s skill is clear, and this homage to Belgian surrealist René Magritte, aptly titled Trump X Magritte: The Surrealist Series, draws on his keen sense of color and composition. As Butcher Billy says himself, “Because nothing is more surreal than The Donald.”

Via Behance

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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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Given the somber mood surrounding all things politics and money in Europe, particularly Greece, this installation street art, fittingly titled “Crisis”, is especially relevant. Conceived and created by Madrid-based artist SpY, and installed in a central neighborhood in the city of Bilbao, the piece consists of 1000€ (almost $2,000) in 2 cent coins making up the word “CRISIS” on an outdoor wall. Not totally surprising, passersby helped themselves to the money, and all the coins disappeared in less than 24 hours. In some ways, that feels like blatant defacing of public art, but in other ways, that was likely expected and part of the point to begin with. SpY seems very much in touch with the political climate around him, and we love his out-of-the-box creativity. There’s good reason he’s been making such relevant urban art since the mid-eighties. In his own words, his work “involves the appropriation of urban elements through transformation or replication, commentary on urban reality, and the interference in its communicative codes…. a parenthesis in the automated inertia of the urban dweller. They are pinches of intention, hidden in a corner for whoever wants to let himself be surprised. Filled with equal parts of irony and positive humor, they appear to raise a smile, incite reflection, and to favor an enlightened conscience.”

Via spy-urbanart.com

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Some of the best, most thought-provoking art and design is best viewed from a variety of angles. In fact, the work of Brooklyn-based artist Michael Murphy relies on varying vantage points. Murphy’s large-scale, complex structures are profoundly awe-inspiring (these photos surely don’t do them justice, they are best viewed in person). His multi-layered, multi-dimensional sculptures consist of suspended objects that, when viewed from different perspectives, reveal something more. Murphy explains, “[my] large-scale works seek to dominate the viewer’s physical and mental space, captivating the critical thought process as one circles around the various entities that form a cohesive whole. Pieces initially experienced on a visually flat plane resonate with meaning upon closer inspection, opening up cerebral capacities to perpetual reconsideration. The mesmerizing effect of the varied angles and ingredients of [my] sculptures provoke thought, using aesthetic titillation as their gateway.” Murphy’s conceptual approach, paired with his calculated orchestration of these phenomenal installations, is a true marvel on a many levels. Wow.

Via mmike.com

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