Archives for posts with tag: pop culture

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

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

Barcelona design firm Hey Studio has a thing for pop culture and illustration. They married these two loves into a fruitful serial project (others here and here and here) that has boosted their social media presence to over 50K Instagram followers. Though the project, called EveryHey, seems to have since ceased, Hey Studio posted over 400 minimalist illustrations of a very wide variety of pop culture figures, from Prince to Parker Lewis, to Baywatch babes to Beyoncé. We love Hey Studio’s bold, colorful style, and their smart choice of details to make each illustration just recognizable. This is a very small sampling, so be sure to check out the entire collection online or in their EveryHey book (available here).

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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Initially drawn in by typographic papercraft, we quickly realized the portfolio of Lobulo was a treasure trove if dynamic designs. Splitting time between London and Barcelona, Lobulo Design is actually just one man: Javier Rodríguez García. His penchant for working with paper has gained him much respect, and even a viral following online. The well-produced short videos he posts on social media give a nice behind-the-scenes glimpse at Lobule in action, feeding that central hunger for all-access documentation (see some below). The intricacy of Lobulo’s work is striking, and his sense of color and space outstanding. We especially appreciate work that is outside of our comfort zone, and this certainly falls into that category. Just awesome.

Via lobulodesign.com

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Nostalgia is a prominent theme in art and design… simply a reflection of the human experience and human nature in general. We’ve seen it take many forms time and time again. Our latest find is a “bit” unexpected (no pun intended). Taking larger-than-life personas of rap and hip-hop artists, and minimizing them into pixelated 8-bit graphics may seem counterintuitive in this age of lifelike 3D avatars and such. But curiously enough, it works. This ever-growing collection of 8-bit characters is the brainchild of young UK artist A.Mulli (aka Adam Mulligan). A.Mulli’s low-res portraits pay homage to vintage arcade games like Street Fighter and Donkey Kong, imagining current hip-hop artists and rappers and other famous figures through the lens of a 1980s arcade character. Below are a few of our favorites. Keep ‘em coming, A.Mulli!

Via Instagram

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The late great David Bowie has been a cornerstone of pop culture for decades. So it’s no surprise that visual artists around the world have paid tribute to him and his chameleon-like persona over the years. Here’s a sampling of some of our favorites. R.I.P. David Bowie

 

Pablo Lobato (Buenos Aires)
Via Flickr
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Vincent Altamore (New Jersey, USA)
Via Blogspot

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Ed Chapman (London) see previous post here
Via edchapman-mosaics.co.uk

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Marta Zawadzka (Poland)
Via martagallery.com

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Steve Payne (UK) see previous post here
Via Tumblr

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Karen Clark (New Jersey, USA)
Via Facebook

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Disney characters are often the subject of artwork in this particularly pop culture-centric moment in time (here and here and here), so it’s no surprise that someone has envisioned what Disney royalty might look like in “real life”. And that someone is Melbourne, Australia-based Finnish designer/illustrator/art director/photo manipulator Jirka Vinse Jonatan Väätäinen. The rise of live-action Disney fairytail movies in recent years has certainly increased public consciousness about these beloved characters, but Väätäinen depicts a much wider variety with astounding results. Gathering an assortment of photos online, Väätäinen digitally blends them together and manipulates them in such a way that looks natural and realistic. It’s an interpretation, of course, but pretty spot-on in our opinion. His work has been floating around the internet for years, and his newly released set of princes has regenerated interest in his excellent work. Just a sampling here, so be sure to check out Väätäinen’s site for the full collection. Magical, indeed.

Via jirkavinse.com

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The decorative art of mosaics dates back thousands of years, yet this art form never ceases to amaze us (here and here and here). Artists continue to find new ways to push boundaries, creating intricate photorealistic works with a variety of materials. One such master is British mosaic artist Ed Chapman. Influenced by artists like Chuck Close, Robert Rauschenberg, and Jamie Reid, Chapman works with a variety of materials to create some incredible pieces, often inspired by music, movies, and pop culture in general. One particularly notable piece is Chapman’s Jimi Hendrix portrait comprised of thousands of Fender guitar picks. It was auctioned off several years ago for £23,000 (over $37,000) at Abbey Road Studios in London as part of Cancer Research’s Sound & Vision fundraiser. Chapman also creates works commissioned by private art collectors and corporations from around the world.

Via edchapman-mosaics.co.uk

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The landing page of Baltimore-based artist Joshua Budich’s website simply states “born to illustrate.” That’s a loaded declaration, but Budich certainly has the goods to back it up. His eclectic body of work is quite impressive, with an obvious love for pop culture. His style is reminiscent of comic book art, which lends itself to his familiar subjects from television, movies and music. Budich relies heavily on line work, and achieves some great, expressive details without overdoing it, or looking like he simply traced celebrities. He also has a great eye for composition and color, making his work recognizable now that we’re familiar with it (prints for sale here).

Via joshuabudich.com

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