Our penchant for serial works never diminishes. There’s just something about the natural order of things that is so satisfying. Glasgow-based illustrator/designer Jack Daly taps into that systemization while exploring his love of illustration, typography, and travel with his aptly titled Wanderlust Alphabet. And we have to say, the results, so far, are pretty great. It goes without saying that Daly is a terrific artist, and his adept use of color and sense of composition really make each of these pieces sing. Having just tackled the very beginning of the alphabet so far, Daly differentiates each letter/city with signature landmarks, architecture, local customs, etc. We are really taken with Daly’s style and cannot wait to see this alphabet grow. The possibilities are endless! In the meantime, prints available here.
Via Behance and Instagram
It is often said that art has a way of transporting viewers, whether conjuring past memories or sometimes through the immersion of visual stimulation. In the case of London-based Japanese photographer Chino Otsuka, such transport is a bit more literal, and turned on herself as both photographer and subject. Otsuka’s series Imagine Finding Me is a sort of conceptual time machine, where she digitally inserts herself into childhood photos. In her own words, Otsuka says, “A new journey has begun, on board a time machine built from digital tools. I’m traveling back, transported to places where I once belonged, cities where I once visited and on arrival I find myself from the past. Navigating through the labyrinth of memory I become a tourist of my own history. And throughout this unique journey I keep a diary.” We are absolutely taken with the concept, but it’s Otsuka’s adept skills with said digital tools that really make this series shine. In the hands of a less capable photographer, this would not have been nearly as effective. Huge success any way you look at it.
Some “tree huggers” may view paper art (here and here and here) as a gratuitous use of precious paper. But Spanish paper artist Malena Valcárcel may just have found a way to please art lovers and environmentalists alike. Valcárcel “upcycles” discarded or recycled books into quite beautiful sculptures. She is astoundingly self-taught, and her work is intricate and delicate in a way that serves the fine print of her chosen medium (printed matter) really well. She even utilizes lighting in some of her pieces, which adds an entirely new magical dimension. In her own words, “My main inspirations come from nature and everyday life, and I often return to certain ideas again and again. Flowers, trees, butterflies, houses, clouds … without forgetting the sea, really fascinate me. Turning books into sculptures, cutting and shaping paper into different shapes or abstract forms never ceases to amaze me, and when the work is finished, just contemplating it brings a smile to my face. Making things has always been incredibly important to me and it is often an amazing release to get it out of my system. It’s a joy to hunt for things for my work…the lost, found and forgotten all have places in what I make. Most of my pieces use recycled materials, not only as an ethical statement, but I believe they add more authenticity and charm.” Charming, indeed.
Via Behance and Etsy
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.”
At first glance, one might deduce that this series of vivid, eye-catching photos is for some high-brow fashion campaign, or conceptual art project. Much to our surprise and delight, they are actually part of a bold print and outdoor advertising campaign from a few years back, entitled Adaptation, for, of all things, Barcelona City Council. That’s right, government, more or less. Shot by acclaimed Spanish photographer Paco Peregrín, and art directed by London-based Conor Cronin, this campaign is so different from what we’d expect from anything remotely bureaucratic, that’s it’s certainly attention getting, and even slightly refreshing. Could you even imagine a campaign like this for your local city council? Perhaps Spaniards are more culturally and artistically evolved. Or maybe the aesthetic sophistication juxtaposed with a purpose, though noble, rather mundane, was exactly the point. Either way, we’re talking about it thousands of miles away, and that is impressive by any measure.
Via pacoperegrin.com and conorcronin.com