Archives for posts with tag: Superman

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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We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again… the proliferation of superhero movies in recent years has spawned all sorts of superhero art (here and here and here), which we are generally fond of. If art is a barometer for cultural consciousness, then fantasy and escapism seem to be at the forefront of people’s thoughts lately. Dubai-based fashion and portrait photographer Martin Beck, however, looks at these extraordinary characters and personas as rather ordinary, beyond their colorful costumes. Beck’s series, We Can Be Heroes, is a collection of superbly gritty portraits of regular people with regular struggles, who might not otherwise be viewed as heroes. Beck, in his own words: “When we think of superheroes, we think of perfect bodies and beautiful faces., achieving unbelievable feats. There are people we idealize as characters that can do no wrong and only seem to exist in our daydreams. This project tries to humanize superheroes. Despite our flaws and failures, each of us, in our own way, can be heroes to our family, our friends, our colleagues and we all have the potential to help others. My Heroes are regular people not restricted by race, religion or beliefs. They live among us, they surround us, they are everywhere. Everyone is a superhero.”

Via martinbeckphotography.com

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It seems as if we are currently in the golden age of superheroes, at least if the release of major motion pictures is a gauge. These characters seem so pervasive in popular culture today, not just in the US but worldwide, that inspired works of art are almost inevitable. French photographer Sacha Goldberger really raises the bar with his phenomenal series Super Flemish. Goldberger uses not only superheroes, but also science-fiction and a few other characters from popular fantasies, and poses some intriguing questions: What if Superman was born in the sixteenth century? What if the Hulk was a Duke? How might Van Eyck have portrayed Snow White? And he answers them beautifully in this mashup of modern day superheroes, Flemish painting techniques and Elizabethan-era fashion. These works are really quite exquisite, and certainly thought-provoking. Well done, Mr. Goldberger!

This series is slightly reminiscent of work by British artist Steve Payne. More superhero related posts here and here and here.

Via sachabada.com

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UK-based illustrator/designer Andy Fairhurst has amazing artistic abilities, specifically in the realm of what he refers to as “digital painting”, his tools of the trade being his iMac, digital pen and tablet. He also has a strong affinity for science-fiction and fantasy. Together these talents and interests have given birth to quite a body of work in a style all Fairhurst’s own. There’s a common stylistic thread throughout his works that we really love, and his sense of composition is particularly striking. Reimagining movie posters is a long tradition (as exhibited here and here and here), and Fairhurst’s work is among some of the best we’ve seen.

Via andyfairhurstart.com

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It is often said that artists and writers reflect on their own lives and experiences through their work. If that’s the case here, French illustrator/designer Belhoula Amir has felt lots of isolation in his life. Or he’s just very adept at telling stories that put our place in the world in a unique perspective through his beautiful pictures. Either way, these series of works, under the umbrella title Alone, is striking. Amir’s use of color and space speak volumes, in terms of his storytelling. He has even introduced well known superheroes to his work by capitalizing on existing narrative to reinforce his theme. And it works brilliantly. Well done. Prints available here.

Via a-bel.com

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Superheroes are often revered not only for their remarkable abilities, but also their superior body types and physiques. Chicago-based artist/illustrator Alex Solis turns that perception on its head in this fantastically funny series (which has actually expanded beyond superheroes to feature #famouschunkies). We love how Solis captures the essence of each character, so they are instantly recognizable, but super-sizes their bodies in a strangely endearing way. Some might say that this vision is a more cerebral endeavor… social commentary on American culture and our obesity epidemic. But somehow, we think Solis is using his own super talents to invoke a little laughter into our day. Mission accomplished! We can’t wait to see more.

Via Instagram

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We try to be discriminating about the superhero art we share. There’s so much out there, you really have to sift through. But this incredible series of infographics for Mashable is great on several levels. Not only do we love the illustration (by Bob Al-Greene) and design (by Emil Lendof), the research is fascinating. We just wanna know, amid all this government shutdown talk, why don’t they pay taxes? Well done!

Via Bahance

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Croatian-born, Melbourne, Australia-Based designer Josip Kelava is wildly talented. He has a very specific aesthetic style that really resonates with us. Kelava’s sense of typography is phenomenal, and paired with his excellent illustration skills, this series of superheroes and villains really shines. The way the illustrations interact with the type adds some great dimension.

Via josipkelava.com

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Superheroes (and villains) are often depicted in all their idealized glory. But French artist/illustrator/designer Grégoire Guillemin’s unique perspective is rather striking. Not just for their (highly effective) pop art style, but for his depictions of everyday life, and sometimes compromising situations. Guillemin’s sense of humor shines through these outstanding illustrations (prints for sale here).

Via greg-guillemin.com

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Though these photos probably don’t do them justice, British contemporary artist Joe Black’s large-scale compositions are stunning. Composed of thousands of small objects, such as Lego bricks, ball bearings, plastic toy soldiers, buttons and badges, these pieces are not simply visually stimulating, but also thought provoking. The Captain America likeness of Black’s piece titled “Carry Your Own Sins Missy” is composed of 1,478 handmade badges of collected imagery, from Elvis and Disney cartoons to the Vietnam War. In his own words, “The iconic image of Captain America encapsulates the idea of America as the hero nation. However, within the image we glimpse the conflicts and contradictions of the all-American dream.” Similarly, the Superman likeness is made up of 1,389 badges of Western cultural imagery interspersed with corporate logos, fast food and obesity. Black has an incredible eye for tonal composition. We only wish we could see these in person… spectacular work.

Via mrjoeblack.com

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