LA/Tokyo based designer Aaron W Björk’s new web project Bjorky is an experiment in saturated color, bizarre compositions, and beautifully awkward illustrations that go back and forth between abstraction and retro prints from unknown worlds. Can’t get enough of Aaron’s work? Get a copy of B/D Book Exquisite Corpse for more neon coated goodness.
When I think of Julian Schnabel I think of many things but inspiring artist mentor is not what comes to mind. However after watching this half hour documentary I just may have changed my mind. Created by HBO and non-profit YoungArts, this video documents a day of intimate mentorship with the notorious painter and filmmaker where he discusses his working process, various bodies of work, and how his flims and paintings inform one another. One of the most memorable parts of the documentary comes towards the end when Schnabel tells the teenage artists “If you’re scared, You’re fucked.” This piece of advice may seem a bit harsh but I have to admit that I’ve warmed up to Schnabel after seeing how generous he is with his advice and time without sugarcoating the harsh realities of being an artist. The students walked away from the experience excited about creating and experimenting and I think I may have as well. Watch the full documentary posted above and remember whatever you do… don’t be scared!
Retronaut recently posted a gallery of early Soviet-era Russian board game designs and illustrations. The images seem to be taken from a LiveJournal user by the name of babs71. You’ll find some seriously gorgeous propaganda here. The vintage illustrations depict workers young and old, soldiers bravely entering battle to defend the Motherland,and some nicely stylized industrial complexes. Find more hammer and sickle goodness after the jump.
Canadian artist Andre Ethier‘s oil paintings are rich with all the messiness of life. He seems to find and expose more beauty and meaning from the unsavory elements of life than the average person does from generic blue skies and roses. I remember catching some of his works in person a few years ago and each one just glowed with so much power — hobos and monsters leering and searching from behind syrupy glazes. And Ethier’s quasi still lifes, well, they’re practically wall-mounted explosives. See what I mean after the jump.
I stopped by Leon Reid IV‘s studio in Greenpoint to see what he’s been up to lately. He’s been pretty busy. Last month, he installed “100 Story House” a public art piece created in collaboration with Julia Marchesi. And he released a new sculpture series less than two weeks ago. On top of all of that, he’s in the midst of raising funds for “A Spider Lurks in Brooklyn”, his proposed project to put a giant spider between the cables of the Brooklyn Bridge during October of 2014 (you can get involved with the project here). So I was pretty psyched that he was able to make time to show me around. Leon’s been creating public art in some form or another for eighteen years now, and his studio was full of past projects and concept sketches.
Final mourning of the end of summer. Aerial photos of beaches and beach people from California-based photographer Gray Malin. These are part of a series entitled À La Plage, À La Piscine. Malin shot the pictures from the open door of a helicopter flying over beaches and pools from the U.S. to Brazil, to Australia. Reducing us to our tiniest, the photographs reveal patterns that would’ve been otherwise undiscovered. (via)
Moody, slightly surreal paintings from Swedish artist Markus Åkesson. Åkesson’s works touch on the quiet, interior relationship we have with death. But the artist doesn’t present death as the scary, violent experience that so many make it out to be, but as a peaceful, very natural phenomenon. And his use of animals and children works really nicely to heighten this impression. Åkesson is currently exhibiting work at the VIDA museum in Borgholm. (via)
Carolina Fontoura Alzaga is a multidisciplinary artist out of Los Angeles with a penchant for re-purposing castoff materials and exploring sociopolitical themes. She’s currently selling some chandeliers made from used bicycle chains at her Etsy page. You don’t even have to be into cycling to like these. The heavy chains almost give off a medieval vibe and they look like they give off some really nice, warm light. Looks like they’re being offered at some pretty affordable prices as well. (via)