Darren Wardle’s Day-Glo Dystopia

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Darren Wardle‘s paintings are bright and dystopian and evoke a sort of futuristic unease. There are disruptions within the formal elements of his pieces, like dripping, smeared, or seeming explosions of bright colored paint that call attention to the instability of form. I am drawn to the technical skill of the buildings’ architectures contrasted with the artificiality captured with the use of the saturated, day-glo color palette. Wardle is from Australia, but it was during his residency in Los Angeles that he became inspired by the city’s landscape, and created these stunning pieces.

According to Art Collector, Wardle says his work is “meant to be both beautiful and terrible…My work is basically what I see, taken to an extreme. I’m always looking at things through a dystopian prism, but I’m hoping it won’t turn out that way.” His artist statement elaborates, “The points where analog and digital technology meet in painting are similar to where the natural and the synthetic meet in our everyday experience of constructed space. The structural disintegration, or renovation, deployed in my work embodies a generalized anxiety about architecture under threat from an unspecified force, be that natural or man-made.” Of his portrait painting series titled “Head Case,” Wardle explains, “There is a connection between the psychological interior and representations of interior space. At a subconscious level the room is a projection of our own skin and is a metaphor for the interior self.”

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Base Camp Bonn Youth Hostel Hosts Thematically Redesigned Caravans

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German hotel owner Michael Bonner has transformed a 600 square meter vacant warehouse into Base Camp Bonn Youth Hostel, an indoor landscape of 15 refurbished and themed caravans. Each caravan’s space is uniquely detailed and designed to reflect a particular era or theme, such as the “Hausboot,” “Flower Power,” and “Big Ben.” The hostel also plays host to two U.S. airstreams and two German railway cars that can accommodate small groups. This concept creates a charming community space for guests from all over the country. Prices vary per size and sleeping capacity, but start at EUR 54 per night. (via design boom)

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Eduard Bezembinder’s Collage Art Seamlessly Combines Disparate Imagery

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I couldn’t find much about Dutch artist Eduard Bezembinder‘s work (most likely due to a language barrier and a seemingly sparse but fun website), but his Flickr page is full of interesting painting, drawing, graphic design, and collage art. Additionally, his Saatchi profile claims he is “one of the first art bloggers.” I love these particular collages because the image integration is nearly seamless, which increases the absurdity to be found in these juxtapositions. Heavily featuring a mix of mythical, classical, and pop culture elements that represent interactions between the animal and the human, these collages are both nostalgic and humorous. (via feru leru)

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Michael Wolf’s Hypnotic Photographs Document Hong Kong’s Architectural Density

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For his series, “The Architecture of Density,” German photographer Michael Wolf captures the intense suffocating density of the city of Hong Kong. The framing of the buildings and apartment units creates a flattened, patterned image with details of individual residencies apparent only on closer inspection. The result is an abstraction that gives the appearance of infinity, as if these incredibly compact and dense structures never end. Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated metropolitan areas in the world, with an overall density of around 6,700 people per square kilometer, a fact you may recall from a previously featured photography series of the city’s cramped slums.

Wolf’s work is primarily concerned with urban landscapes and places, not always in such an objective, distanced manner. His series, Tokyo Compression, captures Tokyo subway users’ faces pressed up onto the glass of the subway car, a result of the overcrowding of this form of transportation. No matter the proximity to his subjects, Wolf offers a new perspective on the movement and energy of city life in his documentation of its density. (via curious history)

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Sergio Albiac’s Computer Program Combines Chance And Control To Generate Portraits

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Barcelona based artist Sergio Albiac creates these abstract portraits by writing computer programs that generate images, always including code that will randomly generate some aspect of the results. Through this medium of expression, Albiac has found a captivating balance of control and randomness, such as the portraits of Rimbaud and Neruda created from their words and signatures.

Albiac explains his process, “When I code a generative sketch, I introduce control (the sentences that govern the sketching action) and also a degree of randomness in the code. This is a machine control/randomness balance. Then, I select certain outputs (again, human control) and I paint a canvas using the selected generative images as an starting point, without the aim of exact reproduction. The act of painting is a struggle between control and randomness because, depending of the painting technique, paint behavior cannot be totally controlled by the painter. In this way, I explore a fascinating “dialogue” between control/randomness and machine/human interaction. It makes sense to me. I feel connected to artistic tradition but using the generative sketchbook process, I can create in a very contemporary and innovative way that deeply reflects the ideas I need to express.”

You can see more at his tumblr and Flickr pages.

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Alec Huxley’s Cinematically Surreal Sci-Fi Narratives

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San Francisco based artist Alec Huxley‘s large and cinematic sci-fi paintings are filled with noir-influenced contrast. Both bleak and bright, his paintings largely take place in urban or desert landscapes of the American West Coast and are representative of both science fiction and surrealist inspired narratives that often include animal figures. Huxley’s use of light throughout his compositions lend his work a realism that is rather haunting, and reminds me of something you’d find in an apocalyptic comic book narrative. His solo exhibition, “Astronomical Menagerie,” is described below and currently on view at the Minna Gallery in San Francisco until October 26th:

“At the witching hour, fashionable figures in space helmets rendezvous with wild beasts in the empty streets of San Francisco. As animals are central to our perception of humanity, relationships of power and domination juxtapose with naked reminders of human frailty. Confident in our ingenuity, we float about cities at the apex of species. Absent our imagination and material protections, we stand vulnerable beside creatures functioning solely to survive.” (via exhibition-ism)

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Leaves Transformed Into Fashion Illustrations

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Malaysian based artist and designer Tang Chiew Ling creates illustrations using unconventional illustration materials. Using things like cotton and leaves, Ling will create a fashion illustration around these objects, recontextualizing them into an interesting new design. For these particular illustrations, Ling uses the natural beauty and curves of leaves found in her garden and in drains to illustrate high-end fashion for various models. With her careful and deliberate arrangement of decaying and dead leaves, Ling transforms nature into fashion. (via design boom)

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Nick Brandt’s Photos Of The Tanzanian Lake That Turns Animals Into Stone

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In his new book, Across the Ravaged Land, photographer Nick Brandt features petrified animal remains found along a lake in Northern Tanzania that contains lethal levels of alkaline.

Brandt explains, “I unexpectedly found the creatures – all manner of birds and bats – washed up along the shoreline of Lake Natron in Northern Tanzania. No-one knows for certain exactly how they die, but it appears that the extreme reflective nature of the lake’s surface confuses them, and like birds crashing into plate glass windows, they crash into the lake. The water has an extremely high soda and salt content, so high that it would strip the ink off my Kodak film boxes within a few seconds. The soda and salt causes the creatures to calcify, perfectly preserved, as they dry.

I took these creatures as I found them on the shoreline, and then placed them in ‘living’ positions, bringing them back to ‘life’, as it were. Reanimated, alive again in death.” (via gizmondo)

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