British artist Mitch Griffiths‘ work is inspired by the light and the composition of the Old Masters, but his context and content depict issues that concern modern culture. In his work, Griffiths addresses the disposable nature of contemporary culture by immortalizing this transience with the perceived permanence of the painting medium. His figurative portraits are dark and foreboding and often turbulent. The drama depicted in his paintings, though contemporary, feels universal, historical, and personal. Though many of his images resonate with religious iconography, the “symbolism reflects a modern quest for redemption from the overriding self-obsession and consumerism of contemporary society, with its vanity and greed, addictions and needless suffering.”
For Portable Cities, Chinese artist Yin Xiuzhen constructs small-scale cities out of discarded clothing and other fabric inside suitcases that she also equips with speakers, giving each city its own soundtrack. Each suitcase also has a small hole you can peer into to see an actual map of the constructed city. For installations, Xiuzhen maps the cities with string on the gallery wall. Xiuzhen was inspired by her own travels, waiting for her luggage, and the sense that she was traveling with her home. Some of the cities she has constructed include Berlin, Vancouver, Seattle, New York, and her hometown of Beijing.
“People in our contemporary setting have moved from residing in a static environment to becoming souls in a constantly shifting transience. The suitcase becomes the life support container of modern living…” she told Walker Art. “The holder of the continuous construction of a human entity.” via
In 2011, Danny Choo with Culture Japan visited a place called Clone Factory in Akihabara, Japan in order to have his clone made. The clones are not made from human DNA, but are created using 3D image captures and effects to map facial shapes and measurements. Once the computer has digitally builds the 3D image of a face, the image can then be printed by a 3D printer. These clones are printed using layers of ink which harden in a plaster mold before getting cleaned up with small tools and pressurized air. A few days after Choo’s session, he received his clone, the head of which his producer stuck onto the body of a stormtrooper. Clone Factory can clone just about any solid object, and you can expect to pay around 138,000 yen, or around $1500 USD, for your clone.
Spanish artist Mario Soria creates stunning collage-esque paintings of iconic American images and figures such as Andy Warhol, Woody Allen, Marlene Dietrich, Audrey Hepburn, Sophia Loren, John F. Kennedy, and Abraham Lincoln. His portraits are hyper-realistic, but the seemingly random array of objects and contexts he places these figures within lends the work some eccentricity, a sense that is heightened by his use of embellished canvases and the simulated 3D effect of some of these protrusions.
Erik Ravelo‘s photo series Los Intocables, or The Untouchables, captures children pinned up crucifixion style against the backs of adult authority figures. “The Right to Childhood Should Be Protected” subheads the title of this provocative series that addresses the responsibility of adult figures with regard to the harming of children in various contexts. Ravelo places the children at the forefront of issues such as military occupation, tourism, healthcare, religion, and school violence, asking viewers to consider the potential for abuse within these issues and institutions. More photos and a short video after the jump.
Since 2003 Judith Ann Braun has been experimenting with a new artistic medium and a set of rules: Symmetry, abstraction, and a carbon medium (usually charcoal or graphite). Braun’s work, Fingerings, entails the use of her fingers in lieu of more traditional tools in order to create intricate and bilaterally symmetrical designs, sometimes covering an entire wall. The details of her sweeping landscapes are also all perfectly symmetrical. For some of these works, Braun will use both hands simultaneously to help create the symmetrical effect she wishes to execute. Braun lives in New York City and was a contestant on Bravo TV’s “Work of Art” in 2010.
Victor Rodriguez‘s acrylic paintings defy the simplistic categorization of the hyperrealistic or photorealistic. His work includes surrealistic, abstract, and cinematic elements, giving a fresh feel to the realist aesthetic. Portraiture is often his style, though he alternates between representations of still-life objects and human figures. Using realistic imagery within a dream-like context, Rodriguez’s work offers viewers a peek into a finely-detailed, deeply personal narrative.
Sarah Rosado, a self-taught illustrator and photographer, has recently implemented the medium of dirt scavenged from New York City’s parks to create quirky and playful images for her most recent project, Dirty Little Secrets. Oftentimes, she will accessorize the dirty images to give them a 3D effect and render them more realistic. She sets her dirty images against a stark white background, playing with the contrast of dirty/clean. A simple concept with a graceful execution.