The first fantastically pliable medium we ever enjoyed sloppily sculpting with our teeth, molding around our gums, and blowing joyful pockets of life into, is the perfect subject matter for artist Julie Randall, whose entire body of work teeters between mystical and marvelously grotesque.
“Blown,” her most recent series, is a deep meditation on, yes, chewing gum: it’s strange shapely pleasure, born from a certain oral fixation which moves beyond youth and into darker more cryptic mouths.
With your face close to Jacob Everett‘s ball point pen drawings, you’ll notice they look very similar to the endless swirling pen marks of a distracted mind. The kind of meaningless doodles we may do while speaking on the phone. If you zoom out, however, the doodles turn into detailed portraits of celebrities. For his Well Known Faces series, Everett painstakingly arranges the tiny swirls to create huge portraits. First, he sketches and graphs his subjects before layering them in swirls section by section. He says of his work:
“I am interested in the contrast between the minute, repetitive mark-making and the highly personal image that is created. The process is similar to mass production. I work from photographs, concentrating on one section of the face at a time. Over several shifts spent in this way, the work culminates in a finished product which is, paradoxically, an authentic and personal portrait.”
Initially inspired by an accidental discovery of Marilyn Monroe’s image embedded within the frames of Shinobi—a classic SEGA console game from 1987 Japan—Atlanta-based artist Ashley Anderson‘s multi-media exploration of the icon’s 8-bit image skims across the realm of painting, drawing, collage and animated gifs. The glitchy, pixelled-out nature of the images is indicative of Anderson’s 8-bit aesthetic, but this new body of work somehow begins to morph, to twist, and to move into something more obscure. Loaded with fragments of late 1980′s digital culture, some pieces only offer the faintest recollection of the image, requiring a bit more visual extraction to pull out the digitally reduced visage of Warhol’s Marilyn. As a whole, the investigation is an intriguing peek into the nature of digital reproduction and image appropriation.
Proliferations of mixtape-themed things exist in the art & design world, having hit a high point in the mid-2000′s—where images of “vintage” cassette tapes covered everything from pillow cases to USB drives. What got lost somewhere in there was the sentiment that was originally attached to the archaic plastic medium, the sense of pride that comes from crafting (and usually gifting) someone with a perfect, personal selection of songs. Portland-based illustrator Kate Bingaman-Burt has embarked on a long-running series of mixtape drawings, where she picks up long-since discarded cassettes and makes a quick, humorous sketch…and she’s taken submissions for the project for a while now. As a series, the fresh, expressive drawings reveal an intriguing cross-section of personalities, musical tastes and long-lost good intentions.
San Francisco based artist Ryan De La Hoz has expanded upon his ink and paper cut practice to include laser cut sculptures made with hand manipulated found imagery, textile works, and pieces made from custom fabricated puzzles that have been meticulously disassembled and rearranged to form dynamic compositions. This new media is presented along with his signature hand cut paper and ink works for the first time in his new solo exhibition What New Mystery Is This at RVCA SF. The exhibition presents a fractured alternate history where statues warp and pulsate alongside dizzying Op-Art. The exhibition is on view daily 11 – 7 through May 25th at RVCA | VASF 1485 Haight St San Francisco, CA 94117. Photos: Sami Naffziger.
At a time when makers have more tools at their fingertips than ever before, it’s intriguing to see an artist dedicated to perfecting the use of the most basic, universal medium: pencil on paper. The delicate, slowly unraveling works of Bay Area artist Claire Colette showcase a deep understanding and intimacy with her chosen medium. The works are an investigation of fragmentation—reminiscent of destroyed VHS film, magazine clippings or even slightly fragmented memories. The works reveal the artist’s interest in capturing, remixing and representing an instantaneous moment, despite the fact that each piece is slowly and meticulously rendered in graphite.
Angela Dalinger’s illustrations are difficult not to fall in love with. They are funny, whimsical, strangely stiff, and make us nostalgic for our own lofty teenage renditions of music, art, and adulthood.
The playful bio on her website only adds to the cryptic childlike mystique-
“I’m 29. I live in a very small town very close to Hamburg since I escaped from there. I am busy working on my career in illustration, means I’m mostly busy painting and drawing and being nuts. I’m born as Sandra Angela Wichmann and use my artist name since 2 years, simply because I really hate my real surname.”
The work of Italian artist Franco Clun may lead you to believe he’s a photographer. Clun’s artwork, though, are created simply by putting pencil to paper. Clun carefully crafts each drawing to an unbelievable realism. Each drawing he completes seems to expand on the skill of the previous one. He says, “For each new drawing I dedicate more time and attention and I try to push forward my technical limitations. I learn something new every time I take a pencil in my hand.” [via]