London based illustrator Laura Gee’s playful and quirky illustrations are a bit clunky in all the right places. With funny quotes and tender figures they are perfect for everything from print brochures, to your next neon colored t-shirt.
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Los Angeles has always held a special place in the hearts and minds of Americans, but for most it exists in an almost fictional capacity. Hollywood isn’t a real place – it’s a postcard, a huge sign on the side of a mountain bracketed with strategically placed palm tree silhouettes. Certainly not a place to call home, but for artist Justin John Greene that’s exactly what it is. Hollywood is a part of his heritage, and the work reflects that. Born and raised in the Los Angeles area, Greene’s work is strongly imbued with the history of the most romanticized industry in American culture. In his most recent solo show at Actual Size (an exhibition space he co-runs in the Chinatown gallery district of east L.A.) the influence of the film industry is in full focus. You Oughta Be In Pictures is a comprehensive installation that utilizes painting, sculpture, and video to create a truly immersive experience for the viewer. Installation may seem like a bit of a leap from Greene’s primarily two dimensional practice, but a closer look into the artist’s process bridges the gap seamlessly. His work is a distinctly enjoyable blend of sly historical references, direct compositional tactics, and cleverly applied humor. If you have the opportunity to see the work in person I strongly encourage you to do so.
Andrea Petrachi (aka Himatic) creates android-like sculptural figures out of miscellaneous found objects like toys and cameras. They remind me of those creepy doll things that the kid from Toy Story put together, with a little RAMELLZEE “Letter Racer” style thrown in. Petrachi describes his work as a “symbol of our out-of-control desire to buy things”. There definitely is a lot of “stuff” that we go through that just sits around forever after we buy it. In a way, this project gives forgotten items a second life. They’re also cool to look at. Andrea Petrachi is based in Milan. (via)
More than a year ago, photographer Ruben Brulat set out on a journey from Europe to Asia by land only, through Iraq, Iran, onto Afghanistan, Tibet until Indonesia, Japan and Mongolia. The map below outlines the route that Brulat carved out for himself, marked with places where he briefly parallelled the paths of other travelers. His new series, “Paths,” is a collection of portraits the artist took of the strangers he met along the way. Brulat makes a concerted effort to capture each subject completely exposed in the natural setting where they crossed paths, prompting them to surrender themselves completely to the landscape.
According to the artist, he envisions the series as “a narrative constructed only by the randomness of the encounter, places and body—meeting with utopia and hope in these only suspended moments. [These are] bodies of people that became friends, performing, not without difficulties, leaving wounds, marks, and souvenirs from a time before heading towards different paths, after sharing one for a while.”
Fionn McCabe’s tongue-in-cheek comic illustrations poke fun at the way art is received today. In “The Whole Thing” he seems to be criticizing the over-analyzing – and sometimes pretentious – art patrons, that can get in the way of artists’ real messages. (Though, ironically, this can only be gleaned by examining his work.) Though his more recent projects are more graphic in nature, his older works prove that he is also deft with more traditional mediums.
Chuck Close is best known as a photorealist painter, but he is also interested in photography. Close achieved amazing results as a hyperrealist portrait painter working from gridded photographs. Suffering from a condition known as Prosopagnosia, also known as face blindness, Close is unable to recognize faces. Because of this condition Close was drawn to painting and photographing portraits. A seizure left him partially paralyzed in 1988 and after that he continued to paint, but had to adopt new techniques.
Recently Close created a series of portraits for Vanity Fair. Close decided to use poloroids so that his subjects could immediately see the image. After every shot he and his subject viewed the photograph so they could decide what to change for the next one. “No hair, no make-up, no wardrobe, comb your own hair,” were the guidelines Close gave his subjects. He didn’t want to produce “glamour shots,” and it was important that his subjects played an active role in the process, and moreover, that they trusted him. Seeking to show the “humanity” in each of his celebrity subjects Close wasn’t concerned about flattery or status, but rather with accuracy. The results are a series of distinguished and honest portraits. Check out the Hollywood issue of Vanity Fair.