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Kwang-Ho Lee’s Ultra Vivid Paintings Of Prickly Cacti Are Far Out

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Artist Kwang-Ho Lee paints cacti that are far out. His accurate renderings of the prickly plant become ultra real even alien in Lee’s environment. This has to do with the artist’s signature style which applies paint in an opaque manner to large canvases. This gives the work a heightened sense of color making them more shocking and cinematic. The colors are ultra vivid and become a heightened form of realism. When applied onto huge surfaces they jump off the canvases. The secondary pigments further highlight the type of cacti Lee favors which is hairy. Some even look similar to the Addams Family’s cousin it and little orphan Annie. Others take on phallic connotations and evoke slight dreadlock nuances.

Lee is part of a group of painters tagged as modern realists. Using an expert skill set they capture subject matter, then turn it into something else with pigment, scale and application. Other projects Lee has been involved include depicting a series of Asian family members on chairs. These resemble typical provincial settings around the dinner table waiting for the meal to end and mahjong to begin. In a more recent series the painter depicts winter forest landscapes. He separates these by depicting the areas in day and night which ultimately capture the frozen trees and nubby bushes entangled in a state of dormancy and hibernation. His marks and color propel them into another place and time one that’s just a little bit off from reality.  (via honestlywtf)

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Aftershock L.A.

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Elemental and Royal/T are hosting a benefit art auction for Build Change, a non-profit organization that helps build earthquake resistant homes. The night will feature 92 artists and over 100 works of art, as well as live music and free food. For more info on the show and the artists involved, please visit www.aftershockla.com. See some of my favorite images by artists in the show after the jump.

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Jiro Bevis

Jiro Bevis
Jiro Bevis is a UK based illustrator with a huge body of work- his style seems to work for everything! I love the colors and clever concepts. Looks like a guy who knows how to have fun.

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Marc Quinn’s Provocative Surrealist Sculptures

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Marc Quinn’s surreal sculpture work is undeniably provocative and captivating. While he uses many different materials for his sculpture and installation work, he always seems to address the idea of bodies and their boundaries, the materiality of the human condition, or the relationship between nature and culture. Quinn’s 2004 exhibition, The Complete Marbles, is a collection of marble sculptures depicting amputees and disabled individuals that alludes to the style of Greco-Roman statues. Quinn recently donated his paradoxical sculpture from 2008, “Planet,” for permanent display at the Gardens by the Bay in Singapore. Very large and heavy, this sculpture depicts his son as a sleeping baby and appears weightless, almost floating. His most recent solo exhibition, All the Time in the World, is currently on display at Mary Boone Gallery in New York until June 29th.

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Lucie Malbéqui

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Eighteen year old photographer Lucie Malbéqui uses her camera to capture slices of time. She emphasizes her youth and its brevity by using film to record “a piece of atmosphere, a piece of time.” Malbéqui feels that with film, she eliminates some of the artificial elements that are nearly always present in digital photos, instead favoring the raw and imperfect images she can create by allowing the sun’s light to preserve a moment.

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Nadine Boughton’s Clever Collage Creations

Feast your eyes on the highly amusing creations of Massachusetts-based photographer Nadine Boughton. When the artist came across a collection of vintage men’s adventure magazines (…think “Weasels Ripped My Flesh!” and “Chewed To Bits By Giant Turtles!”) at a flea market, she was inspired to combine their over-the-top renderings of burly men saving damsels-in-distress with the clean interiors spotted in contemporary Better Homes and Gardens.

About the series, the artist says: “Here is a collision of two worlds: men’s adventure magazines or “sweats” meets Better Homes and Gardens. These photocollages are set against the backdrop of the McCarthy era, advertising, sexual repression, WWII and the Korean War. The cool, insular world of mid-century modern living glossed over all danger and darkness, which the heroic male fought off in every corner.” (Via Flavorwire)

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Melissa Godoy-Nieto’s Uses Traditional Mexican Imagery In Untraditional Ways

Melissa Godoy-Nieto - installation Melissa Godoy-Nieto-installation

Melissa Godoy-Nieto - installation

Melissa Godoy-Nieto is a multidisciplinary Mexican artist and designer based in Brooklyn, NY.  Born in Tijuana, Mexico, Godoy-Nieto incorporates pre-hispanic history, art and hieroglyphics with traditional crafts and materials that she uses in untraditional ways.  For her installation at SPRING/BREAK art fair earlier this year Godoy-Nieto painted the inside of a closet with a bright mix of mystical South American imagery, focusing partly on life, and partly on death.  Though she references the vibrant palate, dynamic and hand crafted aesthetic of Mexican culture, her works employ unusual techniques and structures, making the final product relevant and contemporary.

Her “textiles,” which she refers to as paintings, incorporate imagery from traditional Mexican imagery and patterns, but are made with untraditional materials.  Taking the concept a step further, Godoy-Nieto will sometimes link her paintings to spray paint cans using hand-dyed yarn and pushpins.  Describing the works as “experimental murals,” Godoy-Nieto toys with a viewer’s sense of how the work was made; conventional imagery is presented as being created in an unconventional way.  Initially, a viewer might believe the work is made with spray paint, but then he realizes the spray paint is yarn and had nothing to do with forming the actual image.  By challenging expectation and altering dimension, Godoy-Nieto’s process directs the way in which a viewer might interact with or perceive the work, and thus the way he might consider traditional iconography within a contemporary context.

Godoy-Nieto is also the co-founder of The Poetry Club Art Space and Head Visual artist for The Tablets.

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Charmaine Olivia at The Shooting Gallery

This week, The Shooting Gallery in San Francisco debuted “Ritual,” a solo exhibit by painter Charmaine Olivia. For “Ritual,” Olivia shrouds her signature female portraits with a veil of mysticism and magic, citing astrology, druidism, and the goddesses of ancient Greek mythology as inspirations. The beautifully haunting, almost spectral quality of Olivia’s female subjects is a result of her signature blend of realism and fantasy. While maintaining intensely realistic elements, many of the women are stripped down to their innermost layers, and further, into the paintings themselves, as translucent skin drips into bare bones, and tousled tresses fade into abstracted lines, revealing the grain of the wood surface beneath. “Ritual” presents these portraits as altars, flanked with offerings of flowers, candles, bones, and bottles, transforming the gallery into a place of worship, inviting us all to partake in a sacred ceremony to Olivia’s dreamy deities. View the show at The Shooting Gallery until February 4.

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