Raunchy, suggestive illustrations with strange pseudo-human characters leave viewers unnerved, but at the same time, engaged in a conversation of questions. What is going on and why?? Melissa Stekbauer‘s works can place the viewer in a vulnerable, almost submissive, state, allowing her characters some authority. Her works present interesting narratives, especially because they are paired with a softer painting technique, which can feel more inviting and friendly than the actual content of the work. Maybe that’s why it’s “seductive”?
Internationally renowned artist Theo Mercier has created an incredible monster of a sculpture made entirely of spaghetti! This textural, monumental piece is around 10 feet tall, and that’s when it is sitting—which is all the time. The spaghetti monster sits upon a small chair that is way too small for him as he stairs sadly down at the ground. Titled Le Solitaire, or, “The Loner,” this creature looks isolated and alone in a world where he is the only spaghetti-creature. Although the colossal sculpture seems very melancholy, Mercier’s work tend to not be without a bit of humor. A monster made of spaghetti is an absurd and silly creation, so why is it so glum? Maybe it is afraid that us humans will eat his spaghetti!
Mercier’s work is often large and textural, as Le Solitaire’s tactile spaghetti-skin begs to be touched. The noodles form an endless series of lines bending and forming across the body of the creature. They imitate scribbles of continuous lines doodled on a piece of paper. A self-taught artist, Mercier is an expert at inducing strong emotions with such a bizarre and surreal sculpture. We cannot help to feel sorry for this dripping, sorrowful beast. Its wide, striking eyes that stare directly at the viewer are also in other works for Mercier’s. His other installations include funny creatures made by adding these same bright eyes onto cars, piles of hay, and even smoke seeping out from a fireplace. This French artist’s unusual and mysterious sculptures give inanimate objects such emotion and personality that steal our hearts and earn our love.
Born into a long bloodline of creatives, illustrator Treasure Frey’s work of collage/ drawings is certainly something to watch for. Her work reminds me a lot of the awesome animations from Monty Python, except with the intricate combination of beautiful mark-making with varying line weights, loops, and brightly colored shapes, she has made a killer style of her own.
Beautiful dark photographs by Maria Datsykova.
Check out Kako Ueda‘s cut paper masterpieces! With each project, she explores her deep interest in organic beings (insects, animals, and humans alike), and weaves them into mind-bogglingly intricate, extraordinarily precise patterns and forms. Her newest work (immediately after the jump!), still in-progress, is a hybrid figure measuring about 7 feet high!
Here’s a quirky personal project from the mind of Jorge López Navarrete – “two different people each time -always unknown for me- perform exactly the same conversation.” Can someone explain to me the significance of the 3-D glasses?
When Elana Pritchard was sent to the women’s division of the Los Angeles County jail for two months in July 2014, she decided to document her experience using only the paper available to her and a golf pencil. She witnessed strange, horrific, even threatening situations, but was able to turn the time into something productive and enlightening for her readers. Even right from the first moment on the bus from the court hearing to the jail, she observed some unbelievable things.
I saw some ugly things on that bus: prostitution, nudity, profanity. A group of male prisoners ganged up on me and thought they could pressure me to show them my breasts — in exchange for crystal meth. I tried telling them to mind their manners, but it didn’t work. I just had to sit there and wait for it to be over. Even though they were all in handcuffs and blocked off by a barrier, they still succeeded in making me feel uncomfortable. I’m not sure if the guards knew what went on in the back of the bus, but I’m pretty sure they didn’t care. (Source)
Subjected to a squat and cough every time upon re-entering the jail, along with 40 other people in the room, Pritchard fast learned to forget about any sort of dignity. Humiliation and verbal abuse were everyday occurrences for the inmates. Hygiene standards were questionable, and the ladies were supplied with used underwear to put on each week.
Every jail has it’s myths and legends, and Pritchard does a good job of accurately confirming or dismissing even the most outrageous ones. Read more about her experience and see more drawings here. (Via LA Weekly)
Always Fascinated by pop-up books, Thomas Allen displays an infallible talent for the creation of the illusion of three dimensions, using old pulp fiction books as the subjects for his sets.These books tattered covers and yellowed pages are not mere objects to display on a shelf, for the artist but a prodigious inventory of actors and scenes, just waiting to be directed.
Allen patiently cuts out the figures, freeing them from their two-dimensional state: the actors are then raised from the covers and come alive thanks to skillful use of lighting and the camera’s lens. Bent and positioned, the scripted drama is staged, bringing to life the stories written and not written in the books that act now as the stories stage.