Illumination Ink hails from Newcastle, Australia, adding another international post to our Around The World Day here at BD (not really). Heath Killen contrasts his beige-y website with his sometimes bold, sometimes colorful, sometimes remixed images. I really like the use of typography with his illustrations, and the vintage look to his collage-like works.
Peruvian artist Cecilia Paredes gives new meaning to the term “wallflower.” In her recent collection of photographs, entitled “Landscapes,” Paredes seamlessly disappears into a dizzying array of patterned wallpapers, using only paint and, in some cases, simple costumes to complete the transformation. Paredes’ self-painting is so precise that, oftentimes, the only hint of her presence is a flash of sleek brown hair or a pair of gleaming white eyes peering out from the background. Through this disappearing act, Paredes explores themes of displacement and migration, illustrating the difficulties of blending in to new surroundings without completely casting off one’s roots.
Thinking about my 80s upbringing, I’m not too sure if life has really changed all that much between then and 2011. True, kids today don’t call each other on the landline, and have also seen more cat videos than I ever did at their age, but hey, small potatoes. China’s post-80s generation, on the other hand, born on the cusp of their country’s breakneck economic development, have experienced some truly seismic stuff, with much about life today being nearly unrecognizable from the distant past. Wang2mu is an illustrator living in Guangzhou who explores post-80s themes and nostalgia through a warped “schoolhouse” aesthetic. Crowded by urgent slogans, his grotesque children straddle rockets, robots, and other generational emblems.
Bologna based graphic design studio Emmaboshi has a brand new website touting some beautiful work. They have a talent for diffusing large amounts of information into interesting forms that become both desirable & accessible.
Alexis Facca is a Belgium-based paper artist and set designer, known previously as Paper Donut. He recreates everyday objects in paper, which are used in both his personal work and commercial endeavors, including animation. Facca’s paper sculpting is successful on a number of levels – his attention to detail and craft, the formal aspects like color and composition, and its ability to amuse and delight us. His work is memorable, which is especially important when working with advertising clients.
In addition to paper, Facca has recently composed compositions that use other materials like popcorn and barbecue skewers. He also includes metal grates and wood blocks, too. His better known works, however, are objects recreated from paper. This means he has constructed filing cabinets, copy machines, and large potted plants. He has created life-size breakfast foods, too, including angular fruit, donuts and eggs. Yum!
Jen Mann, a friend from up north in Canada, inspires with her new series “Fera” (Latin origin of feral, we’re interested to learn). Jen paints with grace a harmony between women and wild creatures. Or perhaps this is a common practice in her homeland, but either way, the illustrations are beautiful.
Argentinian Street artist Jaz can often be seen at work with an aerosol can in one hand in a brush in the other. He sprays and blends in a way that makes his work especially expressionistic for street art. Jaz’ style and process are more often found on the smaller scale of the canvas gallery. While consciously veering from the typical New York based street art style, Jaz says
“But the main idea about graffiti is to work in the street. It isn’t about the tools you use of the paradigm of signing your name” [via]
The artist Hugh Turvey lives his life in x-ray vision; since her began creating his vivid, colored x-ray photographs, titled xograms, he views the world and its objects as something to be dissected, unveiled, and understood. Turvey’s strange x-rays are made thusly: he begins by positioning his subjects on light-sensitive paper, then overlays them with photographs and adds color so as to enhance depth.
X-ray technology, which we so often associated with sterile medicine, healthcare, and the danger of internal injury, finds an oddly tender home in Turvey’s work. Dense objects become visual synecdoches, stand-ins for living subjects; in one image, a coat becomes personified, its zippers, seams, and wrinkles suggesting human posture. Femme Fatale pictures the artist’s wife’s foot: contorted, stressed, delicate.
When placed alongside these relatively personal images, x-rays of suitcases, phones, and first-aid kits no longer retain the cold, effective objectivity we are accustomed to seeing during TSA screenings and the like. Instead, we are offered a satisfyingly voyeuristic glimpse into the private lives of others as seen through a tumbler or a martini glass, and we are transfixed by the mundane, incidental objects of existence.
Turvey’s portraits of animals are particularly poignant, indicating the complex internal lives of creatures we too rarely consider. A fish is confined to a painfully isolating bowl, his boney frame drifting to the top for food, and a small dog reveals soft, beautifully coiled internal organs as he wears a cone around his head. Similarly, a curious rabbit is shown in dark, moody browns evocative not of medicine so much as psychology and spirit; his wide eyes peer above the hat. These deeply sympathetic animals are made all the more delicate by Turvey’s process, their curiosities and concerns expressed through the barest physicality. (via Smithsonian Mag, The Guardian, and National Geographic)