Texas born photographer Ignacio Torres‘s new series Stellar is a fine example of camera wizardry. Capturing four different angles of models jumping, sliding, twisting and falling in the desert surrounded by flying dust and confetti, he has tried to capture the essence of youth. More specifically, how humans and scientific theories co exist and inter-relate. Torres explains a bit more about his project here:
This project began from the theory that humans are made of cosmic matter as a result of a stars death. I created imagery that showcased this cosmic birth through the use of dust and reflective confetti to create galaxies. The models organic bodily expressions as they are frozen in time between the particles suggest their celestial creation. (Source)
His animated images certainly have a little something heavenly or even spiritual about them. I’m sure at times we have all been impressed by certain natural phenomenon – fireflies, glow worms, phosphorescence on the beach or in the water, and Torres’ celebrates these wondrous things that occur effortlessly and completely unaided around us. He goes on to explain:
In addition, space and time is heightened by the use of three-dimensional animated gifs. Their movement serves as a visual metaphor to the spatial link we share with stars as well as their separateness through time. (Source)
Stellar has a beautiful vibrancy and energy about it. The series has the same vivacity and zest as watching enthusiasts like Neil deGrasse Tyson or David Attenborough talk about their obsessions with the world that surround us. I imagine Torres would be very happy if his work piqued our interest in astronomy, botany, or at the very least, about our own humanity. Because it is indeed a marvelous and astounding thing. (Via We The Urban)
Mikie Poland does what he wants, and that is awesome. Some might read this and think that it’s juvenile, but in a world where most people play a passive role in their own lives – I’m truly inspired by someone who is willing to pursue their passions with everything they have at their disposal. Poland is on the road about half the year touring with one of the two bands he plays in (Giving Up or State Champion), and spends much of his remaining time working odd jobs and helping to promote Sophomore Lounge Records in whatever way he can. As the web manager, primary art director, and right-hand-man of the label’s creator (Ryan Davis) you might wonder where he finds time to do much else. As it turns out, there is a good amount of “downtime” in the van in between gigs, and Poland often spends this time productively. Whether he is drawing posters for upcoming shows or clever illustrations referencing everything from Jazz to Dracula – Poland stays busy.
The nature of his practice could force a comparison to Raymond Pettibon, but Poland’s aesthetic is very much his own. There is certainly a gritty quality to the work, but his quick wit and keen understanding of texture and mark making have an intentionality to them that belies the crude manor in which many of his illustrations are fashioned. Having a fine arts degree from a conceptually oriented school like the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (where Poland received his undergraduate degree) often leads one down a path of pretention that can be hard to escape, but Poland manages to keep things in perspective. His observations are honest, the tone is real, and I enjoy looking at the work. If you scroll through these drawings and at least one of them doesn’t put a smile on your face I think it might be time to re-evaluate how seriously you take yourself. Giving Up will be on an east coast tour this June, and if you like what you see below I encourage you to check out their shows and pick up one of Poland’s expansive zines at the merch booth.
The Over Time series by Jonathan Zawada depicts landscape topographies in bright colours, evoking other fantastical worlds. However, the work was actually derived from graph data of earthly landscapes, which Zawada modelled in 3D to create this beautiful work. Each piece was displayed with the graph data nearby, as seen in the last image showcased here. Absolutely stunning.
The photographic images of artist Ahn Jun unfold at dizzying heights. Ahn captures her self-portraits perched atop ledges and windowsills. The frightening heights don’t act as a gimmick it does in the current Russian fad that may come to mind. Rather, Ahn uses the elevation more as a narrative tool. While clearly referencing suicide, she pushes the story beyond that also. She nearly seems not only to be involved in an inner drama but interacting with the cityscape as a whole – she looks as if to be addressing the city personally.
Joan Cornellà’s comic designs are clean and simple but pack a raunchy and provocative punch. His illustrations are light-hearted yet darkly humorous, relying more strongly on visual clues and gags as opposed to textual elements to indicate a simple narrative. Out of a simple bright color palette, Cornellà creates strange and uncomfortable images that can be weirdly funny and a bit gruesome. You can follow him on Facebook, where he updates frequently and has already amassed over 300,000 fans. Cornellà currently lives in Barcelona.
Taking images from auction catalogs, artist Kour Pour translates intricately-patterned carpets onto paneled surfaces. The multi-step process is labor intensive, not to mention large – his work is 8 feet tall. First, Pour scans in the image of a rug and burns it on a silk screen. Then, he uses a broom to begin his underpainting (the texture gives it an appearance of a textile). Afterwards, he silkscreens the design to the panel and begins the work of painting every painstaking detail. The final step is to use an electrical sander to erase the painted surface and expose the layers of the under-painting. What results is work that looks like an faded, well-worn rug.
Pour is both British and Persian, and when he was younger, his father owned a rug shop in England. His work is tied to this past, as he explains in his artist statement:
Carpets were a part of my childhood growing up in England. I remember my Father’s rug shop, and how he would hand-dye sections of carpets that had faded away, in order to bring them back to their original colours. I felt that in doing this, my Father was making an effort to maintain all their history and meaning, as if he was bringing the carpets back to life. When I first moved to Los Angeles I had feelings of displacement and much like the faded carpets, I too felt a part of my history disappear. I started the carpet painting series and noticed how art and objects could play an increasingly important role in our diverse society. Through making these paintings I am constantly learning more about my background and the rich mix of culture that surrounds me and the carpets.
By recreating carpets, Pour highlights their meaning as object, as well as the implications of their surface design. They signify an object of privilege (as their originals come from an auction catalog), and our commodity-based consumer culture. Beyond that, the patterns of animals and men on horses is representational of globalization, a culture’s history, and more. (Via Bmore Art and Flat Surface)
The pages of Nicholas Stevenson‘s sketchbooks feel more complete than most. Rather than distract, the thoughtful use of bright colors and intricate patterns help pull the scenes together. Each spread portrays a private moment in which viewers may pass unnoticed and draw their own conclusions. (via)
It’s hard to stand out as a collage artist these days. But Brooklyn-based Pierre Botardo is so good at what he does that his wonderfully composed , vibrant works have no trouble ‘standing out’. This new batch of collaged goodness from Botardo gives you the idea that the artist has somehow gazed into the collective childhood memories of all Americans, and combined his experiences into a collection found on paper that is so empathic, that it makes us want to go home and do it all again.