Amy Douglas is an English artist who restores old Staffordshire figures into eccentric recreations. Staffordshire figures were found throughout British homes in the 19th century, often bought at county fairs and collected as “toys” for the mantelpiece. When they arrive to Douglas—broken and eroded away by time—she modernizes the pieces by adding touches of present-day quips and scenarios. Each one has been given a title that makes them humorously unique; for example, “I Lost My Head” depicts a beheaded man joyously swinging a wreath decorated with various craniums; “Chicks Rule” features a chicken-headed figure riding a horse with a human face.
The humor of Douglas’ work is often subtle, fostered in the cultural disparity between past and present. Part of the fun is also tricking the viewer into believing they are seeing a bizarre original work. Douglas works with the destroyed objects to seamlessly blend modern relevance with a traditional, domestic art object. “Many of the techniques, materials, and recipes I use have been in the hands of the craftsman for centuries,” she writes on her About page. “In our more increasing, intangible, fleeting, [and] modern existence, I think people do not look properly and do not acknowledge the craftsmanship of work. I like the idea of making people look twice” (Source).
Artistic duo Fantich & Young, featured previously for their “power suit” made of human hair, are at it again with a new pair of shoes for little girls: an adorable pair of Mary Janes with a sole of human teeth. Upon first inspection, the tiny shoes are certainly the height of innocence, with their shiny surface and chunky red strap. With the addition of the teeth, top and bottom rows muddled together monstrously, this beacon of cuteness becomes dark and deadly. The festive footwear, which we might easily imagine paired with white ruffled ankle socks, are embellished with actual dentures, signifying old age and decay. The yellowed incisors, crushed brutally underfoot, provide quite an arresting contrast to the quaint little shoes.
In another recent addition to their ongoing project Apex Predator, Dominic Young and Mariana Fantich construct an egg from human dentures. Here, the themes of birth and death, innocence and corruption, emerge more readily. The egg, art historically a symbol of both the fragility and comfort of the the womb, abandons its delicate shell for hard, armored enamel. Arranged in careful rows, the teeth threaten predators who seek to steel the egg from the safety of its nest. This symbol of youth and birth adopts new meaning when made from teeth designed for the old. When hatched, the baby bird is fed his food pre-chewed, regurgitated into his mouth by his mother; this egg comes fully equipped with gnawing teeth. What type of creature might emerge from this monstrous orb? Take a look. (via Design Boom)
Brett Wilkinson’s experiments in minimalism and geometry have led him to create Onesidezero, a collection of his latest works in illustration. Whimsical and playful, his style reflects the cheerful shapes and colors of childhood toys and coloring books. Not only does he specialize in prints, but his works are also featured on mugs, laptop skins, and wall vinyls. Wilkinson has also designed for Panasonic and the Big Chill Festival 2009, and created the cover for Digital Arts Magazine.
Tyler Spangler’s digital collages rehash old portraits to uncanny effect. He mixes faces like batter or melts them like wax. Of course this would be much more gruesome were it not for the joyful neon colours he employs. His artwork has the distinct aesthetic of the internet age. Wild patterns and powerful colours are overload for the eye, providing a high level of stimulation pretty much required, now, to incite a strong reaction in the viewer.
In some cases, the overabundance of pattern and colour has the viewer process less, or otherwise require us to take much more time to do it. When there is so much to take in, the options are either to skim over it, or take much more time to engage with it. Spangler has a great range of intensity. Some of his works have 5 or less elements, where other have 20 or more different textures.
Spangler works digitally, and creates all of his graphics himself. Whereas in aesthetic the works can be called collage, he uses a minimum of recycled imagery. In this way, Spangler is more like a painter than a collage artist, creating his own imagined imagery. He is a digital painter easily able manipulate familiar imagery. (Via Hi Fructose)
Peter Cross makes pencil drawings to salivate over, precise and delicate, they bear witness with photographic verisimilitude to times and places that have never existed but seem weirdly deja-vu-ish. Cross worked for over twenty years as an art handler and then as a registrar in Manhattan galleries. Much of that time was spent with Leo Castelli, where he worked with artists like Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenburg and Roy Lichtenstein. When I first got to NYC Peter hired me to install shows, and despite my being nosy and persistent, has always been extremely secretive about his drawings. I finally got him to email these. Peter doesn’t have a website just yet, so if you want to contact him – leave some way to be reached in the comments section.
Working from the philosophical theory that all things–living and inanimate hold life, and therefore are universally related, Emily Nachison constructs grand geologic environments from the man-made synthetics.