Super talented Melissa Cooke draws so realistically that you would think her renderings are photographs. Instead of using pencil lines to outline her subjects and draft her compositions, she achieves incredible depth by dusting layers of graphite onto paper with a dry brush. Flirting between different mediums (photography, drawing and painting), she is an expert of achieving highly detailed, strongly contrasting, striking images.
For her series The Between Spaces, she blends two different angles together in one drawing, achieving an impressive effect of superimposed snapshots. Thanks to her unique graphite technique, her highlights seem to glow and radiate off the page. Hair turns from being a series of fine white lines dusted over a darker layer to being a delicate web of strands. Eyes have detailed reflections; the skin Cooke draws have pores; the faces have a complex structure of wrinkles and lines. Cooke says of her series:
The drawings ride the line between what is physical and emotional, inner and outer, real and fantasy. Elements that are innately indescribable. There is a richness in those spaces that I can explore visually. (Source)
Moving on from portraiture, Cooke has also tried her hand at still lifes – objects that she finds in her daily life. Inspired by an abandoned wig she found in the dandelions, she started her series of objects.
These still lives evoke the figure while hinting at a larger narrative. There is both an attraction and repulsion to these discarded objects, like evidence left at a crime scene. That tension is something that has always inspired me, and will continue to propel me forward with the new body of work. (Source)
With the help of a huge swarm of flies, John Knuth transforms decay into creation. Flies have long symbolized death and rot in art as well as popular culture. In medieval times, for example, it was popularly believed flies were born out of carcasses rather than eggs as larvae. Knuth, though, emphasizes the flies productive role in the larger cycle of life and death. He creates his work by first feeding the flies water mixed with sugar and paint. The flies largely digest their food outside of their body, Knuth’s flies doing this directly on the canvas. While digesting, each fly leaves a small mark of pigment, a small piece of the larger record or the swarm. Check out the video to see Knuth’s process and more of his finished paintings.
Bara Prasilova‘s photography is both playful and disturbing. She uses soft pastels with pops of neon color to evoke feelings of nostalgia and innocence; simultaneously, she hints at themes of restraint and constriction. In her project for the Hasselblad Masters Book, she’s chosen to explore the theme of “evolve.” Her prop of choice is hair: a natural material that she portrays in a surreal and absurd fashion.
In one photograph, a woman jumpropes with a long Rapunzel-esque whip of hair; in another, a thick braid wrapped around a woman’s neck looks suffocating yet elegant. Prasilova explains:
“Through my photographs, I have been trying to understand human relationships and connections: long hair symbolises the invisible strings we use to strap somebody to us or, perhaps, the opposite, to let somebody loose. They are the threads of our emotions, worries and fears that we are afraid to loosen like hair.” (via I Need a Guide)
Stefan Siverud is a Swedish hobbyist who has been giving snails fun custom shell designs. Humorously titled Snailpimp, his project includes shell upgrades depicting everything from rainbows, to spikes, to popular logos; snails resembling sharks, Pac-Man, volcanoes, and McDonald’s advertisements populate his endearing and slimy collection. Since 2010, Siverud has been uploading photos of his beautified, living creations onto his blog, providing amusing backstories with each one. Some of his works even derive from social and political matters: the pirate snail, for example, is a marker for the Piratpartiet (Pirate Party of Sweden). This snail was painted the day after the party won a seat in the EU parliament.
The made-over snails in the photographs seem unperturbed, moving along in their indifferent way and attending to their usual business in the garden. However, some people may suggest that the colorful new hardware could endanger the snails; for example, it might make it difficult for them to maneuver if the shell has been physically modified (such as the one with the lighthouse fused to it), or it could mean they become more visible to predators. Siverud, however, has his best intentions for his mollusk companions. He uses non-toxic paints that will not harm the snails’ sensitive and porous bodies. In addition, the bright colors may also prevent people from stepping on them. In this way, Siverud’s project is one aimed at appreciating the lives and uniqueness of our tiny invertebrate friends.
What do you think of Siverud’s snails? Comment below, and be sure to check out more photographs of the Snailpimp project after the jump. (Via My Modern Met)
Andrew Nigon’s sculptures draw attention to the bizarre nature of our existence in which we have an insatiable drive to improve while simultaneously living within bodies that are in constant decay. Using the discarded detritus of society in chorus with brightly colored materials that are typically reserved for happier times, Andrew creates heroic yet tragic monuments devoted to a human race that is trapped in an incomplete and fractured world.
The talented folks at Adult Swim have teamed up with Mastadon to bring you a cute, cuddly, and sickly twisted music video for their single Deathbound that is chock full of angry muppets causing chaos and destruction. Watch the full video after the jump.