Robert Jackson is a contemporary still life painter. But don’t let the genre often associated with morbid colors, candles, skulls and wine bottles leave the wrong impression. This painter’s canvases are littered with bright colors, clean compositions and a healthy amount of humor. Jackson’s comical paintings feature assemblies of cakes, water balloons, candies, apple boxes, toy dinosaurs, cactus plants, and balloon dogs.
Jackson actually assembles his scenes in his studio, and is then able to accurately capture the playfulness of the mood – creating something that looks like it came from the Toy Story movies. He paints moments where we sneak a look in on the action figures setting up traps for each other, or skateboarding around the room, crashing into the other toys.
Eager to create moments full of narrative, Jackson develops a simple idea that will either pique your interest, or at the very least being a smile to your face. His balloon dogs go fishing for lobsters; the panda bear toys set up daring tight rope adventures for each other; the dinosaurs all fight over a slice of chocolate cake; and apples mischievously balance water balloons on their head, waiting for the impending disaster.
Jackson uses his whimsical, absurd and post-pop paintings as a tool for people to expand their imagination. He says by using mundane objects as stand ins for people, he can talk about deeper subjects without being too confrontational.
It’s like Star Trek addresses racism, but the audience doesn’t realize that until after the show is over. I have a couple of apples fighting and it’s not until a couple minutes after looking, that the viewer realizes that ‘Oh! This is talking about war!’ (Source)
Matthew DiVito, also known as mr. div, is a motion graphics designer and aspiring game developer. Using a cocktail of software DiVito produces these hypnotic gif images. A popular file type in the 1990’s, gifs are experiencing a resurgence in popularity. DiVito’s images certainly retain a retro sensibility. However, gone are the blocky appearance and wonky movement typical of the first wave of gifs. His work has a certain cosmic precision and elegance making each file slightly mesmerizing.
Barcelona based fashion/advertising photographer and director, Eudes De Santana, originally went to school for graphic design. While finishing his degree, he worked on photographic commissions for fashion editorials, catalogs, and advertising campaigns. His work, exuding hip energy and sex, has us fantasize for this sort of lifestyle.
I’m absolutely loving this series of of dictator sculptures by Stephen Ives’ based on everyones favorite toy Mr. Potato Head! Saddam Hussain, Stalin, Kim Jong II, Lenin, and even Hitler call all be made with the removal and addition of a few pieces. Now you can have playtime and pretend to be an evil dictator all at once! More dictators and other amazing sculptures based on toys after the jump!
Australian sculptor Paul Kaptein handcrafts laminated wood into exquisitely seamless sculptures. Interested in materialism and inspired by both nature and the concept of time, Kaptein creates works that are realistic yet surreal, rooted simultaneously in real life and in fantasy.
To Kaptein, the use of laminated wood is central to his practice. Representative of the dialogue between expansion and contraction and the relationship between interconnection and incompleteness, “the panels slip and slide, creating their own holes which exasperate the gaps in the fabric of the universe.”
While his wooden works vary in subject matter—a common motif being hooded, faceless busts—they all convey Kaptein’s innate interest in portraying of “the immaterial as an expression of the overt reliance (and ignorance of the composition) of materialism as a somewhat naive description of reality.” In one of his most recent works, And in the endless sounds there came a pause, the artist tackles reality through illusion: while the meditative figure is clearly distorted by the river-like grooves of his robe’s drapery when observed from the front or back, he appears perfectly normal when viewed from either side.
Ultimately, with its deceptive composition and well-crafted aesthetic, And in the endless sounds there came a pause merges two qualities characteristic of the artist: his interest in fabricating new realities and, of course, his undeniably superb woodworking skills.
Franco Brambilla seems to have taken our most odd dreams and brought them to some kind of reality. Is it a painting? A photograph? Something else entirely, or all of the above? I love the feeling of as if I were watching To Catch a Thief or The Sound of Music on the newly-dubbed “Sy-Fy” channel.