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Brett Kern’s Ceramic Sculptures That Look Like Inflatable Toys

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Brett Kern sculpts these incredible “inflatable” dinosaurs and other objects out of plaster. Kern sculpts his own molds out of clay and uses glaze to emphasize his materials’ depth and details. Pop culture has always influenced Kern’s work, and these faux inflatable sculptures are no exception. One of Kern’s first memories as a child was being given an inflatable dinosaur at the hospital for behaving while his mother gave birth to his sister. It’s this playful, childlike wonder that informs the bulk of his work, and the forging of a balance of fragility and buoyancy. .

“I find that the mold-making process imitates, in a certain way, the fossilization process. Objects are covered in a material that captures their shape and texture and this, in turn, preserves the object as a rock-like representation. Movies, television, toys and games dominated the cultural landscape of my youth. I am a product of this specific time period, and I like to think of my artwork as the fossils that will help preserve it.”

You can purchase Kern’s work over at his Etsy shop. (via i09)

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Next Day Flyers Presents:Ryan Chapman

Ryan Chapman’s iconic  illustrations are proof that sometimes simple is best. His quirky and playful illustrations go back and forth between digital, hand drawn, and the occasional 3D sculpture. Find all this and more after the jump!

Presented by the leader in fast business card printing, Next Day Flyers.

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DI$COUNT UNIVER$E Combines Art And Satire In The Design Of Eccentric, Alternative Fashion

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DI$COUNT UNIVER$E is a Melbourne-based brand that combines art and eccentricity in the creation of a highly successful (and undeniably unique) fashion line. Enter their webpage and you cross the threshold from dull reality into a psychedelic circus full of fashionable madcaps donned in acid-bright garb. DI$COUNT founders, Nadia Napreychikov and Cami James, describe their aim at the crossroads of art and fashion:

“[DI$COUNT is] a culmination of ideas, imagery, the dialogue between us and the world, the desire for transformation and evolution; it’s about personality, spontaneity, humor and irony, cliché and imitation. It’s our art!” (Source)

“Culmination” and “spontaneity” are indeed the perfect words to describe DI$COUNT’s designs. The fabric is bestrewn with sequins, glitter, and studding, and the graphics include sparkling and bleeding eyeballs, open mouths, and disembodied, groping hands. Radiating with humor and seemingly random absurdity, the hyperbolic strangeness of these styles pokes fun at the highly conventional and artistically-vacant designs that dominate the popular fashion industry.

Both graduates of RMIT University, Napreychikov and James began the company “with little business experience, no capital and no intention of taking out a loan” (Source). Their solution? To turn to the internet and foster a cult following using platforms such as Instagram, Tumblr, and their blog. This way, they were able to connect with other people who view fashion as a potential form of alternative art and social satire. Visit their website and Facebook page and follow them as they explore the capacities of art, creativity, and social wit to explode the limitations of the fashion industry. FELLT also features an interesting interview with Napreychikov and James about their brand.

Credits: Photography from the Penthouse Mouse Midmouse Runway (March 2012) by Meagan Harding.

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Portraits Of Mexico’s Transgendered Population That Serve As A Symbol Of Good Luck In Remote Towns

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Nicola Ókin Frioli’s award winning series of photographs documenting “Muxes”, Mexico’s transgendered community that is celebrated as a symbol of good luck.

“They drink beer, they are part of local governement and they are symbol of good luck for their family: they are Muxes, homosexuals of the “pueblo oaxacaqueno de Juchitan”, more than 3000 homosexuals who enjoy respect and admiration in all the country.

Los Muxes (in zapotec language means homosexual)are considered as a blessing in Juchitan and you can count almost 3000 of them.
According to a taxi-driver, there is a homosexual in every family and Muxes themselves assert to be “fallen fron a broken pocket of San Vicente Ferrer” the patron saint of Juchitan,during his holy walk over the town (a local expression to say they are lucky, chosen people).

It is a luck for a homosexual to be born in Juchitan, where in a population of 160.000 people, the most of them feel respect for Muxes, while they walk proudly in the streets, dressed as women with huipiles and enaguas, typical dress of the Tehuantepec Isthmus.
The homosexuals of Juchitan have gained a place in economical and political activities, normally reserved to men.

They are ownersof shops,they work in hospitals, they are successful stylists of the typical local dresses and owners of beauty salons.

A resident in Juchitan says ”Thanks to God, we have one of them in every family… they are like women, they work as a man, but they wash, cook, clean the house and when the other sons will get married and leave, they will stay and look after their old parents”.

“A lady living here, has accepted a son muxes… and then she has winned the lottery.. it is a real blessing. .everybody shoul accept them as they are.. in every place they are”.
Carlos Lopez Toledo, municipal concellor, explains that when a family relizes that a child has a bent for homosexuality, they treat him as a lucky charme, because Muxes are good producers.

“A lot of us are in this way, because our parents have converted us and treated as female “says Felina, a 36 years old Muxes, owner of an Estetica (beauty salon). ”I’m not a man.. I’m not a woman.. I’m a Muxes and there is place for everyboby in the Vineyard of Lord “.
Mistica, 27 years old, makes traditional dresses “When I was a child, I used to play with my sisters,I dressed as a woman and Imade myself up… my mother was happy and used to say she would like a son muxes… My father didn’t accept immediately and decided to bring me to to the farm with my brothers… but once arrived… I run to pick up flowers…- Nicola Ókin Frioli  (via feature shoot)

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Michael Dotson

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Something geometrically spiritual is happening in Michael Dotson’s rainbow paintings. Check out his new works on his site.

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The Struggling Beauty of Jason Shawn Alexander’s Paintings

Jason Shawn Alexander illustrates and paints beautiful people who are bent and crooked from the struggles of life. However, he does it in a way that’s still appealing and uplifting to view. So, when you stand in front of his work you begin to feel up and contemplative, rather than ominous and down like you’d initially imagine from the darker pigments and conditions of his subjects. Originally from the south, Jason now resides in Los Angeles and interestingly enough, besides being a figurative painter, he worked for years as a draftsman at all of the top-dog comic publishers like Dark Horse and Marvel…(via)

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Leandro Lima

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Brazilian artist Leandro Lima‘s illustrations are so playful, complex and balanced all at once. I love how every element in his illustrations can stand on its own, and your eye is constantly bouncing all over the image. He does a lot of work for magazines, but most recently, he designed this for a bank. I’m not sure I really think “bank” when I see these (and I’m still working on the significance of some of the imagery, like that tear that’s split 50-50), but Brazilian banks definitely must be more fun than those we have in the US.

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Jehad NGA Somali & Kenyan Café’s

Jehad Nga’s photographs of Somali and Kenyan café patrons offer a rare and personal look at those ravaged by years of drought and poverty. Using only a single ray of sun beaming through the café doorway, Nga’s photographs highlight the individuals themselves by naturally removing them from their surroundings. The hardened and weathered faces of the old are revealed, in contrast with the fear, but glimmer of hope found in the eyes of the young.

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