We discovered Madeline Hagy and her boldly bizarre work on Format’s Spotlight page. Her portfolio elegantly displays her variety of work, from collages and illustrations to posters and prints. With her hallucinogenic forms and intriguing (and oft-grotesque) combinations of images, the clean and minimalist theme provided by the portfolio-building website Format is vital in showcasing the audacious complexity of Madeline’s work. With its fast-loading pages, Format is the perfect website for an artist’s portfolio, as you can scroll and view Madeline’s work without interruption. Another great feature that Format offers is the ability to sort work by category: you’ll notice you can view Madeline’s collages, sketchbook works, and prints separately.
Featured here are the works under the “collages” category, which provides an enticing sample of Madeline’s style and work. Among the images you’ll see a mash-up of recurring motifs, such as weeping eyes, raw meat, and deranged cartoon monsters. Adding to the series is a grotesque flavor of parody, mixing stylish, high fashion images with strange headwear, fleshless body parts, and googly eyes. In one way, Madeline’s work can be seen as a creative evolution of the magazine covers we disfigured with pens as children; going more in depth, we can read her collages as playful “dissections” that rearrange and distort magazine images to poke fun at the beauty industry. In either case, there is a lot to be seen and enjoyed on Madeline’s website, demonstrating that Format is the easiest way to make a portfolio that looks great and won’t distract from your work.
The German graffiti crew have covered Palmitas, a Mexican city with swirls of rainbow colors in a giant mural, hoping to change some of the damaging behavior and negative attitudes there. The community-focused team took to the hillside village and splashed neon bright paint all over the sides of houses, garden walls, fences, window frames and roofs.
Covering more than 209 houses, the super sized mural is dramatic, eye catching and apparently achieving quite dramatic results within Palmitas. Together, the graffiti group (called Germen Crew) and the Mexican government hoped the mural would be a step toward rehabilitation of the Mexican town. Known for drug-related problems, the community is quietly changing it’s focus. The power of color is working.
The mural directly affects around 500 families and apparently is eliminating youth violence and street crimes. The power of the mural is not overlooked and goes to prove that the graffiti crew really does focus their artistic skill on the community. Seeming like such a simple project, the psychedelic rainbow mural has definitely changed the character of the town, and no doubt the characters of the inhabitants. Such a great example of artist organizations and government working together to benefit the locals. (Via Bored Panda)
Lying on a bed of lilacs, here are a dozen of women being themselves and embracing it. A statement a lot of women have trouble owning, according to Carey Fruth who has made the decision to show that there is only blond tall thin American standards in movies. By making these series, she speaks to women and gives them the powerful message of acceptance and freedom of their own bodies.
Inspired by one of the scenes in the movie American Beauty where a middle aged man is fantasizing about a teenage girl, she decides to take the power back from this perfect girl and to give it to women out there, that are as beautiful but not perceived as such by society. The models posing sensually are all volunteers, acquaintances to the photographer. They come from different backgrounds, ethnicities, have different body shapes, ages.The girls are not directed during the shoot, they are just told to be themselves. The result are these beautiful women revealing their femininity, authenticity and vulnerability.
Through her work, Cary Fruth wants to fight positive image by having women accepting their bodies: “by stepping into a fantasy dream girl world and by letting go of that fear, they free themselves up to direct that energy they once wasted on telling themselves that they weren’t good enough to elsewhere in their life”. She also wants to prove her peers that there is no failure when it comes to telling the truth in photography. Apparently most photographers are “scared that if they do something all inclusive and different from the current ideal of beauty that people will not come to their business”. The success of the ‘American beauty’ series is the living proof that good things come to those who believe. In every aspect, Cary Fruth’s concept and photographs are feeding us with positivity and hope.
Erupting skulls and beautifully powerful hybrid animals take over the streets in the work of Puerto Rican artist Alexis Diaz. His work looks more like illustrations at first glance, due to their brilliant line work and convincing detail. However, each bizarre creature is much larger than life, climbing up each wall and towering over the viewer. Mixing a concoction of different animals to form entirely new species is one of the more recognizable trademarks in Diaz’s artwork, along with the repeating, iconic skull. Normally a mark of death, Diaz’s skull often spring forth life, as many of them hold birds that sprout from the cranium. Vivid colors and expressive detail show off this street artist’s skill.
The imagination seen in Alexis Diaz’s work is both incredible and intriguing, as combinations of animals come to life on the walls of the streets. In one mural, an elephant sports tentacles like that of an octopus, while in another, a bear and a buffalo become one creature. In one of Diaz’s most immense and striking murals, a hybrid snake and eagle circle around their prey of a skull with vessels of a heart. The animals rendered in Diaz’s work create a whole new space in which to live, as well as a whole new kind of animal. His handiwork can be seen sprawled all over the walls of the world in places such as Arizona, Puerto Rico, Slovakia, France, Austria, and Mexico.
(via This is Colossal)
Throwing abuse at people is easy. Getting paid to do it is another matter. London based illustrator Mr Bingo does it with ease, and loves taking money for his efforts. The prankster receives offensive sayings from visitors on his twitter page, draws pictures to accompany the words, and sends the composited postcard to the chosen (willing, or unsuspecting) victims. For 50 quid, plus postage, you can receive a customized card that tells you exactly how crap you are. Quite surprisingly, the abusive service he offers has proven to be quite popular. Mr Bingo explains how it all began:
It all started one night in my studio in 2011 when I’d had a few drinks. I went on Twitter and said I will send a postcard with an offensive message to the first person who replies to this. (Source)
After receiving over 50 replies in a matter of minutes, he sent the postcard to ‘winner’ to Jonathan Hopkins from Forest Hill in London, stating that Mr Hopkins had shit legs. “Fuck you, Jonathan, fuck you and fuck your shit legs” the card read. Even though he was saying something that would be offensive, even repulsive to some, Mr Bingo’s card went down a treat and kickstarted a niche market for cards that knocked the receiver’s self confidence.
Essentially, what I was doing was enabling strangers to pay me to tell them to fuck off. All this is comedy. It’s clear that the hate mail is a joke and that I’m only sending it to people who want it. (Source)
Mr Bingo himself receives a lot of hate mail, but takes it all on the chin, as he expects his clients to do. He is the type of person that considers swearing funny, and in fact necessary, but refuses to poke fun at homophobia, racism, religion or disability. The cheeky illustrator has also launched a (successful) kickstarter campaign to fund a printed collection of his postcards. You can see that project here. (Via Juxtapoz)
Have you ever wondered what you would look like without your head? Artist pepedsgn has been asking himself the same question: his most recent series #Losingmymind consists of a collection of colorful photographs depicting people, whose heads have been edited out. The result is both frightening and beautiful all at once and t forces you to reflect on the importance we give to the head and, the face, and the eyes in our everyday lives.
Pepedsgn plays with the double meaning of “losing your head” both in the literal and figurative senses in this decapitation series. The idea that the pressures of living in a modern world full of overstimulation, paired with the flood of human emotion we live with on a daily basis, paint a background for the loss of self depicted in these photographs. The depiction of headless subjects gives both a playful irony and, a certain thoughtfulness to the series by physically showing subjects without their heads.
The uncanny beauty of seeing people without their eyes, faces, or mouths makes the series all the more fascinating in the sense that their heads ,which govern all emotions and most non verbal communication are gone. Pepedsgn leaves it up to the public to imagine the possible emotions of the subjects and takes the notion of “brainspace” to a beautifully explicit level which allows us to reevaluate the way we read emotions.
A living snake wrapped around a face, a dozen of ladybugs, a scorpio and an howl using that same face as a structure. That is the set up of a fantastic photography series by Juul Kraijer called ‘Penumbrae’. The titles evokes darkness and shadows. It’s what we are getting visually and internally. The artist is inspired to manipulate reality, in the end, she gets to manipulate us, the viewer, in a disconcerting way.
The models are just the vehicle for ideas, they are not to be considered like portraits, nor are the animals. Clearly the main subject is twosome: the fusion between the animal and the face and the dark background. The intriguing face/animal amalgamation stands out from the shade, as if it had been sitting in the dark for an eternity. It will appear for a brief moment and then will go back into the gloom exactly the way we saw it at first, for all times.
Imperturbable tranquillity is the general tone. Despite a unsettling scenario that could create an anxious atmosphere, the calm sported by the faces leaves a mark of grace, the same expression that is usually found in Renaissance portraiture. Juul Kraijer is fascinated by surrealist photography, hence the execution of her series. Surrealism is about getting rid of the mind and the reason to only let the imagination dive and drive into the interpretation of the picture. Ideas and dogmas cannot be suggested, personal understanding cannot be captured.
The artist has created provocative poses. By elevating the animals on top of the faces she questions the hierarchies between humans and animals, models and accessories. The fact that the roles are reversed creates intensity, almost a tension. Comparably to the symbol of eternity described above, the use of the mirrors creates oddity and redundancy, which extends the feeling coming out from the photographs. The viewer is tempted to look away but there’s an indescribable attraction, a desire to see more.
Billelis (Billy Bogiatzoglou) is a digital artist, illustrator, and art director currently living in the UK. With an eye for bold contrasts and colors, complex machinery, and the macabre, everything he produces has a hyperreal and futuristic quality. In the series featured here, Billelis has chosen one of his recurring motifs — the skull — and reproduced it 50 times, digitally engraving each one with “key patterns that influenced humanity through the millennia” (Source). Open up his dark, digital sepulcher and you can see skulls marked with patterns resembling Aztec, Greek, Roman, Celtic, and folk designs, as well as geometric patterns and — on a different note — Space Invaders.
Each skull is uniquely sculpted in 3D. Focusing on texture, geometry, and symmetry, Billelis has perfectly enmeshed skeletal anatomy with complex patterns. The effect is both beautiful and haunting — hollowed eyes and fleshless mouths are framed and flowing with undulating lines, giving the skulls a morbidly antique and museum-like quality. This is not the first time Billelis has combined bones and geometry; check out his fascinating Man vs. Nature project for something similar.