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Alana Dee Haynes Illustrates Photographed Bodies With Flowing Patterns And Lines

Alana Dee Haynes - Photography, IllustrationAlana Dee Haynes - Photography, Illustration Alana Dee Haynes - Photography, Illustration Alana Dee Haynes - Photography, Illustration

Alana Dee Haynes is a Brooklyn-based artist who turns the bodies of her photographed subjects into illustrated surfaces, transforming blank skin and clothing into undulating patterns and shapes. We featured some of her works a couple years ago, but since then, Haynes has been continuing to create intricate and whimsical pieces. Peruse the flowing imagery and you will see kneecaps split open into eyes, collarbones overlain with lips, and torsos swarmed with circular, overlapping patterns that transform models into scaled, serpentine creatures. In a fascinating interview with Juxtapoz, Haynes explains how she uses individual physical characteristics to inspire her illustrations, thereby exploring alternative forms of bodily representation:

“Everyone has a certain way they see the world. Some things jump out at people, while others pass them by. I see faces and patterns everywhere. When I look at people, I connect their beauty marks, and find faces in their knuckle lines. It’s just the way I live. So, naturally, I see these things in photographs too. It is not synesthesia, but it is a similar way of viewing multiple layers in things.” (Source)

Fashion also plays a significant role in Haynes’ work. Just as clothes can be creatively worn to signify individuality, her illustrations transform the models’ entire bodies into expressive surfaces. “When it comes down to it, I believe fashion should bring out emotions and be relatable, as if wearing your own skin and mind,” Haynes explained to Juxtapoz. “And my skin is definitely full of faces and patterns” (Source). Whereas the face is so often read as the sole locus of emotional and cognitive display, Haynes’ brilliant line work illuminates the dynamism and individuality that exists everywhere: in our arms, legs, hands, clothing, and more.

Click here to read more of Haynes’ chat with Juxtapoz, and check out her website, Tumblr, and Instagram for more beautiful work. (Via Art Fucks Me)

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The Hyper-Real Drawings Of Alexandra Bastien Illustrate Life, Death, And Transformation

Alexandra Bastien - Color PencilAlexandra Bastien - Color PencilAlexandra Bastien - Color Pencil

At first glance, the artwork of Alexandra Bastien appears to be photographs of a nude woman with a variety of skulls. However, the artist unbelievably renders her hyper-realistic drawings from layer upon layers of color pencil. Bastien’s astonishing ability to create such incredibly detailed drawings allows her to beautifully show the human body in a state of transition. The heavy symbolism that has long been attached to the skull in art history represents death. Bastien illustrates this concept in contrast to the soft, warm body of the nude woman. The women in her work are holding the skulls, embracing whatever darkness they may bring. In one drawing, both skull and human have even merged together in perfect balance. This balance of life and death is shown in a state of transition and transformation, exploring themes of rebirth and the afterlife. Seeing the many different skulls amongst a human in its natural state may be reminiscent to human origins and ancestry.

Bastien’s incredible, artistic skill and talent can be seen in this photorealistic series titled Taming the Beast. She finds inspiration in her natural fascination with the human body and form. The accomplishments of this Canadian artist are just as impressive as her skill. Her work has been included in several publications and magazines as well as been exhibited all over the world.

(via Hi-Fructose)

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Travis Rice Creates Installations Of Rainbow-Like Waves Made From Thousands Of Pieces Of Shredded Paper

Travis Rice - Shredded Paper

Travis Rice - Shredded Paper

Travis Rice - Shredded Paper

The installations of artist Travis Rice crush you with their intense, waves of color. Made from thousands of pieces of shredded paper, his installations resemble cascading rainbows as they explode from the ceiling and swallow up their surroundings. Each installation of his is a 3-dimensional painting, using colored paper as paint.  Rice uses these tiny paper strips and applies them like paint suspended in the air, adding an element of motion to his work. Being interested in mark-making, this artist uses a balance of order and chaos to form such complex installations. The color-strips are grouped together in his work to create a larger body of color, using the chaotic and unpredictable part to construct the larger whole.

Rice’s installations roll like waves of water from the ceiling to the floor in beams of color. It is as if they possess a life of their own, becoming living organisms that seem to expand and consume everything in their path. Many of his pieces form hills and ripples, resembling landscapes and bodies of water. The thousands of pieces of paper imply a constant motion, even though the installation itself is static.  Travis Rice further explains his artistic process and what inspires him to use such a tedious, yet dynamic method in his work.

I am interested in the most fundamental element of the graphic arts, the mark. I am currently exploring the idea of marks as objects and modules that repeat and evolve into larger forms. My installations explore marks as modules that accumulate to create ordered masses. The approach is similar to that of the impressionist painter but the brush stroke has been replaced by individual thin strips of paper that are the resultant product of a mechanical shredder.

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Mark Holthusen’s Portraits Of A Cockfighting Team Posing With Their Roosters

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Photographer Mark Holthusen shows an unexpected side to cockfighting in his aptly-titled series Pelea De Gallos (Cockfight).Instead of capturing the brutal matches, he went a more tame route. Holthusen rented a photo studio called Hollywood Fotos and invited the Partido Tres Hermanos cockfighting team in Zaragosa, Mexico to have their portraits taken.

Holthusen’s pictures focus on seven different team members that pose with their beloved rooster. Some cradle the bird in their arms with others grip it with both hands. Either way, the majestic-looking creature sits as calmly as the men do.

In a blog post about Pelea De Gallos, Holthusen shares his experience. The team is made up of people who are a dentist, teacher, businessman, and student. “In the end they were nothing but smiles, excited to have their pictures taken.

However docile these images appear, they are tainted with the knowledge that these birds are forced into a cruel blood sport where death is an outcome. Roosters are specifically bred, fed, trained, and given steroids to make them into killing machines for our entertainment. It’s illegal in the United States but still popular and prevalent in many other countries.

If you enjoy Holthusen’s photos, check out his Second in Show series that we recently featured. It highlights the eerie similarities between show dogs and their owners.

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Hybrid Futures: Amy Congdon Uses Tissue Engineering To Grow Fashion Accessories

Amy Congden - Fashion, Design Amy Congden - Fashion, Design Amy Congden - Fashion, Design

Amy Congdon is a designer and researcher whose speculative “Biological Atelier” project brings fashion into the laboratory. The question driving her work is as follows: “What role will textile design play in the creation of biological products of the future?” (Source) Can we use tissue engineering to literally (and sustainably) grow fashion products, without creating waste, and without killing animals for their parts? As Congdon describes in the above video interview with Dezeen, her prospective collection would include a broach grafted onto the skin, and a collar attachment grown from an “an exotic mix of scales and leather.”

By combining textile design with tissue engineering, the possibilities for fashion products are virtually endless. “You could engineer specific properties into them,” Congdon explains. “They could be water repellent, or you could engineer the colour into them so you’re not having to dye them.” Furthermore — and here we enter the realm of a maybe-not-so-distant sci-fi future — Congdon hypothesizes that we could create hybrid materials, textiles deriving from combinations of organic tissues that have never occurred in nature.

While the conceptual pieces are beautiful, they may produce a sense of unease for some. Fashion, after all, usually involves commodities we put on and over our bodies, not ones that we graft on, and certainly not those made of materials birthed in a laboratory. This creates fascinating questions for the future of our bodies (and our consumer habits) — we could conceivably become hybridized by our fashion. As Congdon writes compellingly on her website:

“With one of the most controversial sets of materials becoming available for manipulation, i.e. our body, and those of other species, it could be argued that future fashion is grown from the ultimate commodity.” (Source)

Whether the concepts behind the “Biological Atelier” project fascinate or unnerve us (or both), Congdon points out the necessity for such speculative work. “We really need to acknowledge that we are living on just one planet, so we have finite resources,” she explains in the video. “So we really need to think about new ways that we might produce materials and products.” Such research, after all, may one day mean less suffering for the people, animals, and environments harmed by commodity production.

Visit Cogdon’s website to learn more. (Via Dezeen)

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Austin Lee Strips Away And Finds The Core Of His Subjects

austin lee paintingaustin lee paintingaustin lee paintingaustin lee painting

A portrait tries to capture the essence of a subject. By honing in on a solitary figure usually from the chest up, we’re able to delve into the eyes and see beneath the surface. There’s some seriousness involved because the traditional portrait is used to capture a visual record which can act as a long standing account of that subject. Taking this and flipping it, painter Austin Lee creates cartoon-like portraits of re-imagined people and animals. Bursting with neon color and loose line, his subjects have nothing to hide and let it all hang out. His work associates with characterture and gestural expression mostly ending up as vignette laden pictures.

With titles like Dunno, Mr. Worry, Facepalm, and Taboo the idea of community and friends surface as the subject for many of his pictures. In one, two figures appear in the front windshield of a car, the anticipation in their faces is that of a destination thay are unfamiliar with. In another, “Crush” a Mona Lisa type portrait peers out from a cabinet frame portraying someone the artist has a crush on?

Using a similar approach Lee creates heads out of 3D prints and acrylic paint. These look like self-portraits and capture certain aspects of his personality with the least amount of rendering.  To some degree both his painting and prints reference minimalism in their quest to strip away and find the core of its subject.

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Alexandra Levasseur Portrays Tragically Beautiful Women Filled With Dripping Color And Melting Flora

Alexandra Levasseur - Oil Paint and Pencil on Wood

Alexandra Levasseur - Acrylic Paint and Pencil on Wood

Alexandra Levasseur - Oil Paint and Pencil on WoodAlexandra Levasseur - Acrylic Paint and Pencil on Wood

Alexandra Levasseur’s complex paintings are filled with emotion and beauty. With heavy brushstrokes dripping with color, she creates scenes of tormented women in a strange world filled with golden halos, burning asteroids, and melting faces. These faces depict a deathly pale beauty that is often transformed and altered by thick globs of color or all encompassing flora. Levasseur explores themes of love and fear, anguish and unsatisfied desire in her body of work.

I am interested in depicting both the solitude and the bipolarity of the existence of the human being, through the representation of memories. I question the relationship between physical comfort and peace of mind, and how the environment around us can affect this state of mind.

Her women are set in scenes of rolling hills of flowers and palpable paint amongst other wilderness. However picturesque the setting may seem, there is a sense of distress and loss. Some of the women lie in a lush, colorful sea of flowers, but still have a look of distress on their face. There is repeatedly a flaming asteroid in the background, implying an impending doom. Levasseur beautifully portrays these women full of emotion, with an inevitable tragedy behind their eyes, if they even have eyes at all. Many of the faces have eyes hiding behind strokes of color, or holes where their eyes used to be. Each woman, beautiful in their own right, is lost and being engulfed in her equally as beautiful surroundings. All of the seeping colors, crushing flora, and heartbreaking women become meshed together in Levaseur’s paintings. She represents this world as a single organism, blending color and form.

Alexandra Levasseur’s solo exhibition Body of Land is on view now at Mirus Gallery in San Francisco.

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Bizarre “Ant Watch” By Analog Watch Co. Lets You Wear Ants On Your Wrist

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The Analog Watch Co. got into the spirit of April Fool’s Day with their absurd Ant Watch. Reminiscent of an ant farm, this accessory was purported to hold three to five live harvester ants that move within the tiny face. Each watch kit would come with shake-resistant sand, a food/water dropper/tweezers, a case-opening tool, and a care guide.

At first read, Analog’s watch listing sounds believable. They provide detailed instructions on how to add your ants to the small farm: (place their shipping tube in the fridge for 10 minutes to put them to sleep) and when to fed them liquid sugar (one to two times a month).

The longer you read the listing the more bizarre it sounds. Ants are only expected to live four to six months and all orders come with a one year supply of real ants. New ants ship every four months. Analog Watch Co. also adds that if your old ants are still alive to just set the other ones free. Luckily, the company stipulates afterwards that it, “ships never because April fools.” Whew.  (Via Design You Trust)

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