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Just In Time For Winter, Tony Tasset And Three Other Artists Who Create Snowmen Not Out Of Snow

Tony Tasset

Tony Tasset

Todd Hebert

Todd Hebert

Hume_Gary_Back-of-Snowman_KingAu_MG_11792

Gary Hume, Back of a Snoman

Kristina Solomoukha, Discoba

Kristina Solomoukha, Discoba

Winter is coming!  Well, not so much in Los Angeles (although it did get down into the 40s last week), but across the country it seems to be looking a lot like Christmas.  One of any creative-minded individual’s favorite winter pastimes is making snowmen.  The four artists listed below take the art form to another level, incorporating the usually ephemeral figures into their art oeuvre in unique and intriguing ways.

Tony Tasset’s snowmen are partly funny, partly sad and partly just amazing sculptures.  Made from glass, resin, brass, enamel paint, poly-styrene, stainless steel and bronze the snow replicas are surprisingly convincing.  Catching a viewer off guard in a gallery setting, the snowmen freeze (pun intended) in time a phenomenon that is never the same—unlike in real life, Tasset’s snow personalities might last forever.

Kristina Solomoukha lives and works in Paris, France.  Her process is a reflection on urban space.  She pulls from codes and vocabulary from urban environments, combining them with her personal ideological view to create individual works and installations.  Playing with words and the absurd, her works, such as Discobaba, magnify and exaggerate existing aberrations.

Identified as a Young British Artist, Gary Hume, now 51, creates his snowmen images and sculptures by reducing them to their simplest forms.  Stacked spheres, the shapes are mere implications of a snowman, allowing a viewer’s mind to complete the association.   Titling the series “Back of a Snowman,” Hume’s works take on a melancholic mood.  We suddenly picture the snowman contemplating his own mortality, which in turn, might make us reflect upon our own.

Described as a pseudo Pop artist Todd Hebert’s meditative paintings apply airbrushed acrylic and super-realistic renderings to common holiday imagery.  The effects are narrative in a way that allows a viewer to be reflective about life at the various points of the year marked by the holidays.

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Bette Burgoyne

Dreams Are What Dreams Are Made Of Using only white pencil and black paper, Bette Burgoyne creates nature inspired illustrations in the form of whispy white lines.  Although dark and mysterious, her work is really beautiful.

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Mydeadpony Creates Tragically Beautiful Portraits Through Experiments With Illustration And Typography

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Illustrator Raphaël Vicenzi, also known as Mydeadpony, combines watercolor, digital media, and typography in the creation of stunning and imaginative portraits. His female characters are a troubling (but fascinating) combination of darkness and light; washed in pastel colours, their seemingly innocent faces and figures are fragmented with images and words, from swords to jerrycans to obscure declarations of “wake up” and “wolves in the house.” These interposing objects cause the sensual apathy of the faces to fall away into a richer complexity.

When I asked Vicenzi about his creative process, he explained that it is very much driven by stream-of-consciousness: “my process is to start working on an illustration even if I am not sure where I am going.” He builds his pieces bit by bit, exploring and discovering them as if they were living entities. And while the results are beautiful and eclectic, Vicenzi admits that his art involves “a constant struggle, battling with myself about this or [that] decision.” However, the results are powerful, multimedia creations. “It’s worth it,” Vicenzi writes. “No pain no gain.”

Mydeadpony’s pieces speak to us with a familiar melancholy, as they explore the underlying nature of our emotional lives; beneath every face is an interplay of longing, pain, desire, anticipation, and nostalgia. The name “Mydeadpony” itself emerged from a photograph the artist found of himself: a child sitting on a white pony. Upon realizing the pony was long dead, this experience made him profoundly aware of the irreversible passage of time, and how we experience transformative loss and change at several points in our lives. This is the emotional, visceral core of Vicenzi’s work; hard to describe, but intensely palpable. Check out his website for a gallery of his pieces.

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I Want Your Skull!

By now you can tell that we have a soft spot for the ocult, death metal, and anyone who will paint their face, grow out their hair and wear a studded cod piece on stage. To celebrate all things metal I present the “I Want Your Skull” Tee. Get it until Monday for 30% off with discount code: new30year. Long live the cult of decay!

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Briony Ridley

Briony Ridley

Melbourne-based photographer Biony Ridley describes her work as an adventure or a fairytale, saying that her lack of organization when it comes to shooting images helps lends her work an element of chance.

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Monika Horčicová’s Symbolic Wheel Of Life Created Out Of Marching Skeleton Legs

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The wheel of life represented by 29 walking skeleton legs and feet. Monika Horčicová is a Czech artist who uses 3D printing to come up with the base of her sculptures. The legs are made out of plaster composite, molded and then casted into polyurethane resin. The legs are then assembled into one piece.

Symbolists, Buddhists and probably many more cultures and art movements have been using the wheel of life. It is the representation of the cycle of life and death. Usually depicted next to the Lord of Death; the wheel turns under his will. Birth and suffering, joy and sadness, alternatively march together. Thus, each of us has the liberty to interpret the meaning of life through the wheel. In this case, Monika Horčicová chooses to emphasize its morbid features.

By using skeletons, she takes a stand, and doesn’t give us the choice but to picture life as inevitably dark and painful. The direction, clockwise or counterclockwise, is important when looking at a wheel of life. Usually we are not given the choice but to visualize it going clockwise. Here, the artist has not set the orientation. As we move around the sculpture, we are free to give it our own meaning.
Although death is predominantly present, we can choose to imagine the course of life going backwards. Our experiences and our knowledge as we move forward, are what make our inner self grow; allowing us to encounter the possibility of an indefinite renewal. (via Empty Kingdom).

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Censorship In Uzbekistan

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If you haven’t yet heard the news, Photographer Umida Akhmedova was convicted for slandering the Uzbek nation.  Umida’s works under scrutiny are a short film, “The Burden of Virginity” and a published book, “Women and Men: From Dawn to Dusk”; which both investigate gender roles in rural Uzbekistan.  In a strange turn of events, the judge who convicted Umida granted her amnesty, as a salute to the 18th anniversary of Uzbek independence.  Umida still plans to appeal the conviction.  What baffles so many is the fact that her photographs merely document, and do not really push forth an agenda or opinion.  You can take a look at some of the ‘slanderous’ photographs after the jump.  Do you find Umida’s portrayal of Uzbeki people as malicious?  Have you ever experienced censorship?  Weigh in on the matter and leave us a comment with your thoughts.

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Rena Littleson’s The Truth About Drugs

 

It’s funny how “facts” “evidence” and “reality” have a way of changing over time. How do they decide where the line between legal and illegal lies? Sometimes it’s anyone’s guess. Though probably money related. Rena Littleson’s The Truth About Drugs series of graphic illustrations explores these topics and more after the jump.

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