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Erik Jones’ Vibrant Paintings Juxtapose The Figure With Graffiti-like Abstraction

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Brooklyn based artist, Erik Jones, paints vibrant portraits marrying the female nude with abstraction. His new series, In Colour, juxtaposes traditional figure painting with digital-grafitti-esque mark making. His work is simultaneously inviting and confrontational — we enter the picture plan via recognized moments of breasts, hair, and lips, yet, are then pushed away by bold 2-D elements floating through a seemingly 3-D space (or perhaps, is it the other way around?). His paintings are endless fun for the eye, constantly provoking the viewer to make sense of a nonsensical atmosphere. He states:

“The figures are used as an aesthetic anchor, holding the viewer’s attention to a recognizable form, while exploring colorful, nonrepresentational abstractions. In a way, the figures make the chaos palette-able.  I wanted the graphic aesthetic to take on digital qualities and appear to be more naive and childlike in the approach. As if an inexperienced, non-artistic person were exploring a digital drawing program for the first time.”

The “digital drawing” effect mimics contemporary approaches to fashion prints and graphic design, giving off an editorial-like feel. While his work is very playful, it also feels precisely calculated and particular. Jones is able to create a hyper specific effect using a plethora of media, including; watercolor, colored pencil, acrylic, water-soluble wax pastel and water-soluble oil, making sure that each mark he makes is rendered the exact way he intends.

Erik Jones solo show, In Colour, will be showing at Dorothy Circus Gallery in Rome, Italy from October 24th – December 1st. (Via Supersonic Art)

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Yale University Releases 170,000 Incredible Photos Of The Great Depression

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In a database called Photogrammar, Yale has just released 170,000 searchable photos of the Great Depression. Previously stored away in the government archives, these are the unseen images taken by great photographers such as Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans, and Arthur Rothstein, all of whom were assigned by the Farm Security Administration to document the effects of the declining economy on the population. The database consists of a nation-wide map with clickable counties, each one leading to a gallery of snapshots from the region. Using the information from the Lot Number and Classification Tags systems developed by Paul Vanderbilt in 1942, the collection is searchable by photographer, lot number, and subject heading.

The result of Yale’s efforts is a fully interactive and fascinating glimpse into America from 1935 to 1946. Photogrammar tells the story of the Depression as it has never been seen before; from east to west (and including Hawaii and Alaska), we see rural laborers and townsfolk navigating the daily challenges of economic turmoil; there are signs of the oncoming war, as well. Despite being separated by a vast geography, each image is joined by a similar backdrop of hardship, endurance, and recovery.

Click here to explore Photogrammar for yourself. (Via Gizmodo)

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These Illustrations Were “Painted” With Microbes And Bacterias By Microbiologists

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Microbes as paint and a petri dish as a canvas. These are the conditions in which biologists and artists collaborated together to create organic and innovative pieces of art. Organized by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), the ‘Agar Art contest’ called all ASM members to demonstrate by a visual expression of their science the beauty of bacterias. The rendering of the contest led to entertaining designs and for some cases, deeper and profound interpretations.

If we look at the end results on the ASM Facebook page, without knowing the origin of the work, we could have guessed it was achieved by drawing and writing with colored sharpies on a gel texture. It’s astonishing and amazingly well done. The winners, microbiologist Mehmet Berkmen and artist Maria Penil won twice.

First with their ‘Cell to Cell’ design, a symmetrical design in orange and fuchsia colors. The captions explain the colors were obtained by isolating ‘yellow Nesterenkonia, orange Deinococcus and Sphingomonas’. Who knew bacteria existed in such superb tones?
The duo also won with ‘Hunger Games’, a 3D skeleton face literally symbolizing life and death. As explained in the description, the main bacteria which forms the textured effect of the eyes, nose and mouth grows in defense to a famine condition within its environment. Death had to be created first to generate life. The examination of the biological world via bacterias not only produced surprising designs, it also created a space for a spiritual introspection. (via Junk Culture).

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Mark Tuschman’s Powerful Photographs Documents The Lives Of Women Living In High-Risk Situations

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Photographer Mark Tuschman’s book, Faces of Courage: Intimate Portraits of Women on the Edge, documents women living in high-risk living situations. He photographs moments that encourage an aura of strength, capturing the true resilience women have. Many of these women face potential life threatening situations on a daily basis, such as arranged child marriages, forced pregnancies, domestic violence, human trafficking, and the denial of education. These are situations that often lead to serious mental and physical health issues — most of which are treatable given access to the correct facilities. Tuschman has been able to work in collaboration with NGOs, foundations, and UN agencies with the hopes to help both educate and empower women. His work documents efforts of grassroots organizations providing basic medical care, recovery surgery from injuries caused by young pregnancies, HIV/AIDS treatment, and shelter ensuring safety. These organizations also offer mentoring and educational programs that help women to learn various skills such as family planning, sexual education, as well as skills to help become business owners and gain financial independence.

His photographs capture moments from three continents, spanning between seventeen countries including; India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Laos, Indonesia, Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Peru, Ecuador and Trinidad. Mark Tuschman has been an international photographer for over 35 years and has actively been an advocate of global health and human rights for women. His work has received various awards and has been featured during multiple international health conferences. He is hoping to raise additional funds through book sales in order to donate copies to high school libraries with the aim to “inspire a new generation of activists, and to motivate those already working toward equality, to continue empowering women and girls.”

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Samantha Wall’s Abstracted Ink Portraits Explore The Complexity Of Emotion

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Artist Samantha Wall, a Korean born artist now residing in America, creates ink portraits of identity-less faces expressing various psychological states. Her work is loose, slightly abstract, yet delicate in detail. Through her series Let Your Eyes Adjust to the Dark, she aims to address the unifying power of emotion. She states;

Let Your Eyes Adjust to the Dark is a collection of drawings that delve into my obsession with the internal emotional states that separate us as individuals, while simultaneously linking us as a whole. The expression of emotions provides a doorway into private experiences that reveal our commonality, a smile could indicate pleasure and a frown, sorrow. These communicable emotions reach outward from within, making our bodies transparent. I am interested in the emotions that are more difficult to penetrate and are cloaked even from our own awareness. These are the emotions that sculpt our psyches, erect psychological boundaries, and fill our shadows.”

By creating strong images of non-recognizable subjects, Wall not only speaks of emotion, she also addresses complications of identity. Her subjects are of no particular race, referring, perhaps, to her own multi-faceted history. When subtracting a recognizable being from her portraits, she allows the viewer to purely experience a moment of psychological inquiry and not one based on social constructs.

Her drawings are careful works that display the true ability of her medium. By using ink as a means to speak about line and depth rather than tonality, she allows the looseness of her process to create visually complex images that are able to display just the right amount of information.

Unlike the traditional portrait, Wall displays an array of images that leave us searching, internally for feelings, rather than for narrative meaning. (via Hi Fructose)

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Norihiko Terayama Fills An Hourglass With Bubbles To Inspire Peace And Tranquility

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Norihiko Terayama - Design

Norihiko Terayama - Design

Norihiko Terayama - Design

The hourglass is an object of antiquity, and while it has been replaced by alarm clocks and other more reliable timepieces, its symbolism remains buried in our imaginations: it reminds us of the seemingly linear passage of time as it seeps away, grain-by-grain.

Turning this symbolism (and its concurrent anxieties) on its head, Japanese designer Norihiko Terayama has redesigned the hourglass to inspire a sense of reflection and peace. Called “Awaglass” (“awa” meaning “bubble” in Japanese), bubbles take the place of sand, appearing to float upwards at varying speeds for approximately three minutes. Its soothing, hypnotic movements encourage you to enjoy the present moment, rather than anticipating the end. Watch the video above for a demonstration.

The Awaglass is available in two different sizes and can be purchased on Spoon & Tamago. Visit Terayama’s website to view more of his designs. (Via Spoon & Tamago)



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Benze’s Ultra Detailed Ink Drawings Are An Explosion Of Pleasure For Your Eyes

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Extremely detailed back and white drawings. Benze is an Hungarian artist who hand-draws ink illustrations. The work in singular. Looking like tattoos from far away, up close; it’s an invitation to explore every single detail forming the elaborate face, animal or flora.

Benze compares his process to a “distillation”. An attempt to part the traditional oil painting and the modern back and white graphics. The result is a blend of calligraphic style, an “art of giving form to signs in an expressive, harmonious, and skillful manner”; and perfectly traced features. The artist’s intention is to give pleasure to the eye. The explosion of intricate characteristics within a general shape calls the attention. Benz tells a story within a story. Leaving the viewers the option to just see the bigger image or to go deeper into the thousands of fine-drawn hidden elements.

“The tattooed looking components are very important parts of my drawings because they continuously open up new interpretations of the image”.
The designs imitating tattoo graphics open the imagination for endless new interpretations. The structure of the drawings create an energy which can never bore the eye. (via Illusion Magazine)

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Esai Ramirez Envisions Crayola Box Sets Inspired By Iconic Works Of Art

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LA based artist and designer, Esai Ramirez, has created an imagined series of art inspired Crayola box sets. With a BFA in advertising, Ramirez has used his eye for marketing along with his talent for design to rebrand classic concepts. Inspired by the Pantone color-coding system, Ramirez has matched specific palettes from iconic works of art and has manufactured them into organized lists of crayon colors. One of the conceived collaborations is with the color theory master himself, Joseph Albers. Here we see an alluring array of orange to match Albers’ Homage to the Square: Glow. The others include palettes influenced by the works of Jen Stark, known for her hypnotic, vibrant paper sculptures, Damien Hurst’s muted, aquatic blues, greens and grays, and, probably most humorously, a full box set of Yves Klein’s signature velvety blue.  He also has created a Crayola/ Pantone collaboration box set in which he imagines hue names such as a vivd red titled “pms 185u.”

Esai Ramirez aims the project to be fun and hopes it “encourages adults to play more with color and art.” His work tends to revolved around the marriage of two concepts, ideally creating a new unified vessel to conceive each one. His states about his work:

“Whether it’s two lovers about to kiss for the first time or two boxers about to slug it out–the things that bring us together as well as pull us apart are what I look for in everything I see.” (via Design Boom)

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