As 2013 draws to a close, it becomes easier to see the trends in art, design and visual storytelling that attracted especially popular interest over the year. Among them were the use of superheroes, which only decades ago were confined to a mythology only ‘nerds’ spoke of. But with superheroes becoming ever-more popular and Geek culture no longer a source of shame, comic book and science fiction heroes have become instantly recognizable forms of pop symbolism for many. Beautiful/Decay featured the work of Andreas Englund’s aging superhero paintings, Alex Lukas’ referential superhero screenprints and Antonio Strafella’s comic heroes as saints, all who took these mythologies and blended them with updated styles, forms, perspectives and techniques.
Josh Lane (Ln) took the same cues with his perfectly titled Hero-Glyphics series, combining a variety of classic comic book (the X-men, Spiderman, the Avengers) and sci-fi (Star Trek) heroes, and re-imagining them in the style of Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. Ln expands on the classic heroes as well, also casting 90’s nostalgia (in the form of the Power Rangers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) as well as newer comic and movie characters (Kick-Ass).
Seoul native Eunjeong Yoo is an illustrator who now lives and works in New York City. In addition to Eunjeong’s strong conceptual approach, the quality I admire most in her work is her use of color; its placement has a haphazard feel and her palette choices both emphasize the narratives and instill a sense of in-the-moment movement.
Peter Buchanan-Smith is a New York-based graphic designer whose clients include Isaac MIzrahi, Paper Magazine, Brian Eno & David Byrne, and more. I particularly enjoy his clever book covers. He also inexplicably runs a company called Best Made Co. which exclusively produces $300 painted axes.
SpY is a Madrid based artist who playfully disturbs urban signs and signifiers, often confiscating them, transforming them, then installing them on the street. I love his really simple gestures, like putting orange construction cones on a sculpted bull’s horns–they just have the hilarious edge of an adolescent prankster (who went to art school and secretly adores Duchamp.)
Much of the work of Jonty Hurwitz plays with perspective. This is perhaps most obvious in the art pictured here. Hurwitz creates severely warped sculptures that are snapped back to shape in the reflection of a cylindrical mirror. He does this by scanning objects, digitally manipulating them, and fabricating the digital models. This explanation, though, is extremely simplistic. On his process, Hurwitz says:
“I usually start by expressing a concept using mathematical tools, often involving billions of calculations and many months of preparation. I then explore ways to manifest these formulae in the physical world.” [via]
I’m into anything called Safari Disco Club and you should be too. There’s people dancing in retro safari outfits, girls with their heads stuck in the ground, and weird french robot dancing courtesy of Yelle and backup dancers! There’s a few parts that look a little too much like a Lady Gaga video but I can look past that. Watch the full video after the jump!