Remember Saiman Chow from our cover of issue H? Well, his new personal work, “Summer of Love”, showcases some inter-species romance that I’m pretty fond of. “Summer of Love” is described as a “bitter sweet series that examine our fascinating yet frightening views on sexuality in our exploitative society”. I liked this illustration so much that I made it my desktop background. It’s horrifying yet touching? I’m not quite sure, I just can’t stop looking at it.
Artist Nespoon, based in Warsaw, knows how to make people smile and forget, just for a second their worries. Random streets, abandoned spaces and tree trunks is where the artist chooses to install her intricate lace patterns, taking street art to another level. She stencils sidewalks, sprays signposts and hangs handmade crochet with no other intention than to create a surprise for the streetwalkers.
She calls her art “public jewelry”. Her devotion to making the streets look prettier is poignant. The lace patterns she uses are traditional, bold and extremely detailed for their sizes. She is inspired by textiles and makes sure to outsource local suppliers. The geometric and airy patterns generate harmony. Just what a busy jungle city needs: peace and beauty. By adding a touch of femininity to urban spaces, the city becomes lively and vibrant.
Lace has a special meaning for Nespoon. It has a history that speaks to the majority, mostly women. As for centuries, women were the only one crocheting, leaving a heavy heritage that can be now counterbalanced to their own benefits. They can recognize in the artist’s work a familiarity, a deja-vu and embrace the installations. (via Behance).
Ivin Ballen’s painting’s might look like they are tossed together in a few minutes with some glue and tape but they are in fact painstakingly made using fiberglass and trump l’oeil techniques.
Based in the Netherlands, artist Stefan Bleekrode creates astonishingly intricate drawings and paintings of landscapes, architecture, and urban environments. For his Cityscapes series, the artist has rendered unbelievably detailed drawings depicting metropolises both existing and imagined.
Using ink, Bleekrode composes dense and realistic images of buildings, streets, lights, and bridges. With stark tonal contrasts, precise perspective, and a stunning amount of detail, the scenes portrayed in each drawing look almost photographic, as if each one were taken from a bird’s-eye view.
While some of his pieces are set in very distinctive and familiar locations, like London Bridge & the Shard or Broadway and 5th, most possess ambiguous—albeit conceivable—titles, such as Italian City, City in Holland, or City at the Foot of the Mountains. This is because Bleekrode works entirely from memory, describing his completed works “as snapshots of things I’ve seen when traveling or just going through my everyday routine, small bits of beauty in familiar settings.”
Whether representing actual settings or conveying scenes rooted purely in fantasy, the cities depicted in Bleckrode’s elaborate drawings are surprisingly realistic and undeniably impressive.
Gracelee Lawrence’s comprised of steel, fabric, and various ropes look like otherwordly creatures that have come to earth to share with us the worlds geometric truths. Each object reminds us of a familiar shape yet holds back it’s true source of reference.
Teale Coco is a Melbourne-based designer, photographer, and international model who has crafted her own dark and fascinating brand of handmade accessories. Inspired by occultism, fetish, and human anatomy, Teale’s designs are characterized by powerful statement pieces influenced by occult symbols — such as the pentagram and sign of the triple goddess — in addition to harnesses that mold to the body in provocative ways. As a synthesis of dark themes and alternative culture, Teale’s work is a holistic approach to fashion, one that melds personal identity with empowering aesthetics.
“Fashion is art,” Teale wrote in a statement provided to Beautiful/Decay. “I don’t have boundaries with what I create, and I set no limitations. […] Human anatomy is one of my biggest influences. The shapes, sizes, lumps, bumps, bone, flesh: everything is derived from a natural source — even our technology today was first inspired by the mystery that is nature.” And, referring to how her “Medusa” full leg harness is an evolution of the garter (a time-honored fashion item), she goes on: “I am expanding these traditions and creating something unearthly.”
At the core of most subcultural fashion is a dissenting spirit that seeks expression beyond societal norms and limitations. The same energy drives Teale’s work as she endeavors to create pieces that foster individual empowerment. Following designer Yohji Yamamoto’s perspective on the seemingly paradoxical beauty of black — a “modest and arrogant” “color” that says “‘I don’t bother you, don’t bother me’” — Teale’s versatile pieces are both assertive and romantic, and can be hidden under clothes or displayed over top (Source). Furthermore, the harnesses are gender neutral and made to adapt to all body types, placing no restrictions on who can wear them. “I want people to love themselves, feel good, wear what they want to wear, and not judge themselves,” Teale wrote, explaining how body positivity was important to her project. “It’s not about what other people think about you, it’s how you feel about yourself — and my designs are here to help liberate you.”
Teale Coco the Brand is a passionate project that is destined to go far. In just over a year, after transforming her Etsy store into its own company, Teale’s work has gained an impressive, international following. All of the styling, designing, editing, creative direction, makeup, and social media are currently done by Teale herself, with a team of artisans sewing the designs. Check out the brand’s website, Facebook page, Tumblr, and Instagram to learn more.
Peter Saul’s perfectly grotesque; strangely cartoonish paintings are filled with political and anti-political content. Having been born in the 1930’s, he has lived through an immeasurable amount of political turmoil. His highly illustrative paintings come bursting with endless social commentary, with more than just a bit of humor. Associated with the Chicago Imagists and the west coast Funk Artists, Saul’s style contains heavy influences from pop culture and surrealism. His distinctive style is harshly cartoonish due to the brilliant colors and flattened space. The characters in his paintings have bizarre, exaggerated features such as big, bulging eyes that pop out of the person’s skull, and tentacle-like appendages that bend and stretch clear across the composition. Although this may remind you at first of the cartoons you watched as a kid, examine the paintings longer and you will see enormous nude body parts and plenty of oozing bodily fluids. These hilarious and misshapen characteristics further express his thoughts on these characters; some real, some fiction.
Although Saul’s style is derived from sources many may see as lowbrow, his skills as a painter and an artist cannot be denied after seeing his complex, multifaceted compositions. Saul is a master at taking silly, iconic imagery from pop culture and mixing it with the grim, violence of reality. Experiencing his paintings is a journey through time, as they include imagery of the Vietnam War, Martin Luther King Jr., and Ronald Reagan. However, the messages and situations depicted in these scenes still ring true today. Peter Saul’s long art career is memorable to say the least. You can see his powerful work in person at Venus Over Manhattan gallery in NYC where his exhibition From Pop to Punk will be on display until April 18th.
Jeremy Dower’s psychedelic paintings are out of this world. Every time I look at them I feel like I”m in a far away land where everything is colored rainbow bright and stuffed animals have come to life and rule the world!