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Izumi Kato’s Paintings Of Angelic Dolls On The Verge Of Breaking Apart

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Izumi Kato’s characters resemble angelic porcelain dolls. On the verge of breaking apart, they don’t seem to care. They just are, and that’s why they are so touching. The artist, from the tips of his fingers; with which he paints; brings to life innocent beings with extraterrestrial features. Their googly eyes, cracked noses and little bodies create an eerie harmony in the painting. So much that we would almost want to nurture them in real life.

As if he knew, their “dad” turned them into sculptures. He made them out of wood, three-dimensional, and as moving as their little brothers and sisters.

All that they evoke; strangeness, ambiguity, revulsion or sympathy is meant to dig into our contemplation on relationships. The poetic landscape of morbid embryos leads to question the nature of interaction with others but foremost with oneself.
Izumi Kato elegantly directs the viewer’s eyes to the characters’ heads, growing out of their svelt bodies, totemic figures; a blend of ancient Egypt and tribal African culture. He creates a bridge to our own head and thoughts because he wants the viewer to develop their own ideas from his abstract paintings and sculptures.

“Painting challenges the world. It is an unnatural form that has been singled out from our current three-dimensional living space. There is nothing strange about sculpture in our world, but painting is different. We search for another world in it.”

Izumi Kato is currently represented by Gallery Perrotin

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Striking Cross Stitch Tattoos By Eva Krbdk

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If you have a soft spot for cross stitch and tattoos, the work of this artist could well be your new favorite thing. Turkish tattoo artist Eva Krbdk is carving a new niche out for herself in the world of body art. She inks up cute, simple and striking designs for clients who are looking for something a bit different.

Krbdk tattoos anything from Marilyn Monroe, to Darth Vader, to roses, foxes and popular sayings. She of course, isn’t only limited to cross stitch designs – there are tons of other tattoos on her Instagram account, including great watercolors and pixelated work. She has a great eye for color, geometry and simplicity. Not relying heavily on black, or outlines to create definition, she utilizes spacing and natural contrast to create her distinctive markings. (Via Bored Panda)

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James Reka’s New Paintings Form Psychadelic Waves Of Vibrant Colors That Bring To Life Classic Greek Imagery

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The multitalented, Berlin-based artist James Reka uses striking colors and organic shapes to create his unique style of painting. Known as “REKA” as a street artist, his large-scale murals steal the spotlight in any setting, whether it be the railway lines of Melbourne, where he is originally, from, or the alleyways of Berlin. Heavily influenced by pop-culture, cartoons, and illustration, his work possesses a pulsating rhythm that brings the streets alive. His abstracted figures take on new shape and form in psychedelic waves that weave back and forth. With a palette reminiscent of the 70’s, Reka’s curved lines swirl around his compositions, creating a sense of depth that is both flattened and rounded, forming incredibly unique aesthetics.

Reka uses influence from his logo design background, integrating a pop-surrealist style into his murals and paintings. The sharp style of shapes and design used in his work creates a harsh contrast to the gritty walls and abandon buildings where his artwork often lives. His smaller paintings can be found in a more traditional environment, like on gallery walls, or in an even more unconventional place, on discarded, found objects. Reka’s newest body of work can be found at Avant Garden Gallery, located in Milan, Italy. The solo exhibition of the artist’s work, titled Olympus, exhibits paintings of Reka’s that pulls inspiration from ancient Greece. While still using his signature style, Reka renders scenes of bathhouses and Greek columns. This exhibition is on view now until July 10th.

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The Bizarre High Heels Of Kermit Tesoro Defy Trends And Celebrate Eccentricity

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When it comes to fashion, the most groundbreaking and expressive creations aren’t always the most objectively practical. Kermit Tesoro is a designer known for his bizarre high heels, such as one with a backward-arching platform and a skull impaled on the heel. Tesoro’s work caught the attention of Lady Gaga, who commissioned Tesoro to create the iconic (and seemingly gravity-defying) heel-less heels. In addition to covering them with sequins and black “slime,” Tesoro has designed shoes in the likeness of horse hooves and, more recently, a set of writhing tentacles.

For Tesoro, clothing is a physical/mental extension of one’s personality. Instead of using fashion to downplay or conservatize identity, he strives to make it strange and shocking, exaggerating (and thereby celebrating) one’s inner eccentricity. In an interview with StyleBible, Tesoro explains further:

“I want to translate people’s deviations into my own creations. It’s like a fashion interpretation of the biological or psychological deviation of a person. I’ve always been driven to create clothing articles based on inner conflicts or the inability to control one’s inner impulses or failure to structure one’s behavior in an orderly way. These traits are quantified into one as a form of aggression against others due to frustration that ignites nothing but rebellion. If my collections have violated one’s conventional control or if the collection amazed people, either way I’m very grateful with the outcome. There is no agitation without provocation.” (Source)

Earlier in the interview, Tesoro says that when it comes to making original and captivating designs, “one must follow his own instinct, and the trend will follow.” His methodology derives from deeply personal perspectives and inspirations, channeling a variety of emotions — from love and happiness to joy and despair — to create shoes that defy superficial notions of beauty in pursuit of daring forms of self-expression. Follow Tesoro’s work on Facebook and Instagram. (Via Bored Panda)

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The Big Bang: Ross Sonnenberg Sets Fireworks On Fire To Make Abstract Photograms

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What looks like a beautiful abstract watercolor painting is something else entirely. Cheeky artist Ross Sonnenberg lets out his inner wild child and lights fireworks in his darkroom to create these intensely colorful one-off photograms. Using photographic paper, gel, sand and light, he sets up the experiment and lets chance take it’s effect on the paper. Interestingly enough, the images he creates resemble galaxies, or close up views of our solar system. Full of different layers and textures, his work definitely looks celestial, and featuring a big bang of some kind. Sonnenberg writes:

I have always been fascinated by the planets and stars, looking through telescopes and wondering what these far off places might look like. With this series I have tried to create imaginary solar systems and super novas using different materials, and fireworks for my light source to make one-of-a-kind camera less images directly onto color and black and white photographic paper. Like the darkness in outer space, I work in the dark to create images that mimic the interstellar places that I always dreamed about going to as a kid. (Source)

His past two series featured the experiment on different scales – Color Bang features the technique on a smaller scale, using pieces that are quite small, and Long Bang involves using larger pieces of paper and stronger fireworks. Have a look at his technique in the video above, and if you are feeling bold, you could try it for yourself.

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WPA Posters From The 30’s And 40’s Promote Everything From Curing Syphilis To Travel

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Back in the 30’s and 40’s a program called the Works Progress Administration (WPA) was an attempt to provide more jobs for people. Those with artistic inclination were commissioned to make a series of public service announcement posters which covered everything from traveling to curing syphillis. Largely stemmed in Bauhaus and modernist traditions they lend themselves to early collage and minimalism. The colors are sparse and the shapes which make up the lettering and images seem cutout from construction paper. Even though these were done solely on a commercial level the artists involved were trained and put their very specific stamp on them. Mainly shown in states such as California, New York, Illinois, Ohio and Pennsylvania, the artists involved did not sign the work and most of the pieces were discarded after use. Recently, a committee was formed to try and recover some of these posters. The WPA Recovery Program was created in 2001 to try and locate original copies of the 2000 posters made.
Looking back experts have determined that these have become notable pieces of art and a legitimate record of that time. In 2008 a book called Posters for the People was published showing many of the works and identifying artist’s different styles. (via Hyperallergic)

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Beautiful Parasites- The The Morbid Reality Of Being Human Illustrated In Tammy Salzl’s Watercolors

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Psychologically dark and a bit grotesque, the watercolors of Montreal based artist Tammy Salzl are meant to be like beautiful parasites. She wants the images of scared children, fragile adults or lonely humans to disturb viewers at first, then slowly over time, delight them with their unique beauty. These emotional studies have evolved from Salzl’s earlier work where she placed the disturbed characters based on Grimm fairy tales in lush, busy backgrounds. Wanting to isolate the figure to exaggerate their state of mind, she has cleared the background and focused on the complexities of skin and the different emotions it can express.

I want the flesh I paint to make a connection between the material of paint and the material of the body, to reflect not only a psychological makeup but to suggest an ‘objectness’ of the body – a medium that is vulnerable to the stresses of life. I want the flesh I make to embody the human condition. (Source)

The figures in Salzl’s art are all suffering from some kind of conflict or anguish. She says she is most interested in expressing the psychological and emotional aspects of human nature, and does it in a personal way rather than in a cliched, way about our society as a whole.

I use allegory and metaphor to to express my particular anxieties and what I perceive to be a generalized psychosis in society. Instead of portraying dead Afghanistan civilians or animals that are going extinct at exponential rates, I paint people with gnarled, anguished flesh and and haunted faces that place them in conflicting settings that are familiar yet foreign. (Source)

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Through Magnified Faces Tony Oursler Is Teaching Us That Biometric Data Recognition Is Going Too Far

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Tony Oursler - Photography 4Common movie scenes are showing us police mug shots, incognito faces in crowds and wanted killer posters. None of these seem unnatural or chocking anymore, we are tamed by cyberculture and technology. We could not imagine having to go through an identity check other than with our passport, signature or a police officer physically present in front of us. Yet, we’ve already left those ancient methods and engaged with facial, retina and odour recognition; fingerprints and hand geometry. We’ve entered the biometric data era. Not always conscious of how fast the world evolves around us, Tony Oursler has set a mission to “invite the viewer to glimpse themselves from another perspective that of the machines we have recently created”. He has been exploring the link between the growth of our technological dependance and its effect on our psychology.

The artist has created magnified face images, some of them coated with a stainless steel panel embeded with video screens and others marked with geometric patterns of algorythmic facial recognition mapping. He is embarking us with a dash of humor into the disturbing technology’s effect on the human mind. Tony Oursler plays with the face. Starting with the eyes and going down into the neck,  he is suggesting that technology will use every bit of skin and organ to study the daily behavior, emotions and rituals of humans in order to categorize them. The viewer when facing those giant profiles is left with the strange feeling of being watched. The artist wants to highlight how uncanny is the process of teaching machines how to observe only the external appareance and to pretend, from there, to understand human’s true nature.

Tony Oursler is currently represented by Lisson Gallery.

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