At least in the United States, subways are often thought of as utilitarian spaces quickly passed through during rush hour. Sweden’s Stockholm Metro, however, is filled with bright colors, mosaics, bas relief, even, installations and sculpture created over the past 60 years. Often considered one of the continent’s most beautiful metro systems, the city takes the underground art very seriously. For the price of a ticket, the system offers guided tours with a Metro expert. Further, the Stockholm Metro hosts temporary art exhibits in addition to its six decades worth of permanent art. Next time your in Sweden be sure to schedule some time underground.
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)
Talented French sculptor and restorer Alain Bellino creates extremely detailed, ornate bronze sculptures from metal leftovers. He transforms various old items such as cutlery or chandeliers by welding them into fascinating works of art.
Born in 1955, Bellino has been learning gold and silver plating and bronze restoration in his father’s workshop. Only in 2010, after years of practice and technical research, artist developed his personal style which was highly inspired by both Renaissance and steampunk. As described in his website:
“In his work of re-directing and re-assembling, which is both iconoclast and highly rigorous from a formal point of view, at the crossroads between past and future, Alain Bellino sublimates and rehabilitates the ornamentation.”
Various steampunk motifs and floral ornamented skulls are frequent objects in his work. Bellino’s vanitas are often infused with extra surrealism, for example castles and ships and mounting on top of skull sculptures. His latest work, the Darth Vader mask, demonstrates how delicately Bellino’s creations connect modern and antique worlds.
The Taiwanese photographer Yung Cheng Lin presents the female body in unusual, erotic and sometimes absurd ways; his surreal, staged images capture a raw sensuality that oscillates between the fantastic and the grotesque. Here, women are seen initially as objects of desire, but they contort their bodies in ways that defy objectification and veer into abstraction.
Lin’s images, wrought with sexual tension, are at times uncomfortable to look at; a girl grips a box of milk, and its liquid ejaculates on and into her ear. Another woman holds a ripened, banana, which we might assume to be symbolic of the phallus, between her thighs; a finger penetrates and abstracted mound of flesh. A replica of the Mona Lisa sits between a woman’s legs, the part of hair mimicking a vulvar shape. The viewer, often seeing these female subjects from above, feel like strange voyeurs, peering into intimate rituals undetected.
Amidst Lin’s exploration of sexuality is a growing sense of anxiety that may be read perhaps a fear of female sexual power. A rose intimately penetrates a woman’s throat, and her head falls back and out of the frame as if in pleasure. But this symbolic intercourse is foreboding, dangerous: the flower is dead, wilted, and blood trickles down the model’s neck. Dead bugs infest the sets, sitting atop bananas and dangling from blood-red threads, signifying impending decay. Like drone bees who flock to mate with their queen only to die after the moment of fertilization, the insects fall at the feet of women. Take a look. (via Lost at E Minor and White Zine)
Multi-disciplinary artist Christopher Taggart‘s work elegantly investigates ordering systems, photographic dissection and dissemination. Most compelling are his large, meticulously woven collages of carefully selected imagery—a combination of playing cards, personal photos and government archives. Taggart presents these works in such a way that the viewer’s attention is simultaneously swallowed by the physical scale of each piece and lost in the smallness of the individual cuts.
The overwhelming nature of the work does not seem to be accidental, as he plays with the viewer’s sense of curiosity in each bite-sized fragment of imagery. While trying to look for themes or recurrences within the work, at times the subject matter reveals itself and sets a different tone. For example, Taggart’s digital photographic collage Colony combines and restructures aerial photographs of 21 California state prisons—something that casts a darkness over the colorful shards of imagery almost immediately.His latest solo effort, Cuts And Splits, is on view at Eli Ridgway Gallery through May 4.
If you like funny looking faces, then you’re gonna love what P.Williams has going on. A little bit of Crumb mixed with some Barry McGee, throw in some Spongebob Squarepants and we’re starting to get a little bit closer. Great selective use of color and text too, it looks like this guy fills up an entire sketchbook every week!
The team behind Atelier Ted Noten blend design and art so well, it can be difficult to unravel. They explore issues usually relegated to art such as violence, beauty, private and public life through design. Ice picks and cocaine are sunk into acrylic and transformed into designer bags. Perfume sprays down the barrel of a gun, its silencer concealing nail polish. The atelier’s design seems to at once celebrate and chastise high fashion’s excesses. Its bold design sensibility and irresistible ambiguity make their pieces difficult to turn aside from.
Check out this new video of street art legend Dan Witz putting up creepy pieces along the freeway just in time for Halloween!
B/D Cult trivia: Did you know long before Dan was a big name in the street art community B/D featured him in Issue: C? You can still get the issue on our shop and read about Dan before he took over the street art world!