Rob Sato’s watercolor paintings are whimsical clashes of documented history and personal dreaming: a magpie pictorial narrative of his own internal processing system or as he says, an “extension of writing” and “sifting through garbage. Getting a lot of trash out of my head.” His ability to condense worlds, communities, and landscapes into one surreal solid depiction, interestingly enough, conceptually harkens back to Vincent VanGogh’s statement on the watercolor medium itself as “a splendid thing” to “express atmosphere and distance, so that the figure is surrounded by air and can breathe in it.”
In the world of Belgian painter Mazzarella Thomas tiny people are doing bizarre and interesting things.
Artist Dan Witz seamlessly combines traditional, academic realism with rebellious vibes of the underground punk scene to create his massive paintings of mosh pits. His impeccable technical skill allows him to paint photorealistic scenes that embody the pulse and energy of the punk music scene. Each painting is an energetic force to be reckoned that demands a serious presence. The amount of people crammed into each piece accurately captures the chaos and action involved in mosh pits in real life. Dan Witz’s work is packed full of incredible movement and human energy that can be felt in the viewer. Because in almost all of these paintings the image is completely devoid of an environment or setting, they have a deeply psychological affect. An excitement and anxiety is created as you see the range of expressions on each person’s face in the sea of bodies. As Witz fills each frame from right to left with herds of people, an unmistakable flow of powerful strength is formed.
Based in Brooklyn, Witz is a painter as well as a street artist. Spending time in punk clubs and playing in bands when he was younger influenced the subject in which he paints. However, we can also see the influence of classical painters due to his more traditional painting style. This type of hyper-real approach is often associated with a more academic way of thinking within the establishment. He is able to take this conventional method of painting and use it to rebel and revolt. Dan Witz’s Mosh Pits series has recently been featured in this past month’s issue of Juxtapoz. This quote from the interview explains the influence and effect punk rock has had on Dan Witz.
“Punk rock had opened my eyes enough for me to understand that art could be about more than providing expensive wall candy for rich people. I could actually speak truth to power…”
The work of German graphic designer and photographer Stephan Tillmans combines a fusion of new and old technology. Outdated cathode-ray televisions are turned off to reveal a strange but familiar geometry, which are then captured with modern, high-resolution cameras and techniques. This kind of CRT technology is no longer used, and the images the Tillmans collects are equally rare, as each is a finite moment that can almost certainly never be repeated. According to Tillmans, his work is a “photographic series of old tube televisions taken at the very moment they are switched off. The TV picture breaks down and is abstracted to its essential element: light. Each of these photographs is from a different TV, but it’s also the length of exposure, timing, and time the TV has been running before the photo is taken that affects the results.”
Tillman’s recent portfolio is broken up into two categories – the Luminant Point Arrays, (seen above) made from color television sets, and the darker, more stark shapes of the Luminant Screen Shapings which are taken from black and white televisions (seen below). The more recent Screen Shapings lack color and some variation, but also have a more delicate, line-based visual strength. (via booooooom)
Salão Coboi is not a singular artist like you’d assume from the sound of the name, but rather a collective of individuals based in Portugal. They hit major attention on the blogosphere in 2011 when they did a project named Generation H, in which they sculpted figures wearing clothes modeled after actual items by haute couture houses like Prada, Alexander Wang, and Junya Watanabe. And there’s just something charmingly unique and European about the characters Salão Coboi create, which really makes me feel the same positive energy I get whenever I look at the wonderful designs of The Yellow Submarine and Wallace & Gromit. However, Salão Coboi have taken that kind of work to the next level by making it not just for children, but also adults as well. Beautiful/Decay featured the work of Salão Coboi a lift bit ago HERE.
Painter David Marc Grant‘s fantastical, somewhat neo-surrealist paintings on panel showcase a sophisticated sense of both color and composition. The layers of each piece seem to prop up the next, leaving plenty of corners and pockets for Grant to explore his interest in small detail and pattern. Although the compositions are mostly abstract collisions of geometric shapes and thick, viscous liquids—the artist positions the work as a mirror for the collapse of contemporary society. Grant’s inclination for abstraction disguises these artistic intentions in an attractive blend of quirkiness and color, leaving the viewer with a candy-coated version of dystopian landcape.
There’s a pervasive sense of childlike fantasy that seems to underline many pop surrealist works. Make-believe animals that don checkered coats, tight rope walkers and re-imagined cats all vibrate within and beyond the confines chosen by each artist at hand.
The alluring world of pop surrealism frequently ushers in a sense of mythical innocence and humor, unifying the superficial world of popular culture with the recesses of the unconscious. With underlying themes of fragility and the macabre delicately hidden beneath a veil of cultural kitsch, saccharine sweet dreamscapes transform and redefine a caustically bright world enamored with packaged goods. The fantastical worlds created through the lens of the following artists explores the relationship between the seemingly pristine and the accompanying bittersweet decay that dwells beneath it. Featured artists include: Casey Weldon, Mac Sorro, Rafael Silveira, Leslie Ditto, and Britt Ehringer.