The work of Italian artist Alessandro Rabatti humorously comments on the current economic state that the world is in. Using different currencies from around the world, Rabatti rearranges and alters the faces of each political icon and transforms them into a comic book hero. By rearranging and breaking down household faces such as Abraham Lincoln and Queen Elizabeth II, the artist deconstructs their economic status. Each important leader’s status has been elevated from historical legend to fictional superhero, as if their alter egos are really Spiderman, Ironman, and Catwoman. The interesting part about this transformation is that some of these heroes and villains are more recognizable to people than the historical figures themselves.
This series, titled Facebank, comically comments on our economic state and the actual worth of money today. We trust in these icons just as children trust Captain America and the other courageous characters. In creating this series, Rabatti aims to spark a dialogue concerning the current, unstable state of world economics. Another interesting element in the artist’s work is that each face is now wearing a mask. The mask is often associated with hiding one’s identity or giving a false appearance; pretending to be something you are not. This is no doubt another layer in Rabatti’s series, commenting on political figures and their place in society. The artist’s funny and clever artwork combines comic book superheroes, economics, and political satire to create this multifaceted series. (via Design Boom)
A brand new method for painting 3D objects may just revolutionize the way our cups, shoes, masks, vases, or car parts are decorated. Basically any type of object – and not necessarily a 3D printed one, can undergo this process, and come out with a multicolored pattern transferred onto it’s surface. Researchers from Hangzhou’s Zheijiang University and NYC’s Columbia University ave come up with this idea, one that they call computational hydrographic printing.
Hydrographic printing isn’t entirely a new thing – in the past, patterns were applied onto a thin film of plastic sitting on a body of water. The object was then dipped into the water, through the adhesive-soaked film. The trouble with that method is that the pattern was stretched around the sides of the item, warping and ruining the design. It could never yield consistent results. But this is the difference now:
….what they do is 3-D scan whatever object they want to print on before they dunk it. Algorithms then take whatever pattern you want to paint on it, and print it on the layer of transparent film in such a way that, when lowered into the water bath by a robotic arm, the pattern will be applied perfectly, every time. (Source)
With this method, you can repeatedly dunk the item, and decorate multiple sides, without the pattern getting screwed up. Be sure to watch the video to watch the whole incredible process. (Via Fast Code Design)
Artist Anna Barlow creates a kind of dessert that you would never want to eat –ice cream made out of ceramic! Although her work contains the same rich, juicy colors irresistibly drippings as ice cream does; the substance is not actually melting at all. It is constructed with ceramic and porcelain entirely by hand. She not only molds clay into scoops of this dairy treat, but also little cherries, candy hearts, ice cream cones, and even the occasional pillow being engulfed by the seeping dessert. Even more interesting, the artist also makes ceramic shoes that appear to be comprised of ice cream and flavored syrups swirling around the heel.
Barlow’s incredible skill in sculpting these delicious desserts combines with her perfect sense of color and glazing to create a finished piece that looks good enough to eat. The artist explains that she finds beauty in the drips of oozing ice cream and is fascinated by its natural transformation in shape due to its current state. It may be fluid with colors blending together on a hot day, or frozen into perfect form. The malleable nature of the substance is somewhat similar to clay. It can be manipulated and molded to a certain extent, but, unlike ice cream, clay can be fired into ceramic in order for it to hold a permanent shape. She unites ceramic and porcelain in order to achieve the right texture and coloring to portray these desserts.
“…the dry translucency of high fired porcelain suits the biscuit texture of wafers and ice cream cones, while the colourful liquidity of a silky opaque earthenware glaze is used to capture the quality of dripping ice cream.”
Elizabeth McGrath is a Los Angeles-born artist known for her sculptural explorations of beauty and the grotesque. Her animal figures are both endearing and frightening; with jagged teeth and oozing, bloodshot eyes, they resemble possessed dolls, manifesting horror and fragility all at once. Many of them have been anthropomorphized with human clothing and objects, lending them distinct characters. By distorting beauty into twisted, monstrous reflections of itself, McGrath playfully comments on vanity and materiality and the forces of death and decay that fester right beneath. Her Artist’s Bio elaborates further:
“Inspired by the relationship between the natural world and the detritus of consumer culture, [McGrath] brings forth a new cavalcade of creatures from the darker corners of the streets, the city, the imagination. It is this melancholy interaction between man-made status symbols and suffering specimens of nature that make up her intricate body of work.” (Source)
In addition to her morbid menagerie, McGrath also makes similarly-themed dioramas. Channeling the aesthetics of Tim Burton, tattoo artistry, and the carnivalesque, each creation is a dark miscellany, coupling death with innocence. Visit McGrath’s website and Facebook page to learn more about her work.
As if looking through a funhouse mirror where a likeness is seen in multiple forms, artist Lee Griggs creates funky portraits with the aid of 3d Scans. By distorting the face he achieves a physical illusion which plays on various fears and insecurities. Some of the faces are bloated into blockhead or more architectural shapes and through the aid of 3d Scans are manipulated into an aesthetic which bring out what someone might feel on the inside. It plays on different aspects of mood and personality which might be normally hidden and not seen. The physicality of the pieces find reference in masks but stay within strict perimeter of what is human and doesn’t divert into otherworldly fantasy. Instead it makes something fantastic out of the familiar and has a strong foothold in drawing.
Some of the specific pieces Griggs make look as if they’re about to burst from anxiety or stress. It metaphors sayings like “my head’s about to explode” and puts it in a literal sense. Some have called his drawings nightmarish which definitely holds true to some extent. There will be those who associate distortion with the unknown and therefore horror. Some actually look like the boulder-like creatures known as Gorons from the popular video game “Zelda”. When thought of in that context they lose a tiny bit of their scariness. (via thecreatorsproject)
Have you ever wondered what a modern day Bacchus would look like? Or where Hercules and Hera would make out if they lived in a city? Well now you get to visualize it thanks to the imagination and talent of Ukrainian art director Alexey Kondakov. In his series The Daily Life Of Gods, he has photoshopped different classical gods, nymphs, angels and cherubs into various settings and locations we are all familiar with in our age.
We see Romans who sit in the middle of subway stations wearing laurel wreaths and playing the harp, like it is just another ordinary day. A forlorn damsel sits in diner pining over a lost lover, drinking a hot cup of coffee. A scantily clad couple make out on a sidewalk, in the dim street lamp light, surrounded by nosy cherubs. The different scenarios Kondakov has created are oddly surreal. Although they are far fetched, the scenes are not too unfamiliar. The figures, who would appear graceful and ethereal in Renaissance paintings, are, in their new settings, distasteful or tacky. The groups of these mythical figures are almost like drunken party tourists in any modern metropolis; looking like they are causing trouble and up to no good after a Friday night pub crawl.
Kondakov talks about his project a bit more:
….Then I thought, ‘What if I invite these [gods] into our reality and imagine they are on streets of modern Kiev?’ Then I wanted to transform a noisy company of cheerful kids who gathered to spend time together in the city or go to the movies. And in these heroes I saw the work of other artists. ….My project is about life. I really want to avoid talking about the social commentary. (Source)
But however they may seem, Kondakov’s fictional scenarios are definitely amusing, entertaining, and perhaps let us see the street dwellers of our own cities in a different light. (Via We The Urban)
Young Japanese artist/candy maker Shinri Tezuka keeps a centuries old tradition alive known as amezaiku. This is the art of making lollipops from sugar, water, starch and food coloring. What makes Tezuka unique is how he takes this technique to the next level by creating beautiful creatures which are almost too good to eat.
His latest creations are of the aquatic variety and engage in an almost scientific-like aesthetic. His work becomes a study in temporary beauty and in this case water creatures such as lion head goldfish, frogs and tadpoles are elegantly rendered. Their ultra realistic nature hints at the eerie and tends to look similar to watercolor paintings or glass sculptures one might find in a curio shop. Much more than a candy made to be consumed Tezuka takes it to the next level with craft and allows the sweet sticks to cross over into fine art. The realistic quality make them almost impossible to eat because of their beautiful aesthetic.
The first candies resembling Lollipops date back to the middle ages when nobility would eat boiled sugar on sticks. The modern day lollipop is credited to a man named George Smith who trademarked the name in 1931 after a racehorse named Lolly pop. He originaly sold soft rather than hard candy on a stick. When broken down the word lolly pop means tongue slap. (via spoontamago)
The dark, mysterious painting and drawings of artist Constantine Lianos are full of psychological paradoxes and allegories. This Greece-based artist creates windows into a strange world where troubled beings and mythological creatures exist. Devoid of color, Lianos sets an unnerving mood appropriately complimenting his equally disturbing individuals that appear to be in a never-ending struggle. Each figurative narrative he illustrates portrays fable-like characters that are in a personal crossroad or inner struggle, contemplating their own fate. The artist himself draws inspiration from his own personal reflections. The internal struggle that is represented in Lianos’s work is something relatable to everyone. What makes this so captivating is the bizarre and surreal situations that we find depicting this turmoil. You can see conflicting emotions in the faces of each character. Doubt, fear, indecision, and even anger can be found in his peculiar circumstances.
A talented figure painter, Lianos is not interested in rendering reality, but instead a more abstract idea with less restraints. The artist’s work pulls influence from a large range of sources such as street art, comics, and imagery from classic art movements. Interested in paradoxes, he believes art is a place where illusion and reality meet, where a new construction of the world can begin to form. The artist explains this in relations to his process. (via Hi-Fructose)
“The painting process is for me the ultimate introspection process, where the rational and the emotional are inseparable, where the method meets the random.”