Riikka Hyvönen celebrates bruises on women’s body. Women that are rollerskating in a high level competition called ‘roller derby’. It’s an aggressive game which ends up marking the contestants for quite a long time; or at least until they heal. The artist uses hyperrealism to depict the bruises, which she calls ‘kisses’, as a trophy, a victory over the pain they are going through during a competition.
Hyperrealism is a method which consists of painting on a large scale canvas a reproduction of a photograph.Rikka Hyvönen collects photographs of the roller derby girls and chooses the bruises she considers being the most interesting. Not necessarily the biggest ones though. The bruise on the cheek is the focus of the painting. The whole image is kitsch, pop and above all real. The different colors of a bruise are painstakingly detailed, from yellowish to grayish.
The violence we associate to bruises are the symbol of the strength defining women. They symbolize the capacity of a woman in life in general to fall and get back up again. Rikka Hyvönen is saying, through her paintings that any mark due to a battle needs to be claimed and worn with pride.“I believe these images are charged with mental strength. They show that the player’s bodies can take the hits yet overcome the pain and still continue to play… Obviously, I am objectifying these women totally. But I am doing it exactly the way they objectify themselves: their big and strong bums are assets and to be carried with pride.” (via Hi Fructose)
Artist Amandine Urruty’s new series of drawings delivers a collection of artworks worthy of illustrating an Alice in Wonderland picture book . Urruty’s new work is mainly done in pencil or graphite and in black and white. She depicts a mildly disturbing combination of children’s book and cartoon characters, monsters, as well as a wide selection of pop culture elements. The way she depicts nightmarish scenes and sometimes works in triptychs is reminiscent of the work of Hieronymus Bosch and, in a way she has delivered a contemporary, almost cute version of his work.
Her work unfolds in the details: she places familiar yet odd items in the backgrounds and in the corners of her pictures and you have to look closely to see the intricacy of her work. For instance one of her drawings includes a Victorian house next to a waterfall with what resembles a hotdog in a boat floating down the waterfall. Her illustrations are also sprinkled with little sheet ghosts which give her drawings an additional Halloween touch. The ways in which she makes use of the shadows in her illustrations give her work a sort of gothic touch. Upon close examination of her work, in one of her pictures, a collection of small cultural artifacts can also be seen: little men in masks with painted chests are huddled around a young girl sitting on a log while their compatriots are in the background holding up a brain with arrows planted in it.
Urruty’s wide eyed, monochromatic characters border the psychedelic, with their dark, blank stares and oscillating bodies. Her use of black and white lines and shading gives her work an extra otherworldly touch, in such a way that it almost looks like it comes straight out of the 1960s. She also says that her works contain a certain number of personal items, which gives her work an added touch of mystery and depth. Her combination of characters, albeit mildly terrifying still have a little touch of playfulness which gives them the potential to serve as illustrations in a children’s book.
Artist Whit Forrester’s photographic series, Affinity in the Tall Grasses, documents his time spent on a queer marijuana farm in California. He states:
“The work began as entertainment when I was not manicuring cannabis. I’d seen a psychic a few years prior who suggested I go back to photography which coincided with a move out west (again). ‘Affinity’ is the documentary beginning of a body of work that continues to look at my own history within the history of cannabis, and thinking about the ways that queer history and culture intersects all of it.”
The artist explains that the work explores the connection between the legalization of marijuana in California in 1996 and the rising HIV/AIDS epidemic. He continues by stating that at the time, the Queer and Trans community (or what he refers to as LGBTTSQIQ) was heavily affected by the epidemic, and therefore, a large portion of those campaigning for legalization were within that community. Furthermore, there is inevitably a strong link between the legalization of cannabis in California and the Queer Trans community.
Affinity in the Tall Grasses is just one of many series the artist has created. His work is constantly searching for new intersections between collective history and personal selfhoods. He states:
“The work and research I do typically thinks of the ways in which identity plays into our connections, but also strives to look for new ways in which we compose our identities, and the potential ways that could change. I am interested in larger, decentralized radical community and identify with conceptual experimentation in the service of creating new forms of social community, especially in relationship to land.”
Sin-Eater is a UK-based artist who draws murky scenes of ancient beasts and the dark arts. Like fable illustrations or tarot cards, his works are replete with eerie-yet-powerful symbols, such as the moon in various phases, leaking hourglasses, human skulls, and obscure runes hidden amidst fog and fur. His intricate linework and grimly religious imagery recall the works of Albrecht Dürer, one of Sin-Eater’s influencers; in a similar style to Dürer’s 1513 engraving “Knight, Death, and the Devil,” for example, Sin-Eater depicts his own esoteric, dream-like sequences wherein the underworld seeps through the surface of the earth, manifesting in visions of twisted forests and unearthly beings.
The name “Sin-Eater” comes with its own fascinating mythologies. From Mesoamerica to the English countryside, the concept has arisen in folklores across the world, referring to people who eat or drink the sins of a deceased person, thereby purifying the spirit’s soul. Through images of death, rot, and consumption, Sin-Eater’s artwork hearkens back to these ritualistic practices, using a traditional medium and ancient imagery to figuratively dissolve the “sins” of humanity across time and space. Like polished bone beneath the rot, the result is a series of illustrations that fester in the imagination before splitting open into near-transcendent beauty.
View more of Sin-Eater’s works on Tumblr. Prints and other merchandise featuring his work can be purchased on his shop. Sin-Eater has also designed items for the Irish clothing company Nine Lives, viewable here.
Erik Parker is a German-born, New York-based artist who paints mashed-up characters in psychedelic landscapes; from graffiti, to comic books, to hip-hop, his work represents a synthesis of subculture that has taken on a rebellious life of its own. His work is part of Beautiful/Decay’s Issue O:“…Is the Public Enemy,” a magazine dedicated to artists who critique—through different mediums—mainstream structures. Other featured artists include Anthony Hernandez, a photographer who documented over 40 years of marginalized people and disregarded places in Los Angeles, as well as Imaad Wasif, a singer-songwriter whose passionate, eclectic style traverses the realms of folk and psychedelic/postmodern rock.
Parker’s approach to the “public enemy”—normative society—is to animate cultural expressions of dissonance into grotesquely expressive beings. Order is twisted into madness; human bodies are melted into sensation-filled lava pools of eyeballs, mouths, and viscera; and playful, biomorphic shapes swell into the suggestively sexual. In true graffiti style, many of Parker’s works include words resonating with rebellion and discontent, such as “rize,” “torn,” and “sink/swim.” With their amorphous and infinitely unpredictable shapes, Parker’s paintings signify a fluid form of resistance that undermines structures of constraint.
To learn more about Parker, check out B/D’s Issue O, which includes a feature-length interview with the artist. Limited copies can be purchased in our shop.
A picture of a celebrity taped on a cracked wall. Otto Duecker not only depicts portraits, he also paints the surrounding that goes with it. Like all artists part of the hyperrealism movement (or photorealism) from far, the whole image can be misled for a photograph.
Otto Duecker depicts celebrities from the 20th century such as Mick Jagger, Basquiat,John Lennon, Marilyn Monroe and more surprisingly Yoda. The black and white photos are represented crumpled and torn. Hung by random pieces of tape on a contrasted colored wall, the faces appear naturally brightened and alive. The artist painstakingly reproduces the details of the faces’ features and the cracks which makes the nature of the piece even more confusing to determine.
Hyperrealism allows the artist to guide the viewer to a new intimate examination of the piece. How did the artist depict the whole thing? Did he tape a picture of the celebrity on the wall and reproduced exactly what he was seeing? Do this wall exist in reality? Through this process, the artist gets in the way and the dialogue is not between the painting and the viewer anymore, but between the artist and the viewer. We are seeing the subjects through the artist’s eye and that’s what make the experience unique. (via Faith is torment)
For the last forty years, Stan Herd has been transforming open plots of land into stunning works of art. His medium, which he refers to as landscape or earthworks art, involves sculpting the terrain by mowing outlines, trimming grass for depth, and using various plants to create shade and texture. His large-scale projects have cropped up across Kansas, reinterpreting famous art pieces and even delving into important social issues, earning him coverage and accolades from publications around the world.
In a recent piece commissioned by the Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia), Herd reimagined Vincent van Gogh’s 1889 “Olive Trees” using an acre of land outside the airport. With expressive accuracy, Herd has transformed an otherwise flat, empty field into the likeness of van Gogh’s vision of nature and divinity, capturing the iconic, wistful trees and dancing sun. In the video above, Herd describes his inspiration and enduring admiration for the long-dead artist:
“The amazing thing about van Gogh’s painting is that there’s not a single straight line in the whole canvas; everything is organic and curved and flowing and it’s like a pulse. I’m just amazed that after months of looking at one painting that I continue to discover things in it. […] I think this is what van Gogh saw. Everything was moving for him, and everything was moving together.” (Source)
If you’re flying into Minneapolis this fall, be sure to keep an eye out for this masterpiece. You can learn more about Herd on his website and Facebook page. More images of “Olive Trees” and other works after the jump.
Agostino Arrivabene paints dreamlike visions of pain and beauty. With tentacle-like flowers growing from ethereal faces and branches reminiscent of veins encompassing bodies portrayed as saints, his paintings exist on their own plane of reality. It is almost as if they come from a time where time itself is non existent, as they seem to be simultaneously prehistoric and futuristic. His figures are almost treated in a pathological sense, yet are delicately sentimental, creating an innate sense of wonder.
His body of work aims to mimic “a room of curiosities” — referring to a collection of exotic memorabilia gathered by travelers. However, his collection is a metaphorical culmination of the excursions he has taken internally; he relates his process to that of the journey of Dante through hell. He is an artist that mainly lives in solitude, allowing him to fully immerse himself in his own bizarre world, drawing inspiration from his own dreams and the dark nature he surrounds himself in.
His extremely introverted and contemplative practice is heavily influenced by old masters. Using traditional methods such as grinding his own pigment, making his own paint, and using a near-extinct technique that combines egg tempera with oil, he allows himself to fully utilize the complexity of color. In doing so, he interjects himself somewhere in the middle of, or perhaps, within various aspects of, the history of painting.
Agostino Arrivabene transcends art history not only through technique, but also through content. His work winks at artists from multiple eras of time. There are strong connections to Italian Renaissance painters such as Sandro Botticelli, Symbolist painters such as Odilon Redon, Visionary painters such as Gustave Moreau, and the psychological darkness similar to the work of Francis Bacon.