Inspired by street art, DADA, and German expressionism, Andrew Paul Kerr‘s digital collages explore the juxtaposition of the tangible physical world with it’s struggles, death, beauty, and wonder with that of the spiritual and what happens when these two worlds collide.
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Kevin Dowd creates photo collages that examine the familiar in surreal environments. An amusement park ride is suspended in mid-air; the lonely peak of a roller coaster ride frames a mysterious moon. His artwork resonates with emotional meaning, evoking feelings of uncertainty and isolation. By using the totems of our childhood — brightly colored balloons, swings, and theme park rides — Dowd also calls up a sense of unsettling nostalgia.
This is no coincidence. One of his collections is called Technostalgia: a pair of balloons tethered to a telephone pole, at odds with a wisp of cloud in the background that could either be coming or going. The artist’s intent is to examine “the nature of communication, the analogous methods of wired transmission, sound and even thought.”
Dowd is a thoughtful artist who has grand metaphorical meanings behind his work. Field Day: Ascent, the collage of children on swings rising into the sky, is meant to “capture sensations of awe and beauty, while recognizing the tentative nature of such experiences.” The photos of the roller coaster, named Babel I and Babel II, “explore the hubris of man.”
Whether or not the viewers grasp those exact interpretations, though, Dowd’s work still stirs up feelings of traveling to times and places long gone. (h/t I Need a Guide)
Sixteen graffiti artists painted over 4500 square meters of a Swiss prison throughout an eighteen month period. Their work spanned exercise yards, corridors, stairwells, and the extensive outside wall, which alone would use around 1000 spray paint cans. The project began as a sort of celebration of graffiti as a unique art style as well as a desire to bring the artists’ work into a new environment with a challenge of large walls. Besides pushing personal boundaries of creating work on such a grand scale, the artists wanted to change the atmosphere of the prison. Their project would turn a cold, banal, uncomfortable setting into a warmer space for both prisoners and staff. The duration of creating the paintings was equally matched by the amount of planning and concept creating needed to span such a large space and find harmony between sixteen different artistic styles. The physicality and planning, however, were not the only difficult tasks: the artists were met with an emotional challenge as well. Despite knowing they we not confined, they were still consistently aware of their setting and were given a mere glimpse of what it is like on the inside. For example, they needed to call guards to be let out of the space and were daily witnesses to the day to day tension that exist within a prison.
Artists include Malik, Claude “Note” Lüthi, Robert Proch, Onur, Mizzo, Ti, Lain, Ata “Toast” Bosaci, Huran “Shark” Dogan, Daniel Zeltner, Sarah Parsons, Nevercrew (Pablo Togni and Cristian Rebecchi), Benjamin Solt, David Monllar, and Chromeo
A book, titled 4661m2: Art in Prison, has been published about the project to allow the public access to the locked up work. The book also hopes to inspire similar projects.
For more information, check out the projects website here.
Chad Kouri always dreamed of being a designer, and he took the first major step towards making that dream a reality with a freelance gig at the age of sixteen. Ten years later, he has become what some refer to as a cultural engineer. A founding member of the Chicago-based art and design incubator, The Post Family, previous Art Director of Proximity Magazine and recognition as one of Chicago’s Newcity Breakout Artists of 2010 are only a few of his numerous accomplishments. Kouri has been involved with more than thirty different projects over the last two years, and shows no signs of slowing down. For many, there is still a huge chasm between the worlds of design and fine arts, but this distinction is of no interest to Chad Kouri. Un-phased, he continues to breakdown the walls attempting to separate the two industries. A recent collaboration with artists Stephen Eichhorn and Cody Hudson at the Patty and Rusty Rueff Gallery marks his first foray into exhibiting at an institutional level, but with an upcoming solo show at the Rochester Museum of Fine Art slated for the winter of 2012 it will obviously not be his last. Kouri describes his practice as having, “equal interests in conceptual art, consumer culture, typography, design, jazz and the gray areas between these fields, my body of work is more a collection of various ongoing projects, thoughts and experiments tied together by a strong sense of composition, concise documentation and an overall vibe of optimism than a seamless display of a style or genre.” I am excited to watch this process evolve, and I wish him good luck for the future – but somehow I don’t think he’ll need it.
B/D Featured artist and all around badd ass artist Ryan Riss came back this season to create a follow up to his popular Acid Trip Tee. His newest design Bugged Out, truly lives up to its name with eye popping patterns that will make you want to toss on some shades and protect yourself from a bone rattling psychedelic seizure. Check out the second colorway after the jump and grab one of these before they sell out.
It’s really hard to pull off a painting with a white center but somehow Greg Bogin has done it. With a minimal amount of paint and some carefully shaped canvases greg manages to create beautiful work that packs a powerful punch. It also doesn’t hurt that he jam packs his work with one of my favorite things in life…gradients!