Erupting skulls and beautifully powerful hybrid animals take over the streets in the work of Puerto Rican artist Alexis Diaz. His work looks more like illustrations at first glance, due to their brilliant line work and convincing detail. However, each bizarre creature is much larger than life, climbing up each wall and towering over the viewer. Mixing a concoction of different animals to form entirely new species is one of the more recognizable trademarks in Diaz’s artwork, along with the repeating, iconic skull. Normally a mark of death, Diaz’s skull often spring forth life, as many of them hold birds that sprout from the cranium. Vivid colors and expressive detail show off this street artist’s skill.
The imagination seen in Alexis Diaz’s work is both incredible and intriguing, as combinations of animals come to life on the walls of the streets. In one mural, an elephant sports tentacles like that of an octopus, while in another, a bear and a buffalo become one creature. In one of Diaz’s most immense and striking murals, a hybrid snake and eagle circle around their prey of a skull with vessels of a heart. The animals rendered in Diaz’s work create a whole new space in which to live, as well as a whole new kind of animal. His handiwork can be seen sprawled all over the walls of the world in places such as Arizona, Puerto Rico, Slovakia, France, Austria, and Mexico.
(via This is Colossal)
Throwing abuse at people is easy. Getting paid to do it is another matter. London based illustrator Mr Bingo does it with ease, and loves taking money for his efforts. The prankster receives offensive sayings from visitors on his twitter page, draws pictures to accompany the words, and sends the composited postcard to the chosen (willing, or unsuspecting) victims. For 50 quid, plus postage, you can receive a customized card that tells you exactly how crap you are. Quite surprisingly, the abusive service he offers has proven to be quite popular. Mr Bingo explains how it all began:
It all started one night in my studio in 2011 when I’d had a few drinks. I went on Twitter and said I will send a postcard with an offensive message to the first person who replies to this. (Source)
After receiving over 50 replies in a matter of minutes, he sent the postcard to ‘winner’ to Jonathan Hopkins from Forest Hill in London, stating that Mr Hopkins had shit legs. “Fuck you, Jonathan, fuck you and fuck your shit legs” the card read. Even though he was saying something that would be offensive, even repulsive to some, Mr Bingo’s card went down a treat and kickstarted a niche market for cards that knocked the receiver’s self confidence.
Essentially, what I was doing was enabling strangers to pay me to tell them to fuck off. All this is comedy. It’s clear that the hate mail is a joke and that I’m only sending it to people who want it. (Source)
Mr Bingo himself receives a lot of hate mail, but takes it all on the chin, as he expects his clients to do. He is the type of person that considers swearing funny, and in fact necessary, but refuses to poke fun at homophobia, racism, religion or disability. The cheeky illustrator has also launched a (successful) kickstarter campaign to fund a printed collection of his postcards. You can see that project here. (Via Juxtapoz)
Have you ever wondered what you would look like without your head? Artist pepedsgn has been asking himself the same question: his most recent series #Losingmymind consists of a collection of colorful photographs depicting people, whose heads have been edited out. The result is both frightening and beautiful all at once and t forces you to reflect on the importance we give to the head and, the face, and the eyes in our everyday lives.
Pepedsgn plays with the double meaning of “losing your head” both in the literal and figurative senses in this decapitation series. The idea that the pressures of living in a modern world full of overstimulation, paired with the flood of human emotion we live with on a daily basis, paint a background for the loss of self depicted in these photographs. The depiction of headless subjects gives both a playful irony and, a certain thoughtfulness to the series by physically showing subjects without their heads.
The uncanny beauty of seeing people without their eyes, faces, or mouths makes the series all the more fascinating in the sense that their heads ,which govern all emotions and most non verbal communication are gone. Pepedsgn leaves it up to the public to imagine the possible emotions of the subjects and takes the notion of “brainspace” to a beautifully explicit level which allows us to reevaluate the way we read emotions.
A living snake wrapped around a face, a dozen of ladybugs, a scorpio and an howl using that same face as a structure. That is the set up of a fantastic photography series by Juul Kraijer called ‘Penumbrae’. The titles evokes darkness and shadows. It’s what we are getting visually and internally. The artist is inspired to manipulate reality, in the end, she gets to manipulate us, the viewer, in a disconcerting way.
The models are just the vehicle for ideas, they are not to be considered like portraits, nor are the animals. Clearly the main subject is twosome: the fusion between the animal and the face and the dark background. The intriguing face/animal amalgamation stands out from the shade, as if it had been sitting in the dark for an eternity. It will appear for a brief moment and then will go back into the gloom exactly the way we saw it at first, for all times.
Imperturbable tranquillity is the general tone. Despite a unsettling scenario that could create an anxious atmosphere, the calm sported by the faces leaves a mark of grace, the same expression that is usually found in Renaissance portraiture. Juul Kraijer is fascinated by surrealist photography, hence the execution of her series. Surrealism is about getting rid of the mind and the reason to only let the imagination dive and drive into the interpretation of the picture. Ideas and dogmas cannot be suggested, personal understanding cannot be captured.
The artist has created provocative poses. By elevating the animals on top of the faces she questions the hierarchies between humans and animals, models and accessories. The fact that the roles are reversed creates intensity, almost a tension. Comparably to the symbol of eternity described above, the use of the mirrors creates oddity and redundancy, which extends the feeling coming out from the photographs. The viewer is tempted to look away but there’s an indescribable attraction, a desire to see more.
Billelis (Billy Bogiatzoglou) is a digital artist, illustrator, and art director currently living in the UK. With an eye for bold contrasts and colors, complex machinery, and the macabre, everything he produces has a hyperreal and futuristic quality. In the series featured here, Billelis has chosen one of his recurring motifs — the skull — and reproduced it 50 times, digitally engraving each one with “key patterns that influenced humanity through the millennia” (Source). Open up his dark, digital sepulcher and you can see skulls marked with patterns resembling Aztec, Greek, Roman, Celtic, and folk designs, as well as geometric patterns and — on a different note — Space Invaders.
Each skull is uniquely sculpted in 3D. Focusing on texture, geometry, and symmetry, Billelis has perfectly enmeshed skeletal anatomy with complex patterns. The effect is both beautiful and haunting — hollowed eyes and fleshless mouths are framed and flowing with undulating lines, giving the skulls a morbidly antique and museum-like quality. This is not the first time Billelis has combined bones and geometry; check out his fascinating Man vs. Nature project for something similar.
Hyperrealist Kit King has created an extraordinary body of work filled with realistic rendering of intense portraiture. This Ontario based artist possesses an unbelievable skill in painting, which she used to create her larger than life images of emotionally charged faces. She does not merely recreate a person’s face in her paintings, but adds a focus on the moment behind the still image on what the person expresses. Many of her subjects look tormented, as their eyes appear weary, stunned, or bloodshot. The lighting King uses in her work adds a force of drama, drawing you into the transfixed gaze of the subject. She aims to spark your attention and capture a transient moment in time where one might feel the sting of these emotions.
The texture is as palpable as the complexity that is often found in the eyes of her subjects. We can almost feel the tangibly wet eyes in Kit King’s paintings as well as the smoothness of the skin. Even the make up in her paintings seem to be flaking right off the canvas. Her husband Oda King also being a talented artist, she often collaborates with him on several of her paintings. Kit King explains the intentions behind her concentrated skill and focus.
“Through a focus on hyperrealism, my paintings are reflections of the ephemeral visual relationships around us. Capturing fleeting moments that affect our emotional state from a singular glance, under the aegis of a heightened sense of reality.”
Precision and thorough work is the base of Yoo Huyn’s design pieces. Through small hollow spaces a portrait of a celebrity appears: Audrey Hepburn, Pablo Picasso, Marilyn Monroe, and Jim Morrison to name a few. The Korea based artist uses an intriguing method to create his hyper realistic photos.
He uses an X-acto knife, tweezers, ink and Korean paper. Hand carving takes a lot of patience, and in this case it also takes talent.
Yoo Hyun’s signature style consists of zig-zag patterns, but he doesn’t carve in straight lines. Instead, he varies the thickness of each strip, to create facial features and expressions. Each line specifically adds to the three-dimensional illusion. The negative spaces are see-through, so layering the portrait over a colored surface or pattern adds even more depth.
From far away, and placed in front of a black background we can clearly recognize the face but zooming in, the cut-outs and white parts make a pattern which looks like an abstract illustration. There is something fascinating about his inspirations; the fact that he chooses celebrities mostly from Hollywood vs the contrast of the use of traditional ink and paper.
Yoo Huyn pushes the limits of what can be done intuitively and without the help of a computer.
Artist Janet Echelman has joined forces with global design firm Arup to create a magnificent sculpture, which is now hovering 365 feet above Boston. The sculpture is made up of polyethylene tied into half a million knots, the total weighing about a ton. In daylights it resembles a giant net but when night falls, it is illuminated in ways that echo the Northern Lights and give a new visual dimension to the piece.
Echelman’s craft is inspired by rope weaving techniques she picked up from fishermen during her time in India. In this piece, she has combined the functional aspects of a fishermen’s net and the complex, yet simple beauty of nature. The piece appropriately entitled “ As If It Were Here Already” reflects the way in which the piece is somewhat natural in its form, reminiscent of clouds, vines and even spiderwebs.
Her cocoon like sculpture is at the junction of the natural and artificial world which are in turn reinforced by the context of the piece: hanging above a major American city. The illuminated pieces of her sculpture change with the movements of the wind. Her collaboration with a group of engineers has also given her work a more technical, manufactured aspect. The combination craftsmanship, technology and art gives this piece a stronger voice in the sense that is also reflects what the city is made of. It gives a sort of supernatural aspect to the urban atmosphere and complements the night sky while fitting in perfectly with the city in the daytime, as if it were already there.