Imagine a world of fantasy where all your favorite icons are grouped together in old painting motifs and you have a pretty good idea of what French artist Amandine Urruty does. With knifelike precision she draws odd characters from popular culture and places them in dreamlike landscapes that recall Hieronymous Bosch and Leonardo DaVinci. Using satirical nuances Urruty comments on love, learning and family. Her method pokes fun at society and the different masks we wear each day to get through it. Her material of choice is graphite and with it she wields pictures which show great skill. It almost seems the artist could draw anything she wanted which is why it’s even more interesting to see the content which sparks her imagination.
From a formal standpoint hints of surrealism surface as we witness the subconscious mind take over in many of Urruty’s sections. But to draw at her skill level you need to be totally present and the two play off each other nicely. The dominant presence of kiddy characters definitely speaks to the inner child in all of us. Plus from an aesthetic point of view they’re just cute to look at.
Aside from drawings, Urruty has painted colorful murals all over France. The subject matter for those were mostly hybrid animals which recall Maurice Sendak. Her work is currently on view at the Jonathan Levine Gallery in New York as part of the group Exhibit, “Oh, The Places We’ve Been.” Urruty is based in Paris and holds a Master’s Degree in The Philosophy of Art. (via faithistorment)
One of the saddest things to see while walking around your neighborhood is a missing pet poster. A new book Lost: Lost and Found Pet Posters from Around the World by Ian Phillips captures the desperation and panic in these hand drawn, hand written xeroxed pieces of paper. It captures the highly emotional experience when someone loses a pet and also tries to give a funny but poignant look into the whole culture of what people write and draw to catch the public’s attention in helping them find their beloved fur ball.
One readily apparent trait is that most of the signs are created by someone who is not in a logical state of mind. This is not said in jest but observation because who in their right mind would draw a picture of their pet and expect someone to recognize the animal if spotted in person? Most end up looking like cartoon line drawings and it just adds to the poignancy of the whole situation. The other thing made clear is the cathartic power of drawing and writing. Even though the drawings may not look like the actual missing animal it gives the owner a chance to let out some of their emotional stress through drawing and writing. It’s no secret that creative expression has wonderful cathartic powers and in some ways might help the panic stricken person cope a little more with the situation at hand. On a positive note the book also takes a look at found animal posters which is just as funny and poignant.
Studies have shown that only 23 percent of lost dogs are reunited with their owners and 2 percent of lost cats. A microchip which can be inserted into the animal at a very low cost is a wonderful and harmless way to secure that if your pet is ever lost or stolen you have a good chance of finding them. It’s been shown that animals with microchips have a 38 percent chance of returning home to their owners if lost or stolen. (via hyperallergic)
When Japanese artist Yukiko Morita began working in a bakery as a teenager, she marveled at how cute baked bread was. She probably did not realize at the time that, years later, she would craft a way to make bread into a usable home decorative object.
Introducing her one-of-a-kind Pampshades at Tokyo Designers Week, Morita most certainly has a monopoly on the most glutinous lighting system. Although she declined to name a few secret ingredients, she listed the rest as: “Bread flour, salt, yeast, LED, batteries.” After the bread is baked, she covers it in resin, solidifying the form so it will not decompose.
“As the story goes, Morita worked in a bakery in her native Kyoto eight years ago, subsquently graduating from the Kyoto University of Arts in 2008 and reportedly launching Pampshades as early as 2010 (the name is a portmanteau of ‘pan’—French for bread, derived from the Latinpanem—and lampshade). The brief timeline on her website further notes that the first prototype dates back to 2007 and that she relocated to Kobe as of this year.” (Excerpt from Source and Source)
Fable inspired drawings and paintings from LA artist Scott Hassell. Looking at his work puts me in that half-awake-half-asleep, wildly surreal dreamy state of mind that I always enjoy. Reminds me a little of David Jien from B/D Book 1 fame. Scott is also an accomplished printmaker, so be careful if you bring up the subject of oversized etching plates with him.
Collage artist Maksim Hem aptly titled this quiet series of works “Untitled Colours.” The name lends itself to the idea of objects overlooked, because they don’t scream and shout to get your attention. Hem’s restraint does not imply a lack of feeling but rather an attention to detail that is unnecessary to decorate. It’s like watching the Discovery Channel over Bravo–the life and times of baby cheetahs are just such a welcome change of pace.
London-based artist Anthea Hamilton‘s installations are wild, kinetic mix of acid tripping and high school yearbook scrapbooking. Oh, and cassette tape mixing– the awesome ones from Junior year with “Summer Jamz” scribbled in Sharpie marker. Her installations, crafted of cardboard cutouts, screen prints, hanging costumes, wacky props, and chroma key paint, are tongue-in-cheek fun that pulsates with an early 80s disco energy and, however outrageous, is far from flippant: Hamilton’s absurdity is pointed. (Her leg chair, for example, features flexed legs of perspex… and a crotch made out of a rice cake.)
Iain McKell, a renowned fashion and social documentary photographer, has compiled a series of compelling images, The New Gypsies, which depicts both the physical and emotional life of a modern traveler community living in the outskirts of a technology-driven society. McKell creates surreal images that almost treat his subjects as fictional characters, yet we find that there is an undeniable hint of warmness, liveliness and honesty that instantly creates a strong bond between viewer and subject.
The British horse-drawn travelers whom sport decorated caravans, colorful clothing, and share a desire for freedom from the trappings of contemporary life, served the artist as more than just an artistic project; he calls the 10-year study “a personal journey.”
With these photographs, McKell intends to show a way of living that is both colorful and meaningful- something that lacks in contemporary living. He states that the tribe draws from the past and combines with the future, therefore “creating a set of progressive new ideas and values that are not based on materialism […] and are not chained by the stress and complications of our modern existence.”
In 2011, the photographer published a book of the series by the name of The New Gypsies by Ian McKell, it includes essays by Val Williams and Ezmeralda Sang. (via Huffpost Arts & Culture)