Ottawa-based artist Howie Tsui uses a mix of traditional Asian themes with Western aesthetics. His paintings depict scenes of terror that are very nightmare-like. “Tsui’s work is informed by a variety of dark subjects, including Asian ghost stories, Buddhist hell scrolls, Hong Kong vampire films, neo-conservative propaganda, and twentieth-century genocides such as the Nanking massacre.” We dig it.
Peter Saul’s perfectly grotesque; strangely cartoonish paintings are filled with political and anti-political content. Having been born in the 1930’s, he has lived through an immeasurable amount of political turmoil. His highly illustrative paintings come bursting with endless social commentary, with more than just a bit of humor. Associated with the Chicago Imagists and the west coast Funk Artists, Saul’s style contains heavy influences from pop culture and surrealism. His distinctive style is harshly cartoonish due to the brilliant colors and flattened space. The characters in his paintings have bizarre, exaggerated features such as big, bulging eyes that pop out of the person’s skull, and tentacle-like appendages that bend and stretch clear across the composition. Although this may remind you at first of the cartoons you watched as a kid, examine the paintings longer and you will see enormous nude body parts and plenty of oozing bodily fluids. These hilarious and misshapen characteristics further express his thoughts on these characters; some real, some fiction.
Although Saul’s style is derived from sources many may see as lowbrow, his skills as a painter and an artist cannot be denied after seeing his complex, multifaceted compositions. Saul is a master at taking silly, iconic imagery from pop culture and mixing it with the grim, violence of reality. Experiencing his paintings is a journey through time, as they include imagery of the Vietnam War, Martin Luther King Jr., and Ronald Reagan. However, the messages and situations depicted in these scenes still ring true today. Peter Saul’s long art career is memorable to say the least. You can see his powerful work in person at Venus Over Manhattan gallery in NYC where his exhibition From Pop to Punk will be on display until April 18th.
Thomas Pedersen Elkjaer works out of Copenhagen.
NYC via Philly-based artist, Jayson Musson, (previously), has periodically posted videos to Youtube for about a year now under the header “Art Thoughtz.” In the videos, Musson assumes the identity of satirical figure Hennessy Youngman, a hilarious HipHop head-cum-fine art critic. Youngman’s brand of satire is the best there is: “make fun of everyone and everything.” So far, Musson’s taken on art world figures as varied as Damien Hirst, Kehinde Wiley, and Marina Abromović, and applied his unique logic in lampooning concepts like institutional critique, surrealism, beauty, and socio/political art. Watch the latest “Art Thoughtz” after the jump.
Welcome to Nathan Alexis Brown’s blank generation. Where punk dudes drink forties and hang around a camp fire with luchadores and werewolves. All while wearing a few of the most mind blowingly cool denim vests that would even make Tezz Roberts drool.
Exploring the gestures and movements of calligraphy, nantes-based artist kaalam (aka julien breton) has created a body of work that uses hand-held light and long-exposure photographic techniques to capture the transient form within a real setting. often utilizing urban or historical sites as his three-dimensional canvas, the self-taught artist creates his own latin-based alphabet that heavily draws from traditional arabic and eastern calligraphy. arresting and provocative, the floating light forms are not mere superimposed subjects but display a direct engagement with the surroundings.
the capturing process, which can take as long as ten minutes, requires a choreographed movement which kaalam practices before hand in heavy repetition. different colours of ‘ink’ is achieved through pigmented gelatin which is applied directly onto the lamps. none of the photographs are retouched or edited, illustrating the laborious process in a single shot.
It was a relaxing way to start my day off with some of Rachel Wolfe’s photography. Her work reminds me of some of my favorite Sigur Rós songs, it starts off quiet, serene, but loud in the vibrations of either storytelling or sense of nostalgia. Some of my favorites of her work are Liminal Metanoia and Eleven Winter.
Joe Rudko is a talented artist based in Washington state. In his current series he combines found photographs with his drawings. According to his artist statement: “These works are responses to a shifting relationship with found photographic objects. Collaging a vintage material with hand drawn addendums exposes the vulnerability of the static image.” Check out more images after the jump.