Have you ever wondered what your favorite cartoon character would look like as a bad guy/girl? French artist Pez has taken on this challenge and recreated sinister versions of popular animated icons. Using a technique which recalls r. crumb he renders evil versions of Tweety, SpongeBob, Snoopy, Homer, Mario and more. These give a glimpse into the character’s darkside which is all done in the name of fun. What does Tweety think about when he’s in a bad mood? Or is Mario and Buzz Lightyear covered in tattoos underneath their bulky uniforms.
The prevailing theme on the newly redone figures seems to be actual graffiti. Snoopy’s doghouse looks like an old tenement building on New York’s Lower East Side covered in bones. While SpongeBob has turned from a sponge to a building in tags. Either way the playfulness of Pez’ work is bound to attract those who look for a pop culture alternative. It also makes you realize that no matter how overly saturated these characters are future generations will continue to identify with them. (via escapekit)
In a digital age, some say traditional methods are dead. However, there has been an upsurge in popularity of using old-school techniques to create new things. Fashion designer Greg Climer combines two such mediums, knitting and film, to do just that. He has transformed knitting into a way of displays film stills. By using technology to transfer frames of a film onto knit fabric, he creates a knit scarf that is used the same as a film reel that you can actually watch as a short film. What is so amazing about this project is that Climer is taking film, shifting its properties to knit fabric, and then converting it into film once more. He is ingeniously using modern technology to manipulate different, traditional mediums to create an entirely unique and contemporary finished piece.
How this process works is each frame is reduced in size so that the amount of pixels matches with the amount of stitches. Then, the colors included in the film are decreased to four, since looms can only use up to four yarn colors. Then, the scarf is ready to be knitted! This method is very time consuming, as his test strip took a year and a half to make. However, after watching just a fragment of the resulted film, the outcome is undoubtedly worth it. Greg Climer’s ambitions do not stop at his unbelievably intricate knitted short film project, but extend to creating quilts from scraps of fabric. These quilts range in a wide variety of interesting subjects; one series depicting loved ones of Climer, and another displaying stills of pornography. (via Fastco Design)
Der Dornenauszieher (2013). Acrylic resin, acrylic glass, wood.
Attaboys (Edition of 3 + 1 AP) (2012). Aluminium.
Attaboys (Edition of 3 + 1 AP) (2012). Aluminium.
Polygonal Horse (2011). Wood.
Gregor Gaida is an artist based in Bremen, Germany, who is known for his sculptures of earth-shattering and bone-breaking power. Aggression, pain, and vulnerability permeate throughout his works as humans and animals engage in mysterious battles, writhe in torment, and stagger alone into defeat. “Attaboys” (2012), for example, features two hooded boys carving a deep line into the surrounding brick, as if marking territory; “Swog” (2013) displays two alien-like, fanged mouths locked together in a violent dual of equal power; “Canis Major III-I” (2014) shows a wounded dog lying on its side, its hind legs dismembered and sides cracked open. In these scenes of violence and passion, Gaida provides a complete story: each sculpture figuratively embodies a driving force, a moment of passion, the falling action, and the pain left behind.
“The found footage is often no more than an impulse that is no longer discernible in the further development of the shape. Analogous to photography, my objects are three-dimensional snapshots. The characters are frozen in movement and often cropped along imaginary image borders. I transport the fragmented character of photos into the third dimension. Simultaneously, when dealing with color and options of shaping, painterly characteristics appear. Thus, the life-sized special interventions are formally attributed to sculpture but are equally part of painterly and photographic categories.” (Source)
These “fragmented” characters that Gaida adapts from print media have a strangely mythological-yet-contemporary appearance. Shattered, tortured torsos are reminiscent of the stone busts of Greek and Roman antiquity (see “Rest von Schwarz”); in “Polygonal Dog,” a Cerberus-type creature has been reimagined as a horrific laboratory mutant, five heads gnashing together instead of three. The multiplicity and fragmentation, however, is what lends Gaida’s sculptural “collages” a sense of power and beauty; they are grotesque and frightening, but look beyond the rage and wounds and there lies vulnerability, strength, and survival.
Visit Gaida’s website to view more of his spectacular work.
I’m sure most of us have a love of chocolate and confectionery – sometimes indulging ourselves a little, and sometimes we binge, purge and gorge our way to diabetes with the sweet stuff. Embroidery artist Charlotte Bailey of Hanging By A Thread has taken her obsession to a healthier place. Instead of eating the chocolate and candy bars, she has been reworking the logos and house hold brand names of the sweets with colorful, eye-catching embroidery thread. Bailey ever-so-slightly changes the wording of the labels to allude to the darker side of the confectionery industry.
Hershey’s is now changed to Hurtey’s; Milky Bar to Guilty Bar; Oreo to Ohno; Cadbury to Calories. The embroidered pieces are loaded with emotionally charged messages that remind us of the seriousness of an eating disorder. Bailey taps into the thought processes that pass through people’s heads when thinking of buying their next candy fix.
She points out the scary subtext that is always there with any kind of confectionery, or actually with any commodity that is superfluous to our needs. We are always being told to buy more; need more. Whether it’s the style of the attractive packaging and optimistic-looking font, or the level of sugar content in the product, we are always left wanting more.
And if you want more of Bailey’s clever designs, the collection of embroideries are on display at Menier Gallery in London from 28th July – 2nd August 2015.
The trendiest bananas are far from looking yellow. Dan Cretu doesn’t let them stay that way. He gets them ready to strike a pose by handcarving and handpainting each one of them with geometric patterns, textures and vivid colors. No second degree, no political message; just the brilliant idea of admiring creative and colorful images.
Strangely enough they leave a taste in the mouth, the one of bananas of course, but with a twist of positivity and spontaneity. So many ideas to embellish a fruit, as we scroll down the “Bananametric Series” we can imagine that if the fruit was genetically modified by the artist we could end up with a large pallet of banana varieties.
Dan Cretu masters his art: by blending food sculpture with photography he offers the world a new idea of conceptual design. In his previous work he put together orange and lemon peels to make a camera. Due to its fragile nature, this process has to be done quickly as the fruits deteriorate. The peels, arranged in an unexpected environment rather than in a kitchen let’s say, generates in this case an eco-art visual identity.
That’s the purpose of Dan Cretu: “all objects and things around us daily are possible subjects for me. The challenge is to transform a common object that we don’t notice anymore into something unusual, alive, and appealing.”
Michael Massaia is a photographer from New Jersey whose black-and-white imagery has an uncanny way of making the familiar seem unfamiliar: ordinary scenes are transformed into stunning portraits of isolation, desolation, and mystery. Two series are featured here: Afterlilfe and Sheep Meadow: Vertical Abstracts. The former documents vacant amusement piers along the New Jersey coastline, and the latter comprises vertical portraits of people sleeping in Central Park’s Sheep Meadow. While the subject matter is drastically different between the series — urban landscape photography and portraiture, respectively — both convey Massaia’s unique style: the haunting documentation of ordinary things that resonate with a deep sense of reflection and a yearning for connection.
Started in 2008, Afterlilfe features amusement piers in states of vacancy and ghost-like deterioration, photographed in the quiet hours between 4 and 6 o’clock in the morning. Most of the images were shot in FunTown and Casino Pier in Seaside Heights, New Jersey. In environments usually known for noise and elation, silence prevails; carousels lie dormant, and the architectural bones of roller coasters and ferris wheels loom against cloudy, darkened skies. Many of these structures were destroyed by hurricane Sandy in 2012. Shooting before and after the catastrophic event, Massaia’s unearthly photographs trouble us with their radiating atmospheres of stillness and absence.
Sheep Meadow: Vertical Abstracts is an extension of an earlier project titled Deep in a Dream. Massaia photographed people as they lay alone or in pairs on the grass. None of the subjects knew that they were being documented, allowing for candidly peaceful, reflective, and intimate postures. Vertical Abstracts sees photos of sleeping couples turned vertically and flipped backwards, making it appear as if they were floating or dancing through an otherworldly void. Massaia describes how the final prints “are gold-toned silver gelatin prints . . . [and] the grass is severely ‘burnt in’ to isolate and give the look of suspension to the subject” (Source). The strong contrast between the bodies and the surrounding darkness illuminates moments of beautiful (and strangely anxious) connection between the reclining couples.
Visit Massaia’s website and Facebook page to follow his hauntingly beautiful work. More photos after the jump.
“Para-para Dancing (Great Empire of Japan) vs. Break-dancing (America)”
Tenmyouya Hisashi is a Saitama-based artist who infuses traditional Japanese art with non-traditional media (mostly acrylic paint) and images from modern life. Calling his work “Neo Nihonga,” Tenmyouya seeks to renew the relevance of Japanese-style painting by portraying old motifs through a modern lens, thereby celebrating a long history of Japanese culture and artistic tradition. Among his images are samurai playing soccer, armor-clad animals, and a Japanese/American street “dance-off.” His work is also informed by contemporary cultural theories and critical thinking; for example, in “Japanese Spirit #3,” a man wearing a traditional tsuna rides a motorized skateboard. This painting “draws upon and amplifies the stereotypes foreigners hold of Japan and was intended to be viewed by a foreign audience” — hence the odd mix of traditional Japanese imagery with high-tech apparatuses (Source).
In 2010, Tenmyouya proposed a new art concept called Basara, referring to an aestheticization of defiance, extending from the “outlaw samurais” of the Nanboku dynasty era to the youth subcultures of present-day Japan. Exploring this trend through neo-traditional Japanese art unravels assumptions about a conservative and subdued cultural history (Source). Basara is also a response to enculturation from the West — the inflow of Western culture and media that immensely influenced Japanese life. As written on his website, Tenmyouya seeks through his art to bring back the vibrant “sun” in Japanese art, where before it was relegated as the passive “moon”:
“Basara aims to reverse traditional values in order to restore the fertile light of the sun that originally characterized Japanese art. It is at once an attempt to claim back through relativization within Japanese art—rather than by comparison with the outside—the diversity that it is supposed to abound in so much more.” (Source)
Using up to 30,000 volts of electricity, artist Dries Ketels tries to capture a quality usually unseen in most portraits. His latest series, called Our Souls Captured in the Electromagnetic Field is an exploration of the human condition. He says by using a unique combination of different chemicals, painting materials and electricity, he is able to capture something more about his subjects. He wants to go deeper into their psyche, and to reveal something about people that is usually unseen. In the process he has come up with some pretty striking images.
He raises some pretty interesting questions while trying to reveal the working of our inner selves:
What is this soul or this character of an individual other than a bunch of electromagnetic interactions in the brain of that individual? What is the most important thing that a portrait should grasp? Are our actions, that define us as a human being, more than electromagnetic interactions? (Dries Ketels)
Ketels also makes the connection in his images between the patterns formed from the lightning and veins in the body, or synapses in the brain. He links the macro-world to the micro-world; the external universe to our internal one. The young artist is interested in new, exciting and innovative methods and ideas:
For a few of my series around realism I leave the traditional realism behind and present the reality of realism. One of the most important attitudes that helped me developing a relaity of realism and becoming what I am is the simple act of going left when everybody else is going right. It’s the only way to discover the new and push the boundaries forward. (Source)
To see more of his boundary pushing art, see here.