Maria Rubinke‘s porcelain sculptures are part Precious Moments, part Chucky — these are not your grandmother’s figurines. They instead embody all the terrors of the dark forest at night, the kind that Hansel and Gretel might have walked. Like fairy tales of yore, mishap after mishap seem to happen to these children. They wander the woods and lose an eye, or they sit in a bloody bathtub with a shark for a playmate. The calamities that befall Rubinke’s chubby cheeked cherubs seem endless.
One piece, “In between, with a fading dream,” depicts a young girl in a grove of inky black poisonous mushrooms, a frog — perhaps also poisonous — perched on her head. Though described as a dream, the scene is nothing short of nightmarish.
In the days leading up to Halloween, leave a little room in your nightmares for Rubinke’s vacant-eyed children. (via Cross Connect Magazine)
Elle Hanley, a fine art photographer based in Seattle, creates captivating characters and dreamy narratives through her portraits. Initially attracted to self-portraiture four years ago, Hanley has since amassed a career in conceptual portraits, surreal photography, and fashion editorials.
Aesthetically, Hanley emphasizes color and plays with texture in her work. Drawing inspiration from nature, her pieces are often shot in outdoor settings and feature humans interacting with their immediate environments. Due to this fascination with the “natural tension that exists between the human form and the space,” most of her work explores the relationship between her models—one of which being herself—and their surroundings. Always seeking to conjure an emotional reaction from the viewer, she strives to create narratives and seeks to capture moments in time. Evoking a sense of fantasy and avoiding indications of specific place or time, her portraits suggest “something vintage and timeless from a thoroughly modern process.”
Hanley’s recent body of work ranges from seemingly traditional, straightforward portraits to surreal depictions of women in dreamlike settings. Beautifully shot and conceptually fascinating, each piece portrays her devotion to maintain both variety and creativity in her practice, and perfectly captures her distinctive style and alluring aesthetic.
Check out Elle Hanley’s work at Axis Gallery in Seattle, Washington through the month of October!
Victoria Wagner is an artist who is fascinated by unlikely pairings. Her set of gem-like sculptures called Woodrocks are comprised of wood and decorated with color, as she explains, “My eye generally and naturally tends toward tessellation and pattern, seeking a rhythm that mimics regular pulse. On the one hand, visual order provides a place for the senses to rest, while color relationships create problems for the brain to solve. I like this simultaneity.” The natural material and the unnatural oil pigments combine to create a precious object that’s small enough to be held comfortably.
Woodrocks serve as an iconic reference to the downed tree. They’re salvaged from local materials and painted to follow organic growth patterns and feature gradient spectrums.These sculptures were influenced by two books that Wagner read: The Golden Bough by Sir James Frazer and The Secret Life of Plants by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird. “Both pseudoscientific works that examine sentience among carbon-based life forms and human revelation, practical and metaphysical,” she explains. “Both books forced a recognition in my life-of my own personal reverence for the trees being downed in the forest surrounding my studio.” The result? Woodrocks.
For years Mark Dean Veca has been painstakingly painting ornate and intricate patterns on canvases as well as walls across the US. Using a mix of references that run the gamut from 60′s psychedelic art to 90′s graffiti, Veca has managed to create an alternate world where his signature technique takes 2-D graphics and breathes new life into them.
Primarily known as a painter, Veca doesn’t hold himself to only paint and brush. For over a decade he has collaborated with some of the best brands in the world creating iconic apparel and product illustrations for the likes of Nike, Lucasfilms and Burton; so it should come as no surprise that he recently teamed up with curated online marketplace RARE to create a new signature line of apparel featuring the imagery that he has become known for.
Veca’s first collection of apparel with RARE includes bold color ways and patterns covering every square inch of the garments. You can get patriotic with the Godsmith , Flag II, and Merica II tees. If bending your mind is your thing you can toss on Veca’s The Duke shirt which takes inspiration from Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas. Last but not least lets not forget everyones favorite theme, Money! Ladies can look fresh in the Red Leg$ leggings while the guys can spread the wealth with the Monopoly inspired Penny Bag backpack that has room for all your cash as well as your laptop!
Check out the complete collection on Mark’s RARE shop and learn more about Mark Dean Veca’s artwork and clothing by watching the above video.
Although the clothing and other aesthetic aspects can easily reveal the era the photos were taken, the scenes of Sage Sohier’s series “At Home With Themselves: Same-Sex Couples in 1980’s America” are strikingly honest and ever relevant. Sohier photographed female and male gay couples, sometimes with their family members and sometimes alone, in their homes. It is important to remember the context of these photographs, because of the time they were taken. As Sohier stated in an interview for Slate:
“My ambition was to make pictures that challenged and moved people and that were interesting both visually and psychologically…In the 1980s, many same-sex relationships were still discreet, or a bit hidden. It was a time when many gay men were dying of AIDS, which made a particularly poignant backdrop for the project.”
The general public very harshly rejected the gay community in America. There was a deep stigma attached to the community because of the rampant spread of aids. Sohier’s photographs provide portraits that demonstrate the humanity of the men and women who often felt ostracized or persecuted because of their sexual orientation. In media even today, there is limited representation of gay people. A list of stereotypes might include the overly flamboyant gay man, or the bull dyke. Sohier’s photographs are relevant today because they help to counteract an outsiders limited understanding of the dynamics of a gay household.
In one of those rare meetings of form and function, Nendo’s stationery and office supplies looks great and works well. The cubic rubber bands are one example. According to the company, “The geometrical shapes make the bands easy to find in a drawer and easy to pick up.” The Tokyo and Milan-based design firm created the blue, charcoal, and white three-dimensions bands for their brand ‘by | n’. They’re a part of the eleven item collection, which also includes a flip pen, contrast ruler, circle tags, paper clips, outline tray, cross pen-stand, peel pen-case, hard cover memo-pad, edge note, and dot envelope.
The contrast ruler is another success. Simple, but considered, the design has the ruler markings fade from white to black on either edge, making the ruler easy to read against all color backgrounds. Smart, too, are the paper clips that are made out of recyclable paper.
The minimalist collection sells itself, but the clever illustrations explaining the functionality of the various pieces are a whimsical touch, adding a softer element to the crisp, clean-lined, designs.
Nendo’s philosophy is clearly evident with this collection. The website states:
Giving people a small ” ! ” moment.
There are so many small ” ! ” moments hidden in our everyday.
But we don’t recognize them.
and even when we do recognize them, we tend to unconsciously reset our
minds and forget what we’ve seen.
But we believe these small ” ! ” moments are what make our days so
interesting, so rich.
That’s why we want to reconstitute the everyday by collecting and
reshaping them into something that’s easy to understand.
We’d like the people who’ve encountered nendo’s designs to feel these
small ” ! ” moments intuitively.
South African born Robin Rhodes has a very special talent of bringing 2-dimensional street art drawings to life. Not only does he animate materials like chalk, charcoal and soap, but he inserts a very strong political and economic agenda into his work. He chooses to show his “performative drawings” in rapidly changing environments (Berlin and Johannesburg), commenting on luxury, privilege and gentrification. These two cities in particular are central to these ideas, and he feeds off the energy and grittiness of both places.
His work features imagery of everyday and consumer objects, such as paper clips, light bulbs, and champagne flutes, found in desolate urban settings as a reference to his upbringing, but also to broader universal ideas including desire, luxury, and the influx of consumerism into South African society. (Source)
In his latest show “having been there” (on now at Lehmann Maupin Gallery in Hong Kong), he exhibits photographic documentation of his unique street drawings. Rhodes not only brings to life simple linear sketches, but also includes himself in the process, adding to the whole dreamy feel of the scenarios he animates. His marks and gestures transform into quick, simple ideas surrounding his topics of focus: he pours champagne over a pyramid of glasses, he goes fishing on a blue wall, mounts and attempts to ride a bicycle – all acts linked into ideas of exuberance he could not afford as a child.
Rhode has also created a new animation that examines aspects of established Chinese myths, weaving a tale of struggle, of growth, and ultimately of evolution… highlighting themes frequently referenced in the artists’ work such as reinvention and transformation. (Source)
Rhodes is a quietly out-spoken street artist who stands out from your standard political activists. See more of his effective visual protests here and here.
Borondo is an unconventional street artist, using a broad variety of materials to make his murals that are mostly portraits. Both his technique and choice of situ are excitingly unexpected. In a few of his works, he has used the smoke from candles to create the markings of the images. Though it would be safe to assume that this is a difficult technique to have control over, he is able to mold the forms into recognizable imagery.
Another strategy he employs is using reflections in water to be a part of his images, and sometimes even as the main event. In one, he creates the image of half a face on bails of hay – something he had done at an even larger scale beforehand – and planted grass in a pool of water to complete the second half of the face. It’s a nice contrast between the dried hay that looks as if it was burnt, and the living grass in the pool of water. Although in this one, the reflection completes the image, in the upside down mural portrait, the artwork is meant to be viewed right side up in the water, at least considered at an equal importance to the painted image. (Via I Need a Guide)