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TABOR ROBAK

Can video games be art? If you ask me, I’d say “Yep,” and I’m sure you would be hard-pressed to find anyone under 30 who would say “Nope”. I just asked because you still have people like this, but he also thought this, so he’s not very credible now is he. Anyway, we’ve got a couple of games (BNPJ.exe and Mansion) created by the versatile Tabor Robak available for free download.

Mansion (2010) didn’t really do much for me, and it seems like a warm-up for Tabor. BNPJ.exe (2011), on the other hand, is certainly more developed, but still a bit too linear. He does insure that BNPJ.exe will be viewed as an attempt at art simply because he wraps most of these strange worlds in famous paintings. Frankly, I am not fond of this tendency in contemporary art to reference itself as a safety net, but I don’t believe it is a primary aspect of the game. I admit it is hard to judge, because the criteria for games is far different than the criteria for art, but sometimes you should just have a good time and resist assessing the shit out of something.  BNPJ.exe is not without its moments of beauty though, and when I came upon this image directly below I was insured of a promising future (I did come upon this in a non-linear fashion, and it took me multiple tries to find it). I don’t know of any similar types of “art games”, and I think Tabor Robak could really create something powerful with his next game.  I know I’ll being waiting in anticipation to see where he takes these “art games”, and I’m curious to hear what you dudes think about these interactive experiments.

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Allison Renshaw’s Chaotic Mixed Media Paintings

“Lines between the organic and the man-made become blurred and a larger narrative is evoked.”

There’s a lot going on in Allison Renshaw’s paintings, so take a second to breathe. Renshaw, who received an MFA from MICA, lives and works in Encinitas, California. Her works create a “universe…that is seemingly random and difficult to decipher.  This chaotic quality becomes a visualization of today’s open-source culture of sampling and recycling.” I love that element of controlled chaos with these. She definitely pulls it off. Renshaw is represented by Quint Contemporary Art in La Jolla, CA.

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Daniel Aristizába’s Surreal Dream-Like Digital Pop Art

Daniel Aristizába - Design

Daniel Aristizába - Design Daniel Aristizába - Design

Daniel Aristizába - Design

Daniel Aristizábal is a graphic designer and illustrator who creates incredible digital works of art that are surreal and transport the viewers to a topsy-turvy Rube Goldberg-esque world. His Huevos series is playfully inspired by Dali’s “Eggs on the Plate without the Plate,” showing colorful variations on the common egg. 

In some of Aristizabal’s work, the 3D elements pop out, almost like digital sculptures. Other works, such as his “Glitched Cubism” piece, utilizes the 2D GIF format to play with the dimensions and perspective of cubism. In an interview with Instagram, he says that his work is a “retro, colorful, geometric bonanza.” His art seems to draw on a palette that is by turns neon and sherbet but always whimsical.
Aristizabal continues to say:
 
“My main sources of inspiration are random thoughts that pop in my mind, like memories of dreams and places that I used to imagine when I was a child. I think the term ‘pop surrealism’ works well for me. My work is full of simplicity and organic shapes. It is nostalgic in its essence.”
 

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Jeff Zimmerman’s Alien Decor Glass Sculptures

Jeff Zimmerman - Sculpture

Glass Sculpture

Glass Sculpture

Glass Sculpture

Sculptor Jeff Zimmerman has coaxed yet another dimension out of the seemingly infinite pliability of glass. Zimmerman’s glass sculptures look like home decor from alien planets, alternating between a gleaming metallic finish and subtle tinges of celadon. Others look like they’re undergoing the process of mitosis, round and reminiscent of amoeba.

Zimmerman creates fantastic texture on his pieces, crumpling them and molding them into vaguely amorphous shapes. He uses bright colors and mirrorized finishes to create gradient effects that make his sculptures look in a way naturalistic. Others are neon, glow-in-the-dark green, embracing their lava lamp heritage.

In a statement about Zimmerman’s art, R & Company says, “Jeff Zimmerman’s designs reinterpret and redefine centuries old ways of working with glass, opening an entirely new chapter on this familiar medium.” (via Artsy)

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Judith Braun

Judith Braun

New York based Judith Braun’s ongoing series, “Symmetrical Procedures” is an ongoing series of drawings constrained by four rules: Abstraction, Bilateral Symmetry, Square Format, and Graphite. This first image looks like a generative Processing application- but actually “Fingerings” are done with fingers dipped in charcoal, sometimes using both hands simultaneously to the extent of arms’ reach and developing a vocabulary of mark making with these simple means.

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Sean Scheidt Photographs Before And After Burlesque Transformations

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Everyone loves a Before and After, and Sean Scheidt’s photography series “Burlesque” is a wonderful example of the power of makeup, costume, props, and attitude. Scheidt has captured the transformation of burlesque performers from street clothes to stage wear in his behind-the-scenes images.

“I use basic lighting and a black backdrop. Black is emptiness. You place a person there and they are who they are. The interview process is really as much about getting the person comfortable as it is about getting to know them. As the shoot progresses, they transform into the persona they portray on stage. I do ask them, ‘What defines you on stage’ but otherwise try to stay back and let the narrative develop.” (Source)

Bawdy, provocative, confrontational — burlesque has been enjoying a revival, fronted by pop-culture celebrity Dita Von Teese who began performing in 1992. Though the acts include nudity, it can almost be beside the point. On stage, the larger-than-life personas use their time to make people think.

In his portraits, Scheidt captures the virtually nondescript everyday face of the performers. These are people who, aside from the occasional colored hair, look, well… normal. In Scheidt’s description of the work, he says that they tended to be quite reserved at first, which made the transformation into their characters all the more transfixing.

“Capturing those moments, I believe, helps to humanize these performers. If you were just seeing the “after” shots alone, you might make certain pre-conceived judgments about the person behind the make-up. I hope this series gets people to think about their reactions to these men and women.” (Source)

Not unlike drag, burlesque exaggerates, forcing us to examine society’s standards of beauty, sensuality, gender, and power. Scheidt has unmasked the people behind the performance by presenting them in more clothes, but with less artifice.

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Nádia Maria’s Hauntingly Beautiful Melancholic Photographs

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Brazilian photographer Nádia Maria creates melancholic, visceral and nostalgic photography that resonates with her private life struggles and universal themes that are familiar to all, amongst them- anxiety, depression, confusion, and so on. The dark aesthetic of these photographs are not to be taken lightly. Contemplating about these will bring discomfort and unwanted past painful memories…it happened to me. However, Maria’s work is so hauntingly beautiful that can just can’t look away.

“It’s all about experiments, games and involvement with the camera, with the image, the feelings, with ourselves.”

‘Vacuum’ and ‘Perfume’ are the names of the two series of photographs that are shown here. Maria’s series ‘Vacuum’ was inspired by constant wars insides herself (and humanity in general). She brilliantly captures the essence of deep nostalgia and sadness, and eternal yearning for something more, or something different. Its darkness is not to be confused with complete destruction and agony, as her subtle feminine, delicate characteristics take on and leave us feeling hopeful. Similarly, ‘Perfume’ visualizes Maria’s mental state (post-partum depression) after having her first son. “It was a phase of deconstruction and transformation”, she says. (via IGNANT)

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