Lora Zombie‘s watercolors may look familiar: the Russian artist amassed a large internet following on sites like Threadless before recently branching out into the gallery scene. Inspired by music, street art, grunge, pop culture, and the color palette of Lisa Frank, Zombie creates these bright, youthful, and edgy watercolor scenes. Her work is comprised of a multitude of references that can be fun, gritty, absurd, or counter cultural, but each tells a story with fairy tale dimensions.
A stint in prison for selling drugs helped Australian artist Bindi Cole refocus her mode of expression. Having always been interested in photography, shortly after her release Cole began focusing her work on issues of identity. Aboriginal, but fair skinned, Cole had never really been sure about the way she identified with the stereotype of the Aboriginal. Her Not Really Aboriginal series, which featured fair skinned Aboriginal people in blackface, garnered her much attention.
In another work, EH5452 (Cole’s prisoner number), Cole documents her time in prison using photos, diary entries and prison issue personal items such as cigarette papers and lighters. Cathartic, for Cole, the project in her words “aims to turn something dark, hidden and shameful into something light, revelatory and beautiful.”
In yet another series, Cole spent a month capturing portraits of the Tiwi Island culture’s “Sistagirls.” A Sistagirl is a transgender person. Formerly revered in the culture, after the culture was colonized and converted to Catholicism, the Sistagirls became shunned and excluded from their tribe. Existing in their own mini world, Cole sought to capture the essence of who they are and the spirit o their community.
Montreal-based artist Francois Chartier creates still-life paintings with a photorealistic quality. He often pairs the still-life object with an image of crumpled tissue paper that is dramatically shaped around each object, creating an overall presentation of the still-life object. The juxtaposition of these textures – matte and crumpled with the bright and shiny – demonstrates Chartier’s level of skill as a realistic painter. Surprisingly, Chartier hasn’t always been a painter. After 30 years in advertising as a commercial artist, he entered the fine art world full-time at the age of 50.
Chartier applies the acrylic paint with an airbrush onto a smooth gesso base. He explains, “Although my paintings are realistic, my goal is to create through the layering of mediums and the play of the brush, the illusion of depth and sense of presence beyond what is found in photographs. . . I am drawn to painting large scale works where my subjects, always painted bigger then life size, are given room to seize the viewer and where life’s smaller details are revealed in their beauty and simplicity.” (via juxtapoz)
On his blog, “The Daily Doodles”, self-taught artist David Michael Chandler features an illustration or gif every day accompanied by a story or poem. Most of his work is representative of childhood fears and nostalgia, and includes science fiction and fantastical elements. I love his bright color palettes and dreamy narratives. His worlds are full of childhood imagination and possibility.
Chandler says, “Everything I create on my site is written and drawn by me alone, and I love how I can control every aspect of my art and have it succeed or fail with only me to blame. I try to keep it all as original as possible, and as a rule I don’t reference anything from pop culture, such as TV or movies.”
Chandler currently lives in Los Angeles. (via art chipel)
Adam Harvey is an award-winning designer and technologist whose work deals with the increasingly relevant topics of surveillance, computing identity and personal privacy. Harvey, whose projects combine fashion and product design, computing science and programming, takes an artist’s approach to problem-solving – identifying a problem, developing experiments and possible solutions, and learning any number of skills to fabricate and achieve a solution that calls into question the nature of the problem.
Harvey, whose company ahprojects is based in Brooklyn, New York explains,”I became interested in spoofing and camouflage when cameras metamorphosed from art making tools into enablers of surveillance societies. This happened gradually over the last decade starting with the Patriot Act in 2001. To me, this document marked the beginning of the end of photography as I knew it from art history books.”
This incredibly detailed newspaper art or “lace newspapers” are the work of Canadian paper artist Myriam Dion. Using an Exacto knife and a surgeon’s precision, Dion creates intricate lacey shapes using existing text images from newspapers, cutting out white space and leaving some of the paper image in tact. The results are beautiful new images that have been completely transformed through Dion’s skilled paper cutting and fine attention to detail. She creates other deconstructive work, like her ornate burned photograph series.
Dion is currently working on a masters degree in visual and media arts at the University of Quebec, and will have her work featured in a number of upcoming exhibitions, including Pulse Miami,Art Toronto 2013, and Foire en art actuel de Québec. (via colossal)
Beautiful/Decay has partnered with premiere website building platform Made With Color to bring you exclusive artist features. Each week we join forces to bring you some of the most exciting artists and designers who use Made With Color to create their clean and sleek websites. Made With Color helps makers build their artists space on the web. Every Made With Color site comes with a built-in mobile site and is totally responsive for smart phones and tablets. This week we’re happy to bring you the work and website of photographer Morgynn Hanner.
Morgynn Hanner’s captivating black and white images are inspired by feminine beauty, the dark and strange, and eras long since past. Combining darkroom experiments and digital alterations, Hanner combines a variety of media from polaroids to large format photographs to create haunting yet delicate photographs of a cast of young girls who could be models in edgy european fashion magazines or teen girls up at night blasting loud music and playing pretend. The result is a unique glimpse into a larger narrative with no end about beauty, youth, freedom, and the unknown.
Tsherin Sherpa, born in Kathmandu Nepal, originally trained as a traditional Tibetan thangka painter with his father Master Urgen Dorje. From the age of twelve, he underwent six years of intensive training before travelling to Taiwan to study Mandarin and computer science. Since then he has returned to thangka painting but has added a contemporary twist to the traditional paintings leaving behind the traditional confines of the age old practice. His work now mixes the techniques and imagery of thangka with contemporary subject matter.
When asked about breaking from tradition Sherpa states:
“Sometimes if one gets too obsessed with the rules, there’s a danger of getting entangled in that very obsession. We then become more concerned about not breaking the rule. Because of that, from the traditional art’s point of view, the contemporary work with Buddhist imagery may even get categorized as sacriligious. I am working with some of the images that are viewed as the ultimate portrayal of certain deity. And to manipulate it, is obviously taboo.
However, if we scratch the layer a little deeper, and analyze these Buddhist images, one will find that they are a means to develop a practitioner’s (Buddhist) goal towards enlightenment, which means that the images are not the ultimate goal but rather a vehicle. A representation of a Buddha in 2- or 3-dimensional form is not the actual Buddha. It is a mere representation. And to fall into the trap of perceiving them to be the ultimate, is actually getting oneself entangled with the rules.”