The internet is currently swarming with stories, tributes, and memorials to the late, great Robin Williams who passed 3 days ago. Some people may not know that in addition to being an actor, comedian, activist, and improv performer, Williams was also an unabashed lover of video games, comic books, and graphic novels, and that this loss resonates throughout these communities as well. Yesterday, Nick Gazin over at Vice posted crowd-sourced illustrations that pay tribute to the performer, his characters, and his life. (via vice)
The dark paintings of Martin Wittfooth depict a frightening dystopia that could be our reality if we are not careful. The world he shows us is a grim and desolate one, void of humans, but full of casualties that our species could easily cause. We see a world of animals suffering from our actions and learning to adapt to their new environment for survival. His paintings are a stark reminder of what could happen if we aren’t aware of, and don’t cease the damage we are causing.
Wolves creep around in a burning wasteland, probably looking for food to eat, or some substance somewhere. Bears tip over old water jugs, or some sort of relic from a time past. Tigers are sprawled out over the hood of a rusty car, surrounded by flowers sprouting out of the trunk. The beak of an albatross is stuffed full of trash, the bird unaware that his chosen items are harmful, and not healthy. The sight of these animals that we (should) cherish trying to survive in an undesirable place should bring out the emotions in us that Wittfooth wants.
Everywhere and at all times, we’ve been busy making things in our present for the simple purpose of communicating something, and thus sending messages into our future. What a peculiar habit. We’re the only species inhabiting this planet that routinely behaves this way, and there’s something really beautiful and profound about that. (Source)
His paintings full of the consequences of climate change, over use, excess pollution and unnecessary producing and consumption may seem dramatic, but are actually just a glimpse into a future that could happen, sooner than we think. Wittfooth paints with a sense of urgency; with a need to tell people things could be getting quite bad, quite quickly. He goes on:
I often think about what the psychedelic thinker Terence McKenna called “The Archaic Revival”: a yearning to look into the past to see meaning, connection, the sacred, looking back at us. I need those reminders sometimes, when the current state of human affairs seems dire and in need of a new perspective. (Source)
Jee-Shaun Wang’s drawings are intricate, energetic, and tons of fun. He combines graphic novels with japanese woodblocks, cave painting, and indigenous art of the Americas, but instead of princesses or warriors, Wang gives us actresses eating hotdogs at drive-ins, RV campers, and army tanks. The flatness in these drawings gives everything equal importance which makes you look at every single part with a constantly wandering eye. And everywhere you look you get to find more stories and things you love–a spilled pot of boiling moodles, invented badges, patterns, etc. Stop what you’re doing and take your eyeballs for a walk!
Chris Garcia‘s paintings are inspired by his love of cars and bicycles, and the relationship between people and objects. His graphic compositions and carefully rendered contrasting textures make his paintings especially striking.
Glass bottles, broken ceramic statues, buildings, and an oven are all things you’ll find in Sabine Timm’s work. If this sounds excessive, I assure you it’s not. All of these things are miniature-size and require no heavy lifting. The Dusseldorf-based artist uses found and vintage objects to assemble tiny sculptures and arrange items in an amusing way. The images, captured in photographs, don’t seem like permanent installations. Instead, Timm’s handiwork feels fleeting, like we’re seeing a scene from a play.
Timm often utilizes the same objects among assemblages. This practice weaves a narrative through several images, and we can start to imagine a world where all of these things exist. They are vignettes, depicting a fantastic yet logical place. A pile of small petals nearly cover an entire house. Broken ceramics are given a second chance by simply drawing a new body parts. Timm also solves issues like overcrowding simply by stacking houses on top of each other. Build up instead of out, right?
There is obviously a lot of play at hand in Timm’s work. Her sense of humor is very sweet and goofy; for instance, she adds a face to plastic containers, using a comb as a wild hairstyle. It’s has a broad audience and is amusing in a couple of ways. She’s giving personality to inanimate objects, which is absurd. Additionally, the things she uses to create these faces are ingenious. Timm uses a lot of toys, such as the trees out of a train set. It’s nostalgic for many viewers, but also fun for kids, too. There is a quiet sophistication to her work. The fine details are refined and innovative, yet the attitude of the images themselves are very accessible. You don’t need a formal art education to enjoy Timm’s work, and it’s able to be appreciated on a number of levels.
Photographer Joanne Leah works in “seduction, ritual, and tension”. Her pieces capture relationships, between two people or art and its viewer, as it alternately relaxes and strains. In the series featured in this post the angle of the light is severe recalling the chiaroscuro of baroque painting. The light, though, is cold, almost lonely, emphasizing the solitary figure in each photograph. Whether, the subject holds teeth in her palm or wields a knife a drama is clearly unfolding.
Now when I think of bread and art, I definitely did not imagine art on bread. Tibi Neuspiel’s work is extremely amusing and at the same time delicious? Using bread toast as inspiration and a variety of portraits, this artist definitely takes portraiture seriously, and toast too. The amazing sculptures are esthetically engaging while also intriguing. Tibi Neuspiel serves you a sandwich made with yummy toppings of toast, Hitler, cheese, Van Gogh’s ear and greek mythology.
Estevan Oriol is a brave soul. In Los Angeles, there are some neighborhoods that most people do not have access to. This disconnect between the outsiders and the neighborhoods, allows the mind to conjure up images of what it might be like to live in a gang territory, hood, barrio, etc. Estevan does what most photographers will not and cannot do; he treks into these neighborhoods and captures life in its rawest form. His photographs bridge the gap between our wildest imaginations and reality. No sugar-coating for the media here. Estevan’s work not only deals with street life, but with celebrities. Even music videos. The man is truly talented.
Feast your eyes on more dope images after the break.