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KwangHo Shin Paints Raw, Distorted Portraits That Expose The Complexity Of Human Emotion

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KwangHo Shin is an artist based in Yeongdeok, South Korea, who paints abstract portraits of human emotion. On massive canvases, Shin outlines the contours of a face before filling them in with thick, messy layers of oil and acrylic. As his process videos on YouTube demonstrate, he works from dark to light, allowing the paint to stream down and across the canvas before blending it out. The result is a series of “faceless” portraits, faces transformed into technicolored and monochromatic landscapes that exude a raw range of seemingly conflicting sensations: rage and sensitivity, fear and confidence, sadness and hope.

Shin’s intuitive, creative process—from blank canvas to storms of emotion—allows him to express the deep nuances of his subjects. As curator Myung-Jin You describes, “[The] complexity of human emotions, which is hard to be defined in one word, is left as momentary traces on the empty space, after the long agony of the artist’s inner side.” Following this, “the fear of blank space is collapsed, and [Shin’s] inner side’s fear and the ecstasy . . . coincide” (Source). The finished piece is a culmination of Shin’s energy that dissolves the facades of muscle and skin to reveal the textures of internal experience.

Learn more about Shin’s work on Saatchi Art, Facebook, and Behance.

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Life-Size Matches And Charred Burned Heads By Wolfgang Stiller

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Burned heads on life-size matches. A representation of human kind living in today’s society by German artist Wolfgang Stiller. The artist works either from an established concept coming from his mind or from random pieces he finds wandering in his studio.
The ‘Matchstick Men’ series got created from left over molds he once used while working in Beijing and thick bamboo woods lying in his studio. Wolfgang Stiller started out by playing around with the heads and the sticks until they both merged, the heads on top of the sticks. The artist is interested in in-situ (specific site) installations. Therefore, the need to build matchboxes and different heights of ‘Matchstick Men’ became obvious.

This faces lying on the bottom of a matchbox resemble vulnerable corpses lying in a coffin. Each face, each person has a similarity with its neighbor. They all experienced a tragedy and are now resting in piece. The fact that they seem to always be displayed as a group of more than two matches makes the process easier to contemplate. Because staring at these heads makes us feel compassion and care.
Wolfgang Stiller is not looking for a general interpretation of his art. He creates for a reason and has his own intent but he prefers to leave a space for interpretation between the art piece and the viewer. (via Fubiz).

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Ryan Biegen Hands Out 60 Disposable Cameras To 25 Artists, Capturing The Raw Essence Of Summer

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With images of fireworks, stick and pokes, young lust, and a guy who decided to shake the hand of 27 strangers, Ryan Biegen’s project, Disposable Summer, exposes an honest, memoir-like, catalog of youth. His project started with the documentation of his own travels using throw away cameras, eventually leading him to an idea for a larger project that would culminate in an exposé of the lives of 25, young, Brooklyn based artists. He states:

“I like the simplicity and the well, disposable aspect of the cameras.  They’re breakable, recycled things, often with inaccurate viewfinders, skewed lenses, light leaks etc.  Most of the time what you think will be a good shot ends up awful, and what you think will be awful, ends up as magic. Disposable cameras have a funny way of doing that; their quirky nature lends to unexpected, often unintended, results.”

Despite the diaristic nature of the work, the images seem to blur the line between art and documentation. The camera’s imperfections create a unspecific sensibility of timelessness; they act as delicate, washed out montages of ephemeral adolescence. The physical vulnerability of the film allows the combination of light and chance to guide each image into having it’s own version of reality.

A large part of the projects charm, is that the images, even within the fantastical realm of the distortion, are indeed replications of the genuine. Without the falsified nature of social media platforms, crops, filters, or hashtags, they expose the artist’s summer the way they truly happened. They have a simplicity that results in a euphoric sense of freedom — unaffected by the world outside of the specific moment. They have a true type of raw energy. The type that only ever exists in the summer.

For more of Ryan Biegen’s work, check him out on Instagram or join him tonight at the opening.

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Guillermo Lorca Paints Eerie, Classically-Influenced Scenes That Symbolically Unpack The Human Psyche

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Guillermo Lorca is a Chilean artist who infuses Baroque- and Renaissance-influenced paintings with touches of surrealism, fantasy, and paranoia. In scenes of luxury and violence, bright-haired children wander around in the company of shadowy, mythical beasts. The classical style and carefully planned (and almost theatrical) compositions lend Lorca’s works an air of gravitas and serenity, but among his innocent and otherworldly characters are signs of deep trouble and impending chaos, such as smoke-filled skies, bloodied animal carcasses, and snarling dogs. Similar to the Flemish vanitas, his works are beautiful, symbolic visions that teeter on the verge of becoming nightmares of death and human excess.

The ambiguity that permeates from Lorca’s paintings allows him to tell stories through metaphor, thereby exploring the shape of the human soul. Just as fairy tales transmit their veiled messages across generations, his imagery can be unpacked to uncover layers of meaning. For example, there is savagery and madness in the dogs that demolish a pristine-white table setting into a mountain of blood and gore; there is obscenity and greed in the animal-headed clowns who topple over platters of uneaten meat; and the child sitting courageously in the burning field alludes to a loss of innocence. The beautiful thing about Lorca’s works, however, is that their immense detail and seductive atmosphere allows the viewer to extract his or her own meaning, one that resonates across time to masterfully portray symptoms of the human psyche and experience.

Visit Lorca’s website, Facebook page, and Instagram. Spanish-speaking readers can enjoy an interview with the artist here. (Via beautiful.bizarre)

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Artist Emma Kohlmann Creates Abstracted Erotica With Porn Inspired Ink Blots

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Artist Emma Kohlmann creates ink drawings of amorphous figures performing sexual acts. Her delicately explicit work almost mimics a Rorschach Test. Upon first glance, we are confronted with an abstract, puddle-like treatment of ink. As we enter the work further, we find ourselves in an intimate realm of masturbation, cunnilingus, voyeurism and fluid erotica.

Kohlmann uses source material such as vintage porn and Japanese erotica. Her large collection of content allows her to generate a prolific body of work. A major aspect of her process is simply the act of her constant making. She states:

“Most of this work is an exploration of repetition. I like having a accumulation of images and working in multiples because I can never create the same image twice. Every time I create the details I focus on change. I like focusing on androgyny or addressing sex as multiplicity in finite or non binary.”

Kohlmann’s distorted figures are simultaneously omniscient and innocent, similar to the portraits of Marlene Dumas. Each drawing is both commanding, yet self conscious, a dichotomy that exposes the true complexity of the sexual being. Her work has a natural rawness that is almost brutally honest and inherently feminist, as sex can be both an act of power and shame. There is an innate sense of relatable vulnerability. Her nameless, faceless, genderless, figures are somehow no one and everyone, allowing them to provide an of existential sense of isolation. Her work has a softness, sincerity, and intricacy that echoes the true confusion of beingness.

 

For more of Emma Kohlmann’s work, check out her blog or follow her on Instagram 

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Crystal Morey’s Thought Provoking Sculptures Address Issues Of Humanity And Nature

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In her latest series of ceramic and underglaze sculptures entitled Habitats Collide, artist Crystal Morey underlines the role and impact of human beings on nature in the most melancholic sense. Her work represents human beings with stern looks on their faces “encased” in the bodies of animals. Morey states that the animals she has chosen for this series are either endangered or extinct, which adds to the thoughtful aspect of her project.

She states that her work is inspired by the Byzantine, Renaissance and Ancient Egyptian eras. It also bears a strong resemblance to Native American totem art, due to the visible ridges in the pieces which are designed to look like fur as well as the merging of human and animal forms. Her work, being inherently totem like is thought provoking on many levels beyond its aesthetic composition.

Her representation of human beings as both a part of nature and a problem for nature is in line with many current debates concerning the role of humans as linked to the impact we have had and continue to have on our environmental surroundings. She states that her work seeks to address “current psychological, environmental, and cultural feelings”, which she does perfectly through the facial expressions of the human components in her work. She hopes to create a dialogue centered on technology, progress, and, on a greater scale our relationship with nature.

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Director Liza Mandelup’s Video Series Questions Perceptions Of Singular Beauty

 

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In her series, Real American Beauty, photographer and filmmaker Liza Mandelup invites us to follow her on a challenge to define the word Beauty. Throughout the series, we travel with Mandelup to different regions of the country where she exposes each place for its own unique glamor.

The first episode takes us to Mr @ Ms Hair Studio in South Central, LA. Here we meet a group of women who speak about their time spent getting dolled up as therapeutic revival. The second episode brings us to a prom focused suburb in Long Island, New York. There we meet a town of mothers obsessed with their daughters’ ability to fit in.  In the third, most recent episode, we are introduced to a boxing community of young Cuban men in Miami, FL. The members yearn to look tough and to stand out (and believe they can do so with the perfect hair cut).

Through her short documentary series, Mandelup stimulates us to question if there is such thing as a singular beauty. Her work hints that the notion of beauty is in no way universal. Her series conveys to us that, possibly, our perceptions of beauty are ingrained in us no differently than our senses of right and wrong. Maybe our aesthetic prerogatives are just as complicated as any other set of ideologies. Here we see that the concept of style is just as vastly extensive as identity itself. Perhaps Liza Mandelup is showing us that the word “beauty” has itself become obsolete.

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Anti-Graffiti Work Crew Got Collaged In The Street Art He Wanted To Erase

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Combo is protective if his street art. In response to an anti-graffiti brigade repainting one of his piece, the artist took a picture of this man and turned him into a collage a few days later. The part the man was covering was the tagged area and the part representing Donald Duck’s nephews Huey, Louie, and Dewey was left undamaged. 

Based in Paris, France; Combo depicts mischievous and entertaining street art. He feeds his obsession with interaction by opening a conversation with the walkers and his followers. He usually starts out by tagging the beginning of a sentence and seeking the end on his Facebook page. He asks his fans to finish it. The ending that has the most likes gets to be tagged.

The artist focuses on diverting visual images from their original meaning by adding foreign elements. These elements are usually familiar, coming straight from pop culture, cartoons and video games. By using popular symbols he speaks to the mass and can therefore vehicle his messages. Most of the time the topics covered are injustices within our society. Combo engages with its viewer in a disruptive manner but he always makes sure he does not cross the line of judgment. (via Lost At E Minor).

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