Jason Dussault is a Vancouver- and New York-based artist who uses the ancient medium of mosaics to recreate iconic images, many of which you will probably recall from your childhood. Among the shattered and beautifully arranged pieces — largely composed of ceramic, paint, grout, and resin — are the familiar visages of Batman, Thor, and the Hulk. Also depicted are important religious figures, including the Buddha and Jesus, as well as images of personal significance to Dussault; the hellhound “Fido,” for example, is a visualization of his inner, artistic strength. His masterful blending of colours and shapes create dimensional, intricate images that inspire both excitement and nostalgia.
In all of these works, Dussault has used the fractured and geometric power of the mosaic to manifest an “internal struggle,” a resistance against a world wherein magic has been stripped away by the realities of adulthood. By recreating memory-infused imagery from broken shards, Dussault’s craft serves as an active reclamation of “the magic, excitement, and hopefulness that stimulated his youth” (Source). Memory — and everything else that composes our emotional and physical lives — is fragile, but as Dussault shows us, it is never too late to recompose that which we think is broken or lost.
Dussault’s work is currently being featured in an exhibition entitled Deconstructive / Constructive at the Hoerle-Guggenheim Gallery in New York, which is running until April 2, 2015. Visit his website for more examples of his work.
A person’s a person, no matter how small! Creating work under the name “Slinkachu,” this artist reminds us to pay attention to the little things in life in his miniature scenes. Photographed in London, Slinkachu constructs clever and irresistibly tiny scenes of people living their lives in the cracks of urban life. One small girl is swinging from a bent weed while other little people are diving off a Popsicle stick to swim in its melting juices. These photographs seem to capture a secret, pocket-sized world that exists right under our noses, reminding us to stop a while and take in our surroundings. This series also includes photographs of the little scenes in its real surroundings, giving it a sense of scale, revealing how small they really are.
These inch-high people are somewhat like the normal-sized urbanite, living in the shadows of tall buildings, just as Slinkachu’s people live in shadow. They are playing, swimming, and horseback riding in a concrete jungle, commenting on our own detachment from nature. However, this does not deter us from searching for it. We create our own nature in the form of city parks, just as Slinkachu’s playful little people find nature in a spilled soda pop, which they hop over like a pond. These hopeful scenes of miniature realities might criticize our separation from the natural world, but humorously point out our optimism and resourcefulness.
An exhibition of Slinkachu’s photographs titled Miniaturesque will be opening March 13th at Andipa Contemporary, located in London.
Cath Riley is an artist who creates stunning, photorealistic drawings that explore the power of touch and the sensuality of flesh. In each image from this series, bodies are pinched, gripped, and squeezed, with Riley’s masterful shading depicting the smooth skin as it creases and dimples. And even though we are only given a small portion of the body — such as a hand clenching a waist, or pressing between the thighs — the drawings emanate warmth, intimacy, and humanity. In a synesthesia of visual perceptions and tactile sensations, Riley’s works celebrate the materiality and strengths of the body, exploring the pleasure and personal connections that derive from the loving, physical interplay of firmness and softness.
All of Riley works — which can be viewed on her website — portray an incredible attention to detail and awareness of the human form. In her Hands series, for example, she captures complex musculature and tiny creases with sublime accuracy and beauty. It is no wonder that her work has been recognized; her recent clients include Nike, GQ, and The New York Times, and she has won several awards, listed here. In regards to upcoming work, Riley writes that her “current on-going experimental ‘drawing’ includes very large scale drawing, based around the human figure, which are very different in character from the pencil portrait and ‘flesh’ figure drawings which are featured here. Some of the new work is abstract in nature.” She adds that “examples of this ‘new direction’ […] will appear on the site quite soon,” so be sure to follow her work (Source). More images from the Flesh series after the jump. (Via Juxtapoz)
Even though Judith Schaechter was immersed in her artistic career as a painter, she was drawn to the traditional practice of stained glass window making. She has managed to lift the centuries-old skill into the world of contemporary art by treating it with a new vision. She turns something that is usually associated with stuffy old churches into something macabre, tragic, yet beautiful. Schaechter says she doodles in front of the TV, and in meetings, to come up with a preliminary design, but still works spontaneously and improvises until she reaches the final stage.It seems she is quite happy to let accidents and mishaps guide her hand. She speaks a bit more the art of turning something gruesome and unpleasant into a thing of wonder:
It seems my work is centered on the idea of transforming the wretched into the beautiful in theme as well as design. For me, this means taking what is typically negative — say, unspeakable grief, unbearable sentimentality, or nerve-wracking ambivalence, and representing it in such a way that it is inviting and safe to contemplate and captivating to observe (to avoid ending with preposition) (Source)
Schaechter says glass is the perfect medium to support the conceptual idea of transforming ugly and difficult subjects into radiant, transparent, glowing figures. Ordinary, ‘earthly’ beings are now ‘supernatural’ and elevated.
They seem to be caught in a transitional moment when despair becomes hope or darkness becomes inspiration. They seem poised between the threshold of everyday reality and epiphany, caught between tragedy and comedy. (Source)
She is a firm believer of the power of stained glass windows – and the effect they can have on somebody’s mood. To be further enlightened, see more of her work after the jump.(Via Hi Fructose)
Now that the Angry Birds craze has died down a bit artist Rachel Lord has decided to immortalize our fine feathered friends even more. In a lighthearted way, Lord renders a true cartoon likeness of each bird set against a photorealistic background. At times the rural settings look a cross between paint by numbers and millennium pop art. If you haven’t noticed, The Angry Birds have become just as much part of mainstream pop culture as the Simpsons or Disneyworld.
Two billion downloads strong, the Finnish Company Rovio first introduced the series in 2009. Those familiar will remember the birds objective was to fight mean snorkeling baddie pigs in various outdoor settings. It required little video game skill and could be downloaded for free in a number of apps. The play consisted of flinging an individual bird into structures with an objective to destroy enemy forts. Despite its violence and simplicity there was an addictive quality to the gameplay which turned the birds into martyrs since each one perished after playing. To date it is the most downloaded free game of all time.
Lord’s paintings reminisce each character in a blissful state, giving peaceful existence to the multi-variety of birds. It’s interesting to note Lord painted the birds in subdued situations instead of flinging them across the canvas watching them destroy. The birds are all ultra cute and have different abilities but mostly are cute and whose bright feathers make for nice contrast in Lord’s paintings set against the subtle natural colors of oceans, mountains and trees. Besides their own games, the brand has released Star Wars, Transformers and NBA versions. There is an Angry Bird theme park and Angry Bird soda.
Jay Briggs is a London-based designer who uses unconventional materials and dark, empowering themes in the creation of alternative women’s fashion. The two lookbooks featured here, entitled Malleus Maleficurum and Melusina, draw on witchcraft and folklore as their inspiring influences, the former referring to the book written by inquisitor Heinrich Kramer in 1486, the latter referencing a European myth about a water nymph, which Briggs has given his own dark twist (you can read more about that here). Among his gothic designs are elaborate headpieces and couture that transform his models into dark specters and serpentine creatures, as beautiful as they are fierce. Incorporated into some of the pieces are taxidermied objects — from feathers, to entire wings, to hundreds of iridescent beetle shells — fused so seamlessly with the looks that we perceive the beauty of the designs before the grimness of their reality.
Briggs’ work is a product of extreme dedication and attention to detail. As he explains in an interview with Portis Wasp, the collection Malleus Maleficurum took 5 months of constant work to create, and all the intricate pieces were painstakingly embellished by hand. Beyond the dark details, what makes these two lookbooks so notable is the origin and depth of their influences — the history and the folklore — and how Briggs has reinterpreted them through contemporary, avant-garde fashion, enmeshing everything into a complete and original narrative. His style is consistently stunning, bringing an expressive and often macabre edge into the world of fashion. Visit Briggs’ website, Facebook page, and Instagram and follow him as he creates his upcoming designs.
The photographer for both these series is Fabio Esposito, whose incredible fashion and beauty photography can be found on his website, Twitter, and Facebook page.
Although Anja Rubin’s work is informed by current sociopolitical issues and technology, the process of her painting refers back to older traditions. In a series of pictures done in acrylic and perm enamel she references techniques found in pointillism and expressionism with a twist. The idiosyncrasy at hand hints at graffiti and muraling. These wonderful pictures provoke mind expanding color as Rubin’s palette swirls through the canvas like a million and one white noise dots from an analog tv. Camouflaged within the loosely formed shapes are socio-political figures and symbols which make them relevant and engaging.
In a series called “Digital” Rubin moves with the times and partakes in computer rendering. Using photoshop, she takes a literal look inside a circuit board and uses its structure as background to study man’s relationship to technology in a metaphorical and societal sense. Her palette remains luminous and proves that a painter can be productive with technological advances. The pictures consist of every day scenes to cerebral symbolism which is cleverly enhanced atop a light box.
Her most recent body of work examines the current state of social media through “selfie” portraits. These large paintings consisting of oversized pixellated dots emphasize both the self-deprecating nature and our obsession with being seen. They reference both Alex Katz and Chuck Close proving Rubin’s versatility as an artist who likes to engage with different processes to achieve her overall goal of keeping record of technology’s influence on society.
Photographer Jean Francois Lepage has been recycling. Lepage is a well known fashion photographer who in recent years has been concentrating on fine art projects. One called “Recycle” uses his fashion photography as background to his painting, drawing and cutting. This presents a kind of superimposed painting onto a photograph which has both modernist and classical references. The works hint at Picasso, Calder and Klee, but also finds new ground in the photo image combined with other mediums. Whereas fashion photography mostly projects a self-absorbed glance, Lepage reinvents these same photographs to look within its subject instead of just on the surface.
In some of the pictures, he draws over the faces to hide the features. This turns the picture into a more abstract form and allows the shapes of his subjects to be seen as free flowing objects instead of just perfect physical specimens selling a product. In others, Lepage renders marks which could be interpreted as word bubbles or strange appendages, sometimes outlining and extending beyond the figure. The colors are bold and primary in some while in others he opts to color over in softer pastel shades. The more intriguing works are those with less coloring and just black outlining which lend a sculptural element.
Lepage finds an agreeable shortcut to the painted image. He finds inspiration in the balance of what is real and imagined.