There’s a lot to look at in Stephanie Kunze‘s illustrations. Minnesota-based Kunze draws with pencil and colors with Photoshop for an overall style that is contoured and slightly textured. The compositions are feminine and detailed and should feel busy, but the dream-like subjects still seem rested and calm. Worth a look is Kunze’s personal blog for a clearer picture into her thought and execution processes.
Peter Bowen, a London based illustrator, creates detailed works that carry a whole lot of raw energy and humor. A wide range of influences put a hand into his work, as he derives inspiration from lowbrow counter-culture to dense Victorian engravings.
Let’s face it, sometimes artists need a little extra motivation to keep creating and challenging themselves. Based on the Drawing-a-Day style exercise, Drawlloween (generally hash-tagged so each artist’s daily offering can easily be searched on social media sites) is the month of October equivalent where artists and illustrators test their skills and dedication. Illustrator Brian Luong has taken this challenge, and come out with a completely cohesive and solid body of Halloween-themed work. The Southern California-based Luong has gone beyond mere renderings of each instructional prompt (list below), creating dark narratives that add necessary darkness, mystery and visual heft to each drawing.
Although Luong’s portfolio shows a range of strengths typical of most illustrators, Luong’s muted palate, tight hatching and large areas of shading have become more focused and with the project. On the eve of the project’s culminating date of Halloween, the drawings have developed their own distinct, chalky, monochromatic style. Dark shadows have became longer, and scenes of street stalking vampires, discovered corpses and goblin-carved pumpkins became more imaginative than most other participants. Luong’s final Drawlloween piece should be posted today, Halloween, on his Tumblr.
Moving through a macabre world of paper mâché, clay and other assorted materials, Roxanne Jackson creates a gnarly wax museum population. In it, her themes of death, extinction and transformation mold into a still menagerie of Jungian imagery where half man/half animal, sleeping snakes, faceless figures and scary kitties are the norm. Her lot of decaying citizens become eerily alive as they slither, gawk, and snarl at the world. In them, a dark vanity is present, fulfilling our every need for gratuitous horror. In her Death Valley, Jackson uses familiar themes associated with the place that run parallel to her own work. Built around a faceless couple’s camping trip, we witness as they encounter human skulls, fateful hands, swans and Harpy; the half man/half bird creature who embodies the real and imagined shamanistic deities we often think of in these environments. Akin to a carnival master readying props for the eve, its outright Jungian excess takes us down a path which challenges expected norms. In Feed Me Diamonds, Jackson focuses on another transformative creature in the form of a mermaid. Except this pretty thing has a bullet in her head and seems to be drowning in a pool of debauched excess. In her hands, a pair of dice and a deck of cards tell us she’s playing with fate. In her mouth, a set of diamonds? Just another example of the grisly world Jackson inhabits which fronts as a pit stop for twisted redemption.
Photographer Michael Galinsky’s series Malls Across America captures what we simultaneously love and hate about the mall. Stale air, artificial light, and swarms of teenagers are all captured in photographs from 1989. It was in the 1980’s and 1990’s that these places were at the height of popularity and a bastion of consumerism; Galinsky’s photos now is like digging up a time capsule.
Malls Across America began in the winter of 1989 at the Smith Haven Mall in Garden City Long Island. Galinsky travelled from North Carolina to South Dakota, Washington State and beyond photographing malls. We can look at this series as a source of amusement and anthropological study. There are ostentatious 80’s fashions (a lot of big hair) and the beginnings of 90’s grunge.
In many of these photographs, we are the voyeur. I get the feeling that Galinsky took these photographs on the sly, trying to be inconspicuous about it. He captures images through plants, behind people on escalators, and standing outside stores as women are conferring about clothing choices. Because Galinsky makes us both the voyeur and the viewer, I can’t help but feel a little bad for spying. But, considering all the 80’s movies that included mall hijinks, it feels oddly fitting.
These malls still exist, they are just dead. My hometown mall still looks eerily familiar to what’s in these photographs. If this series makes you feel nostalgic for your own mall, you can buy a book of Galinsky’s work. Aptly titled, Malls Across America, it was released this past summer. (Via It’s Nice That and Gizmodo)
Matthew Stone is an artist based in London who has practice in photography, performance, video, drawing, and sculpture. Stone is also a long time friend and collaborator with indie-favorite-carnal-lust-inducing fashion designer Gareth Pugh, providing soundtracks to his shows and films. Recent exhibitions and performances have taken place at the Baltic, the Royal Academy, the ICA and Tate Britain.