Leon Golub is hands down one of the most important political artists from the last century. His brutally painted unstretched canvases bring to light the horrors of war, greed, and torture. Watch this short documentary about Leon that gives insight into the artists process, his studio practice, and hear him discuss his controversial subject matter. Full video after the jump.
Michelle Devereux is a contributing artist for Austin multi-media label, Monofonus Press, a member of a female-centric video collective called Austin Video Bee, is a co-founder of an art-circuit tap troupe known as What’s Tappening?!, and plays drums in an apocalypse inspired chick band called Storm Shelter. When Michelle isn’t busy working on the many projects listed above she makes mind blowing, 80’s video arcade inspired drawings focusing on themes of innocent fantasy and finding beauty in the obvious and the embarrassing. Her drawings have to me one of my favorite new discoveries so I really hope that she makes more very very very soon!
Stephen Floyd has some really fun and simple illustrations. He was born in Galveston, Texas in 1978, and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. “The ideas for his drawings originate from a wide variety of sources: conversations, bad jokes, politics – anything that is a part of daily life… It is left for the viewer to decide whether the ideas come from a world of benevolence or a world of malice. Depicting stereotypes, humor and sex, everything he creates is understood differently based on the observer’s perspective. The play between the words and the images can be disarming, offensive or charming, depending on their pairings.”
Toyin Odutola’s arresting drawings map every curve, line, and pore on the human body.
Lisa Nilsson’s works renders the densely squished and lovely internal landscape of the human body in cross sections. Her materials are Japanese mulberry paper and the gilded edges of old books. They are constructed by a technique of rolling and shaping narrow strips of paper called quilling or paper filigree. Quilling was first practiced by Renaissance nuns and monks who made artistic use of the gilded edges of worn out bibles, and later by 18th century ladies who made artistic use of lots of free time.
For her project Rouleaux, the French multimedia artist Annastassia Elias builds tiny world within single toilet paper rolls. Lit from behind, her delightful cardboard scenes appear like stills from a mysterious work of shadow puppetry. Here, the roll, most commonly a piece of trash associated with the mundane rituals of domestic life, becomes elevated to the realm of high art. Elias’s visual narratives span time and space; as surely as summer swings fade to frigid snowmen, we move from an underwater universe to the barber shop around the corner.
Caught between the circular borders of the toilet paper roll, Elias’s characters seem to emerge from the cardboard of their own volition. Each racehorse and dinosaur is constructed from cut pieces of paper that share their color with the naked roll itself. The artist chooses not to paint either the rolls or the scenes that emerge from within them, allowing the textured, sand-hued paper to maintain a uniform circularity; ultimately, each tiny world appears to be eternally collapsing into itself. Horses run in circles, and a weary man and his donkey, who lowers his head in exhaustion, appear to trudge forward down a path that will only lead to the start.
Fitting in the palm of one’s hand, Elias’s delicate pieces remind us of the preciousness of even the most banal moments. Beneath sheets of toilet tissue, we might discover secret universes, available only to those with a childlike imagination and a thirst for adventure. Rouleaux is now available as a book, and the pieces are currently on view at the National Museum of Singapore until August 3, 2014. (via Demilked)
Shaolin Kung Fu, developed in China beginning in 495AD, has infiltrated popular culture in the West. Depending on your age, you might be familiar with the 70s TV show “Kung Fu” or Mortal Kombat : Shaolin Monks. Neither captures the essence of Shaolin Kung Fu. Based on Buddhism, its major forms of expression are martial arts and techniques. Shaolin emphasizes meditation, development of the body through rigorous training, and pain endurance.
Training in Kung Fu is mostly done without an opponent, as it was never meant to kill, and the poetic names of the moves imply that it is more of a meditation than a fight. However, the only difference between breaking a clay jug and smashing a human skull with one’s bare hands is consciousness of will. Despite the commercialization, Kung Fu retains a mystical character closer to a monastic discipline than to the performances of modern gladiators.
Tomasz Gudzowaty captures the monks in artistic black and white. The classical composition of these photographs only serves to enhance the amazing strength, endurance, and concentration of the monks as they train. Gudzowaty doesn’t use effects or manipulation to increase the impact of the images—he doesn’t have to. The monks provide all of the interest themselves: walking up walls, standing on their heads, balanced on a foot and an elbow. They seem fully immersed in their training—oblivious to the camera, wholly in the moment.
“Sports fascinates me as a spiritual practice, which is not readily visible today in mainstream events. I made it my long-standing quest to photograph peripheral, exotic sports.”
This series is a masterful match of content and form, skilled subjects and talented artist.