Brooklyn based artist Matt Phillips creates colorfully complex paintings that act as vibrant odes to the ordinary. Phillips’ practice meditates on his comprehensive observance of classic aesthetics, including modernist abstraction, folk art, and African textiles. Drawing notes from these traditions, his paintings meld low and high brow art, creating contemporary pastiches that are just as colloquial as they are clever.
Phillips’ uses notions of pattern, textile, and the decorative to hint at referential codes that allow the abstract to take on tangible, even comforting forms. It is the moment in which each work switches from foreign to recognizable, that invites in humor and endearing relatability. For example, his piece Bungalow (Spring) depicts a warm tonality along soft river blues on a overtly sunny day, and hums the delicate, independent flow of a melodic riddle.
The artist paints with a pigment and silica blend — this mixture results in each brush stroke becoming dry instantaneously. Due to the lack of forgiveness within this process, his work not only speaks about the traditional observation of light, but also to economical choices and purposeful mark making. Although each painting begins as a mapped geometrical formation, his method of building composition pushes through routine constructs of painterly semantics and becomes playful with common structures such as the grid. Phillips has a true touch for quiet beauty and perfected moments of yearned memories.
Check out Matt Phillips’ spectacular solo show, Comfort Inn, at Steven Harvey Fine Arts Projects in New York, running until February 6th. The exhibition is taking over both of the gallery’s two locations located at 208 Forsyth Street and 237 Eldridge Street.
In a series titled Future Fatigue, photographer Bryn DC explores feminine power and the battle against gender inequality. Collaborating with a group of female filmmakers, writers, artists, and activists, he portrays “girl gangs” in post-apocalyptic, war-torn environments. Each one is garbed in ways that challenge conventional notions of femininity; wearing ragged clothes, armed with deadly weapons, and their faces streaked with dirt, they manifest and critique a world polarized by violence and identity binaries.
Bryn’s images are color-drenched and cinematic. Blending composition and costume together in story-filled images, he elucidates his themes in ways that are visceral and metaphorical. A lot of his work derives from personal anxieties about the destructive power of hyper-masculinity, in the way it is portrayed in contemporary culture; as he explains in a statement provided to Beautiful/Decay, he fears a world “where violence and blind progress are seen as necessary, and are often celebrated.” In the fictional apocalypse of Future Fatigue, gender binaries are opened to public discourse while the feminine is empowered as its own mode of influence.
Visit Bryn’s website to view more of his works, which often breach on his fascination with the pulls between mythology and reality, life and death. His Instagram profile is also a good resource to learn more about his projects.
Sculptures made out of moss and lichen. The organic foam that grows on rocks and trees and that are usually considered repellant. Lina Hsaio uses these unwanted and rejected elements to create fantasy faces. Whether painted or textured, the portraits depicted by the artist seem to always be comprised of flora.
The face shapes are perfectly balanced. The major features appear distinctly; nose, mouth and cheeks. It almost seems like the plants grew directly onto the human faces. The fuzzy components were perhaps not chosen coincidently by Lina Hsaio. Moss and lichen are different in their form of life. One is a plant, breathing and living; the other is a composite organism but not a plant. Intertwined together, they symbolize life and death. The purpose of Lina Hsaio is to question the human condition. According to her work,it’s all being summarized in the green, bushy portraits. Behind each individuals is hidden a force stronger than themselves.“Lina’s series of mixed media portraits displaying erratic forms of the human condition with elements that are not to be confined to universals symbols”
Bringing nature and humankind together is the purpose of artist Maximo Riera. The Spanish artist is making chairs from wild animals such as elephants, octopus, rhinos, hippos and whales. An homage to the extraordinary creatures we too often take for granted.
It takes the artist approximately 11 weeks to manufacture one piece. With an average of 480 hours spent on the entire process. The process is complex. First, the 3D modeling and then the production achieved with the help of about 30 engineers grouped from five different companies. The animal-shaped chairs are made out of high dense polyurethane and held by a metallic frame. One piece weighs 350lbs.
Maximo Riera is highlighting through the making of these chairs the importance of nature. It’s a subtle metaphor for anyone who wants to hear it, that animals are a innocent presence and that it is human kind’s role to find tame. Like children looking at toys, we are delighted by the idea of perhaps owning one these chairs, or at least try them out. ‘this collection gives us an option of admiring what nature is capable of; this is the main reason why from the beginning I wanted to be faithful to the animal’s physique. this series is an homage to these animals and the whole animal kingdom which inhabits our planet, as an attempt to reflect and capture the beauty of nature in each living thing.’ What about the real ones? The question underlined here is, how can we come closer to nature and respect and live with it? (via Design Boom)
Canadian artist Kit King and her husband Oda collaboratively paint unbelievable photorealistic portraits that pose questions on beauty, identity and sexuality. The artist couple, who met on Instagram after posting identical drawings, create each of their pieces as complete equal partners, something sort of unheard of for photorealistic collaboration. King and Oda’s work aims to address complex issues about character and selfhood. For example, their works Facelift and Our Little Secret, depict amazingly detailed close ups that provoke feelings of unsettlement and confront the complexity of appearance and eroticism. While Facelift outlines the lengths we are willing to go to for physical perfection, Our Little Secret faces issues of beauty, lust, and objectification. King, in her artist statement, states,
“through a focus on hyperrealism, my paintings are reflections of the ephemeral visual relationships around us. Capturing fleeting moments that affect our emotional state from a singular glance, under the aegis of a heightened sense of reality. My current bodies of work are heavily focused on light and shadow, and how the element of light can alter the relationship of a viewer and subject. The goal being to propel the audience to connect to one transient moment, captured through mood, established from the control of light and shadow.”
Allan Peters, a Minneapolis based designer is a man of many hats (to say the least). Ever since he was a kid, Peters has always coped with an overwhelming passion for drawing, hoping to one day make a career out of it. Not surprisingly, Peters is currently working for Target as an Associate Creative Director and has been doing so successfully for the past 6 years. Along with being a Creative Director, Peters also manages his own design firm, Peters Design Co., as well as manages his highly successful blog with more than 100,000 page views each and every month.
Although Peters is excelling in our highly-contemporary, modern world, he has an obsession with good old-fashioned hard work. He reserves a special place deep down for design works that were created by hand for one specific customer, contrasting that with the mass-produced work done today that is highly impersonal and churned out by the hundreds.
This is where Peters found his calling—vintage design. A large majority of his work features antiquated elements of retro nostalgia. He seamlessly blends hand drawn script fonts with contemporary illustrations that take you back in time without feeling dated. These designs work on everything from window designs and store displays to flyers and branded products giving his clients a unique edge that stands out in todays world of generic logos and mass produced design. Here’s a selection of some of our favorite logos designed by Peters between 2006-2015.
Shelley Heffler is a mixed media visual artist and educator based in Inglewood, California. Interested in globalism and the shifting of political and social boundaries, she creates “Altered Paintings,” painted sculptural objects that resemble road networks and natural topography. Using sharp lines mixed with layered tones, her works invoke everything from urban sprawl, to forested hills, to reinterpretations of famous landscape paintings (readers will be able to identify Van Gogh’s The Starry Night above).
In the following artist statement provided on her website, Heffler describes territory as at once fluid and ideological:
“Cartography and abstraction are two languages used in my work. I am interested in engaging the viewer on a journey that preexists language and generates ideas and messages that relate to the viewer personally and metaphorically. The works explore global concerns and shifting boundaries of society and politics. Imagery is derived from a variety of resources such as transit systems, ancient ruins, floor plans, city grids, topography and geography; time and space coexist in a compressed world.” (Source)
From a geological perspective, the structure of the earth is determined by strata, tectonic plates, and natural changes over time. Human society has overlaid these formations with urban habitats and demarcations of nation and identity. What Heffler seeks to explore in her work is the interplay between these natural and artificial concepts of terrain, deconstructing borders and thereby opening a discussion about our spatial relationship with each other and the lands we inhabit.
Marcelo Monreal is a graphic designer and creative director based in Santa Catarina, Brazil. In a project titled Faces [UN] Bonded, Monreal opens up the faces of actors and models and fills them with flowers. Although some of them might be hard to identify from within the ferocious bloom, you’ll see the faces of Julianne Moore, Cara Delevingne, Christopher Walken, and more. By splitting the model’s/actor’s faces along the fine curvatures of their jaws and down the center, the artist accentuates their physical features. The flowers reveal a deeper, more internal vitality.
The idea for Faces [UN] Bonded comes from a very important memory for Marcelo: an insight passed down from his late mother. As he explains in this interview with Dettona, when his mother was dying, they worked in the garden together, and she told him “we are made of flowers” (Source). Marcelo now continues this understanding of human vulnerability and beauty by filling photos with floral arrangements. He seeks to “think, experiment create, recreate, learn, destroy, rebuild” in his work, encouraging all burgeoning artists to explore their potential in a similar, imperfect, and blossoming ways.