Josh Jefferson is a Boston-based artist who paints and draws raw, coarsely layered, and geometric portraits. Viewing the face as the locus of emotion and individuality — as well as a mask we shape to convey our identities — Jefferson’s rough-yet-sophisticated style allows him to represent the structures of the face while simultaneously exploring the symbolic interiority of each portrait; with loose and boldly-colored brush strokes and layered washes of paint, Jefferson gives each portrait a constructed superficiality as well as a deeper, visible core: translucent shapes become thoughts floating around inside a skull, eyes sink into deep vortexes, and mouths smile and grimace all at once. In a statement provided to Beautiful/Decay, Jefferson described his style and motivations:
“What really gets me excited is when I see a painting that seems effortless — when an artist has confidence and it appears that the painting came about like one fast whiplash, a slaphappy moment. If I could convey that feeling of loose abandon and control I would be happy. The distortions and geometric interpretations in my drawings and paintings act as structures for me to build on and react to. I kind of need to repeat things to find their meaning, and the structures help with this process.”
Just as our emotions shift, fluctuate, and blend together, Jefferson’s imaginative-yet-structured portraits manifest the complexity of inward experiences — experiences that may seem abstract or unreadable to anyone not enduring them personally. As Jefferson strives for that balance between “abandon and control,” there is a distinct sense of chaos and order, childhood lightness and adult stoicism; shifting between semi-transparent shapes and bold lines, Jefferson’s faces invite and repel us. In showing the imperfections amidst an otherwise bold exterior, the portraits allow us to view identity as a careful construction — a facade — over a complex and vulnerable personal world.
Jefferson’s works will be featured at Head First, an exhibition at the TURN Gallery in New York City running from June 24th until August 16th. The gallery will be hosting the opening reception on the 24th from 6-8pm. Check out Jefferson’s website to see a larger collection of his work.
There’s a change happening in a small, rural community in Costa Rica. Latin American satellite company Claro has joined forces with local artists to help housewives advertise and grow their own businesses. In a place where few luxury items can be afforded, every household is certain to have a TV – and also an accompanying satellite dish. So, with the help of creative agency ‘Ogilvy & Mather Costa Rica’, Claro have come up with idea of how to better utilize those dishes for the local residents.
Painted with as many different logos and themes as you can think of, the bright, folksy designs are grabbing all the right kinds of attention. Now, instead of having to rely on word of mouth, or neighbors stopping by occasionally, the women can advertise their goods and services much easier – and to more people. The charming designs advertise making tortillas, ice cream, piñatas, selling flowers, strawberries, eggs, or offering sewing alterations, or haircuts. Now, not only are the women attracting more customers, they are also empowered to think bigger, and to perhaps change their own financial destiny. (Via Lost At E Minor)
According to photographer Ismael Moumin everyone has two sides to their personality. In his cleverly crafted collaged pictures he renders a kind of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde narrative. In portrait style pics he explores dual sensibilities. Some are traditionally made with happy/angry faces while others are left more open to interpretation. The flawless models are aesthetically pleasing to view and in some Moumin cuts parts of their faces to fit perfectly into another, thus making comment about the interchangeable definition of beauty. In one an Asian model is split with a Caucasian lady. Again a subtle reference to what appears on the outside might not necessarily coincide with what is on the inside. Then there are some where he erases the face altogether except for the silhouette and fills it with cosmic looking substances. These become scientific planetary like images which recall mood rings and heat sensitive substances which change at the touch.
Moumin makes his living as a professional photographer. He has done shoots for Rue Blanche, Cacharel, Sage, LESinrocks and Hero Magazine. He is represented by Frenzy Picture in Paris.(via Ineedaguide)
With his work engulfed in geometric shape, the artist known as “Moneyless” creates infinite patterns of triangles and circles that seems to multiply endlessly. The Italian artist having talent in both two and three-dimensional work, his murals and paintings on wood are cosmic bound, mesmerizing and hypnotizing you with its fluid shapes. Originally a street artist, his influences from graffiti is apparent in his work on walls, with their bold color schemes and intense movement across the spaces they inhabit. This breakdown of text based graffiti into more non-representational, abstracted forms and shapes allows for more contextual freedom.
These murals and wall pieces are reminiscent of a kaleidoscope or a Spiro graph, with repetitive circles turning his compositions into large-scale Slinkies. Moneyless’s works on wood contain the same depth and intricacy created from his geometric perception, with an excellent eye on negative space. Staring into these works will have you lost in their unbelievable intricacy and rhythm. Each line is so thin and delicate, but make up a larger part of the stronger whole. This series is brilliantly symmetrical, forming a central focal point that pulls us into the space. The artist sees the triangle shape as the root to life, making up our existence along with everything around us. The reoccurring theme of geometry represents the foundation of life itself.
If Wednesday and Pugsley of the Addams family were born a little later they might’ve had this Gothic half pipe in their backyard. I could almost imagine Gomez and Morticia smoking in front of this beautiful wrought iron structure. Instead artist Brandon Vickerd has made something for today’s skater goth. The pipe isn’t as deep as a traditional transition but it is truly beautiful. The sides holding up the wooden platform are black and resemble the part of a rollercoaster which holds up the tracks. According to the artist he wanted to make something that spoke to architectural design incorporated with a recreational aesthetic. It achieves this goal by exploring a type which is normally found floating around music and alternative fashion. The gothic sensibility isn’t normally associated with athletics which make Vickerd’s creation more intriguing. From certain angles the iron is constructed to look like a row of church steeples. It also has the feel of old bridges and fancy park benches. It’s not clear if the artist is a skater but judging by the care involved in this project it would make sense.
Other projects the artist has been involved is making models of famous busts and other figures such as ghost rider with Skeleton faces. These reference more traditional figurative sculpting techniques and pop art from the 60’s.
The artwork of Audrey Kawasaki is completely irresistible in its portrayal of stunning technique and beautiful women. Her skilled illustration using ink, oil paint, and graphite is a sharp contrast to the natural grain of the wood panel in which she paints on. The warmth of the wood combined with the reds and oranges found in her work create a soft glow that radiates from her work. Each of her women contains an iridescent aura that invites you in, pulling you closer into the frame. There is an unmistakable seductiveness in their eyes, or in one case, the third eye, that is both intriguing and mysterious. As you examine Kawasaki’s work, something begins to feel peculiar. The beauty of her women blinds us before a strange, bizarre element creeps up on us. We slowly realize something is off, when we see things like pink, glowing rabbits circling around the figures or even a snake skeleton sprouting out of the roots of a woman’s hair.
Kawasaki flawlessly offers us women of quiet beauty that leaves us questioning each situation. She pulls her inspiration for her gorgeous paintings from both the distinct style of Manga comics and the swirling, elegance of Art Noveau. The enormously talented artist will have work up at a group show starting this June on the 26th at the Long Beach Museum of Art. Her work is included in the exhibition, Vitality and Verve: Transforming the Urban Landscape.
Recent university graduate Claudio De Luca has been experimenting with merging traditional sculptural methods with new technologies and coming up with some exciting results. He works with ceramics, bronze casting, wax and wood for the base of her artworks, and builds on them using modern, digital-based techniques. His final year’s work at the Cardiff School of Art and Design featured a series of ceramic skulls and heads that were filled with different material, and had cubic shapes bursting out from their fronts.
De Luca has been trying his hand at laser cutting, 3D printing, 3D scanning, 3D modelling, and CNC machining. The combination of these different methods are a nice metaphor for the subject of De Luca’s work. He explores the ideas of identity and representation in a modern world, and especially how we present ourselves in the digital world. He says:
Ones portrayal of themselves in an online ecosystem is largely skewed, this is a feature of who they should be, never are the insecurities shown or the flaws revealed. Vulnerabilities such as these are how we define our best attributes and ultimately forge long lasting relationships.
I look at how the facets of ones self are greatly lessened when choosing what information to construct in the digital space, through 3D scanning a person, I digitally ‘decimate’ the facets their faces are made of thus abstracting there true self. This I feel is what would best visually represent ones online identity in a digital setting. The less facets to be seen, the less a person is truly showing of themselves.
He uses the shapes in her work as a metaphor for the two realities merging – the physical and the digital. The effect of these ‘hollow faces’ are a scary reflection of what type of people we are becoming in this digital age. It makes you want to check your own reflection in the mirror, doesn’t it?
Some studies have suggested that attractiveness can be quantified by symmetry; just as in nature, where bees have been found to favor symmetrical flowers, the evenness of one’s features is thought to be an alluring factor. But what if beauty was measured by other geometric forms of order and “perfection” — such as the Fibonacci number sequences, and the closely related “golden ratio,” which comprises rectangles of mathematically and aesthetically flawless proportions?
Igor KKK, a Moscow-based designer, used these algorithms to warp celebrity photos into mathematically “ideal” images of themselves; overlaying each photo with logarithmic spirals, Igor applied the resulting proportions to their faces — and the results are both hilarious and absurd. Nicolas Cage has been rendered into a square-faced cyclops, Bryan Cranston has the jaws of a bulldog, and Sylvester Stallone’s mutant-like, lopsided eyes peer at us creepily.
Igor’s project is a satirical one that pokes fun at the idealism we give our celebrities. “Arrange your face features to match the Fibonacci sequence,” he writes, as if it were an ad for a plastic surgery clinic. And despite the fact Fibonacci numbers can be traced throughout the known world — in leaf patterns, flower petals, and pinecones, for example — this does not mean it is the formula for an ideal type of beauty; as Igor shows us, the results are unsettling, disfiguring, and rather amusing. In a cultural context obsessed with beauty and self-improvement, Igor’s images humorously remind us that “perfection” is a construction. All perspectives of beauty are deeply varied and subjective, and cannot be fully encompassed by a single standard, represented here by a mathematical equation. (Via designboom)