In her work, Isabel Samaras takes us on a tour through Art History populated with characters from Modern Mythology (20th century television characters and narratives.) Referencing timeless themes, Renaissance Art, Dutch genre painting, Persian Miniatures and Victorian Ethnographic photography, Samaras compresses space and time to create alternative narratives for the familiar characters we grew up watching on TV. Painting beloved and known characters from “I Dream of Jeannie,” “Gilligan’s Island” and “Planet of the Apes,” Samaras at times constructs classical tableaus, referencing the Renaissance masters’ use of people, places and stories from Classical Antiquity. She at other times makes references to the intimacy of Dutch genre painting, giving them another chance at a life that could still yet be. Universes collide to create an alternate reality where our favorite characters from different programs co-exist in a world that is at once hilarious and bittersweet. Samaras opens an alternate dimension to address the what if.
I want to do the visual equivalent of whispering in your ear. – Isabel Samaras
See Samaras’ work on view at Varnish Fine Art In SF from November 3rd – December 22nd.
Ilona Gaynor is a designer and image maker hailing from the UK. Her latest project, Under Black Carpets, leverages bank heists as a medium of design. Through a series of intensive design and research exercises, Gaynor is using the strategies and vocabularies of robbery as a method for storytelling. Perhaps the most bizarre fact about the project is that is actually a collaborative effort with the NYC FBI Department of Justice and the LAPD archival department. Geoff Manaugh puts it well, stating that the project is an investigation into the “use and misuse of the cityscape where by architecture is considered both the obstacle and the tool to bridge or separate you from what you’re looking for” in both legal and illegal agendas. The project, ongoing, is currently comprised of an obsessive collection of materials that range from photographs of bank entrances to scale-models of get away cars. The project truly feels like the work of an insane person… and I mean that in the best way possible.
I’m loving these works by Daniel Schlier on the Galerie Jean Brolly site. His grotesque collaged figures meld different painting techniques, materials, and disparate colors seamlessly with ease. I just wish I could read French or find more info on him and his work.
Instead of using mixed media or found objects Eckart Hahn paints them. With a painful realism he creates opposing materials to find his pictures. A gorilla’s hairy body paired with crumpled garbage bags produces a strange dynamic which is visually captivating. In another, a group under multi-colored plastic bags disguised as a nativity scene is even more unique. It’s hard to find striking subject matter to paint because nine out of ten times it’s been done before. But somehow Eckart Hahn manages to reinvent. People have called his work “new age surrealism” which is true but there are also fantasy and advertising motifs at play. Hahn’s use of fast drying acrylic paint allows him to finish pictures quickly lending a spontaneity that goes well with his oddball subject matter.
Creatures appear consistently in many of Hahn’s paintings. He repeatedly identifies with different species of bird. The winged animal can represent freedom, wisdom and renewal. In Hahn’s paintings these characteristics manifest into a biopic figure, one that seems to echo Hahn himself. All art is biographical in some way or another and provides a chance for the artist to explore unresolved or untouched emotions or feelings. The bird in Hahn’s work has alluded to death, friendship, love, humor and awkwardness. Perhaps these were the same ideas he was feeling at the time of creation. The German born artist is self-taught and has exhibited his work worldwide. (via juxtapoz)
Artist Matthew Craven primarily works in collage. His work, however, diverges from a lot of typical collage styles. Craven doesn’t juxtapose found imagery to create an effect from the contrast. Rather, he sources imagery of what seems to be ancient archaeological artifacts. The black and white images resemble the photographs of old issues of National Geographic. Further, the way Craven assembles the images doesn’t seem an attempt to draw disparities. Instead, he almost appears to categorizing objects, setting up classifications without labeling. Still, his work is fine art and not an exercise in archaeology. Craven doesn’t offer easy conclusions – there is no simple reading of history to be gotten in his work. Rather, Craven looks back at history with his collaged images as art does. It underscores the difficulty in reducing human history to one accurate narrative. The gallery statement of his current solo exhibit at DCKT Contemporary further explains:
“Archaeological remains and ruins act as backdrops for forming crypto-historical collages and drawings. Images from lost cultures, relics and landscapes both well-known and extremely ambiguous create the patterns within the works. The results are compositions that highlight a new connection to our past in an aesthetic that is intended to be both cinematic in scope and visionary in perspective. Understanding that our view of history is deeply flawed and inherently biased, we are left with a puzzle of strange pieces. Oblivious Path combines these puzzle pieces into a new framework. Some of these pieces appear to fit together despite thousands of years and tens of thousands miles separating these ancient civilizations. Using source materials from historical texts, Oblivious Path scrambles our current notions of space and time. The powerful images we are left with cannot be reinterpreted, translated or disregarded. What is left was carved in stone. It is permanent. They are our sacred truths.” ( via the jealous curator)
Premiere website builder Made With Color and Beautiful/Decay have teamed up yet again to bring you exclusive artist features. Each week we bring you some of the most exciting artists and designers working today who use Made With Color to create their clean and sleek websites. Website builder Made With Color doesn’t just help artists create minimal and mobile/tablet responsive websites but allows them to do so in a few minutes without having to touch a line of code.This week we are happy to share the work hilarious and offbeat illustrations of Kyle Stewart.
Canadian illustrator Kyle stewart is currently working on his Illustration degree at Ontario College of Art and Design University (OCAD). When Stewart isn’t busy hitting the books at OCAD he is churning out his pop culture laced mixed media illustrations, in watercolor, collage, and number two pencil. Influenced by everything from 80’s and 90’s sitcoms (Alf!) and action movies (Robocop!) to his early years of skateboarding, Stewart’s strong sense of line and bold color comes through in all his works making us laugh with him at his subtle alterations to the pop icons that we all know and love.
Nøne Futbol Club is a duo of Paris based artists. They work in a wide variety of mediums and forms from video to installation. However, nearly all of their work seems to be tied together by a certain mischievous sense of humor. Though not always overtly political, the duo’s art is definitely subversive. For example, consider Lift a Finger, the first piece pictured here. The maneki-neko, usually a statuette of a welcoming or beckoning cat suddenly becomes hostile with a simple change of hand gesture. The pharase “KEEP WARM BURNOUT THE RICH” is turned into a branding iron. The implement not only burns, but more importantly is a tool for displaying and designating ownership.
Nicolas Rosette goes onto describe the duo’s practice saying:
“Nøne Futbol Club is a duo that is capable of mobilizing as many accomplices as necessary to make their works and performances.
The playful component is inseparable from their creative process which tackles the world like a playground for the expression of an art whose nature has continually bordered on the cellophane of the white cube and the great palaces must take the risk of being a mass distribution product. The recursive principle in their work is reversal. It is not about diverting elements from pop culture(or popular culture, the term changing depending on whether this culture comes to us from one side or the other of the Atlantic Ocean) but of a reversal whose final address is always popular culture. A double inversion, whose process of revelation reflects back to us as in a mirror the possible destiny of an art world which has become less subtle than the current popular media cultures; whose practices of critical and jubilatory diversions are the foundation. Would the Nøne Futbol Club be applying to contemporary art what digital cultures have subjected Chuck Norris, the pope and Darth Vader to?”