Montreal based artist Marwan Sahmarani’s work has a loose brush work aesthetic that I find charismatic. He paints epic scenes of warriors in the midst of battle. His work is a reflection of his Middle Eastern origins. Sahmarani states that his oil paintings, drawings and performative works are linked to the mediums themselves, and their support in the face of sociopolitical problems.
Jon Kessler’s installations respond to our current information-saturated culture where the search for the self often occurs within the realm of digital media. His most recent exhibition, “The Web“, immerses viewers in our technology obsessed world. Cameras and surveillance equipment abound, constantly capturing and clicking photos and videos of participants. The installation itself is a conceptual clusterfuck that suggests our importance of ritualistic clicking over what’s actually being captured with the clicks. His other work similarly addresses themes of capture, surveillance, fame, and mass media by using related techniques. These installations confuse us and ask us to consider the nature of reality and the authority we grant to technology and mass media with regard to our own identities.
Joe Black is an artist who uses Pop Art against itself. Collecting iconic imagery (often choosing those which have already been famously exploited by other artists), Black creates large-scale hued portraits using copious amounts of consumer items. One of many artists using collected masses of materials into larger mosiac-style works, Black claims that he is open to using any material as long as it is small and plentiful (past pieces have used Lego pieces, toy soldiers, pins, ball bearings, badges) and relates to the source image. These images, which are best seen from a distance of fifty feet, offer a contextual surprise for viewers upon closer inspection.
Though trained as an artist and painter, Black claims to be uncomfortable labeling himself a professional artist, preferring to consider his work more based on image-making and craftsmanship. One such aspect is the time-consuming application of several thousand smaller pieces which make up his whole images, which Black hand-alters by using aerosol to add tones that give gentle gradients which become the lines and shading of the portrait. (via u1u11)
Jeremy Willis had me over to his Brooklyn studio and we hung out and talked about his paintings. Willis describes the paintings anthropomorphically – as wanting to be doing something human, like giving birth, hugging you or selling you illicit substances. The majority of the paintings are big and surround you with saturated colors and chaotic space. They do feel like they have an overwhelming emotional content, and the paintings reflect the messy nature of life. Look for more from Jeremy soon.
Dolls are an appealing motif for artists because, as artist/ doll-maker Marina Bychkoya says, “I’m not content working in just one medium such as painting or sculpture, and dolls offer me a very diverse and satisfying tactile experience. To create a doll I get to do it all: sculpture, industrial design, painting, engraving, mold-making, drawing, metalwork, fashion and jewelry design.” Combining multiple interests and talents, these five artists create some of the most fascinating, bizarre, beautiful and awesome, in the truest sense of the word, dolls I’ve ever seen.
Freya Jobbins says that she is inspired by Guiseppe Archimboldo and his fruit and vegetable paintings; Penny Byrne’s ceramic creations, Ron Muek’s giant people, Gunther Von Hagen’s plastinated corpses, and of course the Toy Story Trilogy. Combining these inspirations with a technique that incorporates plastic doll parts and toys, she creates assemblages of faces, heads and larger busts. Provocative, humorous and perhaps slightly disturbing Jobbins’ assemblages explore the relationship between consumerist fetishism and the emerging recycling culture.
Ana Salvador was born in Barreiro, which is a small town in Portugal. She now lives in Amsterdam and has a passion for sculpture, drawing and painting. Inspired by the human body, antiques, ornaments, fabrics and laces Salvador creates fantastical sculpted figures with distinct personalities.
Marina Bychkova is a Russian-Canadian figurative artist who founded Enchanted Doll so that she could devote her time to creating exquisite porcelain dolls. An artist through and through Bychkova is concerned with each detail on her dolls, from their costumes to their facial expressions.
Thomas Poulsom of Bristol, UK has a really nice flickr account full of creative creations using legos. The legos almost lend a really cool, pixelated quality to the 3-dimensional, playful works. Probably the best of the bunch are his series of birds. He’s done birds native to Britain and a tropical bird series as well. I think the reason why these come off so well is how life-like they are. Definitely not you average plastic bird. (via)
This is a picture of a picture projected onto the scene that the picture was taken of. Duh. Needless to say, artist Christian Engelmann likes to mess with people. His art is often interactive and always maintains a sense of playfulness aimed at eliciting exaggerated double-takes. Engelmann tries to jolt people out of their every day state of being and remind us that the universe is full of surprises.