NYC-based artist Jon Widman really pays attention to surface quality in his seemingly mundane, photo-realistic paintings of papery things. Record sleeves, paperback novels and cardboard boxes are rendered in careful detail, but with the faintest trace of the painter’s hand in the tiny, graphic details. In some pieces, small, industrious rodents make an appearance, hinting at Widman’s sense of humor as they climb and hide among stacks of antiquated media. The subject matter would usually leave the viewer with a trace of nostalgia, but his color palettes and intriguing compilations keep the work feeling fresh and vibrant.
Toronto based artist Talwst is a master of the miniature world. He patiently builds tiny fantasy scenes referencing the world of music, pop culture, films, climate change, conspiracy theories, sports stars, current events, and everyday experiences. Seven years ago, the artist was gifted an antique ring box by a Vancouver street vendor and given the challenge to make something with it. Talwst grabbed a hold of that idea and ran with it.
His miniscule realms feature Kanye West singing to an imaginary audience and Kim Kardashian in the background taking a selfie; a homage to his favorite painter Edouard Manet’s 1864 work La Muerte del Torero; a recreation of Japanese erotic art of the 1700’s; and a contemporary version of a Dutch landscape complete with a McDonalds restaurant in the background. His unique blend of art history, contrasting cultures and traditions are a witty comment on contemporary life. He cleverly draws us downward, and into his dioramas, immediately commenting objectively on the world we inhabit.
This form is calling me. I can make these feel like a poem; I can make these feel like a movie; I can make them feel like all the other mediums I was working in. (Source)
Talwst developed his love for piecing together mini worlds after growing up in the Canadian winter. For weeks at a time, the temperature wouldn’t be higher than minus 40 and he would sit in his room hibernating and entertaining himself by building models. The obsession certainly paid off – his skill and attention to detail is definitely something worth looking at. And you will get an extra chance to view his work – this September, a collaboration with VICE magazine will bring Talwst’s work to a newsstand close to you. Keep your eyes peeled! (Via Design Crush)
Sydney-based illustrator, Jirat Patradoon, creates strong, masculine, and drama-packed illustrations of masked protagonists inside an almost comic book-like world. He recently featured his work at a solo show in the Sydney-based Boutwell Draper Gallery, and has made an appearance in our new Beautiful/Decay Book 4.
Mark Alsweiler, an emerging artist in Sydney, just finished one of his exhibitions over at Nine Lives Gallery in Brisbane. He gains inspiration from his personal interests (immediately you can notice the influence of American Indian, Western, and Mexican imagery) to create a symbolic body of work. I am really enjoying his skull paintings and his love of pattern making.
I believe I just took in my daily needed intake of design, color, typography, and humor in Adam Simpson’s wonderful collection of illustrations. My favorite has to be Trapped in an elevator for 41 hours. I’m sure you all remember that video. Terrible, terrible situation turned into a charming, funny illustration. My giggles are echoing around the B/D office as we speak.
C.W. Moss, the Unicorn behind such B/D blog posts as “5 Reasons to Subscribe” and “Godspeed, Unicorn Riding Fei,” will be in a group show opening tomorrow, June 11 at WWA Gallery.Curated by Industrial Squid, “I Believe in Unicorns” assembles a group of optimistic talents who fearlessly employ rainbows, joy, candy-colors, and yes, even the shining beacons of hope and goodness that are unicorns. I’m sick of self-deprecating hipster irony, bring on the celebration! Word on the street is that Unicorn may be paying a visit and you might even be able to take photos with him. (You can also be his friend on facebook.) Flyer after the jump!
We Are Experienced is a series of stunning images by photographer Danielle Levitt that captures all of the awkwarness, fragility, and beauty of adolescence.
These amazing works of art are quite more than they seem. Cute, yes. Clever, obviously. But can you tell that they are acrylic on canvas? Us either. Andy Awesome, who is awesome indeed, creates these quite adorable circular renditions of popular culture reference for the pleasure of the public (and probably himself). The series goes on forever, find more at his website!