Brian Jungen turns every day objects on their heads, revealing the potential for magic and mystery in even the most mundane moments. Above, baseball mitts become a punk-rock mannequin, or a warrior’s armor. Plastic lawn chairs become the hulking exoskeleton of a whale. Hundreds of trash bins become the building block for a sci-fi geodesic dome, or a giant turtle’s vacated shell. His ability to transform is nothing short of alchemical!
In this day and age of digital and high tech art, painter Matt R. Martin looks to redefine the traditional nude. An honorable task since the human figure has been painted in hundreds maybe thousands of positions. For Martin it means looking for new ways to paint an age old subject matter using oil with the expertise of a skilled draftsman. His marks produce mysterious settings which depict dual bodies tangled upside down on a torn leather recliner or snuggled up to a large window. The faces are partially covered lending more intrigue to the stark atmosphere. In one painting a dozen or so male clones are in the ocean with their backs toward the viewer. The figures are standing up to the waist in water and soon starts taking on various metaphysical nuances. A purgatory narrative eventually emerges making you wonder if the souls are half saved or half damned.
Technically the paintings are exquisitely made. They take influence in sheer luminosity from the great Andrew Wyeth. Like him Martin is able to paint skin where you can almost see the blood pumping through veins which is pretty remarkable. There’s definitely something to be said for pure technical skill and Martin should be noticed for his ability. The artist claims in his statement that he has been influenced by film, Surrealism and representational art. (via artfucksme)
The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze touts itself as being the Tri-State’s (New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut) biggest and most exciting Halloween event. Their hubris is deserved; The glowing pumpkins and the elaborate installation of carvings are incredible.
The event features more than 5,000 hand-carved, illuminated jack o’ lanterns, and is set against the backdrop of the historic,18th-century riverside landscape of the Hudson River Valley. All displays are made out of pumpkins, and arranged into the likes of giant sea monsters, dinosaurs, snakes, and shrunken “Little Monsters.” It even features a Tunnel O’ Pumpkin Love. (If you’re wondering how that works, it involves gourd-filled Jack-in-the-Boxes springing up and bouncing around.)
Pumpkin carving has a rich history in the UK. The Instagram blog describes it, writing:
Although only associated with Halloween as we know it today since the late 1800s, the tradition of gourd carving dates back to the 18th and 19th centuries in rural Ireland and England. People created jack o’lanterns for the old holidays of Samhain and All Souls’ Night when spirits were thought to be the most active. Grotesque faces carved into the objects were meant to frighten away any ghouls seeking to do harm.
New video by Jon Clark and Spencer Longo for Los Angeles band LA Vampires’ (in collab with Matrix Metals) catchy number “So Unreal” combines all the things I love most about 80s/90s video aesthetics: head wraps, odd mystic paraphernalia, soft glows, and of course a healthy helping of neon. Jon and Spencer sacrificed their living room to set up this dark lair for a whole month! Spencer Longo currently has an installation up at the Pacific Design Center as a part of MAN, SUCH AS WE KNOW HIM, IS A COMPUTER. Jon is currently working on completing a 30 minute short called ‘Spectrum Hunter’. Watch the full video after the jump.
Dumb Starbucks, a parody store located in a Los Angeles strip mall, opened its doors on February 7th, 2014. From the sign up front, to the cd’s next to the cash register, everything had original Starbucks branding except for the fact that the word dumb was printed in front of each and every SB logo.
The author of DS was unknown until earlier this week, when comedian Nathan Fielder held a press conference at the parody store revealing that he was responsible. Until then, Conceptual artist Marc Horowitz was taking credit for it on Twitter:
“Would love to do interviews about #dumbstarbucks — just waiting for @TODAYshow or @jimmykimmel” as well as “my project is causing quite a stir – lol.”
After the mystery was solved, Nathan Fielder released a video in the Dumb Starbucks youtube channel that assured his newfound ‘customers’ that DS was “no joke, this is a real business,” a business, he says,”from which I plan to get rich from.” The serious sounding Fielder, assures that he can keep it going, however, yesterday (February 10th, 2014) the city of Los Angeles closed the place down due to a lack of health permits. It is hard to believe that that was the only reason for the shutdown , as the real Starbucks was not happy with the parody coffee shop calling itself Dumb Starbucks.
“We appreciate the humor but they can’t use our name,” Starbucks spokesman Jim Olson told CNNMoney. “It’s a protected trademark. It’s our trademark.”
Jon Almeda creates miniature glazed ceramics which could easily be misunderstood for a pretend tea set play party, the average size of a piece being 1” scale. He designs cups, pots, tea kettles and bowls that perfectly resemble normal sized items. All the details are there: furrows, textures, handles and lids. In order to attain this meticulousness, he had to come up with the instrument that would allow him to get thorough so he built his very own pottery wheel, which is called “curio wheel”. Despite their fragile appearance, the small ceramics are nonetheless solid and able to resist the high temperature of glaze fusing.
The artist doesn’t seem to care about what’s normal. He prefers to juggle between the extremes; he goes from creating huge ceramics to sculpting macro pieces. The time he spends on doing so is more enjoyable. He compares this time to a meditation cession where he can focus on the creation and nothing else.
Jon Almeda’s inspirations are soothing and flowy. He says he likes to drift away thinking of calm dark waters and luscious flora from places where he spends most of his time. His creativity seems to be coming when his mind is somewhere else, daydreaming and meditating when his hands create beautiful little gems.
Canadian artist Erin Loree crafts luscious abstract paintings that have an incredible sense of light. The vibrant pictures feature incredible blues, magentas, yellows, and many more spread over a canvas. Loree varies her approach to texture, with some areas of smoothly-applied paint and others with short, thick brush strokes. They work together and form alluring artworks that resemble portraits and at times, landscapes.
Considering the scale of Loree’s strokes, the subjects that she’s painted seem to be captured at a close range. Large, sweeping lines form vague outlines of heads and shoulders, and with names like Energy body, it’s hard not to associate them with that. But, instead of giving us the an idea of what this physical body looks like, Loree uses gesture and intense hues to communicate an inner spirit or feeling. Some of her works appear as if they’re glowing from within – the essence of an intrinsic light that exists inside living beings.