RISD student Sam D’Orazio’s paintings of blob head dudes, dogs wearing sweaters, drunk bugs, and mysterious floating heads borrow equally from underground comics as well as surrealism. My favorite images are the ones that are on the brink of abstraction but have enough representational queues to pull you back into reality.
Travis LeRoy Southworth‘s spit wad ceiling installation The Growing Metaphysical Void at the Center of My Bedroom Ceiling immediately transports me to a simpler time when throwing things at the ceiling and watching them stick was king and snapping girls bra’s was the ultimate form of flirting.
Ashkahn Shahparnia, (pronounced ASH-CON SHAW-PAR-NEEYA) is a Los Angeles based graphic design artist whose work is colorful, whimsical, funny, and immensely clever. His designs, which seem to come from a world that is forever changing from spring to summer and back again, transition easily from one product to the next. Graphics for tote bags, t-shirts and pillows, album cover art, patterns for wall paper, some killer custom typefaces and much more, all fit snuggly into his portfolio (along with just about every color imaginable). Capturing the age-old and elusive ‘show-not-tell’ mantra of artists everywhere, Shahparnia’s fonts and graphics truly have personalities of their own. What is perhaps the most exciting is Shahparnia’s use of unexpected items in his designs and graphics, such as the elements of a dismantled avocado to create a minimalist, geometric pattern. Or the graphic representation of the evolution of bikini wax styles from the 1960s to 2000s, matter-of-factly printed on the side of a tote bag. Which makes sense when you look at the extensive list of his inspirations on his website, crediting everything from Lil’ Wayne to Carl Andre to an adorable baby polar bear. While much of Shahparnia’s work is very tongue ‘n cheek, he demonstrates a true understanding of how graphic design can completely dictate the emotional value of an image. Celebrating all styles, be they kitsch, cute or cool, the designs all have one thing in common: they’re great to look at and you’ll probably have a hard time not smiling.
Malick Sidibé’s magnificent portraits of sweeping personal and cultural changes in post-colonial Africa have been celebrated around the world. Positioned at the junction of Malian independence in 1960 and a period of rapid modernization, his works bear witness to the joy, insouciance and confidence of Africa’s youth revolution.
Scott Albrecht brings you encouraging thoughts and beautiful typography and patterns to keep you on the right path during your 9-5 grind. Next time you’re feeling down just hop onto his site and let the positivity flow.
Illustrator Jesse Auersalo updates his portfolio with a brand new grouping of jaw dropping work. If you’re a fan of Jesse’s work make sure to purchase Beautiful/Decay Magazine Issue: Y which features an exclusive interview with Jesse as well as original cover art.