Matt Rota‘s illustrations seem to mix reality and myth — equal parts Bosch and Ernst. Rota’s sensitive lines add a surreal approach to morality and belief systems and how we respond to them. Also they just look really cool (nod to you, Krampus).
Emily Deutchman‘s 44 watercolors liven up the genre of presidential portraiture with — you guessed it — boobs. Each take on the president’s official portrait becomes a super easy, lowbrow Where’s Waldo. But, you know, with boobs. While seated portraits can often be elitist, the results here are a great reminder on Election Day: just because you may have held one of the highest offices in the world, your image is still very much in the hands of the people.
Photographer Rebecca Rütten is interested in the paintings from the Renaissance period and contemporary fast food culture like Taco Bell and McDonalds. You wouldn’t think that the two would intersect, but in Rütten’s series Contemporary Pieces, they do. The German artist combines elements of the traditional with greasy burgers and fries. ”I became enamored with the eroticism, presentation and charisma of paintings from the Renaissance Period. In the Late Renaissance, Italian and Dutch painters dealt with the middle and lower classes,” she writes in a statement about the work. To Rütten, fast food represents the two social groups. “To eat healthy is expensive,” she continues. “However, one can buy large amounts of food at a fast food restaurant for a comparatively low price.”
Rütten asked tattooed and pierced friends to model for her and recreate the poses of laborers, gypsies, and prostitutes in Caravaggio paintings. The exquisite and dramatic images are simultaneously beautiful and repulsive. For every flower or fancy goblet there are mounds of saturated fat. It’s not only a culture clash, but a fusion of foodstuffs associated with lower class and fine items for the upper crust of society. (Via iGNANT)
Photographer, film director, and international dilettante Ivan Cazzola takes photos of “models, artists, rock bands, cinema stars, gipsys and gangastars, posh ladyes, whores and transexuals”. His voyeuristic portraits are beautifully candid, subtly intimate, and just plain fresh. Almost reminds me of Diane Arbus, but more sexy and less creepy.
Peter Nitsch’s latest photographic series, “Shophouses,” documents Nitsch’s trip to Bangkok, where he became fascinated with the way in which many Southeast Asian city dwellers live; combining their work and living spaces. In this project, Nitsch explored the diverse cultural and social mix of a rapidly urbanizing Thailand, in order to uncover the basic human qualities that connect his subjects to his work’s viewers.
Charlie Roberts recent exhibition at Richard Heller showcased a contemporary double-take on old European salon style exhibitions. His subject matter sifts through the sheer availability and prevalence of, signs, symbols and iconographies present in today’s visual landscape. Roberts notes, “the groups of things isolated on blank pages started as a sort of excercise or study to ween my hand and eyes off using photographs to paint figures from in my paintings, and over time they became a end in themselves, a way to make a painting with out.” Organized in loose, self-devised groupings, in a pseudo-scientific faux-taxonomical manner Linnaeus would be proud of, Roberts draws parallels between hundreds of gestures and ideas. The result are images that look like they could be pulled straight from vintage Audobon Society botanical illustrations. Yet with titles and conglomerations of groups such as “NYC Hip Hop,” “Gang Bangin’,” and themes such as obsessive object collecting and Scientology, Roberts depicts not the wildlife of geographic and biological discovery, but bravely explores our digital, information-soaked New World.
Stephen Wilkes‘ “Day to Night” series captures the day-to-night transitions that occur in familiar cityscapes. Each image represents a collection of moments, not just a singular moment in time. About 50 photographs out of around 1,500 shots taken over the course of 12-15 hours comprise each single resulting photograph. During his shoots, Wilkes doesn’t allow himself bathroom breaks and when he eats, he eats meals brought to him in a bucket because it’s imperative that the photographer pay careful attention to the emptiness or potential overlaps of each shot. Wilkes’ composite photographs document movements within the same space from sunrise to sunset, each image capturing the transitions these spaces undergo on a daily basis.
For Time, Wilkes offers a descriptive caption of many images. Of his Wrigley Field photograph he explains, “This photograph was taken during the course of a Day/Night double header, a rare occurrence these days in major league baseball. Wrigley Field is the Grand Temple of baseball parks. It will change dramatically within the next year, as large jumbotrons will be installed into the stadium, forever changing this view. While the morning was sunny and clear, the afternoon made for a real challenge photographically. We had rain showers on and off throughout the day, and into the evening.”
Montreal-based artist Francois Chartier creates still-life paintings with a photorealistic quality. He often pairs the still-life object with an image of crumpled tissue paper that is dramatically shaped around each object, creating an overall presentation of the still-life object. The juxtaposition of these textures – matte and crumpled with the bright and shiny – demonstrates Chartier’s level of skill as a realistic painter. Surprisingly, Chartier hasn’t always been a painter. After 30 years in advertising as a commercial artist, he entered the fine art world full-time at the age of 50.
Chartier applies the acrylic paint with an airbrush onto a smooth gesso base. He explains, “Although my paintings are realistic, my goal is to create through the layering of mediums and the play of the brush, the illusion of depth and sense of presence beyond what is found in photographs. . . I am drawn to painting large scale works where my subjects, always painted bigger then life size, are given room to seize the viewer and where life’s smaller details are revealed in their beauty and simplicity.” (via juxtapoz)