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Francois Chartier’s Photorealistic Crumpled Paper Still-Lifes

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chartierpainting8

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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)

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Iconograph Magazine Issue II

Iconograph Magazine has just released its stunning second issue in an edition of 750. The magazine is curated and published by Justin Blyth, with contributing editors Hassan Rahim, Justin Van Hoy & Andrew Pogany. Justin, who runs the expertly curated massive found image blog Them Thangs has produced an amazing encapsulation of contemporary dark esoteric imagery and writings. “Iconograph #2 is the second print offering in an ongoing series that gathers an eccentric collection of visual media and literature exploring the contemporary use of Ritualistic Iconography—the systems of symbols, mythic representations, and religious imagery from which we seek meaning. Iconograph #2 is an 80-page curated document, offset printed on an 8-color Heidelberg press in Belgium, in an edition of 750. It is privately funded and contains no advertising, promotion, album reviews, or horoscopes.” You can pick up a copy here.

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Michelle Fleck’s Pointed, Minimalistic Paintings of Man’s Effect on the Environment

San Francisco-based artist Michelle Fleck creates slightly minimalistic acrylic paintings that deal with the “relationship between man and the landscape”. In the paintings, decaying natural environments are sullied by the trappings of construction work and neglect. What’s great about these, in addition to Fleck’s nice illustrative sense of texture, is the artist’s intelligent handling of her subject matter. It’s so common, whenever drawing on environmental themes, to be heavy-handed. To sort of say, “I’m talking about the environment now, and it’s very important so look at what I’m doing.” Instead of taking that route, Fleck just paints what she sees (of course taking care to include pointed compositions and visual appeal). Some situations don’t need extensive commentary, just a skilled storyteller to show you just enough of what you need to know.

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The Incredibly Sad Spaghetti Monster Of Artist Theo Mercier

Theo Mercier - Spaghetti, Installation

Theo Mercier - Spaghetti, Installation

Theo Mercier - Spaghetti, Installation

Internationally renowned artist Theo Mercier has created an incredible monster of a sculpture made entirely of spaghetti! This textural, monumental piece is around 10 feet tall, and that’s when it is sitting—which is all the time. The spaghetti monster sits upon a small chair that is way too small for him as he stairs sadly down at the ground. Titled Le Solitaire, or, “The Loner,” this creature looks isolated and alone in a world where he is the only spaghetti-creature. Although the colossal sculpture seems very melancholy, Mercier’s work tend to not be without a bit of humor. A monster made of spaghetti is an absurd and silly creation, so why is it so glum? Maybe it is afraid that us humans will eat his spaghetti!

Mercier’s work is often large and textural, as Le Solitaire’s tactile spaghetti-skin begs to be touched. The noodles form an endless series of lines bending and forming across the body of the creature. They imitate scribbles of continuous lines doodled on a piece of paper. A self-taught artist, Mercier is an expert at inducing strong emotions with such a bizarre and surreal sculpture. We cannot help to feel sorry for this dripping, sorrowful beast. Its wide, striking eyes that stare directly at the viewer are also in other works for Mercier’s. His other installations include funny creatures made by adding these same bright eyes onto cars, piles of hay, and even smoke seeping out from a fireplace. This French artist’s unusual and mysterious sculptures give inanimate objects such emotion and personality that steal our hearts and earn our love.

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Paul McCarthy And Friends- Inflatable Art That Rocked The Last Decade

Paul McCarthy's installation in Hong Kong. Photo courtesy of LAURENT FIEVET/AFP/Getty Images

Paul McCarthy’s installation in Hong Kong. Photo courtesy of LAURENT FIEVET/AFP/Getty Images

TamWaiPing Inflatable

Tam Wai Ping

Chad Person

Chad Person

This last decade in art has turned out a ton of larger than life sculptural work, specifically in the realm of inflatable sculpture.  As adults, we never seem to get over the pure bliss of bouncy houses from our childhood, and as art lovers we are drawn to these works, made from thin plastic that are able to tower over us once filled with air.  Artists have used this medium to make shocking and conceptually multilayered statements, such as Paul McCarthy’s “Complex System,” a building-sized pile of poo that made international headlines when it deflated in Hong Kong this past spring, leaving behind quite the brown mess.  Other artists have merged inflatable sculpture with architecture and infused it with an interactive element that takes the classic “bouncy house” into a sophisticated architectural wonderland, such as Alan Parkinson (also known as “Architects of Air”) has done with his Luminaria.  Other artists included below are: David Byrne, Eder Castillo, FriendsWithYou, Florentijn Hoffman, Chad Person, Tam Wai Ping and Geraldo Zamproni.

This Labor Day Weekend, enjoy the following parade of images that reviews some of the most exciting and celebrated inflatable sculptures that have emerged within the past ten years.

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Lucas Simoes Cavernous Collaged Portraits

These cavernous collaged photographs by  Brazilian artists Lucas Simoes are the result of a series of interviews with his subjects. Read more about Lucas’ process after the jump.

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A Day In Decay: Randomness In Italy

I have so many photos from my Italy trip that I’m having a hard time categorizing them into different posts. Hence, here is a post with a mix of a lil bit of everything from  me tossing up the devil horns in the house of God to Venice flooding at high tide. It’s a tourist photo album but on crack!

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