Australian artist Ben Frost creates image mashups that combine fast food, pills, and iconic figures of popular culture. He paints these celebrities on things like McDonald’s french fry sleeves and boxes for prescription drugs. We see Superman, Popeye, Mr. T, and even Snoopy the Dog all painted on objects that symbolize excess and gluttony.
Frost finds inspiration for his work from graffiti, collage, photo-realism, and sign writing. It’s not a surprise, as he tags things much like a graffiti artist would. His work is subversive and doesn’t hold back any punches. I’ve included stuff here that’s generally safe for work, but if you check out his website, you’ll see a lot of hyper-sexualized manga-inspired characters. But even with these relatively tame images, you can still sense the scathing critique of the mainstream. Greasy meals, too many pills, and processed foods are rotting our health in a similar fashion that television, media, and politics are rotting our brain.
With your face close to Jacob Everett‘s ball point pen drawings, you’ll notice they look very similar to the endless swirling pen marks of a distracted mind. The kind of meaningless doodles we may do while speaking on the phone. If you zoom out, however, the doodles turn into detailed portraits of celebrities. For his Well Known Faces series, Everett painstakingly arranges the tiny swirls to create huge portraits. First, he sketches and graphs his subjects before layering them in swirls section by section. He says of his work:
“I am interested in the contrast between the minute, repetitive mark-making and the highly personal image that is created. The process is similar to mass production. I work from photographs, concentrating on one section of the face at a time. Over several shifts spent in this way, the work culminates in a finished product which is, paradoxically, an authentic and personal portrait.”
Matthew Cusick is a collage artist. Born in New York, he now lives and works in Dallas, Texas. He uses all kinds of media for his work, one which I found interesting is maps! Cusick’s Map Works is a collection of portraits, landscapes, freeway interchanges all painted on maps. His skills are remarkably beautiful. Check out more works by him after the cut.
Famed Los Angeles artist Paul McCarthy was attacked in Paris on Thursday while finishing the installation of his nearly 80-foot tall sculpture, called Tree, outside the Place Vendôme. Paul McCarthy, who contributed this piece to the FIAC’s “Hors Les Murs” program, was punched in the face multiple times by an unknown assailant who was enraged by the nature of the sculpture. Tree, although ambiguously shaped and rather indistinct, happens to distinctly look like either a Brancusi sculpture or, less poetically, like a butt plug.
The angry assailant, or shall we say “pain in the ass,” was also enraged that McCarthy is indeed NOT French, and yet is showing work at this prestigious venue. Luckily, McCarthy was not seriously injured, despite being shaken and disturbed by the incident. McCarthy explained that the sculpture “started as a joke.” He primarily noted that butt plugs and Brancusi sculptures shared a similar silhouette, which eventually led to the realization that a green object of this shape also resembles a Christmas tree. Thus, Tree was erected.
“But it is an abstract work. People may be offended if they want to refer to [it as a] plug, but, for me, it is more of an abstraction.”
FIAC director Jennifer Flay noted that despite the understood controversial aspect of the sculpture, the inherent ambiguity in it precludes it from being offensive or unsuitable for public view. It was fully approved before installation by all local bodies. (Excerpt from Source)
To see more naughty work by Paul McCarthy go here.
The first descriptors that come to mind when viewing the photography of Andrew Newson are: still, quiet, repose. This UK based photographer holds still moments of peace to take in his rich and varied imagery; whether it be the hidden treasures of Sussex or the splashes of red from seaside to city.
When Isaac Tobin is not working as a senior designer for University of Chicago Press or playing with type design, then he is whipping up some pretty phenomenal collages with minimal resources. Each piece remind us that cutting back and holding the line is just as important as drawing it. His seemingly simple use of familiar and found paper products matched with sporadic vintage text and condensed doodling presents an accessible everyday charm that inspires affordable creativity.