Perhaps the digital artwork of Antonio Strafella isn’t so profane as it may at first seem. His series Spiritual Hero at once compares and juxtaposes saints and superheroes, the holy and the vulgar. Comic books are often thought of as the exclusive domain of young people, rarely taken serious. However, in a strange way the superheroes don’t seem exceptionally out of place in Strafella’s work. Indeed, many of the grand story lines of the characters featured by Strafella have clear Biblical references. He goes on to say:
“These icons have various aspects in common: saints do miracles and superheroes have superpowers, both are venerated, opening the conflict between faith and zealotry.”
Imagine a world of fantasy where all your favorite icons are grouped together in old painting motifs and you have a pretty good idea of what French artist Amandine Urruty does. With knifelike precision she draws odd characters from popular culture and places them in dreamlike landscapes that recall Hieronymous Bosch and Leonardo DaVinci. Using satirical nuances Urruty comments on love, learning and family. Her method pokes fun at society and the different masks we wear each day to get through it. Her material of choice is graphite and with it she wields pictures which show great skill. It almost seems the artist could draw anything she wanted which is why it’s even more interesting to see the content which sparks her imagination.
From a formal standpoint hints of surrealism surface as we witness the subconscious mind take over in many of Urruty’s sections. But to draw at her skill level you need to be totally present and the two play off each other nicely. The dominant presence of kiddy characters definitely speaks to the inner child in all of us. Plus from an aesthetic point of view they’re just cute to look at.
Aside from drawings, Urruty has painted colorful murals all over France. The subject matter for those were mostly hybrid animals which recall Maurice Sendak. Her work is currently on view at the Jonathan Levine Gallery in New York as part of the group Exhibit, “Oh, The Places We’ve Been.” Urruty is based in Paris and holds a Master’s Degree in The Philosophy of Art. (via faithistorment)
Ghada Amer is an Egyptian-born artist who speaks assertively about feminine depiction in her paintings. In earlier work, she used soft-core pornographic reference images for her large-scale thread paintings. In an interview with Border Crossings, Amer explains her decision to use thread as her primary medium. “I didn’t invent embroidery, but I wanted to paint with embroidery. I was speaking about women in a medium for women, and it made the speaking stronger and more present.” Embroidery, weaving, and other traditionally female mediums are often categorized as craft, in many ways as a dismissal of the expression as inferior to painting, sculpture, and other ‘high art’ mediums. Amer decided to reappropriate the media, and has made a very successful career out of it. Ghada Amer: Rainbow Girls was the artist’s most recent exhibition, showcased at Cheim and Read, certainly not low-hanging fruit in the commercial art world.
Amer has branched out from pornography, originally a means for her to rebel against her family. She’s made sculptures and borrows feminist slogans like: “Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition” in text-based work. Her colours can be sever with a black ground and an abstract explosion of thread or bright and playful, which is also reflected in her approach. Her intention is serious, but like the thread she embroiders, she is also loose and celebratory of the feminine condition.
Since my last post about Street Art Utopia’s “Best List” took off and caused a decent amount of response, I think it is important to involve the Cult’s own selection. Here you will find a carefully curated and crafted list of every imaginable kind of public form of expression and their respected historical contexts. More after the jump.
Deenesh Ghyczy’s fragmented figurative paintings take the human figure and weave it in and out of itself as if dozens of film negatives were laid on top of one another to create a constant state of motion. This technique serves as a metaphor for multi-layered identity and a look at individuals as living structures with more than one center. (via)
What do birds hallucinate about when they go on a drug berry induced psychological trip? I don’t know if any of this would be accurate, but I hope to rainbow laser toting, owl-man monster-bird it is. A gorgeous music video of Hermanos Inglesos’s“Wanderland,” designed by Kristof Luyckx and Michèle Vanparys.
If you noticed we didn’t make a lot of posts yesterday. Why do you ask? Because the entire B/D team was knee deep in sanding, painting and other horrible acts of construction on our new office space in downtown LA. The move couldn’t have come in a better time as we have been literally crawling over boxes of t-shirts and magazines at our office. Some photos taken during some much needed breaks after the jump!