Artist Emma Kohlmann creates ink drawings of amorphous figures performing sexual acts. Her delicately explicit work almost mimics a Rorschach Test. Upon first glance, we are confronted with an abstract, puddle-like treatment of ink. As we enter the work further, we find ourselves in an intimate realm of masturbation, cunnilingus, voyeurism and fluid erotica.
Kohlmann uses source material such as vintage porn and Japanese erotica. Her large collection of content allows her to generate a prolific body of work. A major aspect of her process is simply the act of her constant making. She states:
“Most of this work is an exploration of repetition. I like having a accumulation of images and working in multiples because I can never create the same image twice. Every time I create the details I focus on change. I like focusing on androgyny or addressing sex as multiplicity in finite or non binary.”
Kohlmann’s distorted figures are simultaneously omniscient and innocent, similar to the portraits of Marlene Dumas. Each drawing is both commanding, yet self conscious, a dichotomy that exposes the true complexity of the sexual being. Her work has a natural rawness that is almost brutally honest and inherently feminist, as sex can be both an act of power and shame. There is an innate sense of relatable vulnerability. Her nameless, faceless, genderless, figures are somehow no one and everyone, allowing them to provide an of existential sense of isolation. Her work has a softness, sincerity, and intricacy that echoes the true confusion of beingness.
For more of Emma Kohlmann’s work, check out her blog or follow her on Instagram
Los Angeles artist Eric Yahnker opened the doors of his downtown studio to Beautiful/Decay and Visual Creatures to give our readers insight into his witty, iconic work that is layered with pop culture influences and the deconstruction of its icons. Eric discusses his career change from Journalism to art, his disdain for painting, and his love of Mel Brooks, Woody Allen, and Rodney Dangerfield. Watch the full video after the jump!
Greek-Italian net artist Angelo Plessas uses the internet to create websites that are strange, nervous and poetic at the same time. These websites are mostly interactive drawings and Plessas’ subjects usually involve femininity and portraits of people around him or many sides of himself. These internet pieces often “cover” the real world as objects like murals, installations, collage drawings and prints. His work is similar to that of Rafael Rozendaal’s: short, full-screen, sometimes interactive, Flash movies (they’re small on this blog but they’re pretty invasively pleasing in their native forms). I believe the latter had proclaimed them as some sort of movement, which begs the question of which chicken or egg laid claim on their piece of the internet pie.
Tyler Orehek’s photographic interest lies in vintage-style photography, which he creates with his young son, also Tyler, as the subject of his portraits. Each scene is meticulously planned as Orehek selects the environment and props beside which he casts his son. It’s really enjoyable to see his son inhabit each character, and he does it well. Tyler looks like a shrunken man from the 1900s on, as a bookie, a boxer, a police officer, and more. It’s obvious that Orehek has done his research.
Orehek speaks about his love of vintage photography, and his reasoning for his approach in his artist statement:
My intent was not and is not to replicate existing vintage photographs but to capture the mood, feel and the visceral emotion of that period. Having a child in lieu of an adult in my work allows the viewer to focus on the “essence” of those past environments and professions with greater clarity through juxtaposition.
He’s right on that by including Tyler instead of a full-grown man, the scene seems fresher. The images are drenched in nostalgia, but they seem living because of the naïve air of his son, who is really making the part his own, while trying to emulate the moods his father strives for.
Artist Allen Hampton‘s drawings are foreboding as they are. The medium for this series, though, makes them especially grim: blood on paper. Obscure texts, doilies, birds (both flying and dead) fill each sinister landscape of the Blood Drawings series. The blood at once references itself as splatters in its liquid form and a versatile ink staining each yellowed page. Hampton also turns his attention to the portrait, ironically drawing the human body with the fluid that animates it on the page and biologically.
It’s Tuesday and time once again for our exclusive artist feature in partnership with premiere website building platform Made With Color. Each week we join forces to bring you some of the most compelling artists and designers working today who use Made With Color to create their clean and elegant websites. MWC is helping artists everywhere build beautiful looking websites without any coding, helping every artist get the maximum exposure for their work. This week we are happy to share the film noir influenced paintings of Frank Ryan.
Most of us walk past billboards, drive through city tunnels on our way to work, and don’t think twice about our messy bed that we just can’t seem to make in the morning. However Los Angeles based painter Frank Ryan see’s these mundane scenes as incredible moments to freeze in time through the magic of painting.
Focusing on the everyday, Ryan wields his brush and elevates the mundane to new heights in his psychologically charged and sometimes somber images. Using a direct style of painting Ryan’s process is economical, maximizing the effect of each brush stroke to create dreamlike states for us to get lost in and contemplate.
The artist Alicia Martin Lopez gives form to her emotional demons through her darkly seen paintings; imagining the shapes and tones of oft-repressed memories and desires, her work dares to plunge into the depths of human fear. With their infinitely cavernous black eyes, Lopez’s disquietingly amorphous characters invite viewers into the nightmarish dreamscape of our own psychological narratives.
Lopez’s frightful beings inhabit a space outside the confines of time; day and night blur together as light pours in and leaks out of the scene without cause. The monsters are wildly unbound, floating in midair, drifting on water, or holding desperately to rock formations, toes clinched with uncertainty. Like thoughts that flood the darkest corners of the human psyche, the beasts may appear at any time in any place, haunting the mind’s eye without warning.
As soon as they rear their heads, however, the creatures are woefully repressed; one octopus-like animal sits confined in a cell, his crooked neck craning to accommodate a sickly grey face. Like our own private demons, Lopez’s creatures are starved of attention and psychic nourishment, kept bottled in the murky depths of subconscious memory. They each stare downward as if collapsed by the space above them, their bodies bracing against the weight of repression. A flying squid’s wings appear as if crushed by exhaustion; sea creatures’ bearded faces droop into impossibly still water, their sorrowful expressions reflected back at them.
These animals are a tangible reminder of memories and sufferings that refuse to stay buried; collapsing in upon themselves, they beg for our recognition. In granting form to formless worries, the artist suggests that our psychological demons are perhaps less fearful than they are beautifully, mournfully sympathetic. Take a look. (via Hi Fructose and Juxtapoz)