Four score and seven years ago, shortly after college, I worked a certain retail job at a company that shall not be named (American Apparel) and had the pleasure of working with Max Wittert. Max was famous store-wide for his amazing and humorous doodles lampooning everyone who came into the store…and all of us employees. Max…I would kill to find those illustrations again, do you still have them? Anyway, we ran into each other again after many a long year at the Renegade Craft Fair last weekend, and much to my delight I discovered he’s now following his heart working as an illustrator. Wonderful work!
Pauline Hisbacq’sThis Side Of Paradise documents Rallyes, parties for teenagers from upper-class in France where well dressed young people dance, drink, and try to seduce one another in a world where they are free to be young and live a careless existence.
Ellen Jewett is a Canadian artist who creates flowing sculptural fusions of plants, animals and objects. Among her mystical menagerie is a wild boar with shrubs growing from its mane, foxes with tails sprouting into grass, and a deer whose body resembles a tree-shrouded grove. As singular beasts, Jewett’s creatures are beautiful and dynamic, but look closer and you will see that each one is composed of tinier parts, microcosms of flora, fauna, and objects that weave seamlessly together. These layered components infuse each sculpture with multiple narratives, from celebrations of life and growth, to stories of death, decay, and burden in the form of manmade debris. As Jewett explains:
At first glance my work explores the more modern prosaic concept of nature: a source of serene nostalgia balanced with the more visceral experience of ‘wildness’ as remarkably alien and indifferent. Upon closer inspection of each ‘creature’ the viewer may discover a frieze on which themes as familiar as domestication and as abrasive as domination fall into sharp relief. (Source)
Jewett makes the sculptures from the inside out, layering materials and utilizing negative space to create hollowed works that flow into the air around them: dense frames unravel into breezy foliage and empty space, creating habitats for fluttering, sculpted birds. The results of these disentangled bodies are creatures that speak their strengths via expressions of lightness, vulnerability, and emotion. Jewett describes this effect:
Over time I find my sculptures are evolving to be of greater emotional presence by using less physical substance: I subtract more and more to increase the negative space. The element of weight, which has always seemed so fundamentally tied to the medium of sculpture, is stripped away and the laws of gravity are no longer in full effect. In reading the stories contained in each piece we are forced to acknowledge their emotional gravity cloaked as it is in the light, the feminine, the fragile, and the unknowable. (Source)
As part of her creative and flowing artistic practice, Jewett strives to free her work from materials with toxic properties, such as glazes, paints, and finishes. This greatly limits what she can use, but at the same time, incites her imagination and makes her work even more unique. “Where possible I source the natural, the local, the low impact and, always, the authentic,” she writes (Source). Check out Jewett’s website for more beautiful and holistic creations. (Via Lost at E Minor)
Nizhny Novgorod, Russia based graffiti artist Nomerz has a way with faces. Transforming structures into massive portraits, Nomerz changes the urban landscape into unexpected faces that reimagine their surroundings into giant pink faced expressions of joy, anger, excitement, and contemplation. More work by Nomerz after the jump.
Brookyln based photographer Peter Schafer sent over a few images of a series he’s been working on. Schafer says:
Specifically, it’s a series of screen captures of partially downloaded bit torrent files of webcam porn videos – young women undressing and masturbating, basically. When the files are partially downloaded, impatiently viewed prior to the video file being complete, some strangely beautiful images appear. Capturing the image degradation of video compression and finding beauty in it is a lot like my photography in that you have to catch an image at just the right time, with often the best stuff being unintentional and flawed.
He’s captured some sublime expressions with these. It’s almost as though the girls are posing only for him. The increased pixelation on the images due to their partially downloaded state blurs and distorts the girls to the point where an entirely new context is revealed; one you might create on your own.
Javier Perez is a commercial artist and designer who has been having a blast on Instagram creating quick and simple sketches that combine the 2D world with our own 3D reality. Perez obviously has a lot of fun playing around with different ways to combine the two visual effects and create a hybrid in the photograph, which makes it equally a joy to view. He uses his fingers, or objects like food, matches, toothpicks, and the like as the props for his drawings.
His bio on his website states:
My work is very simple and minimal. I want that the person can take a break of the saturation of the photos in general. I never imagine that the people of the world will love my illustrations. It’s amazing the thousands of messages and fanarts I receive.
“Create every day. No matter your skills.”
He brings up a really great point about saturation. We truly are bombarded with so much imagery, especially through the Internet, and so a great deal of the appeal of Perez’s work comes from its simplicity. It allows the viewer to breath and rest peacefully on the image. Each one is enjoyable and easily understood; there is no ambiguity or doubt as to what is going on. (Via Faith is Torment)
Secret Cavern, a.k.a. Aphte (who’s secret real name is Daniel Abensour, a Frenchmanguy), has a unique illustrative style. Whimsical and sometimes deceivingly morbid, Secret Cavern applies wonderful details to each work of art.