Local Bay Area Artists Seize The Day At Loakal Gallery In Oakland,CA

John-Wentz

John Wentz

JetMartinez

Jet Martinez

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Cameron Thompson

On March 29, 2014 19 artists gathered at Loakal Gallery to live-paint 19 different works that would later be part of Carpe Diem, a 24-hour art show.  Each artist was given a 4′ by 8′ panel and 24 hours to complete their work. The gallery was open to the public all 24 hours of the painting day so that people could engage with the artists and observe them at work.

From street artists to classically trained painters, they all showcased their process in a way that resembled a happening- the idea of the painters’ performance was one of main ingredient is the uniqueness of this show. The artists, challenged to complete a 4′ by 8′ panel within a tight time frame, had the opportunity to perform and, at the same time, engage with spectators. Viewers not only had the chance to observe but actually participate in the process- chance was very much a part of this 24-hour art making extravaganza.

Apart from creating and sharing the process with spectators, the artist were able to engage and work with each other. For many of the artists, art is typically a solo act, done alone in one’s studio, while street artists and muralists like Ian Ross, Hueman and Nite Owl had more experience with being out in the open while creating their work. During the event, the artists involved turned to each other with a more social approach.

Full list of participating artists: Jessica Hess, Ian Ross, Hueman, Reggie Warlock, Chris Granillo, Eddie Colla, Cameron Thompson, Brett Amory, Lisa Pisa, Nite Owl, John Wentz, John Casey, Marcos LaFarga, Jet Martinez, Cannon Dill, Lauren YS, Zoltron, Max Kauffman and Daryll Peirce.

Loakal is located in the Jack London Square district of Oakland and is open 7 days a week to the public. The entire show is on view until April 28,2014. (via Huff Post)

Before And After Photo Series Captures The Disappearing Face Of New York City Storefronts

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C.B.G.B., Bowery

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Jade Mountain Restaurant, East Village

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Delightful Coffee Shop, Harlem, NYC

Optimo Cigars, Union Square

Optimo Cigars, Union Square

Photographers James and Karla Murray spent ten years documenting New York City’s ever-evolving storefronts, and recently published their decade-long project into the popular book, Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York. Of the project, the photographers say, ”STORE FRONT provides an irreplaceable window to the rich cultural experience of New York City as seen through its neighborhood shops.”

The strength of the series is found in it’s wide-lens, capturing a time when opening a small business in New York was actually a viable option, and comparing that to the gentrified and corporatized Manhattan of today. This can be seen in vivid and stark contrast in photos like the Delightful Coffee Shop in Harlem being replaced by a ubiquitous Dunkin’ Donuts (above). Many of storefronts shows lost clients due to the ever-increasing rent, business which remain empty today, which has a depressing, darkening effect on the people who still remain in the community. James Murray says of the idea behind the series, “until you place them side-by-side and really look at the two photos, you cannot get the true sense of loss experienced by the neighborhood.”

More images from the series can be seen at their Facebook page. (via mashable)

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Jana Brike’s Uncanny Paintings Capture The Strangeness Of True Love And Sacrifice

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In her series Winter of Love, the Latvian painter Jana Brike reimagines the The Biblical Salome, known for the seduction of King Harod and her bloodthirsty demand for the head of Saint John the Baptist, transforming the icon from infamous sinner to innocent wood nymph, small and delicate as a china doll. Subverting the religious, moral text, she creates a poignant story of intimacy, love, and sacrifice.

In Brike’s eerie narrative, Saint John is replaced by a make-believe Deer King, a creature who harkens back to medieval Christian bestiaries, his horns often serving as a metaphor for Christ’s cross and Crucifixion. Here, the Deer King falls in love with Salome, volunteering his body for her pleasure: “he keeps squandering his life forces to grow flowers from his body, for the nymphs to play with,” explains the artist. In the place of a violent, lusty, and sinful Salome, the artist presents a naive, pure-hearted child who is transfixed by her play and the beauty of flowers.

In this touching biblical allegory, love becomes sacred and tragic; the Deer King offers his head to his beloved, giving her sensual bliss in a bitter, cold winter. The season becomes symbolic of his death, until flora miraculously begins to bloom, as with the mythical Resurrection of Christ. The creative powers of the girl blossom; she is seen as fertile, emerging into womanhood, her lips and vital cheeks pink as the roses.

Using the framework of religious text, Brike’s body of work depicts a romance story where love necessitates sacrifice, where lust isn’t sinful but creative. Nurtured by the Deer King’s affections and tragic death, Salome grows into adulthood; in one image titled “Nurseling,” her dress slips, revealing a pair of milk-filled, life-giving breasts. Take a look. (via MondoPop)

Julia Peirone Photographs Teenagers Awkwardly In Mid-Sentence

julia_peirone7 julia_peirone1 julia_peirone4 julia_peirone5If you’ve ever paused a movie when a character is in mid sentence, you’ve probably encountered some unflattering-looking pauses. Photographer Julia Peirone‘s series More Than Violet is comprised of these moments. Young female subjects are caught rolling their eyes, twirling their hair, and playing with their jewelry, all with faces contorted in conversation.  The images are simultaneously awkward and amusing as we see teenage girls acting in a stereotypical fashion.

To achieve these small moments, Peirone shot hundreds of frames and selected ones that signify a not-a-child but not-a-woman moment. Their clothing, hairstyles, and colorful choice in makeup show their youth. It’s also their mannerisms that give their age away, where they are trying to act confident but are still in the dreaded teenager phase where you look younger than you mentally feel.

More Than Violet is a revealing series of portraiture that captures the uncertainty and uncomfortableness of being looked at and getting your picture taken. Considering that we are so defined by our peer group, these photos offer a truthful look at how we navigate between trying to find our true selves and the self that is “cool.” (Via Feature Shoot)

Dax Norman’s Psychedelic And Surreal Animated Gif World

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If you regularly tune in to Adult Swim, Austin based illustrator and animator Dax Norman‘s work may look familiar to you. Evoking a trippy aesthetic reminiscent of Mad Magazine and “The Yellow Submarine,” Norman’s gifs ooze and pulse with bright, fun energy. Citing classic and current influences and favorites such as Max Ernst, Man Ray, Van Gogh, Shel Silverstein, William Blake, Neil Anderson-Himmelspach, Reverend Bobby AngerDavid Olive, and Joseph Noderer, Norman creates animations informed by popular culture and the world around him, as well as animations that represent strangely and wonderfully original characters, figures, and shapes.

Norman first started making gifs by re-purposing existing longer animations into loopable snippets, but as the form started to grow on him, Norman began creating original gifs, trying to finish a new one every day. He creates both 2D and 3D animated gifs that deal with alternate and multiple perceptions of reality. Of his animations, Norman says, “I see them each as ‘little paintings,’  or ‘picture poems’ each with its own universe of movement…Playing with the looping idea, and rhythm, is what appeals to me the most. Hopefully… people can hear something in my moving pictures, even though there is no sound.” In addition to his extensive archive of gifs on Tumblr, Norman also has full video animations available on Vimeo as well as a Tumblr page dedicated to demonstrating his process of creation.

Spooky Portraits Capture Death And Ecstasy

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Through careful manipulation, Silvia Grav‘s ethereal black and white images capture a psychological realm where death and fear lurk around each corner, a world beyond the material where rich blacks and blinding white tones evoke a heightened anxiety and ecstasy. In her spooky portraits, the self is blurred by smoke and transparency, as if transported from the page by some unknowable force.

As with the works of the prolific photographer Francesca Woodman, Grav’s images are often set against the backdrop of the domestic space. The house, associated symbolically with the female, is no longer seen as safe or comforting; deteriorated walls and filthy floors cannot protect or contain inhabitants, and a woman rises ghostly towards a lit window. In another eerie image, the sleeping female is disturbed in sleep, her delicate floral bedding overcast by a foreboding shadow whose presence forces her to cover her breast and frightfully clasp at her back. Later, she is shown to be levitating, reaching out for the comforts of her mattress.

Within the terror of the images lies a sort of ecstasy, a dreamy surrender to instability and fright. The woman subject, surrounded by smoke clouds that seem to melt away her flesh, clasps her skeleton hands in rapturous prayer. Her nighttime slumber is seen in mysterious light, and she basks in its warmth, seeming to wriggle with delirium so that the majority of her body is pulled out of the frame.

The impressive work seems to invoke the memory of troubled women artists who came before. In one poignant image, the artist seems to mirror the famous profile portrait of Virginia Woolf by the photographer George Charles Beresford, down to the dark, pulled-back hair, the white blouse, and the ominous shadow below the eye. Contributing to the dialogue on femininity and mortality began by the likes of Woodman and Woolf, Grav adds a unique and potent modern voice. (via Colossal)

America’s Abandoned Malls Are Places Of Nightmares

Dixie Square Mall: Harvey, Illinois via  Detroiturbex.com

Dixie Square Mall: Harvey, Illinois via Detroiturbex.com

Dixie Square Mall: Harvey, Illinois via

Dixie Square Mall: Harvey, Illinois via Detroiturbex.com

North Towne Square Mall: Toledo, Ohio, via Flickr: Binkled

North Towne Square Mall: Toledo, Ohio, via Flickr: Binkled

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North Towne Square Mall: Toledo, Ohio, via Flickr: Binkled

If you’ve ever been in a mostly empty mall, you know how strange it can feel to walk among a space that’s only half alive. But what about when a mall is completely abandoned? That’s even more surreal. As more and more of these once-booming retail centers close, the Dead Malls Enthusiast Facebook group has mapped many of them throughout America. Adventurous photographers have captured the aftermath of of these departed spaces.

Many of these abandoned malls were built in the 1970’s and 1980’s, and it shows. The interiors and decor look dated, tacky, and claustrophobic compared to the open-air shopping that’s popular today.  Some have fared better structurally than others. Photographs depict buildings that’ve been closed for years and have demolished ceilings and broken glass. Many of the malls have dead plants that have long since lost their leaves.

These abandoned places are apocalyptic and frightening. But at the same time, they pique our curiosity and we wish were there exploring for ourselves. (Via Buzzfeed)

Malika Favre’s Animated Kama Sutra Alphabet

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In 2011, illustrator and graphic designer Mailka Favre was commissioned by Penguin Books to illustrate the new Deluxe Classic Cover of the Kama Sutra by Vatsyayana. Using the first 7 letters she illustrated for the commission as a starting point, Favre decided to develop the full set of the alphabet, resulting in a racy Kama Sutra typeface. After creating the designs, Favre worked with animators to turn her images into actively coital gifs. Inspired by the everyday design and fashion she encounters in London, Favre’s aesthetic is bold and colorful, with clean and simple lines and curves. Favre admits she often wears the colors she uses in her designs, and she’s unsure which design choice influences which. Because her designs are so simple, Favre has to approach her work with a strong concept, something that is elegantly evident in her Kama Sutra alphabet. Each letter of the exhibition is available for purchase as a limited edition of 25 screenprints, numbered and signed by the artist.