Daisuke Tajima’s paintings are vertiginous in all aspects. They depict ultra-detailed never-ending tall buildings. The artist is placing the perspective from above, as if we were flying amongst the city. But the beauty of these paintings lies in the fact that they are all imaginary.
To get lost into his art. This seems to be the aim of the young artist. The paintings are massive and the features of the city landscapes so small. The rooftops are particularly intricately detailed. From the pipes and machineries to the hoists. The repetition of these elements form a pattern which appears regularly throughout the painting and which makes the whole picture look claustrophobic. Daisuke Tajima says he feels comfortable in this world. He seems to dominate what is around him. An escape which he purposely created in order to be able to feel safe and in control.
“I wanted to hide away in my own world to ease the loneliness and insecurity I felt from not belonging. This piece is a world I can believe in.”
Daisuke Tajima just recently graduated in Japan. His talent was rewarded by a prize of 10 million yen (about $83K) for the cityscape series “gokinchotaikoku II”. Although this sounds like a rich outcome, it doesn’t look like success will stop the prodigy from creating sensitive and meaningful art pieces. Loosing himself into the depth of an imaginary city is Daisuke Tajima’s symbolic hideaway. (via Juxtapoz)
American artist Anne Lemanski creates quirky, conceptual sculptures of animals. She begins by creating a copper rod amateur which she then cuts, manipulates, and braises together to create what she refers to as a three dimensional line drawing. She then uses various materials, such as prints created from images of her own collages, leather, and vinyl. These works act as a further adaptation of her collage practice. Her sculpture aesthetic roots from images she has been familiar with for years. As the Alumna Artist-In-Residence at the McColl Center for Arts + Innocation in Charlotte, North Carolina, Anne Lemanski developed her practice between both her collage and sculptural elements, leading her to create her newest exhibition, Simulacra. As the artist moved between techniques of meditative cutting and pasting to the physicality of creating a structure, she began to realize that ultimately, despite the difference in the materiality of the work, what was creating was the simulation of animals. By creating a falsified “double” of something that is in fact real. Lemanski allows herself to enter the postmodern discourse of the notion of “simulacra,” a concept associated with French philosopher Jean Baudrillard. Within the philosopher’s work Simulacra and Simulation (1981),Baudrillard argues that by creating “copies,” society has replaced all meaning with mere symbols. Thus, the human experience has become hyper-real, as all meaning is just a simulation of what once was. Lemanski notes that her own practice replicates the same notion, as she creates the simulacrum of nature. She allows two dimensional imaging to become three dimensional. This process allows the viewer to then experience the simulated, while channeling the real.
Stefan Herda is a Toronto-based artist whose work and methodology explore our relationship with nature. He utilizes alternative techniques and natural materials in the creation of his art, deriving inks and dyes from wild blueberries, tea, turmeric, iron oxide, and more. From time-lapse videos of organic dyes interacting with household chemicals, to nebulae paintings infused with homemade ink and rainwater, his earth-toned and softly flowing works demonstrate an investigative and environmentally aware approach.
Featured here is Clapshacks, a series wherein Herda used natural colors and traditional textile dyeing techniques to paint portraits of derelict houses. Enclosed within hazy vignettes, buildings lean and collapse into the surrounding wilderness. There is a sense of peace and isolation; the buildings become crumbling, moss-strewn edifices that signify the resurging power of nature. There is a sense of retrospection, as well, that allows the viewer to consider the cycles of life, death, and renewal and the trajectory of human history. As Herda states in the project’s description, the Clapshack works “serve as a […] reference to old Romantic conventions, nostalgia for simpler times and the mystery inherent to the modern day ruin” (Source).
New York City native photographer Steve Schapiro documents what it means to be a hippie in 2015. Originally known for his photographs of and participation in the original Haight-Ashbury scene in San Francisco in the 1960s, Schapiro’s new aim is to explore where today’s hippie energy lays. From 2012 to 2014, Steve Schapiro, teaming with his son Theophilus Donoghue, traveled throughout the country following various “free-spirit movement” festivals such as Burning man in Nevada, Shasta festival and Rainbow Gathering in California, and others of the likes. Here what they found is that the “neo-hippie” generation “has more to do with meditation, yoga, fellowship, good vibes, and a search for the divine than it does with the mind-altering substances of its 60s predecessor.” Through images of mass nude meditation, men covered in mud in what looks like states of pure euphoria, group circles of shirtless people forming hand hearts with their neighbors, Schapiro sheds light into a community deeply rooted in finding their happiness through channels of love and nature.
“In Bliss, Schapiro captures the multitudes who come to commune with nature, other like-minded souls, and all that is divine and inspirational in the multi-hued spectrum of human spirituality. He focuses on a subculture of the current hippie counterculture known as “Bliss Ninnies” — individuals who embrace meditation and dancing as a way to reach ecstatic states of joy. The book provides an overview of a new contemporary hippie life within America introduced to Schapiro by his son who began his own journey into Bliss at age 23.”
Hula balances his paddle board on the water the same way he balances the hyper-realistic paintings of women he depicts above the surface of that same water. The artist chooses abandoned sites and approaches the walls of his future murals by paddling on his surf board and carefully bringing his paint and brushes along with him.
Sean Yoro, a.k.a. Hula, represents women gracefully enjoying the contact of the water. The colors used are natural, dissolving with the stone color tones of the murals and the grey/green tones of the water. Geometric pastel signs are drawn onto the naked parts of their bodies such as the neck, shoulders and arms. The rest of their bodies is covered with water as Hula depicts only the top parts of the women’s bodies. The reflection of the pictures onto the surface of the water creates a double image, accentuating the peaceful and intimate moments caught by the artist.
Hula captures the smiles of pleasure and well being the women are experiencing in hidden places. Leaving the viewer wondering who these women are and if they even exist. Away from the city of New York, with nothing but his paint and his women, the moments spent scouting locations and painting in solitude in the middle of nowhere confers a meditative break to the artist.
It was a unique call for submissions: “Please send me your best nudes so I can draw them while I figure out my next move.” Seeking inspiration, Brooklyn-based artist Frances Waite posted this message on her Instagram, along with her phone number. Men and women responded enthusiastically, sending her intimate nude selfies of themselves sprawling on beds and squatting over mirrors. Choosing the images she found especially playful and unique—or rather, the nudes “where people [were] being themselves and posing in a way they [thought was] sexy and beautiful”—Waite began recreating them as illustrations, translating mischief and bodily expression into skillfully-drawn portraits (Source). The result is a fun, provoking, and ongoing series titled NUDES.
Waites’ project is one of empowerment, seeking self-expression beyond voyeurism, objectification, and the boundaries of heteronormativity. “I do think that I give people an opportunity to perform a part of themselves they might not display otherwise,” she explains in an interview with The Creators Project. “I’m some weird girl on the internet that wants to draw naked strangers, and I already have a repertoire of images that, I hope, make people feel comfortable doing whatever the hell they want.” (Source) She seeks to create a safe space where people can celebrate their bodies and sexual identities with agency and anonymity.
Hungarian photographer Flora Borsi digitally “distouches” images of models. After analyzing fashion portraits, the artist took note of the overt emphasis on perfection the images took. She then decided to play with the process to perfect by attempting the opposite. Her images wink to the classic artist portrait, perhaps even take their composition from what looks like could be a model or actor’s headshot, yet instead of aiming to portray women at their most beautiful, her mission was to create something truly unusual. Her portraits highlight distorted faces of women that tend to have three eyes, peculiar brow lines, and lips that droop, giving an almost absent chin. With a thread of shiny hair and dramatic lighting, this body of work almost acts as a portrait series of genuine alien beings. The artist explains the project in her own words:
“In this project I’ve been analyzing some fashion portraits, how perfect they are. So I made the opposite of retouching, somehow I distouched these pictures of perfect models. This project is connected to surrealist painters point of view: beauty wasn’t enough to give me interest. I love imperfections as much as I love surrealism. These pictures are my little monsters, no one wants to look like them, because they are totally unique.”
Borsi’s work uses digital manipulation in order to explore her fascination with surrealism. She focuses on issues surrounding identity, relationships, emotions, and dreams with the aim to investigate the complexity of the human psyche.
Ron Nagle makes mini sculptures using a variety of colors and shapes. He takes ceramics to another level, transforming utilitarian pottery into abstract modern art. In the ‘Five O’Clock Shadow’ series he presents innovative forms mixed with saturated colors.
He uses different methods to produce his pieces such as slip-casting and hand-molding. Dealing with traditional and non-traditional materials, including glazed ceramic, Sculp-metal, polyurethane, and epoxy. Ron Nagle always lays his inspiration on paper. Transferring the sketch into a 3 dimensional piece. The sculptures are never more high than a few inches. The shapes are figurative and translate the artist’s passion for tea cups, its handles and bowl volume. His gets inspired by the works of Giorgio Morandi, Philip Guston, Japanese Momoyama ceramics, and George Herriman.
Ron Nagle injects in his art pieces a glimpse of pop art and a dash of music. He is a ceramist as well as a confirmed singer. The sculptures seem to be on the verge of moving. At any moment, they can get moving. The top parts, which are almost all twisted and contorted are waiting for the signal of the viewer to maliciously escape from their pedestal. The artist wants to trigger new sensations from the viewer. His work is meant to be singular. According to him, there’s no point in looking at a form of art for which we already felt something. Emotions generated from his work has to be fresh and possibly never been experienced before.