Bizarre and beautiful describes the work of Barcelona based artist Esteve. Each art piece was created with much attention to detail and personal touch. Esteve’s work is almost like a puzzle which makes your wonder what message he is trying to send. Curiosity is what I feel when I see Esteve’s portrayal of humans and animals, but also excitement, because they are truly unique to see.
I have a soft side for artists and designers who emerge from the punk rock/DIY scene. It’s probably because I grew up going to punk shows, making zines, and not fitting in with my own boring suburban surroundings . So when I opened my inbox and saw the work of Wasted Rita I immediately was drawn into her world of teen angst and brutal honesty. It reminded me of the same energy my friends and I had when we first started Beautiful/Decay. Thanks for keeping the dream alive Rita!
Mike Simi is an artist whose sculptures seem almost more like jokes than they do “art” (in a good way). Every one of them is funny, playful, and but also informed, like the products of an MFA student tired of everyone around taking art way too seriously, whose peers then applaud his efforts at subverting their academic approaches.
I couldn’t find much about Dutch artist Eduard Bezembinder‘s work (most likely due to a language barrier and a seemingly sparse but fun website), but his Flickr page is full of interesting painting, drawing, graphic design, and collage art. Additionally, his Saatchi profile claims he is “one of the first art bloggers.” I love these particular collages because the image integration is nearly seamless, which increases the absurdity to be found in these juxtapositions. Heavily featuring a mix of mythical, classical, and pop culture elements that represent interactions between the animal and the human, these collages are both nostalgic and humorous. (via feru leru)
Cassie Ramone is most recognized as the front woman and lead axe shredder of the Brooklyn based lo-fi garage rockers the Vivian Girls. She is also perpetually working on and exhibiting new drawings, paintings, t-shirts, and zines. “Shitty Reality'” is an ongoing tour diary of sorts that is chock full of her endearing interpretations of popular cartoons, notes and scrawlings from the road, and various snap shots and collages from hours spent traveling the contiguous United States of America.
Artist Christopher Murphy paints memories, using old family photographs as source material. He paints the Hoover Dam, large family gatherings, his younger self, and more. Murphy’s work is technically very good, and the realistic renderings of his paintings to look like photographs. They also depict quiet moments. While a lot of them involve people, there is very little tension among subjects. Colors are desaturated, which ages the look of them. Murphy spoke to New American Paintings about his work. He describes the overarching theme of his paintings, as well as his decision to use old photographs for reference. He says:
Imagination playfully cavorts with authenticity to fabricate the essence of memory. It is at this intersection, between the poles of fiction and truth, that my current paintings and drawings are situated. Issues of contrast, specifically of finding harmony between dissonant elements, have been a constant theme in my work. I see my paintings as opportunities to explore the conceptual contrasts of reality versus illusory and permanence versus ephemeral as applied to memory.
I choose old family photographs (largely culled from my own family’s albums, but supplemented with a selection of found photos from estate sales and thrift stores) to serve as the basis for my work, because of their unique qualities of semi-permanence, staged semblance, and ostensible candidness. In these photos, skies fade to pale yellows, skin tones sink, and details blur and grow fainter with time. Sometimes, dated technology necessitated blank stares or static poses, caused colors to skew, or impacted the framing of an image. By either exaggerating or minimizing these characteristics, along with re-contextualizing figures and objects or dramatically re-staging the action of a photo, the divisions are obscured between the reality that existed at the moment of the photograph, the memories of that moment, and the possibilities of reality that are presented in my work.
Gabriel Moreno does beautiful work with such basic materials: a pen and a brush. His illustrations begin in black and white, upon which Moreno builds, adding layers of color and images of other places and people tattooed into their skin. Flowers, birds, and faces organically expand from his subjects, as if a rush of creativity, or a dream, is escaping them.
Photographer Millicent Hailes recently completed a two-month stay in Los Angeles where she traversed some of the city’s finest strip clubs. “You can find the erotic anywhere, you just have to look for it,” Hailes told Dazed, and her journey included spots where Courtney Love danced pre-grunge era.
Hailes was on the hunt for a club that breaks away from the chauvinistic, clichéd joints that we’re used to seeing. She found a string of clubs where women hold the power, prostitution is low, and the women actually enjoyed themselves. In a place called Cheetahs, Hailes explains, “The girls each had a different style of dance and look, and each danced to a song of their choice,” she says. “It felt a lot more personal, and it was a lot of fun.”
To pay tribute to Cheetahs, Hailes began a project that mirrors the separation between dancer and customer. She placed a sheet of plastic between herself and model Nadia Lee. “The plastic sheeting is a metaphorical barrier between the model and the audience. She is pressed up against it, but you can’t fully see her or touch her,” Hailes explains to Dazed Digital. “I wanted the shoot to seem very ‘bodily’, and by having the body pressed against the plastic and capturing the breath creating a fog over the images, it feels a bit intrusive, but also has a distance because of the sheeting.” (Via Dazed)