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Mike Bertino

Illustrator Mike Bertino’s overwhelming amount of creative imagination, humor, and striking palette find their place in his illustrations. Though his loud and bright illustrations appear to be a constant streamline of drug-haze crazy, make no mistake – it is all held together by the attention to intricate design, and executed by a skillful hand.

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Anelia Loubser Flips Human Faces Upside Down To Create Alien Portraits

anna-mart van der merwe

anna-mart van der merwe

shaleen surtie – richards

shaleen surtie – richards

michael bosman

michael bosman

riette van der walt

riette van der walt

South African Photographer Anelia Loubser is forcing us to look twice. Her project “Alienation” is a light-hearted approach to the complicated question of what exactly is conventional beauty? By flipping quite normal, traditional portraits upside down, she points out how easy it is for all of us to look instantly strange. There is a great quote that sums up Loubser’s project:

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change” – Wayne Dyer.

This couldn’t be any truer – such a simple act has a great effect. What usually are forehead wrinkles, now act as grimaces, lips puckered in pain; long eyebrows are now odd whiskers sprouting from cheeks or strange furry circles under the eyes. Noses are flipped to replace foreheads and are disconcertingly bulbous – large alien lumps appear where they shouldn’t be.

These photographs are a view into a weird and wonderful world; one full of alien-like humans, but a world where each new face is as beautiful and as intriguing as the next.
These are the new versions of “potato head” – where features are interchangeable and we are able to play around with our ideas of accepted beauty and identity.

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Awesome Video Of The Day: Scanner Memoirs

It’s Friday, you’re looking forward to the weekend, and you’re feeling a bit kooky. Is this what you do when the boss isn’t looking?
By Damon Stea.

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Best Of 2012: Delta- From Graffiti To Architecture

It’s always interesting to see what graffiti writers do in the fine art world. Some keep rehashing the same work on canvas, losing all of the power that energized the work by having it in the streets. However some artists such as the legendary Dutch graffiti artist Delta take what they’ve learned through their years of painting letterforms and create amazing new works that re-imagine architecture, space, installation and painting. Wondering what Delta’s graffiti looked like back in the day? Click the read more button and check out the last image.

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Brazilian Design Team Bicicleta Sem Freio Thrill Us With Color

bicileta sem freio illustrationbicileta sem freio illustrationbicileta sem freio illustrationbicileta sem freio illustration

The Brazilian duo Bicicleta Sem Freio (‘Bicycles without brakes”) have broken away from murals and are now concentrating on some fine art work. Its two current members Douglas de Castro and Renato Perreira first met while attending art school in Goias, Brazil and started collaborating on large scale outdoor and concert poster projects. This led to a series of street art and other prominent commissions all over the world. They recently had their first gallery exhibit in London at “Just Kids” art space. This allowed visitors to see the work on a smaller scale in a white box environment.

The duo create imagery that combines rock and roll with sexy women and animal hybrids. Their bright colors depict figures drawn in similar likeness to action style figures which reference Wonder Woman and Flash Gordon. Most of the pictures take on a fantastical sensibility where shape and color are used to dramatic effect. The two illustrators aren’t afraid to combine loud off key hues to create a funkiness which strikes you with energy and power. Normally when street art is brought down to a smaller scale it loses some of its grandeur but that doesn’t seem to be the case with Bicicleta Sem Freio. Instead the smaller scale work is even more detailed and at times even borders on abstraction.
Some of their significant campaigns have been for The Life Is Beautiful Festival, Coachella, Nike, SubPop and Absolut. (via booooooom)

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The Black Glass Sculptures Of Elliott Walker Recall Alien-Like Geodes With Colorful Hidden Centers

walaker glass sculpturewalaker glass sculpturewalaker glass sculpturewalaker glass sculpture
Sometimes less is more. By adding just a tiny bit of contrast artist Elliott Walker turns all black glass sculptures into striking objects with a flash of color. His motifs usually consist of bottles and bowls paired with a vegetable or fruit sliced to show a striking hue. Walker uses the color to create a pulsating heartbeat effect. Besides the obvious aesthetic value there’s hidden metaphor which can be open to interpretation. By highlighting the various skins of the produce portrayed Walker brings the potential health benefits of these foods to light. Not only is it the part of the vegetable or fruit which pigment is made from but also contains the flavenol quercetin a blood pressure lowering chemical found in onion skin. These give the objects not only a pretty nature but also represents important health benefits.
At times, the black glass Walker uses give the sculptures an excavated post-apocalyptic look which adds to the drama of his subject matter. Normally glass is produced to have an ultra pristine aesthetic which is broken away from here. It takes on more of an alien feel  perhaps a table set for a Martian dinner party. (via fubiz)

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Purity Portraits: Young Virgins Promise Their Purity To Their Fathers Until Marriage

Young Virgins Young Virgins Young Virgins

Stockholm-based photographer David Magnusson captures bizarre father-dauther portraits in the U.S. These portraits are inspired by a very disturbing ritual called Purity Balls, a relatively new Christian religious, wedding-like ceremony that inspires American virgin girls (as young as four years of age ) to promise purity to their fathers.

The formal events tends to include ballroom dancing, a keynote speaker, and a lot young girls in white dresses. During the ceremony, the fathers, the so-called “High Priest of the home and family,” make a pledge to protect their daughters’ “purity” during the affair; often times they exchange purity rings.

“You are married to the Lord and your father is your boyfriend.” – A father says to his daughter during a Purity ball.

Intrigued and fascinated  by an article about the topic, Magnusson took the iniciative to investigate these balls, and its participants, further.To create this photographic series, the artist spent five months traveling to and attending purity balls in Louisiana, Texas, Colorado, and Arizona. On each occasion, he spent about an hour interviewing and photographing the father-daughter pair. The interactions between father and daughter on camera were up to the subjects themselves and not at all directed by Magnusson.

Many of us would think that the photographs look and feel odd; and not that there is anything weird about hugging and holding your father’s hands, but the way in which these pairs interact…most of us can agree that it is a bit creepy. The artist, however, keeps his judgement out of the picture and he tells his audience that for the most part the fathers are caring and respectful, and the daughter possess their own character and are often very independent. How true this is to each of us personally differs, of course. This very point, the idea of relative truths and opinion, is what Magnusson is most interested in:

“The purpose hasn’t been either to belittle or glorify the ceremonies–the interpretation [of the photographs] is all up to the eye of the viewer.”

The series of photographs are now part of Purity, a book of text and images put together by the artist himself. Purity comes out in August, and you can order it here. If you are interested in learning more about this ceremony you can check out The Virgin Daughters, a documentary that further examines the nature of Purity Balls. (via FastCo Design)

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Made With Color Presents: The Shaky Details Of Michael Alvarez

michael alvarez painting

michael alvarez painting

michael alvarez painting

This week we’re bringing you another talented artist as part of our partnership with premiere website builder Made With Color. Each Tuesday we bring you some of the most exciting artists and designers working today who are using Made With Color to create clean and sleek web sites. Made With Color makes it easy to make a website; MWC websites aren’t just easy on the eyes but feature powerful yet simple backend which allows anyone to take web design into their own hands with just a few clicks. We’re excited to share with you the dense and detailed paintings of Los Angeles artist Michael Alvarez.

At first glance the art of Michael Alvarez may not appear to be specifically about Los Angeles but upon further inspection of each painting you’ll discover hints of the mixed and vibrant subcultures that can be found in the city of angeles. Images of festive parties in parks, graffiti writers wearing Dodger inspired t-shirts, Venice beach muscle heads, skid row heshers and hand painted signs that can be found in small mom and pop shops throughout Los Angeles are sprinkled throughout these narrative paintings. Mixing the everyday, the unusual, and the downright bizarre Alvarez’s paintings create an intoxicating mixture of shaky yet precise paint handling, personal memory, and street corner observation to create work that is simultaneously dysfunctional and celebratory.

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