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MATTHEW CHARLES CRABE (NSFW)

NJ-native Matthew Charles Crabe pulls his imagery out from the deepest parts of his mind-gutter. There’s all sorts of fleshy things teleporting out of, or going into, strange orifices, then there’s the spillage of lactated milk, 40oz malt liquor, doo-doo, female and male juices, complete with the ageless beauty of symmetry. This wonderful mixture makes me think of one of his horrific, yet funny, images being diagrammed for there beautifully symmetrical properties in the way a celebrity’s face might be. Be warned, all images after the jump are certainly incredibly gnarly.

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Calvin Ho

calvin hoCalvin Ho is an Australian artist currently living in Hong Kong. Since 1997, Ho has worked on a wide range of projects that cover design, art direction, illustration & motion for the music, fashion, art, film & entertainment industries.

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Portraits Exaggerate To Implicate Our Own Theatrical Sensibilities

Tate Ellington - Painting

Tate Ellington - PaintingTate Ellington - Painting

Tate Ellington, known primarily as an actor, is also a self-taught painter, with an exhibition history that expands from NYC to Los Angeles. Working from doodles, conjured from found magazines, photographs, medical reference books, and/or an automatic sense of line, using mostly oils as his medium, Ellington inevitably focuses in on facial nuances, stating, “It’s what I identify with the most, so naturally, they come more.”

Each portrait carries a sharp bend of drama, as though the artist is implicated or interrupting more so than puppeteering the performance. Likewise, this is what strong acting does. In this way, Ellington seems to connect his two artistic loves, asserting, “In acting you are supposed to look for the truth of a character or of a situation. You can also be called to exaggerate the truth, if necessary. I think this is what I try to do with my paintings. I try to find the person by exaggerating him or her.” Each stroke is not just about the surface, but a discovery, or search for our own sense of play or performance as human beings.

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Sten Lex’s Massive OP Art Hand Cut Stencil Portraits

Italian street art duo Sten Lex  are considered as pioneers in their use of the stencil in Italy. Starting their career in their hometown of Rome in 2001, they rapidly acquired an international reputation.  Their work consists of portraits of anonymous characters that they photograph as well as portraits from album covers from the ‘60s and ‘70s. Moving between op art and stencil work STEN LEX is based on a technical finesse and unprecedented accuracy in their remarkable art. Their technique, which they named “Hole School”, is a meticulous hand cut stencil process. They make a thin frame consisting of thousands of paper lines. From the contrast of the black and white lines, the portrait emerges. The visual illusion of the stencil is thus part of the work. The walls on which the stencils are pasted up and the eventual evolution of the paper are hence an equal part of the artwork. Watch a video of their labor intensive process after the jump.

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Paintings Made Of Real Human Ashes Immortalize The Dead

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When the artist Adam Brown paints a portrait, he sprinkles cremated human remains into his palette, hoping to memorialize the dead in a way that celebrates their individualism and vitality; each image, most commissioned by the loved one of a recent decedent, serves as an alternative to the traditional urn.

After Brown’s clients submit a sampling of sandy ashes, the artist dons a pair of gloves and mixes them with paint to create personalized renditions and imaginings of the dead that span from straight black and white portraiture to dreamy colored abstractions. He carefully preserves any and all unused ashes, ultimately returning them to his client.

The project, titled Ashes to Art, poignantly aims to reconstruct the deconstructed body, fixing delicate cremains with glue and paint; in this way, his paintings work to incapsulate the entirety of the human body and lifetime into one sly smile, one glint of the eye, or one splash of color.

Brown’s ambitious body of work subverts morbid thoughts on human remains, adopting the medium to create shockingly cheerful faces, heavily textured hands, and vividly yellow flames. The idea of permanence figures prominently into the work; not unlike the popular ritualistic scattering of ashes over the sea, his landscape paintings elegantly incorporate the corporeal into the seemingly eternal earth, everlasting sky, or immovable mountains.

With each work, the artist ensures the respectful remembrance of human life with a simple inscription; lest a piece get lost or auctioned and taken for an average painting, he writes a disclaimer on its backing: this work of art contains human remains. (via Daily Mail and Oddity Central)

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The Dance of Undressing

Swiss/Danish art duo known simply as PUTPUT blurs the lines between photography, design, and conceptual art wonderfully.  For their series of photographs titled Undress, PUTPUT isolates a daily dance.  On the series, the duo comments:

” The ‘Undress’ series highlights an everyday choreography undertaken by the majority of people on a daily basis. The garment becomes central and embodies the movement.”

The photographs transform a mundane task into a beautiful flash of time.  Undress further presents an especially intimate and unguarded moment with the attention of an abstract artist.

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Ethereal Portraits By Merve Morkoç Showcase Horrific Beauty

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Beauty is a treasured thing in our culture, and Turkish artist Merve Morkoç, aka Lakor mis, turns this ideal on its head. At first glance their paintings are of seemingly young, glowing-skinned models, but a longer gaze reveals that these subjects all have something seriously wrong with them. Coupled with their well-coiffed hair are fantastical disfigurations that you’d see in a horror film. Warped eyelids, caved in faces, and rashes exist on these young women.

Any sort of pleasant response you initially had is probably gone, and the works are like a train wreck that you can’t look away from. The strange details are intriguing, and it speaks to Morkoç’s expert handling of the medium that they are easily able to fool us into thinking something that’s repulsive is actually beautiful. (Via Hi Fructose)

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Gareth Pugh

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While Gareth Pugh’s latest collection for Spring 2010 explores a more “mature” experimentation with diaphonous fabrics and a more subdued tone on tone, I prefer his more outlandish, performative sculptural fashion pieces from past seasons. You can’t beat his futuristic death-metal cube-hesher above, seemingly harbinging the coming of Y2K through Swarovski crystals. Or an entire stole made out of white mink-mice replete with red eyes, fit for some ghastly rodent Ice Queen from a savage Viking town….

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