We’re not in the habit of sharing stuff that’s not contemporary here, but sometimes you come along something that shouldn’t be overlooked, as it seems relevant no matter when it was created, and could use a little more attention. Jugendstil, the German Art Nouveau movement, was named after the late nineteenth century literary magazine Jugend, which promoted the aesthetic within its pages and on its covers. If you’re looking for some fresh typography/design/illustration inspiration, check out this online resource, which contains lots of images from and info on the magazine. There’s even some Impressionistic stuff mixed with the Art Nouveau goodness, but it all comes off as really fresh. I wonder what Jugend, which didn’t make it out of World War II and Nazism, would be like if it were around today.
From illustrator and photographer Matt Lee, here are some photos of film posters around South India. It’s interesting how foreign film industries so close follow American trends. I expected to see posters that are more in the style of traditional 70s Bollywood posters (basically nicely illustrated montages of multiple characters, each in an action pose, and a cool look treatment of the title), but it seems that just as Hollywood has moved on since its days of ornately illustrated movie posters, so has India. So instead of illustrations we have Photoshop jobs.
Tomoo Gokita’s abstracted erotic paintings have a very nostalgic feel. As a child, Gokita snuck to read his father’s playboys, which he says are still a big influence on him now. His father created the images for advertisements in Playboy for its launch in Japan in 1975. Gokita now keeps the entire collection in his studio, and this influence shows heavily in his work. The curves and teasing stances of his characters are obvious references to such imagery. The forms and colouring make for a very retro feel, but the strange dot-eyes or the patterned zigzag head of the tuxedoed man have more of an Internet age vibe.
Gokita never reveals faces, except for the subtle suggestions in the dots. Often he flattens them completely or creates intestinal-looking deformities oozing from their head. Gokita says that he doesn’t depict faces because he became tired of them, and now he is instead interested in masks: “to hide a face and to become a different character.” This too seems to relate to his fascination with the women in Playboy. Although the images are extremely revealing, they’re also highly composed, and act almost like a mask of sexuality. Both the paintings and the images they are inspired from are a fantasy or a caricature of a woman’s true and much more deeply complex sexuality. Gokita’s paintings reduce them to be even more elemental, and also reveal their oddity. This is done very acutely due to his respect and love for the imagery. It’s a fascinating way to examine the inner workings of commercial erotic images. (Via Hunted Projects)
Danny Quirk creates elaborate and accurate anatomical paintings using the human body as a canvas or the subject of canvas paintings. After the frustration of facing rejections from multiple medical schools, Quirk decided to combine three things he loves – anatomy, art, and education – using this very direct approach. He seeks to change the creepy or morbid perception of the body’s anatomy by revealing its delicate beauty. “Having spent time working with cadavers and creating illustrations for medical publications, I got to experience first hand just how complex yet delicate the body is, wonderfully illustrating beauty is more than skin deep.”
Anne De Vries is interested in “reducing a staged scene into a two dimensional image and then photographing it. The image becomes further removed from a dominant physical presence and allows the focus to shift more to the codes and spells that these tableaus evoke. These images are meant to exploit the visual and iconographic potential of the common world as a language.” Check out “Constructing Virtual Reality” (in collaboration with art group AIDS 3D– there’s something weird with their site right now, we’re not trying to give you guys computer viruses…) where a semblance of a 80’s/90’s cyber world is created by photographic tricks: long exposures and grid made out of strings with black light.
I’ve always been intrigued with the aesthetics and message of hippies. On one hand I like the positive message of taking care of our planet and spreading peace across the lands but I can’t say i’m a big fan of using patchouli oil as a replacement for showering or the patchwork corduroys. I couldn’t find much info on John Kilar’sWelcome Home series of photographs documenting a hippy gathering but they definitely stopped me in my tracks. I can’t tell if this is the United Nations meeting of hippies or their annual jamboree deep in the woods of Portland. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I’d love to be a fly on the yoga tent just to see what the hell was going on at this thing.
Fable inspired drawings and paintings from LA artist Scott Hassell. Looking at his work puts me in that half-awake-half-asleep, wildly surreal dreamy state of mind that I always enjoy. Reminds me a little of David Jien from B/D Book 1 fame. Scott is also an accomplished printmaker, so be careful if you bring up the subject of oversized etching plates with him.