Street Artist BLU‘s latest mural is just as ambitious and wonderful as his previous projects. Known for his playful murals he paints onto brick walls, gravel paths, water tanks, forgotten corners, construction sites, and abandoned buildings, he turns overlooked spaces into canvases for jaw-dropping paintings and animations. This time BLU has turned his attention to an old military warehouse in Rome and covered it with a couple of dozen colorful, expressive characters. Stretching over 50 old offices, the scale of this mural is as impressive as it is ambitious.
BLU has a talent for creating eye catching, intriguing street art. He first started to paint in the back streets of his home town of Bologna, and from 2001 had developed a distinct style of using house paint and rollers to quickly sketch his ideas on public spaces. Normally painting human figures, or strange combinations of animals and people, BLU’s work is light-hearted and surreal. He had a period of many years traveling from festival to festival and learnt how to use his environment to his benefit. Basing his sketches on the curves of buildings and pre-existing shapes, he made use of the tools he had at hand.
True to the nature of street art, BLU isn’t precious about his creations, and actively erases his own work to create his intricate animations. They fold out on themselves, essentially erasing what came before. This talented Italian artist has a skill for entertaining pedestrians busy running their daily errands and loves to interrupt their routine with comical, sarcastic narratives and figures. With eye-catching murals scattered all around the world (from Mexico City to Los Angeles, Berlin to West Bank), you will no doubt stumble upon one of his pieces. Keep your eyes peeled for his next one! (Via DesignBoom)
Kyle Thompson is the artist behind these haunting photographs. His image are darkly surreal, seemingly caught in the middle of a or sinister or tragic situation. An autumnal palette adds a slight chill to each scene. What may be most surprising about the work, though, is its creator. Thompson’s biography states that he’s only been photographing work since he was 19 years old – the young photographer is now only 21! Further, Thompson is a self-taught artist with no formal training.
Kristen Martincic‘s swimming pool works on paper are enchanting as they are crisp, clean, and inspiring. She encompasses the feeling of calmness associated with empty swimming pools but adds character and surreal beauty by making them appear to be almost prizes to be won that you want to pick up and haul home. These pieces are “a hybrid of print, drawing, and painting on panel,” as stated by Kristen. Monotype, acrylic, and matsuo kozo paper are used. Their simplicity allows the viewer to realize the provocative nature of each pool’s space and surfaces. The layered effects she creates with her media builds added textured qualities raising the feelings of mystery, tension, and intimacy.
Her swimming pool works on paper SURFACE TENSION, will be on display at Wonder Fair Gallery starting April 26 and will remain on view through May 26th.
Erwan Frotin’s STRANGERS series captures the flowers of Hyères (Flora Olbiensis), the dramatic and highly specialized world of plants in the region around the Villa Noailles—known as a birthplace of Surrealism—and pictures them in a fresh and invigorating way with closer ties to portraiture than a biological cataloguing of species His is a contemporary take on the genre of still life, fusing organic and inorganic materials to form unexpected results. In these images, one truly comprehends the flower as the perfect union of form and function.
The flowers of Hyères are magnified and recorded carefully by Frotin’s camera. Only one plant ever occupies the frame, and each individual plant’s colors and shapes are heightened with the use of vividly colored graduated backgrounds that glow and pulse with energy. The recontextualization of the flowers momentarily confounds but then becomes clear to the viewer, evoking a feeling Freud described as “strange strangeness.” Removed from their natural matrix, isolated in an artificial field of color and captured for posterity, Frotin’s flowers are the converse of traditional notions of their ephemeral beauty in nature.
Created using the digital software program Painter, artist Chet Phillips of Chetart creates the most whimsical human – animal connections. Poodles as wrestlers? Monkeys smoking pipes? Make sure you check out the titles of all his pieces, they are as silly as the images. The one above is entitled Phineas H. Flabbergast.
This post goes out to all the 9-5ers stuck behind a desk, staring at the white office walls and pretending to be busy, whenever the boss walks by. If there was no boss to check up on you, what would you do inside that office? I see you looking at your nearest stapler. Baptiste Debombourg has lived out your fantasy. Baptiste created these large scale figures with over 35,000 staples. Now someone needs to follow in Baptiste’s footsteps and make a paper clip tapestry.
Onania is an infected universe that has been accumulating character and detail since Jan Manski’s MA at Central Saint Martins in 2010. Onania’s development has been unrelentingly pervasive of Manski’s practice, appropriate to its nature as a diseased scourge.
Manski’s meticulous and total attention to minute detail has borne a product encased in the methodologies of this eminently inviting and hostile environment. Onania hosts an alternate reality and fertile breeding ground for mankind’s most despicable modern habits. Narcissism bred from frantic consumer culture is shown at its most destructive, with Onania’s inhabitants seeking its prime offering – unadulterated and uninterrupted pleasure.
The sculptor Livio Scapella‘s shrouded figures seem to be in eternal conflict with their materiality, trapped like lost souls within the confines of stone. In this strange work, titled “Ghosts Underground,” the artist uses the aesthetic dialogue normally associated with classical Renaissance masters, establishing the suggestion of movement within the frozen busts; necks contort, and mouths hang open as if to speak. Visual weight is distributed uncomfortably, and like Michelangelo’s Prisoners, Scapella’s figures yearn for escape, gasp for air.
Like a moving, writhing funeral shroud, the fabric is rendered with the utmost delicacy and softness, affording the busts a ghostly significance, as if they were invisible men and women defined only by the cloth in which they are contained. Like those caught frantically between life and death, the haunting figures seemingly do battle with the elements of the natural world and its order. As they strain against stone, they are powerfully anchored by spectacular quartz and amethyst held steadfastly to their chest. Like an external representation of the soul or spiritual self, the burdensome yet magnificent gemstones lie cradled within the airy fabric above the heart.
In a particularly powerful diptych, the “white soul” sits beside the “black soul;” where the white soul rests, embracing her permanent and immobile fate, the black soul strives against eternity, his mouth open in a frightful scream. The male, art historically associated with the intellectual and rational, is in turmoil; the female, on the other hand, becomes unified with nature and with the elements from which she is constructed. Within each of us lies this powerful duality: will we succumb to death or will we struggle to escape it? Take a look. (via Hi Fructose and Juxtapoz)