Guy Denning of Bristol, UK has been putting out emotive, figurative paintings for almost two decades. He works mostly in oil, perhaps the perfect medium for working with the human figure due to its unique luminous qualities, and he takes the guesswork out of using art as a mirror for the human condition by directly rendering our anguish and strife in muted, stylized tones. He also maintains a pretty awesome daily drawing blog.
The variety in technique, lighting, costume, and style in collaborative duo Sonia & Mark Whitesnow’s photographs is unreal. They effortlessly jump from surreal to sci-fi, to high fashion photography with ease, bringing a unique touch to each shoot.
The incredibly detailed pen and ink illustrators of Toronto based artist Paul Jackson take on the form of animals and humans, with their insides ascending from their bodies. His rendering of skeletal structures of wolves, dinosaurs, and humans is anatomically something to be admired. His illustrations have a dark aura, as he portrays different animals with layers of organs erupting from their skin. We can see Jackson’s well-refined skill in the very believable texture of the fur, skin, and bone in his work. Each illustration remains very realistic, despite their mystical nature. His creatures are like spirit-animals that are attempting to rise out of their earthly shell, erupting out of their exteriors.
There is a strong element of life and death his Jackson’s work, as many of his drawings contain half living creature and half skeleton. Pushing this boundary of the living world even further, many of Jackson’s works contain a visible “glitch.” There is a disruption in the composition. A face slowly turns into waves of “white noise,” like a sound wave encountering interference. This interference literally blurs the line between a creature, like Jackson’s bear, that is alive, with one that is dead. The artist has created his work on a large and small scale, and even has many of them available as prints, t-shirts, and patches. Make sure to check out his website for more astonishing illustrations and a great time-lapse video of the artist in action.
Alexandra Levasseur’s complex paintings are filled with emotion and beauty. With heavy brushstrokes dripping with color, she creates scenes of tormented women in a strange world filled with golden halos, burning asteroids, and melting faces. These faces depict a deathly pale beauty that is often transformed and altered by thick globs of color or all encompassing flora. Levasseur explores themes of love and fear, anguish and unsatisfied desire in her body of work.
I am interested in depicting both the solitude and the bipolarity of the existence of the human being, through the representation of memories. I question the relationship between physical comfort and peace of mind, and how the environment around us can affect this state of mind.
Her women are set in scenes of rolling hills of flowers and palpable paint amongst other wilderness. However picturesque the setting may seem, there is a sense of distress and loss. Some of the women lie in a lush, colorful sea of flowers, but still have a look of distress on their face. There is repeatedly a flaming asteroid in the background, implying an impending doom. Levasseur beautifully portrays these women full of emotion, with an inevitable tragedy behind their eyes, if they even have eyes at all. Many of the faces have eyes hiding behind strokes of color, or holes where their eyes used to be. Each woman, beautiful in their own right, is lost and being engulfed in her equally as beautiful surroundings. All of the seeping colors, crushing flora, and heartbreaking women become meshed together in Levaseur’s paintings. She represents this world as a single organism, blending color and form.
Alexandra Levasseur’s solo exhibition Body of Land is on view now at Mirus Gallery in San Francisco.
Adrien Mondot and Claire Bardainne, the French performance art duo that forms Adrien M / Clair B Company, has created a stunning display of dance and the digital. “Pixel” combines the physicality of human movement with unique technological creativity. Dancers leap from mountain to mountain, splash through wire-frame water, and fling themselves through showers of shimmering pixels.
In collaboration with Compagnie Kafig, the performance is an hour long and described as “a work on illusion combining energy and poetry, fiction and technical achievement, hip hop and circus.”
Sculptor Claire Curneen works with everything from porcelain to terracotta, creating figurines that are cathartic and vaguely surreal. Her humanoid sculptures are faceless yet somehow expressive, posed in beseechingly though it would be up to interpretation just what they are looking for.
According to her artist’s statement, Curneen aims to “explore grand themes about the body and the human condition.” This sometimes manifests itself viscerally in her works where human bodies are pierced with thorns or otherwise immobilized. Other pieces are subtler, the figures lost in a shroud of apparent existential angst.
Curneen’s artist statement also says:
“Referencing Roman Catholic imagery and ideology and early Italian Renaissance paintings such as Piero Della Francesca’s ‘Baptism of Christ’, these figures bear bold narratives of saints, martyrs and rites of passage punctuated by often delicate yet dramatic totems to death, re-birth and the sublime.” (via Dark Silence in Suburbia)
Under the typical gallery bright lights these sculptures from artist Diet Wiegman may seem like innocuous piles of trash. However, these ‘piles’ are meticulously arranged and precisely lit. The resulting shadows resemble famous works of art, icons, and images. He creates coveted works of art through refuse in something as elusive as a shadow. Though various types of ‘light sculptures’ have made their way through art in the past few years, Wiegman is a veteran. He has been using shadows and light as a medium for nearly five decades. [via]
With the release of Star Wars Episode VII later this year, the bloggers at Superfi have used the escalating hype to create something rather amusing: “Star Wars Bands,” a series of iconic album covers twisted to match Star Wars-related puns. Lady Gaga’s face from The Fame is mutated into a grinning “Lady JarJar”; Chewbacca throws up Tupac’s “westside” on the cover of 2paca: all jediz on me. Other spoofs include the Sex Pistols, Run-D.M.C., and Green Day. Clever and good-humored, “Star Wars Bands” will amuse music and movie lovers alike.
Superfi’s brand of playful (and somewhat absurd) humor has manifested in a couple of other entertaining series, such as “Classic Beatles Album Covers Recreated by Apple,” “Desperate Movie Sequels” (my personal favorite being a hopeless reincarnation of The Matrix: “Turns out, there was a spoon”), as well as the “Hipster Album Generator.” Superfi encourages participation from their similarly humored audience, so if you have a music-related Star Wars pun of your own, hashtag it #StarWarsBands on Twitter for a chance to be featured.