Konstantin Shalev is a Russian illustrator who, at 23, is tearing up the internets (his Behance username is appropriately Ripper). Sporting a slick, cartoony style, Shalev’s characters and patterns have been featured on multiple Threadless shirts, in Popular Mechanics magazine, and more.
Marc Dennis’ hyperrealistic paintings are centered around the gaze and ideal for viewers who enjoy spending a lot of time with a single work of art. Layered with symbol upon symbol, it’s apparent that there are two subjects featured in any one of his complex compositions – the person who does the looking and the object that’s being looked at. As we view how the two interact, we form a narrative about their relationship. What does it mean, for instance, that a NFL cheerleader stares at the classic Les Demoiselles d’Avignon by Picasso? How do the they relate to each other? And, how does this relate to us? In an interview with Hi Fructose, Dennis talks about trying to find our own meanings within art. He explains:
I saturate my paintings with truths and suggestions about human behavior, ways of looking, and the psychological, spiritual and physical relationships we have with art. Walter Benjamin, the famous social critic once said, “To experience the aura of a phenomenon means to invest it with the capability of returning the gaze.” I believe that we, as viewers and art lovers, are eager and more pleased when it happens, to find ourselves, or some semblance of ourselves in a work of art. In other words, I do my part in “returning the gaze” that Benjamin speaks of. And in this hyper self-conscious, glamour-driven, sexually-inflated and media-obsessed art culture of today, my works are satirical yet sincere, artificial yet real, and most definitely loaded with personal symbolism yet public pomp — a timely combination and expression. (Via Faith is Torment)
Israeli artist Zemer Peled creates sculptures using countless ceramic shards. Each individual element is a small part of a greater whole, and their sharp and pointed edges form a single beautiful form that’s inspired by flowers or sea creatures. Through careful arrangement, these forms bloom and breath like the real thing.
Peled uses blue cobalt found in designs and landscapes from traditional Japanese pottery as her raw materials. Subtle lines and patterns create the textures for flower petals and other attributes. To make this possible, the artist uses a slab roller to build sheets of clay that are fired and then broken with a hammer. What’s incredible is not only the meticulous nature of assembling and placing each piece, but its the uniformity that they all have. Although Peled’s work is comprised of countless parts, each of them is the same. (Via Colossal)
Phil Hale, a London based illustrator, knows what to do. His illustrations are incredibly rich with disjointed movement, explosive energy, and raw masculinity that which all combines into an overwhelming visit to drama itself.
It’s been over 45 years since the iconic Woodstock Festival first took place. In 1969, nearly half a million music lovers made their way to the Catskills for the event that offered peace, love, and rock’n’roll. Thirty-two bands performed at there, including Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and The Who. Two LIFE photographers named Bill Eppridge and John Dominis capture not only the music, but of the crowds, muddy fields, and lush woods where young people celebrated their youth.
The epic festival was originally supposed to be a ticketed affair, with booths set up to charge the $24 admission. But, they were never installed thanks to the unexpected surge of music fans, and the surrounding fences were torn down. This act declared that Woodstock was a free event. Over the course of just a few days, these documentary-style photos tell us a lot. They depict the communal living and the aftermath of a five-inch rainfall that turned everything into a giant mud pit. Concert-goers are seen receiving medical care, bathing nude in the streams, and standing as one giant mass with lighters in the air.
John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival recalls a 3:30AM start time (delayed because of rain), and how incredible the experience was:
We were ready to rock out and we waited and waited and finally it was our turn … there were a half million people asleep. These people were out. It was sort of like a painting of a Dante scene, just bodies from hell, all intertwined and asleep, covered with mud.
And this is the moment I will never forget as long as I live: A quarter mile away in the darkness, on the other edge of this bowl, there was some guy flicking his Bic, and in the night I hear, ‘Don’t worry about it, John. We’re with you.’ I played the rest of the show for that guy.