Yinka Shonibare is hands down one of my favorite contemporary artists. His stunning explorations into world history, the poetics and policies of identity, authenticity, globalization and imperialism raise interesting political questions without being patronizing. They are beautiful on a formal level, as well as conceptual.
Jen Stark shows how explosive layers of colored sheets can be once exposed in the manner of natural disasters and geological formations.
Fresh design work by T/\KEC/\RE found on our very own B/D creative flickr pool! Simple clean graphics with a clear message – always a winning formula – all you young graphic designers out there take note.
Nicola Samorì makes seductive, profound paintings by layering and fusing images on canvas, wood or copper and then obliterating them by scratching, erasing, fingering and painting over the surfaces multiple times. By violating the golden rule of all museums (“Please do not touch the artwork.”) Samorìis making art history by corrupting his own work and imposing a new Samorì on top. The resulting layers of paint create a new skin that bears the bruises and permanent marks of all prior creative efforts.
Selecting portraits and still life’s from classical paintings but also sourcing random faces and images from the Web, Samorì is engaged in a project about time and corrosion.
Surreal illustrations by John Malloy.
I’ve noticed this with many Japanese photographers: the simplicity yet complex compositions, familiar yet abstracted subject matter, and their ability to bring me back to a moment from a movie where I think definitively, “I’ve felt this before”. Photographer Ryo Kawanishi is no exception to this. Looking at his site, I feel almost like I’m listening to a Happy End soundtrack (oh wait, I am) in some Asian suburb. Without really using any mentions of locality in his work, he is able to take me there. He seems to be represented by the webgallery TRYNOME which houses other talents.
These marble and bronze sculptures of Kevin Francis Gray‘s are beautifully mysterious. They are classical in technique, but completely contemporary in subject matter. Gray chooses figures and characters – “the freaks and oft-romanticized street tribes of the East End” he see on the streets around his studio in London and then turns them into striking statues. Covering them in beaded veils or shrouding their faces with draped cloth, he manages to surround them in mystery.
His piece called ‘Ghost Girl’ superficially looks like a classical Greek or Roman sculpture, but is actually an earnest, tender view of a modern city girl, with a urban-ghetto-gothic twist. Poking out from underneath her veil is a skull tilted down toward her feet. She has her arms casually wrapped behind her back, but bear the markings of self harm. Gray renders many of his subjects from live sittings and recalls sketching the different faces:
One of the subjects has intense agoraphobia. Another was the first subject whom I really, truly didn’t like. He was so dark, a complicated psychopath. But I was determined to capture that. Some of the subjects could only sit still for an hour, because they had to go get high or whatever. (Source)
All of Gray’s pieces have a dark history to them, but he sculpts them so impressively they transform into something majestic, almost mythical.
What I’m trying to do is create a juxtaposition. The surface is glossy and consumable, but look deeper beneath that and you’ll see a darker underworld. (Source)