I recently discovered Tara Donovan’s work and was blown away by her microcosmic creations that reference organic forms. Using mundane objects such as simple plastic buttons or number 2 pencils, she finds beauty in multitudes. Like schools of fish banding together to seem much larger than they are, Donovan transforms the singular and ordinary into grand and ostentatious.
Vellas & Laga are a dangerous duo of animation and art direction that make motion work for many clients. There work is has a friendly appeal, with crisp, clean, and colorful details abounding. They seem to have a flair for understanding what works commercially for a client, while applying their own sensitivities to make it pop.
You might have read countless comics and watched all of the movies, but how often do you see a geriatric superhero? Not much, I’m sure. Arguably, these types of stories are less fun and offer less fantastical possibilities. A lot of stories are action-driven; The less action means potentially less appeal. The paintings of Andreas Englund, however, offer a different perspective. In his series of realistically-rendered oil paintings, Englund highlights mundane, amusing, and the occasional ass-kicking moments by an aging Superhero. We see him eating clementines, watching tv, and choking at a dinner party. And it’s not boring.
Age is the overarching theme in this series. Author Philipp Windmüller’s writes a short essay about Englund’s Superhero and highlights his transition from young to old. He states:
… the character himself needs to face up reality and the aging process. He has to acknowledge to himself that he cannot live up to expectations and that the “perfect life” is nothing more than wishfulness. Englund’s artworks are focused on the maturing process. Even in the old age it is still possible to achieve something valuable although someone’s drive and vigour won’t bluster out explosively. Nevertheless everybody in his advanced age deserves to be recognised and respected for what he has achieved in life.
Recognizing that we live in an ageist society, Windmüller goes to write that we should identify and have empathy for this character:
Every one of us will find himself in the same situation as the “Aging Superhero” anytime soon. Of course, all good things must come to an end but we don’t have to bow to social marginalisation. One day we all will be old and start realise we need to dial it down and stop pushing on harder. In a worldwide society where mostly older people live, we need a survival packet with superpowers in order to make sure that everybody can film his own superhero blockbuster. (Via This is Colossal)
The work of Karim Hamid, as the artist states is “interested in the process by which the female figure is objectified by the archetypal male gaze.” The naked figures are mutilated and leveled to one plane with the background making the main objects in the paintings create tension since they’re all sharing one dimension. The subtle muted colors, and the rough painting manner combined with bedrooms as backdrops, portray an indication of the women’s figure objectification throughout history, as well as today’s media insatiable need of it.
David Datuna, a Georgian-born American artist, established his signature technique of laying a cascading veil of varying optical lenses over an intricate, multi-dimensional, interactive narrative. In December 2013 David Datuna became the first artist in the world to utilize Google Glass in a contemporary work of art with the piece ‘Portrait of America’- a part of his Viewpoint of Billions series.
The piece resembles an American Flag; the 12-foot ‘Portrait of America’, is made up of about 2,000 eyeglass lenses as well as 400 portraits of relevant Americans that either magnify or shrink underneath the glass.
The monumental flag, the first of 10 works in the “Viewpoint of Billions” series, is covered in Datuna’s signature style with hundreds of eyeglass lenses. Creating an experiential dialogue through a sculptural veil of optics, the artist uses different magnifications to draw the viewer to the thematic collage inside his work. The prismatic effects invite inspection, while offering a vehicle for observation, and expanding the definition of modern portraiture.
These embedded images include historical and contemporary American figures: George Washington, John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. as well as Lady Gaga, Steve Jobs and Michael Jackson.
You must be wondering when and how the google glass factor comes into play here. It turns out that the premise of the piece comes alive when it is viewed with a pair of GG. It is then that the work turns into, what the artist calls, a living organism.
By working with Bricksimple, Datuna was able to construct a work that simultaneously worked as a standard tangible piece of art, to something that becomes alive digitally, through audio and visual clips presented on ‘our’ Google Glasses. By simply looking or speaking about the work, your voice and movement will trigger a series of short video clips and questions (to be answered by you) that further examine ideas of power and democracy and its relationship to the history and current state of the U.S. Ten cameras, embedded in the artwork, together with the built-in camera in the Google Glasses work to record your answers and to take your portrait. These clips of information, taken from you, will be archived as a part of the digital collage emebedded in the work. Your interaction with the artwork will also be sent out to the world via social media.
The work becomes, in a sense, a living and ever-changing archive that simultaneously works as a piece of art and a malleable and interactive biographical ‘text’ that takes shape into relevant historical (in both art history and world history) progress.