Roman Klonek has a soft spot for old fashioned cartoons, especially east european styled prints that sit somewhere between folk art, pop, and propaganda graphics. In the 90s he studied Graphic Arts in Duesseldorf and discovered a passion for woodblock printing. For the last 10 years he has been creating posters with a wide range of whimsical creatures, mostly half animal/half human, preferential in awkward situations.
Most of Andrés Medina‘s photographs are of places and things we might overlook or have forgotten about.
Dina Litovsky‘s work examines “group interactions in both public and private spaces.” In her series Bachelorette, Litovsky turns the lens on the long-standing tradition of the bachelorette party, observing females actively performing the rituals you may have heard about but never witnessed.
Emile Morel creates surreal digital illustrations reminiscent of whimsical childhood fantasies such as The Neverending Story and Where the Wild Things Are. His illustrations depict dream worlds, often with children, and heavily feature anthropomorphic characters rife with bestial and primal imagery. His work is evocative of fairy tales, complete with a dark and foreboding element encapsulated in the “grotesque” nature of some of his figures and human animal hybrids. Intimate and highly allegorical, Morel’s attention to detail, especially in this medium, is impressive.
First grade school teacher Russell Powell takes a favorite children’s past time and has turned it into something awesome. Using ordinary acrylic paints, he builds up realistic portraits of celebrities, musicians or cultural icons on his palms, then while the paint is still wet, he stamps them onto paper. He calls the process ‘hand stamping’ and has no doubt developed his skill over the 14 years he has been teaching kids to explore their own creativity.
Powell is able to utilize the lines, textures and indents of his hands to add to the detail of the faces he paints. He has stamped the faces of many – from TuPac, to The Girl With The Pearl Earring; from Kurt Cobain, David Bowie and Gwen Stefani, to the Dalai Lama. Powell has also been working on some original artworks – or rather faces that he creates as he paints. His pieces usually have a empathy about them; it is easy to see the San Jose based artist is a lover of people, characters and their humanity.
I have a soft side for artists and designers who emerge from the punk rock/DIY scene. It’s probably because I grew up going to punk shows, making zines, and not fitting in with my own boring suburban surroundings . So when I opened my inbox and saw the work of Wasted Rita I immediately was drawn into her world of teen angst and brutal honesty. It reminded me of the same energy my friends and I had when we first started Beautiful/Decay. Thanks for keeping the dream alive Rita!
Photographer Cheuk Lun Lo‘s series of hair in media rinse is stylish and playful. The hair is teased into tangles and swirls, white shampoo tinting the curves like seafoam. Some of the spikier specimens begin looking like sea creatures if you stare at them too long; another is reminiscent of a hedgehog. One photo, an unassuming, almost shy curl of hair, looks like something you might find in a shower drain — a big cowlick, basically.
According to My Modern Met, Lo’s photo series first appeared in the Chinese magazine Numero Magazine. The photo series in a way defies conventional standards of beauty: the meticulous grooming, the impeccably ironed clothes, the put-together and perfectly powdered face. Instead, Lo’s photos show that the unusual can be captivating; pinned to a dark background, these half-washed yet fully conceived hair styles are mysterious and lovely in a way that perhaps wouldn’t be possible for a finished product with a shiny veneer. (via My Modern Met)
Melbourne-based artist The Black Math (TBM) changes the meaning of portraits by adding simple line art to the subjects of the photographs. This fusion results in a unique style where parts of a model’s face is completely obscured by black or white shapes and different symbols and markings are drawn over top. It shifts the emphasis from fashion and lifestyle and to something that has an entirely new narrative. Now, there’s something mystical and mysterious as we try to make sense of what TBM has drawn.
All of the photos that the artist altered are of conventionally “beautiful” people, and he transforms them into something we don’t recognize. They’re made especially eerie when the pupils are removed from the eyes. At one point these people’s aesthetically-pleasing appearance probably sold some sort of product. Now, given an entirely new voice and meaning, they are saying something entirely different, which doesn’t necessarily pertain to consumerism.