Bart Hess, perhaps best known as the guy who did the slime art in Lady Gaga’s videos, creates work that distorts the human body in delightful and troubling ways. Visually, it’s astonishing. Hess intersects high fashion and fine art with an ease reserved for very few. His visually tactile aesthetic is informed by a marriage of hand-craftsmanship and digital retouching.
Hess’s recent projects, entitled Heart to Mouth, MUTANTS, and Shaved, respectively, use futuristic materials and textures to blur the boundary between textile and skin. “My work involves a lot of handcraft and a lot of work behind the computer,” Said Hess in a recent interview. “These two opposite work-methods inspire each-other. Personally I think that making for example an animations helps me to think differently about the movement of a textile.”
Hess’s mixture of craft and computer is marvelous to witness, because while he plays on tropes about the human body, he doesn’t offer any suggestion as what to think about it. It’s a purely visceral, colorful, and visually arresting experience. The rest is up to the viewer. (via gaite)
Budapest-based designer Zsolt Molnár created an illustrated poster for every episode of the popular television show, Breaking Bad. It took the designer five months to produce 62 full-color posters, which are minimalist representations of iconic moments in each episode and include an important object or person that’s accompanied by a memorable quote.
If you’ve ever watched Breaking Bad, you’re aware that it’s basically an hour-long anxiety attack. The tension between characters and situations in the show is intense and suspenseful. It takes place in New Mexico, and in every episode we’re inundated with saturated colors of sand and the desert. Molnár styles his illustrations similarly, like gritty texture with a pop color, like Walt’s green shirt or a destroyed pink teddy bear. They are contained in their compositions, and rely on symbolism of objects and colors in every poster.
Molnár has posted his handiwork on his Tumblr. If you haven’t seen the entire show and don’t want any potential spoilers, then you might want to hold off on scrolling through the his series until you’ve watched it. (Via Buzzfeed)
Hikari Shimoda’s most recent series of paintings blends the innocence of childhood with the fears and challenges od adulthood. By combining cute looking round eyed kids with scenes of horror or despair, she establishes a connection between the carefree days of being a child, and the harshness of the contemporary world in which these children grow up. Although her paintings depict children dressed in superhero outfits, playing together, or surrounded by cute looking objects and creatures; a closer look will allow you to notice the dark details, blank stares and distant fires which are also part of the composition.
Shimoda’s use of cheerful, bright colors and manga inspired drawing giver her pieces a mistaken air of simplicity. The beauty of her work lies in the details and, in taking the time to look closely at what she puts in her paintings. Little things like sparkly stickers, and little messages scrawled in round handwriting to piles of toy rabbits, hospitals and burning homes. Through her candy colored scenes she addresses issues of emotion, identity, existence and, our relationships sith others. The children in her pieces are both the messengers and the creators of this message. She has created a magnificent combination of the carefree aspects of childhood and the worries and challenges of adulthood in a mixture of bittersweet portraits.
Simon Beck’s geometric landscape artwork doesn’t require much more than a good snowfall, careful planning, and a lot of patience. To produce his works, the artist treks through miles of snow, patterning his walk carefully to create large scale designs. The results of his efforts can best be viewed aerially, as they cross acres of land. Conveniently, he’s installed some of his work under ski lifts and across valleys, where they can dazzle passersby.
Beck’s work is reminiscent of a Tibetan Sand Mandala, which too requires hours of work (his snow patterns take 8 to 10 hours to complete), has ritualistic movements, and whose existence is fleeting. Both will eventually be destroyed, as it is inherent and built into the ritual. But, while the breakdown of a mandala is ritualistic, Beck’s snow murals are at the whim of mother nature. (Via Huffington Post)
When viewing (usually photographic) evidence of Dutch artist Berndnaut Smilde‘s fantastical cloud works, the first question is usually: “Is it real?”
Yes, it’s actually a small, perfect indoor cloud.
The next question you might have is “How?” The answer is shrouded in Smilde’s process, which requires deftly precise observations of humidity, temperature, air movement and lighting. Existing for just one perfect moment, then slipping away, his clouds are carefully documented via photograph, but in the video above—the viewer gets a glimpse at the cloud-making event, narrated by the artist. The strange, beautiful creations appear and fades, serving as both a physical phenomena and a lilting metaphor for grasping at the ephemeral.
Young Unbecoming (2015). Ceramic, glaze, glass, resin, epoxy, and plasticine.
Young Unbecoming (detail view) (2015).
Lunacy (2015). Ceramic, glaze, glass, resin, epoxy, and plasticine.
Coupling (2015). Ceramic and glaze.
Meghan Smythe is a California-based (Canadian-born) artist who creates expressively disturbing sculptures of crushed flesh and glistening viscera. The muted, peaches-and-cream colors are initially deceiving in their innocence; emerging from the twisted monuments are dismembered and defleshed body parts, shaved down and mashed together. Like a theater of the grotesque, faces gasp from beneath piles of entrails and moldering skulls, and limbs reach and splay in dynamic expressions of violence, love, lust, and tenderness. Much like the contortions of passion and death, the energy rolls throughout the compositions, oscillating between states of vigor and exhaustion. Leah Ollman, having reviewed Smythe’s recent solo show at the Mark Moore Gallery, provided this spot-on description of “Young Becoming” for The Los Angeles Times:
“Limbs are entwined, tongues extended. Clay is rarely, if ever, this carnal. Some of the skin is mannequin-smooth but veined with cracks. Some seep a pink foam or a pale fecal flood. Erotic pleasure plays a part here, but is only one of many competing charges” (Source).
By displaying representations of body parts in surprising (and unsettling) reconfigurations, Smythe brings the charges of pleasure and agony, beauty and squalor to the operating table. Displayed for us are simultaneous births and deaths, made almost indecipherable by the material realities of the body: the fluids, the waste, the mess of living, and the will to survive. In “A Light Culture”, for example, a man with a severed arm and scarred flesh sits quietly, wounded but pensive, while a disembodied hand gropes at his erection. Elsewhere, in “Lunacy”, a decapitated subject grimaces in despair while reaching for his heart. More tenderly still, in “Coupling”, two hands lie adjacent to each other and touch lightly. In moments of both intimacy and horror, Smythe turns the possibilities and limitations of the flesh into sculptures and makes them strangely beautiful.
Visit Smythe’s website and the Mark Moore Gallery to learn about her work and see additional images. Check out Ollman’s article for a captivating description of the solo show.
Debra Baxter, You have to believe we are magic, (barf bag)
These four artists are interested in exploring nature through crystals, minerals and natural stones. Toronto-based Carly Waito makes small oil paintings (about 5×6 inches) of crystals and minerals. Inspired by the natural world Waito is interested in geology, geometry and light. With a sense of wonder and curiosity, Waito explores via paint tiny mineral specimens, revealing the beauty and magic nature is capable of creating.
Seattle-based Debra Baxter uses stones and minerals, and their contrasts or relationships to investigate human interactions. To address notions such as human power plays, vulnerability and gender differences, Baxter plays titles like You have to believe we are magic (barf bag), 2010 off visual displays of ceramic, minerals and reflective acrylic. Her sculptures become small visual metaphors replete with symbols and juxtapositions that form ideas and narrative.
Amy Brener works by layering resin, glass and Fresnel lens to create light sensitive sculptures that resemble large crystals or minerals. Brener’s process involves mixing and pouring pigmented resin into wooden frameworks. Only able to control certain aspects of the process, Brener embraces the surprises that happen along the way. The process gives her sculptures a quality that exists between the geological and the man-made.
Jonathan Latiano’s Points of Contention, 2011, was an installation at School 33 Art Center in Baltimore. The piece was made out of plastics, resins and polymers and appeared to be exploding out of the floor. Meant to address the effects the sculpture’s materials have on the geological landscape, Latiano’s work is a visual reminder of our impact on nature.
It’s always interesting to see what graffiti writers do in the fine art world. Some keep rehashing the same work on canvas, losing all of the power that energized the work by having it in the streets. However some artists such as the legendary Dutch graffiti artist Delta take what they’ve learned through their years of painting letterforms and create amazing new works that re-imagine architecture, space, installation and painting. Wondering what Delta’s graffiti looked like back in the day? Click the read more button and check out the last image.