Hal Lasko, affectionately called ‘grandpa’, creates amazing art pixel by pixel in MS Paint. Lasko worked for years as a typographer creates fonts by hand. Though now 98 years old and suffering from Wet Macular Degeneration – an affliction that causes blindness in his center of vision – Lasko never stopped being an artist. He was introduced to MS Paint by his grandsons and took to the program quickly. MS Paint allows Lasko to “zoom in” on his pieces and work a small part at a time, pixel by pixel. The process is laborious and time-consuming but works perfectly for Lasko, a patient artist. Check out the video to see a short but touching documentary on the artist and his work.
Beautiful explorations and distortions of the human form by sculptor Emil Alzamora.
On top of the Sierra Madre mountains of Mexico there is a town called Taxco where literally everyone participates in a massive reenactment of the last days of Christ with elaborate costumes, processions, and scary hooded men that look more like klansmen than holy men. Photographer Paul Alexander Knox has documented this bizarre religious parade in all its glory complete with Roman soldiers, Judas, baby angels, and of course virgin girls.
By photographing emotionally troubled dogs suffering from abandonment and aggression, the artist Martin Usborne chronicles his own painful struggle with depression. His recent series “Nice to Meet You” tenderly traces unknowable canine narratives by carefully placing the animals behind surfaces and materials: a wet glass pane, a cloud of smoke, pressed flowers.
In distancing the viewer from each creature, the artist paradoxically allows for a heightened level of intimacy with each dog; behind a haunting waterscape or transparent white shroud, each set of eyes glistens and each pointed nose seems to poke through the barrier, begging for closeness with the viewer.
In distorting space with long exposure times and unevenly textured surfaces, Usborne also blurs the notion of time; the animals appear ghostly, shadowy, and otherworldly. As each image leads us farther into this ethereal and lonesome dreamscape, we bear witness to the profound confidences of these gorgeous creatures, and they stare back, inviting viewers to empathize.
Ultimately, Usborne’s canine subjects recall our own murky and lonesome pasts, mirroring the dark places that we normally keep hidden within ourselves. In juxtaposing everyday statements like “I’m fine” and “I also work at the bank” with the charged photographs, the artist paints a portrait of isolation; he himself often repeated automatic phrases like “Nice to meet you” and “You look great” when in the midst of his depression. These animals, partially hidden by fog and fabric, serve as surrogates for we who hide behind words. If only for a moment, these vulnerable faces of dogs remind us that we are not alone; in lending us their quiet companionship, they become our confidantes. (via Design Boom)
Chris Millar’s paintings are an interesting mix between R. Crumb, Robert Williams, and your grandmothers nick nack collection. His work is dense with stories, vignettes, and bizarre scenes that wil l keep you staring at one piece for hours before walking off to the next. Take a look at his website by clicking the title link above for more examples of his bizarre world.
CANADA is a trio of filmmakers, Luis Cervero, Nicolás Méndez & Lope Serrano. Located in Barcelona, they bump out mysteriously sexy music videos that feel like a mix between an Alejandro Jodorowsky film and an American Apparel ad. According to their info page on their website, “…CANADA has pursued excellence in different projects, advertising, fashion, music promotional videos, television and cultural events.” On top of all that fun, they were also guest writers and did an interview with Its Nice That, which helped to shine a bit of light on their interests and personalities. So far, I haven’t seen a video created by them that wasn’t worth watching, but my heart will always belong to the first one I ever saw, El Guincho’s Bombay. You’ll find El Guincho, along with Scissor Sisters, Battles, and other music videos below. Feast.
Ave Rose is a writer and artist whose love for the beautifully macabre has manifested itself into a collection of undead, baroque-styled robotic dolls. Using tiny bones and taxidermied animal parts, Ave brilliantly assembles morbid objects into miniature characters, each one uniquely adorned with intricate clothing and glimmering stones. From rings on clawed fingers, to bejewelled masks, to a delicate, golden dress tailored for frog hips, the detail she crafts is incredible. Each creation is animated with motion mechanics, allowing them to move and sway along with accompanying music, like grotesque music box ballerinas. In an anxious (and sometimes satirical) collision of materiality with the horrors of death and rot, Ave’s living-dead creations ultimately represent the “beauty that can be found in decay and disarray” (Source).
This collection, titled Bestiary of the Automata, was featured as part of the 3rd Biennial Taxidermy Show (2014) at the La Luz de Jesus Gallery in Hollywood. In addition to her dark menagerie, Ave crafts a collection of other motion-infused works, such as mechanical butterflies and Watchbots, which are “miniature robots made of watch parts” (Source). Her works are characterized by compelling double-effects, blending beauty with the bizarre, technology with tradition, and youthful whimsy with the cold, mechanical realities of death. Behind all of the clockwork, darkness, and hints of satire, Ave’s creations celebrate life by fearlessly confronting themes of a macabre nature.
From a distance, artist Ye Hongxing’s works on canvas appear like pointillism technique, as if it’s thousands of tiny painted dots occupying a single canvas. But, as you look closer, her images are much more than that. The small spots of color are actually decorative stickers! Cartoonish dogs, cats, fruit with faces, smiling raindrops, and virtually any cutesy design under the sun make up the complex compositions. They’re a collision of subject matter, and you’ll find pop culture icons, animals, flowers, and historical references are just some of the things you’ll find in these swirling works.
The dizzy mosaic are meant to fuse traditional Chinese imagery with contemporary society. Religious statues, for instance, flow into Darth Vader’s mask. This juxtaposition is the artist’s reflection on China and how its culture has been influenced by the West. “Using stickers is a conscious challenge to traditional and conventional mediums,” she writes in an profile for the Lux Art Institute. “A sticker has an enormous amount of information in it, they reflect the time we’re living in and they are fragmented and mosaic, so I can give them a new order in the landscape I’m creating.”