LOL, I have so many visas, would you like to marry me? No kidding, Leonard Combier. He takes ordinary passports and transforms them into a magnificent compact world of intrinquite drawings, quotes, tiny details and intertwined stamps. Depths of ink cover these passports with Gotham Googly looking characters with large bubble eyes.
His carefully calculated doodles are constructed with hundreds of shapes, forcing you to take a closer look at the passport and dissect the different stories. Eyeballs are common throughout his drawings and staring back at you-makes sense on a passport. This circus spectacle must be a sight for customs officer!
Beth Scher‘s “Female Soldiers” series depicts women in the military adorned with embroidery and other decorative elements. Scher’s mixed media paintings explore ideas concerning femininity and strength. Her images feature women in a variety of military contexts – Scher’s embellishments of her female figures recalls the idea of a “decorated” soldier while also referring to the art of craft and embroidery, concepts normally found within in a domestic setting. In images that include a bulls eye or target image, Scher conceals the women’s faces with black thread, evoking a sense of expendability that must inhabit a conflict-heavy environment. Scher explains, “In my paintings, I portray them as young women who intentionally seek to display their sexuality and vulnerability, yet are trained killers, in a position of power and placed in serious conflicts. I wonder what the consequences are in a society that must deal with this dichotomy.” (via lustik)
James Thurber said, “Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility,” which seems to be a tactic comic artist and illustrator Kate (Ellen) Lacour has mastered in her recent drawing series Bodies, which she has only described with three words, “body horror beauty.” The motives, inspiration, or goals behind the series have not been disclosed, yet appear to be a distinct side-project from her usual cartooning work, replacing a visually lighter style with a combination of human anatomical drawings found in textbooks. The results twist the familiar style of textbook, anatomical human renderings, creating drawings which utilize symmetry, unique and unusual body arrangements, and religious or spiritual iconography.
Symbolic poses are taken by transparent, headless bodies, such as the Lotus position, a pose with Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist relevance. Lacour (who perhaps tellingly also works as an art therapist) enhances this peaceful, evocative aesthetic by drawing lines with ink and pen but softly coloring the drawings in with food coloring. However, even with the emphasis of religious and anatomical text, the drawings evoke a humorous effect, replacing heads with comically screaming mouths and adding eyes to the Fallopian tubes of a levitating uterus. The most successful works are those which pack in detail, such as Devouring Mother (first drawing, above) where a creation myth entirely new is presented by mixing tales and traditions of the past. (via hi-fructose)
“Ever since industrialization took over mainstream design we have wanted to make objects inspired by nature: from art nouveau and jugendstil to streamline and the organic design of the sixties. But our digital age makes it possible to not just use nature as a stylistic reference, but to actually use the underlaying principles to generate shapes like an evolutionary process…
Trees have the ability to add material where strength it is needed, and bones have the ability to take away material where it is not needed. With this knowledge the International Development Centre Adam Opel GmbH, a part of General Motors Engineering Europe created a dynamic digital tool to copy these ways of constructing used for optimizing car parts. In a way it quite precisely copies the way evolution constructs. We didn’t use it to create the next worlds most perfect chair, but as a high tech sculpting tool to create elegant shapes with a sort of legitimacy. After a first try-out and calculation of a paper Bone Chair, the aluminium Bonechair was the first made in a series of 7. The process can be applied to any scale until architectural sizes in any material strength. The Bone furniture project started in 2004 with a the research of Claus Mattheck and Lothar Hartzheim, published on Dutch science site Noorderlicht.” (via)
Mark Mulroney is currently showing new work at Mixed Greens in Chelsea. The exhibition, entitled We’re Never Getting Rescued With That Attitude, features paradisiacal scenery created with graphite and acrylic applied to both found book paper and carved wood panel, respectively. In addition to reading Gauguin’s letters from Tahiti, studying Tarzan imagery, and internalizing clichéd tropical sunsets, Mulroney investigated 30-years-worth of Playboy and Penthouse magazines in preparation for the show. Click past the jump for some installation views, and check it out in person before April 20th.
Notoriously awe-inspiring Japanese pop artist Keiichi Tanaami has featured some spectacular new works in his show Cherry Blossoms Falling In The Evening Gloom. Since 2010, Tanaami has focused his energy toward the creation of large scale paintings focusing on prominent elements of his childhood, living in wartime Japan. The comic-like characterization of bombs, Mickey Mouse, and war planes, spin together his chaotic dreamscapes, full of hypnotic colors, patterns, and a nearly mirage-like quality.
An excerpt from the exhibition, at Nanzuka Gallery in Tokyo, details the symbolic elements within his work:
“Glowing, grotesque creatures personify bombs and the light of their explosions. Beams of emanating light are the searchlights of Japanese troops keeping watch for American bomber planes. The skeletal monsters that appear in his works represent war casualties, and at the same time function as figures of us, ourselves, who know no fear. A recurring character based on a motif that comes from Tanaami’s wartime memory of goldfish also frequently appears in his works, and is deeply connected to the sight of the light from the American bombs reflecting off of the scales of the goldfish his grandfather kept. Pine trees, seemingly pregnant with animal-like life forms, are based on hallucinations Tanaami witnessed when he nearly died from a pulmonary edema at age.” (Excerpt from Source)
Favio Martinez, better known on the street as Curiot, is a street artist based in Mexico City. His murals and paintings are especially colorful and complex. Curiot has a well-known and easily distinguishable style. Strange creatures populate his compositions. While each creature is definitely alien, Curiot creates them using familiar animal-like components. Often, these creatures are seen being worshiped by comparably tiny people giving the murals. In a way, this pulls Curiot’s work out of science fiction and places it more as a meditation and variations on Mexican Culture. The gallery statement from a recent solo exhibit at FFDG further explains Curiot’s inspiration:
“Curiot’s colorful paintings, featuring mythical half-animal half-human figures and scenes, which allude to Mexican traditions (geometric designs, Day of the Dead styles, myths and legends, tribal elements), are rendered in precise detail with a mixture of highly vibrant yet complementary colors. “Growing up in the States sort of gave me a diluted Mexican culture, I had no clue what I was missing out on until I moved back 10 years ago”, says Curiot. “The bright colors, folklore, ancient cultures and the beautiful handcrafts are some of the things that I embraced and which influence my work deeply”. The 11 new paintings in “Age of Omuktlans” tell the story of man’s distance from his natural path as he focuses his energy on satisfying his material pleasures and the dystopia this creates.”