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Made With Color Presents: Anja Priska Is Monkeying Around With Humanities Fate

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It’s Tuesday which means it’s time once again for our exclusive partnership with premiere website building platform Made With Color to bring you the best contemporary art and design from around the world. Our friends at Made With Color help creative people from all walks of life build sleek and user friendly websites in minutes, allowing artists to use their spare time doing what’s important, making art! This week we’re excited to bring the work of London based artist and Made With Color user Anja Priska.

Since 2009 monkeys, one of the most common and ambiguously-loaded animals in the history of art, occupy an increasingly important role in the work painter and sculptor Anja Priska. Mixing elements of hard edged abstraction, pop culture, and humor, Priska creates wonderfully bizarre worlds where our DNA sharing cousins run amuck, kick back, and most of all make us humans take a closer look at ourselves.

Constantly developing the primates in her work into metaphors of the intuitive process of being, Priska gives them the suggestion of a voice on humanity’s fate as well as their own. By performing caricatured roles of humans the monkeys hold up a mirror to their audience, making us aware of how much we mimic ourselves and others in order to be.

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The Bad Ass Illustrations of Mark Todd

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Mark Todd is an illustrator based out of Los Angeles who’s revered as a mystical figure in the world of zines. His booths are always the most presentable and his work has this well-balanced dichotomy of childlike proportions and lucid clarity, which makes for a fun finished product. When he draws people, like he did in his book BAD ASSES, they not only look like perfect personifications of their originals, but also give off this nostalgic vibe as well. It’s like he’s able to channel the innocent energy of the kid in grade school who was the best artist in the class, while also being able to back it up with a vicious stealth attack. I mean, you try drawing someone random like Geraldo Rivera, getting a stranger to recognize it without giving them any hints, and then repeating it with others — so now the strangers not only recognize your subjects, but also your own style as an artist as well. Mark is a busy guy and when he isn’t influencing the crap out of young minds at Art Center or working on a commercial project, he and his wife, Esther Pearl Watson, run the publishing company Fun Chicken.

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Arian Behzadi

Arian Behzadi BoyWednesday morning presents an anomaly… one who utilizes the left and right side of the brain: Biologist and Artist Arian Behzadi.  Currently a Biology student, Arian squeezes in design time in between classes.  You can see more after the jump, and on Arian’s Flickr photostream.

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Rona Pondick

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Combining steel cast human body parts with various members of the animal kingdom, Rona Pondick has been riffing on the art world’s fascination with physical transformation for over a decade. Her animal/human hybrid sculptures look like the monsters in my nightmares!

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The Art Of Disappearing: Stefanie Klavens Documents Vanishing Drive-Ins

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Stefanie Klavens has a love for 20th century pop culture and Americana. In her articulate photographic series, titled “Vanishing Drive-Ins,” Klavens documents the disintegration of the American drive-in. Once a popular social and entertainment aspect, it has been slowly disappearing from the United States. As Klavens explains, “The drive-in has suffered the same fate as the single screen theater. Before World War II the drive-in was a modest trend, but after the war the craze began in earnest, peaking in popularity in the late 1950s and early 1960’s. Drive-ins were ideal for the modern family, everyone jumped into the car, no babysitter needed. ‘Car culture’ had officially arrived as a dominant force on the American scene.”

Despite the rapid popularity of the drive-in, they simply could not stand the test of time. Klavens attributes their decline to the evolution of technology and altered views of land: “Over time, changing real estate values began to have an effect on the drive-in. Land became too valuable for a summer-only business. Widespread adoption of daylight saving time in the mid 1960’s subtracted an hour from outdoor evening screening time. The decline was further hastened by the advent of VCRs and home video rentals. In the 1950s there were over 4,000 drive-ins nationwide. Today there are fewer than 400.”

These photographs, with their heavily saturated colors and blurry prolonged exposures, showcase some of the few drive-ins that are still functioning with a romantic nostalgia. The structures and signage may be antiquated, but the car types and models are a dead ringer for our era.

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Alex Varanese- Bent Curcuit Type

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Typographer and illustrator Alex Varanese combines 3d techniques with traditional print design techniques in circuit bent type series of illustrations. I like the consistent and specific use of red in all of Alex’s work. Im not sure what you would call the shade but it’s an iconic palate that’s modern and vintage at the same time.  Alex also has a nice array of custom type on his site. More images after the jump.

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Pieter Hugo Documents South Africa’s Scars Of Colonialism

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Pieter Hugo’s “Kin” is the photographer’s closer look into his motherland and a personal approach to the incredible human diversity surrounding him. Hugo’s photo series from South Africa depicts the issues of race, social status, economical despair, sexuality and his own place in such “fractured, schizophrenic, wounded, and problematic place”.

Despite being complicated in content, Hugo’s photographs carry a distinctly serene, calming style and the sense of connection between the photographer, camera and the subject. Regardless of who’s in frame, an unknown homeless drifter, domestic servant, or his pregnant wife, Hugo captures their essence and tension in a simple static shot.

“[Kin] is an engagement with the failure of the South African colonial experiment and my sense of being ‘colonial driftwood. [South Africa] is a very violent society and the scars of colonialism and apartheid still run very deep. Issues of race and cultural custodianship permeate every aspect of society, and the legacy of forced racial segregation casts a long shadow.”

Based on his photographic approach, Pieter Hugo raises questions to himself and searches for answers through his work. How should one live in this diverse society? Should one accept the historical aftermath for granted or try to change it? How to raise a family in these circumstances?

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Jonathan Bréchignac’s Meticulous Ballpoint Pen Drawings Inspired By Muslim Prayer Rugs

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Intricate patterns, lines and geometric motifs drawn with a Bic, a classic French ballpoint pen. Jonathan Bréchignac, head designer of the JoeAndNathan studio based in Paris fills rather large white pages with complex drawings. The first few ones of his ‘Carpets’ series were meant to represent by their sizes, shapes and ornaments; a Muslim prayer rug.

Jonathan Bréchignac takes about six to eight months to complete a design. He painstakingly depicts directly on paper. He traces directly with no draft before hand. What he designs is directly inspired by Muslim art and architecture. He smoothly blends traditional non-figurative Arabic patterns to modern motifs and elements from French Roman, traditional Japanese, Native American and Mexican culture.

Why does he uses a Bic? A Bic is a typical french pen with a fine point which allows to write and trace minuscule details. It’s cheap, effective, lasts long and has been used for decades from French students to workers in factories. It’s the equivalent to a yellow pencil for Americans.

There’s no rush or deadline when Jonathan Bréchignac starts working on a piece. He likes the idea of dedicating some of his precious time to a long process achievement. In his field, making sketches and pitching ideas can take quite a long time and can be thrown away in a matter of seconds. The idea behind the Muslim rug drawings is to create a long lasting and pleasurable work of art. (via Design Boom).

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