At first glance the work of Koreon artist Seong Tae Jin may look like you average painting but as you get closer to these hyper-colored scenes you realize that the surface of each piece is meticulously carved out of a single piece of wood revealing secret texts, patterns, and marks. The result is a cartoon filled world where strange figures carry out strange behaviors on a bed of never-ending scratches, cuts, and scrapes.
Lots of great illustration, storyboards, layouts, and motion work by Buenos Aires based Plunk Studios.
Portia Munson turns one thousand garages worth of plastic kitsch and junk into surprisingly beautiful mounds of stuff that both uplift and mock our contemporary consumer culture. Portia will have a new installation at the PPOW exhibition “Debris” opening March 20th- if you are in NYC be sure to check it out.
Italian-based twin brother design team (who go by the nom de guerre) Van Orton Design created a hit recently with their latest project of stained-glass style movie posters. Digitally composing the images using iconic characters and scenes from each film, Van Orton replaced saints and religious iconography with pop-culture standards like the Terminator, The Joker and Jack Burton, juxtaposing them with the time-honored (and increasingly disappearing) art of stained glass sectioning.
Van Orton’s selection of now-classic films from the science-fiction, action and cult fantasy genres adds an interesting element to the genesis of these designs, in that they seem to replicate stained glass coloring books more than the classical stained glass reminiscent of Europe’s grand cathedrals. This design choice adds to the light-hearted and nostalgic mood of the series, and appropriately separates it from ‘high art’ (though the Batman Poster for example certainly has visual similarities to the work of famous British artists Gilbert & George). The combination of thin and thicker black lines (replicating the lead used to secure colored glass) holds a wide prismatic array of colors, which also brings a unique, crisp quality which can only be achieved through delicate digital design.
You can purchase your own posters (pre-colored or not) by Van Orton Design here.
Philadelphia-based artist Mike Tanis produces intricate paper sculptures using a combination of origami and kirigami techniques. If you’re not familiar with what those are, they’re Japanese art forms that fold and cut paper in complex ways without the help of glue. Here, Tanis has used these methods to create abstract structures that appear soft and wavy as well as splintered and fractured. Sometimes, it’s hard to tell that they’re made of paper.
Tanis tells Quanta Magazine that he uses a scalpel to make any cuts and doesn’t use directions or crease patterns. “I start with a folding technique or principle and improvise once I start to feel the 3d form developing,” he explains. The results are dramatic forms that are reminiscent of architecture and nature. His taller, cut-paper structure mimic skyscrapers while his completely-folded pieces conjure images of the beach or a mountainscape.
Something feels oddly luxurious about John Breed’s strange mixed media sculptures and installations. His work largely depicts a capitalistic culture of excess and its relationship with death, the most provocative of which includes the implementation of skeletons, animal and human. In “Goodbye Paradise“, Breed portrays a silver-plated Edenic scene of human and animal skeletons, speaking to the nature of renewal that is perpetually haunted by our eventual decay. His work breathes new life into these skeletons and other found objects by coating them resin,silver, or gold, giving them an effect of purity and newness. Threaded throughout his work is the idea of monetary value and how the value of something fluctuates within a newer, shinier context. Perhaps the work that best encompasses our excessive capitalistic culture is “In God We Trust,” an installation comprised of silver-plated pig skeletons labeled with the names Lehman Brothers, Goldman Sachs, Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch, and citi bank. Breed lives and works in The Netherlands.
Photographer David Chancellor‘s series Hunter documents South African big game Hunting. Chancellor explains that while hunting safari’s were once particularly fashionable among the leisure class, the activity has since undergone some changes. Land that had once been dedicated to farming and livestock now serve as big game ranches – a place professional hunters can once again kill for sport. Chancellor captures the complex relationship between hunter and hunted, which is rendered even more complex by modernization. He says that the series is “a long term project documenting human/wildlife conflict in all it’s forms, Hunters explores the complex relationship that exists between man and animal, the hunter and the hunted, as both struggle to adapt to our changing environments.”
Artist Matt Nichols takes craftsmanship to a new level by pairing bold symbols with an acute sensibility for surface material. While stunning as photos, the work is best experienced in person. Physically interacting with these sculptures definitely forced me to reevaluate the relationship I had to the familiar iconography he often uses as a point of entry for the viewer. Nichols comes from a serious design back ground, being largely responsible for much of the visual branding associated with the clothing company Neff. While most would remain comfortable in that roll – he needed to push things further by shifting his focus towards a more physical realm. With the closing of an exhibition at Hungryman Gallery just behind him, new work is already on the way. Having recently returned to the Los Angeles area you can expect to see his name popping up in galleries across the SoCal area in the very near future.