Cuban artist Rubén Fuentes creates euphoric and surreal ink landscapes that serve as an admiration of nature as well as a quest within a meditative and serene space. Fuentes, inspired by the lush greenery of his homeland, uses his work as a means to sympathize and glorify “all of the ecosystems of our planet.” He greatly uses Chinese shan shui ink drawings as an influence methodically, aesthetically, and philosophically. Shan shui works are known for their beautifully detailed yet simultaneous almost mystical, abstract and dreamlike quality. They are strongly referential to Daoist notions of living in harmony with all— and, similar to the Abstract Expressionist movement — shan shui paintings bend and evolve the notion of what a painting is meant to achieve; these works are a vehicle for less tangible elements such as meditation and philosophy. Fuentes believes that art acts as a means of self reflection, and thus, creating art allows one to practice and improve on one’s ethical behavior and cognitive self. Therefore, the act of creating art is simultaneous, in a sense, to the act of meditation.
Within the statement of his series titled Mind Landscapes, Fuentes’ states that he tries “to represent in my art works an inner strength, a cosmological and telluric force within us that transcends the duality of matter and spirit. The practice of zen, along with a worship of mother earth and the invocation of vital forces in nature, inherited from the past of the native Cubans, Afro-Cuban culture, as well as Chinese Taoism, mark the center of my latest works.” (via INAG)
Vinicius Costa creates glossy surreal worlds where anything is possible. In his densely rich and bizarre worlds plants take on human characteristics, pill bottles are turned into homes, and nature is replaced with richly frosted cupcakes and sweets. I’m not sure about you but I’d be first in line to live in Vinicius’ deliciously insane world.
Larry Mantello’s colorful sculptures are candy coated shrines to american pop culture. Bright colors, glossy finishes, and cheap imported materials remind us of why pop culture is so appealing and disgusting all at once.
Karin Waskiewicz‘s paintings directly address the physical properties of painting utilizing both conventional and unconventional methods. Waskiewicz’s process beings with acrylic paint applied in thick layers creating a collection of colors to later be unveiled. After the layers are applied, one mark is made. Every mark is a reaction to the shape, placement, and color of the previous marks made. The painting emerges from dry paint as she carves away, excavating the thick surface, intuitively revealing and investigating the depth of the paint, creating a world in paint alone. These paintings reflect formations found in the natural world and the shapes created are both organic and formulated. The repetition of marks connects visually and gives the paintings a vibrational quality and mimic movement. See Karins work in a group show opening April 26th in NYC at Schroeder Romero & Shredder.
In a series titled Future Fatigue, photographer Bryn DC explores feminine power and the battle against gender inequality. Collaborating with a group of female filmmakers, writers, artists, and activists, he portrays “girl gangs” in post-apocalyptic, war-torn environments. Each one is garbed in ways that challenge conventional notions of femininity; wearing ragged clothes, armed with deadly weapons, and their faces streaked with dirt, they manifest and critique a world polarized by violence and identity binaries.
Bryn’s images are color-drenched and cinematic. Blending composition and costume together in story-filled images, he elucidates his themes in ways that are visceral and metaphorical. A lot of his work derives from personal anxieties about the destructive power of hyper-masculinity, in the way it is portrayed in contemporary culture; as he explains in a statement provided to Beautiful/Decay, he fears a world “where violence and blind progress are seen as necessary, and are often celebrated.” In the fictional apocalypse of Future Fatigue, gender binaries are opened to public discourse while the feminine is empowered as its own mode of influence.
Visit Bryn’s website to view more of his works, which often breach on his fascination with the pulls between mythology and reality, life and death. His Instagram profile is also a good resource to learn more about his projects.
What a perfect name for a design super-hero. The making of videos and fight-scene choreography are so entertaining, due to leopard pants wearing said hero. Tarantino and Rodriguez should take these dudes on for the next low-budget flick.
Ella & Pitr are offering the world another version of their art. At a smaller scale, they hand draw and hand make lithographic prints. Always representing their signature characters in the style that defines them. With their ‘Only drawings’ pieces, they add another way to communicate with people, and offer the possibility for their fans to own a piece of their world.
In the video featured below this article, the duo is filmed in the process of making a lithographic print. Lithography is an ancient printing process which uses a stone or a metal plate with a smooth surface to produce paper prints. We watch them drawing together, synchronized and helping each other out. While one is drawing with a paintbrush, the other one is drawing with a nib. The illustration is carefully detailed and it takes the couple five hours to finish it. The characters remain the same approachable, poignant personalities facing life with fear and humour. This drawing called ‘Le Poids De Choses’ meaning the ‘The Weight Of Things’ is developed into a series. Each drawing is personalized, signed and annotated with a serial number; which makes each of them unique and singular.
From giant drawings on rooftops to smaller scaled illustrations, Ella & Pitr are demonstrating that they can appeal to any kind of viewers. They are always careful to go back to street art as it’s their original way to get attention and to create interaction with the public.