It’s funny how “facts” “evidence” and “reality” have a way of changing over time. How do they decide where the line between legal and illegal lies? Sometimes it’s anyone’s guess. Though probably money related. Rena Littleson’s The Truth About Drugs series of graphic illustrations explores these topics and more after the jump.
Canadian artist Kit King and her husband Oda collaboratively paint unbelievable photorealistic portraits that pose questions on beauty, identity and sexuality. The artist couple, who met on Instagram after posting identical drawings, create each of their pieces as complete equal partners, something sort of unheard of for photorealistic collaboration. King and Oda’s work aims to address complex issues about character and selfhood. For example, their works Facelift and Our Little Secret, depict amazingly detailed close ups that provoke feelings of unsettlement and confront the complexity of appearance and eroticism. While Facelift outlines the lengths we are willing to go to for physical perfection, Our Little Secret faces issues of beauty, lust, and objectification. King, in her artist statement, states,
“through a focus on hyperrealism, my paintings are reflections of the ephemeral visual relationships around us. Capturing fleeting moments that affect our emotional state from a singular glance, under the aegis of a heightened sense of reality. My current bodies of work are heavily focused on light and shadow, and how the element of light can alter the relationship of a viewer and subject. The goal being to propel the audience to connect to one transient moment, captured through mood, established from the control of light and shadow.”
Barcelona-based artist Elisa Ancori‘s illustrations are somewhat arcane in nature, like drawings of dryads or nymphs. A common characteristic in Ancori’s artwork seems to be that of metamorphosis, blending animal and human forms. One of her collections is a play on the word: “Metamorfish,” with an aquatic theme throughout.
The allure of her work is in the matter-of-fact anatomical nature of each piece. Even though the subject is fantastical, she isn’t heavyhanded or tongue-in-cheek with her flavor of surrealism. There’s a subtlety to her illustrations. She treats both the grotesque and the sensual with a light hand; the crook of an inviting finger is shaded just as delicately as the soft petal pink of a mermaid’s innards. (via I Need a Guide)
Portrait paintings or portrait embroideries? Cayce Zavaglia wants us to wonder and question the technique she is using. ‘About-Face’ is actually a series of embroideries. And they depict exclusively the artist’s close friends and family members. When flipped around, the portraits become abstract art pieces. “an attempt to show both sides…in hopes of initiating a dialogue about the two sides we each possess: the presented and the private self.’
As a former painter Cayce Zavaglia knows the impact of a brushstroke on the canvas and is therefore able to meticulously transfer the effect onto the tapestries. She begins the process by roughly taking a hundred pictures of her futur subject. She wants to catch the right expression. After selecting just one picture she starts working with one-ply embroidery thread on Belgian linen. She is able to render via fabric and thread the intricate details of blended colors and the texture that imitates oil painting.
The artists wants to create a dialogue between the viewer, the subject and herself. From far, the viewer might perceive the hyper-realist portraits as paintings and that’s ok. Up-close, they realize the mean used is embroidery. And by looking at the reverse side of the piece the viewers can begin to connect with the subject. The back of tapestries were historically never shown to the public. Cayce Zavaglia is making an exception. Because abstraction blurs the boundaries between the viewer and the art piece he/she is looking at and that’s when the dialogue begins to become interesting.
Cayce Zavaglia’s work will be displayed at Lyonswier Gallery in New York from November 5th until December 6th 2015. The artist’s daily process is updated on her Instagram account.
In his third solo show at Team Gallery in New York, Ryan McGinley continues his exploration of youth. Known for capturing spectacular and adventuresome moments, McGinley shifts his focus in “Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere” to stark, intimate portraits. Photographed in his New York studio over 2 years, the hand-picked subjects are shown bare in black and white portraits.
Take a stroll along the High Line in NYC and you can’t help but notice Chelsea’s very own eye-popping mural by Eduardo Kobra on 25th and 10th. This towering piece of street art infuses a rainbow bolt of color into Manhattan’s skyline, emoting nostalgic imagery: re-imagining Alfred Eisenstaedt’s 1945 classic photograph “VJ Day in Times Square.” Likewise, if you live along the west coast in LA, you might have noticed Kobra’s psychedelic Mt. Rushmore redeux at 1255 La Brea Ave, exposing the art of democracy.
Interestingly, this artist is not from America, but São Paulo, where his passion for blending vintage or classic iconic imagery into contemporary settings first emerged in the late 1980s and has traveled internationally ever since. The intention was and is to pay homage to the parts of a country’s past or remind the city inhabitants of their historical precedents– emphasizing a certain level of romanticism.
Tyler Spangler’s digital collages rehash old portraits to uncanny effect. He mixes faces like batter or melts them like wax. Of course this would be much more gruesome were it not for the joyful neon colours he employs. His artwork has the distinct aesthetic of the internet age. Wild patterns and powerful colours are overload for the eye, providing a high level of stimulation pretty much required, now, to incite a strong reaction in the viewer.
In some cases, the overabundance of pattern and colour has the viewer process less, or otherwise require us to take much more time to do it. When there is so much to take in, the options are either to skim over it, or take much more time to engage with it. Spangler has a great range of intensity. Some of his works have 5 or less elements, where other have 20 or more different textures.
Spangler works digitally, and creates all of his graphics himself. Whereas in aesthetic the works can be called collage, he uses a minimum of recycled imagery. In this way, Spangler is more like a painter than a collage artist, creating his own imagined imagery. He is a digital painter easily able manipulate familiar imagery. (Via Hi Fructose)