Benjamin Marra, perfecter of awkward angles and radical tangents and exploding heads and 80’s boobies, recently re-visualized American Psycho in a crisp Pettibon-ish series of drawings. They provide a nice contrast to the way Marra often works his comics, which tend to be explosively high-speed and feverishly paced. He excels at both approaches, and further proves why he is one of the best action comic artists out there. Get deeper, read his blog, visit his website, frequent his webstore, and amazingly, you can buy a bunch of his comics, released from his very own Traditional Comics, for only 16 bones. I bought ’em. You?
I always see those “Keep Austin Weird” stickers everywhere and now that I’ve seen the work of Jaime Zuverza it all makes sense. This Texan illustrator/designer’s lo-fi sensibility mixed with ironic retro imagery is the stuff that’s dreamed of for rock posters. Each mixed media poster is magnificently stranger than the last proving that Jaime is doing his part to keep thing pretty damn weird in Austin!
In Jati Putra’s world, gravity doesn’t apply. People, nature and urbanism move around in total freedom. The sky becomes the ocean, dolphins dive in between seas and people enjoy a day at the beach inside a stadium. The pictures’ new aspect and the washed out colors resemble surrealistic landscapes inspired by Salvador Dali.
The Indonesian graphic designer knows how to manipulate and distort the simplest sceneries and create bizarre yet reassuring new environments. Using photo manipulation, he flips the main subjects around, alters ‘normal’ angles and shifts his characters into intriguing scenarios. The process is achieved in an unpretentious manner. Each picture demonstrates the ability for Jati Putra to envision an imaginary set as close to reality as possible.
Playing with reality, changing perspectives and the way we look at our daily lives. Without extravagant scenarios, the designer creates entertainment that is subtle and graceful. A surfer on the surface of the earth, jellyfish flying over a mountain or a lady admiring the earth imitating a sun-set. There’s no logic in Jati Putra’s elements. Only an invitation to travel in between a dimensional space of his own, drifting the viewer’s unconsciousness from the earth up to the sky, from his reality to his dreams. (Via Design Boom)
Within his series Cowboys, Italian born artist Stefano Galli captures the essence of the rodeo. When encountering Galli’s blurred displays of fast paced moments, at first glance, the images almost take on a painterly aesthetic. The blended earth tones enriched by small marks of what could be cadmium red mimic the sort of guttural intensity found in Abstract Expressionism. Yet, with further inspection, it becomes clear that these moments are, in fact, not abstract at all. Galli’s series displays a hyper specific sensibility of the rodeo — they go beyond what is physically there and take on the challenge to document both the visual and psychological affect the rodeo has on these cowboys. With a crowds of faceless faces, bucking broncos whose warped bodies begin to take the formation of something out of a Francis Bacon painting, and long, lingering lights that possess a cinematic feel, Galli is able to represent the true element of movement. His photographs are a clever answer to create a discourse on a challenging topic for a motionless medium: speed. But, more importantly, his images provoke not only a discourse on gesture, but also on control. What does it feel like to have control when all sense of homeostasis is disrupted? How does one remain in control? And further, through the distortion of the image, is Galli provoking the viewer to lose his or her control? Are we asked to let go of our need to make sense of what we’re seeing? Perhaps, for a moment, we should act on instinct. Delicate yet powerful, Stefano Galli truly exposes a contemporary visual thought process on an age-old tradition.
Maseman is Mason McFee: an artist, illustrator and designer from Austin, Texas. He is the art director for The Screamer Company and an artist for Cyclopean Records. His work blends illsutration and design with vintage photos. While his work seems to include a lot of geometric shapes and abstract elements, it also has a very organic feel. Much of his work seems to include natural elements, such as a wood background or a landscape image. Check out more of his work after the jump, or go to his website.
Artist Fabien Mérelle’s delicate drawings revolve around insecurities and nightmares. His surreal images often feature himself as the main subject, and Mérelle doesn’t exactly paint himself in the greatest light. He’s seen naked, being attacked by giant bugs, and struggling to hold the weight of an entire elephant on his shoulders. It doesn’t look pleasant and the misery seems unavoidable.
While Mérelle’s drawings are self portraits, they speak to a larger audience. Anyone who has felt crippling anxiety, stress, or even just an unpleasant feeling will be able to relate to these heavily symbolic images. They are what nightmares are made out of – not the gruesome ones, of course, but the kind where you feel emotionally spent and groggy when you wake up. (Via Cross Connect Magazine and Hi Fructose)
Los Angeles-based artist Kevin Appel‘s Screen series shows trivial nature photography layered with coloured, transparent materials in different graphic shapes. Appel uses a range of media – acrylic, ink, enamel and print – to achieve this effect, in order to distort the photo by adding a ‘screen’ of new material. More images from the series here:
Shamus Clisset (aka, Fake Shamus) is a digital artist who uses 3D modeling software to construct bizarre and often humorous scenes that multiply reality and critique consumer culture. His work is featured in Beautiful/Decay’sBook 8: Strange Daze, a curated collection of talented artists who explore the realms of the uncanny: parallel universes, psychedelic dream states, supernatural activity, and more. Also included in the book is the work of Neil Krug, a photographer who drenches his shots in hallucinatory colors, bending time and reality to invoke the nostalgia and liberatory zeal of the 1960s. Andrea Wan, a Berlin-based artist, also brings her own flavor of absurdity to the book in the form of surreal illustrations of masked and multiple-headed beings. Strange Daze is ideal for those art lovers and dreamers who wish to challenge everyday banality by exploring alternative visions of the world.
We featured Clisset’s work in 2011, when he was making insane (and often violent) mashed-up universes of trash and cultural signifiers. Since then, Clisset has rebirthed his artistic identity as “Fake Shamus,” a “digital golem” formed out of 3D-rendered objects (Source). The shapes this humanoid beast can take are limitless; in one image he is a mystical being upholstered in grass who summons a collection of empty beer cans; in another he is an industrious builder, his muscular body made out of what appears to be lumps of brightly-colored Plasticine. And while Clisset’s works may appear to have photographic elements, do not be deceived; everything in his images is created in a digital, 3D space. By mimicking reality, Clisset brings up fascinating questions of “authenticity” versus “fakery,” unveiling in the process that the entire world is a strange construction subject to our perception.
To see our feature on Clisset and similar artists, check out Book 8: Strange Daze. Copies are available at a limited quantity in our shop, so grab yours today.