Erupting skulls and beautifully powerful hybrid animals take over the streets in the work of Puerto Rican artist Alexis Diaz. His work looks more like illustrations at first glance, due to their brilliant line work and convincing detail. However, each bizarre creature is much larger than life, climbing up each wall and towering over the viewer. Mixing a concoction of different animals to form entirely new species is one of the more recognizable trademarks in Diaz’s artwork, along with the repeating, iconic skull. Normally a mark of death, Diaz’s skull often spring forth life, as many of them hold birds that sprout from the cranium. Vivid colors and expressive detail show off this street artist’s skill.
The imagination seen in Alexis Diaz’s work is both incredible and intriguing, as combinations of animals come to life on the walls of the streets. In one mural, an elephant sports tentacles like that of an octopus, while in another, a bear and a buffalo become one creature. In one of Diaz’s most immense and striking murals, a hybrid snake and eagle circle around their prey of a skull with vessels of a heart. The animals rendered in Diaz’s work create a whole new space in which to live, as well as a whole new kind of animal. His handiwork can be seen sprawled all over the walls of the world in places such as Arizona, Puerto Rico, Slovakia, France, Austria, and Mexico.
(via This is Colossal)
Yorgo Alexopoulos is a New York-based artist who creatively uses media to construct immense installations and artworks. He combines his paintings, drawings, photographs and films with digital animation and sound to generate works that often comment on transcendental themes. Generally using multiple monitors or projections, Alexopoulos’ installations have a life to them that relies on rhythm, synchronization and movement. For instance, at Norman Foster’s Bow Building in Calgary, Alberta, Alexopulos created a 27 channel video installation that is otherworldly and stunningly beautiful (even just in images).
For his last solo show at Cristin Tierney gallery in New York, Transmigrations, Alexopoulos was inspired by his early paintings. Using the Constructivist movement formed in Russia in the early 20th century as his point of departure, Alexopoulos investigated a narrative based on folklore, magic and spirituality. Alexopoulos incorporated images, videos and paintings to create an animated journey. Part Moholy-Nagy kinetic sculpture, Jennifer Bartlett’s Rhapsody, and early landscape painting, Transmigrations is, as stated in the press release for the exhibition, a “contemplation and reverence of nature and all aspects of our universe that are beyond comprehension.”
Alexopoulos recently completed a permanent video installation for Chicago’s IBM building that is equally engaging and mesmerizing.
Petrina Hicks’ latest series Beautiful Creatures appeals to our senses. Immediately alluring the large-scale, hyper-real photographs, are all rendered so clearly and with such control that they are reminiscent of advertisements, promoting a slick new television series perhaps, or teen clothing range. But with a series of little ruptures, within images and between them, Hicks disrupts our usually beguiled response to such artistry. For her, photography’s capability to both create and corrupt the process of seduction and consumption, is of endless interest.
In her 2010 series Every Rose Has Its Thorn (last two images), Hicks subtly and quietly teases the threads of consumerism and unravels the relationship between beauty and money. As if to understand the mechanics of this art she pulls it apart, extracting, classifying and itemizing elements of visual seduction. Perfect pink roses, bunches of grapes, fluffy white kittens, and stone statues of an idealized human form, reappear as Hicks distils recurring motifs, singles-out illusory devises and over-saturates symbolism. It is seduction on steroids. In a time when so much fine art photography embraces the banal and anti-aesthetic as a distancing device from ever-seductive commercial imagery, Hicks has taken a radically alternative approach.
This is Psychic Owl, and (after the cut) his friends, Protection, Philistine Bear, Ancient Feud, and Laser Fox–an elite force of woodland creatures, and one aye- aye(?), here to protect the mountain ranges surrounding Denver. Really, I just wanted to highlight the enjoyment I get from artist Rob Mack’s titles and his beautiful mix of old world techniques plus laser vision.
Video and performance artist Kevin Gaffney directed this trippy music video for a Japanese popstar figure Pseudo Nippon that is almost all equal parts Snoop Dog’s “Sexual Seduction”, Gunther’s “Ding Dong Song” and “Vermillion Pleasure Night” (sort of a Japanese version of MadTV or Saturday Night Live… but more fantastical). Feel free to Google any of these listed, you won’t be disappointed.
I think I heard Pseudo Nippon sing this chorus in his song: “If you want war, I’ll eat your family. If you want peace I’ll still eat your family”….ummm…epic!!
French artist Marie Blanchard draws nice illustrations with what appear to be markers (I can’t tell as the site is in French). I like how minimal they are; she really explores just how little can be in an illustration and still have it be a legitimate piece. She also runs a book imprint called Shining Books, which recently published her latest book, entitled Echoes.
The Australian-based photographer Steve Axford captures some mind-boggling fungi, including tropical mushrooms that had likely not been caught on film prior to these images. Compelled to adventure into obscure places left unexplored by most men, the artist documents strange organisms, many of which are found in his native area, the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales. A number of species exhibited in his body of work exist in more temperate zones, like Tasmania and the state of Victoria.
Axford, a retired computer system designer and manager, hopes to marry science and art. His photographs, in addition to being beautiful, are useful in the identification and cataloging of species previously undocumented. Prior to Axford’s efforts, the hairy mycena, a snowy white mushroom with a fuzzy cap and a translucent stem had not been spotted or archived in Australia. The same holds true for the blue leratiomyces, a plant native to New Caledonia and Lord Howe Island.
Seen here in striking detail are the most uncanny of fungi species, each enchanting in its own magical way. Some are bioluminescent, glowing an electric green in the night air; others are impossibly delicate, sprouting elegantly from moistened tree trucks. Unexpected colors spill into nature’s canvas with the growth of purple, blue, pink, and bright red mushrooms. The artist explains that photography has gifted him with the opportunity to slow down and absorb the earthly wonders that surround him; in shooting these strange, spindly lifeforms, he gives us the opportunity to do the same. Take a look. (via Colossal)