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Just In Time For Winter, Tony Tasset And Three Other Artists Who Create Snowmen Not Out Of Snow

Tony Tasset

Tony Tasset

Todd Hebert

Todd Hebert

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Gary Hume, Back of a Snoman

Kristina Solomoukha, Discoba

Kristina Solomoukha, Discoba

Winter is coming!  Well, not so much in Los Angeles (although it did get down into the 40s last week), but across the country it seems to be looking a lot like Christmas.  One of any creative-minded individual’s favorite winter pastimes is making snowmen.  The four artists listed below take the art form to another level, incorporating the usually ephemeral figures into their art oeuvre in unique and intriguing ways.

Tony Tasset’s snowmen are partly funny, partly sad and partly just amazing sculptures.  Made from glass, resin, brass, enamel paint, poly-styrene, stainless steel and bronze the snow replicas are surprisingly convincing.  Catching a viewer off guard in a gallery setting, the snowmen freeze (pun intended) in time a phenomenon that is never the same—unlike in real life, Tasset’s snow personalities might last forever.

Kristina Solomoukha lives and works in Paris, France.  Her process is a reflection on urban space.  She pulls from codes and vocabulary from urban environments, combining them with her personal ideological view to create individual works and installations.  Playing with words and the absurd, her works, such as Discobaba, magnify and exaggerate existing aberrations.

Identified as a Young British Artist, Gary Hume, now 51, creates his snowmen images and sculptures by reducing them to their simplest forms.  Stacked spheres, the shapes are mere implications of a snowman, allowing a viewer’s mind to complete the association.   Titling the series “Back of a Snowman,” Hume’s works take on a melancholic mood.  We suddenly picture the snowman contemplating his own mortality, which in turn, might make us reflect upon our own.

Described as a pseudo Pop artist Todd Hebert’s meditative paintings apply airbrushed acrylic and super-realistic renderings to common holiday imagery.  The effects are narrative in a way that allows a viewer to be reflective about life at the various points of the year marked by the holidays.

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We Are Plunk

Lots of great illustration, storyboards, layouts, and motion work by Buenos Aires based Plunk Studios.

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Will Sweeney

WillSweeney1Will Sweeney’s illustrations are colorful and awesome, featuring trippy robots and vegetables playing arcade games amongst other chaos.

Will has a new show and an accompanying book available online called “As Above So Below” which runs at the Lazy Dog in Paris until May 8th.  Check out more of his work after the cut and at his website.

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Laylah Ali Continues To Comment On Society With Her Stick Figures

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The stick figures of Laylah Ali are like no other. In her latest show The Acephalous Series which means “headless” she continues on her path of creating a new population of figures with strange expressions and round heads. Her newest resemble vegetables of the cucumber and celery kind. Whereas her former works have studied race relations, torture and hierarchy her newest seem to comment on the state of farming and the food industry. In a number of pieces there seem to be deformities of sorts which could be alerting to chemicals which are rampant in food that isn’t organic. A hybrid baby figure lurking in some might also symbolize sickness affecting unborn and young things. Its sometimes hard to tell with work of this nature what it all means but that’s what makes it both fun and enjoyable. It’s a challenge the artist gives the viewer by making something entirely original.

Ali has been on the international art radar for sometime. She participated in the Venice Bienniale in 2003 and Whitney Biennial in 2004. Her work as a whole is attributed to various types of art stemming from ancient hieroglyphics to comic book serials. She speaks about social issues affecting men, women and minorities using everyday objects such as gym balls, sneakers and sticks.

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Ben Frost’s Subversive Mash-ups of Greasy Food And Figures Of Popular Culture

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Australian artist Ben Frost creates image mashups that combine fast food, pills, and iconic figures of popular culture. He paints these celebrities on things like McDonald’s french fry sleeves and boxes for prescription drugs. We see Superman, Popeye, Mr. T, and even Snoopy the Dog all painted on objects that symbolize excess and gluttony.

Frost finds inspiration for his work from graffiti, collage, photo-realism, and sign writing. It’s not a surprise, as he tags things much like a graffiti artist would. His work is subversive and doesn’t hold back any punches. I’ve included stuff here that’s generally safe for work, but if you check out his website, you’ll see a lot of hyper-sexualized manga-inspired characters. But even with these relatively tame images, you can still sense the scathing critique of the mainstream. Greasy meals, too many pills, and processed foods are rotting our health in a similar fashion that television, media, and politics are rotting our brain.

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Sylvia Ji’s Haunting Paintings Based On Mexican Textiles

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Tonight, FFDG in San Francisco opens Sylvia Ji‘s first solo show with the gallery, “Interwoven” (reception 7-10). Some of these new acrylic paintings on wood seem to expand on the more pattern-based elements of her previous work, inspired by Mexican textiles. The artist’s haunting female figures are present as well and look great as Ji continues to push her brushwork to new levels. These paintings deserve to be seen in person, so get over to Mission St. if you can tonight, where Ji will also be releasing a new print.

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The Photographic Seduction, Ritual, And Tension of Joanne Leah

Photographer Joanne Leah works in “seduction, ritual, and tension”.  Her pieces capture relationships, between two people or art and its viewer, as it alternately relaxes and strains.  In the series featured in this post the angle of the light is severe recalling the chiaroscuro of baroque painting.  The light, though, is cold, almost lonely, emphasizing the solitary figure in each photograph.  Whether, the subject holds teeth in her palm or wields a knife a drama is clearly unfolding.

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Steve Powers

Steve Powers

A Love Letter For You is the name of the current project by NYC graffiti artist Steve Powers, aka ESPO. A recent recipient of a Fulbright grant, Powers is using the money to make these beautiful murals around Philadelphia with the help of local teenagers. The murals, which are clearly very heavily inspired by 20th century American sign painting/vernacular graphic design, are some of my favorite pieces of street art I’ve seen in a while.

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