Rustam Qbic specializes in street art that seems larger than life. His paintings are saturated with lush storybook colors and are defined by a playful sense of the absurd. Popping up in both expected and unexpected locales, his murals beautify not only the crumbling walls of derelict buildings but also that of apartment buildings.
There’s a stunning sense of synthesis between Qbic’s art and its surroundings. His art recalls the various motifs of house and home, nature, and man’s role. The juxtaposition of the familiar with the unexpected evokes a magical feeling of whimsy. A boy lounges in a boat full of houses while a man with a house for a head unleashes a flock of birds. Yet another boy rides a fish under lily pad clouds — and another man with a house for a head fishes peacefully in a creek. The theme plays over and over again.
Qbic’s work almost seems to suggest that we are inextricable from our environment. Like a dream folding in on itself, it’s impossible to tell where our influence ends and where nature begins. (via This Is Colossal)
Nick Blinko is considered an outsider artist. He also leads the relic punk band Rudimentary Peni. No one knows much about him other than a few smapshots of him and a few documents recording the time he spent in a psychiatric ward as a youth. subsequently, he believes that the anti-psychotics prescribed to him obstruct his creative impulses and spends long periods off of his medication, recording and creating detailed compositions of faces, coffins, figures, handwritten notes. I think appreciating his work helps if you are familiar with his music too. Surprise! he never made a website either.
You’ve probably seen the work of Berlin/Vancouver based collective eBoy (or that of someone biting their aesthetic) at some point. Svend Smital, Steffen Sauerteig, and Kai Vermehr make up the core of the group, and they’ve created their very own world full of pixelated characters and environments through years of illustration, design, and animation work. The eBoy vision is pretty much fully realized, now everyone gets to enjoy taking part in it. The pattern design above is particularly amazing.
Want to see more by eBoy? Check out our exclusive feature on them as well as the cover art they created specially for us in Beautiful/Decay Issue:G
I gotta admit that I was really excited to see Died Young Stayed Pretty, a new full length documentary focusing on the DIY rock poster (see gigposters.com) movement that has brewing in the US and beyond for the the last decade. The doc has hundreds of interviews with big names (many of whom you’ve never heard of) within the close knit rock poster scene,who discuss personal taste, poster philosophies, and what role money,drugs, and 70’s&80’s porn plays in rock posters. Many of the artists interviewed are amazingly talented (i.e. Tyler Stout & Brian Chippendale) and interesting, sharing with the viewer a small glimpse of their creative process.
Yoshitoshi Kanemaki sculpts incredible life-sized metaphors from camphor wood. Once he finishes chiseling in each furrowed brow and dabbing on painted flesh, what stands before him is a character that is beyond human. All of Kanemaki’s subjects seem to be between thoughts, complex humans who are plagued by existential terror while simultaneously wondering if they left the stove turned on.
One sculpture, a many-headed girl, shows every shade of expression from happiness to surprise. A six-eyed woman glances left, right, and straight ahead at the ground. It’s almost as though Kanemaki has sought to capture the various elements of the psyche in action — a glimpse of id, ego, and super-ego at play.
Just as his previous sculptures, Kanemaki riffs on the theme of emergence. Mirror images are attached like siamese twins. A peculiar case of mistaken, misplaced, or misremembered identity, it’s diffiult to tell which is real and which is doppelganger. (via Laughing Squid)
Perhaps more so than any other form of art, street art has the capacity to engage with the neighborhood its found in. The work of artist Ernest Zacharevic, also known simply as ZACH, takes this to a literal extent. ZACH’s murals are often found interacting with features of the building or objects nearby. A bike leaning against the wall becomes a vehicle for a spray painted child or dock posts become giant pencils. ZACH highlights the life of the city in a way by actually making it come alive. The walls seem poised to interact with passersby, and encourage engagement.
Cris Bruch’s work might be found on a more tasteful version of planet Pandora. His shapes have this mysterious, organic quality that I imagine existing on an alien planet populated by giant blue people who are really into saving the environment and stuff. His exhibition at Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Gather and Wait, from July 1st – August 28th explores the artist’s creative process through a series of drawings, photographs of works in progress, and completed sculptures.