In Jessica Langley‘s artwork, the staid landscape genre is revivified through jokes, ha-has, and a reworking of the conceptual apparatus attached to depicting the environment. Langley, a adjunct associate professor of art at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, creates new avenues at the margins of “landscape,” by interrogating its space in the human imagination rather than in its physical fact. For instance, in the series Outfitters, Langley explores the troubling conflation of killing nature with loving nature by using the brand names of hunting apparel companies like “Real Tree,” “Open Country,” and “Forever Wild” as edifying doses of black humor. In The Awwand Make CATopia Real (with Ben Kingsley) series, Langley uses kit-kats as a method to defuse all that modernist baggage that accompanies human quests for utopia. But what is CATopia? Extensive networks of imposing cat towers to play on? Free nip for all? It’s unclear, but Langley compels us to consider it worth purrsuing.
Langley is the first artist participating in Skylab Gallery‘s new artist-in-residence program in downtown Columbus, Ohio. Her exhibition at Skylab opens at the end of May 2012. Until then, view more of her work after the jump.
Jesse Fillingham lives and works in Pasadena, CA. His cosmic paintings are usually framed within a geometric void. Drippy figures hover in and out of dark realms and grids. From a recent press release his work is described as “…exploring themes of myth, introspection, creation, and wizardry. A series of drawings depicts an alternate creation myth composed of trees of strife, knowledge and life, as well as ephemeral libidinous spirits – robed men ponder and wander through graphic landscapes.”
Street artist Levalet more than only uses the public space as a canvas. The artist’s wheat paste images interacts with the city itself. His life size subjects lean, sit, and lie down on the surfaces they are pasted on. He even incorporates everyday objects such as books and umbrellas to further bring his work to life. You can find his work on walls, on the street and in galleries, scattered throughout Paris, France. [via]
James Thurber said, “Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility,” which seems to be a tactic comic artist and illustrator Kate (Ellen) Lacour has mastered in her recent drawing series Bodies, which she has only described with three words, “body horror beauty.” The motives, inspiration, or goals behind the series have not been disclosed, yet appear to be a distinct side-project from her usual cartooning work, replacing a visually lighter style with a combination of human anatomical drawings found in textbooks. The results twist the familiar style of textbook, anatomical human renderings, creating drawings which utilize symmetry, unique and unusual body arrangements, and religious or spiritual iconography.
Symbolic poses are taken by transparent, headless bodies, such as the Lotus position, a pose with Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist relevance. Lacour (who perhaps tellingly also works as an art therapist) enhances this peaceful, evocative aesthetic by drawing lines with ink and pen but softly coloring the drawings in with food coloring. However, even with the emphasis of religious and anatomical text, the drawings evoke a humorous effect, replacing heads with comically screaming mouths and adding eyes to the Fallopian tubes of a levitating uterus. The most successful works are those which pack in detail, such as Devouring Mother (first drawing, above) where a creation myth entirely new is presented by mixing tales and traditions of the past. (via hi-fructose)
Paul Loubet’s illustrations remind me of brightly colored Pinatas full of small treats, fun, mouth watering surprises. The above illustration is my favorite out of the bunch. Would make a nice addition to my collection of artist postcards and prints.
Brian Morris loves to draw intricate graphics full of satanic goats, skulls, and evil roses. I can’t really blame him since that’s all I would do if I had his skills. Keep it going Brian and hail seitan!
To keep up my Stockholm-based artists thread, I’m posting the work of Anders Krisar, who has a show up at Union Gallery currently. The top image, “Sonja,” is fabricated from the clothing of a woman who kept every garment from infancy to old age. It’s sort of a strange, corporeal look at time & identity, like the rings of a tree. The second, “Bomb Suit,” depicts an industrial strength bomb suit that has exploded from the inside, the rips of fabric referencing the violence of spilling guts in an uncannily silent & still way. Brings to mind the nature of external/internal turmoil & danger and which poses the biggest threat? Love both these works.
Kentucky-based Robert Beatty broke out with his cover design, and interior contributions, for the 8th installment of the esteemed Kramers Ergot comics anthology. And this foray was furthered with his recent sequential contribution to Space Face Book’s Rat Hex. His work is surreal. It’s funky. It’s creepy, and strangely erotic at times. It is often rendered with a soft fuzz and a hard edge, which is present in his most distinct work. It fits perfectly into the fields of poster and album design, and looks like a strange relative of the classic Fillmore posters. He also makes music, twittles, and flicks. Watch out.