Chen-Dao Lee paints highly stylized pop images that are a kind of Taiwanese version of a Quentin Tarantino neo-noir film. Painted in candyfloss pinks, reds and blues, his work borders on anime, or a kind of twisted superhero comic. His subjects are powerful women (and peculiar men) who have a cynicism, sexuality and also a sickly sweetness about them. Posed together, armed with guns and wearing frilly socks and high heels, or engaged in a semi-erotic masked wrestling fight, Lee’s characters are contemporary individuals, expressing the whole spectrum of emotions.
In his recent series, Lee has shifted from depicting a logical scenario in his paintings to focusing on the figures entanglement to describe emotions or relationships which are ambiguous, embarrassing or even helpless. Beautiful young women and fallen heroes frequently appear in Lee’s works as a symbol of the projection of modern people’s inner contradictions. (Source)
With titles like Cat fight – Love Kick, Boss, Not The Hero Type, Valentine, BFF, Lee embraces a kind of feminism with a dark sense of humor. He paints scenarios loaded with sexual innuendo, but instead of them being erotic, or about power plays, he focuses on ennui. The women (and men) show a lack of enthusiasm and engagement, but rather a nonchalance about what ever is going on around them.
His past series have included paintings of women guiltily carrying loads of fast food, indulgent night life scenes with money being tossed around, strange card nights, groups of men eating sushi off a blow-up doll, and overweight men with bad tan lines wearing cute costume masks. Lee is able to blend sarcasm, skepticism and empathy to create instant modern day classics. (Via Illusion Scene)
Brian Willmont is a multi-talented creative. Along with his partner, Cody Hoyt, he spearheads Apenest, a design/art collective that self-produces collaborative silkscreens, graphics and a stunning full color book showcasing a stable of brilliant contemporary artists. Beautiful/Decay recently received a copy of their book and was blown away by the attention to design and the quality of the artists included. As an artist, Willmont also creates invididual work—his stunning works on paper detail an idiosyncratic personal vocabulary, often leaning towards fantastical situations, brightly colored in a hyperspectra of acid-induced prismatic color. Lurking beneath the enticing exterior, however, a darker, more apocalyptic narrative manifests itself; apparent in Willmont’s depiction of decaying architectural structures and implied destruction.
French photographer William Farges‘ series “White Line” features surreal reflections of body angles, parts, and positions. Farges creates new shapes and figures by placing the reflections of nude bodies side by side, representing a continuity of form that is both startling and elegant. The series is, of course, named for the white line that dissects his diptychs – an element that emphasizes the new forms’ symmetry as a product of an inversion. These forms reach and pull into each other, appearing as if each could disappear into the other. Farges’ images are Rorschach-like deconstructions that are smooth and round and contained. “White Line” is the result of another series of Farges that similarly deconstructs and reimagines the human form, “Chimera.” (via feature shoot)
Wow wow wow, Richard Coleman’s work leans towards the magically mysterious, while exhibiting complex combinations of color and form. He’s part of an impressive list of artists included in the very first show at THIS Gallery which opened this weekend in Los Angeles, so if you are in town go check it out!
A recent graduate of Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD), Stanzie Tooth paints scenes that evoke a sense of calm. Her works often feature woodland landscapes, sometimes bursting with pastel hues that would make a Fauvist blush.
George Chamoun, a Swedish jewelry design student at the Konstfack University of the Arts, creates Iconatomy, a project that critically looks at celebrities, fashion icons, political, religious, and other personalities that influenced the confines of beauty today. The artist perfectly arranges the new and the old fragments of celebrity faces, so that upon a quick glance, viewers might think they are looking at just one subject. Each compilation features two faces representing the past and the present of glamour and fame.
Chamoun’s collection of mash-ups are striking in that we barely find differences between these timeless icons. I think this makes up for a strange, but obvious conclusion: we still look for perfect, youthful faces… standards of beauty have remained the same throughout all of these years. In fact, it has stayed so much the same that celebrities now resemble the ones before their time.
Apart from making this statement, I think we can’t deny that there is also an eagerness to resemble times in which beauty was a bit more natural than what it is today. Celebrities, stylist, hair dresser, etc have the urgency to emulate classic beauty. However, they are trying so hard that they all back on unnatural ways to make that happen.
Similarly, Marc Ghali, Canada-based photographer, also works within this framework.
French artist Daniel Buren‘s long career has been focused on both questioning and criticizing the relationship of art to the structures that frame it. Buren’s work has delved into installation, critical writing and interventions. From the artist’s statement: “All of Buren’s interventions are created ‘in situ’, appropriating and coloring the spaces in which they are presented. They are critical tools addressing questions of how we look and perceive, and the way space can be used, appropriated, and revealed in its social and physical nature.”
One of his most powerful interventions Perimeter For A Roomwork in Situ. 2011, was installed at Lisson Gallery, the London Gallery who represents Buren and who specializes in conceptual, Minimalist art. Created with sheets of clear acrylic colored with self-adhesive filters,and punctuated by border stripes of black vinyl, Perimeter investigates the nature of the room which houses work, and identifies with the idea of being work. Says the artist in an interview with Wallpaper*’s Emma O’Kelly, “It’s so simple. It follows the perimeter of the room, which is an unusual L-shape, with varying heights. It’s a complicated space, but more exciting to work with than a white cube. Playing with the idea of the perimeter – something I have never done before – I built the piece in-situ, as always…The colours are simple – I could only get four colours of Plexiglas. I arrange them in alphabetical order depending on the language of the country I’m in, so for this piece, they are arranged as they are spelt in English. I always apply this system as soon as I start using more than two colours.” (via wallpaper*)
Minneapolis designer/illustrator Phil Jones has one quirky sense of humor. Whether it’s creating sunglasses out of Oreo cookies, creating miniature memorials to squished bugs, or making hilarious posters that are installed on electric poles Phil ads a dash of comic relief a tad of why didn’t I think of that, and a dose of the absurd.