Argentinean artist Gabriel Grun paints in a style similar to the Renaissance and Baroque masters, but his work is charged with a subdued eroticism that produces a surreal effect. Grun paints the human body, often foregrounding them in natural landscapes, combining mythological and contemporary elements. Many of his human figures are contorted or shaped into grotesque or bestial shapes and poses – these distortions and manipulations could appear disturbing, but because Grun is so technically skilled at composing these eccentricities, they are merely curious and offer a contemporary and sexually-charged spin on a classical style. (via hi fructose)
In the digital age and generation of the selfie, a spiraling and often disorienting importance placed on consumerism and commodities permeates even the most remote of regions. Through the billboard jungles and beehive of mass media, images relentlessly promoting youth and sexuality haphazardly depict ideals of femininity. Creating a wormhole of inadequacies, the female form has found itself in a constant tug-of-war in either defending its natural state or scrambling to correct propagated notions of aesthetic shortcomings. As Barbara Kruger famously stated on one of her notorious gelatin silver prints from the 1980’s, “You Are Not Yourself”.
The following artists featured turn these preconceived notions on their head while reconstructing a refreshing narrative of female sexuality and identity. Featured artists include Laura Aguilar, Aimee Hertog, Heather Cassils, and Marina Santana.
Artist, Designer, Filmmaker, and all-around dude-that-makes-stuff, Greg Ruben, just released a new music video project for So Many Wizards‘ “Inner City.” The video follows an average joe dressed in business-usual as he embarks on the ultimate lunch break in and around a lot of unique spots in Los Angeles. The film’s aesthetic approach is really hypnotizing. You’ll have to see for yourself after the jump…
David Spriggs‘ installations are crafted meticulously with acrylic paint on panes of glass, producing an otherworldly effect that is utterly complete. Appearing like holograms before the viewers, they make a spectacle out of the conceptual, exploring ideas such as perception and emergence and consciousness.
In many of his pieces, it’s as though Spriggs has caught something ethereal and fleeting on a microscope slide, allowing us to inspect it however temporarily. His painstaking methods and striking presentation force viewers to look beyond the surface of his works, allowing the amorphous metaphorical nature of his subject matter to take center stage.
“Perception of Consciousness,” for instance looks at first glance like the many layers of a cloud. However, suspended in mid air, the image beckons and implies a deeper meaning. “My interest in clouds and atmospheric phenomena is not one so much of learning about them as natural phenomena, but rather an interest in their symbolic nature and representation,” Spriggs explains. “The cloud is an ephemeral form, without boundaries, and in constant change; interesting properties that in the context of history of art find affinity with Futurist theories and certain concepts of the light and space artists of the 60/70′s on the nature of space and form.”
Spriggs draws his inspiration from a wide variety of disciplines, such as psychology and the information age. He seeks to examine the relationships and dichomoties between abstractions and the way they affect the material world. The space they occupy is just as important as their shapes themselves. (via Hi-Fructose)
Born in 1948, New York based artist Marilyn Minter has been creating these sensual, borderline pornographic images since the 80s. Her process involves taking photographs of her subjects and then (usually) painting them on a huge scale using enamel paint on metal. Yet, as Emily Davidow says, “…the paintings feel more real than the gorgeous photographs that inspire them. Illuminating the moments when things fall apart, the paintings get more interesting as your gaze lingers on after that first arresting glance and you discover the imperfections. Hand feathered layers of enamel on metal render sweat, stubble, wrinkles and freckles lush, tactile and luminous.” The paintings are huge. I can only imagine what they look like in person.
A native of Hungary, Rita Ackermann moved to New York City in the mid-1990s, arriving to find a culture— and art world—in transition. Rave and zine culture was in full swing; collaborations between artists, musicians, and magazine and book publishers were pervasive; and the age of the Internet was upon us. Within a few short months, Ackermann received widespread attention for her work, particularly a group of canvases populated with figures inspired by the cult German film We Children from Bahnhof Zoo about the heroin subculture of the 1970s. Her work forged a new visual language: paintings, drawings, and collages which telescoped between a virtuoso—and sometimes brutalistic—expressionism and taut, precise figurative drawing. Ackermann’s work explores the paradoxical relationship between fragility and violence, as she derives inspiration from literature, film, philosophy, and popular culture.
Paco Peregrín is an international photographer who creates experimental characters out of high-fashion images. This particular series is entitled Beautiful Monster, which Peregrín directed with the intention of exploring the effect of makeup on identity:
All photos that integrate Beautiful Monster allude to a very particular concept of beauty (sometimes unusual, alien or even beautifully monstrous), to its ephemeral nature and the passage of time. Naked men and women are on a neutral background where makeup comes great prominence, even avoiding the recognition of the models, thus reflecting on the idea of identity and a proposal for the makeup as a contemporary mask that protects us, on the one hand like a camouflage, [and on] the other helping us to build a super-ego. (Source)
Peregrín’s “Monsters” are fascinating, radiating with acid-bright color and cryptic eroticism. Most often nude, their faces are bound and adorned with rope, tape, paint, and jewels. Something happens when their features are obscured — their expressive bodies appear almost inhuman. In a style best described as hyper-real futurism, the images speak directly to a postmodern society so obsessed with beauty and constructed identities that it slips into beautiful absurdity.
Given that fashion photography is often criticized as being wholly commercialized and thus heavily restricted, Peregrín’s unique style is doubly surprising; he has worked with big names such as Chanel, Diesel, Vogue, and Vanity Fair, but still manages to bring his own creative and unconventional vision into his works. Check out his website for a gallery of his immersive and consistently experimental projects. (Via Art Fucks Me)
San Francisco-based artist David Berezin creates still lifes by manipulating low-res stock photos, often found on Google Images, and Photoshopping the disparate parts into coherent collages that mimic commercial photography. Berezin’s use of “new media” methods of making produces an ironic contrast between contemporary, post-internet life and all that cultural baggage left by the Twentieth century’s top-down, capitalist media. These digital assemblages make the ha-has by reconstructing the out-moded logic of genre narratives through the use of culturally-loaded objects that rely on vocabularies of cliché developed in pop forms like B-movies and boilerplate novels.
Berezin’s artwork is on display in The Art of Cooking at the L.A. gallery Royal T until August 1st; and a video loop of Berezin’s, Fun For a While, is showing at the Columbus Museum of Art in Columbus, Ohio, until June 30th.