It’s a popular thing to draw on fairy tales and the fairy tale tradition as inspiration for art, but painter Stephen Mackey has invented a whole fantasy world of his own. Working with oil on wood, his paintings are by turns in media res cautionary stories and mysterious rituals straight out of make-believe myths. Each painting is labeled in cursive script or all caps serif, and the titles don’t do much except further the enigma. “Somnambulist as a Bride Ascending a Staircase Backward,” proclaims one. Another is straight out of the recipe book of some apocryphal apothecary: “Charm No. 2: Attar of Knotgrass.”
Populated with velvety plush clouds and soft-focus girls, Mackey’s world is certainly charming. There are friendly faces in his darling cat-headed children and the moon, which is adorned with a Mona Lisa smile. However, there is sense of danger in the still water: a menacing shadow looms in “The Secret People,” and another painting shows a little girl being lured to a cottage by a wolf-headed mother. The latter is simply called, “What the Moon Saw.”
Mackey’s paintings seem to all occur in the twilight hours or at least before waking. They hint at elusive stories that promise to be as interesting as they appear. Richly colored and filled with wonder, they feel like an elaborate game of hide and seek with one’s own dreams.
I love these playful photos that escalate the idea of hand puppets to new and surprising heights. If you’re not familiar, Inez van Lamsweerde & Vanoodh Matadin are a photography duo from the Netherlands known for their high fashion photography and artworks. This series is coquettish/seductive, masked/revealing all at the same time.
Spain based street artist Ruben Sanchez has a peculiar artistic style. His work can be found internationally (his latest, the top photograph, created in Dubai). However, his home of Spain can be found in his artwork anywhere its painted. Influences such as Picasso’s Cubism or Miro’s Surrealism are clear in his spray painted mural. He goes on to say of the influences that can be found in his work:
“If you dissect any of my artworks in an operating room you will find graphic design, tribal art, graffiti, cubism, skateboard culture, 90’s and 80’s music, flamenco, social situations and a kaleidoscope among others.”
Doug Burton’s 3D digital animation “Celestial Mechanics” was conceptualized as a kind of reality-fabric altering pulsating entity. A kind of self-combusting black holes. I am hoping for the day when I actually see the walls wormhole out to an alternative universe! The artist explains: “Through the transmogrification of the matter of the walls and space within and ouside of the studio I have been exploring he realms that exist beyond in a distant past or parallel present.” Heavy!
when I was a kid I used to love to collect comic books. I would buy stacks of them and read them obsessively. I always wanted to start a comic book company but B/D was as close as I ever got. The best part about comic books are the covers so we slaved away on creating our own unique cover complete with our very own super hero, the Death Goat. He’s one bad motha who punishes all in his way with one blow to the head with his might crowbar. Get the Death Goat shirt and join the Cult Of Decay. Together we’ll punish all those in our way!
Germany based artist Heiko Mueller’ art is like a fairy tale with a dark spin to it. He is fond of the country side, and is fascinated by the dark side of nature, the hidden machinations of the animal kingdom.
Filthy Lurker’s sculptures walk the fine line between site specific installations, street art, and teenage gags. His website states that “his art is sparkling with humor, recklessness, and shocks you to look at the world in a new way.” What do you think? Is he merely a prankster who works on a large scale or does Mr. Lurker have something profound to say?