Canadian artist Keith Jones is a prodigious muralist who makes illustrations that remind me of those in Business Weekly or Reader Digest magazines. In them are scenes detailing the updated version of battle scenes on cave drawings or Greek urns. They are also sort of Where’s Waldo-ish.
As traditional Middle America and the housing market continues to breakdown, its imagery on the television or in advertising seems to persist, with an eerie commercialized flatness. It is here, in this strange space, where artist Lori Larusso’s work finds its stride.
Of her paintings, Larusso explains: “I am interested in exploring the unavoidable contradictions which exist in our personal (and collective) systems of belief, by pointing to the complexity of individual situations. Very often, our ideals are a reflection of the way we wish things were, rather than a product of the way we actually experience them. I find this conflict to be in direct connection to the representational image.”
Designer and artist Maud Vantours works primarily in paper. Using intricate cutting and layering techniques Vantours creates highly detailed pieces. In this way, she also transforms an especially two dimensional medium into a three dimensional work with depth. In addition to her paper art, Vantours has worked with high-profile clients such as Yves Saint Laurent, Lancôme, and Guzzini. She’s incorporated her elements of her paper art work into designs ranging from food presentation to home decor.
I am really enjoying Chinese artist Hong Chun Zhang’s paintings and drawings. She combines ordinary banal objects and replaces an element of their own with hair. A very interesting combination indeed!
Matt Root combines old star atlases with religious and cultural icons, presenting them as shrines or monuments. Through these images he asks questions of identity and ownership within the American landscape. Currently Matt has been focused on objects that symbolize the cultural conflicts of life on the US/Mexico border and Arizona’s tenuous relationship with reality.
San Francisco based photographer Rob Prideaux’s exquisitely shot images of smoke and fire are a perfect example how a very simple subject manner can be pushed to a new level of creativity. Setting out to explore the aesthetics of smoke and fire Prideaux chose to minimally retouch the photos of fire and create heavily retouched patterned imagery out of the smoke. The result is triumph of aesthetic beauty, fires magnificence, and the intangible allure of smoke as it appears and disappears into the air in a matter of seconds. (via)
The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze touts itself as being the Tri-State’s (New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut) biggest and most exciting Halloween event. Their hubris is deserved; The glowing pumpkins and the elaborate installation of carvings are incredible.
The event features more than 5,000 hand-carved, illuminated jack o’ lanterns, and is set against the backdrop of the historic,18th-century riverside landscape of the Hudson River Valley. All displays are made out of pumpkins, and arranged into the likes of giant sea monsters, dinosaurs, snakes, and shrunken “Little Monsters.” It even features a Tunnel O’ Pumpkin Love. (If you’re wondering how that works, it involves gourd-filled Jack-in-the-Boxes springing up and bouncing around.)
Pumpkin carving has a rich history in the UK. The Instagram blog describes it, writing:
Although only associated with Halloween as we know it today since the late 1800s, the tradition of gourd carving dates back to the 18th and 19th centuries in rural Ireland and England. People created jack o’lanterns for the old holidays of Samhain and All Souls’ Night when spirits were thought to be the most active. Grotesque faces carved into the objects were meant to frighten away any ghouls seeking to do harm.
These sculptural displays sound like heaven for anyone that loves hand-carved pumpkins and Halloween. I’m a bit jealous I’m not able to see the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze in person! If you’re like me and unable to make it to the Blaze, fear not. Visitors are not shy to share their photos on Instagram or Flickr. (Via Colossal. Photos via Josh Bousel, Kimberly Quintano, Bryan Haeffele, and Jeremy Bernstein.)
Hair. That’s right, I said HAIR. Agustina Woodgate gives new life to discarded human hair. After I saw “I Wanted to be a Princess” and “Sleepers“, I knew immediately that this was stretching the boundaries of what people consider art. Woodgate creates with stunning realism a portion of a castle reminiscent of one from Rapunzel, made with 3,000 blocks of human hair. In Sleepers, she constructed a pair of… slippers, perhaps even sturdy enough to wear outside. Through her work, she explores the relation between everyday objects and places and the overarching narratives that condition our unnatural relationship to the natural world.