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The Many Male Profiles of Stef Cook

America artist, Stef Cook has produced a series of wonderful watercolor portraits of men. The subjects are painted in their everyday clothes in profile. Take a look and study those jawlines!

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80’s And 90’s Pop Culture Transformed Into Darkly Prophetic And Nostalgic .Gifs

There is no doubt that the current resurgence of the .gif medium is indicative of how image-based and internet-dependent our networked society has become. Born of and propagated through the Internet, .gifs offer a perfect medium for our constantly consuming Share-Culture, a culture that artist Mark Vomit masterfully samples from, and takes particular pleasure in critiquing. Inspired in equal parts by nostalgic ’80s and ’90s ephemera and modern Internet imagery, Vomit’s aesthetic has made him a leading voice in a new online visual arts movement, despite his often apathetic and apocalyptic style.

When asked via email to describe his motivation, as well as his aesthetic, Vomit responded adroitly:
“1. Mark Vomit is documenting the Apocalypse.   
2. Mark Vomit manipulates images and sounds.  
3. You Have No Voice, You Have No Choice, the New Order Nation has Taken Over and 
Everything You Like Is Wrong. 
4. Vomiting is the involuntary, forceful expulsion of the contents of one’s stomach through the mouth and sometimes the nose. 
5. Manipulate: to use or change in a skillful way or for a particular purpose. 
6. Studies in Post 20th Century Culture and Media.”

This philosophical and aesthetic difference made Vomit (who also performs in the the art-doom-rock band Bollywood) a competitive contender in a recent head-to-head tournament of the world’s best .gif artists organizes by the influential new media art and tech site VIA. Considering the often too-cutesy and completely referential (read: unoriginal) work which proliferates Tumblr  posts, it serves as a refreshingly radical reaction to have an artist defacing and exploring the medium with a grittier, grimier approach.

Mark Vomit‘s .gif work will be featured in Post Physical | Visual Reactions to the Post-Internet Age, which opens June 28th, 2014 at SooLocal in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The exhibition runs through August 10th. More information at the event page here.

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What You See Is What You Get: Beer As Pantone

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Spanish graphic designer Txaber has come up with an ingenious idea. Now we can see what is on the inside – on the outside. He has teamed up the colors of different beer with various shades of Pantone. At this stage this snappy idea is only a design concept – Txaber has said no companies are interested in producing, “but hopefully they will see the light.” The simplicity of this packaging has struck a chord with many people, and is an expansion of a similar idea launched last year.

Called Beertone, two Swiss designers Alexander Michelbach and Daniel Eugster created a color wheel also based on Pantone guides. They envisioned a beer lover to assemble this color wheel and choose their preferred brew from it. Every type of beer has it’s own swatch with all relevant information: brewery name, alcohol content, an image of the bottle and numerical values for its color in CMYK, RGB, and HTML. With over 202 colors (and separate beer types) Michelbach and Eugster no doubt would have been kept busy taste testing.

Whether it is a color wheel or a yet-to-be-realized design concept, the idea of marketing brewed beer based on slick packaging seems to a popular one. Txaber’s approach is an elegant, simple, understated one and shows the best side of the world’s third most popular drink. Ranging from Pale Ale to Imperial Stout, these designers have got the range covered. “Because beer comes in more colors than yellow or blurry.” (Via Lost At E Minor)

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Walter Oltmann Weaves Wire Into Haunting Images Of Skulls And Babies

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Walter Oltmann is an artist from South Africa who weaves together aluminum wire “doily” segments to create gauzy, black-and-white images. His more recent works—which were featured recently in an exhibition titled Cradle at the Goodman Gallery in Cape Town—depict skulls and sleeping children. Through tonal layering, Oltmann creates a ghostly, semi-transparent depth, and each of the drawings are their own sculptural objects. The result is a series of eerie, ancient-looking images that invoke a theme (and contemporary relevance) of ideas surrounding death, the fragility of life, and the passage of time.

Oltmann is fascinated by the processes of geology, evolution, and human history. As the press release for Cradle informs us, his work draws on the ideas set forth by Simon Calley in Sculpture and Archaeology (2011), which describes archeology as a discipline of “examining our relationship to time and our place to its continuity [. . .] It is an activity concerned with the present [and] with projecting ourselves into the past” (Source). Historically and culturally, skulls have been enduring symbols of death and transience; the image of a sleeping child, which has been used as a grave marker, is representative of tranquility, rest, and the final “long sleep.” By finding and exploring the similarities in these motifs, Oltmann unearths an age-old melancholia and retrospective on the finitude of human life.

You can learn more about the theories behind Oltmann’s work on the Goodman Gallery’s exhibitions page, and view his Artsy page here. (Via Faith is Torment)

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100 People Per Minute

 

 

Never Hide Films, in collaboration with N.A.S.A/Squeak E Clean and Rossangeles, has created a little viral video called “100 People Per Minute,” showcasing 100 people creating one beat-boxing orgy of a song in a minute.

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Ren Ri Collaborates With Bees To Create His Unconventional Sculptures

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Ren Ri is an artist who works with bees to make his contained beehive sculptures. He builds the plastic containers and places the wood dowels inside them to subtly guide the shape of the hive, and also rotates the sculpture every seven days to affect its form. The use of bees is especially relevant with the current affairs of suffering bee populations around the world, which could have a drastic and lasting effect on farming, but also the natural world in general.

Ri employs many strategies to work with bees. He performs with the bees, allowing them to sting his face, and has created a series of maps made of bees wax. According to Hi-Fructose, his aim in using the bees is to remove his subjectivity from the work. Although it certainly does remove a large degree of control, this is slightly problematic as he still intervenes by creating the object within which the bees form their hives, and further affects their process by rotating it. Complete objectivity seems pretty much unattainable in this scenario, as well as a false aspiration for any creative pursuit. Although there are obviously varying degrees of subjectivity, any intervention implies the influence of the author, and without the intervention Ri would be a beekeeper, not an artist. It’s interesting to experiment with degrees of control, but this is not an objective piece.

To me, the most interesting part of this project is the collaboration with the bees, as the final products are aesthetically appealing and call indirect attention to an issue of pertinence in the world today. (Via Hi-Fructose)

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Randy Ortiz’s Mutant Drake Covers And Other Surreal Wonders

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Artist Randy Ortiz has been tantalizing the eyes of illustration fans for years, illuminating concert and movie posters both professionally and as creative tasks for a great imagination. While past work emphasized ink line work and detailed black and white charcoal drawings, recent work has become more colorful, with flat background colors which perhaps surprisingly emphasize the darker thematic weight in the mystical figures and composition.

The self-taught Canadian artist uses evolved techniques to illicit a near-Surrealistic response from his often-human figures, draped in masterfully rendered drapery and fabrics. Despite the often serious undertones immediately noticeable in his work, the obvious sense of humor is evident (mutant visual remixes of Drake’s oft-mocked album cover seen below for example). In other works hooded figures clamor over each other, all reaching for a disembodied hand holding a small heart talisman representing love, or mystical-triangle-eyed cats eye floating balls of string. With Ortiz’s visual narratives and painting style evolving at a rapid pace, he is definitely ahead of other illustrator/artist to watch.

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Dina Litovsky’s Public Interactions

Dina Litovsky‘s work examines “group interactions in both public and private spaces.” In her series Bachelorette, Litovsky turns the lens on the long-standing tradition of the bachelorette party, observing females actively performing the rituals you may have heard about but never witnessed. 

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