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Jon Malkemus

jon malkemus motion graphics

Some tasty motion graphics & 3d mastering can be found on Jon Malkemus’s site.

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Steven Jon Yazzie’s Coyote Series

Steven Yazzie is a Native American (Navajo Nation) artist who lives in Arizona. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps before pursuing painting through residency at the prestigious Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and is currently pursuing his BFA in painting from the University of Arizona. Although this review focuses exclusively on Yazzi’s Coyote Series, he has an extensive body of work that ranges between abstraction and surrealism, incorporating an interest in pattern, shape, the Southwestern landscape, and Navajo culture and history.

Yazzi’s paintings question the relationship between man and nature, and between interior and exterior spaces. Elements of the wilderness and the playful trickster Coyote are placed alongside modern, minimalist domestic spaces; several paintings even reference the ultimate minimalist establishments – the gallery space – drawing from principles (if not necessarily the practice) of Institutional Critique.

Looking closer, all of his interiors are symbolically suggestive of their original elements – an animal printed ottoman, stone colored couch, grassy rug, unprocessed lumber table, and landscape paintings adorning the walls all mimic the desert landscape to which they are adjacent; the coyote must still feel somewhat at home within these fused environments.

Among his many achievements, Yazzi has exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; National Museum of the American Indian, New York, NY; the Museum of Contemporary Native Art, Santa Fe, NM. Phoenix Art Museum, Tucson Museum of Contemporary Art, Tucson Museum of Art, and the Museum of Northern Arizona and has been featured in the 2011 West issue of New American Paintings.

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Kirsten Lepore’s New Stop-Motion Animation Has A Handcrafted Feel That Has Been Long Lost In Animation

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Move Mountain from Kirsten Lepore on Vimeo.

Move Mountain is the latest stop-motion animation by Kirsten Lepore, a Los Angeles based director and animator. We’ve featured films by her before, and Lepore’s newest work does not disappoint. She describes the short film as “A girl journeys through a vibrant, pulsing, macrocosmic landscape, but a precipitous incident compels her to venture up a mountain in an attempt to save herself.” The story itself is a surreal tale, and at one point oscillates between dreams and reality. It also shows us that  at any given time, we are at the mercy of our environment.

The film is Lepore’s Master’s thesis from California Institute of the Arts and took her two and half years to produce. The use of handcrafted characters and fully modeled sets is really impressive. With the current trend being slick-looking techniques, it’s nice to see evidence of the hand in this film. (Watch the behind the scenes video after the jump.)

In addition to Lepore’s own character designs, she’s enlisted the help of animator friends, including the likes of Julia Pott, Lizzy Klein, Ethan Clarke, and more. They make one of my favorite scenes in the film, which is an unexpected but welcome surprise.

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David Miller’s Fashion Animals

A great mixture of fashion and animal images by Phoenix based photographer David Miller.

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The Visuals Of Occupy Wall Street

NYC photographer Rachel Citron has been documenting the more creative side of the protests from the imaginative protest signs to the colorful and sometimes outrages protest uniforms. Read a short article by Citron about her experiences on the New York Times blog.

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Sam Songailo’s Installations Immerse he Viewer in Another World

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Artist Sam Songailo uses bright colors, straight lines, and bold, graphic shapes in his outdoor and indoor installations. Geometric repeating patterns span span floors, ceilings, and walls. Lighting plays a role in his work as it enhances color and gives the work a sense of space and a depth of field. Once the viewer is immersed in the space, all of the elements of Songailo’s work transports them to another place.

Outdoor installations, like the ones on a city street, work with the existing landscape. Songailo’s patterns fill and conform to every inch of the given space like a mutating organism. The high-contrast colors and intricate trellis-like shapes create a disorienting effect. Not so much when viewing it as a whole from above, but walking through it leaves little indication of direction.

Before he started large-scale installations, Songailo was a graphic designer. This is evident in the execution of his work, especially in one of his few indoor installations,  Zen Garden (directly above).  The piece mimics the lines of sand, with a few “rocks” that are spread throughout the gallery floor. Songailo is able to have full control over the space, and uses principles of design to make it not only attractive, but to effectively transport the viewer to a minimalist, geometric zen garden.

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Yan Wei’s Nursery of the Netherworld

Yan Wei is a Beijing-based artist with a style reminiscent of horror manga illustrators like Hideshi Hino, yet very much her own.   Her ink portraits of children belong to a vision of Hell far more unnerving than any blunt pit of fire. 

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The Unexpected Art And Beauty Of Extracting Marble From Mountains

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In Il Capo (The Chief), Italian filmmaker Yuri Ancarani exquisitely documents the unexpectedly captivating and largely unexplored process of marble extraction.

Set in an Alpine quarry, Il Capo presents the powerful dynamic between the boss and his workers, focusing predominantly on the wordlessness of their dialogue. Using seemingly enigmatic gestures and hand signals reminiscent of a conductor directing his orchestra, the boss silently and gracefully guides two lumbering bulldozers as they claw into the hillside and extract colossal wedges of marble. Juxtaposing the boss’ fluid movement with that of the bumbling machinery, Ancarani successfully conveys the astounding and paradoxical nature of the process: “how he can move gigantic marble blocks, but his own movements are light.”

In addition to the visual strategies employed in Il Capo, Ancarani has a unique approach to sound. Void of conversation, narration, and soundtrack, the short film offers only the sounds of the heavy machinery and the toppling marble—placing all emphasis on the rawness of the process, and conveying, above all else, the artistic nature intrinsic to a seemingly industrial task. (Via Nowness)

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