Massachusetts-based visual artist Aliza Razell combines photography and watercolor painting in her series of self-portraits that feature splashes and spills of color. Razell uses watercolors to enhance the vitality of her photographs by evoking mythological and psychological themes. One series, “Anesidora,” represents the Pandora’s jar narrative (the myth features a jar, not a box, as commonly believed) and another series, ikävä, is the Finnish word for missing or longing after something. Razell’s photography-watercolor combination perfectly captures the humanity and surreality of mythological events and the poetic evocations of a fleeting feeling. (via fubiz)
Bijan Berahimi is a Los Angeles local designer, illustrator, publisher, and more. He has recently updated his website with fresh works from posters, to postcards; web sites to exhibits. His work is light-hearted and welcoming, full of color and suprises. Bijan also publishes an e-zine titled FISK – a growing resource for designers – a platform for discussion & participation.
Carl Krull uses repetitive lines to form hidden faces revealed between the lines. Each drawing contains endless line after line that flows across the composition in waves, drips, and swirls. The organic rhythm created is quickly interrupted by different shifts in its pulse, not unlike a line in a heart rate monitor. It is incredible how the orientation of the lines create such different effects, resembling the texture in tapestries or the grooves and patterns in a topography map… but only if the hills and mountains depicted were in the shape of faces! In fact, Krull’s large-scale drawings have been referred to as “human seismographs.”
Amazingly, the Danish artist came up with this technique by drawing lines during a road trip across the United States with his wife, acting as a “seismograph” would. Each bump, twist, and turn of the drive was incorporated into drawings, which are included in his series Scroll Drawings.
Krull’s work, created entirely from graphite lines, takes the human body form to a whole new level by letting the negative space between his lines to let the eye create the shape. Each bend in the line creates a rift in space in which you cannot tell whether the form is concave or convex. His drawings are as mysterious as they are intriguing, as they defy laws of space and gravity. The faces and appendages emerging from a sea of graphite mesmerize you while you search for more figures amongst the methodical chaos. The massive size of Krull’s drawings further pull you into the hypnotic repetitiveness of each composition, with figures that materialize right before your eyes.
The photographer Paul Koudounaris has made a name for himself by photographing the mysterious dead: mummies, skeletons, ossuaries.The enchanting subject of his recent project Heavenly Bodies are the never-before photographed relics of Europe’s Catholic churches, said to be the bones of Christian martyrs. At their discovery in 1578, these remains were taken from underground tombs and enthroned as objects of worship in place of earlier saintly relics ravaged by the Protestant Reformation.
The opulent adornments that surround the remains (i.e. wigs, gemstones, gold lace) reflect the decadence of the late Middle Ages, when churches ornamentation became more elaborate and extravagant. Dressed like royals, these saints suggest an afterlife filled with heavenly pleasures. Against rich, dark fabrics, the precious metals shine brilliantly; within a tight frame, Koudounaris shoots from below, simultaneously capturing the splendor up-close and elevating the sacred remains to a slightly higher plane.
Although he exalts his subjects in this way, Koudounaris’s images remain touchingly human; while some images capture gigantic, enthroned figures with the utmost deference, others focus on small, humble details. A gap where a tooth once sat or a clenched skeletal hand serves as a poignant memento mori, reminding viewers of the human deaths that happened long ago. The mysterious remains, of whom no one knows the full story, are seen ambiguously, both as a suggestion of an enraptured afterlife and a morbid recognition of mortality and decay. Take a look at the mesmerizing images below. Heavenly Bodies is available in print here. (via Colossal and Hyperallergic)
In Jessica Langley‘s artwork, the staid landscape genre is revivified through jokes, ha-has, and a reworking of the conceptual apparatus attached to depicting the environment. Langley, a adjunct associate professor of art at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, creates new avenues at the margins of “landscape,” by interrogating its space in the human imagination rather than in its physical fact. For instance, in the series Outfitters, Langley explores the troubling conflation of killing nature with loving nature by using the brand names of hunting apparel companies like “Real Tree,” “Open Country,” and “Forever Wild” as edifying doses of black humor. In The Awwand Make CATopia Real (with Ben Kingsley) series, Langley uses kit-kats as a method to defuse all that modernist baggage that accompanies human quests for utopia. But what is CATopia? Extensive networks of imposing cat towers to play on? Free nip for all? It’s unclear, but Langley compels us to consider it worth purrsuing.
Langley is the first artist participating in Skylab Gallery‘s new artist-in-residence program in downtown Columbus, Ohio. Her exhibition at Skylab opens at the end of May 2012. Until then, view more of her work after the jump.
These are much more than simple balloon animals. Jason Hackenwerth‘s creations float like giant swimming organisms. His newest creature, Pisces, which recently debuted at the Edinburgh International Science festival is particularly massive. Pisces is built of thousands of balloons blown up and tied together. It took three of members of the festival six days to blow up all of the balloons for the 40 foot structure. The piece now hangs in the Grand Gallery of the National Museum of Scotland through April 14, 2013.
Dubai and the United Arab Emirates has seen a recent influx of street art and artists. However, those working beyond preordained areas, outside the law and within a true graffati tradition, still surprisingly few. One of the only such street artists is known Arcadia Blank. Though rare and often illegal, the artist’s work has garnered the support of many locals by forgoing trite tagging for short thought provoking maxims. The short text pieces touch on religion, politics, globalization, media, and a range of other matters with an intriguing mix of sarcasm and sincerity. Further, Arcadia often utilizes temporary structures, which not only minimize private property damage but also is especially appropriate to the artwork’s style.