I recently came across these great collage paintings of Devin Troy Strothe (thanks for the link Mr.Redwood) and was blown away by the recent Art Center grads color explosion and the humorous content. The work is playful but dabbles with social/political issues which is always a nice mix as too often political work = boring and predictable. Visit his site and make sure to read the titles as they are fantastic.
We all know that kids are the best artists. Unlike adults kids are free to let their imaginations run wild to create artwork that is unique, unrestricted, and fiercely imaginative. They aren’t restricted by societies rules and in their world coloring outside the lines is much more fun. So it should come as no surprise that one of the leading car brands in the world Toyota would hold the ultimate kids art competition, The 8th Toyota Dream Car Contest!
The contest invites kids between the ages of seven to fifteen to use crayons, pencils, watercolors, paints and more to create a unique 2D image of their dream cars as well as their ideas of what transport will look like in the future. The more imaginative and creative the better. Flying cars, vehicles with their own Bio Domes, skyscraper cars, and sports cars powered by smiles are all fair game. No idea is too out there when it comes to your dreams.
Last year the contest received an outpouring of entries from 600,000 kids from over 70 countries. So make sure you stock up on lots of paper, pencils and paint and get your kids ready for the ultimate creative dreams contest!
Joris Kuipers‘ installations are meant to be experienced viscerally. Inspired by bodily cross-sections from MRI scans, CT scans, and even botany, Kuipers’ artwork is alien yet immediately familiar. We are intimately familiar with the vascular bends and twists of his pieces, as well as the palette of reds and purples and blues.
Blown up to the size of huge wall reliefs, these biological artforms are also a little unsettling, particularly because they’ve been deconstructed, unmade, and re-formed into startling configurations. Organic deconstruction, after all, is just a hop skip away from decomposition. Of these twin concepts, Kuipers says: “Loveliness and morbidity; both Eros and Thanatos flow through my red lines.”
In some collections, Kuipers steps away from the blatantly macabre. “Letting Go” contains a brightly colored installation that looks like dreamy clouds or floating alien flowers. Other pieces in the collection involve splashes of color amidst a staid black background and plays with light, flashing and blinking at the touch of a switch. This too recalls the cathode ray tubes and autopsy scans of Kuipers’ other work, but from a subtler angle.
Subtler or not, Kuipers work is, as always, intended to be evocative. “I hope that my work will initially be experienced ‘from the abdomen’,” Kuipers says in an artist’s statement, “to gradually make itself felt in the mind of the visitor.”
Melchor Bocanegra is a digital designer based out of Salamanca, a city located in the Mexican state of Guanajuato. His work is characterized by portraiture mixed with candy-cream absurdity; his subjects are usually set against empty or washed-out backdrops, acting out expressions of play or alarm. He often incorporates surrealist elements, such as thick tears or fluorescent goop smeared across their faces. Despite the innocent colors and fun compositions, Bocanegra’s images grab our attention with their discreetly unsettling aspects; in the following statement provided to Beautiful/Decay, he describes his style and explains how he seeks to convey conflicting emotions:
“I always work with portrait and I really like to mix feelings of isolation and melancholy with colorful and friendly aesthetics. I use simple compositions, trying to focus on the expression and emotion of the character. I could say that I try to create portraits with a passive/aggressive hidden sadness.”
Featured here is his Pink Ladies series, which present us with a cast of pastel-hued characters in various ambivalent and bizarre poses. The underlying themes in these images explore insincerity and idealized femininity, blending sexualized elements with the symptoms of banality; combined with the models’ superficial expressions, the fake tears, exposed breasts, and over-the-top makeup and jewelry convey a sense of exhaustion and meaninglessness. There is also the sense of loss, a grief over something that went missing during the transition into commercialized, sexualized adulthood. As Bocanegra explains, “[these] images create messages or questions about insincerity; with gestures of concern and ambiguity, we discover symbols of the unattainable, a longing for something we do not know or barely remember.”
Artist Gemis Luciani takes the term ‘marginal’ literally in his art work. His abstract compositions use regular magazines as a medium and material. Luciani folds the pages of the magazines in a way to only expose the margins. The simple method erases all text, layout and images. He deconstructs the magazine making the marginal central. Interestingly, the pieces often resemble a mix of minimalism and glitch art. His work walks the line of painting and sculpture.
Video and performance artist Kevin Gaffney directed this trippy music video for a Japanese popstar figure Pseudo Nippon that is almost all equal parts Snoop Dog’s “Sexual Seduction”, Gunther’s “Ding Dong Song” and “Vermillion Pleasure Night” (sort of a Japanese version of MadTV or Saturday Night Live… but more fantastical). Feel free to Google any of these listed, you won’t be disappointed.
I think I heard Pseudo Nippon sing this chorus in his song: “If you want war, I’ll eat your family. If you want peace I’ll still eat your family”….ummm…epic!!