Claire Sherman paints some of the juiciest landscape paintings around. These images really don’t do her work justice as the paintings have a rich texture and color to them that is hard to capture in reproductions. If you’re a fan of Tomory Dodge or Cecily Brown then make sure to visit Claire’s site or the Kavi Gupta Gallery site for more images.
Designer David Schwen presents some interesting ‘Pantone’ pairings here. Rather than pairing complimentary colors, Schwen combines inseparable snacks. Designers constantly coordinate toward aesthetic perfection. These ‘swatches’ coordinate a much more common but no less perfect pairing. That said, our pursuits may be mundane, but still, we have a bit of designer in each of us.
British artist Nancy Fouts creates amazing juxtrapositions that combine unexpected objects, materials, and ideas to create playful and surreal images. Her site doesn’t say whether these objects are shown as sculptures or photographs but either would work in my opinion. (via collater.al)
Maggots, Baphomet, long-taloned claws breaking through evil faces, crazy scythe wielding demons, candelabras welded from the remains of human skulls, rot, decay and Mayhem (the general sense of disorder, and the band) all seem to pump their fists and raise their axes in artist Mark Riddick’s world. I would not be surprised if this dude drank the blood of a goat and burned a church or two. Okay, maybe not….but his drawings make me want to shred and paint my face…on his website he says he’s been illustrating for the black/death metal world since ’91. Stay death metal forever.
Joseph Parra is an artist working with the human portrait and figure. While he obviously draws and paints very well, Parra is not necessarily concerned with perfectly replicating what someone looks like. He finds this notion limiting to an artist; after all, a photo or realistic painting can only go so far. You’ve made someone look like their outward appearance, but now what?
Parra strives to delve deeper into the figure or portrait and reveal what is unseen. His work questions what it means to be human using a couple of different methods. One way is through layers. Aside from a portrait, he adds of media that distorts the face or the body. Parra scrapes, pricks, and sands his subjects. In his words, this is “acting as reminders that we are merely a union of ideas.” Additionally, he will cut, braid, or fold paper as a way to express the complex nature of humanity. Oneself (directly below) is the same portrait but manipulated in three different ways. It references the fractured, multiple, and twisted ways we often view ourselves. Some days we think we’re great, while others we are loathsome.
Much of Parra’s work is screen prints and digital prints, which I think enhance his ideas and again parallels the human experience. We see these images mutilated and/or distorted, and they look very textural. Yet up close, they are mostly reproduced images and have a smooth sheen – the rawness is kept contained. I compare it to having a friend who appears very put together on the surface, but beneath you know they are a mess.
Parra was featured last year on Beautiful/Decay, not long after graduating college. Since then, he’s created more work that focuses on the braiding or manipulating of paper, which are some of my favorite pieces. I’m looking forward to seeing where Parra goes from here.
Natalie Arnoldi is a California-based artist whose work explores the fine line between abstract and figurative painting. Her works identify the psychological effects of ambiguous representation, allowing a viewer’s imagination to fill in the missing subject matter. Currently a coterminal Masters student at Stanford University, pursuing a M.S. in ocean science and a B.S. in marine biology, Arnoldi’s life has always centered around the ocean. Thus, it is unsurprising that she references the ocean as her inspiration for both her academic and artistic pursuits.
Though she doesn’t always use the ocean as her subject matter, there is a kind of depth to Arnoldi’s paintings (which are often tinted some shade of blue) that is reminiscent of looking into unfathomably deep waters. Highly reductive, Arnoldi’s paintings still manage to be moody, psychological and rich with meaning. A lone shark’s fin, a simple road median disappearing into the fog, or an airplane silhouette becomes a decidedly dramatic narrative delivered from the most uncomplicated version of an image.
Engagingly beautiful, Arnoldi’s paintings are haunting in their simplicity and straightforwardness. It is eerie how much can be deduced based on an image painted and composed in a certain way.
Balint Zsako’s drawings work speaks to our contemporary anxieties about sexuality and human intimacy. His works are described as quirky, disturbing, otherworldly, and a little bit dirty. See Balint’s work in a group show at The Proposition in NYC until june 26th.