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Ryo Yoshii’s Evocative Watercolor Portraits Bleed With Internal Beauty And Intensity

 tiger face Watercolor Watercolor faces Ryo Yoshii - Watercolor

Ryo Yoshii is a Japanese artist who produces beautiful and evocative watercolor portraits. With an impressive control of the medium, Yoshii is able to capture the minute details of the face — such as the lines around and light within the eyes — while also introducing a surrealist blur: hair melts into the paper, tears streak and divide the body, animal faces are fractured over top of human ones. In a haze of dreamlike pastels, the portraits express both external character and internal life, unveiling moments of deep introspection.

Brimming with depth and sensitivity, Yoshii’s work can be read as metaphorical explorations of inner emotional worlds. Despite the stoic faces, which steadily meet the viewer’s gaze, there are signs of fluidity and instability within. The unpredictability of the watercolor medium lends perfectly to this depiction of inner turmoil and intensity, as the colors — much like our emotions — bleed invisibly from the body into the surrounding environment. As expressed in the beautiful blend of colors, no emotion exists in singularity in Yoshii’s work; instead, everything fuses together in a spectrum of experiences.

Yoshii is currently studying art in Japan, and his works can be viewed on his DeviantArt. (Via Art Fucks Me)

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Ellen Lesperance’s Reconstructed Feminist Sweaters Realized As Drawings And Garments

Ellen Lesperance Installation 01 Ellen Lesperance Installation 02

In her upcoming exhibit at Ambach & Rice, artist Ellen Lesperance intently and painstakingly reconstructs the sweaters of feminism’s heroines.  Hand drawn and hand knit, the installation serves to attach these women’s politcal ideals and activism to their personal identity.  Lesperance lovingly presents the objects nearly as if they were relics.  Indeed, throughout the exhibit Lesperance alludes to ancient heroines in connection with these modern ones.  In that light, the sweaters become a sort of “soft armor” in a struggle that extends from ancient female warriors to today’s feminist activists.  Appropriately, the title of Lesperance’s exhibit is It’s Never Over.

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Senhor Ricardo

Illustration by  Portuguese art director Senhor Ricardo.

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Crystal Wagner’s Colorful Psychedelic Cut Paper Installations

Crystal Wagner - installation

Crystal Wagner - installation

Crystal Wagner - installation

Crystal Wagner - installation

Crystal Wagner‘s immersive installations are attractively textured, instantly eye catching, elegantly dramatic, and undeniably wonderful. She carefully arranges pieces of paper bought from office stores into organic explosions of florescent color. She invites visitors to walk through and navigate her neon universe of oceanic waves, throbbing bubbles, and swollen mountains.

Wagner’s work is not only aesthetically organic, bu so is the very nature of her process. She talks about how each complex piece is created:

Each installation, and each drawing is a different conversation I am having. The gesture is the introduction, the first impression, and everything else tumbles out. (Source)

Wagner uses her time spent in the many National Parks of America as a lot of her inspiration. Aspects of Yellowstone and Joshua Tree National Parks find their way into her work. The scale of her installations do make you feel as if you are standing in front of a gigantic cliff – dwarfed and in awe. But she is also a child of the modern world, living in an urban jungle, and is very familiar with plastics, paper, and concrete. Wagner explains the importance of this dichotomy in her work:

My latest installation titled Urban Kudzu explores ideas related to people and their disconnection from the natural world… In my own experience with the world, I have a deep rooted understanding of what the plastic feels like, of what man made materials and spaces feel like, and tend to perceive the natural world through a very exotic lens. (Source)

Her work reminds us that although nature is wonderfully powerful and can annihilate anything at any given time, the modern world can also be just as destructive. In both situations we are reminded of our smallness and how easily we can loose control of that around us. (Via Sweet Station)

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Ginette Lapalme

ginettelapalmemelty

Ginette Lapalme has all sorts of fun illustrations, gifs, and other wacky visuals on her site but I couldn’t resist posting this melting dog thing. Love it!

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Kathryn Macnaughton’s Unicorn Sandwich

Canadian artist Kathryn Macnaughton creates beautiful illustrative designs using suggestive imagery and pornographic material.  I particularly love her “Filthy Rautten” series and her “Unicorn Sandwich.”

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The Gruesome Artwork Of Sarah Best Will Give You Goosebumps

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The artist Sarah Best creates astounding replicas of the female body, using it as a symbol that tracks the human desire for connection and intimacy; severed from the rest of the body, her sculpted hands and a cut-out collaged breasts take on a life of their own, worming their way up walls and pages and sometimes tracking blood in the process. The work, though sometimes gruesome, maintains a pulsating beauty; as if with clear intentions, her vital sculptures navigate space, dangling from hooks and exploring piles of cloth.

From both a feminist and an aesthetic standpoint, Best’s work operates in a miraculous, subversive manner; the feminist philosopher Susan Bordo, for example, writes that the body, coded female, is often seen as passive and lacking in intellect, explaining that therefore the body alone has the power to challenge those sexist ideas. Positioning parts of the body within cubistic collages and arresting installations, Best allows it to transcend societal definitions. Rather than figuring as part of a whole to be admired and objectified, limbs actively seek out understanding of the outside world, touching and feeling everything in their paths.

Wonderfully vulnerable yet undeniably powerful, female arm bears Christ-like stigmata, and the physical body searches for spiritual meaning. The oppressive boundaries between the corporeal self— too often considered to be unintelligent, immoral, and “feminine—” and the elevated metaphysical self are effectively shattered, and a new kind of humanity begins to emerge, one to which we can all relate, one that is beautifully desirous, yearning, and sometimes lonesome.

I got the amazing chance to speak with Best, and when I asked what advice she’d give to aspiring artists, she simply said, “Keep your integrity. You will only count, for yourself and in your art, to the extend that you keep your integrity.” Take a look.

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Hillary Wiedemann Chases After The Sun

Hillary Wiedemann, "Possessing The Visual"

Transit of Venus, 2013 from Hillary Wiedemann on Vimeo.

Possessing the Visible, 2013. from Hillary Wiedemann on Vimeo.

Light has always been an essential element in artist Hillary Wiedemann‘s work; her earlier projects exploring the relationship between light and glass, often bending, refracting and shaping light, with regular investigations into the seen, the unseen, the visible, and the nearly visible. Her installations have quickly matured into multi-sensory experiences that seem to evoke a sense of longing for the ability to make light a tangible thing.

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