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Paul Kooiker

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Photographer Paul Kooiker has a creepy little voyeuristic collection of work that is not only unnerving, but quite beautiful all at the same time. In this way, his work really stands out to me, it is observation perfected – maybe even surpasses to intrusive. This terrifying, and talented photographer doesn’t need gore to freak you out. He just needs the eerie-calm and the psychological imprint he leaves behind that has you suspicious of just who is standing behind you. I am going to have some weird dreams tonight…

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Kristine Moran

Juicy oil paintings by Kristine Moran.

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Nicholas Nyland’s Colorful Abstractions

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Nicholas Nyland is a Washington-based artist who creates paintings, sculptures and installations.  Stating that his work is “driven by a fascination with the life of form, the nature of creation and the will to decorate,” Nyland makes works that are abstract, but contain references to history and traditional craft sources.  Embracing abstraction because as he says, “it is generous and capacious, able to absorb and then release a multitude of references,” Nyland does in fact draw from a myriad of sources.  For his most recent solo show in Seattle, Physical Speculations on a Future State, Nyland incorporated inspiration from Chinese scholar’s stones, Japanese gardens, Early American decorative traditions and 1970s design.  Despite such wide-ranging influences, Nyland manages to create works that are at once formally engaging and conceptually inquisitive.  Nyland leaves room for a viewer to consider material, gesture and form, but enigmatic historical references also provide inquiry into the way we define and identify objects.

There is lightheartedness to Nyland’s work that borders on humorous.  A viewer can tell that Nyland enjoyed making whatever object she is observing.  The lack of seriousness involved in Nyland’s works further promotes active questioning about material, influence and formal choice.  Moreover, the tactile quality of Nyland’s work makes it all the more engaging.  Bordering on craft with some of his works, Nyland’s pieces are all distinctly handmade.  There is a purposeful clumsiness to them that is charming and endearing.

Recent winner of a Contemporary Northwest Art Award, Nyland’s work will be on view at the Portland Art Museum through January 12, 2014.

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The Secret Garden Of Snails Is Filled With Slimey Wonder

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The photographer Vyacheslav Mishchenko spent much of his childhood in nature; following his father on mushroom hunting expeditions, he often crouched to the ground in rapt fascination with the tiny, slimy, and colorful wonderland of bugs. As an adult, he returns to this kingdom of imagination, cataloguing the daily lives of snails.

Breaking from the objectivity of traditional nature photography, Mishchenko’s soulful images read like a children’s storybook, filled with unexpected emotionality and suspense. The expertly-shot macro images frame the miniature snail landscapes in miraculous detail, seducing viewers into a world of Alice In Wonderland mushrooms and plump fruits. Shot from the vantage-point of teensy, unsuspecting creatures, the world seems vast and dazzlingly fertile.

The delicate creatures, seen so vividly, become startlingly powerful, their muscular bodies twisting and writhing around newly-budding stems. In this strange and enchanting visual narrative, snails become lovers who gently kiss, seemingly forming one long, sticky body in their embrace. They curiously extend towards succulent forbidden fruits that drip with raindrops; as if in some natural Eden, they hide their bodies in fantastic shells.

Reflected many times over in perfectly rounded dewdrops and in the artist’s own lens, the snails seem to verge on the point of self-awareneness. As if to evoke the metaphor applied to Helena and Hermia, the young heroines of Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, two snails arch their bodies over twin cherries, ripe and red. It’s miraculous what goes on beneath our feet, and I cannot think of  better set of images to get us in the mood for spring. (via BUST)

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Adam Rix

Adam Rix

Adam Rix‘ youthful style and creative edge has won him numerous awards and landed him gigs with top clients.

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Blip Boutique

The company says it best themselves! “Blip Boutique is a Los Angeles based collective creating visual content that is truly not boring! We conceive and produce original concepts for digital and emerging media that are innovative in both content and form. We thrive on working at the intersection of design, art, and technology, and our research and development in these fields is fundamental to our creative process. Blip Boutique strives to create engaging and innovative visual art in an ever expanding and elastic digital world, for a range of clients in music, fashion, advertising, the arts as well as ourselves. Feast your eyes and Fantasize.”

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Reinvigorating Wonder at The Venice Art Walk

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In the current state of Reality TV and backstage blogs, we as a world have lost our sense of wonder. And it’s because of one brave artist, Jon Bernad, that we will get it back. He was part of the Venice Art Walk AUCTION, not just as himself, but as an offer for an experiential possibility that attendees could bid on for a good cause, since the money would go directly to The Venice Family Clinic. What that means was that he fearlessly walked up to strangers with a bid sheet around his neck, as opposed to on a table or wall like the other artworks in the auction, and pitched to each new person a different adventure he felt they would want to go on. Everything from skydiving to dinner came up and during his time there he was offered to join unfamiliar faces on white water rafting trips and treks in the Amazonian Rain Forest. I like to say that Jon takes people on Art Adventures, but it’s really so much more than that. He is the only artist that embodies the ultimate truth. For he is only but himself, but his self is great.

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