There’s a pervasive sense of childlike fantasy that seems to underline many pop surrealist works. Make-believe animals that don checkered coats, tight rope walkers and re-imagined cats all vibrate within and beyond the confines chosen by each artist at hand.
The alluring world of pop surrealism frequently ushers in a sense of mythical innocence and humor, unifying the superficial world of popular culture with the recesses of the unconscious. With underlying themes of fragility and the macabre delicately hidden beneath a veil of cultural kitsch, saccharine sweet dreamscapes transform and redefine a caustically bright world enamored with packaged goods. The fantastical worlds created through the lens of the following artists explores the relationship between the seemingly pristine and the accompanying bittersweet decay that dwells beneath it. Featured artists include: Casey Weldon, Mac Sorro, Rafael Silveira, Leslie Ditto, and Britt Ehringer.
Lora Zombie‘s watercolors may look familiar: the Russian artist amassed a large internet following on sites like Threadless before recently branching out into the gallery scene. Inspired by music, street art, grunge, pop culture, and the color palette of Lisa Frank, Zombie creates these bright, youthful, and edgy watercolor scenes. Her work is comprised of a multitude of references that can be fun, gritty, absurd, or counter cultural, but each tells a story with fairy tale dimensions.
You can watch a video of Zombie in New York City for her “Blue Bird Lobotomy” show in November 2012 here. You can purchase prints of her work here. (via lustik)
Visual artist Sonmi Heglund revisits pop-culture creatures of the past and presents many new characters and stories of her own, in an intricate and graphic illustrative style. Dracula, Jiminy-Cricket, and weeping eyes… oh my!
Browsing through Keith Allen Phillips’ website, I found many sexy portraits of nude women, but with his series Messy, he takes his photography in a different direction. Phillips covers his models with a variety of foods from chocolate to Cheetos to sprinkles and icing sugar, and the results are pretty unexpected. Although some are still quite sexual, like when the model looks out at you from below a layer of creamy and chocolate while licking a finger, most don’t have that ‘food sex’ kind of vibe. By the time I reached the ones with a pink marshmallow mohawk, I realized I was barely processing the food as food, anymore.
Recently I wrote an article about Will Cotton, and Phillips feels like the anti-Cotton. Whereas Cotton’s world of food and women is soft, beautiful, and delectable, Messy has a harder edge, and one that I find more appealing. Once again, I’m drawn to the marshmallow mohawk woman, this time screaming out. She looks like a very intimidating alien. I find that although I have some difficulty with the idea of Phillips smearing food all over these women, the women rock it with a powerful presence, which is more than I can say of Cotton’s work. Each artist is experimenting with food, and beauty and sexuality in women. Phillips takes the viewer somewhere they didn’t expect to go. (Via Lost at E Minor)
Estevan Oriol is a brave soul. In Los Angeles, there are some neighborhoods that most people do not have access to. This disconnect between the outsiders and the neighborhoods, allows the mind to conjure up images of what it might be like to live in a gang territory, hood, barrio, etc. Estevan does what most photographers will not and cannot do; he treks into these neighborhoods and captures life in its rawest form. His photographs bridge the gap between our wildest imaginations and reality. No sugar-coating for the media here. Estevan’s work not only deals with street life, but with celebrities. Even music videos. The man is truly talented.
Feast your eyes on more dope images after the break.
Wildlife and Wildlives make up the world of artist Sage Vaughn. Swarming brightly colored butterflies along with strangely dressed kids makes for some interesting subject matter, and there is definitely a feeling of tension between the natural and unnatural elements in these paintings. Born in Jackson, Oregon and now working in Los Angeles, Sage also helped illustrate a killer music video for N.A.S.A. that you can see here.
CMRTYZ makes lo-fi, hand made posters and prints just like the ones to your favorite punk shows from when you were a teenager. It’s refreshing to see that some people are keeping the DIY show posters alive and still having fun with it. Makes me want to start a band, make my own flyers and play in front of 200 of my closest friends in a smelly old basement.