Saga Sig is an Icelandic photographer with a colorful, quirky, and fantastically narrative vision. Though, surprisingly, still a student of fashion photography in London, Sig’s delightful photos have already been sought out by major commercial clients like Topshop, as well as trendsetting publications like Dazed & Confused and I-D. You can read up more on Sig’s fashion fairytales through her blog, The Neverending Story.
Allan Aubry’sSadness-Happyness print has a message that I think we can all relate to. The two come hand in hand. Lets all make a point to lean towards the positive side of things and learn and laugh at those sad moments in life.
Artist Li Lihong expertly juxtaposes two familiar but disparate sets of imagery. He renders familiar corporate logos as three dimensional sculptures. However, these are more than just sculptures. Li uses traditional ceramicist techniques coupled with Chinese iconography. The pairing of traditional and contemporary, East and West, corporate and fine art isn’t such a violent clash one may expect. Rather, the over arching familiarity, through from contrasting sources, is nearly complimentary.
Andy Ainger creates eerie paper creatures. Even with his fun color palate, some of his creations still give me the heebie jeebies. Aiger works with simple materials, saying his interests lie in “craft based art,” and plays with accessible household items like paper, breakfast cereal, and possibly sealing foam?
Photographer, film director, and international dilettante Ivan Cazzola takes photos of “models, artists, rock bands, cinema stars, gipsys and gangastars, posh ladyes, whores and transexuals”. His voyeuristic portraits are beautifully candid, subtly intimate, and just plain fresh. Almost reminds me of Diane Arbus, but more sexy and less creepy.
Portland painter Hickory Mertsching has a penchant for life, death and nature: both wild and man-made. His still lifes, done in oil, showcase a confluence of symbolism with many conflicting elements. Throughout his work, one sees a running commentary of environmental negligence, and human impact through littering and deforestation. Animals juxtaposed with crushed beer cans and chainsaws showcase not only the symbolic reference of destruction but also the aesthetics of defacing the environment through litter and clear-cutting. The animals interact, oblivious to the objects, as in real life: nature cannot defend itself nor comment on our treatment of it.
It is hard to view Mertsching’s paintings without feeling a paroxysm of guilt toward existing and participating in a time of such extreme usability; within a culture that bulldozes through natural resources, sidelines scientific research in the name of profit and economic interests, everyone meets a moment where they have to wonder just how bad their impact is on the world and what they could be doing differently.
Even so, Mertsching’s paintings focus on a larger set of paradoxes than just that. There is the implied confusion within viewing the animals, of which it is uncertain whether they are alive or dead. Many of the landscapes, some on fire and under immediate threat, are not fully realized and hover curiously within the white, negative space of the canvas. The direct confrontation between life force and waste, is beautifully arranged and painted in such a light that the garbage gains an antique presence, a glowing look, one that only highlights the ridiculousness of how we treat our environment.
Mertsching’s words on his own work:
“My paintings are about illustrating and presenting unavoidable natural realities by utilizing mundane objects as symbols. The realities constantly challenge our existence and are powerful enough to be beyond our control, always offering more to wonder and question. Such as the rise and fall of a garden in the span of summer it offers sustenance but requires toil for any reward of consumption. Within this cycle all allegorical manners of life occur, crossing paths, pursuits of enlightenment, conflicts of survival, and the passing of time.”
Fans of typography and clean illustrations with a dash of experimental yet calculated layout need to keep tabs on German designer Sven Neitzel AKA Nicer Graphics. Lets hope has access to good printing services with all gorgeous prints, posters, and graphics that are piled high on his portfolio site.
Lukasz Wierzbowski is a freelance photographer from Wroclaw, Poland. His photographs exude youthful energy and a sense of humor. With a keen eye for composition and a love for nature his work often features a figure playfully interacting with an environment. The result is a body of work that serves as pictorial allegories involving our relationship with the world around us.