Ernie Button lives and works in Phoenix, AZ. He has an ongoing project entitled Vanishing Spirits in which macro photographs are taken of evaporated single-malt Scotch whiskey. What remains resembles intergalactic microcosms and psychedelic landscapes. In his own words: “The idea for this project occurred while putting a used Scotch glass into the dishwasher. I noted a film on the bottom of a glass and when I inspected closer, I noted these fine, lacey lines filling the bottom. What I found through some experimentation is that these patterns and images that you see can be created with the small amount of Single-Malt Scotch left in a glass after most of it has been consumed. The alcohol dries and leaves the sediment in various patterns. It’s a little like snowflakes in that every time the Scotch dries, the glass yields different patterns and results. I have used different color lights to add ‘life’ to the bottom of the glass, creating the illusion of landscape, terrestrial or extraterrestrial.” (via)
From what I can tell, Pierre Bolide likes a few things: Space. Raging vein mutant muscles. And imaginary feuds with Chuck Norris. The only way I can describe these are like fan club illustrations of a long lost Nintendo video game that totally ruled and I played so much I saw the shapes on the back of my eyelids when I went to sleep at night, or some totally awesome TMNT (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) spin-off series based on one of Shredder’s obscure, but totally awesome minions. Found on B/D’s very own Creative Pic Pool!
Artist Nathan Walsh‘s paintings of urban environments seem impressively realistic. The attention to detail in turn demands the viewers attention to small pockets of each canvas. Varying textures, reflections on water and glass, effects of light are all captured so acutely, it’s nearly mesmerizing. Exploring each piece is similar to exploring that little patch of neighborhood as a tourist. However, it is Walsh’s careful attention to perspective that set his work apart. It is easy to understand why he may often be lumped in with a larger group of Photorealist painters. However, close consideration of his work reveals Walsh isn’t set on a meticulously faithful reproduction of a photograph or scene. Rather, he seems to endeavor to depict the idea of a space, the feeling of depth.
In his essay on the artist, Michael Parasko expounds on this and writes concerning Walsh’s use of perspective:
“The way Walsh constructs pictorial space takes two forms. The first is a horizontal extension and the second an illusion of depth. Both are exaggerated so that neither method results in the reproduction of nature; yet in such exaggerations Walsh has sought to create believable space. We are convinced into thinking these are images of the world as it is, but the truth is that space in these paintings is not really like the space we inhabit at all. They seem to prove Quintallian’s old adage, ‘The perfection of art is to conceal art.’…Although there is real quality in the way Walsh extends space in this lateral way, my personal view is that Walsh’s most individual works are concerned with the illusion of deep space within the canvas. In these there is a real sense of an artist balancing the need to maintain the illusion of reality with the desire to push the illusion of very deep space to its limits.”
Portland based Meredith Dittmar draws on the world around her as inspiration for her delicately formed compositions. Made entirely from polymer clay, she twists, squeezes, slices and weaves different shades together to form her distinctive artworks. Reminiscent of fantasy computer games, scientific drawings and algorithms, and including organic forms of vines, leaves and trees, Dittmar’s work is a beautiful combination of science and art; man and nature; patterns and rhythms.
She cites her influences as:
“the mushrooms found in our forest, Eames power of 10, and the visualizations of complex math, science, and especially theoretical physics.”
The idea of a “Cosmic Zoom” that Dittmar displays in her work is very evident. She simultaneously depicts the Universe at a large scale, including cities, forests and planets; while also focusing in on it at a minute scale – including quarks, atoms and molecule structures.
She often includes some sort of figures in her work to add a human scale. These can be anything from human hands holding a form, or body parts being split open by triangles. Known also for designing different characters in polymer, Dittmar sculpts these into her landscapes. Alien-like creatures with big eyes bring a strange sense of humanity to her work. They make you feel like you are viewing your own world, and something quite different. Dittmar and her creations definitely bring a new sense of wonder to the simple things around us. She points out, that maybe things aren’t that simple, after all.
Artist Motoi Yamamoto is known for his sprawling installations entirely composed of carefully poured salt. His newest installation Charlotte, North Carolina’s Mint Museum is titled Floating Garden. Existing for slightly under a month, the community was invited to ‘dismantle’ the installation. A huge swirling pattern, one familiar from nature, covers the floor. Upon closer inspection, the hurricane-like shape is a tight network of neat lines of salt. Salt is replete with symbolism in Western culture but has special meaning in Japanese culture. The museum explains:
“Salt, a traditional symbol for purification and mourning in Japanese culture, is used in funeral rituals and by sumo wrestlers before matches. It is frequently placed in small piles at the entrance to restaurants and other businesses to ward off evil spirits and to attract benevolent ones. Motoi forged a connection to the substance while mourning the death of his sister, at the age of twenty-four, from brain cancer, and began to create art out of salt in an effort to preserve his memories of her.” [via]
Taylor Baldwin’s highly crafted sculptures are filled with hundreds pieces that come together to create a complex explosion of texture, color, material, and sculptural techniques. From representational wood carvings to computer assisted laser etched drawings, Taylor combines anything and everything to bring to life his rich pieces that will have you staring at them for hours.
Smashed car crash paintings by Timothy Buwalda.
“My paintings deal with both the formal aspects of painting and the concept of the imagery. I always want them to reference each other. How the painting is built and previous layers discarded is similar to how the cars are crashed and need to be fixed or left in their state. This can be broadened to speak to the choices we make at every moment, and the quiet consequences that are left.”
The world of child mafias, gooey relatable beasts, funky leathery space dudes, soft bodies, diseased bodies, and crusty bodies, is the world of DeForge. Toronto-based Michael DeForge is running amuck in the independent comic’s scene. He is consistently putting out top-notch work executed in his very distinct style, a style that allows for plenty of room for experimentation while still being immediately recognizable as the “DeForge touch”. At age 24, with just a few years solidly devoted to comics, it’s amazing to imagine what he will achieve in his lifetime. On top of that, he does prop and effects for the wonderful Cartoon Network series Adventure Time. He has the drive. He has the look. He has it all. He is King Trash.