Otto Rap hides these grotesque imagery in a delicate, graphite-rendered haze. Otto’s illustrations exude a natural flow of dark noise that vibrates with raw energy. But the way he executes it all, in a kaleidoscope explosion of beautiful pattern making, is what really does it for me.
Eric Shaw creates fractal-filled cosmic psychedelic drawings and paintings that takes both abstraction and figuration to strange, surreal new levels. We’ve actually had the pleasure of doing an in-depth interview with him on the B/D site last year, so it was great to catch up with him! Just a few days away ’til “Art Works Every Time,” and we can’t wait!
In the dawn of an era where Facebook has added a customizable option with about 50 different terms people can use to identify their gender, and an oscar nominated film about AIDS and a famous male, straight musician playing a transgender role (aka Dallas Buyers Club), we are bound to see more projects like JJ Levine‘s in the mainstream media.
The Montreal based photographer, an avid cataloguer of trans and queer communities since early 2000’s, creates Alone Time, a series of photographs in which he recreates typical domestic environments that play around with the idea of gender stereotypes. For this project he uses one model only; the one model is to play both the male and female characters in the image. The result, Levine said, “challenges the normative idea that gender presentation is stable or constant. Rather, gender expression can be fluid and multiple.”
“work is emerging at a moment when people are starting to talk more about gender and sexuality in the public sphere, which allows more space for queer cultural production and representation in the mainstream.”The thought-provoking work gives us the chance to become vulnerable and empathetic towards
The thought-provoking work not only give us, the viewer (of any gender,) the possibility to become vulnerable and empathetic, but also the ability to imagine ourselves in this specific situation. What would it be like to be a member of the opposite sexes? Do I, in anyway, resemble some of all the male/female/transgender characteristics?
Levine, a trans and queer man, uses his sexuality, gender and past experiences in his art in order to reach out to those who are not necessarily familiar with the subject. He intends to expand awareness through creating work that is familiar to all, and not just one gender. He notes that his images “talk about and celebrate marginality from a place of familiarity and self-exploration as opposed to voyeurism.” (via Slate)
John Jerome O’Connor’s playful psychedelic abstractions are not just inventive in markmaking and composition but also use inventive and sometimes bizarre premises/rules to conjure up the imagery .
Here’s a description by John about how the above piece was concieved: “This work is based on cultural differences in interpersonal space – the actual space people create between themselves and another person in casual conversation. Specifically, I used a study from 2004 in the Journal of Social Psychology of Dutch, English, French, Irish, Scottish, Greek, and Italian conceptions of personal space. The study looked at gender, pairs of people, and groups. The literal space was recorded for each group studied, and then averaged. I used these measurements to create the structure and patterns in this work. The length of the lines and sizes of shapes in my drawing correspond to the actual spaces (measured in the study) between people of different cultures. The patterns I made also reference these differences. In the center, I used photographs I took and found of people moving through crowds at parades – their patterns trying to navigate these spaces.”
Check out the rest of John’s work after the jump.
Not unlike the waves that he’s surfed religiously for more than 50 years, the mangled surfboard pieces by artist Herbie Fletcher soar in scale. Up close, you can see the bites taken out of each piece by rocks, sun and surf—recalling the moments that each board was obliterated by crashing waves. They echo the sheer power of the sea, and the tenuous line that pro surfers ride when trying to catch a massive, championship wave.
The somewhat cleverly titled “Wreck-tangles” carry a colorful, graphic collection of various decals, traction pads, fins or logos carry the personality of the surfer who used it, collected sponsorships and awards with it…and ultimately wrecked it. The collision of precise, formal geometries with the pop cacophony of logos and images finds an appropriate resting place on these destroyed relics of surf culture.
Art meets commerce in this video directed by the legendary Joe Pytka. Pytka, a cinematographer, director and film maker was so inspired by New York-based artist Nate Lowman’s Just One Eye project with Converse he was inspired to create a short filmed that embodied the spirit of the project.
In the video, the viewer is welcomed into an enigmatic scene with a disembodied eyeball, blood and dimly lit hallways. Something sinister and grim is afoot and then we meet our one-eyed protagonist. It leaves the viewer thinking, just what is going on here? What’s going on is a collaboration between artist Nate Lowman and Converse to make a custom Chuck Taylor shoe. Lowman has cut one of his paintings (depicting a copy of Willem de Kooning’s 1954 portrait of Marilyn Monroe) into as many pairs of unique high-top Chuck Taylors as possible.
The great thing about these collaborations is that it exposes a whole new audience to art and allows them to incorporate it into their every day lives. Lowman’s work has been described by New York Times chief art critic as “down-and-out excursions into collage, graffiti and appropriation.” Lowman’s first critical acclaim came about as a result of a show with P.S.1. He has also collaborated with brands like Supreme to create exclusive products. Each pair of Chuck Taylors from the Just One Eye: Nate Lowman collaboration is a unique piece of art in and of itself, a fragment of a whole. Everyone who owns a pair of this collection will be part of this unique part of Converse history.
This post is sponsored by Just One Eye
I’m loving this project by Jose Guizar called “Windows of New York.” Every week, Jose walks the streets of his city streets in New York and documents the neighborhood windows. After picking out windows of interest, he takes them into illustrator and makes magic happen. In his own words: “I’m into all kinds of visual things, sharing good stuff with great people, and apparently, staring creepily at windows.” Check out a selection of Jose’s windows after the jump, and follow along at windowsofnewyork.com