Dana Tanamachi brings the art of dynamic turn of the century typography to the medium of chalk drawing. Her elaborate drawings are not anything short of amazing with some coming complete with QR codes drawn in chalk! Now that’s what I call a mix of old and new! More typographic goodness after the jump!
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Facundo Arganaraz lives and work in San Francisco. Using entirely found imagery and a crisp design sensibility Arganaraz alters and skews in order to create a modern dialogue with vintage visuals. His subject matter and acrylic with screen print technique is reminiscent of Christopher Wool and Andy Warhol as he too utilizes a design based aesthetic in which he incorporates text, multiples of the same imagery, and washed out color fields. In his own words: “Living among the vestiges of cultural entropy, I am using anachronistic elements and discarded images not for their nostalgic value but as remains (debris, waste, etc.) of 20th century utopias on the making. Mostly comprised of found photographs, photocopies, and pages from vintage books depicting modern designs and/or environments, I recruit this imagery (retro esthetics) as a mark-making tool, already packed and charged (ready-made?) with pictorial formal elements. Their core forms serve only to organize visual fields into dynamic, constructed compositions that hold a structural relation to the surface they organize.”
In a series of eerie, 3D printed dioramas, Canadian artist Guillaume Lachapelle expands miniature scenes into voids of seemingly infinite space. Entitled Visions, this series depicts ordinary spaces we see every day, such as a suburban neighborhood, parking lot, corridor, and library. However, when compressed, cast in shadows, and stretched into infinity, these rooms and urban landscapes take on a different emotional significance; the familiar becomes uncanny, instilling the imagination with both excitement and fear of the unknown. Where does the neighborhood end? And where does the hallway lead? As the exhibition description for Visions intriguingly states, “Lachapelle’s miniatures act as a threshold between what is seen and not seen” (Source).
During their exhibition, each of the tiny scenes were positioned atop solitary pillars. Seeing them from the outside almost lends the viewer a god-like perspective — we can perceive everything the mirrored spaces contain, including their hidden symbolism. The effect is somewhat alienating, as the illusory vastness intensifies an uncomfortable sense of loneliness; the parking lot, for example, becomes a dead zone of concrete and pale light that stretches on forever. However, on this existential plane, the universe is not entirely uncaring: there are signs of life and comfort, such as the lights from within the houses, and the books containing all the marks of human history. Looking past our dread of infinitude and emptiness, there is a greater, warmer, symbolic core in Lachapelle’s dioramas, and with the mirrors providing infinite space, the meaning we can pour into them is limitless.
Inspirational Tattoo artist Vinnie Myers boosts the confidence of breast cancer survivors by giving them back what they lost.
Working out of his Finksburg, MD studio, Myers gives women back the bodies they loved before surgery by tattooing special nipple designs on their lovely lady lumps. Myers, who started as a traditional tattoo artist while in the army, currently mixes a wide palette of paint to achieve a 3-D effect design of areolas. Too often, he says, women just get the basic, nothing too fancy but that does the job of bringing back color and livelihood to the area. The women he tattoos say that the process doesn’t hurt much since most sensation is lost during surgery.
French art duo spectaculaire Zim & Zou create dazzling paperscapes that are full of lush colors and imagination. With intricate snips and folds and other sorts of wizardry, they bring to life a series of candy-colored dreams populated with a flock of birds of a multitude of hues: sizzlingly bright red, rich bronze and gold, and aquamarine. There are no dull spots in the land of Zim & Zou: theirs is a technicolor wonderland that is fully and brightly realized.
The detail in their work is incredible, making their paper birds almost look like mechanical nightingales. Other denizens include a bright orange and navy lobster that looks like it’s been gift wrapped and a spider fully decked out in metallic splendor. It’s not just the natural world that gets an unnatural makeover: A neon machine, delightfully mysterious, stands in a spot marked by caution tape. Its bright colors pop and it promises all kinds of treats and cotton candy concoctions that are simply out of this world.
It’s amazing that Zim & Zou’s works are all entirely handmade. According to their bio,
“Their favorite material is the paper they’re cutting, folding and gluing to give rise to intricate and colorful sculptures. Paper inspires them for its versatility, infinite range of colors and unique textures. The flat sheets turned into volume are giving an installation the poetry of ephemeral material.”
In Jati Putra’s world, gravity doesn’t apply. People, nature and urbanism move around in total freedom. The sky becomes the ocean, dolphins dive in between seas and people enjoy a day at the beach inside a stadium. The pictures’ new aspect and the washed out colors resemble surrealistic landscapes inspired by Salvador Dali.
The Indonesian graphic designer knows how to manipulate and distort the simplest sceneries and create bizarre yet reassuring new environments. Using photo manipulation, he flips the main subjects around, alters ‘normal’ angles and shifts his characters into intriguing scenarios. The process is achieved in an unpretentious manner. Each picture demonstrates the ability for Jati Putra to envision an imaginary set as close to reality as possible.
Playing with reality, changing perspectives and the way we look at our daily lives. Without extravagant scenarios, the designer creates entertainment that is subtle and graceful. A surfer on the surface of the earth, jellyfish flying over a mountain or a lady admiring the earth imitating a sun-set. There’s no logic in Jati Putra’s elements. Only an invitation to travel in between a dimensional space of his own, drifting the viewer’s unconsciousness from the earth up to the sky, from his reality to his dreams. (Via Design Boom)
In artist Reiner Hansen’s series Facial Fallout, she paints self portraits that each depict a different persona. In some, she plays a character, like a reality star or the girl next door. In others, it’s another version of who she already is, but with a different hair style, skin sunburnt, and more. All of these are a departure of her true identity, which itself is fleeting and malleable based on who she was trying to be. Hansen explains:
Each is based on, or rather mapped onto, my own features and characteristics. My self image is re-conceived as these other women, who live in a world entirely different from my own. There is a process of transformation into involuntarily ‘stereotyped’ notions of who these people are or might be, a sort of method acting in painted form, leaving a history of performance in each image. Simultaneously a game that is playful as well as a meditative speculation on a fabricated ‘other life’, these images are partly about investigating the idea of ‘escape,’ not just away from ‘the self’ and into anonymity, but also away from the art historical traditions of the self portrait and its established practice of depicting the artist. Instead, concealing my self behind imagined personas, I attempt to escape identification.
These portraits are humorous, and part of the joy of looking at Hansen’s work is finding glimpses of her true self within all of these paintings.