The graphically sexual and violent nature of Suehiro Maruo’s illustrations has over the years catapulted him to stardom in the underbelly of Japanese art. There’s quite a few prominent blogs (Baby Art run by Trevor Brown, for example) that revolve around the genre which he is so big in: nightmarish manga (the Japanese term for comic books, meaning literally “whimsical pictures”) fall into the Japanese category of “erotic grotesque”. The stories often take place in the early years of Showa Era Japan. Maruo also has a fascination with human oddities, deformities, birth defects, and “circus freaks.”
Some of the images I’m posting here were from his collaborations with Japanese punk and hardcore records- many having to do with Fascist imagery that we at B/D in no way endorse! Nonetheless the artwork is beautiful. I especially love the line work and color juxtaposition in this cover he did for Funeral Party.
You might have read countless comics and watched all of the movies, but how often do you see a geriatric superhero? Not much, I’m sure. Arguably, these types of stories are less fun and offer less fantastical possibilities. A lot of stories are action-driven; The less action means potentially less appeal. The paintings of Andreas Englund, however, offer a different perspective. In his series of realistically-rendered oil paintings, Englund highlights mundane, amusing, and the occasional ass-kicking moments by an aging Superhero. We see him eating clementines, watching tv, and choking at a dinner party. And it’s not boring.
Age is the overarching theme in this series. Author Philipp Windmüller’s writes a short essay about Englund’s Superhero and highlights his transition from young to old. He states:
… the character himself needs to face up reality and the aging process. He has to acknowledge to himself that he cannot live up to expectations and that the “perfect life” is nothing more than wishfulness. Englund’s artworks are focused on the maturing process. Even in the old age it is still possible to achieve something valuable although someone’s drive and vigour won’t bluster out explosively. Nevertheless everybody in his advanced age deserves to be recognised and respected for what he has achieved in life.
Recognizing that we live in an ageist society, Windmüller goes to write that we should identify and have empathy for this character:
Every one of us will find himself in the same situation as the “Aging Superhero” anytime soon. Of course, all good things must come to an end but we don’t have to bow to social marginalisation. One day we all will be old and start realise we need to dial it down and stop pushing on harder. In a worldwide society where mostly older people live, we need a survival packet with superpowers in order to make sure that everybody can film his own superhero blockbuster. (Via This is Colossal)
Barcelona based Hey Studio makes really graphically strong work that is both socially and aesthetically aware. Check our their work after the jump, especially their branding project for Intermón Oxfam. The aim was to renew the image of Oxfam and create an emotional link between the association and its young target. To create a more visual language, the letters are converted into illustrations, which increases the signification of words and create a own graphical personality, direct and reinvidicative. Titles are reduced to one single word to communicate quicker and more directly. The all identity is based on one single black colour printed on different colour papers, to facilitate the production and lower costs.
The Color Blind shirt just might be the craziest shirt we’ve ever released! Designed by Indonesian designer Galih Adi, this shirt features a 4-color printing process that is so detailed that every lens flare, color gradation, and microscopic detail is captured. Even with all the colors large graphic the shirt printing is still butter soft, fooling many people into thinking its a heat transfer. Purchase it on our shop!
Matthew Kelly is a photographer living and working in NYC. His photography is definitely nothing less than unique. His current project “As My Father,” depicts a young man stepping into his father’s shoes, literally. Matthew’s other photos have the same portrait like qualities, and just like the first project, tell a dramatic story. Check out his website for more of his work and upcoming projects.
The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago is hosting a massive exhibition about the one and only, David Bowie. A titan glam rocker and all-around swoonage daydream, Bowie is one of the most influential musicians to date. Running from September 23rd to January 5th, 2015, this exhibition, titled “David Bowie Is,” includes installations, outfits, artwork, album art, and much more. The exhibition unfolds chronologically, starting from Bowie’s teenage years and running up until his retirement from touring in the 2000’s.
“David Bowie Is presents the first retrospective of the extraordinary career of David Bowie—one of the most pioneering and influential performers of our time. More than 400 objects, most from the David Bowie Archive—including handwritten lyrics, original costumes, photography, set designs, album artwork, and rare performance material from the past five decades—are brought together for the first time.
Bowie’s work has both influenced and been influenced by wider movements in art, design, theater, and contemporary culture, and the exhibition subsequently focuses on his creative processes, shifting style, and collaborative work with diverse designers in the fields of fashion, sound, graphics, theater, and film. Multimedia installations incorporating advanced sound technology produced by Sennheiser, original animations, continuous audio accompaniment, and video installations immerse visitors in the sights and sounds of Bowie’s artistic life. David Bowie Is was organized by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, and has embarked on an international tour with the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago as the only US venue.” (Excerpt from Source)
Joseph McVetty must think it’s Halloween every day. His subtle pencil drawings are littered with groups of scantily clad people carrying out strange ceremonies and rituals. He sketches masked girls sitting on top of a circle of mushrooms, assisting a floating diamond deity. We see gatherings of people holding skulls above their heads in formation, trying to harness their collective power. There are also Shamans wearing skulls who seem to be about to begin some sort of exorcism or are absorbing energy from the people wearing skulls circling them. No matter the scenario, McVetty’s work is rooted in new-age spiritualism, occult ritual, and psychedelic culture.
Living in Portland, Oregon, McVetty’s work draws on his own experiences with rituals of being in the woods on the east coast. He talks of the powerful effect nature has on him:
I remember going to the Bagby Hot Springs with my wife soon after we relocated here and having a really magical experience. The very existence of these hot springs is a lovely idea to me, but being out in that old growth forest with all of the accompanying sights and smells was overwhelming. Then to come upon a group of strangers, naked, getting high, filling up those old log tubs and laying in that steaming water blew my mind. (Source)
He says even though his work is connected to these personal stories and memories, his drawings also are concerned with events from the wider world:
A perfect example is the recent wave of civil resistance movements central to the successes of the Arab Spring. These sustained campaigns involving strikes, demonstrations, marches and rallies are exactly the kind of energy gathering rituals that inspire me. (Source)
Hopefully you all are inspired to go and create your own energy gatherings this very night. Happy Halloween!