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A Common Name’s Urban Geodes

A Common Name is a Los Angeles based graphic designer and artist whose decidedly different take on street art is anything but common. In contrast to traditional 2-D street art materials like wheat paste and spray paint, she takes to the streets with bright geometric forms reminiscent of geodes, comprised completely of paper. Seeming to grow out of cracks and crevices in the eroded urban landscape, these pieces are suprisingly subtle and fragile treasures likely to be overlooked by those caught up in the constant hustle of city life. Treasure hunters and urban explorers can track down these tiny gems and peek into the painstaking process with which they’re made by checking out A Common Blog.

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The Mysterious Pixel Illustrations Of Uno Moralez Disturbs And Provokes The Imagination

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When he’s not drawing for commercials and films, Russian artist Uno Moralez disseminates mysterious—and oftentimes erotic and horrific—bit-style illustrations onto the internet. His work is both thought-provoking and unsettling, depicting supernatural events, bizarre social situations à la David Lynch, and sexual scenes uncomfortably twisted with an aroma of absurdity and the grotesque. Demons, deranged gods, devious criminals, and sleeping beauties populate Moralez’s world.

What makes each of Moralez’s images captivating is the amount of narrative they encompass; it may be as eerily simple as a boy waiting for a bus in the dark woods, or as strangely elaborate as a man being asphyxiated by a demon’s tongue while two women look on. Elsewhere, Karl Lagerfeld is voyeur to a woman’s encounter with herself in a mirror held aloft by two teddy bears; in another image, a man vomits mournfully into the ocean. Objectively, none of these scenes make logical sense, serving instead as fuel for the imagination, like symbolic—and somewhat disturbing—images wrenched from a dream. Even where Moralez has drawn several connected images, such as the thief who steals a jewel from a sleeping woman’s forehead, there appears to be a story that supersedes the boundaries of the illustrations.

In an older but fascinating interview with The Comics Journal, Sean T. Collins had the opportunity to chat with Moralez about his art and influences, which draw from traditional Soviet art and Japanese manga. Remaining somewhat ambiguous, Moralez maintained in the interview that his images are aimed at being imaginative, symbolic, and mysterious, rather than directly shocking or horrific. When asked if the erotic energy present in his work was personally sourced, the artist compellingly replied,

Does it mean that erotic nightmares regularly strangle me, and that is reflected in my art? Of course not. In sexual passion I see an irresistible force, in front of which most people, even very strong ones, appear as helpless victims. There is something diabolic in it. Passion is a fire. This symbol seems very suitable for passion, and I use it very often myself. (Source)

Enticing us with mystery, human drives, and drama, Moralez’s dark, pixelated stage is worth wandering onto. Check out his website to view more, and click here to read the full interview The Comics Journal. (Via Juxtapoz)

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Sergio Albiac’s Computer Program Combines Chance And Control To Generate Portraits

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Barcelona based artist Sergio Albiac creates these abstract portraits by writing computer programs that generate images, always including code that will randomly generate some aspect of the results. Through this medium of expression, Albiac has found a captivating balance of control and randomness, such as the portraits of Rimbaud and Neruda created from their words and signatures.

Albiac explains his process, “When I code a generative sketch, I introduce control (the sentences that govern the sketching action) and also a degree of randomness in the code. This is a machine control/randomness balance. Then, I select certain outputs (again, human control) and I paint a canvas using the selected generative images as an starting point, without the aim of exact reproduction. The act of painting is a struggle between control and randomness because, depending of the painting technique, paint behavior cannot be totally controlled by the painter. In this way, I explore a fascinating “dialogue” between control/randomness and machine/human interaction. It makes sense to me. I feel connected to artistic tradition but using the generative sketchbook process, I can create in a very contemporary and innovative way that deeply reflects the ideas I need to express.”

You can see more at his tumblr and Flickr pages.

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Vasa Mihich’s Cast Acrylic Sculptures

Vasa Mihich lives and works in Los Angeles where he is the senior Professor of Design at the University of California. His geometrical pantings and sculptures explore the relationship between light and color. He is producing an ongoing series of radiant cast acrylic sculptures. The sleek prismatic forms reference geometric shapes as well as minerals found in nature. The mass production of the industrial plastic used to create each piece is referenced in part by the distribution of the series as they are all available as multiples.

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Worlds Largest Kaleidoscope Made Of Swarovski Crystals

Built in 1995 in the Austrian village of Wattens, Swarovski World is perhaps the worlds most unusual Flagship store/theme park. Designed by multimedia artist André Heller, the site features 14 underground chambers of wonder dedicated to the versatile artistic interpretation of the material crystal. The result is a universe of discoveries and a simply unique experience that is a must see for your next Austrian vacation.

Some of our favorite Attractions at Swarovski World include:

Crystal Dome: With 590 mirrors covering its walls, the Crystal Dome offers a kaleidoscope rich with colours: light is reflected in all facets. This breathtaking spectacle is stylishly accentuated with music by Brian Eno.

Mechanical Theater: The desire for transformation, passion and erotic fantasies excites people – and also the mechanical world of Jim Whiting. An Adonis and the graceful Walking Woman represent the male-female relationship and form the central motif of the British artist’s stomping, leaping installation. However, the mechanical theatre could also be described as a surreal fashion show in which rigid things suddenly spring to life and clothes fly and dance through the air as if by magic.

Crystaloscope: The crystaloscope is the biggest kaleidoscope in the world. Upon taking a look inside, the harmonizing power of crystal becomes perceivable to body and soul. The installation, designed by André Heller and therapist Peter Mandl, casts endless variations of images that appear from the ever emerging crystal formations.

Watch a video of Swarovski World and see more pictures after the jump! (via)

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Max Lamb’s Artistic Process Involves Pouring Molten Pewter Into Sand . You Won’t Believe What Happens Next

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An excavation artist, if there ever was such a thing, Max Lamb creates beautiful works of art and furniture using Mother Nature as one of his tools.  On a beach in Cornwall, England, Lamb uses primitive sand casting techniques to make his pieces. One of the earliest forms of casting, sand casting requires low-tech materials and systems.  Attracted to this method, Lamb employed this simple technique to create the pewter stool depicted in the video.  His knowledge of techniques, materials and his skill allow Lamb to explore method and medium in a unique way.  There is a sense of adventure to Lamb’s work, which makes his process as interesting as the final product itself.  His practice consists of an artistic honesty and respect for process that induces excitement and surprise.  Watching Lamb excavate his pewter creation from the sand evokes a sense of wonder and an awareness of magic.

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TABOR ROBAK

Can video games be art? If you ask me, I’d say “Yep,” and I’m sure you would be hard-pressed to find anyone under 30 who would say “Nope”. I just asked because you still have people like this, but he also thought this, so he’s not very credible now is he. Anyway, we’ve got a couple of games (BNPJ.exe and Mansion) created by the versatile Tabor Robak available for free download.

Mansion (2010) didn’t really do much for me, and it seems like a warm-up for Tabor. BNPJ.exe (2011), on the other hand, is certainly more developed, but still a bit too linear. He does insure that BNPJ.exe will be viewed as an attempt at art simply because he wraps most of these strange worlds in famous paintings. Frankly, I am not fond of this tendency in contemporary art to reference itself as a safety net, but I don’t believe it is a primary aspect of the game. I admit it is hard to judge, because the criteria for games is far different than the criteria for art, but sometimes you should just have a good time and resist assessing the shit out of something.  BNPJ.exe is not without its moments of beauty though, and when I came upon this image directly below I was insured of a promising future (I did come upon this in a non-linear fashion, and it took me multiple tries to find it). I don’t know of any similar types of “art games”, and I think Tabor Robak could really create something powerful with his next game.  I know I’ll being waiting in anticipation to see where he takes these “art games”, and I’m curious to hear what you dudes think about these interactive experiments.

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Gruesome, Hyperrealist Oil Paintings Of Hacked Up Body Parts By Fábio Magalhães

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For Brazilian artist Fábio Magalhães’ hyperrealist oil paintings, the more grotesque the better. Using gruesome body horror imagery such as hacked up, barely identifiable body parts and suffocated faces in plastic bags, Magalhães’ work is as incisive as it is skillfully rendered. The breaking down of recognizably human appendages and entrails into chopped up, stomach churning chunks is purposefully reminiscent of a real-life counterpart: that of animal cruelty. Although we’re accustomed to seeing animals deconstructed into bright, vacuum-sealed packages of meat every time we go to a supermarket, it’s only when faced with the sickening sight of what our own bodies would look like if sold in similar plastic bags that truth of the cruelty behind the meat industry becomes stunningly clear. Magalhães’ paintings are nightmarish in portrayal, and certainly something you’d never want to see in real life, but when put to canvas are strong, provocative, and memorable works. Magalhães studied at the Federal University of Bahia in the city of Salvador, where he is currently based. (via Illusion)

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