A trio of new T-shirt designs by young Japanese artist Aya Kato just made their royal entrance into our online shop. The shirts hearken back to a fairy-tale like epoch, combining art nouveau and calligraphic-like line work to create fanciful and bold designs.
“Yamato,” itself an ancient word to symbolize “Japan,” depicts an ethereal interplanetary star-scape, with rock formations and pyramidical structures apparating amongst the bonsai trees and clouds. “Geisha” and “Chrysanthemum” depict luscious, magical female figures that call to mind warrior-princesses, elven deities and beyond.
Marshmallow Laser Feast is an interdisciplinary arts studio that uses tech to create interactive and magical experiences. From laser-bearing drones to movement-reactive instruments, their works fuse together lighting, sound, and visuals in a synesthesia-like exploration of enlightening and alternative realities. Their newest project, In the Eyes of An Animal, revisualizes the world we think we know as it is perceived by different creatures. When wearing Marshmallow Laser Feast’s strange, pod-like virtual reality mask, participants are immersed in 360° renderings of Grizedale Forest, exploring the treetops and undergrowth as a dragonfly, frog, or an owl. The world was created using a synthesis of multiple techniques, including CT scanning, photogrammetry, and an aerial camera.
The video above provides a teaser of what the experience looks like. In a tour of parallel worlds, the mask guides you through the forest while accentuating and transforming the senses: molecule-like particles break apart and shift; trees, plants, and animals become flickers of abstract color; and bird song, insect calls, and music melt together in an otherworldly melody that slows down time and flows in rhythm with the undulating forest. The effect is haunting yet spellbinding, reinvograting a child-like curiosity about the deep dark woods and the beings that inhabit it. Marshmallow Laser Feast’s artistic interpretation of different perceptions reminds us that reality is not singular or concrete, and that we live in a world of multiple worlds. In the Eyes of An Animal demonstrates the freedom, empathy, and beauty in exploring realities that exist alongside our own.
When looking through photographer Caroline Mackintosh‘s visual archive, the themes are immediately evident: beauty, youth, adventure. Using her lens, she paints a vivid storyline of an endless summer, stretched out over empty streets, swimming holes, and desert air. The sun-soaked quality of the colors, and slight dip in and out of focus give her work an air of honesty, as though she’s invited the viewer to casually sifting through a box of snapshots.
Mr. James Oses is a UK freelance illustrator. He works on location, sitting himself down where he pleases, and, using his steel-nib dip pen and ink, captures the streets of London. I love the active line quality of his illustrations – somehow he embeds a dynamic that makes me believe the image is a still from some animation reel that will, at any second, begin playing.
I’m completely blown away by the illustrations of Finland based Riikka Sormunen. Her delicate lines, amazing earthy color schemes, and dense patterning make me want to stare at these forever. I also love the subtle influence of Japanese woodblock prints that comes through in some of the works. (via)
A long-time fan of Ralph Steadman, I still encounter works of his that have somehow missed my radar. Published in 1995, a special edition of George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” (currently out of print) features 100 full-color and half-tone illustrations by the artist. Maria Popova over at Brain Pickings was able to find a copy of this rare edition, citing quotations from Orwell’s “The Freedom of the Press,” the proposed but unpublished preface to the original “Animal Farm” that accompanies Steadman’s raw and gritty illustrations.
Steadman has long been known as a Gonzo artist, a reputation due in large part to his long partnership with Hunter S. Thompson, but has also illustrated other books in his signature inkblot style including, “Alice in Wonderland,”“Treasure Island,” and most recently, “Fahrenheit 451,” in addition to drawing everything from political caricatures to wine and beer labels. NPR notes that he’s even written an opera libretto.
Of his fluid style, Steadman says, “You don’t pencil in anything; you just start going and see where it leads you. It’s an adventure, a little journey. Every drawing is a kind of journey. There’s an organic quality that is quite potent, you know. You surprise yourself, and that’s quite nice.”
A documentary about Steadman narrated by Johnny Depp, titled “For No Good Reason,” is set to release later this year. The film’s director, Charlie Paul, says, “I was concerned that Ralph’s art would be the man and that I’d end up trying to make a film with someone who had this kind of aggressive attitude towards the world. But Ralph is such a lovely, warm and generous man, and yet he goes to his table and creates these pieces of art which are dangerous and, to be perfectly honest, quite upsetting sometimes.” ( via brain pickings and npr)
Brian walker is a contemporary digital artist whose images explore and exploit the realm between fantasy and reality, recreating scenes that meld illustration and fashion with an element of surprise.Stemming from a passion for illustration to depict his ideas and concepts of surrealist landscapes and characters, Walker first began using photography as a tool to represent these ideas of the impossible within the believable context of photography.
Walker ‘s works have featured compositions such as battery packed human figurines, fur clad models destined for the meat market and a post modern take on the beloved nursery rhyme Jack and Jill.
Walker is heavily influenced by photographer David Lachapelle, “I’m interested in his ability to iconograph a scene from popular culture and to make it look so real that it is contrived. I would say our processes are similar, I use a lot of concept sketching as my works are highly manipulated, I have to plan almost every detail before a shoot to make sure I have every element I need. I meet with the make up artist, models and stylist to make sure things run smoothly and that they share my vision.”