Although references to animation and manga can be found in the large sculptures of Japanese artist Keisuke Tanaka, the artist’s main themes revolve around life and death, as he considers one of his main motifs, mountains, to be a magical place where life begins and ultimately ends. Each hand carved sculpture is built out of solid wood with so many miniature details so that we may get a sense of the view that the gods might have of the imaginative world of Tanaka.
David Herbert has such a strange and beautiful way of playing with material, form and imagery within his works. They reveal a kind of innocently childish love for the imagery of a boyish youth–star trek maquettes, space ships, odd automobiles, and copious “Disneyland” references– as well as an adult understanding of the architecture and connotations behind them.
One may find the concepts explored in Ward Roberts’Billions series confronting, given that the images within this series represent a fast-forming reality, predicted to be the dystopian future not so long ago. But the present is never perceived as the future we envisaged in the past. We move along the arrrow of time as stationary observers, watching the world transform before our very eyes, yet rarely aware of our transition into ‘the future’.
Billions removes us from this stationary reality for a brief moment, lifting us to the surface for air. From this detached place, these images allow us to see our world, yet we feel neither comfortable nor uncomfortable about it. We find the challenges of cognitive mapping, the loss of individualism, that theorists like Fredric Jameson were concerned with. But we seem not to feel alarm. Perhaps we have evolved along with our ideas, with our effects on the world and its dynamic entropy. Our minds have unconsciously integrated what was, through past eyes, a forecast of chaos. In our times, the concept of a billion no longer overwhelms us. As these photographs show us, we can stay solid and identify connectedness between floating transparencies. We now recognize a new kind of whole. It is a work that allows you to recognize your world and your place within it that is truly effective.
Artist Paul Rousso spent part of his career as an art director and freelance illustrator for big companies like Revlon, Clairol, and Bloomingdales. So, it’s fitting that his recent body of work relates to pop art and features realistic, larger-than-life sculptures of discarded candy wrappers, magazine pages, and money. He delicately forms acrylic into folds and creases of paper, and paints it to look like it’s been beat up, stepped on, and generally seen better days.
Rousso is specifically interested in these small pieces of ephemera that mean so much to us. From his artist statement:
Ever since I was a child I have been fascinated by the endless oscillation of the human condition through text and imagery. As alternating replicas of our day-to-day become transformed by the inexplicable need to create, I endeavor to illuminate the imagined, effervescent edges of our all but invisible lives through the flat, two-dimensional subject matter that is all around us. As these shifting forms become distorted through the lens of history, my work inscribes an epitaph to the printed reality that was our past existence.
By blowing up this forgettable part of popular culture, Rousso makes it inescapable. It’s in your face and won’t be ignored, reminding us about the obsessions that we have with it and eventually (try) and forget. (Via PICDIT and mashKULTURE)
It’s difficult to overstate how large Jorge Rodriguez-Gerda‘s portraits are. While much of his work consists of enormous charcoal portraits inhabiting the sides of entire apartment buildings, Rodriguez-Gerada’s Terrestrial Series are best viewed through an airplane window. The artist typically uses natural materials such as sand and dirt to draw out faces from the earth. Speaking about the reasons for his portraits’ huge scale he says:
“I am critical of the marketing that has crept into so many facets of our lives. I decided to do work that would counter it by using the same codes used by advertisers such as scale, visibility and eye catching images. I wanted these new iconic images to be huge and placed in strategic places.”
Marion Peck‘s paintings are all just a little bit twisted — and that is one of my favorite things about them. Peck has been a prolific painter these past few years, and now the art world is starting to show her some love. Her works juxtapose fluffy creatures and noble ladies with an assortment of creepy crawlers and obscene gestures. With such a mixture, there is bound to be a little something for everyone.
Hong Kong based Kurt Lam’s site says that he is a fashion illustrator but his portfolio is full of illustrations that reference art nouveau, art deco, japanese scroll painting, and various modes of abstraction that defy traditional fashion illustration tropes and push the boundaries of the genre.
I love Taylor Davis’ weird little boxes and bizarre constructions. A lot of them remind me of the magic trick paraphernalia I used to play with endlessly as a little girl- like they have secret compartments or something.