Shintaro Ohata’s painting slash sculptures are beautifully finished glimpses into another world. The artist, born in Hiroshima, Japan, creates paintings that are accompanied by three-dimensional sculpture. Both the painting and the sculpture are so perfectly rendered that they seamlessly intermingle with one another. Ohanta’s painting abilities incorporate light, mood and subject impeccably. The effect is a snapshot out of a narrative where each figure is the heroine of her own story. A girl perched on a ledge blowing bubbles, the girl dancing through a nighttime urban scene, or my favorite, the girl walking amongst puddles that reflect the sky, looking up, which happens to be out at the viewer; each of these scenes has a unique story that feels very sweet, compelling and endearing.
There is a theme of solitude to Ohanta’s work. His subjects, usually young girls, are generally depicted alone, or in such a way that they seem alone, often in urban environments where there should be other people around. The paintings, however, are not lonely. Rather the subjects feel like they are lost in their own world, seeing, thinking and feeling things that we as viewers can only conjecture about.
Marek Haiduk is a designer form Germany. I like the interplay of black and white photography, a Minimalist color pallet and geometric shapes. Haiduk currently resides in Vienna, Austria. His work has been featured in publications like Computer Arts and recently exhibited at Lumas, a Berlin based gallery.
Swedish artist Johan Andersson creates hyperrealistic oil paintings that depict subjects who are socially vulnerable, be it politically, economically, or physically. These subjects are often largely dismissed or ignored, rendered almost invisible by mainstream society and culture. Andersson’s portraits capture the beauty and strength borne from this vulnerability, asking the viewer to question representations and relationships of identity across a spectrum of marginalization. Andersson currently lives in Los Angeles.
Creepy and funny is always a good combination. Follow-up to earier post of Urban Camouflages photographs from a while back, but the videos seem to add a new dimension to their work. I want to see more interaction with the shoppers and store employees though, but i’m probably missing the point.
British photographer Vikram Kushwah recreates pieces of the past with staged photography. Working with fashion designer, writer, and researcher Trisha Sakhlecham, the two produced a series of images titled Memoirs of Lost Time. The subject matter, its tone, and coloring of the photographs are a dreamy and hazy. They straddle the fine line between what is a dream and what is a memory. Each image features a person gazing beyond the landscape, as though they are longing for something lost.
On his website, Kushwah writes about Memoirs of Lost Time. He says that the series is inspired by the romantic notions of childhood memories, and goes on to say:
…A biographical documentation of sorts, of seven creative personalities’ childhood recollections, this book captures not only what was, but also suggests a very imaginative take on what could have been.
Stories evocative of the intimate moments and bygone days of these personalities are embellished with wondrously staged pictures featuring the subjects themselves. Each chapter takes you into the personal and never seen before world of one of these personalities with a short story, an insightful interview and photographs, weaving in and out of reality, where you start beginning to drift into a realm of imaginative possibilities and yet remain attached to the facts that were.
With dreams, like distant memories, we sometimes question whether or not something actually happened. While this could be distressing, Kushwah chooses to embrace uncertainty and magic of it all. There are some fantastical elements, like a woman that is carried away by small umbrellas. But mostly, these images lack action. Instead, they depict quiet moments in the company of many books or the vast outdoors. Reading and nature provide the perfect fodder for imaginations to run wild. (Via My Modern Met)
Slinkachu has continued to carry out his poetic, mini street installations since we last checked in with him. The British artist continues to up the ante with each new, ephemeral piece. Employing miniature figurines and various objects, the artist stages tiny dramas (often humorous, and socially aware) in site-specific public locations. Click through to see some newer images of his “Little People Project” (previously) and some selections from the slightly older “Inner City Snail” series.
Designer and illustrator Allen Crawford has just released a beautifully illustrated and hand-lettered book version of Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself,” an iconic poem included in the collection, Leaves of Grass. Inspired by his friend Matt Kish who illustrated each page of Moby Dick, Crawford completed this project over the course of 1 year in his basement. Crawford didn’t plan his illustrations for the poem he calls “an expression of primal joy”; he improvised each one by letting Whitman’s own words speak through him to create a tangible, visceral, and immediate visual interpretation of Whitman’s classic poem in keeping with the author’s sensibility. From Philadelphia, where Whitman spent his last decades, Crawford is intimately familiar with the settings and places Whitman describes in his work – this connection partly fuels Crawford’s affinity for the author’s writing. Because of Leaves of Grass’ status as a sacred American text that is inspired by Biblical verse, Crawford feels that a transcription of “Song of Myself” through illustrations and hand-lettering is fitting.
In his book’s introduction, Crawford writes, “I try to treat the poem as almost a landscape, in the sense that I’m exploring this unknown territory and I’m taking field notes from the mind of Whitman. He treats ‘Song of Myself’ as this broad, epic sweeping poem where he’s trying to include everything about American life he’s experienced. So it is a kind of landscape, a kind of world. It is a kind of continent in itself. And as you’re travelling through it, you have different impressions, your style will change, the type will change, sometimes the type will take the fore and you’ll get a very pictorial sort of a interpretation, or a symbolic one. Sometimes the image doesn’t necessarily jive, and isn’t depicting something that’s actually in the poem. I’m trying to provide a parallel narrative to Whitman’s in visual form.”
From setting hipster traps to designing tourist lanes on sidewalks, Jeff Greenspan’s work consistently employs a certain playful cleverness that questions our social norms in relation to spaces, New York City in particular. The Statue Experiment (pictured above) is no exception. Examining our own reality as far as engaging with art and its contextual expectations is concerned, Greenspan adds a little bowl of change in front of Frank Benson’s statue for a whole new effect. In fact, it just might be the best street performance art performed by an actual object . . . or maybe it’s the audience members who are the real performers? Click on the video after the jump to see what we mean.