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.
Moscow-based Uno Moralez creates mysteriously creepy bitmap narrative works that spin tales of sex, magic, dark humor, and other-worldly creatures. At times the perspective recalls early 90’s computer video games (not this one specifically, but that just needs to be seen), and at others, the thrill of horror manga. Something fantastic is added by the crunch and texture of the bitmap effect, and his use of highly dramatic scenes cause him to stand apart from much of the pixel art the internet has to offer, which tends to play up the flatness of its screen origins. Don’t miss his loops over at his site, and you can get physical with his comic in Chameleon 2.
Dude. Just. Whoa. Heavy metal/wizards in winter/hesh lights.
Artist Aki Inomata asks “Why not hand over a “shelter” to hermit crabs?” and this is exactly what she does. Inomata carefully scanned the structure of shells used by hermit crabs and took note of their specific needs. Then using 3D modeling software she created new “homes” for these crabs. Drawing a connection between humans and the hermit crabs, Inomata decorated the shells with human structures and dwellings. Somewhat similar to humans, the crabs out grow their shells and must look for new shelter. The project underscores the basic need of a place to live, regardless of the seeming complexity behind the issue.
Mike Leavitt is already known for his playfully subversive figures that feature and poke fun at other artists, celebrities, and world leaders. In his newest series, Empire Peaks, Leavitt combines famous leaders and innovators with characters from Star Wars. Comprised of 18 figures sculpted out of wood, and each corresponds to one character from the movie franchise. Albert Einstein’s infamous expression is sculpted into R2-D2, while Steve Jobs is his counterpart C-3PO. Michael Jackson plays the part of the adorable Ewoks. US President Barack Obama is Lando Calrissian.
Inspiration for Empire Peaks came from Leavitt’s experience growing up as a Gen-X’r raised by Baby Boomers. With both his parents working, he had to entertain himself, relying on the cheap thrills of television and plastic toys. Describing the series, he writes:
For better or worse, each ‘Empire Peaks’ non-fictional character is complicit in the world order today. We’re all shackled to our past because of endlessly echoing paradigms. David Sirota argues in ‘Back to Our Future’ for a cyclical 30-year regurgitation of politics and culture. I think it’s an inescapable human nature causing regimes to repeat themselves. ‘Empire Peaks’ are meant to reduce modern dynasties to a sci-fi soap opera of objects.
It’s all about gluttony. Serving desires lubricates civilization. Capitalism fills desire and demand. Development expands. Culture thrives. From religious redemption to material objects, mass coveting is the driving force. (Via ARTNAU)
Carl D’Alvia’s furry and fuzzy sculptures made out of resin, ceramic, and bronze draw inspiration from megalithic monuments, toy design and the Baroque, to create work that is minimal in form but has a tongue and cheek humor to them that I find refreshing.
Like clues in a crime scene, Tetsuya Ishida’s paintings use a million tiny details to tell their story. The note on the table, the eerie playtime carnage–Ishida’s work often speaks of the uncertain union between Man and Machine. But I think the most unsettling thing about his paintings is that the human figures’ reactions range only from complacency to mild concern, as if I re-enacted deadly car accidents with my toys on a daily basis. In a tragic act of irony, Ishida himself was hit and killed by a train in 2005.