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Alex Gibbs’ Comic Bleakness

Alex Gibbs is an English artist whose paintings and drawings are equal parts despairing and funny. I love his mix of patterns, graphic contours, and all-over narratives–sex on a couch in a party room with a man huddled and crying; dancing by yourself in a room filled with big floral prints; a (presumably) dead couple holding hands in airplane seats surrounded by puzzle-like pieces of their airplane. His work doesn’t make light of human tragedy per-se, it just gives it a little perspective by flattening us into the shapes and patterns of the world we live in, relishing in the absurdity of our perceptions. ( via )

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Made With Color Presents: Scott Greenwalt’s Fantastical Cosmic Worlds

Scott Greenwalt

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This week we’re bringing you another talented artist as part of our partnership with premiere website building platform Made With Color. Each week we bring you some of the most exciting artists and designers working today who are using Made With Color to create clean and sleek websites that are optimized for desktop, mobile, and tablet. Made With Color sites aren’t just good looking, they also feature powerful yet simple backend which allows anyone to create a professional site with just a few clicks.This week we are excited to share the detailed paintings of Scott Greenwalt.

Oakland based painter Scott Greenwalt’s dense paintings sway back and forth between abstraction and representation in a nervous frenzy. With references to cosmic galaxies and the human nervous system, his otherworldly paintings weave both the familiar and the unknown through one another creating ornate futuristic worlds.

“Scott Greenwalt presents images that illustrate with an uncanny precision the palpable horror of our physical situation. And like the alchemists of old, he instills in the work an element of the mysterious, a fantastical imagining of our souls and bodies transformed in matter and energy.

The result is landscapes and portraits populated and magnetized by cloudy æther, sinewy, degraded and corporeal fragile forms, fine filaments of hair and flesh transmutated by rays of energy streaming from eyes and orifices. The work captures a moment of profound fantastical physical change and refer to a thing larger than that what we can see with our own eyes, a nightmarish dimension of the alchemist’s gaze made manifest in all its magnificent terror.” – weekend

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Sterling Ruby’s Complex Installations Resemble Blood, Veins, And Stalagmites

Sterling Ruby - pvc pipe, foam, urethane, wood, spray paint and formica

Sterling Ruby - pvc pipe, urethane, wood, expanding foam, aluminum, spray paint

Sterling Ruby - Installation Shot

Sterling Ruby - Fabric

The incredibly multifaceted and complex sculpture by artist Sterling Ruby is in a realm between veins filled with dripping blood and stalagmites forming inside a cave. Sterling creates massive and intricate installations using ceramic, paint, collage, and urethane to form his uncomfortably oozing sculptures. Although the striking reds combined with the system of lines used primarily in his work resemble veins and arteries, they possess an attractive quality that draws the viewer in. It’s seemingly endless drips demand your constant attention as it keeps your eye moving across the entirety of the installation. Often installed along with his sculptures are red drops referencing blood created from Formica, wood, spray paint and fiberglass.

This Germany born artist, currently based out of Los Angeles, has a wide range of influences that are apparent in his all-encompassing body of work. Influenced by graffiti and street art, many of Sterling’s sculptures are purposely defaced with “graffiti” by the artist himself. He also pulls inspiration from the punk movement, accounting for the chaotic and bold nature of his work. Sterling has a wide range of style, as he does not always create dripping installations. Many of his sculptures are modeled after soft, plush items resembling everyday objects such as a stack of pillows. His soft sculptures are no doubt the influence of infamous and controversial artist Mike Kelley, who Sterling worked under during his graduate studies. His unique take on installation allows him to completely transform a space, taking the viewer into another world. Sterling’s talent has made him widely successful as he continues to exhibit his work both nationally and internationally in galleries, festivals, and biennales.

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Pavlos Tsakonas’s Technicolor Trompe-L’œil

Pavlos Tsakonas creates hyperrealistic trompe-l’oeil paintings that confuse and delight the eye all at once. Each piece is a technical marvel with real shadows juxtaposed next to artificial ones to create a 4th dimension of creative awesomeness!

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Sheida Soleimani Dissects Iranian Politics Through Confrontational “National Anthem” Series

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Artist Sheida Soleimani has translated her frustration with her home country Iran and it’s politics into a captivating and symbolically complex photographic series called National Anthem. Her parents fled the country in 1979 after the revolution that overthrew the pro-western Pahlavi dynasty took place. (Both parents were targeted for actively opposing the regime – her mother tortured, and her father escaping across the border.) As a political refugee in America, Soleimani observed her country transition through several fundamental changes and decided to express her disdain visually. Each photographic scene is an exploration of cultural themes and symbols all representing different aspects of the last 35 years in Iran, and the many different dictators and leaders the country has seen. Soleimani says:

In my photographic scenarios, cultural symbols and signifiers are appropriated to create a narrative in regards to my position as an Iranian-American viewing the Middle East from an outside lens. The usage of specific colors and political figures form a symbolic lexicon that runs throughout the series, while party supplies hint at the doctrines of ‘political parties’. Each of the photographs addresses a specific time in Iranian history, while alluding to how both the East and West have responded to societal occurrences. Through incorporating multiple layers, the lexicon can be read and refashioned by the viewers’ ideologies, creating images that remain coeval, while acknowledging former origins. (Source)

Combining collage, installation, performance and object assemblage, Soleimani creates powerful, emotional art-as-activism. The fierce mark making, scrunched up images, burnt candles, and mutilated cultural objects all have the hand of an aggrieved survivor. Managing to turn her deeply personal history into a series of clever, sarcastic visual puns, Soleimani’s artistic therapy is beneficial to us all.

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A Friend of Mine

A Friend of Mine

A Friend of Mine seems to be the alias of one Suzy Tuxen, a designer working in Melbourne, Australia. She specializes in carefully crafted typographic branding work, often for small boutique shops.

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Mezzetty

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Mezzetty’s images draw on everything that was good about the seventies, like Patti Smith and Polaroids, and injects it into each and every one of their dreamy photographs. Those stoic babes and fuzzy lenses are like squinting into the sun on the last day of summer, often bittersweet, but always beautiful.

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Willeke Duijvekam Beautifully Documents The Lives Of Two Transgender Girls For Six Years

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Duijvekam-photo

Duijvekam-photo

Duijvekam-photo

For six years the Dutch photographer Willeke Duijvekam followed the lives of Mandy and Eva, documenting their inner and outer attempts to align their sex assignments at birth with their gender identity — both girls were born as boys.

“Willeke Duijvekam reveals how for both girls the radical transformation into self-confident young women was chiefly an internal process. Her subdued photographs show how Mandy and Eva are absorbed in their everyday activities, or in their own thoughts. They are two remarkably normal girls — the one more vivacious, the other quieter — who do nothing other than live according to the dictates of their feelings.” (Source)

Duijvekam presents this series as an ingenious photo book, Mandy and Eva. The best designs enhance the subject matter, bringing new interpretations and depth to the work without taking over the narrative. In Duijvekam’s book, the subtle photos of the two transgender girls are incorporated into an interleaved book. In the video of the book, the pages are separate but related, each girl always present in the other’s spreads, advancing and retreating at the turn of a page. It is a masterful match of form and content. The book progresses backward through time, reversing the expected progression and reinforcing that these are two girls. The bodies that they were born into are much less important than the bodies in which they have become themselves.

“In my work I am guided by what moves and surprises me. … Ideas for projects are constantly unfolding and possibilities reveal themselves around every corner. The trick is to be open enough to recognize them the moment they appear and driven enough to pursue them. Diversity is what draws me to the people I meet, but at the same time I’m fascinated by our similarities.”

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