Based in the Netherlands, artist Stefan Bleekrode creates astonishingly intricate drawings and paintings of landscapes, architecture, and urban environments. For his Cityscapes series, the artist has rendered unbelievably detailed drawings depicting metropolises both existing and imagined.
Using ink, Bleekrode composes dense and realistic images of buildings, streets, lights, and bridges. With stark tonal contrasts, precise perspective, and a stunning amount of detail, the scenes portrayed in each drawing look almost photographic, as if each one were taken from a bird’s-eye view.
While some of his pieces are set in very distinctive and familiar locations, like London Bridge& the Shard or Broadway and 5th, most possess ambiguous—albeit conceivable—titles, such as Italian City, City in Holland, or City at the Foot of the Mountains. This is because Bleekrode works entirely from memory, describing his completed works “as snapshots of things I’ve seen when traveling or just going through my everyday routine, small bits of beauty in familiar settings.”
Whether representing actual settings or conveying scenes rooted purely in fantasy, the cities depicted in Bleckrode’s elaborate drawings are surprisingly realistic and undeniably impressive.
For women everywhere who grew up with Disney princesses, at one time or another have been disappointed to find out that “happily ever after” is a very rare occurrence, and even then life cannot be consistently easy or good without a few hardships. I feel that a small part of me is avenged through Dina Goldstein’s harshly realistic series “Fallen Princesses.” In this series, Disney’s version of princesses find themselves introduced to the real world, and battling a world their previous audience live in. Everything from a stressful married life, obesity, depression, illness, etc. Just like everyone else they must address their conflict, and confront whatever the outcome may be.
Adrian Ghenie‘s paintings play with texture by distorting the works’ figures as an allegory for the abuses of power. By drawing on figures from history – such as Marcel Duchamp and Holocaust doctor Dr Josef Mengele – Ghenie scrapes and washes away their features to explore the brutality at the core of human nature. More after the jump.
The first question Maurizio Savini is asked about his work is one he hates to hear: does he chew every piece of gum he uses to make his sculptures? He admits this question is very annoying, but if everybody is still genuinely interested, then no – no he doesn’t chew the gum. Instead he has two full time assistants unwrapping each stick of gum and melting the pink sticky stuff into layers of usable material. Savini begins his lengthy process by layering the sheets of gum around plaster molds which give his sculptures stability and shape.
Working with the gum for over a decade, he has created some amazing pieces. One sculpture – ‘La Lupa‘ (the figure who nursed the founders of Savini’s birthplace of Rome back to health) is made from 14 kg of chewing gum. He has animals bearing different flags, business men clutching pillows, chandeliers and women’s shoes among many other things. His work is usually loaded with some sort of socially and/or politically focused message.
He says chewing gum has a unique cultural context. It is connected to art history, industry and world history, and is a loaded symbol for Savini. He says after being introduced to Europe when WW2 was ending, the material became a symbol (along with Coca Cola and nylon stockings) of a new era.
When Savini began making his chewing gum sculptures, he has the misfortune of several pieces disintegrating. He now combines the gum with formaldehyde and anti-biotics to preserve it, so the high sugar content doesn’t destroy the pieces. You can see some of his new pieces at the upcoming Art-Southampton, July 9-13, 2015, or find out more about how he makes his creations in the video above.
KIM KEEVER’s large-scale photographs are created by meticulously constructing miniature topographies in a 200-gallon tank, which is then filled with water. These dioramas of fictitious environments are brought to life with colored lights and the dispersal of pigment, producing ephemeral atmospheres that he must quickly capture with his large-format camera.
Ted Tucker’s paintings are magnificent homages to drunk frat boys, cheerleaders, trophies, and friday night keg parties with a dash of cheesy tv show from the CW network thrown in. Not only are Ted’s paintings fantastic but he also has made the package complete with his choose your own adventure website for the series. Make sure to select the Flash option and let the good times roll!
Anne Lindberg is interested in creating work that resonates with non-verbal primal human conditions. Seeking to make work that is subtle, rhythmic, abstract and immersive Lindberg finds beauty in creating disturbances by layering materials to create varying tones, densities and pathways.
The architecture and design practice, Serie, created an amazing installation for the Maximum India Festival on the ceiling of the Monsoon Club at the Kennedy Center in DC in 2011. Incorporating over one million threads the piece is a 3D carpet that was inspired by the traditional flat woven rugs in India (Dhurries).
Gabriel Dawe’s breath-taking, mind-bending large-scale installations are made out of nothing but thread. The works are created using sets of string that can be up to 50 miles long. They play with space, dimension and perception.
Brian Wills is also interested in perception and rhythm and the way the brain processes pattern. His hand-made works are created by individually winding threads around board, or other material. Creating dynamic surfaces his works are engaging and beautiful.
French artist Sebastien Preschoux makes thread installations in sections of the forest. Capturing the installations for posterity via photography the results are stunning. We imagine the works sitting quietly in the forest, as if created by a spider from another world, delicately vibrant against the natural backdrop waiting to be discovered.