Dean Zeus Colman’s artwork has given us his drug of choice, which is hand molded Ecstasy tablets cast in plaster. His series Love Is A Drug includes sculptures of Ecstasy tablets of all different shapes and sizes that actually exist in real life. Knowing this bit of information, it is shocking to see how many different designs and even logos are imprinted on these little tablets. There are more common images like smiley faces, money signs, and stars on the drug, but a few have images that may be of surprise to you. The Mortal Combat symbol, the UPS logo, and even the beloved Bart Simpson’s head has also been included in this eclectic variety of Ecstasy tablets.
Zeus, based out of London, grew up involved in a subculture where Ecstasy tablets were often present. The drugs were readily available, not surprisingly, while working in the Rave scene. Zeus has long been working as a street artist and has been tagging since the 1980’s, which has influenced and led to the making of Love Is A Drug. Other sculptures of this artist reflect this lifestyle and draw off inspiration from graffiti such as his three-dimensional graffiti text constructed from glass and wood.
Love Is A Drug is currently on view at Prescription Art in Brighton, England, which focuses on street and graffiti art. The exhibition features thirty-six limited edition, larger than life Ecstasy tablets. (via The Creator’s Project)
Taisuke Koyama describes his works as “organic abstract photography”. He shoots surfaces and various states of degradation of artifacts in a city and thinks about those changes in state as the city’s metabolism- it’s an organism that’s changing every moment. It’s such a simple and beautiful idea.
I recently learned about Matthew Dayler’s work when Rick submitted him as a consideration to our “Submit your Artist” contest. His work was too great to not post as a runner up. The work references gay culture, self-portraiture and gender stereotypes in a vibrantly iconic, pop fashion. The masked works are on the verge of disguise, sexual play and masquerade- an interesting mixing and recontextualizing of metaphors.
Chris Mars packs his compositions with awesome texture and gruesome characters. With Todd Schorr levels of craftsmanship and imagination, these paintings warrant long viewing sessions. But good luck spending any extended amount of time among them without getting sufficiently creeped out. A lot more images at the artist’s website, which also features a soundtrack and in-depth writing from Mars on his sources of inspiration.
An artist from Poland now living in Germany brings drawing into the 21st century the old fashioned way. Instead of paper Janusz Grunspek builds narratives into thin air. Combining all the traditional elements of sketching he takes thin pieces of wood similar to sticks and constructs simple line structures. When complete and let loose on the world, they vibrate as three dimensional living objects never static and speak in a way similar to how we might visualize sound waves. The artist mainly constructs still life motifs and other inanimate objects such as violins, analog tape recorders and coffee makers. Their end result is anything but ‘dead’ and when viewed from the right angle move gracefully in space.
Some of what Grunspek creates adds credence to his practice. He seems to favor the old fashioned forms of electronics such as reel to reel movie projector, old surveillance camera and chandelier. Things of the past which have shaped our lives today. There is no digital or software program used to make his work just a collection of old fashioned tools and materials. As technology advances at a speedball rate, Grunspek brings us back to basics and shows us that old traditions can become new again with a little innovation. (via thisiscolossal)
No matter what the medium, artist Shanti Grumbine manipulates her work by slicing it into fractals of distorted imagery. In her series titled Looking Awry, she uses front-page images from the New York Times, and prints them in large format. She then cuts and divides the image into hundreds of smaller pieces and rearranges them before mounting the squares onto wooden dowel. Each square resembles a pixel, creating a strange mix of visual information since they are not placed in their original spot. This hodgepodge of colors and shapes are referencing a digital file that is corrupted, in which we can no longer see what is originally intended to visually display. Although altered and skewed, we can still make out some of the original image in Grumbine’s work. If you look closely, you can see a woman’s face or remnants of a human body. Grumbine explains her journey while creating her wall reliefs.
These wall reliefs become monuments to the untold levels of mediation between my creative acts and the rest of the world.
Much like digital files move across digital highways or frequencies, Grumbine’s work seems to travel across the composition in waves. As each cut out “pixel’ is mounted on a wooden dowel, the dowels are all different lengths, creating a wall relief. These varying levels, confronting the viewer, form a new textural and visual element. Further engaging the viewers are small, square mirrors that Grumbine integrates into each piece, replacing some of the “pixels.” Now, each captivating piece is not just reaching out at you in waves of visual complexities, but also include fractals of the viewer and its surroundings. You are now a part of the piece, a part of an endless source of aesthetic, digital information. A master at carving new meaning into different materials, this Brooklyn-based artist also has a series of incredibly detailed newspaper cut-outs titled Zeroing, also utilizes New York Times newspapers. New visuals are sliced into each word, and even a wall relief in the shape of an orb is formed from its text.
Elik is a true NYC graffiti legend, gettin’ up hard with the roller. But like many of his peers in the graff world, he’s turned to exhibiting ‘street art’ on indoor, gallery walls. Last spring he unleashed a full load of collage and mixed media works on the Brooklynite Gallery in Bed-Stuy. The compositions are playful, and full of dynamic elements. Any one of the works could serve as an advertisement bill for a show (or party) that serves as a gritty, comprehensive sum-up of the entire 20th-century.