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El Gato Chimney’s Pagan Fairy Tale World

Illustration
animal Illustration  fairytale Illustration fairytale Illustration
Milan-born artist El Gato Chimney combines illustration, painting, and street art in a blend of whimsy and surrealism. In his bio, he lists his studies as: “alchemy, ancient and modern art, magic, mirabilia, occultism, popular folklore, primitive art and spiritualism.” Though it might seem like too broad a net, all these influences can indeed be seen in his work.
 
His illustration is dualistic: brightly colored, they look like pages from some charming, nonsense tale meant for children. Simultaneously, there’s something darker simmering underneath, like the fairy tales of old where women danced in burning shoes and decapitation was nothing more unusual than a particularly large yawn. Occult symbols are sprinkled throughout, and figures are occasionally found in ritualistic poses, like small animals mid-pagan festival. 
 
El Gato Chimney’s bio ruminates on this undertow: “When in front of these works it is impossible not to wonder what hides in the woods, where that road will lead up to, why these beings trust in such a blind way this primitive religion, partly attributable to preexisting cults, partly made up.”
 
For those in Madrid, Spain, El Gato Chimney’s show, “Metapsychic Paths,” can be seen at Combustion Espontanea Art Gallery until November 1st. (via Hi-Fructose)

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Anouk Mercier’s Fabrication Of Narrative

Anouk Mercier’s work centers around the notion of escapism through the fabrication of narrative. Relying on the nostalgia of Romanticism and mythology to depict melancholic worlds and characters, her drawings celebrate both the power of the imagination to escape the quotidian and the mundane, whilst also exploring the mysterious, the abysmal and the uncanny that often lurks behind idylls.

Presented as illustrations of an enigmatic tale, her drawings range from tenebrous Animalia portraits, to haunting landscapes and mysterious ‘mini-worlds’, laced with decorative flora. The artist invites viewers to engage with this fantastical world, whilst yet creating the illusion that it can only be observed through a distancing window. Positioning the viewer in doing so, as an entranced voyeur, enticed into formulating a narrative based on the visual fragments presented.

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Dea Lellis

Dea Lellis is an artist from São Paulo, Brazil.  She creates charming illustrations filled with humor and a dash of edge.

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Tom Lynall’s Tiny Intricate Pencil Carvings Of Emojis And Pop Culture Symbols Are So Small You Can Barely See Them

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The art of pencil carving is becoming more and more widespread, intricate, and skilled. Over the past few years we have come to see many incredible things being carved from the humble pencil. Whether it is colored, or plain graphite, a leaden tip can be transformed into many icons, symbols or dioramas. Artist Tom Lynall‘s effort sees him shaping pencil tips into emojis, tiny characters and landscapes. From an artist’s paint palette, to idyllic pastoral views, to Rapunzel in her tower, to the hearts, lightning bolts and happy faces from our smart phones, Lynall is capable of achieving great detail on a minute scale.

A bespoke jeweler by trade, Lynall is no stranger to working at this level, or at the pace required to finish a delicate piece. But only having started his pencil carving hobby last November, he is quickly adapting to his new material. Being malleable and dense, graphite is an ideal material to carve intricate and complicate details into. He says about his new time consuming hobby:

I love art but I have never been able to draw so this is a good way for me to create things with the limitations of my skill. The main tool I use is the scalpel blade shown in the pictures as well as a few pins which I have altered the end of to give me different blades.
This is great fun to do so if you would like to give it a go the best advice I can give is to not get annoyed when they break, they are extremely fragile but once your done they are fantastically satisfying. (Source)

For more amazing miniature sculptures made from the lead and wood of pencils or even crayons, see the work of artists Salavat Fidai, Dalton Ghetti, and Diem Chau. (Via Design Boom)

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Liza Lacroix’s Tormented Abstract Portraits

 

Interesting paintings done in oil on lexan from Brooklyn-based artist Liza Lacroix. Portraits rendered in lush, swimming applications of color, the works maintain a haunting distance and obscurity. Our faces are the most expressive elements of our bodies by far, and somehow Lacroix’s denial of direct access to such expression makes you want to stare at these tormented paintings even more; to try and uncover the meaning that’s hidden in plain sight.

The artist opens Works, a solo exhibition, this Thursday, 7-10 PM at Candamill Gallery, 89 Mercer St. NYC.

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Canon Call’s Disruptive Doodles

I just got back from checking out the undergrad show at UCLA Design Media Arts, and I was impressed with a lot of the work, but there was one young artist that really stood out to me: Canon Call. Call’s work is largely comprised of illustration on found materials, and the sincerely charming thing about these little disruptive doodles is their ability to build upon the image they are layered on top of in order to develop a dialogue around pop-culture and society at large. The best part of the work is the hidden irony behind the naming of each piece’s source file… each JPEG on his site is titled “dontsteal.jpg” or “dontcopythis.jpg – and various other alterations of that phrase. Genius. The work itself feels like a weird mashup of pop art and a surrealist exquisite corpse of sorts. I am very much looking forward to watching Call’s work develop.

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Ione Rucquoi’s Lost Innocence & Sexual Awakening

Ione Rucquoi’s visceral portraits capture a world of lost innocence and sexual awakening, exploring the disowned, unconscious aspects of the self and highlighting the primal instincts of the human character and the beast within. Rucquoi’s affinity with Jung’s psychological concept of ‘The Shadow’ allows her to move effortlessly among the symbolic and darker characteristics of the psyche. Driven by the motivation to make emotion visible through the physical, she explores fundamental elements of human existence and experience: birth,death, loss and change, and brings the hidden and taboo to the forefront.

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Yvonne Todd Recreates Ugly Glamour Photos

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There is always something wrong about Yvonne Todd‘s photographs. By utilizing the effects and techniques of commercial photography studios, Todd creates quietly strange images reminiscent of 90s glamour shots, or of head shots that always turn out looking amateur. Full of ill-fitting clothes, cringe-worthy props and awkward poses, Todd pushes the ideas of what is conventional beauty, and how quickly these norms change.
Her palette in itself is very rarely considered beautiful – saturated with sickly pinks, boring beige, flat creams, dull greys and flooded with unflattering light it is hard to find these images attractive.

The subjects appear confident at first glance, but there is an underlying sense of sadness, longing and an unease about themselves.
These people are reminiscent of trophy wives; of people obsessed with vanity and image; of compulsive individuals determined to be the best version of themselves. Men sitting uncomfortably, surrounded by objects they are unsure of; women staring into the mirror, practicing how to be seductive; girls striving to act above their age; amateur dancers trying to appear more skilled than they are. These poses are so often seen in modern advertising, and popular media. Todd says:

“My interest is a bit broader than beauty and artifice; I’m really interested in manipulating the conventional and familiar. I feel compelled to create “revised” photographic conventions drawn from advertising imagery, stock photography, catalogs, brochures, corporate portraits, mass-market fiction, religious cults, soap operas, show business, and the glimpses and fragments that resonate in my memory and imagination.”

These photographs may seem outdated and surreal, but could as easily be a reflection of all that is toxic in our modern day western capitalist society and our focus on image and representation of oneself.

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