Ikenaga Yasunari paints tranquil portraits of women immersed in elegant floral patterns. His work is a curious blend of traditional Japanese-style paintings (nihonga) and modern imagery. Whereas nihonga manifests itself in Yasunari’s bold, monochromatic contrasts and the absence of outlines in the patterns, the subjects are all donned in modern clothing, and their hair and makeup also convey a distinctly contemporary style. Yasunari’s chosen materials are based in tradition, involving a combination of sumi-ink (soot ink) and mineral pigments painted on linen cloth. In exploring modern subjects using traditional techniques, he reinvests an older cultural, artistic practice with an ongoing significance.
The beauty of Yasunari’s work arrives in the interplay between complexity and serenity; much like Gustav Klimt’s decorative paintings wherein patterns coalesce around a highlighted female figure, Yasunari’s works strike a balance between the undulating, seamless background and the subject embraced in its flow. The gentle sepia tones likewise enhance the paintings’ quiet, almost autumnal, atmosphere. Blending gentle imagery with harmonious compositions, Yasunari’s works are meditative portraits embodying youth, reverie, and dreams.
Moving through a macabre world of paper mâché, clay and other assorted materials, Roxanne Jackson creates a gnarly wax museum population. In it, her themes of death, extinction and transformation mold into a still menagerie of Jungian imagery where half man/half animal, sleeping snakes, faceless figures and scary kitties are the norm. Her lot of decaying citizens become eerily alive as they slither, gawk, and snarl at the world. In them, a dark vanity is present, fulfilling our every need for gratuitous horror. In her Death Valley, Jackson uses familiar themes associated with the place that run parallel to her own work. Built around a faceless couple’s camping trip, we witness as they encounter human skulls, fateful hands, swans and Harpy; the half man/half bird creature who embodies the real and imagined shamanistic deities we often think of in these environments. Akin to a carnival master readying props for the eve, its outright Jungian excess takes us down a path which challenges expected norms. In Feed Me Diamonds, Jackson focuses on another transformative creature in the form of a mermaid. Except this pretty thing has a bullet in her head and seems to be drowning in a pool of debauched excess. In her hands, a pair of dice and a deck of cards tell us she’s playing with fate. In her mouth, a set of diamonds? Just another example of the grisly world Jackson inhabits which fronts as a pit stop for twisted redemption.
These images are from the design studio of the architecture and design firm Choi + Shine. The concept is to transform simple power line pylons into massive sculptures. The firm says, “Making only minor alterations to well established steel-framed tower design, we have created a series of towers that are powerful, solemn and variable.” The figures would be designed to interact with their function as well as the landscape. Some figures would appear to be climbing up hill. Others would crouch for increased strength as if to bear the weight of the wires on their shoulders. All would serve to enhance the landscape while also serving a utilitarian purpose.
Doug Burton’s 3D digital animation “Celestial Mechanics” was conceptualized as a kind of reality-fabric altering pulsating entity. A kind of self-combusting black holes. I am hoping for the day when I actually see the walls wormhole out to an alternative universe! The artist explains: “Through the transmogrification of the matter of the walls and space within and ouside of the studio I have been exploring he realms that exist beyond in a distant past or parallel present.” Heavy!
Paul Loubet’s illustrations remind me of brightly colored Pinatas full of small treats, fun, mouth watering surprises. The above illustration is my favorite out of the bunch. Would make a nice addition to my collection of artist postcards and prints.
After exploring ways in which she can make use of old, discarded books, British artist Kerry Miller experimented with dissecting and rebuilding them to produce unique artworks. Layering to create a 3D effect, She utilises only the illustrations and the shell of the book, while removing the written word.
These carved 3D books provide tantalising glimpses into a rich past, becoming miniature worlds that allow you to simply tumble into them. As technology threatens to replace the printed word, there has never been a better time to reimagine the book. (via)
I was first put off by Esther Stocker’s wall works, immediately categorizing it as an evolution of those tired string installation made by anonymous hipsters. But after looking at a few more images, and exploring her site, the 3-D graphs started to grow on me. Stocker’s simple use of black gaffer tape and foam core pulls from scientific imagery and successfully transforms space into a fantastic alternate reality where perceptions are shifted. Stocker’s work demonstrates a fascination with human perception and cognition, and judging by the title, “What I don’t Know About Space”, she doesn’t claim to understand how it all works, which is a refreshing to hear from an artist.
Othelo Gervacio’s Horror/Skate/Metal ink wash work is where it’s at. Gervacio’s technique renders skeletons, reapers, and ghosts just softly enough to mix up the whole graphics game. With a nice mix of controlled bleeding and tight line work, this is a prime example of how this stuff should be done. Where Neckface might parody, Gervacio comes in and celebrates, proving that imitation is not always a form of surrendered creativity.