Sean Norvet is an LA-based artist who paints grotesquely amusing mash-ups that represent the mania and excess of contemporary culture. Food and flesh are his two main ingredients; shattered jawbones, melting eyes, raw meat, and fast food collide in unholy, humanoid altars. Norvet punctuates his pieces with eroticized body parts, mixing desire and beauty ideals with mass consumption. Despite the gruesome subject matter, his work is surprisingly humorous—and there’s a lot to digest.
In an Artist Perspective video with the Stay Gallery, Norvet describes today’s technology-saturated world as an all-you-can eat buffet. From dawn until dusk, we are inundated with arbitrary connections and information—whether we consent to them or not. With intense talent and keen social observations, his paintings reveal this cultural chaos in shameless and visceral ways, provoking self-reflection through imagery that is fun, insightful, and revolting.
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Jess Douglas is in her last year at the University of Plymouth, UK, where she studies Illustration. In her About Me section, she states the following: “Everything I discover around me has potential… urban detritus, peeling paint and filthy concrete structures. I find the ugly and mundane to be beautiful, its character and stories inspiring.” These are photos mainly of her screen prints and drawings from her sketchbook. I feel they definitely capture the beauty in the mundane in the way that they isolate the objects and structures, translating them into solid lines and eliminating the daily clutter that usually surrounds them.
Everyone loves a Before and After, and Sean Scheidt’s photography series “Burlesque” is a wonderful example of the power of makeup, costume, props, and attitude. Scheidt has captured the transformation of burlesque performers from street clothes to stage wear in his behind-the-scenes images.
“I use basic lighting and a black backdrop. Black is emptiness. You place a person there and they are who they are. The interview process is really as much about getting the person comfortable as it is about getting to know them. As the shoot progresses, they transform into the persona they portray on stage. I do ask them, ‘What defines you on stage’ but otherwise try to stay back and let the narrative develop.” (Source)
Bawdy, provocative, confrontational — burlesque has been enjoying a revival, fronted by pop-culture celebrity Dita Von Teese who began performing in 1992. Though the acts include nudity, it can almost be beside the point. On stage, the larger-than-life personas use their time to make people think.
In his portraits, Scheidt captures the virtually nondescript everyday face of the performers. These are people who, aside from the occasional colored hair, look, well… normal. In Scheidt’s description of the work, he says that they tended to be quite reserved at first, which made the transformation into their characters all the more transfixing.
“Capturing those moments, I believe, helps to humanize these performers. If you were just seeing the “after” shots alone, you might make certain pre-conceived judgments about the person behind the make-up. I hope this series gets people to think about their reactions to these men and women.” (Source)
Not unlike drag, burlesque exaggerates, forcing us to examine society’s standards of beauty, sensuality, gender, and power. Scheidt has unmasked the people behind the performance by presenting them in more clothes, but with less artifice.
Allan Aubry’sSadness-Happyness print has a message that I think we can all relate to. The two come hand in hand. Lets all make a point to lean towards the positive side of things and learn and laugh at those sad moments in life.
Guatemalen artist Dario Escobar creates powerful installations and sculptures out of all sorts of sports related materials but his series of deconstructed skateboards pulls at my rebellious teen heartstrings. Whether it’s the oldschool board with the classic Mercedes logo or the engraved polished silver deck these works make me want to pull out my board out of the closet and shred through the nearest art gallery. (via collabcubed)