Artist Steve Spazuk creates drawings with a medium usually reserved for destroying things: fire. Using a candle or torch Spazuk works the flame much like a pencil drawing with the soot left behind on the canvas. In a way akin to automatic drawing, he doesn’t direct his hand but accepts the chance images that appear on the surface. Spazuk then “sculpts” the soot left on each canvas into its final image. Speaking about his unique flame drawn process he says:
” This in-the-moment creative practice coupled with the fluidity of the soot, creates a torrent of images, shadows and light. Fueled by the quest of a perfect shape that has yet to materialize, I concentrate in a meditative act and surrender to capture the immediacy of the moment on canvas.”
Giuse Modica (aka Giuse) is an artist/illustrator who really loves skateboarding. In his self-explanatory new series called Animals Skateboarding, Giuse gives some beasts of the wild a chance to share his passion. There’s dogs doing ollies, and eagles doing 360 flips. With a background in drawing and character design, it’s no wonder Modica is able to bring so much personality to each of these animals. Modica attended the Williem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam, while also studying abroad at the Art Institute of Boston. Modica also loves doing illustrations for children’s books, so don’t be suprised if you see some of these anthropomorphic characters again!
Artist Allen Hampton‘s drawings are foreboding as they are. The medium for this series, though, makes them especially grim: blood on paper. Obscure texts, doilies, birds (both flying and dead) fill each sinister landscape of the Blood Drawings series. The blood at once references itself as splatters in its liquid form and a versatile ink staining each yellowed page. Hampton also turns his attention to the portrait, ironically drawing the human body with the fluid that animates it on the page and biologically.
Finnish illustrator Konsta Ojala‘s new drawings are large and frightening. Seriously, nearly measuring at five feet on each side, Ojala works the aesthetic of disturbed (and perhaps drug induced) doodles expanded to obsessive sizes. His drawings often feature familiar cartoon characters taken to their logical misanthropic conclusion. From a syringe-clutching Mickey Mouse to a bleary-eyed and violent Bart Simpson the characters seem to be reappearing after spending a few years on the streets. Rendered in harsh black and white and imposing sizes, the drawings are unsettling while still strangely nostalgic.
Brooklyn-based artist Leah Yerpe‘s charcoal drawings depict the true beauty and joy of movement. Her work somehow captures the both the constrains of human anatomy, and also the freedom we can experience in our own bodies. Her figures are twisted, but graceful; tightly bound, but free. Her figures’ faces are typically obscured, which leaves their expressions and emotions a mystery. Their poses could represent pain or ecstasy. They could be falling or flying. They overlap like elements in a collage, but the larger image is one of cohesion as bodies blend together to create beautiful new forms.
The work of artist Vanessa Marsh is perhaps most accurately described as photography. Marsh creates her richly layered compositions one layer at a time. Using drawings on clear acetate sheets and small- scale models she creates a narrative unfolding on a landscape. After producing several such landscapes Marsh photographs the combined layers. The resulting photographs are pictured here. The numerous planes in each piece are similar to past and present time and the memories that accompany it. In fact, of her work, Marsh says:
“Within the series I am exploring not only the working of memory and imagination but also our contemporary relationship to the landscape, where we might find ourselves in the future and how our feelings towards the landscape often center around ideas of dislocation, need and yearning.”
Lizzy Stewart is a British illustrator who makes incredibly charming images. Inspired by Eastern European folk art and medieval painting, her drawings are wonderfully flat and full of simple shapes. Her work reminds me of some of her contemporaries like Pia Bramley and Carson Ellis, all of whom practically force a better mood on their viewer. Aside from her drawing and painting, Stewart makes graphic novel-style books as well. A lot of her stuff is available for sale in the store on her website too, so if you haven’t donated all your extra dough to the Red Cross’ Sandy recovery efforts, you can do some one stop christmas shopping and support a young burgeoning artist all in one foul swoop! (via)
Northwest artists Lenae Day and Kelly Björk are opening their new show tonight (Nov 1), at the Corridor Gallery in Seattle, with the ultra charming title Space Blanket / Space Cadet. For the show, Day spent a month in Florida studying the lives of astronauts’ wives to create a body of work that combines short stories with re-created photographs, playing every model herself. Björk makes large, energetic pieces that combine her love for contour drawings with still life portraiture and the colorful patterns in the blankets we covet. The show sounds like a ton of fun. If you’re in the Seattle area, you should check it out! The reception will have live readings by Day, but if you can’t make it, the show will be up through the first of December. Here’s the PR:
“Inspired by the people around her and the devices they use to soothe themselves, Kelly Bjork’s drawings depict weightless humans, surrounded by blankets and floating in comfort. When creating these pieces, Bjork had her subjects lounge on her couch for hours, each with their blanket of choice. Color is used to highlight the geometric shapes in the blankets, creating a colorful, abstract cloud in which her subjects lay.
Lenae Day re-stages old images from magazines by playing all of the characters herself and making most of her costumes and props. The images and stories in this show deal with the Mercury Seven Astronaut’s Wives, the Mercury Thirteen (women pilots who went through astronaut testing, but were not allowed to participate in the space program) and herself somewhere in-between. These works are a part of the forthcoming edition of “DAY MAGAZINE,” her third magazine produced in this fashion that will be released with a subsequent West Coast tour in 2013.” ( via )