Brendan Danielsson‘s portraits are wonderfully ugly. Though each piece incorporates the image of a sole person, there is plenty of conflict. The pieces easily explore ideas of beauty and ugliness; they are at once sensual and repulsive. While appearing almost alien each portrait is somehow still strangely familiar. Danielsson is able to portray each ‘character’ as clearly part of a larger hidden narrative.
If you can’t pull your eyes away from Brendan Danielsson’s work, make sure to check out the Beautiful/Decay Book: 9. The book features the paintings and drawings of Danielsson along with many other artists, designers, illustrators, and writers.
Taizo Yamamoto‘s shopping carts are familiar images we’ve all seen before. Crammed into alleyways or left abandoned in the streets, these shopping carts are part of the scenery of a city. Yamamoto uses graphite and colored pencils to illustrate the carts in great detail, highlighting their contents and the strange collections contained within. By choosing to exclude the people who use these carts, Yamamato is bringing all the focus to the carts themselves. There’s a sense of an anthropological study here, like these carts and the collections they contain are specimen meant to be studied.
Chris Fowler‘s work is curious and complex with depth and brightly interwoven colors. His portfolio demonstrates two primary focuses; people and surreal landscapes. His non-descriptive unusual lands are captivating to me purely by his color choices and how he adds zigzag courses, nooks, and abstract crevasses that lead only to the imagination. I am a big fan of The Human Project he created of little long-limbed creatures finding there way into orbs, slightly reminding me of something you would see under a microscope. Check out more of Mr. Fowler’s work after the jump.
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.