French illustrator Marion Fayolle‘s illustrations are light-heartedly simple and provocative. Maria Popova appropriately compares Fayolle’s aesthetic to Codex Seraphinianus, Gregory Blackstock’s illustrated lists, and the vignettes of Blexbolex, but I think there’s also some similar absurdism to be found in Joan Cornellà as well. Fayolle’s illustrations are visually comic poetry, each one representing a surreal and nuanced narrative. Bodies and body parts are often replaced, removed, or erotically recontextualized, something that could be jarring to viewers, but Fayolle’s whimsical aesthetic undermines any potential grotesqueness of this concept. Though her work is playful, the tension between humor, longing, lust, loss, and separation is palpable and creates a space for the viewer to revel in the narrative possibilities in each illustration. It’s the fragmentation of these narratives that connects them, allowing for a cohesion of and engagement with particular themes. Fayolle published a book of her comic illustrations, called “In Pieces,” last September. (via brain pickings)
Pierce Thiot and his wife, photographer Stacy Thiot, have been collaborating on an ongoing project titled “Will It Beard” wherein the couple test the limits of what a beard can hold. Pierce tells BuzzFeed, “Over Christmas break, my mom had her grandkids do a talent show for her (she’s an adorable grandma). I tried to put as many pencils as possible in it for my ‘talent.’ I got over 20. Needless to say, my mother was very proud.”
Since then, the couple has put dried pasta, flowers, chips, matches, balloons, scissors, and even Mr. Potato Head pieces into Pierce’s beard. Through this playful series, the Thiots prove there is more to beards than just looking cool. You can keep up with the project’s progress on Tumblr and Instagram. (via moarrr)
Photographer and grad student Kaija Straumanis has created a playful self-portrait series in which her image is captured right at the moment a random object seems to be thrown at her face. A pumpkin, book, dodgeball, boot, and even a mojito smash into Straumanis’ head, smooshing her face and glasses into an awkward contortion. Despite the impact of the objects, in each photo, Straumanus stares a seemingly unaffected gaze into the camera lens. The collisions are set during everyday tasks and among familiar environments, resulting in a humorous series of striking moments. According to HLN, Straumanis creates the photographs by layering images into a composite and artfully manipulating them until they appear seamless. She practices mashing objects into her face, looking into a mirror to create the perfect pose, then layers images accordingly. “I feel like it’s disappointing that I’m not actually getting beat up,” Straumanis admits. “I’m duping the Internet!” (via bored panda)
Under the name Scorpion Dagger, British artist James Kerr creates digital gif collages, mainly from northern and early Renaissance paintings. Kerr combines this imagery with images from popular culture, resulting in absurd and humorous animations.
“What I hope people feel/experience when they see one of my GIFs is something of both an amused reaction, and that of wanting to look at art differently…I love looking at images and imagining them differently. Essentially, you know that question where people ask ‘What do you see in that painting?’ Well, this is kind of that but expressed through an animated GIF.” (via the daily dot)
Photographer Zack Seckler‘s “Humor” series captures moments of absurdity and whimsy with a subtle aesthetic. His muted color palette and compositions often feature a single figure placed within a humorous context. The effect of the humor is subtle partly because of the color palette and also because it’s often just a small detail that catalyzes the humorous story in each photograph – one that is up to the viewer to interpret. Most of his photographs are composed of absurd juxtapositions and placements, recontextualizing activities or objects in order to point out some aspect of absurdity.
Seckler says, “People view life through their own lens. I enjoy refocusing that lens and playing with our expectations of the world. By putting an uncommon twist on common experiences, I create images that inspire humor and imagination. With that, I hope to expand each person’s view -– for at least a moment.”
Seckler lives in New York City.
Just when you thought Banksy was the real trickster of the art world, along comes . . . Hanksy, the puntastic street fartist. His use of satire not only challenges the smug, but playfully subverts the current street art standard with a necessary dose of light antagonism.
Check out the video after the jump to see a short documentary about Hanksy’s mysterious persona: his meager “greeting card” beginnings and current mission statement, which centers on a dream of meeting Tom Hanks.
Phoebe Washburn’s constructions, built from found or discarded objects such as plants, plywood, cardboard, or fish tanks, to name a few, have been gaining critical acclaim and momentum since 2008, when she took part in the coveted Whitney Biennial.
Of her craft and salvage, in W Magazine, Washburn states: “I’m not green; I’m greedy . . . There’s definitely an aspect of hoarding that drives this, absolutely! If I see someone walking down the street with a nice piece of wood, I’m like, Where did they get that?”
Her approach to discussing art is as playful and humble as the structures themselves, or their titles, which range from “Nunderwater Nort Lab” (above, top) to “Baby Brain (Not Safe for Use as Jacuzzi)” (above, below).
Winnie Truong’s drawings are at once intricate, interesting, and funny. Fittingly, she has a lot of people recognizing her talent. Not only is she featured with big beautiful drawings and an interview in our Book 7 humor issue, she has a show at Galerie Trois Points from now until November 10. So, if you’re a fan, i’d suggest an impulsive Montreal vacation and picking up our Book 7 for plane reading. Happy travels!