Flickr user Harvezt imagines what the reverse side of iconic album covers would look like in their illustrative series, The Dark Side of the Covers. Taking famous works by Nirvana, David Bowie, The Beatles and more, the artist not only fills in the other half of well-known characters, but creates entire worlds with a sinister-esque twist.
Harvezt’s additions to these albums make them more well-rounded and conceptually rich. Our new, second viewpoint enhances the story. On Dio’s cover for Dream Evil, we see the original image has a demon making the devil horn with his hands as he peers into a sleeping child’s bedroom. Harvezt’s reverse illustration reveals the the demon being cheered on by a crowd of supporters sporting their own horns.
With all of the thoughtful details that the artist put into these works, they pay homage to these influential covers. Today’s digital downloads don’t always place an emphasis on album artwork, and makes Harvezt’s series a tribute to a time when people purchased physical copies of their music. (Via Metal Injection)
Eiko Ojala(whose cut-paper illustrations were previously featured here) crafts quietly-detailed work which straddles the lines of art, design and commercial illustration. Beginning with hand-made illustrations, Ojala then combines physically cut, layered paper and occasionally digital to continue reducing the images until they are clear, concise and minimally fantastic. Subtlety seems to be the strongest method of delivery for the Tallin, Estonia-based illustrator and graphic designer, who describes himself as one who ” likes to study the forms of shapes, and to work closely with light and shadow. He likes to keep his illustrations minimal and well-advised.”
This most recent blue series was created for Intel as an effort to show the insides of anything, and seems a perfect match for the illustrator’s deceptively simple trademark style. Ojala has been increasingly recognized for his commercial efforts, having been been nominated in 2013 for a Young IIllustrators Award at www.illustrative.de, a YCN professional Award and ADC Young Gun. (via hi-fructose)
Budapest-based designer Zsolt Molnár created an illustrated poster for every episode of the popular television show, Breaking Bad. It took the designer five months to produce 62 full-color posters, which are minimalist representations of iconic moments in each episode and include an important object or person that’s accompanied by a memorable quote.
If you’ve ever watched Breaking Bad, you’re aware that it’s basically an hour-long anxiety attack. The tension between characters and situations in the show is intense and suspenseful. It takes place in New Mexico, and in every episode we’re inundated with saturated colors of sand and the desert. Molnár styles his illustrations similarly, like gritty texture with a pop color, like Walt’s green shirt or a destroyed pink teddy bear. They are contained in their compositions, and rely on symbolism of objects and colors in every poster.
Molnár has posted his handiwork on his Tumblr. If you haven’t seen the entire show and don’t want any potential spoilers, then you might want to hold off on scrolling through the his series until you’ve watched it. (Via Buzzfeed)
Georgia Theologou (or Georgia Th as she is also known) is a self-taught Greek artist who paints hauntingly beautiful portraiture. Created by combining traditional and digital media, Theologou’s intentionally limited palate and trademark visual rendering gives both a soft lushness and a harsh reality to her subjects, like mascara tear trails being transformed into softly dabbed paint glitter. In a conversation with Beautiful/Decay (and with the help of Google Translate), Theologou explains what inspires her symbolic subjects,
“Creating something is a way to express the feelings that are inside me that I maybe didn’t even know about before. It’s a way to explore myself and what I have on my mind, so when I am making my work I feel like I find something new about me and about how I see things that I did not even realize was present.”
Theologou’s internalized subjects are taken from many sources of art research and random bits of internet ephemera, and blended with other imagery that gives each portrait an allegorical depth and visual tension. Noting themes of nature ranging from human and animal, the stars and the cosmos in many of her colorful works, Georgia explains these combinations, saying
“I don’t paint people but the existence of a person. The subject of my paintings is the feelings of this existence or the situation they experience that moment. All of the objects I use in my paintings are random, but this helps me to create the right place and mood, so I choose objects that are common on fairy-tales and dreams. Nature and space are also places with the same strong sense of vitality, so the person can feel closer to his/her inner world. My paintings are not about a story or a specific idea or symbol, I think about painting “that” moment.”
Illustrator and film lover Andrew DeGraff crafted a series of maps to help us navigate some of our favorite films. In long, epic journeys like Star Wars, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and even goofy comedies Wet Hot American Summer, it’s easy to forget where we’ve travelled over the course of the story. DeGraff highlights some key events, like Luke Skywalker’s trek in The Empire Strikes Back. If you are big fan of any of the movies that he’s illustrated, then the painstaking details will delight you.
Using gouache, the illustrator carefully draws spaceships, architecture, and foreign lands. While they are clearly maps without being the conventional road map, DeGraff’s limited color palette offers the most important information in vibrant colors, while the secondary (but still interesting) details remain less conspicuous. (Via Flavorwire)
Combining Western cinema and traditional Ottoman motifs, Turkish artist Murat Palta designed a series of images that blend the style of the Ottoman empire with films like Pulp Fiction,Alien, and Clockwork Orange. They are made to look historic and aged, and once you see past that, Palta has illustrated some of the iconic scenes of the particular film.
The Ottoman Empire, also known as the Turkish Empire, was one of the longest running empires in history. Palta’s works recall the Miniature Style of the Ottomans, which was a part of Ottoman book arts that included illumination, calligraphy, paper marbling, and bookbinding. Miniatures were usually not signed because they were not created entirely by one person. Production included the head painter who designed the composition, and his apprentices that drew the contours and then painted the scene.
Like the Miniature Style, Palta has included stylized two-dimensional characters, flattened views of architecture, and a lot of contrasting patterns. He references the Ottoman tradition while still making it his own – After all, I don’t think that the old illuminations included men beating someone senseless with a nightstick or a tiny green Yoda. (Via That’s Like, Whoa!)
Artist Randy Ortiz has been tantalizing the eyes of illustration fans for years, illuminating concert and movie posters both professionally and as creative tasks for a great imagination. While past work emphasized ink line work and detailed black and white charcoal drawings, recent work has become more colorful, with flat background colors which perhaps surprisingly emphasize the darker thematic weight in the mystical figures and composition.
The self-taught Canadian artist uses evolved techniques to illicit a near-Surrealistic response from his often-human figures, draped in masterfully rendered drapery and fabrics. Despite the often serious undertones immediately noticeable in his work, the obvious sense of humor is evident (mutant visual remixes of Drake’s oft-mocked album cover seen below for example). In other works hooded figures clamor over each other, all reaching for a disembodied hand holding a small heart talisman representing love, or mystical-triangle-eyed cats eye floating balls of string. With Ortiz’s visual narratives and painting style evolving at a rapid pace, he is definitely ahead of other illustrator/artist to watch.
The work of Dillon Boy (né James Dillon Wright) emerged from a street art and graffiti background, combining pop culture, branding, advertising, and perhaps most importantly, the ability to take these sources further than they were intended. This evolution (or devolution) is evident in his series DIRTYLAND, where the artist takes the ever-popular childhood icons of Disney’s princesses and removes their context, and clothes.
In works which collage smut magazine backgrounds with spraypaint stencils, drips and graffiti scrawls, these princesses become transformed representations of our combined high and lowbrow society, and take aim at the falsely marketed ideas of perfection and innocence. In an exclusive talk with Beautiful/Decay, Dillon talks about the series. “Most of my audience were kids when these princesses ruled their world, so now that they are all adults (and sexually active) they are all ready to hang paintings of naked Disney chicks all over the house. [laughs]. No for real though, I believe it’s my job as an artist to question the very things around me and to continuously break down the traditional and more conventional ways of making art. It is my intention to raise or lower your eyebrows in one way or another.”
This reappropriation of pop culture icons is nothing new, but seems to be happening at a rapidly increasing pace (Beautiful/Decay has recently featured several such reimaginings of pop culture symbols), indicating that artists are remaining relevant to many audiences by constantly questioning what we collectively see daily. Dillon Boy (surprisingly?) notes that he has not seen much in the way of criticism of his DIRTYLAND series, and that is his job as an artist to take things one step further. “Well, one thing is for sure, we live in a sexually charged culture. Walk outside and you will quickly find a billboard or an ad in a publication showcasing a woman as a sex object. Sex sells remember. I simply used the pure, untainted characters of Walt Disney to convey that message. But that’s obvious, I’m not doing anything that hasn’t been done before… but I’m ready to do it again!”