Oil Paintings That Confront Playful Vapidness In The Wake Of Communism

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Teodora Axente is associated with the Cluj School, a group of Romanian artists making work after the 1989 Revolution, which ended Nicolae Ceausescu’s communist regime.

There is a dark sense of carousing in her work which examines the question of boredom in a secular world. Left to his or her own devices, Axente’s adult figures conjure up spirits or flights of whimsy in seemingly childlike ways, often seeking solace in shiny and tactile objects such as tinfoil, plastic wrap, or furs. However, translated to a non-secular world, each stroke Axente makes seem satirical or political, consciously examining religion or capitalism.

According to the artist, this dichotomy is the exact intention: “One of my concepts is to transform a real fact into a game . . . It is all about play from my perspective, the playfulness is more than a world of novelty in which everything happens and is reconstituted because of the freedom to act, to think.”

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Portraits And Abstract Paintings Inspired By Glitter Bombed Lindsay Lohan

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Jason Willome uses a diverse array of materials: acrylic, glitter, rayon flocking, archival pigment transfers, and cement, to expose ephemeral palpitations we, as humans, emote from personal experience, art history, or popular culture.

His portraits, for instance, take inspiration from a tabloid shot of glitter bombed Lindsay Lohan. Willome explains, “It was really beautiful because there was this atmosphere of glitter all around the space of the image, and there were these great cast shadows being projected through the glitter onto Lindsay Lohan, by paparazzi flash bulbs. I thought this would be a wonderful way to create a connection between an image and the surface, to kind of soften the painted illusion, but play into it at the same time.”

Likewise, on a similar note, his “Technology Series” (second, above) further investigates “the atmosphere of the glitter bomb and interpreting atmosphere as paint material.”

For both, what emerges is an airy quote lifted from mainstream media, translated with imagery that avoids the weight of celebrity by embracing another more elusive aura: how everyday abstraction beautifully haunts these spaces we build or share together.

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The 3D Graffiti Of Peeta

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The murals of graffiti artist Peeta definitely, and nearly literally, stand out.  Peeta uses a a familiar style peculiar to street art murals and tags.  However, using careful perspective and shading, he’s able to create the illusion of depth.  His work seems to twist and wind just above the wall’s surface.  While Peeta does also create sculptural versions of his street art inspired work, the images featured here are entirely two dimensional.  [via]

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The Many Male Profiles of Stef Cook

America artist, Stef Cook has produced a series of wonderful watercolor portraits of men. The subjects are painted in their everyday clothes in profile. Take a look and study those jawlines!

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Andrew Myers’ Portraits Made of Screws

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Andrew Myers‘ uses unique medium to interesting effect.  His pieces are built of many carefully placed screws – up to nearly 10,000 in just one piece – inserted to just the right depth.  He then uses oils to pain the image on the heads of the screws.  Myers accepts the challenges of depicting soft surfaces, movement, and light with a material as hard and utilitarian as screws.  The result is an intriguing mix between painting and relief.  The screws add to the depth to that typically found in oil painting.

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Felice Varini’s Huge Installations Are All About Your Point Of View

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For artist Felice Varini it’s all about your point of view.  Varini takes this idea to its extremely literal conclusion.  From the perfect perspective his painted geometric shapes seem to float in front of your eyes.  However, in reality Varini works hard to make only appear this way.  In reality his pieces are huge, cover entire structures (at times multiple buildings), and carefully prepared to be seen from a precise viewpoint.  His large optical illusions underscore the subjective nature of art – it’s all about your point of view.

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Fabian Oefner’s Spirals of Flying Paint

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Artist Fabian Oefner has a strange way of painting.  For this series a rod is covered in various colors of acrylic paint.  The rods is connected to an electric drill which in turn is connected to a sensor that activates a camera flash lasting only 1/40,000 of a second.  The moment the paint begins to be flung in all directions off the rod (according to Oefner, one millisecond, to be exact, after the rod begins spinning) is caught by the carefully timed flash.  An instantaneous hurricane of color is frozen in midair capturing a structure that only exists for a fraction of a second.  [via]

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Mark Dean Veca: Made For You and Me

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Artist Mark Dean Veca opened his new solo exhibit Made For You and Me at Cristin Tierney  January 31st and is on view through March 9th.  The title of the exhibit is a lyric from the Woodie Guthrie song This Land is Your Land.  The song, originally expressing an anti-capitalist sensibility, has since often been appropriated to convey capitalist sentiments  such as growth through consumption.  Interestingly, Veca’s work often reverses this same process.  He re-appropriates corporate images to comment on corruption, consumption, and a generally waning culture.  Appropriately the gallery statement calls his work a kind of “Sinister Pop”.  This is particularly evident in his piece titled Tailspin.  The piece depicts the Exxon-Mobil Pegasus pointing down, blue on one side, red on the other, and spinning.  Tailspin subtly references a society’s consumption dependent on energy resources that are exceedingly spinning out of control.

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