Australian artist Ben Frost creates image mashups that combine fast food, pills, and iconic figures of popular culture. He paints these celebrities on things like McDonald’s french fry sleeves and boxes for prescription drugs. We see Superman, Popeye, Mr. T, and even Snoopy the Dog all painted on objects that symbolize excess and gluttony.
Frost finds inspiration for his work from graffiti, collage, photo-realism, and sign writing. It’s not a surprise, as he tags things much like a graffiti artist would. His work is subversive and doesn’t hold back any punches. I’ve included stuff here that’s generally safe for work, but if you check out his website, you’ll see a lot of hyper-sexualized manga-inspired characters. But even with these relatively tame images, you can still sense the scathing critique of the mainstream. Greasy meals, too many pills, and processed foods are rotting our health in a similar fashion that television, media, and politics are rotting our brain.
Bradley Hart has a unique way in which he crafts reinterpretations of classic paintings. Instead of the conventional canvas, the artist uses syringes to individually inject each bubble in a bubble wrap sheet with acrylic paint. This tedious technique requires that he pay close attention to the amount of paint and air that’s within each bubble, because one element can easily disturb the equilibrium of the two.
Hart’s paintings use the principle of pointillism. Every bubble has a slightly different color in it, and by placing the separately-colored dots next to one another, an overall images is realized when it’s viewed from a distance.
But, that’s is just one aspect of the artist’s work. The other part is an experimental process where excess paint from the injections drips down the back of the piece; it’s later removed to reveal an imprint of the painting and composes an impression of what was left behind. The separate processes are meant to be seen together. Hart explains, “Viewed together, the pieces each seem to engage the other and the viewer becomes an observer of a relationship created between the two.”
These paintings are included in Hart’s solo exhibition entitled, The Masters Reinterpreted: Injections and Impressions. It’s available to view at Cavalier Galleries Inc. in New York City from May 6th through May 31st of this year. (Via designboom)
The world of fan art knows no bounds. Television shows like Game of Thrones and Sherlock have countless drawings and paintings dedicated to them (and the celebrities that star in them), but what about world dictators? We’re talking Putin, Gaddafi, Kim Jong-un, and more all with colorful drawings, paintings, and even homages made from donuts.
Some of these images are just ridiculous, like Kim Jong-un riding a dolphin over the beach (in a background that looks as colorful as a Lisa Frank illustration). Others are more serious attempts at portraiture, like the work of Amsterdam-based artist Michele Boccamazzo. He mixes pen, ink, and watercolor in realistic renderings like Bashar al-Assad. “Some of them are just born with a silver spoon in their mouth, some believe in their vision of a better world and some are just status seeker (or social climber) with a smart politic career.” He writes.
With the atrocities suffered at the hands of these men, they hardly seem like candidates for fan art, so perhaps its best to peg some of these images as satire. It makes looking at these works even more bizarre than what’s already pictured. (via Lost At E Minor and Vocativ)
Altering found photographs with a ghoulish touch, artist Angela Deane’s series Ghost Photographs depicts the supernatural having a good time. The quirkiness of subject matter pairs well with the aged source materials. Large group images are no longer a sea of smiling faces; Now, they are white, hollow-looking sheets staring back at the viewer. It’s amusing more than it is creepy because they aren’t terrorizing people, and existing as a normal person would.
Ghosts symbolize what’s gone but not forgotten. Deane paints over portraits of time that we’ll never get back. It’s the passing of a memory, and something that won’t easily leave us, no how matter good or bad.
Perhaps this series doesn’t need to be so existential. We can enjoy these small, strange works about ghosts on vacations, celebrating birthdays, and at the amusement park. Because hey, sometimes the supernatural needs a break from haunting. (Via Flavorwire)
In Lauren Roche‘s paintings, like the best portraiture, there exists a story found in discrepant details. Amidst heavily applied broad stroke of paint and drips, black dots appear to be lactating from human and animals, insinuating teets as opposed to breasts. Teeth are bared in grinless maws not typically associated with people or their pets. And yet there exists an honest and humble beauty in Roche’s rendering of her subjects. Explaining that many subjects are taken from faces of friends and pets, as well as old photographs used for reference, the Minneapolis-based artist adds,
“The figures in my images are facets of my subconscious and take action in a pictorial language and don’t transfer into names for me. I like to leave the interpretation of personality up to the viewer, because that’s what I do.”
Roche’s paintings possess a rawness that cannot be denied, balanced in equal measure by a deft rendering of facial expressions. Perhaps the beauty of these paintings comes from their singular nature, and their anachronistic charm, evocative of a different era of capturing images. When asked the purpose of a focus on portraiture, particularly in an uploadable Digital Age, Roche responds,
“The purpose of portraiture is to give the maker and viewer the space for an interpretation of the subject that is private and flexible, fluid and idiosyncratic. Its difficult to compare portraiture to a cell phone picture because the process is so different. Drawing portraits is like a form of meditation and reflection for me and taking a cell phone picture feels more like a superficial gesture to prove that I’m enjoying myself.”
Roche’s work will be featured in the upcoming Two Dark Horses at Bockley Gallery in Minneapolis, MN, alongside Andrew Mazorol and Tynan Kerr (who when painting collectively go by AMTK, previously featured here) and Lindsay Rhyner. The exhibition, named after one of Roche’s paintings (top of page) opens this Friday, March 21st and runs through April 26th, 2014.
Alejandro Bombín’s paintings are deceptive. At first glance, many of them appear to be old, faded images from vintage publications that were scanned into the computer. Something went awry and now they look glitchy. But, what they actually are is meticulously detailed acrylic works that produce a digital mistake by hand.
By dividing up the image into rows (take a look at the detail above), Bombín is able to draw the the picture and fracture it by shifting the picture right or left from its original center. He uses a pointillist technique and pairs pure colors together, which from far away forms a cohesive image. And, at the same time, these colors and the texture from it are reminiscent of a lo-res, pixelated image.
The distorted images point to our desire to hold onto the past and the failings that we experience with technology. Digitizing something ensures that we’ll have it forever. Photographs and newspaper clippings? Not so much. But what happens when technology fails us too? Bombín’s paintings remind us that both can be fickle and that there are no guarantees.
In artist Reiner Hansen’s series Facial Fallout, she paints self portraits that each depict a different persona. In some, she plays a character, like a reality star or the girl next door. In others, it’s another version of who she already is, but with a different hair style, skin sunburnt, and more. All of these are a departure of her true identity, which itself is fleeting and malleable based on who she was trying to be. Hansen explains:
Each is based on, or rather mapped onto, my own features and characteristics. My self image is re-conceived as these other women, who live in a world entirely different from my own. There is a process of transformation into involuntarily ‘stereotyped’ notions of who these people are or might be, a sort of method acting in painted form, leaving a history of performance in each image. Simultaneously a game that is playful as well as a meditative speculation on a fabricated ‘other life’, these images are partly about investigating the idea of ‘escape,’ not just away from ‘the self’ and into anonymity, but also away from the art historical traditions of the self portrait and its established practice of depicting the artist. Instead, concealing my self behind imagined personas, I attempt to escape identification.
These portraits are humorous, and part of the joy of looking at Hansen’s work is finding glimpses of her true self within all of these paintings.
Marc Dennis’ hyperrealistic paintings are centered around the gaze and ideal for viewers who enjoy spending a lot of time with a single work of art. Layered with symbol upon symbol, it’s apparent that there are two subjects featured in any one of his complex compositions – the person who does the looking and the object that’s being looked at. As we view how the two interact, we form a narrative about their relationship. What does it mean, for instance, that a NFL cheerleader stares at the classic Les Demoiselles d’Avignon by Picasso? How do the they relate to each other? And, how does this relate to us? In an interview with Hi Fructose, Dennis talks about trying to find our own meanings within art. He explains:
I saturate my paintings with truths and suggestions about human behavior, ways of looking, and the psychological, spiritual and physical relationships we have with art. Walter Benjamin, the famous social critic once said, “To experience the aura of a phenomenon means to invest it with the capability of returning the gaze.” I believe that we, as viewers and art lovers, are eager and more pleased when it happens, to find ourselves, or some semblance of ourselves in a work of art. In other words, I do my part in “returning the gaze” that Benjamin speaks of. And in this hyper self-conscious, glamour-driven, sexually-inflated and media-obsessed art culture of today, my works are satirical yet sincere, artificial yet real, and most definitely loaded with personal symbolism yet public pomp — a timely combination and expression. (Via Faith is Torment)