Sam Grant, an American painter and photographer, creates incredibly catchy, humorous, and colorful pieces that are pop and vintage inspired. The vibrantly-colored imagery vibes with intensity, grandeur and witty observations; his collage-like compositions create a visual interplay between surreal elements, pulp imagery of the mid-20th century, and contemporary culture.
Though Grant’s paintwork is incredibly realistic, he still renders his subjects and settings with a whimsical appeal. Often paired with words (comic book style), his paintings reference several characteristics of contemporary culture; from texting to ideas of love and beauty, Grant covers it all in a subtle and comical way that, together with the vintage imagery, will make you wanna go back to the simpler times.
If you live in Oakland, California, you will have the chance to experience these pieces in person. Starting in March 7th,2014, Grant’s work will be on view at Loakal Gallery‘s Double Vision, a show inspired and completely devoted to/by Grant’s work. Double Vision will be up until April 1st, 2014.
“Ideas win today in our society. [...] I ingest, then digest. Art is really just a mirror of ourselves.”
A truthful quote that Desire Obtain Cherish (DOC) aka Jonathan Paul takes into account while conceptualizing his body of work. The pop sculptor, obviously influenced by Jeff Koons and Andy Warhol, combines street, pop, conceptual and appropriation art in order to create sculptural pieces that explore contemporary society’s ever-growing obsessions: sex, gender, drugs, commerce, media and fame.
Desire’s kitschy, yet critical work exposes “society’s inability to control itself as it examines the commercial promise of fulfillment and happiness that ends in dependency.” DOC employs an exaggerated and sarcastic outlook that might come off as cleaver but pretentious and judgmental, but never in a bad way. New Yorker art critic Benjamin Genocchio characterized DOC’s work as “not malicious [..] He is more like our social conscience, delivering up uncomfortable and unpleasant truths wrapped in the most beautiful and seductive of packages.”
Although a conventional artist in paper, DOC deviates from the stereotypical standards of “good taste” in art as his ideas are more in line with contemporary commerce and marketing methods rather than traditional artisan methods. (via ARTNAU)
Brett Kern sculpts these incredible “inflatable” dinosaurs and other objects out of plaster. Kern sculpts his own molds out of clay and uses glaze to emphasize his materials’ depth and details. Pop culture has always influenced Kern’s work, and these faux inflatable sculptures are no exception. One of Kern’s first memories as a child was being given an inflatable dinosaur at the hospital for behaving while his mother gave birth to his sister. It’s this playful, childlike wonder that informs the bulk of his work, and the forging of a balance of fragility and buoyancy. .
“I find that the mold-making process imitates, in a certain way, the fossilization process. Objects are covered in a material that captures their shape and texture and this, in turn, preserves the object as a rock-like representation. Movies, television, toys and games dominated the cultural landscape of my youth. I am a product of this specific time period, and I like to think of my artwork as the fossils that will help preserve it.”
Joe Black is an artist who uses Pop Art against itself. Collecting iconic imagery (often choosing those which have already been famously exploited by other artists), Black creates large-scale hued portraits using copious amounts of consumer items. One of many artists using collected masses of materials into larger mosiac-style works, Black claims that he is open to using any material as long as it is small and plentiful (past pieces have used Lego pieces, toy soldiers, pins, ball bearings, badges) and relates to the source image. These images, which are best seen from a distance of fifty feet, offer a contextual surprise for viewers upon closer inspection.
Though trained as an artist and painter, Black claims to be uncomfortable labeling himself a professional artist, preferring to consider his work more based on image-making and craftsmanship. One such aspect is the time-consuming application of several thousand smaller pieces which make up his whole images, which Black hand-alters by using aerosol to add tones that give gentle gradients which become the lines and shading of the portrait. (via u1u11)
I’ve been following Peekasso‘s (real name: Peter Stemmler) work on his Tumblr page for awhile now, and he is easily one of my favorite internet artists. I’m never bored with any of his creations, but his gif work is especially impressive. Using a combination of clips from film, video games, pornography, commercials, pop culture, and other internet ephemera, Stemmler assembles a curious juxtaposition of images. Some of his gifs have a brainwashing quality to them – a quick succession of disparate images and the loop of the gif medium force the brain to make connections between starkly contrasted imagery. The result is dizzying, and for me, satisfying in its absurdity. Underneath this absurdity and within the juxtapositions there is a critique of some of the imagery that seems to emerge, a perspective that seems to mock much of media in general.
As an internet artist, Stemmler also has an impressive output of static digital images and illustrations that you can check out on his website, blog, or Flickr. He lives in New York.
Spanish artist Mario Soria creates stunning collage-esque paintings of iconic American images and figures such as Andy Warhol, Woody Allen, Marlene Dietrich, Audrey Hepburn, Sophia Loren, John F. Kennedy, and Abraham Lincoln. His portraits are hyper-realistic, but the seemingly random array of objects and contexts he places these figures within lends the work some eccentricity, a sense that is heightened by his use of embellished canvases and the simulated 3D effect of some of these protrusions.
Scott Lickstein’s surrealist pop culture infused paintings are ethereal and witty. He combines seemingly disparate imagery into one canvas evoking both a sardonic and dreamy aesthetic. The layers of reference are reminiscent of collage work, something he also dabbles in, in addition to photography and video. Lickstein: “Robert Motherwell declared collage as the most important discovery of the twentieth century. He wasn’t referring to the idea of cut and paste. He was pondering the exploration of infinite potential. Contemporary life is ocular bombardment. Content is overlapped beyond the veil of the conscious mind. Control and manipulation of this data is the game for now and for the foreseeable future for this artist.”
Illustrator and comics artist Jesse Lonergan is drawing a “Dancer a Day”. Every day, he draws an icon from movies, music, cartoons, pop culture, etc. in a “dancing pose”. He posts the quick sketches to his “Dancer a Day” blog. Just a really fun, loose project. Who doesn’t dig the image of a groovy Hannibal Lecter or a b-boy Gonzo? What about a super fab “The Dude”, or Godzilla and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man cutting a rug on top of a metropolis? Some more selections after the jump and head over to the page itself, where Lonergan’s already amassed a pretty large collection of dancers. (via)