Mikie Poland: Do What You Love

 

Mikie Poland does what he wants, and that is awesome.  Some might read this and think that it’s juvenile, but in a world where most people play a passive role in their own lives – I’m truly inspired by someone who is willing to pursue their passions with everything they have at their disposal.  Poland is on the road about half the year touring with one of the two bands he plays in (Giving Up or State Champion), and spends much of his remaining time working odd jobs and helping to promote Sophomore Lounge Records in whatever way he can.  As the web manager, primary art director, and right-hand-man of the label’s creator (Ryan Davis) you might wonder where he finds time to do much else.  As it turns out, there is a good amount of “downtime” in the van in between gigs, and Poland often spends this time productively.  Whether he is drawing posters for upcoming shows or clever illustrations referencing everything from Jazz to Dracula – Poland stays busy.

The nature of his practice could force a comparison to Raymond Pettibon, but Poland’s aesthetic is very much his own.  There is certainly a gritty quality to the work, but his quick wit and keen understanding of texture and mark making have an intentionality to them that belies the crude manor in which many of his illustrations are fashioned.  Having a fine arts degree from a conceptually oriented school like the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (where Poland received his undergraduate degree) often leads one down a path of pretention that can be hard to escape, but Poland manages to keep things in perspective.  His observations are honest, the tone is real, and I enjoy looking at the work.  If you scroll through these drawings and at least one of them doesn’t put a smile on your face I think it might be time to re-evaluate how seriously you take yourself.  Giving Up will be on an east coast tour this June, and if you like what you see below I encourage you to check out their shows and pick up one of Poland’s expansive zines at the merch booth.

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Documentary Watch: Skin- Tattoo Culture as high art

Directed by Ryan Hope, Skin is a dark, stylish examination of tattoo culture as high art, and a film that tests the boundaries of art and the human body. Featuring contributions from Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons and Raymond Pettibon, the film is a beautiful visual essay from the frontiers of contemporary British art. Watch the full documentary after the jump.

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BENJAMIN MARRA

Benjamin Marra, perfecter of awkward angles and radical tangents and exploding heads and 80′s boobies, recently re-visualized American Psycho in a crisp Pettibon-ish series of drawings. They provide a nice contrast to the way Marra often works his comics, which tend to be explosively high-speed and feverishly paced. He excels at both approaches, and further proves why he is one of the best action comic artists out there. Get deeper, read his blog, visit his website, frequent his webstore, and amazingly, you can buy a bunch of his comics, released from his very own Traditional Comics, for only 16 bones. I bought ‘em. You?

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BAYROL JIMENEZ

Mexican artist Bayrol Jimenez’s dense drawings remind me of the drawings of Raymond Pettibon and Mike Kelley but on acid. See more drawings, sculptures, and acid flashbacks after the jump.

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Next Day Flyers Presents: pedro lourenco

 

Pedro Lourenco’s off the wall illustrations bring together skillful draftsmanship and beautifully surreal juxtapositions that bring to mind skateboard graphics and Raymond Pettibon.

 

Today’s post brought to you by the experts in fast flyer printing, Next Day Flyers.

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