Have you ever finished a painting and completely destroyed your brushes, wondering if you would ever use your beloved, mangled, crusty tools again? Well, here is one artist that has found good use of old, filthy brushes. Rebecca Szeto takes found, used brushes, especially ones that could never be used again, and transforms them into little masterpieces of their own. The handle of her brushes are carved and painted to appear as fancy women, while the bottom bristles of the brush are left to look as they originally appear. With a little creativity and ingenuity, Rebecca Szeto makes the wider bottoms look like dress skirts. The stained, curled up bristles are now fringes to an elaborate gown, the paint being its silk.
The women Szeto’s brushes magically become many different kinds of women, taking on the form of all different shapes and sizes. They include women of different ethnicities and origins; one even portrays a mother adoringly holding her baby. You may have noticed some of the brush-women looking familiar to you. This is because several of the characters hold an art historical significance. For example, one woman is obviously Vermeer’s The Girl With the Pearl Earring, while another, maybe not so obviously, is the little girl in Diego Velasquez’s Las Meninas. Rebecca Szeto has cleverly taken an object that would normally be discarded, and with a little patience and skills, transformed it into something unique and amazing. Szeto explains further her intent behind these little women and what they convey.
“These works are an homage to an often lost sensibility and quality of touch and thought, not simply the superficial look of Old Masters’ works. The lady-like portraits are a playful strategy I use to introduce the more indelicate and subtler aspects of waste management and working women (underestimated, underpaid, unnoticed, yet unyielding).”
Artist Danny van Rynswyk’s latest work is a series of captivating digital paintings and three dimensional painted sculptures reminiscent of Victorian era portraits Skulls, Aliens and Beetles: Enter The Demonic Monochromatic Characters of Danny van Rynswyk and curio shop items. They are all monochromatic and depict a series of moody characters in contemplative stances. They are all dressed in Victorian era clothing and are sometimes sporting rabbit or demon masks which add to their eerie masquerade. His characters also have disturbingly childlike traits which add to the odd atmosphere of his project. His work is both beautiful and grotesque and in many ways inspired by the surreal and the deep, dark corners of the imagination.
He creates his work with the help of 3D software, which allows him to combine fine art and technology. He paints the sculptures by hand and, as a finishing touch, places them under antique glass domes, which add to the curio shop aspect of his work. The glass domes also add to magic of his pieces and make them look like precious collector’s items.
Van Rynswyk’s abundant use of skulls, gothic imagery and wide eyed characters reminds one of Tim Burton. The shadows in his work are purely German Expressionist in the way that they are painted, and play off an absence of light in order to create a stonger atmosphere. His work is the stuff of dreams and nightmares, anatomy and science fiction and it allows the audience to create narratives surrounding his peculiar characters.
We discovered Madeline Hagy and her boldly bizarre work on Format’s Spotlight page. Her portfolio elegantly displays her variety of work, from collages and illustrations to posters and prints. With her hallucinogenic forms and intriguing (and oft-grotesque) combinations of images, the clean and minimalist theme provided by the portfolio-building website Format is vital in showcasing the audacious complexity of Madeline’s work. With its fast-loading pages, Format is the perfect website for an artist’s portfolio, as you can scroll and view Madeline’s work without interruption. Another great feature that Format offers is the ability to sort work by category: you’ll notice you can view Madeline’s collages, sketchbook works, and prints separately.
Featured here are the works under the “collages” category, which provides an enticing sample of Madeline’s style and work. Among the images you’ll see a mash-up of recurring motifs, such as weeping eyes, raw meat, and deranged cartoon monsters. Adding to the series is a grotesque flavor of parody, mixing stylish, high fashion images with strange headwear, fleshless body parts, and googly eyes. In one way, Madeline’s work can be seen as a creative evolution of the magazine covers we disfigured with pens as children; going more in depth, we can read her collages as playful “dissections” that rearrange and distort magazine images to poke fun at the beauty industry. In either case, there is a lot to be seen and enjoyed on Madeline’s website, demonstrating that Format is the easiest way to make a portfolio that looks great and won’t distract from your work.
The German graffiti crew have covered Palmitas, a Mexican city with swirls of rainbow colors in a giant mural, hoping to change some of the damaging behavior and negative attitudes there. The community-focused team took to the hillside village and splashed neon bright paint all over the sides of houses, garden walls, fences, window frames and roofs.
Covering more than 209 houses, the super sized mural is dramatic, eye catching and apparently achieving quite dramatic results within Palmitas. Together, the graffiti group (called Germen Crew) and the Mexican government hoped the mural would be a step toward rehabilitation of the Mexican town. Known for drug-related problems, the community is quietly changing it’s focus. The power of color is working.
The mural directly affects around 500 families and apparently is eliminating youth violence and street crimes. The power of the mural is not overlooked and goes to prove that the graffiti crew really does focus their artistic skill on the community. Seeming like such a simple project, the psychedelic rainbow mural has definitely changed the character of the town, and no doubt the characters of the inhabitants. Such a great example of artist organizations and government working together to benefit the locals. (Via Bored Panda)
Lying on a bed of lilacs, here are a dozen of women being themselves and embracing it. A statement a lot of women have trouble owning, according to Carey Fruth who has made the decision to show that there is only blond tall thin American standards in movies. By making these series, she speaks to women and gives them the powerful message of acceptance and freedom of their own bodies.
Inspired by one of the scenes in the movie American Beauty where a middle aged man is fantasizing about a teenage girl, she decides to take the power back from this perfect girl and to give it to women out there, that are as beautiful but not perceived as such by society. The models posing sensually are all volunteers, acquaintances to the photographer. They come from different backgrounds, ethnicities, have different body shapes, ages.The girls are not directed during the shoot, they are just told to be themselves. The result are these beautiful women revealing their femininity, authenticity and vulnerability.
Through her work, Cary Fruth wants to fight positive image by having women accepting their bodies: “by stepping into a fantasy dream girl world and by letting go of that fear, they free themselves up to direct that energy they once wasted on telling themselves that they weren’t good enough to elsewhere in their life”. She also wants to prove her peers that there is no failure when it comes to telling the truth in photography. Apparently most photographers are “scared that if they do something all inclusive and different from the current ideal of beauty that people will not come to their business”. The success of the ‘American beauty’ series is the living proof that good things come to those who believe. In every aspect, Cary Fruth’s concept and photographs are feeding us with positivity and hope.
Erupting skulls and beautifully powerful hybrid animals take over the streets in the work of Puerto Rican artist Alexis Diaz. His work looks more like illustrations at first glance, due to their brilliant line work and convincing detail. However, each bizarre creature is much larger than life, climbing up each wall and towering over the viewer. Mixing a concoction of different animals to form entirely new species is one of the more recognizable trademarks in Diaz’s artwork, along with the repeating, iconic skull. Normally a mark of death, Diaz’s skull often spring forth life, as many of them hold birds that sprout from the cranium. Vivid colors and expressive detail show off this street artist’s skill.
The imagination seen in Alexis Diaz’s work is both incredible and intriguing, as combinations of animals come to life on the walls of the streets. In one mural, an elephant sports tentacles like that of an octopus, while in another, a bear and a buffalo become one creature. In one of Diaz’s most immense and striking murals, a hybrid snake and eagle circle around their prey of a skull with vessels of a heart. The animals rendered in Diaz’s work create a whole new space in which to live, as well as a whole new kind of animal. His handiwork can be seen sprawled all over the walls of the world in places such as Arizona, Puerto Rico, Slovakia, France, Austria, and Mexico.
(via This is Colossal)
Throwing abuse at people is easy. Getting paid to do it is another matter. London based illustrator Mr Bingo does it with ease, and loves taking money for his efforts. The prankster receives offensive sayings from visitors on his twitter page, draws pictures to accompany the words, and sends the composited postcard to the chosen (willing, or unsuspecting) victims. For 50 quid, plus postage, you can receive a customized card that tells you exactly how crap you are. Quite surprisingly, the abusive service he offers has proven to be quite popular. Mr Bingo explains how it all began:
It all started one night in my studio in 2011 when I’d had a few drinks. I went on Twitter and said I will send a postcard with an offensive message to the first person who replies to this. (Source)
After receiving over 50 replies in a matter of minutes, he sent the postcard to ‘winner’ to Jonathan Hopkins from Forest Hill in London, stating that Mr Hopkins had shit legs. “Fuck you, Jonathan, fuck you and fuck your shit legs” the card read. Even though he was saying something that would be offensive, even repulsive to some, Mr Bingo’s card went down a treat and kickstarted a niche market for cards that knocked the receiver’s self confidence.
Essentially, what I was doing was enabling strangers to pay me to tell them to fuck off. All this is comedy. It’s clear that the hate mail is a joke and that I’m only sending it to people who want it. (Source)
Mr Bingo himself receives a lot of hate mail, but takes it all on the chin, as he expects his clients to do. He is the type of person that considers swearing funny, and in fact necessary, but refuses to poke fun at homophobia, racism, religion or disability. The cheeky illustrator has also launched a (successful) kickstarter campaign to fund a printed collection of his postcards. You can see that project here. (Via Juxtapoz)
Have you ever wondered what you would look like without your head? Artist pepedsgn has been asking himself the same question: his most recent series #Losingmymind consists of a collection of colorful photographs depicting people, whose heads have been edited out. The result is both frightening and beautiful all at once and t forces you to reflect on the importance we give to the head and, the face, and the eyes in our everyday lives.
Pepedsgn plays with the double meaning of “losing your head” both in the literal and figurative senses in this decapitation series. The idea that the pressures of living in a modern world full of overstimulation, paired with the flood of human emotion we live with on a daily basis, paint a background for the loss of self depicted in these photographs. The depiction of headless subjects gives both a playful irony and, a certain thoughtfulness to the series by physically showing subjects without their heads.
The uncanny beauty of seeing people without their eyes, faces, or mouths makes the series all the more fascinating in the sense that their heads ,which govern all emotions and most non verbal communication are gone. Pepedsgn leaves it up to the public to imagine the possible emotions of the subjects and takes the notion of “brainspace” to a beautifully explicit level which allows us to reevaluate the way we read emotions.