The multitalented, Berlin-based artist James Reka uses striking colors and organic shapes to create his unique style of painting. Known as “REKA” as a street artist, his large-scale murals steal the spotlight in any setting, whether it be the railway lines of Melbourne, where he is originally, from, or the alleyways of Berlin. Heavily influenced by pop-culture, cartoons, and illustration, his work possesses a pulsating rhythm that brings the streets alive. His abstracted figures take on new shape and form in psychedelic waves that weave back and forth. With a palette reminiscent of the 70’s, Reka’s curved lines swirl around his compositions, creating a sense of depth that is both flattened and rounded, forming incredibly unique aesthetics.
Reka uses influence from his logo design background, integrating a pop-surrealist style into his murals and paintings. The sharp style of shapes and design used in his work creates a harsh contrast to the gritty walls and abandon buildings where his artwork often lives. His smaller paintings can be found in a more traditional environment, like on gallery walls, or in an even more unconventional place, on discarded, found objects. Reka’s newest body of work can be found at Avant Garden Gallery, located in Milan, Italy. The solo exhibition of the artist’s work, titled Olympus, exhibits paintings of Reka’s that pulls inspiration from ancient Greece. While still using his signature style, Reka renders scenes of bathhouses and Greek columns. This exhibition is on view now until July 10th.
It’s a girl’s world in these scenes of playful mischief created by an eclectic array of delicate materials by Amanda Michelle Smith. Rendering tiny girls full of energy and angst, the artist uses oil paint, golf leaf, and ceramic pieces to construct her highly textured work. Smith’s talents in painting spritely girls are only matches in her ability in ceramics. Her light and airy palette combined with the rich glazes of the ceramic creates incredibly eye-popping aesthetics. The surface texture and detail in each leaf, tree, and flower jump out at you as they are formed from ceramic, creating a relief.
Although Smith’s work is full of little girls in dresses and bows, things are not always giggles and tea parties. Except, when there is actually a tea party, there are strange ghoulish guests dining in front of a black sky. Each scene has a bizarre flare that is both whimsical and somewhat dark. These are places where grumpy girls hide in a house while tons of little people seek to get inside. Proportions are skewed, size doesn’t matter, and little girls have a mind of their own. These feisty young ladies get into peculiar situations that are so beautifully and intricately constructed. Smith’s use of clay is flawlessly blended into her painting style, creating finished pieces that are begging to be touched. This California based artists creates three dimensional ceramic pieces as well, make sure to check them out on her website!
(via The Jealous Curator)
Adam Friedman celebrates the unchanging mystery of nature in his surreal, hybrid paintings that dissect landscapes from the real world. His newest body of work is bold in color and line, as he portrays scenes of glorious mountains and unwavering glaciers. His unique style depicts scenes of tremendous natural beauty, transformed them into something even more stunning. Plates of the earth seem to shift and glaciers are mirrored in a reversed world that Friedman so skillfully creates. The artist experiments and warps perspective in his paintings, like an M.C. Escher drawing toying with our mind. Sections of mountains are divided and manipulated into geometric patterns and shape that make you question exactly what it is you are looking at. Friedman describes his artwork’s intent.
“Millions of years are compacted into a single instant and rocks become fluid. I strive to present a moment that defies human intervention in the landscape, and pays homage to the potential in the inexplicable.”
Friedman explains that his work celebrates the unknown that the natural world possesses. Society attempts to explain, examine, and make sense of our environment, but there are some things we cannot understand. The beauty in the unknown can be felt in Friedman’s powerful series that radiates with intensity. Mirus Gallery in San Francisco, California currently has a solo exhibition of Friedman’s work on view until July 11th. If you have the chance to see this exhibition, titled Into the Aether, make sure to check out his compelling paintings in person.
Do you ever wonder what will happen to your body after you die? Thanks to Jae Rhim Lee, our bodies could go out of this world in a way that helps the environment. This ingenious artist has breeched the lines of art, design, science, and death to create something that could change the way we think about burials. Concerned with the alarming amount of harmful toxins and artificial chemicals that human bodies hold even after the point of living, Lee was determined to invent a sustainable way for our bodies to be disposed of during our burials. This led her to start the Infinity Burial Project, where she worked to create, through selective breeding, an infinity mushroom that decomposes bodies and clean toxins while still delivering nutrients to plants.
Through hard work, Jae Rhim Lee’s goals were realized with her creation of the Mushroom Death Suit. This suit, which she so confidently wears while giving her TED talk on the subject, offers an alternative burial method. If wearing the suit while buried, the mushrooms spores that are infused in the lines on the suit decompose and clean your body, forming a whole new green way of death. Lee hopes that this will be a symbol of a new way of thinking about death. She explains that this project is
“A step towards accepting the fact that someday I will die and decay.”
This unique and strange invention may not be appealing to everyone, but shines light on a subject that many may not want to confront. An important lesson about the realities of our bodies decomposing underground can be learned by watching her captivating TED talk.
When two great artists come together with completely different styles, amazing things can happen. Artists Grady Gordon and Derek Albeck have come together to create a collaborative series in which Gordon starts one of their artworks, and Albeck will finish it. Both artists working in graphite, their work fits together naturally. However, there solo work provides a stark contrast to each other’s styles. Gordon often works in monotype, creating his pigment from ground up cow bones. His organic, abstract techniques could not be more different than his collaborator. Albeck’s work is exceptionally detailed, rendering photorealistic drawings with graphite. When you mix these two opposite methods of creating art together, the results are incredibly unique.
When Gordan and Albeck join forces, their work becomes a hybrid series of morphing, deformed faces that are not of this world. These highly expressive faces are missing many parts such as eyes, a nose, or a mouth at some times. Even the hand that is included in this series appears to have contorting fingers and twisted bones. The winding line work confuses our perception until we cannot tell which end is which, or even, which part is the inside or the outside of the head. You can see this captivating series at the exhibition Sometimes I See You Look At Me Like That at The Smoking Nun Gallery in San Francisco, Califonrnia. You don’t want to miss it, as it ends next month on July 17th.
Hasn’t everyone wanted to be a superhero at one point or another? If you have, then be jealous of Sandra Chevrier’s skillful paintings of stunning women covered in superhero. These women she depicts may not be superheroes themselves, but they are covered in iconic imagery of our favorite heroic superhero characters. The French artist creates these incredibly realistic women with paint and vintage comic book pages collaged over sections of their bodies and faces. Some of the women sport clothing made out of these comic book scraps, others display superhero stories across their faces, covering their eyes or mouth. Familiar icons can be seen sprawling all over Chevrier’s work, with images of Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman morphing into one mega narrative. The images seem to multiply, creating an almost overwhelming mash of pop-culture, swallowing up each woman’s body.
Chevrier often uses specific story lines and series associated with specific characters to convey a message of social perception. She explains that the imagery is a comment on the high expectations society gives us to surpass even that of a superhero. One comic series included is The Death of Superman, which reveals the weakness of the world’s ultimate hero. This revelation of failed expectations explores the imperfect nature all humans have. Even the artist’s immaculate and beautiful women are often missing facial features due to the comic book pages transforming their features. Although Chevrier’s women exhibit astonishing beauty, they communicate an important message of living up to your own expectations.
In a digital age, some say traditional methods are dead. However, there has been an upsurge in popularity of using old-school techniques to create new things. Fashion designer Greg Climer combines two such mediums, knitting and film, to do just that. He has transformed knitting into a way of displays film stills. By using technology to transfer frames of a film onto knit fabric, he creates a knit scarf that is used the same as a film reel that you can actually watch as a short film. What is so amazing about this project is that Climer is taking film, shifting its properties to knit fabric, and then converting it into film once more. He is ingeniously using modern technology to manipulate different, traditional mediums to create an entirely unique and contemporary finished piece.
How this process works is each frame is reduced in size so that the amount of pixels matches with the amount of stitches. Then, the colors included in the film are decreased to four, since looms can only use up to four yarn colors. Then, the scarf is ready to be knitted! This method is very time consuming, as his test strip took a year and a half to make. However, after watching just a fragment of the resulted film, the outcome is undoubtedly worth it. Greg Climer’s ambitions do not stop at his unbelievably intricate knitted short film project, but extend to creating quilts from scraps of fabric. These quilts range in a wide variety of interesting subjects; one series depicting loved ones of Climer, and another displaying stills of pornography. (via Fastco Design)
Are you ready for some shocking art? Somewhere between science and art, Marc Simon Frei tests their boundaries by combining these two worlds into a stunning series of photographs titled Tesla Sparks. The innovative artist creates electrical currents with a Tesla coil and captures their iridescent glow with his camera. A Tesla coil, invented by engineer Nikola Tesla around 1891, is an electrical resonant transformer circuit that produces both high and low voltage. Frei manipulates this electrical current in fascinating ways by arching a variety of different objects to the coil. This produces mesmerizing bends in the current, resembling tiny lighting bolts. In fact, Frei plays off this likeness by staging miniature lighting storms of his own. He creates clouds out of wool and constructs a scene so that these electrical currents seem to shoot out of his “clouds.”
To add an even more striking visual, he adds an element of color by illuminating his clouds with different colored LED lights. As if the bright, purple and blue glows erupting from the Tesla coil weren’t awe-inspiring enough, his eerily beautiful clouds fill you with a surreal wonder. The intense hue that the electricity emits captivates us, reeling us in to every frame. There is a powerful tension between the undeniable beauty of the many bolts of voltage lighting up each photograph and the known dangers behind high-voltage. We are drawn to its attractiveness, but are aware of its dangers. The photographer has created a unique, dynamic series that demonstrates spectacular colors and patterns made from electrical currents. (via This is Colossal)