I first saw Allison Krumwiede’s art at the LA Zine Fest and still can’t believe she isn’t like the biggest most important artist ever. Her pop culture work is incredible and her talent literally spans across every medium – from digital rendering to needlepoint. Whereas most artists spend their entire lives trying to perfect one thing like pen and ink drawings, she can easily switch between a brush and a needle like a civilian trades forks for knives at a dinner table. So, it’s rare that someone like Allison comes around, extremely freaking rare! She is definitely a talent to watch out for, especially considering she’s already done commercial work for some of the country’s media bigwigs like The New York Times and The Village Voice within a year of graduating from Art Center.
Francois Leroy is a freelance illustrator from Paris, France whose digital works incorporate everything necessary to push art forward into generation upgraded. With ease he navigates the difficult territories of 3D typography, design, context, motion graphics, and execution – all while retaining his own identifiable aesthetic. His website not only offers a glimpse into his portfolio, but also several cool free downloads, which deviate from the norm. One is of a 100-layer Photoshop file that you can make a visual remix of and another is a asset-pack of transparent .PNG files you can use to add texture to your work. The crazy thing is that he actually shot the textures himself, which is really cool since you usually don’t get a chance to see the people behind things like that. (via)
Rich Pellegrino has a fantastic way of splattering paint and pigment all over the place in order to create vivid portraits of famous people and myths. He’s a fan favorite at galleries who have pop culture themed group shows, like Spoke Art in SF and Gallery1988 in LA. In fact, it just wouldn’t feel right to go to an exhibit based on any kind of film, comedian, or obscurely famous what-have-you without one of Pellegrino’s pieces in the space. His style is recognizable from across the room and he’s one of the few illustrators I’ve seen who employs a use of texture in his work that makes it pop up a little bit from the page even when it’s in the usual purchasing form of a print.
Scot Sothern is an older photographer, who due to a gnarly motorcycle injury, now walks with a cane. His stunning black and white photographs taken years ago explore what many consider to be the world’s oldest profession, prostitution, while his recent color shots document the random scenes he encounters on a daily basis. And while many of us roll up our windows and try to avoid even subtle eye contact with street corner hookers, Sothern welcomed them into motel rooms to pose for his unnerving lens and even partake in debauchery reserved for a pervert’s imagination and Charles Bukowski’s pen. He was probably the only person to ever shoot his subjects with something other than a gun or semen and his photos, mostly taken in the late 1980s went largely unseen until his first exhibit in 2010 at DRKRM Gallery in downtown LA – just blocks away from where a fan could’ve gotten into some serious trouble if they were inspired by the work. Besides living a wild life and making sure to have a camera there to capture it all, Sothern is also a wonderful writer who is able to describe his experiences with literal crack-addicted whores like they were the most elegant things you’ve ever read about in your life. WARNING: This post contains images that are NSFW.
Rony Alwin is oftentimes associated with his company Rony’s Photobooth, which sets up photo stations at parties all across the world. However, he somewhat secretly has been taking incredible and iconic pictures of uniquely American still-lifes and landscapes all along, which he encounters while road tripping across the States. His crisp and clean photos of American Flags and abandoned typewriters tell unspoken stories that really pull you in and allow you to create your own narratives around them. I, for one, was totally blown away when I stumbled across these on his personal website and can’t wait for him to release some prints. I mean, yes, his other sites are always exciting to check out, but this set of photos mark a maturity that really showcases his talent and eye for the interesting.
Gabrielle Bakker is hands-down one of the most skilled painters working today. Formally trained at Yale University, Bakker has the ability to not just reference the great masters of the 19th and 20th Centuries, but also reinterpret their visions through her own unique filter of execution — all while hiding subliminal messages and symbols into each and every painting she creates. You don’t have to look closely at Gabrielle’s paintings, but you’ll want to, since Gabrielle is herself a master of not only skill, but subtext.
Nick Farrell is a photographer with the ability to capture the essence of sex. And while he primarily shoots naked or next-to-naked girls for his personal projects, he has a diversity and range that has allowed him to work on everything from editorials with Mickey Avalon, short films for fashion brands like Han Cholo, to even the occasional shower shot of pornstar Jessie Andrews. But his real skillset is in his ability to make everyone feel relaxed and comfortable while they’re on set. That’s why there’s still this genuine quality to his nudes and his models look naturally flirtatious, rather than aggressive and overly posed. WARNING: This post contains images that are NSFW.
Almost a year ago, David Abir installed a sculpture in the LA Mart’s basement that forever rattled my experience on Earth. And now, after some time has passed, he has constructed several more structures that have only gone on to further enhance the feeling I grasped onto when I initially saw them. Sadly, it’s pretty much impossible to photograph the pieces correctly, since part of their mystique is the low ambient light surrounding the room. And when the flash goes off on your camera, you’re basically voiding yourself the enjoyment of seeing the greatest magic trick performed correctly.