About Rose Holtermann

Rose Holtermann is a painter from New York City. To find her work, check out her website roseholtermann.com or follow her on Instagram @p.c.crankpots

Erik Jones’ Vibrant Paintings Juxtapose The Figure With Graffiti-like Abstraction

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Brooklyn based artist, Erik Jones, paints vibrant portraits marrying the female nude with abstraction. His new series, In Colour, juxtaposes traditional figure painting with digital-grafitti-esque mark making. His work is simultaneously inviting and confrontational — we enter the picture plan via recognized moments of breasts, hair, and lips, yet, are then pushed away by bold 2-D elements floating through a seemingly 3-D space (or perhaps, is it the other way around?). His paintings are endless fun for the eye, constantly provoking the viewer to make sense of a nonsensical atmosphere. He states:

“The figures are used as an aesthetic anchor, holding the viewer’s attention to a recognizable form, while exploring colorful, nonrepresentational abstractions. In a way, the figures make the chaos palette-able.  I wanted the graphic aesthetic to take on digital qualities and appear to be more naive and childlike in the approach. As if an inexperienced, non-artistic person were exploring a digital drawing program for the first time.”

The “digital drawing” effect mimics contemporary approaches to fashion prints and graphic design, giving off an editorial-like feel. While his work is very playful, it also feels precisely calculated and particular. Jones is able to create a hyper specific effect using a plethora of media, including; watercolor, colored pencil, acrylic, water-soluble wax pastel and water-soluble oil, making sure that each mark he makes is rendered the exact way he intends.

Erik Jones solo show, In Colour, will be showing at Dorothy Circus Gallery in Rome, Italy from October 24th – December 1st. (Via Supersonic Art)

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Mark Tuschman’s Powerful Photographs Documents The Lives Of Women Living In High-Risk Situations

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Photographer Mark Tuschman’s book, Faces of Courage: Intimate Portraits of Women on the Edge, documents women living in high-risk living situations. He photographs moments that encourage an aura of strength, capturing the true resilience women have. Many of these women face potential life threatening situations on a daily basis, such as arranged child marriages, forced pregnancies, domestic violence, human trafficking, and the denial of education. These are situations that often lead to serious mental and physical health issues — most of which are treatable given access to the correct facilities. Tuschman has been able to work in collaboration with NGOs, foundations, and UN agencies with the hopes to help both educate and empower women. His work documents efforts of grassroots organizations providing basic medical care, recovery surgery from injuries caused by young pregnancies, HIV/AIDS treatment, and shelter ensuring safety. These organizations also offer mentoring and educational programs that help women to learn various skills such as family planning, sexual education, as well as skills to help become business owners and gain financial independence.

His photographs capture moments from three continents, spanning between seventeen countries including; India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Laos, Indonesia, Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Peru, Ecuador and Trinidad. Mark Tuschman has been an international photographer for over 35 years and has actively been an advocate of global health and human rights for women. His work has received various awards and has been featured during multiple international health conferences. He is hoping to raise additional funds through book sales in order to donate copies to high school libraries with the aim to “inspire a new generation of activists, and to motivate those already working toward equality, to continue empowering women and girls.”

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Samantha Wall’s Abstracted Ink Portraits Explore The Complexity Of Emotion

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Artist Samantha Wall, a Korean born artist now residing in America, creates ink portraits of identity-less faces expressing various psychological states. Her work is loose, slightly abstract, yet delicate in detail. Through her series Let Your Eyes Adjust to the Dark, she aims to address the unifying power of emotion. She states;

Let Your Eyes Adjust to the Dark is a collection of drawings that delve into my obsession with the internal emotional states that separate us as individuals, while simultaneously linking us as a whole. The expression of emotions provides a doorway into private experiences that reveal our commonality, a smile could indicate pleasure and a frown, sorrow. These communicable emotions reach outward from within, making our bodies transparent. I am interested in the emotions that are more difficult to penetrate and are cloaked even from our own awareness. These are the emotions that sculpt our psyches, erect psychological boundaries, and fill our shadows.”

By creating strong images of non-recognizable subjects, Wall not only speaks of emotion, she also addresses complications of identity. Her subjects are of no particular race, referring, perhaps, to her own multi-faceted history. When subtracting a recognizable being from her portraits, she allows the viewer to purely experience a moment of psychological inquiry and not one based on social constructs.

Her drawings are careful works that display the true ability of her medium. By using ink as a means to speak about line and depth rather than tonality, she allows the looseness of her process to create visually complex images that are able to display just the right amount of information.

Unlike the traditional portrait, Wall displays an array of images that leave us searching, internally for feelings, rather than for narrative meaning. (via Hi Fructose)

Esai Ramirez Envisions Crayola Box Sets Inspired By Iconic Works Of Art

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LA based artist and designer, Esai Ramirez, has created an imagined series of art inspired Crayola box sets. With a BFA in advertising, Ramirez has used his eye for marketing along with his talent for design to rebrand classic concepts. Inspired by the Pantone color-coding system, Ramirez has matched specific palettes from iconic works of art and has manufactured them into organized lists of crayon colors. One of the conceived collaborations is with the color theory master himself, Joseph Albers. Here we see an alluring array of orange to match Albers’ Homage to the Square: Glow. The others include palettes influenced by the works of Jen Stark, known for her hypnotic, vibrant paper sculptures, Damien Hurst’s muted, aquatic blues, greens and grays, and, probably most humorously, a full box set of Yves Klein’s signature velvety blue.  He also has created a Crayola/ Pantone collaboration box set in which he imagines hue names such as a vivd red titled “pms 185u.”

Esai Ramirez aims the project to be fun and hopes it “encourages adults to play more with color and art.” His work tends to revolved around the marriage of two concepts, ideally creating a new unified vessel to conceive each one. His states about his work:

“Whether it’s two lovers about to kiss for the first time or two boxers about to slug it out–the things that bring us together as well as pull us apart are what I look for in everything I see.” (via Design Boom)

Julia Fox Exposes An Intimate Portrait Of Brutal Love In Her Autobiographical Art Book

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Julia Fox, artist and head designer of Franziska Fox, recently released a graphic, autobiographical art book titled Heartburn/Nausea. The book acts as a character sketch, exposing flashes of intimate details that add up to mold a vision of a troubled girl. There is no hesitation between honesty and story telling, as this book is a collection of literal documents from the artist’s life. The book is extremely raw and almost devastatingly personal. She invites us into her own past, for just a moment, allowing us to truly have an experience through her memories.

RH: The book is autobiographical, extremely graphic and exposes probably the most intimate moments of your life. What made you want to share these moments?

JF: I believe that when you share something with someone it is no longer yours. I was tired of carrying it so I gave it away.

RH: Do you feel like the book falls under confession, warning, or exposé? Or perhaps, none of those. Maybe its something entirely different.

JF: I don’t know… It’s just a picture book of artifacts and stuff I have collected over the years. I’m not sure what the message behind it is. I guess since my life is so different now and I’m somewhat successful and happy, the message is that it’s ok to be fucked up. It’s ok to have a past.

And more importantly it’s ok to show your vulnerability and your weaknesses. And if you are fucked up and able to use it to your advantage, you are probably more interesting and insightful than most. So just like don’t be ashamed of yourself.

RH: Does the work aim to address mental illness at all?

JF: I think indirectly it does. I am bipolar. I think being untreated as an adolescent had a huge impact on my life. I’m very impulsive. I do what I want, when I want and when I want something, I want it now. I live in the moment and never take into consideration the consequences. I’m more or less still the same, the only difference is that the things I want have changed.

RH: It seems the book touches upon the borders between love, intimacy and obsession. Can you talk, just briefly, about these relationships at all. Do you believe healthy love, or love in of itself, exists?

JF: I do believe in healthy love. I just think it’s boring. To be completely honest, I have such a good time on my own that for me to want to be with someone else it better be one hell of a ride. I better feel everything and I better feel pain and in turn learn something new. Otherwise I’m ok being with just me. I’m a good time, in my opinion. 

Zaha Hadid’s New M.C. Escher-esque Office Building In Moscow Will Play Tricks On Your Eye

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Architect Zaha Hadid‘s new office building in Moscow, known as the ‘dominion office building,’ is a big, bold, futuristic M.C. Escher. This building is one of the first structures constructed in the up and coming district of Yuzhnoportovy. The structure marks a distinct direction for the desired path of the neighborhood: a place for visionary thinking. The exterior of the building is sleek, shiny, clean and practical, yet, it’s slight asymmetry characterizes it as an entity that deserves attention. While the building itself is striking, it is the building’s interior that is truly remarkable.The lobby and staircases have been constructed in black and white, creating an art deco reminiscent feel, yet nothing about this building’s design seems taken from the past. When looking up through the structure, the geometric shapes create a design of almost painterly accord, creating a playfulness with space that borders on optical illusion. The staircases look like winding piano keys marching through open space. The presence of light is truly considered, making it the perfect environment for forward thinking and inspiration. The building is not just progressive in its aesthetic design — it has also been created in a way to encourage and make expansion for small businesses feasible within the same space. Along with focusing on helping pave the way for small business to expand, it also fosters collaboration between companies sharing the same space; there is a ground floor café next door to the terrace — creating a communal space for exchanging ideas and socializing. (Via Design Boom and Fubiz)

Ted Lawson’s Eerie Sculptures Question The Meaning Of Identity

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Ted Lawson’s figurative work actualizes difficult concepts of physical identity. His work both strips individuality from his subjects while simultaneously forcing character through implications of the viewer, and therefore, complicating the very meaning of identity.

For example, in his piece titled, Eve, referring to the bible’s first woman, he depicts the cycle of a mutating female figure based on her weight. In this work, Lawson juxtaposes bodies with hanging flesh riddled with cellulite against ones simply constructed of skin and bone. The piece forces the viewer to formulate his or her own opinion of which body is the correct body. Or rather, which body correlates to which type of identity. When reflecting on this piece, the viewer is faced with his or her own interpretations of the same woman. It is then that a more interesting question is posed; does this piece prove that physical appearance identifies who we are, or, does it question the importance of the body— is our physical appearance, perhaps, arbitrary to who we are? Is this woman not the same woman in each representation?

The same questions are raised in his piece The Death of Narrative. There we find a naked woman laying, as if posing for a Renaissance painting, perhaps a Venus. However, instead of being surrounded in objects, hues, and sentiments that would then create allegory, this figure is encompassed with a pastiche of plastic objects. She is not grounded in space or time. She has no history, no narrative, and therefore, no implemented meaning. When observing a subjectless subject, one cannot help but to create purpose; it is human nature to understand through vehicles of narrative and history. Thus, by placing a being in a certain trajectory of non-meaning (the artist describes his work as existential), meaning is then inevitably created due to the human brain’s need for association.

Ted Lawson’s work constantly plays with identity not only through narrative, but also through the its relation to art history. His titles are always referential, if not playful. Even in the means by which he makes his work, sculpting through digital technology, is a manipulation of the tradition of his medium. Lawson’s work is a contemporary interpretation of classic quandaries, however, perhaps his work poses more questions, rather than attempting to answer. (via Empty Kingdom)

Mary O’Malley’s Sea Creature Encrusted Pottery Mimics Our Daily Fight Against Nature

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Mary O’Malley is a New York based potter trained in traditional English and Japanese techniques. Her work is primarily an ode to her craft and an homage to her childhood spent by the sea. However, it is also structured around delicate binaries involving the human need to search for beauty. She states:

“The technical difficulties I began to encounter when enveloping the service ware with ferocious and unforgiving aquatic life got me thinking about a common need we all have to control our own representation of beauty. There is so much fastidious control involved in creating each one of the Bottom Feeder pieces, but with ceramics there is always a margin for error, and some degree of control must be sacrificed. The composition of barnacles and crustaceans populating each piece, the way the iron oxide discovers every nook of the creatures I’ve created, the way the tentacles warp in the firings, etc., is always a surprise. I’m never exactly sure how anything’s going to turn out.”

She fuses different modalities, both literally in her potting techniques as well as what each form represents. The more classic aspects of porcelain, the cream white tea pot, the gold rimmed vase, correlates with a more tamed, predictable side of life. These pure little moments of calm crafting are then overtaken by octopus tentacles, barnacles, and coral, representing the aspect of chaos the is inevitable in everyday life. She explains:

“This play between total control and inevitability has sustained my interest and attention because it mimics life in so many ways: we try our hardest to compose the aesthetics surrounding us—from the buildings and environments we live in to the way we dress and present ourselves. Our daily fight against nature is a fruitless pursuit, yet one we never seem willing to abandon. I find this play between forces endlessly challenging. The dance that results from trying to find a balance between what we can control and what we cannot is where I believe true beauty lies.” (Via Colossal)