Artist Sasha Ira draws stunning portraits of youthful and carefree depictions women. Her collection of work almost acts like an invitation into her sketch book; each drawing exists in a beautifully allusive state, provoking dreamlike moments and open ended thinking. Her work depicts ethereal renderings of young women surrounded by flora and fauna, decorative hints of cloth, and open, fluid strokes of what lies behind. Her style nods to both Art Nouveau, fashion illustration and Japanese anime styles, giving her images a contemporary, fun and youthful feeling. Her work shows a clear influence of Symbolist artists such as Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele (who took their inspiration from Japanese art). There is a very innocent vibe to this work. As if the viewer is given a look into a fantasy of a teenage girl. These drawings are captivating and charming. They give just enough information and intense draftsmen that leaves the viewer intrigued wanting for more, as if having his or her own gleeful trance into a moments past. They are reminiscent of a very adolescent state of mind, having an aloof aura to each one. Ira has created a beautiful series of drawings which truly get in touch with a feminine and whimsical essence, tugging at a spectrum of the freedom of adolescent bliss.
Pinhole photographer Justin Quinnell takes photographs from an uniquely personalized perspective; from the inside of his mouth. Quinnell‘s images, despite the fact that they are taken from behind a set of teeth, tend to be surrounded by the ordinary. We find ourselves as witness to routine, fun and travel, perhaps adding up to be just the followings of an every day guy. Within this series the viewer finds themselves looking at smiling babies, children’s toys, cocktails, and known monuments from around the world. From this insider’s (quite literally) perspective, the viewer is not just asked to question what is being seen, but also, what is the experience of the person, or maybe you could call him the protagonist, of this series. Who is this person and what does he think, feel? Mostly on the side of humor, his series is light hearted and fun. Their is a true air of experimentation as it can be assumed that with each photograph the artist has given up his ability to control and leaves the work up to chance and the elements in which it is surrounded by. This series, titled Mouthpiece, is just one of many of his pinhole camera experiments. Each of his works has a vintage and personalized touch, allowing them to stand out and truly feel like a glimpse into the artist’s mind.
Marta Soul’s alter-ego unapologetically kisses 18 different men in the photography series “Idilios.” The red headed protagonist moves from idealized scene to idealized scene engaging in a single kiss with a different suitor each time. Soul says on her site, “immediate satisfaction is found in the kiss. It is the begin[ning] and end[ing] of the entire narrative scene and it is the iconographic element of the image too.”
It is true that the kiss is the central role of the series. Soul poses the lovers with their back turned towards us, bodies entirely choreographed, masking their expressions. Perfectly dressed and suited, the kiss is the only thing we know about the lovers, aside from the incredible wealth demonstrated by their scenarios. With these gestures, the passion between them is concealed from us and allows us to imagine the story between them.
In some ways, the saturation of colors in these passionately distanced and stylized environments are reminiscent of a 1950’s film. They might provide us with the possibility of Hollywood romance: exquisite clothes and remarkable vistas. But, more aptly, the unidentified lovers offer us a paperback romance experience where we can transfer our own fantasies into a world that does not exist outside a creative director’s imagination.
Marta Soul is a photographer working in Madrid.
Christopher Chiappa has been casting sculptures of eggs in plaster for the past five years and now they have taken on a life of their own. His work,“Livestrong” uses 7,000 eggs in a gallery installation and makes us wonder if we should be worried about an imminent egg invasion or if he’s simply putting egg on our face.
The pieces, which are the outcome of countless drawings and photos, have been painstakingly attached to Kate Werble Gallery (NYC) and look like an infestation climbing down walls, oozing across floors, and dripping from ceilings. But the Gallery provides us several ways to access the significance of the work, not all of which include a perilous plague. Perhaps the eggs are the energy of a large group, a non-threatening crowd, a recommended high-protein “Livestrong” recipe, or a nod to the “this is your brain on drugs” advertising campaign.
Chilean artist Santiago Salvador Ascui paints melodic, colorful arrays of pattern-like assembled people. His careful lines, bright use of color, and charmingly hand painted perfection is reminiscent of work from the Mission School movement, specifically the paintings of Margaret Kilgallen and Chris Johanson. While having the playfulness of the “new folk” work of the 1990s, his work is also informed by a strict systematic structure. His pieces function almost as color studies, guiding the eye through the placement of hue, rather than, as most figurative paintings would, narrative. As he falls in and out of saturation, his work sometimes seems to mimic the cycle of the moon. He arranges his figures in sequences, perhaps forming the aesthetic of Josef Frank meets Josef Albers.
Though the work is aesthetically joyful and decorative, his use of repetition and unification through tonality also speaks to a certain aspect of conformity and monotony. He speaks about the work as a pictorial representation of consumer culture. During the digestion of each piece, the viewer cannot help but to see every figure as the same. The patterned pieces create a true sense of identity-less beings; as if to say that everyone is within the same cycle, drawn into the same pattern (if you will), and unlinked to any sense of individuality. However, Santiago Salvador Ascui’s work also draws an important question; when does the need to be different begin to silence the need to be the same? Despite the burden of a plastic society, perhaps the unification of all figures is actually, in a sense, a positive message. (Via The Jealous Curator and Artishock)
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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)
Artist Steven Spazuk really is a master of smoke and mirrors. Well, definitely of smoke. He literally makes his unique images from the burning grey stuff. Using an open flame candle, Spazuk places paper above the heat, collecting deposits of carbon and leaving marks of smoke on his canvas. He then uses feathers, brushes and scraping tools to build his incredibly detailed images of gas masks, dying birds, weapons and soldiers.
His new series of work has just opened at Reed Projects Gallery in Stavanger, Norway (runs until Aug 23rd) Called Smoking Gun and Feathers, the exhibition is a haunting collection of warning images. They are a glimpse into our possible future if we keep abusing the world we inhabit.
Spazuk exposes our collective and institutionalized hubris: the arrogance and entitlement that leads to overconfidence, abuse of power and a distorted vision of success. The plight of birds is contextualized in harsh, yet stunning image compositions, symbolizes the vulnerability of all species in the face of such human egotism. His current work provokes a reflection on the drastic and global impact of our lifestyle on the Earth’s ecosystems. (Source)