Artist Soo Kim severs, cuts, and reconstructs photographs until they become a more ethereal, delicate version of what they once were. Kim’s work portrays buildings fading away, and creates new geometric forms from different objects. Her cityscapes turn into beautiful framework of a concrete jungle after she slices them into their new form. They become a new, unique style of architecture and design that is created from layers of hand altered and manipulated photographs. Her highly architectural work examines these manmade forms in the midst of their environments. She often snips away at the manmade structures, but leaves the lush landscape in the background alone.
Often using photographs of scenes from different cities all over the world, these once extremely diverse places now are stripped down to their bones where they look somewhat similar. Soo Kim’s hand-cut structures unify these contrasting places, creating a balance of harmony. The incisions in her layered and cut two-dimensional work form a sense of volume, a three-dimensional element is added with her manipulation of foreground and background. Soo Kim’s art can often be more abstract, creating more vividly colored work with the same incredible cutting technique. Not always focused on architecture and manmade structures, the artist’s body of work also includes several ephemeral scenes of nature. With a light and airy palette, her tree branches droop, curve, and jut out of the composition in every direction, creating an amazing sense of depth. Make sure to check out more of her work on Angles Gallery’s website, where she is represented.
In cities around the world, trash has started to take on a new face—literally. In the middle of the night, street artist Francisco de Pájaro has been adorning garbage with fiendish faces and gangly limbs. His collage materials include stuffed plastic bags, abandoned mattresses, and soiled cardboard—anything that has been left on the curb to rot. The result is a cast of absurd, endearingly twisted (and occasionally perverted) monsters that populate the streets in various states of exuberant disarray until they are swept off by a garbage truck.
Accompanying each site-specific creation is de Pájaro’s signature statement: “Art is Trash,” referring to his subversively creative celebration of human debris. Garbage—the output of our material, earthly lives—is usually a miserable sight, symptomatic of our obsessive consumption and the processes of decay. By bringing humor to such unpleasant sights, de Pájaro allows pedestrians in London, Barcelona, New York and more to engage with trash in a more thought-provoking way—one that playfully criticizes consumerism and examines our fear of death and abjection. As the artist’s about page describes,
“Art Is Trash is the hypnotic hand that resuscitates the cadavers of hyper consumerism—the trash—back to fruition in our current, material, state of consciousness. The process behind every installation is a ritual, similar to a shamanic one. A ritual of connection with Mother Nature, where [the] life of matter is a cycle that never ends. Francisco’s work reflects the analogy that exists between the life cycle of the objects and that of physical bodies. Both never cease to exist. They continue to live in parallel realities. The cadavers of consumerism live a new life in the urban, artistic realm.” (Source)
“Art is Trash” is currently on tour in New York. Check out the artist’s website to see which streets his moldering-yet-merry creations will be inhabiting next. De Pájaro also recently published a book documenting this project. (Via Design Faves)
Canadian artist Drew Mosley paints vivid scenes of anthropomorphic animals on layers and layers of resin. Being an artist and a carpenter, his work contains layers of resin that sit inside custom made wooden frames. Being surrounded by incredible nature in his hometown of Ontario, he draws inspiration from the breathtaking beauty of the wild. The little forest creatures he depicts in his artwork are no doubt animals that he has come across on hikes or in daily life. Drew Mosley’s furry friends look like characters from a storybook, with lots of personality and quirky qualities. Although the critters are wild, they act somewhat like humans by carrying objects such as traveling packs and flags.
Drew Mosley creates in depth atmospheres by painting on individual layers of resin. Each animal almost seems to be popping out of its lush habitat, appearing three-dimensional. Even the feathers of the owl seem to be standing straight up, creating a very real sense of volume and shape. By using this technique, the artist renders extremely realistic textures of fur, feathers, twigs, and leaves. Many of his dioramas include found objects that sit right in the resin, jutting out from the piece. In Mosley’s work titled The Egg Thief, a real quail egg is included in the composition, making the entire piece look all the more realistic. The artist also being a carpenter, he creates sculptures and installations of his wild critters. (via Colossal)
The psychological effects of social media—seductive vortexes that they are—are well discussed. Every day, we are saturated with idealized bodies and enviable lifestyles—unreasonable standards of happiness and fulfillment that are based purely on constructed images. Seeking to criticize this culture of obsession and apparent emptiness, French artist Grégory Chatonsky has created a bizarre amalgam of Kim Kardashian’s face featuring more than 51,000 photos of her tagged on Instagram. Using a software program he designed using Unity3d, images of Kim K’s face are pulled and generated into a sea of amassed and distorted flesh. The effect is overwhelming and somewhat nauseating; facial features sink, expand, liquefy, and solidify like crushed and melted Barbie dolls. Chatonsky has literally transformed the celebrity’s face into an endless, empty landscape.
This project comes at a funny time, with Kim K’s book of never-before-seen photos, entitled Selfish, hitting the shelves last May. Chatonsky’s choice of her face is rooted in a blunt criticism, as he views her image as the benchmark of meaninglessness in the self-serving application of social media: “She has no talent, she has nothing exceptional, she is none other than our own design, that is to say the way she [is] represented to us,” he told The Creator’s Project. “It is simply an extended skin, everything is on the surface. There is nothing to look behind” (Source). Terrifyingly, the digital collage continues to grow and morph on its own. With intensity, humor, and a heavy dose of dizzying insanity, Perfect Skin II jabs us with a postmodern critique that visually demonstrates how the image—while highly valued in our digital culture—is a flat, empty simulacrum empowered by obsession and replicated beyond meaning or logic.
Los Angeles based artist Bovey Lee uses one single sheet of Chinese rice paper to cut and construct her unbelievably intricate urban scenes. The winding compositions she creates with simple positive and negative space forms a topsy-turvy world of concrete jungles, mountains, and wild flora. Even the clouds present in her work are fantastical as they swirl around the buildings like smoke. Bovey Lee’s process begins with rendering the composition digitally on a computer. She then prints these images and hand cuts each little detail into creation. These whimsical, impossible worlds are so complex you can search through the cut paper for hours, noticing small details like a person balancing across a tightrope, or a city floating on a cloud in the distance. Even the trucks passing by have unique patterns on each one.
Bovey Lee explains that her work is full of tension between mankind and our environment; a power struggle between two forces. Her work explores the intensions and actions of humans and the affect it has on our surroundings. Lee’s process can be tedious and time consuming, but at the same time meditative. The artist further explains her relationship with working with cut paper. (via Faith is Torment)
“My work is like drawing with a knife and is rooted in my study of Chinese calligraphy and pencil drawing. Cutting paper is a visceral reaction and natural response to my affection for immediacy, detail, and subtlety. The physical and mental demand from cutting is extreme and thrilling, slows me down and allows me to think clearly and decisively.”
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.
In his new series of collages entitled Love is like a Butterfly, artist/musician Wildcat Will delves into the absinthe drenched demi-monde of Parisian cabaret, and uses his own pop art inclinations, and other contemporary elements to create original pieces. This new series in based on the powerful imagery of the butterfly, its transitional phases, and its ephemeral and intense beauty as a parallel for the beauty and tragedy of human life.
His collages combine photographs from the Parisian cabaret Les Folies Bergère with texts. The intricate backgrounds of his collages incorporate elements such as zebra print, oversized flowers and, butterflies. The combination of old photographs with modern typography and colorful, ornate details leave room for the viewers to get lost in his work and examine the world of cabaret from a different perspective.
The clashing of old photographs and typography work together towards creating a sort of punk aesthetic which Will attributes to his cultural upbringing . He equates the ladies of the Folies Bergère to the punk rock movement and, by doing so gives another level of depth to his collages. Through these pieces, Will has created a magical platform for us to meditate on our morals and standards.
Alaina Varrone is a Connecticut-based artist who reinvests the folk art of embroidery with her off-the-cuff brand of weirdness. Many of her works explore nudity, and some are candidly erotic, displaying cross-stitched pornographic stills endowed with traces of memory and fantasy. Other pieces are humorous and somewhat morbid (don’t let the masked man’s “smile” deceive you, with those severed arms of his). More recently, Varrone has embroidered a series of portraits of empowered young women simply hanging out — often dressed in rock metal clothes — and indulging in the occasional bawdy behavior, such as the poolside alien “kiss.”
Despite the apparent clash of a traditional medium with contemporary “deviance,” Varrone’s intention is not to shock, but rather to raise questions, provoke absurdity, and induce laughter (you can read more about this in her interview with Evil Tender). Indeed, her raw, unapologetic style and bizarre subject matter is humorous; like the amusingly strange marginalia people have found in medieval tomes, Varrone’s works participate in a very human tradition of wanting to create lightness and celebrate fun and absurdity. With her skill, creativity, and wit, Varrone’s pieces are uniquely entertaining. You can view more on her website, Facebook, Instagram, and Flickr. (Via Juxtapoz)