Vinicius Costa creates glossy surreal worlds where anything is possible. In his densely rich and bizarre worlds plants take on human characteristics, pill bottles are turned into homes, and nature is replaced with richly frosted cupcakes and sweets. I’m not sure about you but I’d be first in line to live in Vinicius’ deliciously insane world.
I had only one class with Tom LaDuke, but he became was of my most beneficial and most enjoyed professors. Much like his work, Tom is very perceptive; I always felt he was a few steps ahead of us. He inspired many of us to notice aesthetic details, a more clever title, a deeper level of thought – just something more than where our minds stopped at.
Even outside of class, Tom is still encouraging me to be better through his work. He works with challenging mediums, such as, sculpting with graphite, pencil leads, fingernails, eyelashes, and other fragile or unorthodox materials. He is always up to something. You notice this when you start seeing the different layers he puts into all his work, most notably his recent series of paintings where you become very aware of your process of perceiving images.
Artist Sun K. Kwak paints with tape. She had begun her career as a painter but had felt disconnected with the medium. After experimenting with black masking tape Kwak had found her choice medium. Speaking of her first experience working with the tape, she says, “It felt like black ink pouring out over my fingers. It was very fresh, alive, and free.” The large installation pictured here is found at the Brooklyn Museum and is titled Enfolding 280 Hours – a reference to the amount of time needed to install the work.
I don’t know what the weather is like where you’re at but it’s officially beach weather in sunny California. It’s been so hot that even gramps is tossing on his bathing suit, putting on the coppertone, and blasting the jams at the beach. Don’t believe me? Just watch this video by Columbus after the jump and see for yourself!
The late and great author Kurt Vonnegut was a visual artist, too. If you’re a fan of his writing, then you probably already knew that drawings by him appear in 1973’s Breakfast of Champions and that he illustrated the cover for Man Without a Country in 2005. But in the mid-1990’s, Vonnegut shipped his daughter Nanette a plethora of drawings. She kept them in her studio’s flatfiles (she’s a visual artist, too) until now, when the artwork was made into a book and is part of a touring exhibition titled Kurt Vonnegut Drawings. The book is published by Monacelli Press and features 145 selections of his work.
Playful line drawings are composed using pen and marker. The abstract and surreal works, in which things transform and morph to become something other than themselves, include fragments of the written word. One drawing includes a steep set of stair and muses, “There is a ceiling on human thoughts.” Other wordless works often include a minimalist portrait or figure. They are free-flowing images that feel like a stream of consciousness.
The published book includes essays written by his daughter and scholar (and Vonnegut friend) Peter Reed. He writes, “great value of this collection is that Vonnegut’s artwork gives us another perspective on his restless imagination and his creative genius. … There are constraints in writing that even the iconoclastic Vonnegut felt, but in his art he seems wholly uninhibited.” (Via Hyperallergic)
Roman Klonek has a soft spot for old fashioned cartoons, especially east european styled prints that sit somewhere between folk art, pop, and propaganda graphics. In the 90s he studied Graphic Arts in Duesseldorf and discovered a passion for woodblock printing. For the last 10 years he has been creating posters with a wide range of whimsical creatures, mostly half animal/half human, preferential in awkward situations.
Peter Cross makes pencil drawings to salivate over, precise and delicate, they bear witness with photographic verisimilitude to times and places that have never existed but seem weirdly deja-vu-ish. Cross worked for over twenty years as an art handler and then as a registrar in Manhattan galleries. Much of that time was spent with Leo Castelli, where he worked with artists like Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenburg and Roy Lichtenstein. When I first got to NYC Peter hired me to install shows, and despite my being nosy and persistent, has always been extremely secretive about his drawings. I finally got him to email these. Peter doesn’t have a website just yet, so if you want to contact him – leave some way to be reached in the comments section.