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Joseph Cruz

Joseph Cruz constructs incredibly narrative, and romantic sculptures that which stem from his inspiration of the production and reception of information. They are physical representations of the intuitive questions of himself, and the world around him.

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Lee Price’s Paintings Of Unapologetic Snacking (NSFW)

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New York-based artist Lee Price paints realistic portraits of women as they are caught in intimate moments consuming sweet treats and decadent desserts. They are either in bed or in the bathtub, both places where eating is seen as somewhat taboo (aside from the occasional breakfast in bed). Here, we are the voyeur, gazing at not only their location, but what they are eating. In a short statement about her work, Price writes:

In this society, there’s so much pressure for women to be thin. We’re not supposed to have appetites – and not just for food, but for a lot of things. We’re the givers and not the consumers, and I think some of my recent paintings are about the women staring at the viewers and saying, ‘I’m not going to censor my appetite.’

The women in Price’s work are unapologetic about what they enjoy, and it ultimately seems like they are liberated doing so. Many of them look straight at us instead of shying away.  As she insinuates in her statement, Price’s work touches on the repression of desire, and the fact that they match our gaze communicates that they are taking control. (Via iGNANT)

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Emma Powell’s Photography Looks Like Paintings of Dreams

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Emma Powell‘s photo series “In Search of Sleep” is a sequence of snapshots straight out of a semi-lucid dream. To create her photos, Powell uses the cyanotype process and also tints them with tea and wine. The result is a layer of haziness and off-kilter colors that enhance the surreality of her artwork, making them almost seem like paintings of the mind.

In Search of Sleep recreates this shadowy realm and allows me to explore my real-life questions, from personal dramas to romantic doubts,” Powell says. Her inspiration is also, in part, the bedtime stories her father used to invent, which incorporated real world locations as well as a mysterious “dream-world of caverns, forests, and oceans full of unexpected animals and dangers.”
Powell’s work certainly embodies that sense of searching, longing, and subterranean menaces. In some photos, her dreamer seems very small: standing before a looming labyrinth; marooned on a rock next to an enormous anchor; pausing before the stairs as a large shadow moves behind her.
“In Search of Sleep” almost gives the sensation that as much as the dreamer seeks, she is also being sought. Powell’s photography gives us a sense of a journey, and as mysterious as it is, we can’t be sure if the seeker ever finds what she’s looking for. (h/t I Need a Guide)

Bechira Sorin

 
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Space age abstraction –  the power of design tools.  Bechira Sorin’s recent digital work, especially the one above, retain a Neo-Dali aesthetic. I love how seamlessly everything ties together, and how fluid his composition is. That said, the futuristic surrealism does not speak for all his work, check out his other illustrations and experiments with typography after the jump.

Sex Monsters: A Group Exhibition That Will Make You Blush

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This exhibition themed around sex will definitely separate the prudes from the promiscuous. Aptly titled “Sex Monsters”, 10 different artists explore the topics of gender bending, prostitution, fetishism and vice. A combination of photography, illustration, collage and assemblage, we get the chance to view some light erotica while questioning our accepted norms of sexuality.

Explicit drawings of sexual acts, photos of exposed bodies or advertisements for sexual encounters ask us to consider what is “slutty”, “indecent”, or “perverted”. More than just a simple display of modern sexuality, “Sex Monsters” is an exhibition showing something other than the normal heterosexual depictions of sex we are surrounded by. Photos of large amounts of condoms, strip clubs, and rows of newspaper listings shows the extent of the sex industry and how easily mundane these things can become in a world over-saturated with suggestive innuendo.

Encompassing genres like Sexploitation, Pornography, Soft-core, BDSM, this exhibition is intended on titillating and exciting us viewers. Aimed at the inner voyeur in us all, “Sex Monsters” will most definitely capture your attention. Unfortunately the exhibition has just closed at No Romance galleries, but you can still satisfy your curiosity by looking up the artists involved in the privacy of your own home…. Mike Krim, Pietro Cocco, Jennifer Calandra, Lorenzo Fariello, Amy Hood, Jonathan Leder, Sean Maung, Chelsea Nyegaard, Robert Farber and Kilroy Savage. (via Huffington Post)

Pamela Saturday’s Exploding Installations

Interdisciplinary artist Pamela Saturday has a body of work that toys with layering both in painting and installation. Her game of hide and reveal creates a fantastic energy. From her statement she says “any truth is partial, and that the actual includes potential” which I think perfectly describes her work.

Bizarre Posters For A Campaign Against Venereal Disease During World War 2

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Just in time for Valentine’s Day, we have stumbled across this bizarre series of graphic illustrations warning soldiers against the dangers of Venereal Disease. In a nationwide crusade aimed at changing a whole population’s sexual habits and attitudes, the American government enlisted the help of creative professionals. Artists, designers and ad-men teamed up to create these striking and very frank posters.

At a time when discussion of sexual activity was anything but frank, the VD posters of World War II addressed the topic directly using clinical language, ominous symbolic imagery, and jingoistic slogans to help enlisted men steer clear of sexually transmitted infections. While American sex-ed programs have taken many forms over the last hundred years, the military’s VD campaign left a unique trail of ephemera in its wake, featuring imagery that’s both gorgeous and deeply unsettling. (Source)

Found by Ryan Mungia in the National Archives and the National Library of Medicine, this series of posters caught his eye primarily because of their aesthetic, more so than the unusual subject matter. He describes them as

…reminiscent of film noir or B-movie posters from the ’40s, those pulpy-style poster designs, and they also reminded me of the Works Progress Administration artwork, which I love. (Source)

Using bold shapes and colors, the designs were a success in capturing people’s attention. Plastered all over the walls at bases and training facilities, they were sure to get people talking – during a time when sex, and certainly not sexual diseases, were discussed publicly. After a significant drop in VD by 1945, the need for the poster campaign no longer existed. Even though the campaign was a success, the message had quite shocking undertones. Mungia explains more:

Once I was looking at them as a whole, I started to see certain themes arise. Women are often portrayed in a negative light, and it surprised me how they used Nazi imagery or depictions of Hitler and Mussolini to drive their message home. There’s somewhat of a disparity in them because the posters are very attractive, but their messages are very dark. There’s one in particular of a woman who looks like a skeleton and is walking arm in arm with two Axis leaders, Hitler and Hirohito. I think it’s so interesting that they suggest that the Axis powers were behind venereal disease. (Source) (Via Collector’s Weekly)

Andy Vogt’s Salvaged Space

Using salvaged plaster lath, the wooden strips embedded in the construction of walls of old houses, Andy Vogt creates two and three dimensional sculptures and installations that explore the structural vernacular of our built environment and how we perceive it. Through the rules and methods of technical drawing and the vantage points of architectural model building Andy pursues concepts of mass, weight and space via material that has little integrity on it’s own.