Australian artist Elspeth McLean takes ordinary ocean rocks and turns them into colorful, geometric Mandalas. Through intense detail and repetitive patterns, the artist finds meditation in painting these found stones with endless acrylic dots. The acrylic paint used on her pocket-sized creations allows her to add an element of dimension in her already layered colors. These intense colors create a palette so crisp and brilliant, it is as if the stones are encrusted with jewels. Painting dots has become so embedded in McLean’s art process, that she even coined the term “Dotillism” to describe her unique style. Each dot that is painted to create her intricate, endless patterns takes an incredible amount of patience and focus. Although completing these Mandala patterns may seem like a difficult task, McLean describes this process as a grounding experience where she can find enjoyment and experience reflection.
The Mandala is a spiritual symbol in Eastern religions that holds meditative properties. It is no wonder McLean has chosen such a strong, healing symbol in her work, as she believes in the healing nature of color and art. She pulls influence from seasons, cosmos, mythology, and ancient art to create her hand-held Mandalas. Her interest in the cosmos can be seen in her stones that are painted not as a geometric pattern, but instead as incredible constellations, still painted in her dotted signature style. An avid traveler, the Australian artist is now living in Canada, gathering inspiration from the new landscapes she perceives throughout her journey. (via Demilked)
Stemming from a desire to challenge the conventions of traditional portraiture, Bryan Drury has carefully selected affluent members of society to sit for him, and rather than acquiescing to expectations of flattery, he exploits the power of oil paint to describe their corporeal flaws as precisely as possible. Finding liberation in this reversal of patronage roles, Drury focuses on the organic quality of the flesh and shows the animalistic side of humans that we so commonly attempt to conceal. The works feature a single subject, executed with a painstaking degree of realism. The small-scale portraits capture the condescending and supercilious attitudes of the sitters, who gaze at the viewer with an air of disdain. Set against solid backgrounds, the sitters seem separated from the outside world, and their lifeless artificiality imbues the works with a sense of isolation. In an attempt to expose their vanity and the disconnect that exists between the corporeality of the body and the abstraction of identity, Drury meticulously renders facial details, paying special attention to imperfections and blemishes. His skillful use of light and shadow in portraits highlights the contours of the sitters’ faces, while the subtle glossy backgrounds further accentuate the tactile nature of the skin and hair.
“Art for art’s sake, money for God’s sake. Gimme the readys. Gimme the cash”, the band 10cc sang in the ‘70s. Kevin Godley, the band’s drummer, and Lol Creme, both former arts school students, were the creative force behind the Stockport-based art rock quartet.
I think the world would be a better place if all album covers were done in Microsoft Paint…maybe not…but every single one of these remade album covers has made me laugh and that’s worth something. Diramuid and Anthony the founders of “Paint My Album” have gotten over 1,800 album covers redone. Submit your own primitive (or fanciful, depending on your MS Paint skills..) recreation at [email protected]
Darren Wardle‘s paintings are bright and dystopian and evoke a sort of futuristic unease. There are disruptions within the formal elements of his pieces, like dripping, smeared, or seeming explosions of bright colored paint that call attention to the instability of form. I am drawn to the technical skill of the buildings’ architectures contrasted with the artificiality captured with the use of the saturated, day-glo color palette. Wardle is from Australia, but it was during his residency in Los Angeles that he became inspired by the city’s landscape, and created these stunning pieces.
According to Art Collector, Wardle says his work is “meant to be both beautiful and terrible…My work is basically what I see, taken to an extreme. I’m always looking at things through a dystopian prism, but I’m hoping it won’t turn out that way.” His artist statement elaborates, “The points where analog and digital technology meet in painting are similar to where the natural and the synthetic meet in our everyday experience of constructed space. The structural disintegration, or renovation, deployed in my work embodies a generalized anxiety about architecture under threat from an unspecified force, be that natural or man-made.” Of his portrait painting series titled “Head Case,” Wardle explains, “There is a connection between the psychological interior and representations of interior space. At a subconscious level the room is a projection of our own skin and is a metaphor for the interior self.”
Brazilian artist Wagner Pinto produces work that feels like an explosion. Riotous color and combative line work absorbs the viewer into the rather chaotic world Pinto creates. The artist explains that his imagery is often derived from the folk art of a variety of indigenous cultures, as well as the symbolism in religious artwork.
As part of their 2nd Annual Comedy Festival, Cinefamily recently invited Rich Fulcher to do a stand-up performance of his character “Eleanor, the Tour Whore.” Eleanor, a self-possessed, eccentric sailor-mouthed groupie was first introduced to audiences in Noel Fielding and Julian Baratt’s cult classic surreal comedy series, The Mighty Boosh. In the episode “Eels,” Eleanor hits on character Howard Moon with an affected cigarette wave, an exaggerated hello and a, ahem, vulgar come-on of wanting to pound him like yesterday’s beef.
The live show was more of the same sexually driven humor, delivered by kooky (and increasingly drunk) Eleanor. Set within the pretense of Eleanor reading excerpts from her latest “auto-biography,” Eleanor led us through her series of relationships with famous men, from her first unlikely conquest of “Colubmo” to her stint as Poison’s main backstage pass wielder. Indeed, her sexual liaisons, ranging from the outrageous to the disgusting defined the show. Interactive segments were also worked into the performance, including a video feature called “Taking the Mick,” interviewing famous “Micks” Eleanor has slept with. Of course, everyone from an impersonated Mick Jagger (who spent the entire time pouting his lips and shaking his rooster-head) to “Mikos,” Elenaor’s estranged kebab-making ex-boyfriend made an appearance.
“The show,” Eleanor stated at the outset of the performance, “is like a relationship. By the end we’ll all be sobbing and asking for each other’s Coldplay CDs back.” Eleanor’s statement may well be true of her past relationships, but by the end of her live performance, she was greeted by a standing ovation and electric cheers by a delighted audience. Cinefamily will be presenting their Comedy Fest through the end of June- a not-to-be-missed event.