Michael Shapcott is an emerging artist from Connecticut. His paintings and illustrations take traditional portraiture and add elements of folklore and dream imagery, his main source of inspiration. His work is nothing less than powerful, inspiring, and emotional.
Instead of traditionally traveling the world, photographing the sights with a camera as he roams, Fabian Rook accumulates different snapshots via the comfort of his own home – with the help of his computer and Google. His photographic series is the result of entering key place names into his search bar and documenting where he ended up. By using the online digital tools of these search engines and satellite images to produce Fine Art, Rook is questioning the role of authenticity in image production and selling.
His photos are not dissimilar to those of landscape photographers Stephen Shore and Joel Sternfeld, but have a much different intention behind them, and another way entirely of being produced. Rook says this regarding his purpose:
“By reverting to the auto-produced landscape images taken by Google Street View and by not putting in an appearance of myself either as the author of an image or as an eyewitness, I highlight the meaning of the authorial and witness role in the production of photographic images.” (Source)
He not only exhibits Google-sourced landscape images as the finished project, but also superimposes elements from photojournalism and changes our understanding of what a place is. For example, he takes scenes of protesters from Iran and Greece and replaces them in a new setting of Sao Paulo. Or the street kids we see could either be playing together on the street, or running away from some authoritarian figure. Rook goes on to say:
“The locations and details converge and are exchangeable, while the pictures have the same variability and arbitrary quality that enables the user to switch continent in Google Streetview with a single mouseclick.” (Source)
His images are questionable and ambiguous, and this is his main aim – to point out how untrustworthy these sources are that we take at face value.
Inspired by her Oakland surroundings and the mysterious life of collected objects (from homeless shopping carts to a public disposal & recycling area), Amy Wilson Faville collages her own drawings in with an assortment of vibrant materials such as old mattress fabric, file folders, vintage wallpaper, and other scraps. Comparable to quilt-making, Faville’s compositions incorporate consistent patterns with eclectic pops of color, conceptually mirroring her subject matter.
Speaking on her Carts series specifically, Faville states, “My goal was to use the power of beauty to transform images of squalor into splendor.”
Artist Anna Barlow creates a kind of dessert that you would never want to eat –ice cream made out of ceramic! Although her work contains the same rich, juicy colors irresistibly drippings as ice cream does; the substance is not actually melting at all. It is constructed with ceramic and porcelain entirely by hand. She not only molds clay into scoops of this dairy treat, but also little cherries, candy hearts, ice cream cones, and even the occasional pillow being engulfed by the seeping dessert. Even more interesting, the artist also makes ceramic shoes that appear to be comprised of ice cream and flavored syrups swirling around the heel.
Barlow’s incredible skill in sculpting these delicious desserts combines with her perfect sense of color and glazing to create a finished piece that looks good enough to eat. The artist explains that she finds beauty in the drips of oozing ice cream and is fascinated by its natural transformation in shape due to its current state. It may be fluid with colors blending together on a hot day, or frozen into perfect form. The malleable nature of the substance is somewhat similar to clay. It can be manipulated and molded to a certain extent, but, unlike ice cream, clay can be fired into ceramic in order for it to hold a permanent shape. She unites ceramic and porcelain in order to achieve the right texture and coloring to portray these desserts.
“…the dry translucency of high fired porcelain suits the biscuit texture of wafers and ice cream cones, while the colourful liquidity of a silky opaque earthenware glaze is used to capture the quality of dripping ice cream.”
French artist Lucas Mongiello invokes feelings of nostalgia with his 20/20. Are these simply childhood artifacts or a way to group and investigate yesteryears cultural relics that have shaped our generations thinking about pop culture ?
The city district Amsterdam Osdorp recently merged with Slotervaart and Geuzenveld-Slotermeer and was given the name Amsterdam Nieuw-West. This change also meant the end of 20 years of restructuring urbanized areas. Amsterdam Osdorp gives a dynamic overview of the architectural highlights complete with fantastic typography, motion graphic trickery, and audio sound fantasy. Watch the video after the jump.
In the ‘Spin Series’ artist Paul Henry Ramirez addresses social and aesthetic issues with abstract paintings. Each painting is set on a turntable and the audience is invited to rotate the painting. Ramirez creates a collaborative relationship between viewer and artist by making his paintings interactive. This makes it possible for the viewer to find the ‘internal logics, tensions, and interactions that order the multiple parts of the constructed configurations’. I really enjoy the image of the painting as it is spinning, but also like the sexually implicit imagry that emerges from the paintings when they are static.
Will Ainley is bringing weird back! His illustrations are all about creatures with spindly arms, crazy teeth, and funky personalities. You have to wonder what a conversation might be like with one of them; they seem like they could be friendly, maybe just misunderstood, but sweet. His portfolio consists mainly of pencil illustrations and vector work, sometimes together, sometimes separate; Ainley’s Prog Rock Monster is a cool example of how he drafts and produces his creatures, down to the last detail. He’s got a great sense of color, and adds a lot of character to his illustrations by exploring line theory, texture, and distortion. More after the jump!