From Instagram to the Flickr, clenched nail art shots are ubiquitous– ranging from classic solids to wild patterns; however, I’m pretty sure Alice Bartlett holds court as best in show. Moving beyond simple fashion trends, Bartlett artistically installs miniature scenes on the tips of her fingers: clad green flocking covers each nail, creating a tranquil resting place for tiny figures to contemplate the massive scope and delicacy of the world.
These are not photos of miniatures or models. Rather these are images from photographer Ben Thomas‘ Cityshrinker series and are actual cities around the world. Thomas uses what is called a ’tilt-shift technique’. Among other things, the technique basically corrects the distortion caused by perspective. This correction often has the appearance of miniaturizing the camera’s subject. Thomas’ images present the world as if it were a toy. Some of the world’s largest cities seem to shrink into playful places. The images turn a lighthearted eye onto some of our favorite places. [via]
Darryl Cox is an artist living in Bend, Oregon, who grafts tree limbs onto vintage frames. Each “Fusion Frame,” as he calls them, involves a combination of woodworking, painting, and sculpting to ensure the branch “sprouts” seamlessly from the man-made object. After locating a unique frame, Cox then searches the forest for the complementary limb. Each art piece is unique and expressive, giving the static object a sense of organic vitality. The branch warps the frame and twists the molding in its own dramatic way, seeming to overtake the rigid boundaries and thus demonstrating the power and patience of nature.
Cox seeks to create art that is humble, distinctive, and intricate. Originality is key, which means bypassing ingrained artistic customs and modes of thought. He discusses this further in his artist’s statement:
“As much as I embrace convention in art, and I certainly do, my Fusion Frame art fulfills the part of me that says ‘no’ to convention. That it is not only okay to be avant-garde, it is right. I like to embrace alternatives to an accepted order in art. To even, at times, completely ignore conventions when fashioning a piece and enjoy the unbounded ability to create by refusing to be limited by precept, artistically speaking.” (Source)
Some of the Fusion Frames are tailored with sentimental objects, lending them even more unique emotional value. You can learn more about Cox’s work on his website and Facebook, and he has works available for purchase on his Etsy. (Via Colossal)
Texas-based photographer, Max Fields, captures dark photographs that vibrates with drama and life.
Sean Anderson is a painter based out of Santa Barbara, CA. The jungle is a reoccurring theme in his work, and connects to his past experience of being an artist in residence in Bolivia for two years. He plays with novel color relationships and combines non-traditional media, such as spray paint and florescent enamel alongside oil on canvas. Bold and vivid, with their dilapidated houses fixed in florescent hues, the paintings often appear lit as if by nuclear blast.
His jungle paintings sometimes demonstrate an interest in commercial art and advertising, taking direct influence from pop artist Ed Ruscha by combining landscape and text to bring new meaning to ordinary or nonsensical phrases.
In addition to his work as a painter, Sean is co-curator of the Anderson Art Collective and works alongside his brothers (also artists), Benjamin and Ron Anderson. He has an upcoming show at Firehouse30 gallery in Walla Walla, WA.
Brian J. Hettler’s work is anything but subtle. He fuses digital imagery with saturated color and virtual elements. Even though Hettler works in digital media, he maintains the belief that his work acts as a painting built upon the directive of formalism. His work functions in a place between religion and science, emotion and sterility. He is a recent graduate from Kansas City Art Institute.
Yinka Shonibare is hands down one of my favorite contemporary artists. His stunning explorations into world history, the poetics and policies of identity, authenticity, globalization and imperialism raise interesting political questions without being patronizing. They are beautiful on a formal level, as well as conceptual.
Thomas Hauser‘s photographs elevate everyday objects and scenes.