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Paule Gu Transfixes Us With His Highly Detailed Drawings Of Hypnotic, Dark Imagery

Paule Gu - Graphite on Paper

Paule Gu - Graphite on Paper

Paule Gu - Graphite on Paper

Paule Gu - Graphite on PaperArtist Paule Gu gives us a kaleidoscope of dark and hypnotic visions in his intense series of remarkably detailed drawings. Although they may look like monochromatic collages at first glance, this skillful artist has rendered these illustrations by hand. Each piece contains a plethora of eclectic images ranging from seductive nudes to deathly skulls, which are a repeating motif in his work. Small details can be discovered when examining the intricate lines and forms rendered by Gu in his work. A mysterious beauty lures you in closer, as symbols of death and the occult can also be found.

Gu’s work is an interesting mix of objects that are all connected in a balanced composition, perfectly mirrored. He often brings shapes like triangles and circles into the background, creating harmony to the piece and unifying its diverse imagery. The seamlessly symmetrical compositions transfix us, pulling us into a trance. Although Gu’s work consists of many different objects, they are all part of one single piece, morphing and fitting into one another. Various textures, themes, and worlds collide as sea horses live side-by-side three-eyed bats, and nude women dance around tigers and bones. Gu’s work will completely mesmerize you, as you will find another unexpected, bizarre detail every time you see his work. (via Supersonic)

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Allison Schulnik’s Claymation Film “Eager” Is A Dark Journey Through A Beautifully Bizarre World

Allison Schulnik, Eager - Claymation

Allison Schulnik, Eager - Claymation  Allison Schulnik, Eager - Claymation

Allison Schulnik’s 2014 claymation and stop-motion film Eager is a bizarre dance of the beautifully macabre. At 8 minutes and 30 seconds, it is her longest film to date — and perhaps her darkest, portraying a peaceful, ritualistic world that spirals in and out of violent, psychedelic chaos. The story begins in an opaque, supernatural world, devoid of light, before the viewer is guided into the heart of a strange forest. Traversing these unpredictable landscapes is a cast of misfits: the multiplying, skeletal specters, who open the film with their haunting, synchronized dance; flowers with faces that pulsate and transmogrify into mouths, labia, and cavernous expressions of joy and despair; and the eyeless, fleshy horse, with his lolling tongue and genitalia, who plods along with an almost human ungainliness.

What makes the film so stunning and dark — aside from the endearing absurdity of its characters — is how quickly and easily the world of Eager oscillates between compassion and cruelty. Take the skeletal specters, for instance, who, after completing their ritual, eviscerate each other and don the bloody skins like cloaks. The flowers, too, live in a world of beauty and menace, as they dance and devour each other. Despite the darkness, Schulnik’s treatment of her “monsters” is based in love and fascination; as she said in an interview with Beautiful/Decay in 2012,

“I’m drawn to these characters, for some reason. There’s something about the sad or pathetic kind of character that I like. There’s something sad about them, yet […]  it’s comforting to know that [they are] maybe not real.”

In Schulnik’s surreal and metamorphosing universe, she has created a vast creative space wherein she explores the vicissitudes of life, and furthermore, celebrates the heart-wrenching beauty of what is normally seen as “dark,” “forlorn,” or “rejected.”

Schulnik also works in other mediums; her paintings, seen here, reflect the layered, whirling, and melting style of her claymation. Check out her webpage for links to her other films. And, as it has been advised, make sure you turn the lights down and the volume up as you experience Eager. More stills from the film after the jump. (Via Juxtapoz)

Credit: Zieher Smith & Horton (NY); Mark Moore Gallery (LA). Original soundtrack by Aaron M. Olson.

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Lamia Ziadé

Paris-based Lebanese Illustrator and artist Lamia Ziadé has a “Pop Art” style identified by bright patterns and childishly feminine materials. She is a fan of playing with the historically and socially inappropriate- depicting women flaunting their sexuality, engaging the viewer’s curiosity in the subject’s (often deadpan) gaze. Her work seems to also be concerned with war: she participated in an exhibition titled “Hotel’s War”, addressing the 1970s when different militias involved in the war took over several luxurious hotels in Beirut and forcefully transformed them into their own territory.

“Intifada Rap” Captures The Culture Of Rap Music In Palestine

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As a generation in Palestine confronts misery, violence, and rejection, the hip hop scene is an outlet to express themselves. Photographer Pierre Mérimée and journalist Jacques Denis capture the young people involved in this scene in their new book, Intifada Rap. In it, we meet MWR’s Mahmoud Shalabi, the girls of Arapyot, and the “veterans” on the scene, including Said Mourad, the voice of the first Intifada.

The book’s press release describes it as:

A dive into the heart of the Palestinian hip hop scene, Intifada Rap bears witness to the incredible strength of the musical movement, from the suburbs of Tel Aviv through to Ramallah. Pierre Mérimée and Jacques Denis’ work shines a glaring light on the reality of Palestinian rap while offering an unprecedented view into the daily lives of a generation confronted with misery, violence and rejection, fighting back against it all to escape their imposed fates. Far from the shocking image of television news and the continual discussion of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the two journalists have documented the day to day lives of youth facing a dark future, for whom hip hope is more than just an escape. Armed only with their words, these men and women on the cusp of their twenties express their need for freedom, hope and equality through lucid texts and heavy beats.

 

You can purchase Intifada Rap here.

Awesome Video of the Day: Night Canopy


Here’s a beautiful video from Gary Breslin featuring music from Bix Sigurdsson. Below is Gary’s statement about the piece.

“A meditation on green light – inspired by the dense horizon of lights found on the top of cityscapes. Specifically the red blinking lights for warning aircrafts which have always felt to me like some kind of living, breathing ecosystem. Continuing my fascination with geographies constructed or revealed by light during the night, I started thinking more about the “breathing” lights as rhythms.” – Gary Breslin

Mark Khaisman’s Film Noir ‘Drawings’ Made With Packing Tape And Lightboxes

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In the past, artist Mark Khaisman has used his signature style of translucent packing tape, acrylic paint/film panels and lightboxes to create an extension of drawing which focused on decorative objects (such as rugs, chairs and fabric patterns), luxury items (handbags) and portraiture (previously here). For his most recent series, Stills, the Ukranian-born, Philadephia-based Khaisman channels Hollywood’s Classic Era and Film Noir into layers of tape, hand-rolled and variously removed so the light shining through each image creates lines, texture and shading.

Although Khaisman freely sources images from a shared historical film lexicon, his work also takes on a thoroughly modern, almost pixelated feel and reference, particularly in his more colorful works. Says the artist of his signature process,

“The tape is the message. A parody on Marshall McLuhan’s famous quote could explain the superficial motives, which make up the work. Subjects are categorized into different groups: fragmented stills from classic cinema, iconic objects from art history, portraits. The works are exploring the familiar as our shared visual history; made of a familiar material formed into a familiar image, asking the viewer to recognize and complete the work, stimulating both memory and interpretation in the process.” 

Vik Muniz And Marcelo Coelho’s Microscopic Etchings On A Single Grain Of Sand

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In a rather intense bit of wordplay, artist Vik Muniz (whose fantastic illusory work has previously featured several times here) has teamed up with Marcelo Coelho to create intricate and near-impossibly detailed sandcastles. Taking a single grain of scan, the duo has spent four years perfecting a process of microscopically etching fortress-like castles into single grains of sand. Each piece of sand measures less than one half of a single millimeter are created using an incredibly focused ion beam (FIB – typically used to create microchips) and documented with a scanning electron microscope, later enlarged to show the incredibly fine detail of the the project.

Muniz explains why the duo uses sand, as opposed to post-photographic editing (such as photoshop), “When someone tells you it’s a grain of sand, there’s a moment where your reality falls apart and you have to reconstruct it. You have to step back and ask what the image is and what it means.’” Adds Coelho, “I think photography is just re-starting. There’s a whole new kind of photography emerging now. A lot of it is happening because of this combination between computers and cameras, and story telling and narratives can emerge as a result.” 

These pieces are part of retrospective of Muniz’s work at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, now through August 2nd, 2014. (via designboom)

Patrick Kyle Comics

Toronto based artist Patrick Kyle is a fine artist and illustrator.  He is also the co-founder and editor of Wowee Zonk (a comic book anthology featuring contemporary comic strips by up and coming artists).