Mike Frederiqo is a 23-year-old Dutch illustrator with a healthy dose of talent and humor. You may have seen his other works circulating the internet, including his combinations of BAPE’s fashion logo with Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans, or his images of Sponge Bob as Coco Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld, Terry Richardson, and more. In his more recent series, he has taken his illustrative interpretations of the fashion world a bit further, utilizing the bodies and faces of high fashion icons and their collaborators to recreate famous logos. Among the images you’ll see Lagerfeld and choice model Cara Delevingne completing exaggerated backbends with elongated arms and legs to form Coco Chanel’s interlocking Cs; elsewhere, editor-in-chief Anna Wintour twists into the name “Vogue” (while holding what appears to be a Starbucks coffee). In an interview with Life and Times, Frederiqo explained his inspiration for the series:
“You see so many illustrators taking those famous logos and making fun of them — almost in a negative way. So, I wanted to do something in a positive way with the logos that were recognizable. And what is more recognizable than the Coco Chanel logo?” (Source)
Based in good humor and playfulness, Frederiqo’s stylish logo recreations have a way of grabbing our attention and making us laugh. Logos are a vital part of a brand’s identity, representing their international, high-ranking status and presence. Frederiqo’s illustrations remind us of the real human beings behind these labels; we recognize the logos (and the significance of their names in the fashion world), but when given faces, they become lighthearted, tangible, and funny. Frederiqo’s works poke fun while also nodding in homage.
Each year, Japanese photographer Ariko Inaoka journeys to Reykjavik, Iceland to continue a very special project: the annual documentation of identical twin girls Erna and Hrefna.
Although Inaoka met the sisters in 2006 at a casting call for a photo shoot, she did not begin regularly photographing them until three years later when they were nine years old. Since then, she has returned to Iceland—a country that she cites as “the place for [her] creativity and inspiration”—each year to document the girls’ growth and to capture their unique interactions.
While all of Inaoka’s photographs of Erna and Hrefna convey an undeniable focus on her subjects’ youth, they also speak to something deeper: their strange and powerful bond. According to Inaoka, the twins are never apart and even share a seemingly telepathic relationship with one another.
Whether portrayed clutching matching dolls, donned in tulle tutus, or in playful positions, there remains a unique and haunting quality to the twins’ portraits—a certain je ne sais quoi that both speaks to and undeniably illustrates Inaoka’s declaration that she has “never seen such a powerful connection between any two human beings.” (Via Bored Panda)
New York City native photographer Steve Schapiro documents what it means to be a hippie in 2015. Originally known for his photographs of and participation in the original Haight-Ashbury scene in San Francisco in the 1960s, Schapiro’s new aim is to explore where today’s hippie energy lays. From 2012 to 2014, Steve Schapiro, teaming with his son Theophilus Donoghue, traveled throughout the country following various “free-spirit movement” festivals such as Burning man in Nevada, Shasta festival and Rainbow Gathering in California, and others of the likes. Here what they found is that the “neo-hippie” generation “has more to do with meditation, yoga, fellowship, good vibes, and a search for the divine than it does with the mind-altering substances of its 60s predecessor.” Through images of mass nude meditation, men covered in mud in what looks like states of pure euphoria, group circles of shirtless people forming hand hearts with their neighbors, Schapiro sheds light into a community deeply rooted in finding their happiness through channels of love and nature.
“In Bliss, Schapiro captures the multitudes who come to commune with nature, other like-minded souls, and all that is divine and inspirational in the multi-hued spectrum of human spirituality. He focuses on a subculture of the current hippie counterculture known as “Bliss Ninnies” — individuals who embrace meditation and dancing as a way to reach ecstatic states of joy. The book provides an overview of a new contemporary hippie life within America introduced to Schapiro by his son who began his own journey into Bliss at age 23.”
Artist and illustrator Liam Gerrard is a master of trickery – especially when armed with a piece of charcoal in his hand. He draws meticulous combinations of animals (usually dead), pop stars, cultural icons, and beautiful snippets of nature (mostly flowers), that he describes as ‘Semi-Realistic-Gothic-Awesome-Dark-Magic-Black-Tracing’ (Source). Gerrard builds his complicated compositions from different elements to create a surreal hybrid of modern day life. Specializing in portraiture mostly, his work deals with ideas of beauty, life, death and how humankind deals with those complex issues that we are commonly faced with. Leafa Wilson writes about him in her essay:
He apprehends our desire to ‘perve’ at aesthetically beautiful things and people by giving us a few truths we may struggle to look at; ugliness executed with absolute beauty…..He underpins beauty and death through a marriage of Gothic darkness and pop-icon stellar-brightness that totally munts up the readings of his extensive visual vocabulary. Debbie Harry becomes the poster girl for Satan and Frida Kahlo is set aside with her monkeys in a surreal type vignette. (Source)
Gerrard does choose quite gothic material to focus on, but manages to turn it into something that is beautiful and wondrous. He garnered a lot of attention after drawing a 2.5 m charcoal and acrylic painting of convicted murderer Clayton Weatherston. The subject of the controversy had stabbed his 22 year old victim, Sophie Elliott, 216 times and was sentenced to 18 years in jail, without parole. And even with such a gruesome topic that many people would not care to know more about, he somehow managed to create an object of curiosity and interest. And that is enough proof of his immense talent. See more of it after the jump.
Peter Bowen, a London based illustrator, creates detailed works that carry a whole lot of raw energy and humor. A wide range of influences put a hand into his work, as he derives inspiration from lowbrow counter-culture to dense Victorian engravings.
Like clues in a crime scene, Tetsuya Ishida’s paintings use a million tiny details to tell their story. The note on the table, the eerie playtime carnage–Ishida’s work often speaks of the uncertain union between Man and Machine. But I think the most unsettling thing about his paintings is that the human figures’ reactions range only from complacency to mild concern, as if I re-enacted deadly car accidents with my toys on a daily basis. In a tragic act of irony, Ishida himself was hit and killed by a train in 2005.
Say hello to Harrison Roberts. Harrison stopped by our offices to drop off his work for the upcoming Art Works Every Time exhibit. He was a bit flushed and out of breath – having lugged his pieces, many of them quite large, up several flights of stairs on a muggy Los Angeles afternoon – and then we made him pose for our camera! I’ve been admiring his collection of 2 and 3-dimensional works. They speak so boldly from afar but I can’t help inspecting them from very close in order to take in all the unexpected details; his concoctions speak equally well – albeit with altered voices – from both perspectives. You can see Harrison’s complete collection next Saturday, June 12th, at the Art Works Every Time opening reception at L.A.’s Synchronicity Gallery. Thanks Harrison!
“Ideas win today in our society. […] I ingest, then digest. Art is really just a mirror of ourselves.”
A truthful quote that Desire Obtain Cherish (DOC) aka Jonathan Paul takes into account while conceptualizing his body of work. The pop sculptor, obviously influenced by Jeff Koons and Andy Warhol, combines street, pop, conceptual and appropriation art in order to create sculptural pieces that explore contemporary society’s ever-growing obsessions: sex, gender, drugs, commerce, media and fame.
Desire’s kitschy, yet critical work exposes “society’s inability to control itself as it examines the commercial promise of fulfillment and happiness that ends in dependency.” DOC employs an exaggerated and sarcastic outlook that might come off as cleaver but pretentious and judgmental, but never in a bad way. New Yorker art critic Benjamin Genocchio characterized DOC’s work as “not malicious [..] He is more like our social conscience, delivering up uncomfortable and unpleasant truths wrapped in the most beautiful and seductive of packages.”
Although a conventional artist in paper, DOC deviates from the stereotypical standards of “good taste” in art as his ideas are more in line with contemporary commerce and marketing methods rather than traditional artisan methods. (via ARTNAU)