Jerry Kearns’ new work meditates on the construction of images post-9/11. The stark blue sky found in all of the paintings sets the mood as surreal and stands in for the strange blue sky behind the Twin Towers after the attack. Kearns explores various ways of representing the present body by subverting notions of masculinity and strength with both feminine and androgynous signifiers.
The explosive street art of David Hooke, otherwise known as “MEGGS”, moves in waves of color on walls all over the world. His murals harness an incredible energy and force that radiates off the streets in vivid streaks like flames consuming the building. The Australian artist often uses powerful animals such as tigers, snakes, and lions in his work, creating an incredible composition of strong imagery. His use of diagonal lines and composition just add to the already dramatic atmosphere.
MEGGS pull inspiration from an eclectic variety of different sources such as the natural world and socio-cultural issues. His use of bold color and the occasional loud text included in his murals shows a heavy influence from pop-culture. His technique and experimental technique reflects his determination and excitement in his artistic exploration. MEGGS doesn’t just stick to the traditional spray paint. One of murals in downtown LA also includes a glow in the dark stencil layer that creates an eye-popping affect. This piece, along with other of his murals, is based off of a previously done screen print of MEGGS. You can find his work not just in LA, but also in Hong Kong, London, San Francisco, Paris, and Tokyo.
“His life manifesto is that the ‘journey is the reward’ and his work reflects his eternal search for balance. MEGGS’ emphasis on constant growth and passion for travel is demonstrated by his continual exploration of artistic techniques and mediums.”
Angelika Arendt creates her vivid sculptures out of a variety of materials. Arendt often twists and shapes polymer clay to form dripping and swirling patterns, but also uses foam, wood, and acrylic paint to fashion similar forms that are rich in texture and movement. These intricate patterns lend her work an organic touch, something psychedelically oceanic, perhaps. A quick look at her illustrations reveals her incredible ability to transform intricate two-dimensional designs into three-dimensional models. Arendt lives and works in Berlin.
SF dude Jesse Balmer makes drawings and other illustrative works with a comics/animation sensibility and fantasied/mythologically scaled subject matter. Balmer’s characters and good sense of motion make these works really awesome, but it’s his linework that really steals the show. The fluid curves and solid hatching on these are drool-worthy. He’s also been known to use a red and blue “3D” effect in his drawings which pops off really nicely. Put on a bib and take in more of Balmer’s vibed-out work after the jump.
Artist Stefanie Herr’s topographic artworks are inspired by maps. When traveling, she writes, they facilitate navigation and orientation, and drawings by cartographers are the starting point of her work. To create her sculptures, images are printed on photographic paper, mounted on matboard, hand cut into tiny pieces and assembled. They resemble maps that show changes in elevation once completed. But, instead of rivers, plains, and mountains, Herr features faces of people.
She calls these pieces experiments on landscapes models that merge photography and sculpture. They often take weeks to complete. In an artist statement, Herr writes:
Photography abandons the two-dimensional plane and sets out to conquer the space. In search of suitable maps, however, I do not only focus on the shape of the terrain, but also on place names. As toponyms can inspire strong images or even stories, they often interfere in the development of my projects. When shooting photos, I mainly choose top, side and front view representations – I particularly like making use of “aerial” views on a scale of 1:1.
In addition to this inspiration, Herr is also concerned about environmental degradation and rapid loss of biodiversity. She further explains:
Unique natural heritage is gradually being depleted or replaced for the mere purpose of economic growth, and it seems that we have completely forgotten about the aesthetic values of landscape. As a world citizen, I am concerned about contemporary landscape change and the prevailing landscape perception. Topographic Fine Art mainly deals with these issues and, even though on a reduced scale, attempts to capture some of the natural beauty that surrounds us. (Via Lustik)
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.
One of the most influential artists (Did you know Beautiful/Decay is named after a Barry McGee quote) of his generation Barry McGee was recently asked to reinstall a work of his at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art for their 75th Anniversary retrospective. What ended up happening was an installation that not only incorporated the original work created in 1996 but also sampled new work created days before the installation. In this piece we talk with Barry about the preservation of impermanent art and how reinvention keeps him excited.
Video by Creative Lives.
Korean artist Inbai Kim works from countless drawings to create these incredibly simple, yet haunting sculptures. He takes it all down to basics, keeps it surprisingly simple. No color, simple shapes, and pencil as main mark-making – yet riveting with voices.