Painter Jonathan Yeo captures wonderfully serene moments in the midst of something quite violent. Snapshots of women undergoing cosmetic surgery are painted in a delicate, realistic style, complete with cutting lines. Blurred edges and half-formed torsos suggest bodies that are not yet complete. We see the surgeon’s hands pulling this way and that, like an artist inspecting his canvas. Glimpses of figures are covered in cryptic markings, ready to be cut, snipped, sliced and altered. Yeo’s paintings appear to be something of a modern day Frankenstein.
A self-taught artist, Yeo has been exploring ideas of identity through portraiture, pornographic collages and images of plastic surgery since the early 90s. Having completed high profile portraits of celebrities (Nicole Kidman, Damien Hirst, Malala Yousafzai, Kevin Spacey and Tony Blair) it is fitting for Yeo to move onto another western obsession – vanity. These paintings of the modern day phenomena that is cosmetic surgery are deeply disturbing. We see these women in the midst of transformation, in a state of ease, even bliss, but perhaps this has more to do with the anesthetic. Using a palette of beige, creams and and greys, his works appear sickly but peaceful.
Depicting these subjects as he does, Yeo really is the contemporary Mary Shelley. He shows us people so ready and willing to undergo drastic changes – a vanity and longing for perfection that is in all of us. These paintings maybe act as the mirror we should be looking into; a mirror in which we don’t see what we want to, but rather the stark reality we are faced with: that perhaps Narcissus is not such a far away myth after all.
Spanish designer Jordi Ferreiro takes on a role often overlooked in the creative industry when he organizes these art workshop for kids. Though I’m definitely not qualified to make any astute comments on arts education in the American school system, it’d be nice if there was umm… more of it. It’s interesting though, to see the sort of primitive forms and ideas presented in the children’s artworks and think “Wow, the stuff made by (enter currently hip artist’s name who makes drawings that look like kids made them) totally looks like this!”. Maybe the form is completely mastered but not the thoughts behind it because the output of a child’s imagination is fresh. We’re just all jaded and hungry for irony.
Cape Farewell founder David Buckland involves artists to help bring attention to the usually scientific conversation about global warming. Hoping to appeal to the public on a more emotional level regarding the topic U-n-f-o-l-d, a travelling exhibition, presents the work of twenty-five artists who participated in Cape Farewell expeditions from 2007-2009. Capturing and creating images responding to what they saw and felt while venturing to places like the High Arctic and the Andes, the artists created innovative, independent and collective responses to explore the physical, emotional and political dimensions of our changing environment. Working side by side with scientists on the expeditions artists, writers and musicians, such as Rachel Whiteread, Ian McEwan, Gretel Ehrlich, Vicky Long and Heather Ackroyd sought to find ways to discuss the topic of global warming from an artistically minded point of view.
As Buckland says of the subject: “Climate change is a reality. Caused by us all, it is a cultural, social and economic problem and must move beyond scientific debate. Cape Farewell is committed to the notion that artists can engage the public in this issue, through creative insight and vision. The Arctic is an extraordinary place to visit. It is a place in which to be inspired, a place which urges us to face up to what it is we stand to lose.” -David Buckland, 2007 (from capefarewell.com)
Watch the video here, and read more bout the project here.
Gali Erez is a graphic designer and illustrator from Israel. She is a CalArts graphic design graduate currently living and working in Los Angeles.
I’ve always enjoyed her playful use of proportion, fearless use of color and youthful connection to her content. She loves to mix markers, colored pencils, Micron pens, crayons, chalk, pencil and anything else she can get a hold of to create her work.
Sun Yeo is a graphic-designer-gone-artist based in Los Angeles. Remnants of Sun’s graphic design career are visible in the work, which introduces a hybrid digital/analog technique to create each piece. Through the subtle, dreamy, and whimsical gestures in her artwork, Sun suggests the simultaneous presence of comfort and innocence in a world that is stuck somewhere between fantasy and reality. Check out a handful of Sun’s latest body of work after the jump, and be sure to see the full collection on her website.
Australian artist Numskull presents his work both on the street and in galleries. His segmented use of vintage typography and Native American imagery is dangerously similar to that of FAILE’s mixed media work, but his energetic character designs establish him as a force all his own. Goofy gets three eyes and Bart Simpson hair, and the character takes on a completely new persona. Hysterical, almost toothless grins populate the streets. The world would be a better place if it was populated with even more visuals from the mind of Numskull.
The artist has work on display at Mishka‘s flagship in Brooklyn.