Maybe you love puns, maybe you hate them. Whatever your stance on them, UK street artist JPS is a fan. They permeate his work as he incorporates the witty phrases into stenciled images of characters in popular culture. We see Batman, Loki, Biggie Smalls, and even Michael Jackson on walls and rocks and are often accompanied by text that’s specific to the character.
JPS’ clever street art is made extra amusing because of how silly some of his puns are. A previously graffitied wall has his addition of “This surface needs a Sheen,” with a portrait of Charlie Sheen next to it. Groan-worthy, yes, but it might’ve made you chortle. And, this is probably part of the point of JPS’ stencils. While funny, they engage the average passerby and infuse some humor into their day and stay subversive at the same time. (Via The Roosevelts)
Brooklyn based artist Melissa Zexter combines photography and hand-stich embroidery to create layers of narrative and texture in a unexpected and colorful way. Zexter, an MFA holder in photography, redefines her practice, as she creates a new artistic concoction that provides more context in the already-narrative medium that is photography. The use of embroidery is a reaction to the photographs themselves, a way to overexagerate or emphasizes different aspects of the images.
For me, sewing was another way to build up a surface and to build upon the content of my photographs. I loved the meditative process of sewing – it was in such contrast to the technologically more immediate art of photography. The combination of sewing and photography brought together two very different processes that I love. The use of embroidery is a reaction to the photographs and is a process that aids in the transformation of identity of the person or place being photographed.
Some of the photographs she uses are digital prints and others are gelatin silver prints that she make in a darkroom. The thread, which she uses to compliment the images, primarily acts as a connection between the person/place captured in the photograph and the artist herself.
I always think of the photograph as something from the past and the thread as a reaction to the past and present. The thread makes the photograph more personal to me and allows me to meditate on the image. Combining the two mediums (photography and sewing) allows me to reinvent the photograph; to visually react to a person or a place.
Employing their characteristic lightness of touch to approach existential questions surrounding such topics as the function of art and politics in society, The Old Boys’ Club advances the notion of the young girl as embodiment of the capitalist machine and the meaninglessness of modern life. This concept, initially put forth by the anonymous collective, Tiqqun, in its 1999 publication, Premiers matériaux pour une théorie de la jeune fille, is a post-Situationist theory in which society is described as submissive to the “figure of the Young Lady.” In their statement, The Old Boys’ Club writes: “Premiers Matériaux… is a controversial essay, insolent and impressive… yet the book doesn’t provide any possible solutions in order to change society. La Destitution de la Jeune Fille tries to humbly define some humorous territory where the Young Lady can be dethroned.”
Adam Lister combines geometric abstraction, cubism, minimalism, pixelation, and popular culture to create his vibrant watercolor paintings. Through visual abstraction, Lister is able to render familiar images from film, television, and the art world, combining various nostalgic representations. In a collaboration with artist Isaac Budmen, Lister also creates 3D sculptures of these 8 bit paintings by using a 3D printer and sandstone that are available for sale.
Lister explains to The Washington Post, “Having grown up playing Atari and Nintendo video games, this broken-down, angular method of processing and displaying information became an interesting guideline for me to translate and selectively restructure some of the most famous paintings in the world.” (via neatorama)
Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, visual artist Josh Vanover (a.k.a. SPACEKNUCKLE) combines geometric wizardry with a frenzied collage technique to explosive effect. Something about that darkly epic aesthetic seems to scream contemporary design. Outer-space overload can be a beautiful thing.
Colombian painter Jesus Leguizamo combines realistic elements of portraiture with abstract, creating surreal pieces that sing with emotion. His paintings look almost like oil-on-canvas renditions of glitch art, his subjets interrupted with splotches of colors and smears of paint.
Leguizamo’s paintings feel like intimate peeks into someone’s emotional state of mind, and his expressive brushstrokes seem to convey a raw sense of confusion or mental tumult. There’s a dynamism to his paintings, as though they’re a motion capture camera snapping just one frame of his subject. According to Saatchi Art, Leguizamo explores human fragility with “his depictions of people [that] erases and blurs that which defines the human being – the face. ” (via I Need a Guide)
Nunzio Paci is an artist from Bologna who paints human anatomy with a surrealist flourish. Recalling the studies of the body from the Italian Renaissance, male cadavers are flayed and opened up, exposing layers of raw muscle and twisted sinew. Body parts are numbered and labeled like dissection records, with marginalia scrawled softly along the sides. In the tradition of his Italian precursors, Paci takes an artistic approach to science, blending grim images of death and corporeality with a reverence for the complexity of the human form.
Paci brings his own style into these anatomical portraits by expressively exploring the body’s connection to nature; veins that unravel past the skeletal contours sprout into leaves, and branches twist upwards from shoulders with a spring-sapling fervor. Birds perch on the blooming dead, and in the corner, dissection instruments are curiously mixed with garden tools. Beautifully macabre, Paci’s mutating cadavers explore not only the interrelation of life and death, but the material links between all living matter—expressed, for example, by the similar structures of arteries and branches. On his biography page, Paci describes his creative approach:
“My whole work deals with the relationship between man and Nature, in particular with animals and plants. The focus of my observation is [the] body with its mutations. My intention is to explore the infinite possibilities of life, in search of a balance between reality and imagination.” (Source)