Created by art director Jonathan Bréchignac, Joe and Nathan is a design studio based in Paris. These incredible carpet drawings were all hand drawn with Bic pencils and pens. Meant to reflect the size of Muslim prayer carpets, these meticulous works are rich in pattern and detail. Inspired by different types of art (French roman, traditional Japanese, native American and Mexican) and also military camouflage and animal patterns, Bréchignac combines these patterns and genres and breathes new meaning to each of these forms while creating something completely new and unique. If you look closely, you can identify a hand drawn QR code in the four corners of each carpet. Each code is related its own page on thecarpet.net. This detail relates the physical form of the carpet to an abstracted and interactive virtual form, adding a whole new dimension to these amazing two dimensional illustrations. (via my amp goes to 11)
Creative murals by designer and street artist Mehdi Ghadyanloo are turning Tehran, Iran’s streets into an outstanding open-air gallery. Executed on two-dimensional blocks of concrete, Ghadyanloo’s artworks deceive the viewer’s eye by skillfully using methods from op art and 3D painting.
Mehdi has established a mural-painting company Blue Sky Painters, which helps him to work with the large-scale street art projects. What is not very frequent in the field, is that Ghadyanloo is fully backed up by the city’s municipality. According to the artist himself, it is one of the government’s goals to promote mural art in Tehran.
“The city is an architectural mishmash with buildings often having only one facade and the other three just left blank and grey. This doesn’t make for a beautiful city but it is a great environment for mural work. I think the municipality really felt the need to bring some cohesion or at least colour to the often confused and smog-smeared architectural face of the city.”
Ghadyanloo graduated from MA in Animation, which brought him closer to storytelling and surrealism. The latter has really influenced his style in urban murals. His scenes often depict unrealistic sights and actions such as cars flying in the air, man bicycling down the wall, people defying gravity and so on. Many of Ghadyanloo’s creations also cleverly interact with their surroundings bringing even more life to the streets of Tehran. (via: My Modern Met)
Pulp Drunk is an exhibition of strange book cover art and a fascinating display of the wildly weird side of pop culture. Designed to attract new readers to read the words inside the books, the covers of post-war American literature were attention grabbing and bizarre at the best of times. But not only was it the American market who was trying out these tactics – illustrators were having a good time in Mexico as well. There, the cover art tended to be even stranger. Still aimed at selling books, but they tended to be less about in-your-face-sex, and instead included violence, crime, mystery, psychedelia and sci-fi details.
They featured characters having hallucinations and apparitions; super-strength robots throwing cars on a destructive rampage; jealous gorillas who are furious they didn’t end up with the girl; a thieving woman stealing a piglet under the cover of nighttime; and circus murder mysteries. These delightfully weird scenarios could be seen to mirror the supernatural side of Mexican culture and their attitudes toward life, death and mysticism. The press release from the exhibition explains further:
These sensationalized images from the sixties and seventies often feature surreal and lurid images of extraterrestrials, robots, dinosaurs, killers, Zorro and many other icons involving suspense, mystery, romance, and the supernatural. The central characters in the narratives tend to be ordinary people facing the common challenges of day-to-day life. They are not gallant martyrs but commoners who have found themselves confronting outlandish and startling predicaments as a result of poor decisions or risky behavior. (Source)
The Pulp Drunk exhibition may be over, but you can see more bizarre covers after the jump.
Utilizing a multi-faceted approach to painting, Matt Phillips’ large-scale, oil and collage on canvas artworks reference op-art, pattern painting, mosaics and textiles. Phillips approaches his multilayered, dynamically textured, collage paintings as both object and illusion. Prismatic, lively and rhythmic, accessible cube-grids and diamond quilt-piece patterns are viewed through transparent cracks, sketchy loops and crooked squares. The artist’s intentional interruption of patterned space fractures his already frenetic compositions into kaleidoscopic abstractions. Plays on shape, color and movement result in paintings that are both formal and lyrical, quirky yet familiar. Originally from Roanoke, Virginia, Phillips received his degree in visual art and art history from Hampshire College, where he has taught as a visiting professor.
In Mario Wagner’s collage on canvas works, high contrast images of 1960s cool are layered onto large-scale vintage settings, tinted in lurid colors and populated by men in three piece suits and girls with shiny hair, clustered hands and disembodied eyes. Wagner draws from familiar Modernist techniques such as Dadaist collage and photomontage to create his paper collage and acrylic on canvas works. Created using ‘analog’ processes with scissor, glue and acrylic, Wagner’s surreal scenes of intrigue and glamour exude an underlying false sense of nostalgia for a bygone era of an overindulged society. Wagner, a German-born artist and illustrator, has been shown in numerous international exhibitions and his illustrations and artworks have been commissioned by Esquire, Playboy,Vanity Fair, and The New York Times Magazine.
Seth Curcio implements Xerox and laser copiers, billboard pasting, enamel paints, and screen prints — what he describes as “the accessible materials of mass commerce” — in the construction of his mid-sized collages on paper and wood. At first glance, Curcio’s pictures resemble familiar contemporary landscapes. But, on further inspection, a perplexing multiplicity imbues Curcio’s images with hallucinogenic static. Kaleidoscopic explosions splinter a high-rise building into a shadowy house of cards. At other times, patterns multiply like mushrooms within celestial landscapes that mirror both the surface of the moon and the interior of the Large Hadron Collider. Disquieting and complex, Curcio’s works resemble photo-real environments shredded and then pieced together from memory, an intricate mesh which captures the claustrophobic, endlessly reconstructed nature of our contemporary culture. Curcio worked as director of Redux Contemporary Art Center and is the founder of the art blog Dailyserving.com.
Pierce Thiot and his wife, photographer Stacy Thiot, have been collaborating on an ongoing project titled “Will It Beard” wherein the couple test the limits of what a beard can hold. Pierce tells BuzzFeed, “Over Christmas break, my mom had her grandkids do a talent show for her (she’s an adorable grandma). I tried to put as many pencils as possible in it for my ‘talent.’ I got over 20. Needless to say, my mother was very proud.”
Since then, the couple has put dried pasta, flowers, chips, matches, balloons, scissors, and even Mr. Potato Head pieces into Pierce’s beard. Through this playful series, the Thiots prove there is more to beards than just looking cool. You can keep up with the project’s progress on Tumblr and Instagram. (via moarrr)
How would you like to see a photo of the 1937 Hindenburg disaster in color? Rather than experiencing the destruction in black and white, how much more powerful would that image be if we could see the intensity of the flames against the night sky ? Well, thanks to the work of an increasingly popular online trend, now you can. And it’s not limited to the Hindenburg. Photographic colorizing is illuminating portraits of long-past world leaders, scenes from 1930’s US Great Depression, and the ever heart-breaking Thich Quang Duc’s self-immolation.
A number of photographers have taken to this challenge, and one company, Dynamichrome, explains the appeal of this change. They write:
Black and white photography can be an artistic choice, but with images taken before the advent of mainstream colour photography, it was usually the only option. As a result, historical photographs are a far less vivid depiction of the past. Skilfully restored and authentically colourised photos allow the viewer to connect with a past era and see details they never noticed before, bringing history to life and drawing attention to images previously unseen in full colour.
The colorizing of popular historical photographs isn’t something that is just for the professionals. There is a whole subreddit, History in Color, that features this practice. Obviously, some attempts are better than others. Regardless, when done well, it’s a powerful way to revisit history.