Illustrator Raphaël Vicenzi, also known as Mydeadpony, combines watercolor, digital media, and typography in the creation of stunning and imaginative portraits. His female characters are a troubling (but fascinating) combination of darkness and light; washed in pastel colours, their seemingly innocent faces and figures are fragmented with images and words, from swords to jerrycans to obscure declarations of “wake up” and “wolves in the house.” These interposing objects cause the sensual apathy of the faces to fall away into a richer complexity.
When I asked Vicenzi about his creative process, he explained that it is very much driven by stream-of-consciousness: “my process is to start working on an illustration even if I am not sure where I am going.” He builds his pieces bit by bit, exploring and discovering them as if they were living entities. And while the results are beautiful and eclectic, Vicenzi admits that his art involves “a constant struggle, battling with myself about this or [that] decision.” However, the results are powerful, multimedia creations. “It’s worth it,” Vicenzi writes. “No pain no gain.”
Mydeadpony’s pieces speak to us with a familiar melancholy, as they explore the underlying nature of our emotional lives; beneath every face is an interplay of longing, pain, desire, anticipation, and nostalgia. The name “Mydeadpony” itself emerged from a photograph the artist found of himself: a child sitting on a white pony. Upon realizing the pony was long dead, this experience made him profoundly aware of the irreversible passage of time, and how we experience transformative loss and change at several points in our lives. This is the emotional, visceral core of Vicenzi’s work; hard to describe, but intensely palpable. Check out his website for a gallery of his pieces.
Fed up with the shame surrounding their periods, the Spanish performance collective Sangre Menstrual took over the public streets in sets of white pants stained with menstrual blood. This performance artwork was politically motivated; as the group writes in their “Manifesto for the Visibility of the Period,” the taboo surrounding menstruation serves to oppress women and reinforce patriarchal systems.
By making a public display of their shedding uterine linings, the group hopes to reclaim the female body and free normal bodily functions from shame and judgement. Since the earliest books of the bible and before, menstruation has been viewed as unclean, and often women have even been kept separate from men during their periods. Sangre Menstrual, whose name literally translates to “menstrual blood,” intends to change all that. In their manifesto, the group of women write, “I stain [my pants], and it doesn’t make me sick. I stain [my pants] and I don’t find it disgusting.”
The implications of Sangre Menstrual’s street performance extend beyond menstruation and into larger debates surrounding reproduction and the female body. Like the feminist artist Barbara Kruger and her legendary print “Your Body Is A Battlefield,” the blood-stained performance aims to present the body as a political act of defiance. The manifesto states, “the visibility of the period [is meant] to increase the visibility of the body, as political space.” Do patriarchal, sexist institutions persist in part because of the repulsion with which we treat menstruation? Is this work of art a groundbreaking innovation or a silly shock tactic? (via BUST)
No, I don’t just admire Jason Horowitz’s photos of renowned New York drag queen, Shi-Queeta Lee for her strikingly similar name to my own. These up close-n-personal, hyper-realistic shots elegantly straddle the realms of glamour and repulsion, real and ideal, portraiture and abstraction. His show opens at Curator’s Office February 20th.
Lord Of The Rings’ fans have always been a bit eccentric but Utah based balloon artist Jeremy Telford has raised the bar by more than a few notches by constructing Bilbo Baggins’ hobbit house entirely out of balloons. The Tolkien super fan spent over 40 hours with swollen fingers creating the life size structure right in the middle of his living room using only a hand held balloon pump, his imagination, and a spiffy green vest to hold the balloons in. The structure comes complete with a fireplace filled with wood and flames, ornate chandelier, ceiling beams and closet doors that open and close! Watch a time lapse video after the jump of Telford in action as he creates the ultimate nerd shrine to Lord Of The Rings. (via)
Australian artist Rena Littleson’s “My 2 Cents” is a RENAFIED experience of the gambling world. A colorful and comical creation of paintings, installations, games, fashion, fun and fortune, inspired by the years that Rena worked as an artist for a poker machine company. Check out some of Rena’s earlier work here.
No these aren’t digital illustrations for a children’s book but the work of young self taught German photographer Matthias Heiderich. These razor sharp images may be minimal in composition but they pack a powerful punch of color that will make you hungry for cotton candy and a trip to the circus. (via feature shoot)
Alessandro di Prisco has created a number of beautiful design objects. His latest is Cubico, a multi-functional cube that can serve as a coffee table, magazine rack, stool or as just an objet d’art. Clever design is really all about marrying form and function in an intelligent and beautiful way.