Misako Shirasu. 7″h x 3″w x .75″d · Oil on Carved Paintbrush · 2017.
Drawing inspiration from across centuries, mediums, and cultures, artist Rebecca Szeto (previously) identifies both anonymous and historically significant women to depict atop the carved handles of old used paint brushes. From the first woman to graduate with a degree in architecture from MIT to a Chibok schoolgirl kidnapped by Boko Haram in 2014, or an anonymous face lifted from a 17th century Baroque painting, each portrait presents the face of a woman who has come in and out of focus throughout history.
“I am interested in things that fall between the cracks of place and language,” says Szeto in her artist statement. “Rust, dead bees, beaten up paintbrushes and scrap materials from my immediate surroundings all become a starting point. Play and chance are integral parts of my process; they’re a way for me to detach from preconceived ideas about the materials so I can freely explore their inherent qualities and investigate their deeper implications.”
You can explore the individual stories of all the women featured in the works seen here on Szeto’s website, and she’ll have work on view at Root Division in San Francisco as part of an exhibition titled Bizarre Bizarre curated by Michael Arcega starting in July.
Musical Notation. 7.25″h x 2.5″w x .1″d · Oil, Plaster on Carved Paintbrush · 2016.
Marion Mahony. 8″h x 3″w x 1″d · Oil on Carved Paintbrush · 2015.
Angela Isadora Duncan. 6″h x 2″w x .5″d · Oil on Carved Paintbrush · 2015.
Chibok Girl: Salamatu Bulama Usman. 5.5″h x 3″w x .5″d · Oil on Carved Paintbrush · 2017.
Violet Jessep. 5.25″h x 2.5″w x .5″d · Oil on Carved Paintbrush · 2015.
Emilie du Chatelet (2 for Squared). 8″h x 4″w x .5″d · Oil on Carved Paintbrush · 2015.
Margaret Roper (1500). 7″h x 3.5″w x .5″d · Oil on Carved Paintbrush · 2015.
Canadian artist Annette Labedzki specializes in abstract figurative painting, but she’s also discovered the internet’s insatiable taste for the unusual and obscure with her Instagram account where she shares paint mixing videos. If watching paint dry is the most boring thing in the world, watching paint mix might be one of the more interesting things. For some of her clips Labedzki makes symmetrical versions, where the palette knife is obscured and everything seems to happen like magic. You can see more here. (thnx, kim!)
While working in the studio, paint is bound to drip, splatter, and brush up against an artist’s clothes, transforming a studio uniform into a chaotic collection of attractive mishaps. Designer Olya Glagoleva in collaboration with Russian artist Lisa Smirnova (previously) captured this look with an elegantly designed twist. All of the clothing included in their collection is embroidered in the style of Smirnova, with the markings of accidental paint drips and doodles adorning each of the jumpsuits, dresses, and smock-like blouses. The pieces are all one-of-a-kind, transforming the clothing into unique artworks that have taken nearly 100 hours to make. You can see more of Glagoleva’s designs with her line GO on her Instagram @go_with_olya, and more of Smirnova’s embroidery and illustrations on her own @lisa_smirnova. See more from this collection on Behance.
“2 1/2” (2010). Oil on Carved Paintbrush.
“The World Is Your Oyster” (2013). Oil on Carved Paintbrush
“Reflections on Beauty” (2010). Mirror, Oil on Carved Paintbrush (Installation).
Geisha (2010). Oil on Carved Paintbrush.
“Doña Hongari (after Velazquez)” (2011). Oil on carved paintbrush.
“Untitled (Blue)” (2013). Oil, Acrylic on Carved Paintbrush.
In a poetic twist of fate, end-of-life paintbrushes are whittled down and sculpted into artwork by San Francisco-based artist Rebecca Szeto. Tools that were once used to create artwork, now bear the face of female portraits largely inspired by women of the Renaissance period and other female figures of art history. Szeto, who previously worked as a faux finisher, uses her skill and background to create playful objects that question our notions of beauty and value; trash and treasure. “The slow and repetitive nature of whittling becomes a meditative activity,” says Szeto, referring to her ongoing series of Paintbrush Portraits. For Szeto, the build-up of paint layers helps define their ultimate form as she reflects “on the idiosyncrasies of each individual brush.” (Via Lustik)
Working from his studio in Alpine, Texas, artist Mark Lovejoy creates richly textured images of mixed paint, but although he’s somewhat secretive about his process, one thing is clear: they aren’t just photographs of mixed paint. The act of creating the color formations alone sounds more like an act of chemistry than art as he mixes resins, oils, diluents, waxes, and drying agents to create the gloppy textures you see here. Portions are then photographed, reworked, and reshot. In the end, we’re left staring at beautifully colorful images that exist somewhere between salt water taffy, Jackson Pollock paintings, and an alluring industrial accident. Whatever they are, Lovejoy is extremely proficient, cranking out several images each day which he shares on his website. Prints are available of every image. (via It’s Nice That)
This interesting blend of paint and typography by Warsaw-based designer Pawel Nolbert was created by photographing actual paint splatters and merging them with digital illustration techniques. Titled Atypical, he describes the series of posters as an exploration of the form and rhythm of letterforms “presented as half-realistic, half-illustrative figurative sculptures.” You can see more on his website, and prints are available on Society6. (via Illusion)