I’ve been viscerally aware of Simon Birch’s paintings for some time, but it wasn’t until stumbling onto his latest series, Laughing With a Mouth Full of Blood, that I really stopped to consider his staggering talent. The paintings from this series use bold, bright color that’s applied in angular, almost geometric brush strokes creating these wonderful portraits. Birch is a U.K.-born artist of Armenian descent who now lives and works in Hong Kong. He’s represented by Future Industries where you can see many more paintings from this exhibition. (via nevver)
I was delighted to stumble onto the work of Korean artist Kim Yong Soo whose artwork, at first glance, takes on the somewhat familiar appearance of traditional Japanese paintings of cherry tree bossoms. Closer inspection reveals a textured assemblage of semi-conductors, speaker wires, and acrylic cement, used to form the delicate tree branches, flowers, and ominous humanoid figures that bring an unexpectedly dark presence to these otherwise serene paintings.
I admit, I don’t know the story behind this one. It popped up on suplove (warning, music) a few hours ago and is entitled simply “Blitzstein Exhibit” and is dated 1994 on the bottom. Edvard Munch approved.
Update: Via email Nathan Bowers says: “The Blitzstein Exhibit is on Fairfax in L.A. Across the street from Canter’s Deli. The piece you linked is in the storefront window. I can’t tell if the place is a gallery or a studio because I’ve never seen anyone inside and none of the pieces have seemed to move since at least 1996. Mysterious!” It looks like this is a piece by Harry Blitzstein, and here he is jumping rope on a trampoline. Thanks Nathan!
First: watch the video. Twenty-five year old, Toronto-based artist Amy Shackleton paints these lusciously drippy paintings without use of a brush or fingers, instead she relies on good old gravity (and occasionally string as a guide) to move the paint slowly across the canvas in delicately controlled pours. The video above captures the somewhat tedious yet brilliant process in detail, as a 30-hour painting session condensed into two minutes. I find this so unbelievably amazing and beautiful. See more of her work here, and you’ll have a chance to see it in person at Art Toronto 2011 in October. (via gizmodo)
Cayce Zavaglia creates these impossibly layered embroidered portraits using methods more akin to delicate brush strokes with perfectly mixed paint than your mother’s cross-stitch. Via her website:
Initially, working with an established range of wool colors proved frustrating. Unlike painting, I was unable to mix the colors by hand. Progressively, I created a system of sewing the threads in a sequence that would ultimately give the allusion of a certain color or tone. The direction in which the threads were sewn had to mimic the way lines are layered in a drawing to give the allusion of depth, volume, and form. Over time the stitches have become tighter and more complex but ultimately more evocative of flesh, hair, and cloth.
Freelance art director, designer, and painter Stefan Da Costa Gomez has been working on a series of 3D acrylic paintings featuring a number of Hollywood personalities who each met a tragic fate, the idea being that when viewed through anaglyph 3D glasses the celebrities come back to life, so to speak. The series includes paintings of Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Humphrey Bogart, and the wildly popular but ill-fated animated character Oswald who was scrapped due to a contractual fallout between Universal Studios and Disney, giving immediate rise to none other than Steamboat Willie. See many more detail shots of Gomez’s work here. Can’t wait to see more from this series.
Absurdist painter Paco Pomet (previously) has updated his website with eight new paintings (my favorite three above). Many of the new paintings are enhanced with the addition of, well, Muppets. Make sure to click the thumbnails for detail, as the surprise of each painting is often in the smallest of details.
For my first guest post here at Colossal, I have to share the work of one of my favorite artists of all time, Conrad Botes. Growing up in South Africa under Apartheid, Conrad’s work tackles serious issues of race and the human condition with a twist of post-pop cartoon imagery. As one-half of the brain behind Bitterkomix (the other being Anton Kannemeyer), Botes also used the format of the comic as a critique on Afrikaner culture and policy, branching into criticism of South African society in general (resulting in being banned in his own country at one time). Taking printmaking beyond simple decoration and comics beyond simple entertainment, Botes is a true example of what an artist should be.