Tag Archives: pop culture

Artist Felice House Reimagines Scenes from Classic Western Films with Female Cowboys as Leads 

Julia Dean in “Giant”, 2013. Oil on canvas, 54″ x 68″.

Angered by the gendered division perpetually seen in classic Western films, painter Felice House decided to create her painted series Re-Western. The collection of works are a re-imagining of her favorite Western films cast with female leads instead of the traditional male cowboys, painting females in place of actors such as James Dean, John Wayne, or Clint Eastwood. The women in her paintings are strapped with shotguns riding horses, fiercely looking out onto a deserted plain, and strongly staring into the eyes of the audience clad in plain button-downs and bright red cowboy boots.

“The western movie tradition is so established; so accepted, so mythologized that it spans the globe,” said House to Colossal. “I love the genre, and at the same time when I sit down to watch a Western movie, I start to feel angry. For the most part, the roles in Westerns are totally inaccessible to me.”

Deciding to start a conversation with this frustration, House choose to paint these reimagined Westerns to ask straightforward questions to a society that continuously handed over these roles to males. House seeks to ask what society would be like with this imagined reversal—how would education be changed? What would our reestablished priorities look like with females as the lead role?

Liakesha Dean in “Giant”, 2013. Oil on canvas, 36″ x 48″.

Julia Dean Portrait, 2013. Oil on canvas, 24″x 20″.

“I would argue that in today’s culture portraying women without objectifying them is an intentional and political act,” said House. “The art historical and current cultural norm is to portray women to extol their sexual beauty and to encourage possessiveness. For centuries men have painted images of women for men. Now that women have access to education and training, women are painting women as we see ourselves.”

House uses her female gaze and voice to create strong, female heroes in environments we all know, reestablishing our connection to the well-known historical settings. Working with the idea of a hero, House paints her portraits larger than life. She encourages the viewer to look up and become dwarfed by the women and their power, hoping this change in physical perspective might encourage a change in mental perspective as well.

Several of House’s female portraits are currently in the group exhibition Sight Unseen at Abend Gallery in Denver through March 25. Pieces from her Re-Western series will be included the upcoming exhibition Woman as Warrior at the Zhou B Art Center in Chicago in August. You can see more of her work on her website and Instagram. (via The Creators Project)

Karan and Nanc in Open Range, 2015. Oil on canvas, 36″ x 60″.

Virginia Eastwood in “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”, 2013. Oil on canvas, 62″ x 80″.

Rebekah Wayne in True Grit (Study), 2014. Oil on canvas, 30″ x 24″.

Krimmie Wayne in “The Searchers”, 2013. Oil on canvas, 60″ x 40″.

Liakesha Cooper in “High Noon”, 2013. Oil on canvas, 36″ x 48″.

Virginia Wayne Portrait, 2013. Oil on canvas, 30″ x 24″.

Stasha Dean in “Giant”, 2013. Oil on canvas, 90″ x 60″.

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New ‘8-Bit’ Watercolor Paintings Inspired by Famous Artworks and Pop Culture Icons by Adam Lister 

Bar at the Folies Bergere

Bar at the Folies Bergere

Adam Lister (previously here and here) recreates famous artworks with watercolor paintings that appear as if they have been pulled directly from a 1980s Atari. The modulated technique makes each image appear futuristic, even if the work is a reimagining of the late 19th century Georges Seurat piece A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.

In addition to producing recreations of famous paintings in this nearly cubist style, Lister also paints portraits of famous pop icons, previous works including Popeye and Darth Vader. This September Lister had a solo exhibition at White Walls in San Francsico titled “Elucidation.” The exhibition featured many of his regular-sized works as well as a few miniature paintings that featured subjects from Monopoly boards to Damien Hirst’s famous tiger shark suspended in formaldehyde (“The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living“).

You can browse his limited edition prints and new releases on his website here.

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The Great Wave, image provided by White Walls San Francisco

The School of Athens, image provided by White Walls San Francisco

The School of Athens, image provided by White Walls San Francisco

Olympia after Manet

Olympia after Manet

Lady with an Ermine after da Vinci

Lady with an Ermine after da Vinci

La velata after Raphael

La velata after Raphael

bb8, image provided by White Walls San Francisco

bb8, image provided by White Walls San Francisco

Boba Fett and Darth Vader, image provided by White Walls San Francisco

Boba Fett and Darth Vader, image provided by White Walls San Francisco

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Hirst, image provided by White Walls San Francisco

Hirst, image provided by White Walls San Francisco

Monopoly, image provided by White Walls San Francisco

Monopoly, image provided by White Walls San Francisco

Popeye, image provided by White Walls San Francisco

Popeye, image provided by White Walls San Francisco

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Star Wars Characters Reimagined as Ancient Greek Statues by French Artist Travis Durden 

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I’ve never specifically asked myself what Yoda and and Darth Vader might look like if reimagined as classical Greek nudes, but I can’t say I’m disappointed that somebody made this non-dream a reality. Artist Travis Durden took this idea to an artistic level, using digital technology to sculpt five Star Wars figures out of faux-marble. The heads of each of the sculptures are pulled directly from the movie franchise, while the bodies are sourced from statues found within Paris’s Louvre. The new amalgamations display a softer side to the characters, Darth Vader now sporting tendrils of hair that fall from his once menacing mask, and a stormtrooper casually reads from an ancient text.

The artist behind the sculptures chooses to remain hidden, his artist’s name a mash-up of characters from two of his favorite cult films. [I can only guess where his last name comes from.] Durden is interested in also creating mash-ups within his work, opposite worlds converging to create an original composite. His Star Wars sculptures are his newest works, and can be seen in the exhibition “Contre Attaque,” or counter attack, currently at Galerie Sakura in Paris. Prints are available on Galerie Sakura’s website here. (via Designboom)

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Urban Diversion: Playful Street Art Interventions on the Streets of France by OakOak 

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Street artist OakOak (previously) continues to bring smiles and double-takes to his hometown of St. Etienne, France, an old industrial town with drab facades and cracked sidewalks ripe for his unique brand of visual jokes. He shares his love for superheroes, the Simpsons, Bruce Lee, and other pop culture references through mostly non-destructive, temporary interventions that interact with the immediate environment. Some of OakOak’s best works have been gathered into a new book, Urban Diversion (in French), and the artist had an exhibition earlier this year at le cabinet d’amateur earlier this year.

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Watercolor Paintings Inspired by Atari and Nintendo Graphics by Adam Lister 

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Artist Adam Lister continues his examination of pop culture and art history through these unusual watercolor paintings inspired by his love for 8-bit graphics found in old Nintendo and Atari video games. These are some of his more recent paintings, and you can see plenty more on his website where he has quite a few prints available.

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Humorous Urban Interventions on the Streets of France by OakOak 

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Based in the old industrial town of St. Etienne, France, street artist oakoak (previously) relies on a keen sense of observation to create his humorous interventions on walls, streets, and sidewalks. Cracks and crumbling infrastructure become the backdrop for superheroes and other pop culture characters who interact with their surrounds in unexpected ways. He shares with Bulkka:

Since I come from Saint Etienne, an old industrial city which is now in reconversion, I have the need to make my city less “grey” and at the same time, funnier. Humor is really important to me. It’s definitely the most important element in what I do.

My main interest is giving importance to places and objects that people don’t notice anymore. I walk a lot every day and that’s how I get to find new attractive places with urban elements such as broken walls for example. When I see something interesting during my walks, I measure it and study it, and I come back later to make the collage. I prefer to prepare the drawings and drafts at home.

Included here are several works from the last 6 months or so, but you can see many more pieces on his Facebook page.

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