London-born and Cape Town-based artist Jake Aikman paints scenes that aim to capture the mysterious nature of environments at the edge of civilization, producing dramatic seascapes and dense patches of tropical forests in his oil paintings. His latest work moves from canvas to wall, upscaling his practice for the first time to produce a three-story tall mural of a stormy Black Sea. The two-layer public painting was produced for Art United Us over nine days last month in Kiev, Ukraine. You can see more of Aikman’s work on his Instagram and through SMAC Gallery where he is represented. (via Brooklyn Street Art)
Belgian stencil artist Jonathan Pauwels, or “Jaune,” creates urban interventions in his home town of Brussels, Belgium, stenciling tiny sanitation workers on pipes, door frames, and brick walls. His small-scale installations give a peak into the world of the miniature workers, one where they engage in amusing activities that seem to cause more disorder than good.
“Despite performing an important public service in garish fluorescent clothing, I observed that [sanitation workers] exist in the background of our urban environment, becoming almost invisible to the average person,” says Jaune about the series in an artist statement on his website. “It was in 2011 that I decided to free these characters from their roles by symbolically placing them in ever more absurd and whimsical scenarios in and around the city streets. Those who were supposed to keep the world tidy have become harbingers of chaos.”
You can see dozens of more pieces from Jaune’s street-based series on his Instagram and his website. (via Laughing Squid)
This past month, Sheffield-based artist Phlegm (previously) revealed his latest mural, a 5-story tall robot on Chapel Street in Melbourne, Australia. The mechanical monster hides a village, or maybe an entire world, beneath its metal scalp, which it reveals while simultaneously dangling a lantern over the homes below. To create the work, Phlegm worked with the building’s mechanics, repurposing a flashing carpark light near the structure’s third floor into a beating heart for his large-scale visitor. You can see more of the muralist’s black and white illustrative pieces from the last year in Manchester, Florida, Oslo, and Toronto, as well as a time-lapse video of his Melbourne-based robot mural, below.
Bordalo II (previously) has created a series of bisected animals, colorful plastics forming one half of the creature while a combination of wood and metal created a muted mirror on the other side. In one piece the Portuguese artist created a turtle with legs that extend to the ground, appearing to crawl along the side of a a low wall in Moncton, Canada. Other works are more monumental, such as a rabbit that extends two stories in Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal, and a raccoon that seems to dangle head first from a building in Pittsburgh.
The globally-placed installations are the newest evolution of his series Trash Animals, large public works that address the impact our carelessly tossed waste has on the environment around us. You can observe his process for collecting plastic and other waste, as well as follow more of his recent work, on Instagram.
Expelled from school at the age of 15, Brazilian artist Muretz decided to make a career doing exactly what got him in trouble in the first place: drawing. Known mostly for his rounded cartoon-like characters that fill nearly every available inch of the walls they inhabit, the pieces walk a fine line between playful and cynical, bringing a sense of humor to figures struggling with inner demons. Muretz most recently had a show at Montana Gallery in Barcelona and you can also catch him on Instagram. A few prints are available here.
As part of the Stenograffia street art and graffiti festival in Russia, a collaborative of artists worked to create this phenomenal illusion that appears to “erase” a collection of graffiti from a small car and trash dumpster. With the help of a projector, the team painted the familiar grey and white checker grid found in most graphics applications that denotes a deleted or transparent area. The piece is titled “CTRL+X” in reference to the keyboard command in Photoshop for deleting a selection. You can see nearly 100 behind-the-scenes photos of their process here. (via The Awesomer, Mass Appeal)