When first discovering these paintings by Korean artist Jieun Park, either on a distant gallery wall or on a small website thumbnail, you might first mistake them for nothing more than thick abstract brushstrokes on on a large canvas. A closer look reveals entire nighttime cityscapes embedded in the blots of paint, glimpses of Paris, Hong Kong, Prague, and other cities from Park’s travels. The artist has numerous prints and originals available over on Saatchi Online.
Artist Amy Casey (previously) just unveiled a new collection of work at Zg Gallery here in Chicago. Titled Putting Down Roots the paintings continue an ongoing fictional saga of characters living in Casey’s artwork who often face great adversity from killer plants, collapsing structures, and other desperate means to keep their cities afloat or intact. From the looks of it things have improved dramatically for these little painted inhabitants who appear to have weathered the storm and are now thriving within Casey’s bizarre, suspended worlds. From the artist:
After any pendulum swing of chaos grinds to a slow halt, there will come a time when you will have to decide if you are going to wallow in the rubble or take what remains and create a new empire. Building upon recent work, I have been in search of a solid ground. A bit less kinetic than past work, I have been trying to take what was left of the world in my paintings and create a stability of sorts, thinking about community ties and the security (or illusion of security) needed to nurture growth. Cities are fascinating creatures that I am just beginning to scratch the surface of.
In the video above from Cleveland Arts Prize she talks at length about her process and the continuing narrative that weaves through years of her art. Interestingly, every building or house in each of her paintings is based on actual source materials. Casey will take photographs of some 500 individual houses, office buildings, and water towers which she then uses as reference for every small small structure you see in her artwork.
Putting Down Roots will be up through July 6th, with a smaller selection of work on view through August. All images copyright Amy Casey, courtesy Zg Gallery.
I’m really enjoying the perspective and mood in these oil paintings by Valerio D’Ospina. Born in southern Italy but now living and working in Pennsylvania the artist paints gritty scenes from industry including ship yards, trains, and factories as well as broad “urbanscapes” that are captured from a dramatic, almost blurred perspective. His most recent solo show was at Hall Spassov Gallery back in October. (via cosas cool)
Stockholm-based photographer Christian Åslund recently payed tribute to retro 2D video games using the streets of Hong Kong as a backdrop. The photos were taken as part of an ad campaign for shoe brand Jim Rickey utilizing models who would lay flat on the streets or sidewalks to create the unique perspective. I’ve seen many photographers toy with this idea, but the wide-angle nature of these shots taken from such height creates a truly fun and expansive environment. See many more shots from the series here. (via design taxi)
San Francisco-based artist Jeremy Mann executes these sublime, moody cityscapes using oil paints. To create each work he relies on a wide range of techniques including surface staining, the use of solvents to wipe away paint, and the application of broad, gritty marks with an ink brayer. The resulting paintings are dark and atmospheric, urban streets seemingly drenched in rain and mystery. Mann’s work is in no way limited to cityscapes, he also paints the human figure, still lifes, and landscapes. He currently has work at John Pence Gallery and you can see many more of his cityscapes here. (via my darkened eyes)
Berlin-based art collective Mentalgassi just put up two new pieces (top two images) for Getxo Photo 2012, an annual photography festival in Spain. Mentalgassi is known for their use of large photographs pasted onto outdoor objects, most commonly the use of portraits. You can also follow them on Facebook. (via arrested motion)
Brookyln-based painter Alexandra Pacula is fascinated by nightlife, and in her words, “a world of visual intoxication.” She paints very large canvases that look like blurry long-exposure photographs of hectic urban scenes, the photos you might capture accidentally on your digital camera while using the wrong setting (or probably that’s just me). See much more of her work here.
The vortograph is an abstract form of photography that creates kaleidoscopic repetitions by photographing objects through a triangular arrangement of three mirrors. The process dates back to the work of Alvin Langdon Coburn who is credited for inventing the method in 1917. Photographer Simon Gardiner decided to give it a try and created this stunning, Inception-esque urban vortex. More like this, please. See also the music video for Eskmo’s We Got More. (via dark silence in suburbia)