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Art

Subjects Undertake Futile Pursuits in Satirical Paintings by Artist Toni Hamel

September 16, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Loves Me Loves Me Not” (2020), oil on canvas, 12 x 12 inches. All images © Toni Hamel, shared with permission

Based in Oshawa, a suburb of Toronto, artist Toni Hamel (previously) is concerned with human morality—or lack thereof. In her subtly hued artworks, Hamel portrays subjects in the midst of futile and trivial pursuits: children pluck stars from the night sky, a couple attempts to reconstruct a flower after its petals have fallen, and a young family literally watches wet paint dry. Many of the satirical pieces consider socially accepted anthropocentrism and the relationship people have with the surrounding environemnt.

Since 2017, Hamel has been adding to High Tides and Misdemeanors, an ongoing series that is intentionally political. “It confronts us with the repercussions of our actions and denounces the current thinking models. In this age of alternative realities, ‘fake news’ and a culture that is increasingly more self-absorbed and superficial, I feel that it’s even more important for me to carry on reporting what I must,” she writes.

Explore more of Hamel’s visual commentaries on culture and politics on Instagram.

 

“The Harvest” (2020), oil on canvas, 12 x 16 inches

“The Prototype 1” (2020), oil on canvas, 12 x 16 inches

“The Spill” (2020), oil on canvas, 12 x 10 inches

“Family Night In Kodachrome” (2020), oil on panel, 12 x 12 inches

“The Replacement” (2019), oil on canvas, 14 x 18 inches

“Ikebana 1” (2019), oil on canvas, 18 x 18 inches

“Ikebana 3” (2020), oil on canvas, 18 x 18 inches

 

 



Art Illustration

Vintage-Style Illustrations Merge Animals, Insects, and Botanics to Form Bizarre Hybrid Creatures

September 15, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images courtesy of Mark Brooks, shared with permission

Full of extraordinary creatures, the illustrated series The Creative Specimens seamlessly combines species into unusual hybrids. Similar in color, each organism is bizarre in form. The feathered head of a bird is placed on a tortoise’s body, octopus tentacles sprout from the bottom of a cactus, and speckled coral comprises a deer’s antlers.

Adobe’s 99U Conference spurred the collaborative project as a way to offer a visual language encompassing various creative careers and passions. Inspired by the biological classifications of Charles Darwin and his contemporaries, New York-based art director and graphic designer Mark Brooks digitally rendered the organisms by referencing vintage illustrations. He then passed the project to Joanmiquel Bennasar, an illustrator living and working in the Balearic Islands, who recreated the creatures in watercolor.

Explore more of Brooks’s and Bennasar’s illustrated projects on Behance.

 

 

 



Animation

Towels: An Animated Battle for Beach Real Estate Serves as a Metaphor for Rising Global Tension

August 27, 2020

Christopher Jobson

In her animated short “Towels,” Prawta Annez explores her frustration and concern with global tensions as a rollicking ocean-side battle for prime towel space. While fairly light-hearted and comedic, the film was conceived during the political climate of 2017 and might as well use Ghandi’s famous quote “an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind” as a thesis. “I hope this short can be 4 minutes of fun and escapism for anyone who watches it, no matter where they may be or whatever they may be going through,” Annez shares. If you like this, also check out Norman McLaren’s famous 1952 Academy Award-winning short “Neighbours” that evokes parallels with the Cold War crisis. (via Short of the Week)

 

 

 



Art

A Disorienting Short Film by Lydia Cambron Recreates '2001: A Space Odyssey' in Quarantine

August 16, 2020

Grace Ebert

Eerie, hypnotic, and faithfully depicting the dismal reality that is 2020, a new short film by Lydia Cambron envisions her recent quarantine experience under the frame of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. In 2020: An Isolation Odyssey, the New York City-based designer recreates the 1968 version’s iconic ending as a way to “(poke) fun at the navel-gazing saga of life alone and indoors,” she writes in a statement.

Positioned vertically, the characters’ movements are synchronized perfectly, but while the original film’s Keir Dullea wades through the ornate home in an astronaut suit, Cambron sports a face mask and latex gloves. The reenactment is situated in the designer’s one-bedroom Brooklyn apartment, and while it maintains the domestic qualities of the original, it also features contemporary updates, like a MacBook sitting on the table rather than a lavish meal. She even parallels the minutes-long credits precisely.

Cambron notes that the contemporary version considers a similarly disorienting life. “Multitasking while #wfh, conjuring guilt or longing with unused exercise equipment, your entire being reduced to a measure of time—these scenes all illustrate the absurd comedy of trying to maintain control during this unprecedented and unpredictable time,” she explains.

Follow Cambron’s parodic explorations—which include an annual exhibition titled JONALDDUDD— on Instagram and Vimeo. (via Daring Fireball)

 

 

 



Art

AnonyMouse Wedges Miniature Shops and Restaurants Built For Mice into Busy City Streets

August 14, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © AnonyMouse, shared with permission

In cities across Sweden, France, and the Isle of Man lies a parallel universe fit only for a mouse. Miniature restaurants, record shops, and apothecaries squeeze into ground-level windows on the street next to their human-sized equivalents. The adorable universe is a project from a collective aptly named AnonyMouse, which started crafting the charming scenes in the spring of 2016.

Suggesting that the mice have a symbiotic relationship with the pedestrians on the street, the team repurposes items people throw away, turning a champagne topper into a stool or a matchbox into a table. Twenty-five installments currently exist across Europe, which largely are inspired by Astrid Lindgren’s and Beatrix Potter’s whimsical tales and movies from Don Bluth and Disney. “We thought it would bring a bit of joy to pedestrians passing by, but it grew into something slightly bigger, and as such we’ve probably dedicated more time on each project than we originally envisioned. But that’s just part of the fun,” they say. The team crafts each scene with incredible detail, from recreating iconic record covers to plastering up posters advertising mouse- and rat-based happenings.

As its name suggests, the group’s individual identities are unknown. “We like to think that part of the allure of our installations is that they could be done by anyone,” they say. “And since we do not have a specific agenda with them our identities are unimportant.” AnonyMouse won’t divulge plans for upcoming installations, but you can follow all of its adventures on Instagram.

 

 

 



Animation Music

Corporate Stock Footage Is Edited Into an Absurdly Chaotic Music Video for BRONSON

August 13, 2020

Grace Ebert

Heading into the office mid- or post-pandemic looks a lot different than a few months ago, but hopefully, no one’s workplace resembles the turbulent situation that unfolds at Bronson Inc. in “Keep Moving.” The absurd video opens with typical depictions of corporate life: A woman’s heels clack on the sidewalk, a man looks forward in a (cheesily) determined manner, and employees swipe their badges to enter the building. Soon, though, the mundane scene morphs into complete mayhem. Workers are swept up like a tidal wave before gushing through a television screen. They’re thrown down escalators and battered with a barrage of office equipment and electronics. For every seemingly simple phone swipe or walk down the hallway, havoc ensues.

Directed by the Swedish collective StyleWar in collaboration with production company Smuggler, the music video accompanies BRONSON ’s newly released track “Keep Moving.” The short is comprised of stock footage that’s manipulated and layered with CGI  to create the frenzied office nightmare, according to a statement. For more of Smuggler’s comical projects, head to Vimeo.