British graffiti artist Pref (previously) transforms words and sayings into visual interpretations of their meanings or messages—forming the word “undo” into a knot, or layering the phrase “all over the place” on top of itself to take up as much surface area as possible. With added shading and perspective the words appear as if they are 3D, like his piece “It Is,” which forms a a narrow grey cube when the letters are stacked. Some of his monochromatic works on paper (which you can see below) will be included in the upcoming group exhibition Control and Disorder with Gary Stranger, Elliott Routledge (Funskull), Georgia Hill, and William LaChance at Galerie 42b in Paris. The exhibition opens this Friday, December 14, and runs through January 19, 2019. You can see more of Pref’s recent work on his Instagram, and buy prints through his Big Cartel.
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New York-based British artist Shantell Martin is known for her black and white doodles which combine patch-worked faces with straightforward messages. Martin’s multi-dimensional works address complex issues such as identity, intersectionality, and other topics relating to the modern human condition. Her public murals and immersive gallery presentations are made intuitively, building fields of loose drawings with a meditative style. Martin teaches as an adjunct professor at NYU Tisch in the Interactive Telecommunications Program, where she combines visual art with personal storytelling and technology. You can follow her global drawings on Instagram and take a short peek into her process in the video below.
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Tamara Djurovic, who goes by the artist name Hyuro (previously), is wrapping up 2018 as arguably her most prolific year. With striking, diverse, and monumental murals painted everywhere from Brazil, Italy, and Spain to Belgium and The Netherlands, her output never looked more impressive and her aesthetics more distinctive.
Growing up in Argentina, Hyuro was attracted to murals at a young age. Buenos Aires has a long tradition of culture surrounding public space, and murals have always been an essential element. “[I’m] not sure in which moment I started to love it, or if it was always there,” she tells Colossal, “I think I could have never imagined the strong impact that working on public spaces had on me.”
What started with flat, often black and white imagery of simplified feminine figures evolved into intricate, highly painterly images that cleverly play with their surroundings and architecture. Without a particular theme to work within, Hyuro’s work is regularly focused on commenting and portraying the more complex side of human beings. She explores how our inner lives affect the relationships with have with ourselves, and how they are reflected in society.
The personal aspect of her work starts with her observations and concerns, continues through reference photos she creates for each piece, and then transfers onto passersby who observe the murals and create different interpretations of them. “I’m not interested in these subjects only from a representation perspective, but as well as a way to keep understanding and knowing myself and somehow try to understand, or digest better the world where we live in,” she explains.
Spending long stretches alone on a cherry picker or scaffold, it’s the challenge of completing the work that is the most important drive for her, along with the satisfying tiredness that comes after the completion of the work. “This last year I hardly spent time in the studio,” Hyuro shares about her 2018 schedule, which was wrapped up with the piece she recently finished in Brazil. Feeling torn about being constantly “on the road” and knowing that some time off is healthy and much needed, she continues her work as it’s a way for her to deal with her most inner feelings. By painting larger than life images depicting everyday moments and nuanced emotions, Djurovic expresses the human experience in a way that both honors and explores the complexities of humanity.
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Artist Louise Jones (previously), known professionally as Ouizi, focuses on flowers in her multi-faceted practice. Whether creating towering outdoor murals, carving linoleum prints, completing indoor mural commissions, or painting on more traditional canvases, Jones creates groupings of real and imagined blossoms. In addition to painting in her home base of Detroit, where she has completed over 40 murals, Jones travels widely to execute work, including in Los Angeles (her hometown), Shanghai, New Zealand, and New York.
The artist’s largest mural to date, titled Wildflowers for Buffalo, was recently completed in Buffalo, New York as part of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery’s Public Art Initiative. The enormous work is the largest mural in Western New York. For this commission and other site-specific projects, Jones researched and incorporated native flora in her designs. She works in a distinctive aesthetic that merges botanical realism with a stylized, sinuous technique that draws from her Chinese heritage.
In an interview with Shinola, Jones explained, “Flowers are a vehicle for me to explore color and shapes. They remind me so much of my own body — they’re very feminine. I consider myself to be feminine, but haven’t always felt that way. As I get older, I’ve learned to embrace my femininity, and I find myself increasingly drawn to flowers with age.”
Jones studied drawing and printmaking at UC Santa Cruz. You can see more of her work on Instagram, and watch a behind-the-scenes video and interview of Jones’ Buffalo mural below.
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Geometric Shapes and Angular Faces Combine in New Salvaged Wood Murals, Assemblages, and Tattoos by Expanded Eye
Expanded Eye (previously) is an arts collective formed by London-based artists Jade Tomlinson and Kevin James that utilizes a wide range of media to explore human consciousness and connectivity. The pair use salvaged wood to create colorful assemblages, sculptures, and public murals each designed in their unmistakable geometric style. Natural elements such as plants and birds are common motifs in their three-dimensional works. These images also cross over into their long-running tattoo practice which combines illustrated doodles, architecture-inspired renderings, and triangular patterns.
The duo is currently in Lisbon for a three month residency at WOZEN, which wraps up next month. During their stay they have been exploring the socio-economic and environmental pressures of the community, and creating work that seeks to address local issues of over-consumption, waste, and gentrification in Portugal’s capital. A cumulative exhibition titled No Future Without Memory will open at the space on November 9, and include the many large-scale three-dimensional works the pair have made during their time at the studio. You can follow more of their work on Instagram and Facebook.
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Striking Three-Dimensional Interventions by Mr. June Layer Geometric Paintings Onto Architectural Elements
Since 1985 David Louf, aka Mr. June, has been creating striking urban interventions, recently producing murals that layer three-dimensional effects onto architectural elements. Within the last year his vibrant geometric abstractions have challenged viewer’s perceptions in projects across the world, including a piece in Little Havana, Miami, an over 130-foot diameter dome in North Carolina, a mind-bending 3D mural for RAW project in Denver, and most recently, a grandiose piece for Urban Nation in Berlin.
Whether he is painting a graffiti piece, working in his multi-disciplinary graphic design studio, or creating a large mural project, Louf continuously aims to blend his love for typography, fascination with abstraction, and free spirit of graffiti culture. These results are regularly applied to the most unusual and unexpected urban structures.
Challenged by the existing architectural elements and obstacles, Louf likes to construct creations that will interact with their environment. He uses a laser liner to sketch up the main directional lines. Then he paints his abstract designs in an almost organic way, typically filling the entire side of whatever structure he is working on. “I always hope I can create a moment of awareness,” Louf tells Colossal. “Awareness of the viewer at that spot at that moment.”
Colossal ran into him fresh off the cherrypicker in Berlin where he had just finished painting a whole building opposite of Urban Nation. Now he is headed to future projects in Amsterdam, Aruba, and China, and prepping several studio pieces for an upcoming solo show in Miami during Art Basel week. You can see more of his geometric interventions on his website and Instagram, and the water tank roof he painted in Greensboro, North Carolina in the video below.
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Artist Adele Renault (previously) paints realistic portraits of the common pigeon, often highlighting real examples of pigeons whose stories are anything but ordinary. This year she painted a mural of “Baby Girl,” a New Jersey pigeon who won a 366 mile race 19 minutes ahead of the other feathered contestants. A few years ago she dedicated a series of smaller paintings to “Camp,” a pigeon adopted by a Chicago couple after finding his egg left on their kitchen table.
By focusing on these inspiring stories, Renault highlights the often overlooked bird as a magnificent creature rather than an urban nuisance. Her brightly hued public murals and paintings on canvas bring purples and blues into the bird’s feathers, and accentuate the iridescent tones one might not notice at first glance. Recently she published a book combining her avian works titled Feathers and Faces. You can view more of her large-scale paintings on her website and Instagram. (via My Modern Met)
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Editor's Picks: Street Art
Highlights below. For the full collection click here.