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Art

Lifelike Eyes Clustered Together in Striking Abstract Portraits by Emilio Villalba

July 11, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

San Francisco-based painter Emilio Villalba creates abstract portraits inspired by the precision of master works from the past. His paintings are set against white backgrounds that partially cover or obscure large clusters of diverse, hyperrealistic eyes, which are each painted from photographs of posed family members or friends. Villalba feels more comfortable capturing the feelings in familiar subjects’ faces rather than strangers, an element which he presents in his emotive work.

“Subtle shifts, repetition, (re)placement, or absence of facial features are attempts to create a feeling of dissonance and pressure in the viewer,” explains Villalba in an artist statement. “I want someone to be drawn in by the uncanny nature of a piece and still feel safe to explore the feelings and reactions the pressure gives rise to.”

You can see more of the artist’s paintings of eyes and other facial features on his website and Instagram.

          

 

 



Art

Towering Portraits by Ryan Hewett Mix Blocks of Bright Colors with Gestural Impasto

July 10, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

South African painter Ryan Hewett creates striking portraits through a Cubist lens, breaking the subject’s face and body into a amalgamation of brightly colored shapes and thickly painted marks. His impasto technique contrasts with his smoothly painted lines and surfaces, bringing a chaotic element  to the crisp edges of his figural works.

Hewett’s solo exhibition, The Garden, runs through July 22, 2018 at Unit London. You can see more of his recent paintings for this exhibition and more on his Instagram. (via INAG)

 

 



Art Food

Luminous Portraits of Sliced Fruit Glow Like Stained Glass Windows

July 6, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Rosettes Series #16, oil on canvas, 48 x 48 inches

Artist Dennis Wojtkiewicz paints enormous portraits of sliced fruit, often scaling four feet across or more. Each oil on canvas painting focuses exclusively on the edible subject, with dramatic backlit lighting seeming to light up the melons, citrus, apples, and kiwis. While Wojtkiewicz focuses on tiny details like individual segments of juice, striations, and the fuzzy skins, the realism is tempered by a slightly hazy, impressionistic finish. The artist is represented by Robert Kidd Gallery. You can see more of his paintings on his website. (via My Modern Met)

Melon Series #34, oil on canvas, 30 x 60 inches

Citrus Series #15, oil on canvas, 37 x 64 inches

Apple Series #2, oil on canvas, 48 x 50 inches

Rosettes Series #17, oil on canvas, 48 x 48 inches

Kiwi Series #4, oil on canvas, 48 x 44 inches

Rosettes Series #15, oil on canvas, 48 x 48 inches

Horn Melon Series #4, oil on canvas, 36 x 72 inches

Citrus Series #8, oil on canvas, 36 x 60 inches

Rosettes Series #13, oil on canvas, 48 x 48 inches

Citrus Series #12, oil on canvas, 27 x 72 inches

 

 



Art

Crumbling Concrete Structures Transformed Into Designer Purses by Street Artist Thrashbird

June 29, 2018

Andrew LaSane

Los Angeles-based artist Thrashbird is known primarily for stencils and paintings that blend socio-political commentary and humor, which are often done in highly visible areas like on city walls or billboards. For a recent project called “Valley Of Secret Values,” the artist ventured off the beaten path to an abandoned industrial site. Thrashbird transformed crumbling structures into replicas of high-end designer bags using paint for designs and nearby found objects like tires and wood for the handles, straps, and hardware.

While on an expedition through Lime, Oregon, the artist happened upon what used to be a power plant. “To see [the stones] crumbling with the passage of time, returning to the earth as a dust, well the metaphor was too strong to disregard,” Thrashbird told Ignant. He chose to paint the structures as handbags as “part beautification project, part cautionary tale,” drawing parallels to the destructive nature of society’s obsession with consumerism while confronting his own demons.

“We grapple for status and purpose in society, and [consume] possessions to showcase how successful we are and to fill us with purpose, with complete disregard for the people and the planet affected by our careless overconsumption,” Thrashbird said. “Our measure of success has been skewed. We’ve come to a place in society where things and social status have become more important than our connection to each other.”

You can see more of the street artist’s roving installations on Instagram. Thrashbird also offers prints and small editions of original artwork in his online store. (via Ignant)

 

 



Art

Painted Street Carpets Connect Modern Cities to Ancient Ornamentation by Arthur-Louis Ignoré

June 29, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Arthur-Louis Ignoré, also known as Ali, paints white patterned carpets on public sidewalks and passageways in cities across the world, including recent installations throughout France and Finland. The works are inspired by both geometric and botanical patterns found in ancient ornamentation from a wide range of cultural contexts. By combining the patterns into public works, he showcases the diversity found in our modern cities while providing a domestic aesthetic that contrasts the often brutalist feel of urban environments.

Currently the artist lives in Rennes, France, where a few years ago he painted his largest installation to date. The 10,000-square-foot mandala was painted on the roof of the Social Welfare Family Allowance building, and visually created links between works Ali produced in both Montreal and New York City. You can see more of his painted carpet installations on Instagram and Behance.

 

 



Art Illustration

Vibrant Watercolor Paintings Filled With Peculiar Characters and Mysterious Monochrome Worlds

June 29, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Illustrator Marija Tiurina (previously) creates fantastical worlds packed with original characters. The complex watercolor paintings force the viewer to stare deeply into tangled masses to extract specific elements, which often appear to be creations of a centralized figure’s consciousness. In one illustration a man can be seen exiting a chaotic cool-toned realm while stepping into an equally layered red and purple-hued dimension. Is the viewer peeking into a fictionalized universe, or are we looking into the character’s own mind?

Although Tiurina often sketches a draft of her works before adding watercolor, several of the pieces presented here were freehanded directly onto the paper with paint. This spontaneity is seen in many of her new, larger works which you can browse on Behance. More illustrations can also be seen on her website and Instagram.

 

 



Art

Quirky Portraits by Bill Mayer Imagine Flora and Fauna as High Society Humans

June 28, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Des Fleurs Qui Mordent

Fusing charming portraits of wildlife with the severe trappings of historical costume, Bill Mayer creates darkly fantastical worlds in his detailed gouache paintings. A frog poses in royal dress, a pearl-draped mouse looks ready for a ball amongst massive wedges of cheese, and a rhinoceros stands ready to defend his territory in a suit of armor. The accomplished illustrator lives in Decatur, Georgia and has had a long career as a commercial artist. In an interview with WOW X WOW, Mayer reflected on his concept development:

For me, the most important element of the painting is the concept. The medium you use is just a way of furthering that original concept or finding some elements that add an intelligence to the work. Most of the time I start with small thumbnails which help me sort out the basic visual, a starting place. It probably comes from years of commercial work where you have to show your ideas before you start on a piece… Sometimes I will pull a piece of acetate over a painting and try to figure out what was bothering me and try a few things. Sometimes I will scan them in and use Photoshop, try some things, then go back and paint that way.

The artist continues on to explain that he doesn’t draw much distinction between being an illustrator or a fine artist, and he has only recently begun to show his work in gallery settings. You can see more of Mayer’s vast portfolio, including commercial work and digital illustrations, on his website. (via Supersonic)

The Pathogen

Queen of the Flies

Tulip Head

Cheeseball  

Tortoise and Hare

Land of Plenty (left), The Warrior No. 2 (right)

The Black Sun

Winter’s Muse