Danish artist Jacob Brostrup (previously) beautifully blurs the organic and domestic in his enchanting scenes of soaked floorboards and branches that jut from every corner. What could be a reason to phone a contractor in real life, the downed trees and pooling water in the artist’s oil paintings create a fictional universe in which nature and humanity exist simultaneously in the same space. Each artwork is filled with an incredible number of realistic details that pattern armchairs and provide moss its fuzzy texture.
In a statement, Brostrup referred to his vivid works as “a sampling of snapshots, of hidden glimpse(s) of the past, of other cultures, of the movement of everyday life… There are layers upon layers; a fusion of sensory impressions.” His process begins with a pencil sketch on canvas before covering backdrops of cloudy skies and tiled floors with ornate molding and tree blossoms.
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Although many of us won’t be flying over Leysin, Switzerland any time soon, French artist Guillaume Legros, who’s better known as Saype, has painted a hopeful new work on a grassy hillside that’s best seen from the air. Across 3,000-square meters, “BEYOND CRISIS” shows a little girl with a hand-drawn farandole circling around her. She peers across the mountainous region toward the horizon.
The expansive piece is Saype’s encouraging response to the ongoing threat of COVID-19 worldwide. “During these times of pandemic, a majority of the world population is confined. Although we are all affected, we live different challenges or struggles and I choose to paint this fresco entitled ‘BEYOND CRISIS’ close to home to share with you an optimistic message and a breath of fresh air,” the self-taught artist wrote on Instagram.
Saype explores themes of humanity through existential philosophies, he said in a statement, by inviting “us to wonder about our deep nature, our spirit, our place on earth and in the society.” The artist began working on grassy landscapes in 2015 as a way to merge his penchant for land art and graffiti, which since has inspired an artistic movement. For his massive projects, Saype uses paint derived from natural materials like coal and chalk.
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An effort to rewrite art historical timelines predominately shaped around men, a new documentary spotlights inventive Swedish artist Hilma af Klint (1862–1944). Beyond the Visible: Hilma af Klint considers her colorful, abstract artworks that predate those of widely recognized male artists, like Vasily Kandinsky, Kazimir Malevich, Piet Mondrian, Paul Klee, and Josef Albers. Directed by Halina Dyrschka, the corrective documentary follows the Guggenheim’s 2018 retrospective of the artist’s spiritual work that since has secured af Klint’s position as a pioneer of 20th-century art.
Dyrschka discovered the revolutionary artist’s work in 2013, quickly realizing that “here was a woman who consequently followed her own path in life that led to a unique oeuvre. A strong character and despite all restrictions Hilma af Klint explored the possibilities that go beyond the visible.” In addition to art history’s tendency to ignore women, the artist’s groundbreaking projects have been absent from historical discourse in part because she asked that her work not be shown until 20 years after her death.
Having interviewed af Klint’s relatives, historians, artists, and critics for the documentary, the German director is hoping to offer a comprehensive and amended version of af Klint’s legacy that transcends her bold paintings. Her “oeuvre goes even beyond art because she was looking for the whole picture of life,” Dyrschka said. “And with that she comes close to the one question: What are we doing here?”
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From his home in Madrid, Pejac (previously) revived his miniature window figures, and simultaneously began an inventive global movement, by using nearby landmarks as backdrops for creative marker silhouettes. Since then, the Spanish artist has prompted hundreds of people around the globe to imitate his playful work as they convert structures, fences, and even powerlines into light-hearted and often humorous sites for their outlined figures.
The burgeoning initiative is an attempt to inspire interaction with urban environments from indoors, while also providing a creative and collaborative public art initiative. “I always believed that everyone has an artist hidden inside and that if you give them a good reason they are capable of doing wonderful things, and in these strange days of global lockdown, I believe that creativity can be one of the best therapies to fight anxiety and boredom,” says the artist, who’s been positioning figures atop airplane contrails and telephone poles since 2011.
Pejac also offered a simple tutorial (shown below) for those needing more guidance on how to create such realistic silhouettes. The artist first photographs himself posed in dark clothing and traces the image from his computer screen. He then cuts the drawing out and reproduces it on a window, perfectly orienting his own silhouette on the building next door. The trick, of course, is to be resourceful with the outdoor landscape and find ways to transform a mundane window ledge into a lively scene.
Head to Pejac’s Instagram for a deeper look at his process, and dive into the hundreds of imaginative contributions featuring kids picking fruit from a tree and a rollercoaster ready to dive down a powerline under #stayarthomepejac.
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Vibrant Skeletal Interpretations of Celebrities and Fashion Icons Define Bradley Theodore's Paintings
Energetic brushstrokes, chromatic colors, and the skeletons of pop culture icons make up the prolific work of Miami-based artist Bradley Theodore. His bold use of color is inspired by his roots in Turks and Caicos and the fashionable subjects he’s met in New York and Miami.
The skeletal theme represents something far from morbid. Theodore explained to Omeleto in his documentary Becoming: Bradley Theodore, “a skull for me represents a symbol of a person’s spirit. It’s like I’m wrapping someone’s soul around their skeletal system.” Theodore finds a middle layer of vibrancy that serves as a source of unity.
Theodore is a self-taught painter learning primarily from YouTube and by analyzing the techniques of famous artists, like Salvador Dalí. The artistic practice came from a particularly dark period in his life where he decided that rather than be consumed by darkness, he would metamorphose through art. Theodore spent a year in near-total isolation obsessively painting—so much so that he injured his shoulder from repetitive motion.
Theodore emerged from isolation and painted an outdoor mural of fashion icons Anna Wintour and Karl Lagerfeld together to honor their long-term friendship. The debut went viral and remains one of the artist’s most iconic pieces.
Since then, Theodore has depicted some of the most recognizable icons from fashion, music, celebrity, and history, including Tom Ford, Coco Chanel, Frida Kahlo, Kate Moss, Prince, Cara Delevingne, and Queen Elizabeth. His murals can be spotted on the streets of major cities, like Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Oslo, and Paris.
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For nearly three decades, Cuban painter Tomás Sánchez has been painting serene landscapes of calm waters and verdant forests full of towering palms and dense shrubs. Now part of a lengthy series, his realistic works focus on nature’s immensity as they contrast massive waterfalls and miles of endless treetops with a nondescript figure, who often can be found seated or standing amongst the lush scenery.
In a statement, Sánchez explained how his practice of meditation informs his work. “The interior spaces that I experience in meditation are converted into the landscapes of my paintings; the restlessness of my mind transformed into landfills,” he writes. “When I paint, I experience meditative states; through meditation, I achieve a union with nature, and nature, in turn, leads me to meditation.”
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Editor's Picks: Design
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