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Art

Vibrant Skeletal Interpretations of Celebrities and Fashion Icons Define Bradley Theodore's Paintings

March 30, 2020

Vanessa Ruiz

“Anna and Karl” (2017). All images © Bradley Theodore

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.

Theodore is represented by Maddox Gallery in London. Follow his vibrant paintings, street art, and collaborations on Instagram.

“Diana Vreeland” (2017)

“Tom Ford” (2015)

“Kate” 2016

“Frida” (2014)

“Untitled Self-Portrait” (2018)

“Queen Elizabeth” (2016)

“Coco’s Flowers” (2015)

 

 



Art

Skeletal Figures Conjure the Uncanny in Anatomical Paintings by Artist Jason Limon

March 26, 2020

Grace Ebert

“90 ML” (2020), acrylic on panel, 6 x 8 inches. All images © Jason Limon, shared with permission

In an effort to make his otherworldy works more accessible, San Antonio-based artist Jason Limon began creating a substantial collection of small paintings in 2008. Today, Limon continues to add to his Fragments series, which centers on skeletal figures and anatomical forms that often feature stripes, polka dots, and other intricate patterns. His anthropomorphic works indicate movement, like a tube of bone cream that oozes out a skeleton or another character who drives a metal spear through a cracked heart.

With a focused color palette of muted jewel tones and neutrals, Limon’s uncanny projects largely consider how history pervades daily life. “Within the elements that surround us every day are bits of someone else—a record of thoughts made up of color, typography and symbols marked onto paper and metal to represent products throughout time,” he said in a statement.

The artist tells Colossal that Fragments feels especially personal and serves as an exploration of ideas that often turn into larger projects. “I will sometimes have some of these smaller pieces in gallery shows, but for the most part they are a direct connection between me and the collectors,” he says. “I often hear them tell me that the piece struck a chord on how they are feeling or how it relates to their past.”

Limon offers some originals and prints in his shop, and shares more of paintings that consider what’s left behind after death on Instagram. (via Booooooom)

“Puncture” (2020), acrylic on panel, 6 x 8 inches

“Bubble Love” (2020), acrylic on panel, 6 x 8 inches

Left: “Enclose” (2020), acrylic on panel, 6 x 8 inches. Right: “Vivid Dream” (2020), acrylic on panel, 6 x 8 inches

“Can’t Find the Words” (2020), acrylic on panel, 6 x 8 inches

“Doom Tube” (2020), acrylic on panel, 6 x 8 inches

Left: “Succumb” (2020), acrylic on panel, 6 x 8 inches. Right: “The View From Here” (2020), acrylic on panel, 6 x 8 inches

“House of Cards” (2020), acrylic on panel, 6 x 8 inches

 

 



Art Craft

An Enormous Skeleton Emerges in the Middle of a Mexican Street for Día de Muertos

October 31, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Photograph: Felipe Esteban Paredes Padrón

In celebration of Día de Muertos on November 1, Raymundo Medina built a massive skeleton that appears to be lurching out of the pavement on a street in Santa Cecilia Tláhuac, Mexico. Piles of crumbled concrete at the places where the skeleton is connected to the street create the illusion that it is bursting through the asphalt. Medina created the sculpture in the traditional aesthetic of the important Mexican holiday that celebrates deceased loved ones and ancestors. According to Mexican news site Miguel Ángel Luna, Medina is  a member of the Jaén Cartonería collective and collaborates with Yaocalli Indians in his work. Built with papier-mâché and painted with starkly delineated black and white areas, the skeleton seems to be almost smiling; Día de Muertos is more celebratory than mournful. (via @losalananaya)

Photograph: Felipe Esteban Paredes Padrón

Photograph: via local.mx

Photograph: via local.mx

Photograph: via local.mx

 

 

 



Art

Gestural Brush Strokes and Focused Color Palettes Form Watercolor Portraits by Nick Runge

July 13, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Los Angeles-based artist Nick Runge paints watercolor portraits of people and human skeletons in a unique style that blends elements of abstraction with hints of realism. Soft edges of layered shapes and blended flesh and bone tones present all the visual information required to see features, without crossing into the realm of photorealism.

“I do sketch out the composition first, but I try not to have any kind of formula,” Runge tells Colossal about his painting process. “I try to narrow down the colors to ‘warm’ and ‘cool’ as a rough idea. I like to guide the watercolor but let it also do its own thing, to be more abstract.” Muted colors and expressive poses add to the naturalistic feel of the portraits, even when the subject is a jacket-wearing skeleton.

Raised in Colorado by now-retired professional artist parents (a college art professor and a graphic designer), Runge says that he did not study art formally but that he did benefit from having both of their perspectives. After working as an illustrator for 11 years, he found his voice in 2004 through experimentation. “Oil paint and watercolor allowed me to loosen up and step away from the highly realistic, pop type art (done mostly with acrylics and pencils) and let the paint do more of its own thing,” Runge explains, “Also, getting away from celebrity portraits and pop culture allowed me to focus more on HOW something is painted, and not WHAT/WHO I’m painting. Art for art’s sake.”

To see more of Nick Runge’s paintings, follow the artist on Instagram. He also has online and in-person watercolor workshops for those interesting in learning.

 

 



Art

Muralist Kitt Bennett Paints Pavement With Sprawling Giants

April 13, 2019

Andrew LaSane

All images via Kitt Bennett

From parking lots to skate parks, Melbourne-based artist Kitt Bennett paints large illustrative murals on an unconventional surface: the ground. The almost literal “street” art is best seen from a bird’s eye view and features people, objects, and skeletons that contort around their respective spaces as if they fell from the sky.

Bennett’s murals are painted much like the walls of a house. The artist uses large buckets of paint and rollers to cover the large areas and adds shading, highlights, and outlines to create the illusion of depth. A statement on his website explains that Bennett’s work is “often conceptually driven as exploring topics of individuality, existence and the mysterious phenomena that surrounds us inspires him to create art.” To see more of his ground paintings and other works on more traditional surfaces, follow Kitt Bennett on Instagram.

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by KITT (@kitt_bennett) on Jan 6, 2019 at 12:46am PST

 

 



Art

Colorful Strands of Thread and Beads Highlight the Contours of Human Skulls

February 14, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Jim F. Faure, who goes by Jim Skull, introduces his decades-long practice with his pseudonym. The Paris-based sculptor focuses exclusively on human skulls. Using innumerable strands of colorful thread, Murano glass beads, rope, and even porcupine quills, Faure creates an entirely new “skin” for the skeletal forms. Each skull’s covering also trails off into dramatic cascades that shape-shift depending on how the skull is displayed.

Faure transforms the surface of an object that often strikes fear into a visually enticing decorative object, inviting the viewer to study the divots and contours of our shared anatomical structure. In an artist statement, the sculptor cites his upbringing in New Caledonia in the South Pacific, followed by wide-ranging international travels in New Zealand, India, and Hong Kong as informing his fascination with the ritual and cultural aspects of the human experience. You can see more of Faure’s work on his website.