Posts Tagged ‘art’

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Coveting: Debra Baxter

September 16, 2010

Debra Baxter‘s phenomenal Crystal Brass Knuckles did the rounds of the blogs a while back, but I find myself mentally revisiting them from time to time when I look for the perfect combination of tough metal and crystal. Doesn’t hurt that they’re named “(I am going to realign your chakras motherf*****)”. It’s a crazy piece, but oddly wearable. Then again I’m notoriously magpie-esque when it comes to ridiculously large rings, so maybe don’t listen to me.

Gorgeous though her ring is, though, I also fell for some of her other pieces while perusing her website. I love her mix of materials and softnesses. I would personally kill to have the abiliity to manipulate sthones in this way. The results are beautiful, thoughtful, and a bit disconcerting.

Join (it will stop screaming if you let go of it), 2010.

Untitled (open/end), 2009

Untitled (You Light Up My Life), 2010

False Hope, 2009

Like Your Life Depends On It, 2010

Untitled (speed bag), 2007

Brass Knuckles/Tongue (Hurts so good), 2007

Dust Mask (Catching My Breath), 2009

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Hello, Dali!

November 7, 2009

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His pictures always make me laugh so much! Can you imagine how much fun it must have been being him?

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Stuff of Nightmares

November 6, 2009

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So, this is apparently the week when I steal inspiration from my friends.  I got an email this morning pointing me towards Juxtapoz Magazine’s blog post about Takato Yamamoto’s amazing artwork, and ever since I’ve been obsessed, doing nothing but look through page after page of his paintings. This was rendered slightly sketchy, due to the fact that I was at work and a great deal of his pieces are inspired by Japanese rope bondage and S&M. I kept accidentally clicking on the bad ones just as my supervisor was walking by. Sigh.

Disregard of being thought the office perv aside, what attracts me so much to Yamamoto’s paintings is the dreamlike combination of elements to be found in them. As I said, a lot of them draw inspiration from S&M (not many of the ones I’ve put up here, as I didn’t have time to study those as much to see if I liked them.) The influence of that and other erotica is definitely felt, but I’m much more interested in the images from folklore and horror conventions. The drawing style also reads to me as quintessentially Japanese, the tight lines and small details simultaneously evoking things as wide-ranging as horror manga, tattoo art and Hokusai. I love the use of anatomy, the organic details, the mysterious looming presence of the moon. I also love the intensity and simplicity of his palette (which I just wrote as palate– though with drawings like these one might wonder if he can stomach things, or if he is plagued by the monsters he creates.)

I’ve put up a lot of pictures, but it was very hard to edit it down to even this. I strongly urge you to go look at his works elsewhere and see what other things he has to offer. Everything is basically along these lines, but the variations can be rather glorious.

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Horror take on Little Red Riding Hood. I love it, queasily. Look at the blood spatters on the post and her leg. I’m so curious, but I’m not even sure I want to know what happened there.

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He makes it weirdly beautiful, right?

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The blog post also features a pretty interesting interview with him, so I urge you to check it out.

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Minutes to Midnight

October 23, 2009

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There’s something about Trent Parke‘s photography that reminds me of David Lynch’s movies, particularly Inland Empire. I think it’s his use of unusual lighting. It gives his photos that sense of normalcy gone terribly, terribly twisted that I see throughout Lynch’s work. Parke’s pictures are wonderfully thought-provoking. I love how he manages to evoke this sense of motion and dreaminess, just through his use of lighting, until the subject becomes almost abstracted.

I’m not going to quote this directly, as I can’t find the source, but I could swear that I saw an interview with Parke where he talked about his inspiration for photographing his work, Minutes to Midnight, coming from a quote about the Australian lack of innocence, and wanting to document the process through which it happened. In order to do this, he took a roadtrip around Australia with his wife (photographer Narelle Autio) for two years, and just took pictures of everything he saw. The results are stunning.

The pictures I’ve put up come from his series “Minutes to Midnight”, “Dream/Life” and “The Seventh Wave”. He started shooting in colour, but I found I preferred the moodiness of his black-and-white photos.

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Find more of his work here and here.

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Yeti v. Sasquatch

October 22, 2009

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Nate Wragg is a pretty darn amazing artist. He works as an animator for Pixar, and also spends his time making these wonderful retro-tinged paintings of fun topics. My favourites are the Sex and Science series, and the Yeti vs. Sasquatch series.

(As a side note, the picture above is called “Talk Science to Me”, which is a sentiment I can always get down with. I totally have a thing for sciencey types, which probably started with reading about sexy, square-jawed, brilliant scientists/renaissance men in the trashy scifi books of my youth. My fella is a PhD student in electrical engineering at MIT who is saddened by the fact that he never became a mathematician, and I’m just like, mmm. Numbers. Chips. Things I know nothing about. Tell me more. (Plus he’s a hottie who does capoeira, kitesurfs and plays classical guitar. Yup. He’s a catch and a half.) )

Ok, daydreams about lab coats aside, check out these pictures. The Sex and Science ones are delightfully cheesecakey, and the Yeti vs. Sasquatch are just plain awesome. Yetis! A Sasquatch! Battling! Amazing!

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And finally, Yetis in love! Cutest thing ever!

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I kind of am tempted to try to track this one down as a card to use for Christmas this year. But I never get around to sending out cards, so I’ll just stick to looking at it. But look! He’s carving out the tree for her! How cute!

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Zhang Haiying

October 21, 2009

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Zhang Haiying drew inspiration from pictures of prostitutes posted on Chinese Anti-Vice Campaign websites to make these pieces. I love the style of his paintings,  so realistic but with just enough left blurred to evoke the motion and seedy lighting that I imagine going hand-in-hand with these scenes. I also really applaud the fact that these paintings recall their photographic inspiration by simply serving as records of events, rather than taking a side on the issue. The girls seem vulnerable, with their frail limbs and covered faces, but thankfully it misses the mark of creepiness. The pictures are a little sordid, but the situation is sordid. Also completely love the contrast between the stern uniforms and the girls’ flimsy little dresses. Details jump out, like the mirroring of the colours of the men’s arm bands and the girls dresses. These are beautiful and fascinating takes on a reality of life in China, and I love the story that emerges from the pictures.

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Giacometti

October 20, 2009

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Poe

October 20, 2009

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I love these illustrations E. McKnight Kauffer did for a collection of Edgar Allen Poe’s works. The surreal subject matter fits well with Poe’s wonderful writing. They’re mysterious and unsettling and quite beautiful. I also like the fact that they’re a bit of a departure from what I’ve seen of Kauffer’s other work, though he worked in a variety of styles. I instantly think of animation when I see these. It would be beautiful to see these brought to life and together to form a dream-story of this world.

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Full Moon Story

October 6, 2009

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My dad and his family lived in Korea for five years when I was younger. During that time I came to visit them many times and fell in love with the country.  They have an exploratory bent, so I was able to travel all over the country, from the DMZ down to Jeju Island, by way of many cities on the mainland. I even spent a month working there one summer, which further cemented my love for the place. It’s an extraordinary country.

It fascinated me because my preconceptions were so off the reality. Coming from Turin, Italy, which is hardly an international capital (We have lots of Moroccans, Romanians and Peruvians, randomly, but not too much else. ‘Cept a couple American mutts like myself) I didn’t really have much of a conception of Korea. I knew of China, from trips there with my mom and stepdad, and I knew about Japan from books and the anime I watched when I went over to my friend Chiara’s after school, but when presented with the fact that my dad was moving from glamourous, familiar Paris to Seoul, Korea I drew a blank. I pulled out the K volume of the Encyclopedia Britannica that we still have down in the living room, flipped to the page, read about the country, grew bored at the thought of political systems, and just took my knowledge of Japan and China and jumbling them together until I had achieved a generic Northeast Asian mishmash that I termed “Korea” in my head. No biggie, right?

When I finally arrived, I was delighted to find I was mistaken. I was captivated by the country’s rich history, the language (which is SO fascinating, and which i can only say like ten words in… sigh), the amazing food, and the cool modern arts scene.  Above all, though, I fell in love with the beautiful textiles and traditional dresses. It was fascinating to see the hanboks in so many ways– firstly, stiffly, beautifully preserved in museums, then sold in stores, when I learned that they are still sometimes worn, though in a more ceremonial sense, then brought cheesily to life in the soap operas I’d watch on tv at my dad’s, making up the plots since I couldn’t understand the dialogue. It was also really interesting to see the role the dresses played in the modern culture. I’m kicking myself for not being able to recall more details, but I seem to recall an exibition feauturing stylized hanbok made out of gorgeous handmade paper, in gorgeous jewel tones. Beautiful.

All this to say, I love Korea, I love hanbok, and I really love this editorial from Vogue Korea October 2007, featuring hanbok. It’s beautiful how they play with the already-substantial volume of the dresses, highlighting the airiness of the materials, turning it into a series of curves rather than the more rigid geometric form it seems when at rest. It’s also a treat to see the underskirts and the socks, and imagine how all the layers fit together into daily wear of these dresses. Photographer Kim Kyung-Soo has found a way to show a life and a richness in these garments that I’ve never seen in my time admiring them.

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PS: Sorry for all the rambling. I wrote this late at night, and I get a little chatterbox-y when I can’t sleep. Also, Korea rocks!

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Killer Queen

October 5, 2009

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So, Omahyra Mota is pretty much in first place on my list of Girls I Would Go Gay For Without An Instant of Hesitation, and I think this editorial shows why. I love the androgynous toughness of her features, and the elegance of her limbs. She’s perfect for giving these looks the rough edge they need.

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(Also anyone who can rock glacier goggles this well is a force to be reckoned with.)

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Photographed by Phillip Mueller for Indie Magazine, Fall 2008.

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