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PEN & PAPER: JAMES EVANS

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“Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar,” the old Freudian adage goes, but this is not the case for NYC-based artist James Evans, who translates the human experience onto photorealistic oil paintings of inanimate objects and closely-cropped body parts. Largely informed by graphic design and literature, Evans’ diverse body of work features crushed beer cans, used ketchup packets and carefully-planned collages. He places a strong emphasis on text throughout his work as well, using phrases such as “Weird Here” or “Consequences” laid on top of juxtaposing images to offer a unique dialogue that goes beyond their visual representation. With the bustling streets of Manhattan serving as a constant inspiration, the ever-observant Evans continues to interpret real-life situations onto stretched canvasses.

We sat down with James Evans to discuss his eclectic inspirations, creative process, and past artist-collaborations with the likes of Opening Ceremony, Milk and more. Read on to learn about James Evans with exclusive behind-the-scenes snaps below.

Abstract Shapes and Graffiti-Inspired Swirls Leap off the Wall in New Three-Dimensional Murals by Peeta

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Italian artist Manuel de Rita a.k.a. Peeta transforms static structures by painting colorful cubes and abstracted cylindrical shapes to appear as if they are floating above the surface of the wall. This technique was derived from the traditional 3D lettering he grew up painting and continues to evolve as he experiments with realistic objects, like the window that protrudes from the turquoise and purple work below.

“Initially, my works only realized the sculptural quality of individual letters, namely the ones that spelled out my own moniker Peeta,” he says in an artist statement. “Progressively, the fusion between traditional lettering and three-dimensional style has given life to a unique kind of visual rhythm. Today, through my anamorphic works I redesign the volumes of any kind of surface involved, thus causing with my paintings a temporary interruption of normality by altering the perception of familiar contexts, and so raising a different understanding of spaces and, consequently, of reality as a whole.”

These large-scale explorations of multiple dimensions and eye-boggling optics have been painted globally, including Guangzhou, China; Barcelona, Spain; Mirano, Italy, and more. Recently the artist wrapped up an artist residency at Jardin Orange in Shenzhen, China. You can see more of Peeta’s work, including his paintings on canvas and sculptural objects, on his website and Instagram.

 

New Installations of Intertwined Rope by Janaina Mello Landini.

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Using lengths of colored nylon rope, installation artist Janaina Mello Landini creates complicated networks of intertwining threads. The unwound rope ends tangle and reach in a giant game of Twister, resulting in sculptural installations that bring to mind the natural patterns found in neural networks, blood vessels, and tree roots. One recent piece, Ciclotrama 50, is a permanent installation at Foundation Carmignac, a French island museum that opened this spring.  You can explore more of Landini’s portfolio on her website and Instagram.

Ciclotrama 115 (writing) (Homage a Baron Marcel Bich). 2018. Dimensions: 180x260cm Materials: 80m of 24mm nylon rope, sailcloth Photo: Emilie Mathé Nicolas

Ciclotrama 50. Permanent Site-specific Foundation Carmignac, Porquerolles, France. Photo: Janaina Mello Landini Dimensions: 5,5m x 1,4m x 12m. Materials: 20m of 24mm diameter nylon rope, golden nails

Source: thisiscolossal

Portraits by Ryan Hewett

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South African painter Ryan Hewett creates striking portraits through a Cubist lens, breaking the subject’s face and body into an 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.

 

 

A Look Inside Virgil Abloh & Takashi Murakami’s “Future History” Exhibit

Virgil Abloh and Takashi Murakami launched their anticipated “Future History” exhibit at the Gagosian Gallery in London, England. Any fans avidly following the duo on social media in the past few weeks have seen a slew of work-in-progress pieces. Now, we get a first look at the show, comprised of large-scale paintings, sculptures and an installation that draws references to signature Off-White™ motifs alongside Murakami’s iconic cast of anime characters.

Noteworthy works include: a metallic flower sculpture with Murakami’s Kaikai Kiki character on the top portion and Abloh’s cross arrows as the foundation; a triptych with Mr. DOB as the focal point of the vibrant montage; a pair of paintings embellished with yellow Off-White™ branding and a spray-painted “O” as well as “HOLLOW” lettering on each one; all black Flowers sculptures, and a glass house installation completely covered with black spray-paint and “LIFE ITSELF” on one side panel in white.

 

Stone Heroes

French photographer and visual artist Leo Caillard has a lofty mission: to reinvigorate the museum-going public’s experience and by extension reanimate our engagement with art. In our image-saturated age, where flicking through images on our digital screens has become second nature, visiting a museum usually means moving from artwork to artwork in a matter of seconds in an effort to consume as many stimuli as possible. The result, as Caillard explains, is that “people start to lose the ability to reflect on what they are looking at.” This is the impetus behind “Heroes of Stone”, a photographic series of marble and bronze busts of super heroes surreptitiously presented in a museum context.

Photoshopped into the Louvre’s collection, Caillard’s digital sculptures stand next to classical figures of Greek-Roman deities, emperors and philosophers, confounding the viewers since they appear both very familiar and out of place. Depicting iconic super heroes such as Iron Man, Flash, Batman, Spiderman and Superman, the busts emulate not only the physical characteristics of the historical sculptures but also the grandeur and thoughtfulness of their demeanor, right down to their majestic gaze and somber expression, as they perhaps contemplate how to save the world or establish world peace.

 

Source: Yatzer

French travel photographer Mikael Broidioi

French travel photographer Mikael Broidioi goes by the name of In Fravez and he’s just travelled through Central and West Europe on a road trip with friends, documenting all he saw in a visual diary. The results of said diary are visually arresting, showcasing a keen eye and some serene surroundings. The stunning scenes, which were captured in 2016, highlight what it is to compose photographs properly, with symmetry and depth engulfing the viewer into the atmosphere.

Source:Hypebeast

 

Sneaker Sushi

Ever wondered what your favourite footwear would be like in the shape of edible sushi?

 Milan-based Yujia Hu is the artist-chef and we now have the closest thing to sushi-sneaker artwork your ever likely to see.

The culinary artist combines two of his great passions; high-heat footwear with sushi rolls. The result is surprisingly impressive.

Just take for example the Nike Suptempo crafted from bare pink salmon and sticky rice.

or the Air Jordan 1 the most iconic sneaker of all the times

the Rice-Yeezy

the Pharrell Williams Hu Race

and the latest trend Supreme money gun

Source: Thesolesupplier

Documenta 14

ATHENS

Even today, in a supersaturated calendar of worldwide art events, no show matters more than Documenta, a colossal German exhibition of contemporary art, reinvented every five or so years as a “museum of 100 days.”

A piece by the Mexican artist Guillermo Galindo at Documenta 14 in Athens.CreditEirini Vourloumis for The New York Times

 

Of 13 editions so far, two have become touchstones in recent art history: the freewheeling fifth edition, curated by the Swiss Harald Szeemann in 1972, which equalized painting and sculpture with conceptual art and happenings; and the erudite 11th edition, organized by the Nigerian Okwui Enwezor in 2002, which propounded a global art ecosystem with Europe no longer at the center. But every Documenta, since the first in 1955, has served as a manifesto about art’s current relevance and direction, and every one has taken place in Kassel, an unlovely town north of Frankfurt destroyed by Allied bombs in World War II.

 

Naeem Mohaiemen’s “Tripoli Cancelled” installation. CreditMathias Völzke

 

Until this year. The 14th edition of Documenta, led by the 46-year-old Polish curator Adam Szymczyk, is being shared by Kassel and Athens, a city with intertwined crises of finance and migration, and the capital of a country whose recent relations with Germany have been anything but collaborative. Mr. Szymczyk and the bulk of his curatorial team have been living in Greece for years, and the Athenian half of this two-city show opened on Saturday, in the presence of the presidents of both countries. The local welcome has been skeptical. The German news media, too, has looked askance at Documenta’s expansion into the capital of what some still offensively call a schuldenland, or debtor country.

A full reckoning will have to wait until June, when the show’s second half opens in Kassel. This much I can say now: If the exhibition falls short (far short, in places) of the great editions of 1972 and 2002, Mr. Szymczyk’s decision to uproot Documenta was the right one. This Hellenized Documenta is sometimes forceful, often obscure, and in places exhaustingly proud of itself. Parts reminded me of the apartment rental app Airbnb, which allows young cosmopolitans to “go local” on the cheap. And yet the show’s most important themes — migration, debt, fraying European unity and the historical antecedents of today’s populism and intolerance — are ones Athenians have reckoned with for years. Now that those troubles span the world, Greece may be the best place to come to grips with them.

“Music Room” by Nevin Aladag. CreditEirini Vourloumis for The New York Times

 

There’s art by nearly 160 participants, almost all of whom will also show work in Kassel. For every familiar name, such as the American painters Vija Celmins, R. H. Quaytman and Stanley Whitney, there are 10 you’ve never heard of, often for good reason. (Albanian socialist realism, weirdly, gets a major day in the sun.) It sprawls across 40 sites, as far afield as the port of Piraeus, though its most important is probably the new National Museum of Contemporary Art, or EMST, in an elegantly converted former brewery vacant for years. The accompanying bureaucratic and financial headaches are not incidental for Mr. Szymczyk, who opted to work with public institutions rather than Athens’s cash-flush private museums. A fair chunk of Documenta’s 37 million euro budget (about $40 million) has gone into nearly bankrupt Greek art organizations, which you can think of as an artsy stand-in for the eurozone transfer payments that Germany continues to resist.

Standout works at EMST include “Tripoli Canceled,” a polished film by the New York-based artist Naeem Mohaiemen, set on an old 747 parked at the crumbling Hellenikon Airport in Athens. The pilot goes through the motions of announcing flight time, but never takes off; like the myriad migrants here whose movements are blocked by European Union regulations, this plane is stuck in Greece. A languorous video, by the British artists Rosalind Nashashibi and Lucy Skaer, revisits sites painted by Paul Gauguin in Tahiti, but the women they film rarely return their gaze. This honest, knowingly partial film is a model of how to depict other cultures ethically, and how not to shy away from the risks entailed.

Adam Szymczyk Source: www.lifo.gr and www.nytimes.com

 

 

Interview of Piet Parra

Piet Parra: My Life Has Surpassed Expectations

Success can be disorienting when it comes too quickly. We talk with zany Dutchman Piet Parra about his swift rise from skateboarder to exhibiting artist

You wouldn’t call Piet Parra, Dutch artist and clothing designer, an “overnight success,” but it also wouldn’t be far from the truth. The accidental urban art celebrity stumbled onto his talent just a few years back while designing party flyers, and his phone has been ringing off the hook ever since. Parra has worked with just about every major sportswear company—Nike, Vans, Converse—in bringing his distinctive vision to their merchandise and has also launched his own apparel company, Rockwell. It would seem that anything he puts his signature on quickly becomes a sneakerhead’s desirable.Parra is also part of the growing group of street artists whose credibility has carried over into the art world. Having put on well-received solo shows in Los Angeles, Milan, Paris, and, most recently, Berlin, the entrepreneur is now selling prints of his distinctive and playful work, which feature a dry wit, striking typography, and all manner of curious human-bird hybrid creatures. Yet, despite his speedy rise to prominence, the day we speak with Parra, he’s feeling somewhat unsettled by exceeding his own expectations. We chatted about the wild ride of the past three years–the highs and lows that come with success, the need to start saying “no,” and where those damn beaks came from. You’ve worked with so many big-name clients—InCase, Nike, Vans.

What was your first major collaboration?

Etnies. I think that was in 2007.

That wasn’t too long ago. This has been a busy couple of years.

Well, it’s been a wild ride. The companies come out of the woodwork when you start getting street cred. It’s kind of evil—they use you and you use them. But it’s not street cred, really, it’s more like blog cred. If you’re on the blogs, then things start snowballing.

You seem pretty aware of the mutual use. Does that sit well with you?

Today I had a pretty bad day. I try to stay away from reading the blogs. They get really critical, and well… there’s so much product out there. Before the Internet, stuff used to be cool when you saw someone wearing it. And you’d ask, where did you get that? I got it in New York. You’d think: That’s so cool but I’ll never get that. Now, if it’s on your screen, you can get it. And also you may not even sell anything but people know who you are. You’ve seen it online, and that’s how you exist.

You’re transitioning from having been a more “street” artist to being a legitimate artist with gallery exhibits.

I come from skateboarding, not really street art. I started designing because I needed a job—I was hoping to be a pro skateboarder and that didn’t work out. So I ended up doing flyers and posters, and through all of that, I developed my own style. I am not a traditional designer. But then one thing led to another… I did a Foot Locker campaign and that snowballed into getting me more gigs.

But it’s not street cred, really, it’s more like blog cred. If you’re on the blogs, then things start snowballing.

Do you have a ritual for making creative work?

I don’t put paper in front of my nose. I listen to music, watch some TV, take a walk. It takes a long time for ideas to take shape. Taking a blank piece of paper every day and sitting there… it’s not going to happen. I need to get an influence from the outside world. Ideas are like dreams, and they come to me sometimes when I sleep—it happens quite a lot.

You have a very distinctive style. Tell me about your color, using such an intentionally limited palette.

I like the poppy colors, like the oranges, blues, and pinks. This is the palette that makes me happy. From the clothing I put on, I’m very happy with these restrictions, and simplicity. I hardly use yellow but I did it for the Nike jacket because it worked so well together. I’ll break the rules sometimes because they’re my own.

What about the people you illustrate, like the buxom women with the beaks, for example?

When I was doing the flyers, I got into that hand-drawn style. My father was a painter, an artist, and he used to say draw one line and if it’s no good, do it again. The style came to me fairly quickly. It felt like it was always inside of me. Those beaked people actually came from not being able to draw a face. When I did draw a face, it was too real-looking. It looked like a specific person, almost referential. I was trying to do something long lasting, like a character, a cartoon. Instead of working on the face, the eyes to show emotion, it’s both harder and easier this way.

You have witty quotes and one-liners in your art. Where do they come from?

I make them up 8 out of 10 times. Some of the others fly by in music and movies. I don’t pay attention for that reason—that would be fake. When stuff flies by in a stupid movie, I write it down. Sometimes you make a drawing and the words also pop in my head, like that line feels really right with this picture.

My father was a painter, an artist, and he used to say draw one line and if it’s no good, do it again.

How often do you draw and paint?

Not often enough. I called my father in a panic once and told him, I can’t do this anymore. I felt like I was drying up. You have these bursts of energy and creativity and bang out these incredible drawings, but then you’ll have this stretch of time for weeks when you can’t do anything. I couldn’t draw every day because it would probably make me hate this.

How do you approach the different brands that you’re working on, like how would Vans be different from Nike?

Vans is a skating company, and Nike would be about winning. So with Vans, my way of personalizing it was writing, “Don’t forget to skate in these.” But Nike is all about winning, and I thought it would be a lot of fun if I designed a jacket and sneakers about losing. It’s all about humor for me, and it’s important to add that to everything I do.

Everything has happened to you in the past three years. How are you digesting all of this sudden success?

This is one of the things I’m dealing with right now. I find myself wondering what do people like, what are they getting into? Do they like my jokes, do they find them childish? Am I doing something right, and, if so, what is it that I’m doing right? Success makes you think a lot. It’s human nature—I should try to just enjoy it, and I’m trying, but it’s like a train. The mind keeps working and running. It’s not keeping me up at night—it’s not that bad, it’s just that sometimes I don’t know exactly who I am.

Now that you’re at a crossroads, do you find yourself thinking about relationships with people more often?

Yes, definitely. I’m not sure if I should get into this really, but yes, of course you think about it. But I’ve also starting saying no to people. I can’t do everything. I have something coming out with Converse because I agreed to that a while back, but I think I need to take a break for a while. Just take a deep breath.

Are you excited about the future?

I’m really excited but I’m also fucking scared. My life has surpassed expectations. You can say that to yourself but it’s hard to believe it. Well, it’s true. The past few years have been surreal. Absolutely surreal. I hope the world doesn’t forget about me, but I also have happy thoughts that I can do animation, I can do sculptures. The creative world is open to me right and that’s a great thought. But there are some overcast skies every once in awhile.

Artist Reimagines Pablo Picasso’s Famous Paintings

Breathing new life into six iconic pieces.

Pakistan-based artist Omar Aqil has transformed six of Pablo Picasso‘s most iconic paintings into a series of hyperrealistic 3D visuals. Called “MIMIC,” Aqil’s ambitious project centers upon six pieces created by Picasso as early as 1928: Seated Woman (1930), Visage (1928), Buste de femme Dans un fauteuil (1949), Monument to the Spaniard (date unknown), Composition (1946) and Black Figure (1948). Aqil used multiple software programs such as Cinema 4D-Vray, Photoshop as well as Illustrator to develop the conceptual images. As a whole, the artist hopes to breathe new life into Picasso’s trademark geometric forms as well as change the perception of viewers. 

“In this visual mimicry I have shown, how the skill responds when it come across the complexity of someone’s thought and how the meanings of the shapes and forms have been changed and create new physical qualities,” Aqil said in a statement. Still, he professed: “It’s really difficult to me to recreate the artwork of Pablo Picasso. I have been studying his artworks since I have started my career, his abstract visual language always inspired me and I have found new forms interacting with each other.”

Source: HYPEBEAST

Ai Weiwei’s Refugee Boat Installation

“Law of the Journey” is now on show at the National Gallery in Prague.

Contemporary Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has always been an outspoken activist for human rights. His most recent topic of focus has been the global refugee crisis, or, as the artist himself says: “there’s no refugee crisis, but only human crisis.”

Ai’s latest “Law of the Journey” exhibition is his largest work to date. It presents a “multi-layer” series of projects that reflects the artist’s time spent in over 40 refugee camps during the past year. At the heart of the exhibition is an ominous, all-black, 230 feet long inflatable boat carrying 258 faceless refugee figures. The installation hangs in suspension at the National Gallery in Prague, a location which not only packs meaning in its aesthetics — a combination of post-industrial architecture and ecclesial overtones — but also carries historical weight as it once served as an assembly point for Jews before their deportation during WWII. That, combined with the EU’s current refugee relocation program, which brings to light the Czech Republic’s reluctance to accept refugees, furthers the exhibition’s message-bearing impact.

Source: Hypebeast