Thursday, September 29, 2011
These are a few pieces made from the infamous-influential street artist Frank Shepard Fairey. On the left is his famous "André the Giant Has a Posse" Obey sticker campaign and on the right is Barack Obama's "hope" poster for the 2008 presidential election. I first stumbled upon his work when I was looking through Columbia College Library art books. There were two books that had pages and pages of his work describing his life and how he came to be who he is now. It was an interesting insight on how unknown graffiti artist become so famous when their artworks were vandalism. I was drawn to his use of bold red and white use of colors and meaning behind his work. They were simple and clean. I was surprised to find one of the Giant Obey sticker off the CTA redline Belmont stop. You can see it on the upper right hand corner of a near by building in front of the station. I have never noticed it until earlier this year while riding back home from work even though I have gone past the Belmont stop many times in previous years for school. Now when I get off at Belmont, it's hard for me not to notice it because it's right in front of you while your waiting for your train.
Ben Heine is a Belgian artist, most known for his “Pencil vs. Camera” series. I came across his work while using Stumble Upon. The example of his work that I chose is from this series. I find it really cool how he combines the techniques of drawing and photography, and does so in such an interesting way. It would still be a great piece of art if he were to draw what he sees exactly and incorporate that into a photo, but he adds touches of imagination and humor along with his realism. His website is worth checking out. He has a lot more images from this series, as well as other works in other styles and mediums. There are also interviews on his site where he talks about his process for his Pencil vs. Camera pieces. Here’s his site:
Check it out!
For this weeks blog I decided to do it on German woodcuts from Medieval times. I don't know the artist but really it doesn't matter, any woodcut I am drawn to really. When it comes to illustration or just art of any kind I really like thick black outlines and you can see that type of line work in these old pieces. The varying line weight is another aspect of it that I enjoy too. Though the process and final product is more of a print making technique it all started with a illustration so I see it fitting for class. Here is some more information just on woodcuts themselves: http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/heavenlycraft/heavenly-15th.html
I chose Aubrey Beardsley as my featured artist for this week. His style of illustration is one which has certainly caught my eye in the past, however until recently I didn't know his name. Beardsley's illustrations were greatly influential in the Art Nouveau period. His precise line work accentuates the main points of interest in each composition. Alternating between ornate detail and sparse minimalism, Beardsley's lines are essentially used to emphasize form. There is a kind of quality in his work which captures the romanticism of England in the late 1800s. For this reason, his work is wonderfully suited to accompany the writings of Oscar Wilde. I am personally a big Oscar Wilde fan, and so when I saw these great illustrations that went hand-in-hand with his writing style, I was instantly a fan of his work. The images I chose to show here demonstrate Beardsley's humor as well as his technical ability. The image on the left hints at comic-book styles and even surrealism. A link to more of his work is below. There's no official website or anything since he's from the 19th century but just Google image it if you're interested... its great stuff, I love it...
This piece was done by Carly Waito. When I first came across her oil paintings I was really impressed! I was impressed for 2 reasons: 1.) For a second I thought I was looking at photographs of minerals and gems but I was wrong! 2.) She's the only artist that I know of that creates paintings like these. I never seen anyone attempt to paint minerals before. I love ALL her artwork because you can tell that she focuses on detail. Throughout her work each gem/mineral that she paints always look realistic and has this photograph look to them. Each one has so much color and detail and shine, it's kinda hard to believe that someone could actually make these type of paintings out of oil paint. It seems like it would take a a lot of time and energy just to complete one! Imagine trying to paint every single line or crack that you found in a rock. It's amazing and I wouldn't mind owning a piece of Waito's work one day.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Friday, September 23, 2011
Danny Allison is an illustrator based in the UK. I chose him because of the mixed media he uses. I see ink lines and paint and photography. I like being able to see the process of art making.
Allison's work is rough, but very purposeful. For instance the Galileo picture. The black charcoal markings are scribbled and unfinished. The planets in the background are photos, but highlighted with rings of paint. And the stars are airbrushed. All the different media are used to show the brilliance and discovery of Galileo's work. Another great example is this Mike Tyson illustration too. All the ink and paint and airbrushed qualities, show Mike Tyson as this crazy and wacky character.
Although Allison has a rougher aesthetic, he pulls it all together very well. The colors resonate off page. All the media he uses may not be clear right away, but the purpose of the artwork is easy to recognize.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
This is a graphic design piece and an illustration piece for the cover for the 50th anniversary edition of William S. Burroughs' breakthrough novel "Junky". The book quickly summarized is a detailing of Burroughs' experiences with Junk, or heroine, as well as many other drugs. The cover communicates this theme of drugs with the syringe symbol with a caricature of the artist's face in the center. the yellow color is off center, like a poorly registered print making the syringe a bit more ambiguous. My favorite bit is the needle itself that appears to be drawn with a steady brush stroke that ends so perfectly in a tear drop shape that echoes that of liquid dripping from a syringe needle. The artist is Credited to be Neil Powell who hand lettered the 'Chinese rocks' like typeface. The book was republished and distributed through penguin group. For more info on this design go to
In celebration of Super Street Fighters IV Arcade Edition, Capcom enlisted Imaginary Friends Studios artists to create designs inspired by the game on skate decks to benefit Music for Relief's Japan tsunami relief effort. The photo above shows three of the nine boards that were being auctioned.
I have always been facinated by skate deck illustrations when I started getting into skateboarding a couple years ago, but never got the chance to look more into them and nothing quite like these. When I first came across this photo, I was just amazed at how these artist were able to paint these Street fighter characters onto these boards so polished and clean. Each one of them had a unique feel to them and that gave a "bad ass" look. It really inspired me to give it a try someday and illustrate one of my own boards. It was also heartwarming to see artist, like these guys, be able to help the community with their art. I did something similar in high school where we held an event called "Empty Walls" where art students and guest artist would come in and draw all day until it was time to aution off the art to help raise money to fight cancer.
Music For Relief Website
Full View of Photo
I found this artist Stumbling. I found his website through a couple of links, and picked this image out of his online galleries. It is from the same series as the images that I originally saw, but this one stood out to me. It has more color than most of his other pieces in this series, and I found the pose of the figure more interesting. I was surprised to discover that I really love this style. It’s not the kind of illustration I usually look at, so I’m glad I happened to come across it. Conrad Roset is from Barcelona, and he has done work for many companies, including Coca Cola and Adidas. He has a large amount of work on his website, conradroset.com. You can view both personal work, which this piece is part of, and commercial work. Some of his ad work looks more finished, but I prefer the unfinished quality of his personal works.
Robert Williams is yet another artist who got his start in the 60's underground comics scene and moved on to become very well known and respected for his work. He is a painter as well as an illustrator whose acid-drenched work contains overpowering amounts of detail and color. He works most often in the Surrealist tradition -- seamlessly mixing the ordinary with the extraordinary. This creates a kind of dream-like atmosphere which Williams crams with living substance from the conscious and unconscious mind. Much of his work deals with the darker more twisted side of the "American Dream" which has become so over-saturated and over-stimulated by media and culture (or lack thereof). I really like Williams' work because, looking at it, I can get a sense of the endless fragments of information which I take in (knowingly or unknowingly) every day and see them laid out and piled up in detail.
A lot of Robert Williams' work exaggerates archetypal sensual pleasures such as hot rods and beautiful (usually scantily clothed) women in provocative positions. He exaggerates them until they become comedic; often putting side by side elements from life and fantasy -- all swollen, sensuous and raw -- like looking in detail at the artist's Id.
In recent years Williams founded the art and culture magazine Juxtapoz which has become quite successful and popular in the art world. I would highly recommend Williams' work to anyone interested in the absurd and surreal. He is most certainly one of my favorites. A link to his website is included below:
So this piece isn't strictly pencil and paper work BUT I figured I would show you guys because it's pretty awesome. Plus it caught my attention and I just want to share! This was done by artist Holton Rower, and every time I look at the video clip and just watch the whole process of creating paintings like these, I'm always amazed and then I think to myself, why didn't I come up with that first?! It's just such a brilliant idea. I really love all his paintings because they look really trippy and he's clearly not afraid of using every color. I noticed that all the colors that he uses work well together to create this really organic shape. It sorta looks like a deformed cross towards the center but once you look at the whole thing it makes this odd blob shape! I personally think that he uses thinned out acrylic to make the colors bleed smoothly down the plywood and I also love the fact that none of the colors ever blend together, instead they form these wavy lines.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Robert Crumb (R. for short) is an "underground comics" artist who began working in the mid-to late 1960s. The image I chose to represent him is one which I originally saw in a book (which is its proper context as opposed to online). While Crumb has done vast amounts of self-biographical narrative-style comics for which he is most well-known, he is also an accomplished illustrator who is wonderfully adept at bringing text to life. This image is from a book produced by Crumb and Zane Mairowitz titled Kafka. It is essentially a short illustrated biography of the writer Franz Kafka. Crumbs work is particularly suited to illustrating Kafka's writing as it is often grotesque, explicit, and highly stylized. The viewer can see the obsessive line work which utilizes hatching and very high contrast to create an image that really "pops" off the page. It conveys a potent sense of neurosis which disturbs some people, though I think it is brilliant.
Crumb uses mainly pen/ink and rarely (most likely never) uses any form of digital imaging -- another trait of his which I am quite fond of. This piece is a great example of Crumb's work because it showcases his ability to visually represent a feeling in a striking way. A look at Crumb's other work will reveal more violence, sex, and primal emotion shown in ways that make the situation, however explicit, seem somehow funny -- or at least palatable . The Kafka book contains some of my favorite illustrative work by Crumb because it shows that he really felt a sort of kinship with Kafka in the sense that they are/were both sensitive artists tormented by inner demons as a result of family issues and societal conventions. I would strongly encourage anyone interested in illustration to explore Crumb's work if they have not already. Below is a link to his website and some of his work.
Monday, September 19, 2011
Friday, September 16, 2011
Thursday, September 15, 2011
I chose a piece of Yoshitaka Amano's art work. Amano is known for his illustrations for Final Fantasy and Vampire Hunter D. In the illustration titled, A Verse of the Moon, Amano's thin lines give his work a dreamy and wispy quality that I find beautiful and surreal. The textures remind me a lot of cloth, and the shapes seem like they are melting off the plane lending to the picture's other worldliness.
The crescent shape of the creature's wings on the left makes you focus on the couple who are cradled in the semi-circle of feathers. I understand the relationship between the characters. The two find comfort in each other, in the darkness, setting a romantic tone for this scene.
I confess I have not read, The Tale of Genji where this picture originates from. I never played Final Fantasy, and only read one Vampire Hunter D novel. The best thing about this piece and other Amano works are that they tell the story without the words. The art transports the viewer to another place through the colors, shapes, the lines; all the components of the picture. Being able to tell a story with the art is just as important as it is being pretty or interesting to look at.