Archive for April, 2011

Maia Flore

“Sleep Elevations series”: French photographer Maia Flore is a recent graduate of the Ecole des Gobelins and currently resides in la ville des lumières, Paris. Her Sleep Elevation series (of which the artist says “I did not want to disconnect from the dream and never realize it”) is full of whimsy: young girls suspended through different modes of flight and fancy. Another quote: “My inspiration are things that I actually want to experience. I live my world vicariously though my photos.” See more from this burgeoning photographer on her website:


Georges Bousquet

“Etrange Famille” (2010): The dreamscapes of digital artist Georges Bousquet (from Perpignan, France) achieve a dizzying depth – one feels they could peel back infinite levels of the image and find more childlike figures and surreal subjects returning the gaze. In fact, Bousquet uses about 300 layers in Photoshop and spends approximately 15 hours building each image. Recently he re-envisioned the twelve signs of the Zodiac with his unique spin. His work deserves close-up inspection; see the details on his Flickr:

Xooang Choi

Xooang Choi (born 1975 in Seoul, South Korea) is fascinated with the human body and the abuses it endures. He sculpts incredibly realistic figures from polymer clay, then applies layers of paints in a way that imitates skin – the viewer is astonished to see wrinkles, veins and blood vessels on his light-skinned, despondent and dejected subjects. The piece above is more abstract than most of his others, a haunting wingspan of detached hands that could take flight. See more of this provocative artist’s work here (NSFW):

“Leeloo” (2010): Gene Guynn is not just a super skilled painter working in California (honing his skills at the Academy of Art University in SF and now working in LA), but also a fellow lover of filmmaker Luc Besson’s cult characters. On his oil-and-wood works, Guynn’s visceral and broad brushstrokes harmonize with those signature multicolored lines and shapes; elsewhere finely-rendered faces stand out on flaming, dripping backgrounds. The horned creations that Guynn chooses to frame his paintings with are art in themselves. Enjoy his gallery online:

Scott Marr

“Amnesia” (2010): The history of image-making with natural materials is as old as humanity itself, and vital to the cultural sustenance of certain groups like aboriginal Australians. Fellow countryman and artistic alchemist Scott Marr (born 1976) works with an incredibly rich source of natural materials – the above piece includes bark wash, ochres, wattle flower wash, and charcoal – and also utilizes pyrography: using heat and fire (like soldering irons or pokers) to made decorative burn marks. According to the description of a short video about Marr, the artist boils barks, leaves and mosses to leach organic dyes; he crushes native berries to producing a surprising array of watery washes; he powders locals coloured stones in a coffee grinder to form a palette of ochres. Watch the video and the artist at work:

“Courage Wolf” (2010): Kevin Luong is a freelance illustrator and student at California State University Northridge in Los Angeles. I don’t usually gravitate toward this kind of aesthetic – bold, garish cartoons full of saliva and color – but I liked reading about Luong’s experimental foray into silkscreening with this print on his blog. See more:

Ray Caesar

The mind of London-born digital artist Ray Caesar was warped at an early age, perhaps when he began sleeping with a book of Dali’s paintings under his pillow. Caesar combines traditional portraiture with surrealism, resulting in a bizarre juxtaposition of beautiful and repugnant subjects: most often precocious little girls with half-hidden disfigurements, time-traveling teens with hinted smiles at the corner of their red-painted mouths. Caesar refutes that his pictures are of children, but rather that they are “of the human soul, that alluring image of the hidden part of ourselves”. Take a moment to get lost within his website, where an animated gramophone will play a dreamy and liturgical soundtrack for your exploration of this incredibly alluring artist:

“Day Break” (2008)

“Madre” (2006)

“Sleeping By Day” (2004)


“Colored Valley” (2008): Taken in Shigakougen, Japan by talented landscape photographer Takay with a Pentax K10D. Part fairy-tale, part dreamscape, it’s awe-inducing to think about the technicolor wonder of nature around the world.

Lee Misenheimer

“The Great Masticator”: graphite-and-gouache artist Lee Misenheimer is soothed by the repetitive line technique he uses to create his drawings. He is inspired by Japanese imagery, and in his own words, “organic/floral/natural textures… mushrooms… plus many ideas about air/wind/breath”. I am enchanted by these dragon-like figures, which evoke ancient mythology and are perfectly executed. Misenheimer hails from the Carolinas, is currently based in New York and on occasion uses the pseudonym ‘Destroy Rock City’. More here:

Korean sculptor Jaehyo Lee (b. 1965) creates ingenious forms using both nature and steel, playing with the idea of dualities, appearing both hard and soft. Some of these sculptures are biomorphic (a nonrepresentational form or pattern that resembles a living organism in shape or appearance) while others are truly functional, like this chaise lounge made from pine tree. The material is meticulously shaped and sanded, bringing forth a contrast between the rough and smooth. See more from this playful artist here:

Ana Himes

“Drink Life” (2010): The editorial collages of Spaniard Ana Himes are distinctly vintage-inspired with modern flair. Himes studied advertising and public relations before she was given her first camera, unleashing her artistic side. Now she finds beauty in repurposing old pictures and ads, as well as capturing decay and abandon (broken windows, rusted signs, overgrown gardens) through her photographs. Enjoy more here:

Shawn Barber

“Tattooed Self-Portrait” (2008): Los Angeles denizen Shawn Barber (b. 1970 in New York) is a seasoned oil painter who has been widely recognized for his portraiture. Barber explores and transgresses traditional portraiture through his depictions of tattooed subjects – often skipping over one’s face and instead copying details of their inky marks in his signature style. No longer just a scholar/reflector of tattoo culture, Barber picked up the needle and opened his own tattoo studio in 2010. See more of his work here:

Isaac Cordal

“Follow the Leader” (2010): Perched on window sills or reaching through metal grates, the tiny cement figures of Brussels-based sculptor and street artist Isaac Cordal inhabit grimy urban spaces. Cordal’s critique of modern industrialization and subsequent alienation from nature is both understated and humorous. Here, defeated corporate drones file into a puddle as though committing suicide, although in other sculptures these suits float on oily puddles in miniature life preservers – a pointed jab at the twisted ideology behind big-business and their artful dodging of accountability. See more of his Cement Eclipses here:

Eoin Ryan

“Pattern 2”: Eoin Ryan is a London-based illustrator and animator hailing from Ireland. His work is is imbued with a muted color palette and a distinctive texture that he conjures with pencil, charcoal and ink. Ryan draws inspiration from woodblock art, old Chinese maps and infographics. The artist describes his work as “folk, wave and geometry”. Browse more succinct and subtle images at his website:

Linden Gledhill

There’s something to be said for the unlikely art-makers out there, such as biochemist and pharmaceutical researcher Linden Gledhill, whose photographs of water based paints triggered into motion by sound from a speaker are otherworldly. The result – captured by a high speed 10 megapixel Nikon D2000 – are like psychedelic fungi that come alive for a split-second before melding into rainbow puddles. See hundreds more of these ephemeral sculptures at his Flickr set: