I don’t know how I happened to find myself on Behance late one night looking up illustrations of electro pop artist Grimes, but I was. Probably because it all started with this illustration I saw that was made by Marynn. I always find it fascinating when artists express love for other artists via the medium of their choosing, especially when it comes to music. Unlike actors or models, musicians exist in a non-visual sector of art. The only visual component is the artist itself, who is merely a vessel through which the music is created. But time and time again, artists have shown that when expressing their inspiration, it’s through cheerful homages to the person behind the music.
Grimes, aka Claire Boucher, is an intriguing figure to portray through art. Her music, which dances between avant pop and legit pop, is often compared to the explosive, bubbly sounds of Japanese pop of the mid-90s. So it’s no surprise that her portraits are often exaggerated with lots of pinks and purples, with an almost chibi-like interpretation of her looks. It’s interesting to see how each artist, regardless of how varied their portraits are, all share these similar characteristics. To see for yourself, browse through the gallery above.
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Wednesday, February 24th, 2016||No Comments »|
San Francisco-based artist Michelle Guintu has an obsession with the ’90s. So it’s no surprise her appropriately titled exhibition at New Image Art Gallery simply plays off her low brow nostalgia-tinged aesthetic. Her work is often described as “kindercore,” which means part kindergarten and part hardcore. True, there’s something childlike about Guintu’s work, but her tendency to make her art look innocent is an obvious nod to her childhood, one that was full of the icons she still idolizes. In a time where ’90s nostalgia has been elevated beyond levels of obnoxiousness, Guintu manages to add something to the “90s nostalgia” wagon that’s refreshingly original. If that’s not something to obsess over, we don’t know what it is.
|Recommended by The Absolute Staff||Thursday, February 18th, 2016||No Comments »|
The next time someone tells you they have a foot fetish, maybe you should pull up a chair and give them an armchair psychological diagnosis. Could it be their penchant for feet is the fault of a childhood full of transitional objects? At least it is according to Phobias & Fetishes, an illustrated book that illustrates the etiological theories behind phobias and fetishes. In the book are 12 illustrations showing six different phobias and fetishes and six accompanying theories of their origin. Illustrated by Daniel Ido, the imagery takes a surreal approach to explaining the psychological reasons for why certain phobias and fetishes occur. Plus, Ido has a special gift in being able to draw so many feet.
The book isn’t available for purchase, but Ido’s prints are on sale via Society6.
|Recommended by The Absolute Staff||Friday, February 12th, 2016||No Comments »|
Painter/illustrator/comic Niklas Asker wants to elevate the medium of illustration with his series The Illustration Project. In the series, he creates nine separate illustrations inspired by nine books he read by classic authors like Virginia Woolf, Haruki Murakami, and others. He started the series as a way to play around with the definitions of illustration and art, asking questions such as “Is one more high brow than the other?” and “Is there any difference between them at all?” Strangely enough, despite this being an “illustration” project, his nine pieces look different from his usual illustration style. And so there is something slightly more high brow about the pieces featured in this project, but we’re not the types of people to care about drawing lines between illustration and art (wasn’t aware there was a line, or at least not one so broad). Browse through the gallery above to see all nine pieces.
|Recommended by The Absolute Staff||Wednesday, January 27th, 2016||No Comments »|
Most people know that Elizabeth I wore wigs or that Vincent van Gogh cut his ear off. But did you know Alfred Hitchcock didn’t have a belly button or that Abraham Lincoln was bad with chicks? These are just some of the strange facts uncovered in James Gulliver Hancock’s animated biography book, Artists, Writers, Thinkers, Dreamers: Portraits of 50 Famous Folks & All Their Weird Stuff.
The book features colorful one-page portraits of famous people, each one annotated with quirky facts, some well-known and some not so well-known.
Hancock, who past illustrated books include All the Buildings in New York: That I’ve Drawn So Far, says the book is a love letter to the concept of objects. “Like possessions, small quirks reflect a person’s identity,” he says. “I’m a visual communicator and I always found it interesting when people have these props that become extensions of who they are.” From Abraham Lincoln to The Wright Brothers, Hancock’s book is a colorful salute to artists, thinkers, and their unique lives.
The book is on sale from Chronicle Books.
|Recommended by The Absolute Staff||Tuesday, January 26th, 2016||No Comments »|
When Brooklyn artist Wizard Skull got ahold of a few original animation cels from classic cartoons like The Smurfs and My Little Pony, he of course had to put his own unique spin on them–a spin that includes raunchy debauchery, low brow humor, and tongue-in-cheek playfulness. His series Re-Animator, currently on display at Cotton Candy Machine, is Saturday morning cartoons with a twist, a bizarre world where Care Bears like to twerk, where smurfs get high, and where the Hulk can’t stop humping things. One animation cel at a time, Wizard Skull destroys our childhood.
|Recommended by The Absolute Staff||Monday, January 25th, 2016||No Comments »|
This year’s Black Comic Book Festival held in Harlem drew swarms of fans obsessed with Luke Cage, Sherlock and Holmes, and other superhero faire. Whit Taylor‘s tiny booth of mostly autobio comics quickly caught my eye, and I left with a copy of her comic Ghost expecting it to be a light-hearted, philosophical look at society.
Boy, was I wrong.
Instead I was left with an unparalleled experience that shocked me with its raw honesty. And yes, it’s a “twist,” but it’s a good kind of twist. The kind that doesn’t cheapen itself or dumb itself down, but actually elevates itself into another realm. I could bore you with a quick summary, but Ghost is the type of comic that’s more powerful if you go in blind with no expectations. Equal parts funny, inspiring, and heartbreaking, Ghost is a comic that’s not easily forgotten.
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Wednesday, January 20th, 2016||No Comments »|