The anonymous soapbox-like atmosphere of the Internet has long made it the best place to air out dirty laundry. Artist Anna Ladd is one of those people, and over the years she has confessed to all kinds of personal embarrassments on her blog. Her photo series Things I Told the Internet, But Didn’t Tell My Mom examines the blurry lines of what’s considered public and private. Using banners to spell out phrases that are directly lifted from her blog, the series cleverly shows how broadcasting our thoughts to others over the Internet sometimes doesn’t translate well in the real world. Or, as Ladd describes, these are just “some pictures about my backwards concept of privacy.” Touché.
|Recommended by The Absolute Staff||Tuesday, March 15th, 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 »|
Have you heard of the story about the guy who died at his work desk and wasn’t found for days? Or how about the one about the woman whose breast implants blew up while she was on an airplane? Although there’s no proof if these incidents really happened or not, these are the types of stories that get passed around for year and years.
Urban Myths is a collaborative art series that illustrates popular urban legends. The project was orchestrated and curated by Mother Volcano, an illustration studio that has a lively, cartoonish aesthetic. From posters to editorial illustrations, the studio has a wide portfolio of creative projects, but their Urban Myths series is one you should especially check out. Artists featured in the series include Marta Monteiro, Nicolau, Claúdia Loureiro, and Inês Cóias. To see the full series in its entirety, check out Mother Volcano’s Behance page, but in the meantime, browse the gallery above to see a few of our favorites.
|Recommended by The Absolute Staff||Friday, December 11th, 2015||No Comments »|
This illustration project by Yan Qin Weng is an homage to French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. A pioneering aviator and a war pilot, Saint-Exupéry is probably better known for writing The Little Prince, a story about the journey to adulthood. Saint-Exupéry wrote other books, but they’re less known to the average reader. The Hidden Well, a collection of illustrations featuring quotes from Saint-Exupéry’s other works, hopes to change that.
Weng typically loves weaving gorgeous paintings that illustrate fantasy worlds. Her world only exists in the hours of dawn and dusk, where the birds fly its highest and where the ferocity of nature is at its most intense. The Hidden Well, which explores Saint-Exupery’s works like Wind, Sand and Stars, Flight to Arras and Wartime Writings, 1939–1944, is not only a journey through another artist’s work, it’s a glimpse into Weng’s patented form of fantasy. It’s more than a homage, it’s a dream world into someone else’s mind.
|Recommended by The Absolute Staff||Wednesday, August 12th, 2015||No Comments »|
Remember when you used to ask for balloon swords, crowns, and dogs at all of your friends’ birthdays when you were a kid? Great, now forget about it, because your mind is about to be blown.
Japanese artist Masayoshi Matsumoto has turned balloon twisting and tying into an actual art form. Never using tape, markers, or stickers to enhance his work, Matsumoto sticks with the basics to makes sculptures that are anything but… well, basic. Being particularly fond of animals, the intricacy in the different species’ patterns is remarkable to see interpreted into balloon form.
On the conceptual level, it’s pretty trippy to think that Matsumoto is basically using his own waste product (carbon dioxide, anyone?) to breathe life into the thinnest stretches of rubber. I guess if we can learn anything from this balloon artist, it’s to waste nothing—not even our exhales.
|Recommended by Chelsey Grasso||Monday, June 29th, 2015||No Comments »|
Alejandro Duran is an artist who is all about “transforming a trashed landscape.” And how does he do it? By literally taking the trash that’s polluting the environment and turning it into a form of nature-inspired decorations that take over the landscape. Basically, top-notch recycling for the purpose of art.
His most recent project “Washed Up” takes into account all the garbage that’s been floating across the ocean and making its way to the shores of Sian Ka’an, which is Mexico’s largest federally-protected reserve. Along with his artistic side, Duran’s research skills are up to par as well, and some of the information he comes across is rather terrifying. In regards to the “Washed Up” project alone, Duran has managed to collect waste from fifty nations and six continents—which proves nobody’s hands are clean.
As beautiful as Duran’s art is, it’s more than just something pretty to look at, it’s a giant wake-up call for the entire human population. Art is all about awareness, and if there’s one thing “Washed Up” makes us aware of, it should be the dangers and potential lifespan of littered garbage.
|Recommended by Chelsey Grasso||Thursday, June 4th, 2015||No Comments »|
The women in Julie Buck’s photo series Girls on Film might look like superstars, but they’re not. Affectionately nicknamed “China girls” by the film industry (although we prefer the less politically incorrect nickname “Kodak girls”), these were women who posed on color-timing control strips. Although they appeared in hundreds of films, the women were never meant to be seen by anyone other than the projectionist, appearing for a frame or two as part of the film’s countdown leaders. From the 1920s to the early ’90s, color-timing was a process films underwent to maintain consistent color balance. The practice stopped once digitalization came on the scene, and the anonymous women, who ranged from studio workers to models, became a relic of film history.
Buck, with help from archivist Karin Segal, spent a year and a half restoring all the lost color strip images, finally giving the women their time in the spotlight. Who are the women on the color strips? Did any of them have aspirations to be movie stars? Buck’s series doesn’t answer those questions, but it opens the door to an interesting part of cinema history most had no idea existed.
|Recommended by The Absolute Staff||Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015||No Comments »|