If you’ve ever tried to explain an idiom to a foreigner, then you may know how difficult it is to translate something into another language that just isn’t translatable. UK artist Marija Tiurina knows that exact challenge, and she’s managed to overcome it time and time again in her new series of illustrations entitled “Untranslatable Words.”
Using her signature cartoon characters to get the definition of a word across, Tiurina makes various words understandable on a universal level. Whether it’s a Brazilian word that means “the act of tenderly running fingers through someone’s hair” or a Spanish word that means “the mysterious power that a work of art has to deeply move a person,” she knows how to depict it wonderfully. Take a look at some of her illustrations in this gallery to get a feel for her character-driven artwork—I can only imagine you’ll relate to more than one of these words.
|Recommended by Chelsey Grasso||Friday, September 11th, 2015||No Comments »|
What do you call a collection of vintage photos with phrases of brash pop art text slapped on top of it? You call it an Anne Taintor collection, of course.
Someone Has to Set a Bad Example, and that someone is Anne Taintor, author, photo editor, and collage genius behind this not-so-subtle collection. Taintor’s work is one of a kind, taking images from the days when a majority of women spent their time as “homemakers” and transforming them into feminist, cheeky, and at times vulgar moments suspended in time. The odd combination of past and present truly turns this book into something that remains memorable months after you’ve laid eyes on it, and rightfully so.
Taintor’s sense of humor is utterly transparent in her work, as is her fearless attitude when it comes to being anything but polite. Whether you’re looking for something to stew on, a chuckle, or a moment to nod your head along to the feelings of girl power, this woman’s bold artistry is certainly one to spend your time checking out.
|Recommended by Chelsey Grasso||Thursday, August 27th, 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 »|
Korean illustrator Yeji Yun has a bright, colorful style that we’re big fans of, whether she’s illustrating Albert Camus’s The Outsider or sketching illustrations for Korean folks tales. Her 7-page comic “Solitude” is taken from A Graphic Cosmogony, a collaborative anthology about the beginning of the universe. Piggy-backing on biblical theory about the universe being created in seven days, each artist was asked to create a seven-page comic about their interpretation about the creation of the universe. Yun’s excerpt imagines the beginning of creation as an explosion of skulls that dissolve into planets puked up by space gangs. You kind of need to read it for yourself, but the best thing about it is Yun’s explosive imagination and odd sense of humor. Ghost boats, space bands, pukey people? If only we could live inside her head.
|Recommended by The Absolute Staff||Friday, June 12th, 2015||No Comments »|
Stockholm-based illustrator Kilan Eng, who works under the moniker DW Designs, creates illustrations that look like screenshots from a demented sci-fi film–or a Daft Punk music video. Combining bright colors with futuristic imagery, Eng’s illustrations are an assortment of ’80s retro style thrust into a world of cyborgs, tattered cities, and techno wastelands. His images flow together, telling a non-narrative story about a world that might exist in another galaxy or dimension.
Eng recently published a compilation of his pieces in the art book Object 5, which you can pick up here via Floating World Comics. He also sells prints online through Cook & Becker. Recommended for those who like a little pizazz in their apocalypse.
|Recommended by The Absolute Staff||Wednesday, March 25th, 2015||No Comments »|
Travis Louie was born in Queens, New York, a few miles from the 1964 Worlds Fair. Add on top of that a childhood full of pulp comics, sci-fi cartoons, and monster movies and it becomes obvious why Louie’s paintings look the way they do. Stringing together his obsession with freak shows and vaudeville, Louie’s portraits are part historical, part surrealist sci-fi. Featuring bizarre characters from flat-headed weirdos to legit monsters, each portrait is done in classic sepia tones to give off an authentic, old-timey aura. On his website, Louie accompanies each illustration with a mini story about the person in the portrait. Maybe these freakish people really did exist and we just never knew about it? That’s the story Louie wants us to think, and you know what, we think we might believe him.
|Recommended by The Absolute Staff||Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015||No Comments »|
This recent project by Sungwon shows off what he does best. As we wrote about in the past, what we love best about the Korean illustrator is his storybook-like drawings and the way he plays with sketches and color. Created for Never Ending Story, an illustrated book of fables written by Prapas Cholsaranon, Sungwon’s work echoes what he’s known for, while also adding a dash of surrealism. He’s great at highlighting the unusualness of his make believe worlds, whether it’s children fleeing suit-weaing sharks or being burdened by man-eating giants. And, of course, Sungwon’s trademark blue highlights are here, adding that extra touch of fantasy that makes his art so special. Unfortunately, information about the book is in Thai, but the illustrations are intriguing enough to stand on their own.
|Recommended by The Absolute Staff||Wednesday, February 18th, 2015||No Comments »|