American oil painter Donald Roller Wilson combines the polished realism of the Old Masters with a cast of eccentric anthropomophized animal characters, including dogs, cats and plenty of primates - many of whom are smokers - to create awesome pop surrealist portraits. His regular characters include Cookie the Baby Orangutan, Jane the Pug Girl, Jack the Jack Russell “Terror,” Loretta the Actress Cat, Miss DogAmerica, and Patricia the Seeing Eye Dog of Houston.
According to the New York Times, “Donald Roller Wilson’s goofy, hallucinogenic, Old Master-style painting of monkeys, dogs and cats dressed up in antique costumes may be kitsch, but it’s high-quality kitsch, like good beach reading.”
One of our favorite things about his paintings is that Donald Roller Wilson creates a brief narrative for each of them, much like Travis Louie (previously featured here) does for his own ever-expanding cast of characters.
Can’t stop watching this strolling cephalopod? Don’t be fooled by its delicate movement—the mimic octopus can easily scare off potential predators. In a flash, this master of mimicry changes its color and shape to hover like a lethal lionfish or slither like a poisonous sea snake.
Sneak peek from Auguste Clown Gallery of my little showcase, Cutaneous Horns, opening July 19th.
If you hurry you can sign up for their newsletter and get the full preview (and first dibs too) http://www.augusteclown.com
These nightmarish images feel like scenes from a B-movie, but they’re really photos of a powerful traveling art installation by Colombian artist Rafael Gómezbarros entitled Casa Tomada (“Seized House”). Giant ant sculptures swarm across urban exteriors and gallery walls. As if the idea of monstrous ants wasn’t already freaky, these 2-foot-long specimens feature tree branches for legs and segmented bodies made of joined pairs of fiberglass resin skulls and fabric. These hair-raising urban interventions are meant to draw attention to the uprooting, immigration and forced displacement of peasants and migrant workers in Latin America.
"When placed on the facades of government buildings and blank gallery walls alike, the ants give off a chilling sense of foreboding and encroachment. By placing them in swarms, Gómezbarros makes the insects even more strikingly representative of the peasants displaced by war and strife in Gómezbarros’ native Colombia."
Kawaii! – A catalog of the aggressively cute in Japanese pop culture
Kawaii!: Japan’s Culture of Cute by Manami Okazaki and Geoff Johnson Prestel 2013, 224 pages, 7.9 x 9.7 x 0.8 inches $20 Buy a copy on Amazon
The exquisite subtlety of traditional Japanese art and design is legendary. But on top of that subtlety, the Japanese have an odd affection for the aggressively cute. Cute as in Hello Kitty, anime manga, pulsating TV game show graphics, wide-eye-popping color packing and over-the-top cosplay costumes; the kind of extreme poptomistic cuteness that outsiders either find head-scratching ridiculous, or completely captivating. I’m in the latter camp and find myself delighted and made happy by the explosive sensibility of Japanese cuteness. Here is a mighty fine catalog of the full range of “kawaii” – or cuteness – in Japanese food, maps, fashion, toys, and love, and a bit of how it came to reign in Japan. – Kevin Kelly
Studio Markunpoika, run by Finnish designer Tuomas Markunpoika, created a series of vessels carved from hundreds of hexagon-shaped pencils glued together and carved out using a machine lathe.
“Pencils are utilized when giving form to our thoughts, illustrating our wishes and ideas. They are inseparably fused with craft and arts,” writes Markunpoika. “‘Amalgamated’ is a collection which explores the relationship of a mass produces ‘tool’ and its individual purpose. The beauty of the pencil an object seems to go unnoticed if utilized only for their primary purpose.”
Something awesome, surreal and possibly even a little bit magical is happening on a quiet street in the Toxteth district of Liverpool, England. Every night, when the clock strikes 10:00pm, the sliding storefront shutter on a derelict building opens to reveal a radiant blue tank of water filled with live, luminous jellyfish silently swimming around the space.
This dreamlike scene is a site-specific art installation created by artistic duo Walter Hugo & Zoniel for the Liverpool Biennial. Entitled The Physical Possibility of Inspiring Imagination in the Mind of Someone Living, the piece was not promoted in advance in any way. Instead it simply started happening and will continue making its punctual 10pm appearance until July 27, 2014.