Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Artist: Justin Cooke
Posted by Florence Hodesdon
Perhaps, being home for a few Christmas weeks, after prolonged absence, has created in me a greater appreciation for my local surroundings; Justin Cooke is a local Dorset artist whose work manages to exemplify the beauty and stillness often found in this part of the country.
Cooke paints in a very mystical manner, demanding great understanding and appreciation for the land he grew up in – consequently this medium reflects a place that is very intimate to him. This land lacks all objectivity; rather it takes the shape of home, overflowing with an abundance of memories. As a result he paints in an ethereal and tender manner; delicate washes of watercolour or the intense colours of heavily pigmented pastels, scratched through with a pallet knife. Layers of rich colour intermingle with each other, combining to create an energetic tapestry of the countryside. During this painted journey he manages to caress the canvas with his own memories, creating a subtle, but undeniable beauty.
Cooke appears to travel through phases of abstraction, creating pieces which are solely consumed with vibrant and passionate colour, echoing what can only be described as an equally intense relationship with the subject of that which he paints. He builds colour up and plays with light in such an intelligent way that the intangible, but irrefutable relationship he has with the landscape becomes apparent.
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Klimt and the Birth of Modernism
Posted by Luna Wang
2012 marks the 150th birthday of one of Austria’s greatest painter’s-Gustrav Klimt (1862-1918). He was an Austrian modern symbolist painter and one of the most prominent members of the Vienna Secession movement. Klimt is a curious and elegant synthesis of symbolism and art nouveau. The Austrians responded enthusiastically to the artifice of Art Nouveau, and Klimt is almost artifice incarnate. He painted with fashionable portraits, uniting the stylised shapes and unnatural colours of symbolism with its own definition of beauty.
In honour of this milestone anniversary, Vienna’s biggest museums-led by the Beledere - are proposing no less than nine exhibits during the course of the year, all promising new insights into the artist’s life. His paintings, in particular “The Kiss”, are some of the world’s best-known images. “The Kiss” will be exhibited in Beledere Museum, and is about a man leaning over and kissing a kneeling woman. “It is a fascinating icon of the loss of self that lovers experience (Pioch, N., 2002)” Only the faces and hands of this couple are visible, all the rest is covered by swirl of gold, studded with coloured rectangles so as to express the emotional and physical explosion of erotic love.
Above you can see the way in which modern artists, such as Christoph Reprecht, are inspired by Klimt’s iconic style. He use women and eroticism mixed with his recent journeys into psychedelic abstract illustrations and landscapes.
Images: Kitkat1225.blogspot.com Poulwebb.blogspot.com Behance.net
Thursday, January 05, 2012
Posted by Anna Rose White
The creative minds behind Swedish design studio ‘Litte Studio’ are Marit Liss Daniels and Angelica Utterberg. They met whilst studying Graphic Design at beautiful Hellidens college, Sweden, where the idea for a joint project was born.
After months of late night sketching, laughter and brainstorming, these two friends opened their shared studio and shop in March 2010. Their happy and colorful designs are playful enough for children but will work equally as well for adults.
The duo is inspired by how children view the world and the way they think outside the box where, as they say, “a triangle could just be a triangle – but it can also be a mountain.” Equally, a circle could just be a circular symbol, but can be combined with other circles they could become soap bubbles!
Their designs are imaginative, lighthearted and would brighten up any household. Little Studio creates a range of products from graphic prints, pillowcases, plates, trays and cutting boards. The design duo say, ‘we create designs with the help of imagination, color and shape conveys a special feeling.’
Thursday, January 05, 2012
Art: Famille Summerbelle
Posted by Florence Hodesdon
When Simon Summerscales and Julie Marabelle combined their fantastic talent to create the art design group Famille Summerbelle, something magical and beautiful happened in the world of art. Screen prints and paper cuts are one of my favourite mediums of art; they are simultaneously precise and yet always delicately beautiful, and that is exactly what Famille Summerbelle represents, and it is purely heart-warming.
They are considered a family business with a mixture of Anglo-French influences and a strong environmental ethos. Together they create designs which seem to be purely an exploration into the things they love. This fierce passion is definitely transferred into the work they do and consequently something accessible and exciting is created.
This personal and intimate approach is particularly seen in the piece of work called Family tree - whereby you can buy your own gorgeous tree print with gaps along the branches to fill in with photos of your own family – innovative personalised art. Equally there are designs which are inspired by their child’s school project, filled with both love and nature. This is exactly what I adore about Famille Summerbelle, the fact that all their work is surrounded by the things they cherish, even if it is as mundane as their own city. The maps they've created of the tubes in London and the cityscape in Paris transform the descriptive into something of beauty.
I discovered their work by being lucky enough to have one of their prints in my family home, so naturally I have a close attachment to these guys. They've managed to create art which is not only aesthetically pleasing, apprehensible, but also very reasonable – think of it as an affordable and less commercial version of Rob Ryan. I highly recommend their website. These pieces of work are rare jewels in a highly repetitive and predictable design industry.
Wednesday, January 04, 2012
Ones to Watch in Winchester: Jake Sharpe
Posted by Amy Harwood
Name: Jack Sharpe
Studying: BA Graphic Arts
Inspiration: Hannoch Hoch, Peter Kennard
Jake Sharpe is an innovative and colourful character, something which translates through his work. These images are from his latest project on Nuclear Power. The vibrant and bold colours, shapes and text really makes the pages come to life with clever wit. The information is wonderfully satirical which makes the facts and figures interesting to read. Jake has been inspired by video games which he describes as an unappreciated art form for this project ‘I have been inspired by the game ‘Fallout 3’ because of the tongue-in-cheek approach to nuclear warfare and the unfortunate effects of nuclear fallout.’
The inspiration is clear in his work because of the retro collage techniques and the vibrant oranges which adds a rather vintage take on the issue. Jake wanted to portray the positive side of nuclear power ‘It (nuclear power) has great potential but everyone is scared about leaks or their children growing extra faces. I hid a lot of the arguments against nuclear power so, essentially, it is a piece of Propaganda!’ I really like Jake’s take on modern propaganda and the contrast between the retro techniques and images with modern day issues and graphic layouts.
‘I’d like to work in Graphics, possibly freelance. So long I earn enough money to live I’ll just be happy doing what I love!’
Jake Sharpe is certainly a Graphic Artist to watch because he has great ideas and executes them in original and interesting ways.
Monday, January 02, 2012
Graffit Artist: Zevs
Posted by Luna Wang
Zevs is an amazing French street artist. He was active as a tagger in Paris in the 1990s, and by the end of the decade he had become a widely known for his poetic drawings of shadows in Paris. He is not only one of the most political artists, but he is also becoming one of the most inspired practitioners of mischievous street art. Through many years of activity on the street art scene, he has gradually become much more controversial, and gained more attention from the ‘high art’ world, as well as the worlds of conceptual art and good old-fashioned angry vandalism.
Since the mid 2000s, Zevs has become famous for his liquidated dripping brand logos. Liquidated Logos present a new dulcification film based on the artist’s activities alongside a series of unseen screen prints of liquidated dripping of logos. Through the parallel line of the drips, the logos dissolve before people’s eyes. By doing this, Zevs investigates the logo’s visual power.
In 2009, while Zevs prepares for his first ever solo show at Art Statements Gallery, in Hong Kong, authorities arrested this wizard‘s talent after he painted a “liquidated” Chanel logo atop the flagship Giorgio Armani store to “ reflect the war of brands.” The store was not pleased, demanding about $850,000 in damages after the artist pleaded guilty. While he used a water-based paint that should have been easily removed, the store claims that they cannot remove the paint due to the sandstone façade of the building.
Images: Designboom.com Darvinsilva.blogspot.com
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Artist: Poonam Mistry
Posted by Florence Hodesdon
Trust me, for it truly is a rarity for me to ever act like a scrooge (so don’t judge me on this sentiment alone), but I have, dare I say it, grown tired of the old rotund jolly Father Christmas and cartoon reindeer. Sadly however, the card market has not. Without fail every December the media gets saturated with these recycled images of Christmas cheer, and the problem with this is that a lot of these are fairly tasteless. However, this Christmas, let me offer you a simply gorgeous feast for the eyes in the name of Poonam Mistry.
Poonam Mistry’s refreshing attitude may be due her youth, or, it may be due to her form and style which is often unseen around this holiday period. All her designs are intricate and enchanting; she keeps the subject itself simple, so despite the design being complex with decorative embellishment and patterns it does not come across as busy or confusing, but rather, beautiful and special.
Mistry’s designs for the Christmas period generate a stimulating change, thankfully she has not dwelled upon the archetypal Christmas images. Alternatively, you get the sense that she’s attempted to convey the feelings surrounded with the season - the unity and love, and this has saved her designs from being relegated to a typical pile of Christmas images. This art has sustainability; beautiful in any season. Mistry’s art acts as tremendous reaction and reply to the more materialistic images and thinking that can be distorted and over emphasised at Christmas. In her work we simply get the beauty of nature and love.
Personally I would like to thank her for delivering something new this Christmas, something which conveys the joy, harmony and happiness of Christmas, which let’s face it, is so much more relevant than the images of presents piled high.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Posted by Florence Hodesdon
Colette Blunden's art is essentially a vibrant splattering of colour which I find completely impossible to look away from. Yet of course, as with all abstract pieces, it is so much more than that. Blunden’s heart belongs to the country side, with an intimacy which stems from childhood. Consequently she tries to interpret not only the physical frame of the landscape, but also her emotional attachment to it and, unsurprisingly, works in the open air to gain a further relationship with her surroundings. Whilst there she will make a series of sketches, and, later, through a process of abstraction these will evolve until they are a collection of fluid and rich brush strokes. The final product is an artwork that combines her feelings towards the landscape in an abstract manner with more classical observations regarding colour.
My favourite pieces of Blunden’s are her Autumn Hues series, for there is such passion and fertility in the crimsons and oranges, such warmth that invites us in. Blunden makes it clear that her aim is to “evoke the spirit of a place in an intimate yet celebratory way”, and that zeal and pure adoration is most definitely triumphed in her paintings. Regardless of their abstraction, the sense of witnessing a change of seasons or the sheer magnitude of nature can not be denied in her artwork. Yet by predominately painting a feeling rather than traditionally portraying the landscape, Colette allows her viewer to surpass the subjectivity of her views and project their own visions of nature on to her art.
Blunden allows us to go on a journey with her, to the intimate enduring memories of her favourite haunts, and, as she paints them so beautifully, we soon find we see our own favourite places in them also.
You can find more of Colette's work here.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Catch-up on ZineSwap: Dem Gerolemou
Posted by Amy Harwood
Following from my last post about ZineSwap launching the first year Graphic Arts zine project, my life has been taken over by panicking about different types of paper, binding tools and a constant war with InDesign. On the upside, I have also had the opportunity to finally see the amazing work the artists I share a studio with produce. After working in groups for so long and sticking to the rules of a brief, we haven’t had the chance to fully showcase our own individual styles and it has been inspiring and motivating.
One of the zines that has really grabbed my attention is Dem Gerolemou’s. Dem’s zine is a visually exciting exploration into the myths regarding sleep.
I really like the grainy texture of the designs. They are almost tactile and the monochrome pallet really adds an eerie tone to the images. The contrast of black and white is very striking and the layering is very intricate and carefully executed. This is the cover of the zine, it really grabs your attention and hooks the reader in.
Another image inspired by the myths of sleep is the above digitally-made image, in which he created a sleepy looking typeface, almost ghostlike and haunting. This image is effective because the text is dream-like and mysterious which reflects the theme of sleep very well.
I think Dem’s work is fantastic. He is a talented Graphic Artist with a lot of promise. I cannot wait to read the final zine. He is constantly uploading amazing pieces of work on his blog: dem-gerolemou.tumblr.com
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Artist: Victoria Mucklow
Posted by Jessica Stewart
In April of this year Victoria Mucklow was announced as the student winner of Lloyds TSB’s Art of Nurture competition, and a look at her work makes it very easy to see why. She shows herself to be an imaginative artist who could find success with both one-off commissions and reproduced designs. The design brief for Art of Nurture was to produce a piece of art along the following themes: ‘We act wisely; We stretch ourselves; We take ownership; We succeed together; We make it simple.’ Mucklow’s entry of a circus balancing act perfectly embodies the sentiments expressed in the brief, provoking associations with family, trust and stability that lend themselves to the brand image as well as to the aesthetics of the art work.
Mucklow is primarily a screen-printer, and is very concerned with making her creations look as handcrafted and authentic as possible. Her use of mixed media, particularly sewing onto her images, helps to transform prints and cuttings with simple two-tone colour schemes into more personal, expressive pieces. Her charming images are imbued with personality and emotion, from the witty linoprint of the slogan ‘The Word is Bird’ to the darker tones in her Sense of Place project. Although only in her second year of an Illustration degree at Birmingham City University, Victoria Mucklow shows more thoughtfulness and consideration than many other artists of her age, traits that are sure to help her to achieve success in the field.
You can buy Victoria's work here: Folksy.com