Insomnia: Great Art in Ugly Rooms

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The following images have been culled from the nightmares of gallery owners and artists.  Or at least that’s what I wanted this hilarious Tumblr to secretly be about.  All this museum grade art cast in a sarcastic drama of really ugly rooms is from a fun blog, Great Art in Ugly Rooms.

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Cindy Sherman

We keep saying art is subjective and this Tumblr takes that concept to the extreme, editing images of masterpieces into rooms that are decorated in poor taste or simply disastrous locales.  The flip side of this is pretty funny as well, too often I find myself in elaborately decorated rooms surrounded by ugly ridiculous art. You’ll find hilariously smart examples of this scrolling through the blog created by Paul Kremer.

The Rothko perfectly matched with a girly room of cotton candy painted tones, a Modigliani sitting above a white toilet in a graffiti laced bathroom, Whistlers mother in a dentist office waiting room.  My personal favorite – Damien Hirst sitting in a nursery like a baby shower gift from a over-enthused taxidermist.

*Easter Eggs: A few of these contain art within art and one painting is at an actual location – notice it yet?

I have to admit, I wish those Nan Goldin’s were exhibited with this kind of gritty intention in art institutions – it kinda all fits together doesn’t it?

Thomas Kinkade

Thomas Kinkade

Rothko

Mark Rothko

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Leonardo Da Vinci

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Norman Rockwell

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James McNeill Whistler

Barbara Kruger

Barbara Kruger

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Martin Creed

Nan Goldin

Nan Goldin

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Modigliani

 

Beautifully Creepy Bonsai Skulls

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It’s a rare sight – a traditional bonsai garden and a graveyard perched atop a skull, cherry blossom trees cradling eye sockets, there’s something so fragile about the delicate balance of life and death they maintain.

Each skull by handmade by Australian artist, Andrew Firth.  The skulls are cast in PVC plastic and molded from a real human skull.  Firth’s company, Jack of the Dust gets its name of an obsolete United States Navy occupational designation. The term has its origin in the royal navy of the early 1800’s when ship’s stewards were known as “Jack-of-the-dust”, referring to the dusty atmosphere created by issuing quantities of flour and dried biscuit.

It’s a rather unique take on “Momento Mori,”(which means “remember that you can die” in Latin).

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Insomnia: Illustrator, Jasjyot Singh Hans

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You know how this works. I wait till I have my typical bout of insomnia, lay in bed and troll through the internet looking for something special I can share with the rest of you sleep challenged zombies.

Tonight, who am I kidding… this morning I happily remembered to check in on Delhi based illustrator, @jasjyotjasjyot.

Jasjyot Singh Hans has been on my watch list for over a year now. Every so often I ping him a brief hello so he knows I’m still following his work, waiting for a juicy project to crop up so we can collaborate. I don’t remember how I first came in contact with his work, but I know what’s kept me hooked.

On his downtime, Jasjyot takes breaks at coffee houses, drinks Chai, Instagrams and sketches.

He draws strong, women of color, full of attitude in his sketchbooks, and on delicate paper doilies – accentuating them with tints of blush. Drawn in a stylized blend of fashion and comic influences, Jasjyot’s sketches articulate his beautifully bold assumptions on women’s emotionally nuanced ways.

I’m giddy because he’s temporarily moved to the States and that makes my calendar itch for impending projects. I’m excited because he’s showing up on lists of ‘illustrators to watch’ and it’s thrilling when other people acknowledge good talent. I’m relieved because the sketches didn’t stop – they just happen in classier places. Now I follow Jasjyot when he steps out for dinner and leaves behind tables loaded with full-bodied women brandishing fierce looks.

Explore more on his Instagram & Tumblr

Embroidered Vintage Rackets

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Well, our old tennis rackets are simply hanging out in boxes, pushed away into dark corners of our basement closets. Meanwhile, Cape Town-based designer and embroidery artist, Danielle Clough uses them to frame off vibrant embroidered flowers.   Her series, What a Racket features brightly colored wool flowers weaved between the delicate threading of old badminton and tennis rackets.

Rackets aren’t the only things she’s been embroidering, check out her website to see her other fiber art projects.

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Insomnia: Our Mild Obsession with Colombian Artist Omar Castaneda

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Last year at the Pinta Art Fair in Miami, I walked away mildly obsessed with the work of Colombian artist, Omar Castaneda.  His imagery is so ‘in your face’.

Castaneda is committed to the local culture of Columbia – exposing their socio-political issues with concepts and materials related to food and animals, since according to him, that is the basis of the people, the culture and their habits.  Using these common elements, he dissects the past of towns and regions, tells personal stories and recreates armed conflicts, both current and past.

As his art delivers this message with what could fairly be described as disturbing imagery, it delves into the explorations of subjects and materials related to his native South America.  Castaneda’s inspiration and resource is food – A basic human necessity, food is loaded with cultural, social and political implications with regard to its value, production, source, and consumption. Food effectively dissolves most preconceived distinctions between nature and culture, production and consumption, morals and markets, family and society, the individual and the collective, body and mind.

Explore below, pieces from his exhibition, ANIMAL GENERATION. Or do some digging of your own over at omarcastaneda.org.

Omar Castaneda

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boom-art & UWL Go Culturally Stylish with Limited-Edition Surf & Skateboards

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Flowers Triptych Surfboards/ Limited Edition by Jan Davidz de Heen 1606-1684

Leave it up to the French to make surfing and skateboarding a culturally stylish event.  That’s not sarcasm, more like a nod of approval (not that they need it, but I’m giving it).

This special edition line of surf & skateboards from french skateboard company boom-art and European surf giant UWL will never see the water and rightfully so.  The limited editions feature lush and richly colorful works by artistic masters like Jan Davidsz de Heem (1606-1684) and Gustav Klimt (1862-1918).   Each edition is handmade and limited to 10 individually numbered by UWL in France. 

If you were thinking about taking them to a salty death or a vert ramp – each piece comes with a mounting kit – use it, don’t abuse it.

J BOSH 1 SURFBOARD Limited edition 1 Surfboard Bosh The Garden of Earthly Delights 1510

Limited edition 1 Surfboard Bosh The Garden of Earthly Delights 1510

 

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Klimt Surfboards

 

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Flowers Triptych & Diptych Skateboards Limited Edition by Jan Davidz de Heen 1606-1684

 

all images courtesy of boom-art

via DesignBoom

ARTIST BRINGS BOOK COVERS TO LIFE IN GIF SERIES

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Chilean art director Javier Jensen’s took a break from his day job as art director in a publicity firm in Santiago de Chile to create to these GIFs, bringing the cover of some of the most loved works of literature to life with the slightest of movements.

These eye-catching GIFs are surely an enticing way to grab a reader and thrust them into a good story.  His homage spans the genres with across the board picks from JRR Tolkien’s fantasy adventure The Hobbit to that beloved Dr. Seuss children’s classic Green Eggs and Ham…

“I wanted to go back to the books that made us live, dream and believe in different things and reflect what I always imagined when I looked at their covers.”

Who says you can’t judge a book by its cover?

 

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Green Eggs Gif

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Moby Dick Gif

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via The Guardian

gifs from the artist’s Behance page

Insomnia with: @maisiecousins

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I keep a list of internet phenomena I hear people rave over, that hit top ten lists, that get featured in zines I pick up at random.  Then I wait till I have a typical bout of insomnia, lay in bed and troll through them.  Sometimes it’s just superficial website browsing that leads me to something unusual.  The moment always feels charged and I’m determined to write a quirky, late night post about it, but that’s normally right before I start drooling and pass out on the keyboard.

Tonight – no today, right? Anyway, the Instagram account of London-based photographer Maisie Cousins (@maisiecousins) is kinda what I want to gush about.  At first glance, it seems like a throwaway.  Matter of fact, I think I immediately wondered what all the fuss was about. But, hey, I’m punch drunk and unable to sleep so what else was I going to do after successfully failing to fool myself into thinking I could comprehend Tolkien at this time in the morning.

Cousins’s work is creepy.  I think I should say unsettling because that eludes to still being approachable doesn’t it?

I stop thinking randomly about what I think I know and delve further what I don’t in attempts to attach myself to a feeling.  I wonder what dog-eared book of essays fires off in her head during a shot?  What tube station does she regularly get off at?  Because I want to think about what part of London inspires her most.

I feel like I’m looking at stills from my beloved John Water movies (Divine) and takes from old seventies mod psychedelic Londoner movies (free thinking babes with liberal morals).  These pics are all so messed up ‘good’, like the beginning a good buzz.  Another sleepy gaze and I can see it’s a photo log of feminist tropes in art school formats – she’s got a voice, it’s angsty and pure and filtered through a mind aiming to log in thought-provoking gender art in a way that’s never seen.  That’s what we all think before graduation and a couple of art fairs.

Bold and uncontrolled, not unlike the newer underground art Instagram’s I stumble across – this one’s got sexy unshaven legs and she doesn’t care if you see them.

Ok, it’s sharing time.

Lil friend 🐌

A photo posted by MAISIE 💋 (@maisiecousins) on

An old webcam pic from when I was really sad A photo posted by MAISIE 💋 (@maisiecousins) on

Real good set up @irisimc great sheep bed

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Camo

A photo posted by MAISIE 💋 (@maisiecousins) on

A photo posted by MAISIE 💋 (@maisiecousins) on

Cake Sculpture Artists Recreate An Art Masterpiece With Chocolate [Video]

Cake Vermeer Creation

Cake Vermeer Creation

Talk about a more tangible way to ingest art.  With so many artistic interpretations of Vermeer’s “Girl With a Pearl Earring” floating out there on the web, it’s hard to impress.  But check out what cake sculpture artists Cory Polman and Olivia Bohnhoff created for an art-history-buff client in their LA-based shop Bohnhoff & Kent.

The painting served as inspiration for their signature chocolate sculpture filled with ‘cake’ which they deliciously refer to as a “gourmet stuffed candy bar”.  Watch the video and amaze yourself with the beautiful translucent layers of color they’re able to paint onto the sculpture.  The big reveal will make you wonder if you could bring yourself to eat such a masterpiece.

 

via That’s Nerdalicious

photo via Mode Foodie

#TBT Brooklyn Museum – Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe [VIDEO]

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It went down this spring at the Brooklyn Museum – Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe.

Killer Heels explored fashion’s most provocative accessory. Along with the showcase of heels from the high platform chopines of sixteenth-century Italy to the glamorous stilettos on today’s runways and red carpets; the exhibition also delved into the imaginative. Showcasing shoes created by new 3D technology and inviting contemporary artists to take looks at the high-heeled shoe’s rich and varied history through film added another layer to the already provocative show.

We think it’s a shame that we only shared these videos on our Vine, so we hope you enjoy this look back on one of our favorite shows of 2015 so far.

Rashaad Newsome / Knot

Leanie van der Vyver / Scary Beautiful, 2012

Steven Klein / untitled, 791, 2014

SET IN THE STREET: The Ultimate Selfie Zone

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Set in the Street is an ongoing art project started by Photographer, Justin Bettman.  Bettman, a 23-year-old California native was looking for a way to save money on studio space. He and his collaborator Gözde Eker, starting kicking around ideas until they decided “Why don’t we try to shoot these outside?”

Their work questions our perspective — a trick of the eye. At first glance, on close inspection the scene played out before you seems normal. But when you’re pulled back and you see the entire picture, that’s when you realize you only had half a story.

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The sets they use for the shoots are foraged from unwanted furniture and materials, most of which they find on the street. After shooting the initial photos, the sets are left up on the street with a sign that invites folks to shoot their own photos and post them using the hashtag #setinthestreet.

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set in the street

photos via Justin Bettman/Setinthestreet.com

Shepard Fairey Plays Jaded Art Store Clerk on Portlandia

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Screenshot from Portlandia

 

Yes!  Gigi and Phil are back.

There’s nothing more satisfying then seeing IFC’s Portlandia attach yet more humor to the inner crazy pretense of the art world.

Portlandia co-creators, Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen are reprising their roles as those hyper diligent ambassadors of bad art.  The last time we saw Gigi (Brownstein) & Phil (Armisen), they were running Bad Art Good Walls, a company whose sole purpose was to supply coffee shops with horrible art.

At one point in the sketch, as Phil gets an order ready, Gigi hilariously suggests they check in with their co-worker Sean (guest star Sean Hayes) for options because “he just got back from an art fair”.

This time around, they run an art supply store called Shocking Art Supplies, and it’s got all those anti-corporate art school project trappings – pre-smashed TVs, upside down flags, doll parts, and mannequins.  Famed street artist, Shepard Fairey puts in an appearance as their jaded sales clerk. Fairey can be seen stocking shelves in the background and demonstrating how to intrinsically use mismatched doll parts.  Mockingly good scene comes in at 0:52 as Fairey uses a stencil to spray a “Riot Cop” onto the chest of a mannequin.

Fairey announced the cameo on his Instagram saying, “The part I play, a jaded art store employee, was set in the exact art store where I bought my art supplies while staying in Portland for a stint a few summers ago. I’m no actor, but this part, along with maybe “jaded art student” or “jaded skate shop employee,” are the closest I’ll ever get to method acting.”

The episode airs on IFC Thursday 1/29 at 10pm.

 

Bad Art Good Walls