Category Art

Powerful floral portraits by Ayumi Takahashi

Ayumi Takahashi

I’m a sucker for bright colors, plants, and strong women, which means Ayumi Takahashi’s work is right up my alley. She’s a well-travelled artist, being born in China, raised in Japan, moving to California to study at Art Center and then London at Central Saint Martin. She’s currently settled in New York, drawing, painting, and designing for clients like The New York Times, Paramount Pictures, Coca Cola China, and more.

What I love about her work specifically is the boldness and the cleanliness. I was totally sure that the images you see here were all digital. I was totally wrong, as they’re all done in acrylic, with all the edges finished so perfectly. Her color palette is extremely lovely as well, she does a great job of contrasting colors to give emphasis, it’s extremely well done.

If you dig her work you should check out her online shop. She has 16″ x 20″ prints available as well as smaller (and affordable) originals, one of which I happened to buy. Support artists you love!

Ayumi Takahashi

Ayumi Takahashi

Ayumi Takahashi

Ayumi Takahashi

Johanna Goodman pieces together fantastic, high fashion collages

Flowing gowns made of pink smoke. Haute couture hobbled together with blocks of wood. This is the idealized world Johanna Goodman is creating in her series The Catalouge of Imaginary Beings. Johanna describes the series as way to “explore a range of themes in popular culture – the role of the individual in fashion, history, the artistic imagination and the collective consciousness. The body of work draws its inspiration from Magical Realism, Surrealism and Symbolism and references such cultural artifacts as talismans, idols, and totems.”

The abstract nature of these feel playful and fun. Arms and legs jut out of tree stumps and the bits of background elements help to give each piece a bit of grounding, a sense of a world one could explore.

Johanna Goodman - Catalouge of Imaginary Beings

Johanna Goodman - Catalouge of Imaginary Beings

Johanna Goodman - Catalouge of Imaginary Beings

Johanna Goodman - Catalouge of Imaginary Beings

Johanna Goodman - Catalouge of Imaginary Beings

Johanna Goodman - Catalouge of Imaginary Beings

Johanna Goodman - Catalouge of Imaginary Beings

To see more from the series, visit here.

Kim Michey is Seoul’s most charming tattoo artist

I always wish I had more tattoos but I’m never certain what to get. I mean, once you’ve started it’s not something you can easily stop. Kim Michey is a Seoul based tattoo artist who appropriates pop culture icons and draws them in one of the funniest, cutest ways I’ve ever seen. Her line work has such character to it, almost like old comic books, but there’s a silly edginess to it all which you can’t help but enjoy. Next time you’re in Korea you might want to give her a call.

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Abstract artist Ellsworth Kelly passes away at age 92

In sad news, artist Ellsworth Kelly has passed away. He was famous for his minimal works of art, lots of boldly colored shapes against barren gallery walls, which for me were extremely tough to understand. How I began to understand and appreciate his work, the way it was described to me, was that his pieces were created to transform spaces, their very existence change how you perceive a wall or a large space. With that in mind it helped me contextualize his work and appreciate it more.

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‘Morbo’ explores the thin limit between the aesthetic and unpleasantness

I came across this intriguing series of images titled Morbo the other day and was stunned by them. Created by Six & Five Studio, which was founded by Andy Reisinger and Ezequiel Pini, these hyperrealistic works are a melange of real life forms twisted together into unsettling still life pieces, mixtures of natural and invented truths.

I feel like their disfigurement is a part of their beauty. There’s so many interesting facets to each of these pieces that I can’t help but stare in awe. It’s like when you see a person with a peculiar nose or a mouth slightly too large. You’re not staring to be rude, you’re staring because you haven’t seen features quite like that before. These unusual forms feel so real to your brain (despite being computer generated) that you can’t help but try to understand them.

My favorite museum in Paris: Palais de Tokyo

Palais de Tokyo

Museums in Paris were kind of a nightmare. This statement might be true of any major metropolitan museum but it was especially true of our recent experience. Kyle and I rode by Le Louvre one day and it looked like a madhouse with what looked like thousand of people milling about, Coachella in Paris. We couldn’t do it. Another day we attempted the Musée d’Orsay and again we were confronted with horrible lines. Time is valuable and I didn’t have the patience (the we did wait in crazy line at Versailles, which I would argue is worth it). The workaround for this line dilemma was visting the Palais de Tokyo, which generously open from noon till midnight every day but closed on Tuesdays.

Here’s my recommendation: Arrive for dinner at Tokyo Eat, their fantastic restaurant which is currently outside for the summer, around 9pm (try the Curry Rouge, très fantastique). After you enjoy some food and drinks, simply walk into the Palais, stress free. The current exhibits featuring Patrick Neu, Justin Just, and Tianzhuo Chen were beautiful representations of contemporary art, all quite immersive as well. Highly recommended.

Palais de Tokyo

Palais de Tokyo

Palais de Tokyo

Palais de Tokyo

Nigel Evan Dennis’ digital organisms

Nigel Evan Dennis

I have a problem with buying art. My problem is, I don’t have enough room on my walls anymore. That’s why coming across the fine art pieces of Nigel Evan Dennis was additionally problematic. His work, a sort of juxtaposition between organic shapes in a digital landscape, is immensely beautiful and captivating. The lovely gradients and the particles floating above them are like a petri dish on an acid trip, and I want them all. He has 12 prints currently available for $100 each, go check them out.

Nigel Evan Dennis

‘The Beach’, an interactive architectural installation by Snarkitecture

'The Beach', an interactive architectural installation by Snarkitecture

Last week I wrote about Daniel Arsham, one half of design/artist duo Snarkitecture, who this week have debuted their interactive installation The Beach at the National Building Museum. Instead of sand, you’re confronted with thousands and thousands of white balls with deck chairs set along the perimeter.

To me, the concept explores the space of art which is a public, mutually enjoyable experience. Rather than limiting art to sculpture or painting you get to be a part of a grander piece of work, much like what Tom Sachs did at The Armory or Urs Fischer at MOCA. The physical nature of the project is something that people can connect with and be a part of which might make a more meaningful impact on a person. You can see the manifestation of this on Instagram, with #thebeachdc having over 1,000 photos taken in 5 days, a very modern day metric of success. The art world can be so stuffy and staid and ideas like this will hopefully get more average people into museums and piss of the purist snobs.

Arsham summed up the project in a few words on his Instagram, simply stating “Reinvent the everyday,” which is a lovely way to think. On a side note, how great are these photos by Noah Kalina? He’s so good.

'The Beach', an interactive architectural installation by Snarkitecture

'The Beach', an interactive architectural installation by Snarkitecture

'The Beach', an interactive architectural installation by Snarkitecture