Riitta Päiväläinen is a Finnish artist based in Helsinki, a place that I imagine to be very cold. I don’t know what I would have to wear to be warm there but I imagine it would be a lot more than the shorts and sweater usually donned in Southern California: Finland is a long way climatically from where I am. Her makes this known very clearly as she studies clothing placed against stark, clear snowy backdrops. They are photographed and always appear frozen, stiff and caught in limbo between falling and flying: they are transitional. The objects in the image represent former wearers and the way she presents them emphasize said lost pasts. Who knew freezing clothes could mean so much?
The name of this typography display says it all. Uselessness is Gorgeous, or at the very least, what appears to be uselessness is. The 72 by 10 foot tall mural made of cigarette papers, glue and little wind power should really be viewed live but for those of you can’t make it to La Gaîté Lyrique in Paris anytime soon, here’s a small clip.
Work in a creative industry? Then chances are you’ve seen Stefan Sagmeister’s Things I Have Learned in My Life So Far kicking around the office. Sagmeister has managed to establish himself as one of contemporary design’s household names, and his book, a bible of sorts to the design-orientated. If you’re not familiar with Sagmeister, Things I have Learned, or modern design, then there’s no better time to grab Abrams Books’ updated release, which contains everything the book is famous for, and then some.
Sharon Louden is a well respected and very talented artist who does a bit of everything. She’s taught at several universities over the past twenty years and has shown all over the world. Most recently, she’s edited a book of essays about artists making and living called Living and Sustaining A Creative Life. Through forty essays from forty different artists, you get a look at how creatives work and how they are able to propel themselves forward within often amorphous creative fields. It’s a very real, very honest peek into the world of artists.
This relationship to other artists and their practices has also found its way into her work. While she has been busy book touring and getting the project off the ground, she also created a body of work called Community. The works are made from oil and enamel and feature strings of color in very patient settings that easily could be left at being studies of shape. They aren’t, though: they are symbols of all the work she has been doing, explained visually.
You probably already know the work of illustrator Jon Burgerman. His idiosyncratic pictures are fun, playful and instantly recognizable. Filled with bright colors, cute smiles and vibrant characters, they almost feel a world removed away from this small project he’s currently working on. Called Headshot, these images show Jon seconds after he has been shot in the head by an advertisement. The resulting images are as striking as they are entertaining and the series works really well.
Some of my favorite art is that which makes me laugh. When most people traditionally think of art we think of old world masterpieces painted with oils depicting those that have been long dead. So what if you took those venerable works of art and put a ridiculous twist on them? You’d end up with these lighthearted series of collages from Zeren Badar.
You probably wouldn’t guess this from the title but Rimon Guimarães is a young self-taught artist. He is from Brazil and only twenty-five years old: for such a young man, it’s somewhat hard to believe that he has a very developed, very wide reaching hand in street art. Guimarães creates giant, building covering paintings of almond eyed people who are colorful and lanky, shapely and physically active. They are made out of stripes of color and often are studies in human form.
Not sure if people would agree but tie-dye feels like it’s back in. This isn’t the traditional entry that is for and by hippies but is instead new takes on dye born out of the resurge in popularity of indigo. Thus, the style is back but in through new, experimental ways.
London based artist and “fashion designer” Craig Green obviously feels this way as his Spring/Summer 2014 show is a collection of works that incorporate his “subdued” past of blacks and whites and smothering covers into new takes on dying. He has taken his own aesthetic, put it through a self-referential dye process, and ended up with the new collection.
I don’t know anyone who quite makes art like Miroco Machiko. An artist and illustrator from Osaka, Japan, Machiko work is raw and expressive. I really love it. There’s a real purity in the way that she creates images and the work feels kind of primitive but in the best possible way.
It’s a little difficult to explain the work of Dyami O’Brien. The artist paints warped portraits of people that exaggerate their physical characteristics while also addressing their personal style. They’re inspired by everything from soul records to Facebook pages, something we discovered while researching his work previously for Los Angeles, I’m Yours. If anything, O’Brien is an artist doing something totally unique.