From Chuck Close to Sunaura Taylor: Disabled artists pushing public perception

Article: From Chuck Close to Sunaura Taylor: Disabled artists pushing public perception

Sunaura Taylor’s work, like Chicken Truck, seen above, is striking and haunting: rows of battery hens in cages and downed calves speak to her commitment to animal welfare activism, while detailed and intimate oil portraits bring people to life on the canvas, and self-portraits depict her disability and connect it with a larger social context. She has arthrogryposis, a congenital condition that causes joint contractures, and uses a wheelchair for mobility. To paint, she uses her mouth to hold the brush, and her work has made quite a mark in the art world; she’s received a number of awards for her painting and her work has been displayed in some distinguished places.

Patrick Krzyzanowski's wrestling paintings

Article: Patrick Krzyzanowski's wrestling paintings

Portuguese artist Patrick Krzyzanowski’s paintings of professional wrestlers exaggerate the already ludicrous “sport” with its gaudy costumes, showmanship and over the top violence, which has long been a pillar of American pop culture – especially amongst guys. In this interview with Vice, he explains the inspiration behind his work:

Abstract sandwich paintings

Article: Abstract sandwich paintings

I’m liking artist Dan Kenneally’s “Lunchbox” series of acrylic paintings, which are “light-hearted, abstract sandwich paintings that use a single colored stripe to represent each ingredient.” It’s a pretty extensive collection that covers a wide variety of sandwiches for all different meal times. [Via]

Remembering Cy Twombly

Article: Remembering Cy Twombly

Cy Twombly ranks high on my list of favorite artists, right alongside his friend and fellow artist Robert Rauschenberg, with whom he shared a studio as well as a propensity for cat scratch marks of paint and pencil. His seemingly haphazard compositions have held me captivated in museums, where I have stood fixated, letting my eyes roam his great expanse of canvas until my feet became so tired that I actually sat down on the floor – an ardent devotee. This particular experience happened early in high school, when seeing a Twombly after years of studying only formalist, realistic and namely old portraiture and landscapes left me stunned, transfixed, as if anchored to the space in front of the painting by a force beyond my own.

Cartoon characters in famous paintings

Article: Cartoon characters in famous paintings

I hate that I can’t find out who credit goes to for these clever photoshops of popular cartoon characters interjected into famous paintings. My favorite is the above pun of Winslow Homer’s oil painting “The Fog Warning” (1885). If anyone knows who is responsible for this awesomeness, let me know!

Casey Weldon's freak factory

Article: Casey Weldon's freak factory

Ok yeah, Casey Weldon’s paintings tend to veer dangerously close to territory long-conquered by Mark Ryden, a style that has influenced, nay dominated, hordes of Art Center alums (Ryden’s alma mater) ever since he graduated in the late 80s. Weldon graduated from Art Center in 2004, almost 20 years later, and it seems that Ryden is still a heavy presence on campus. If you can get past the portraits of the genre’s trademark dark, doe-eyed sylphs, Weldon’s work offers a lot of humor, like “As All Murrary,” a series of six portraits of the cast of THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS as Bill Murray. (For more of Weldon’s Murrary/Wes Anderson obsession, see his website).

Exploring the Neo-Grotesque

Article: Exploring the Neo-Grotesque

The Neo-Grotesque genre has been quietly brewing on the outskirts of the contemporary art scene over the last few decades – so quietly, in fact, that it was only recently given a name. “The term Neo-Grotesque was recently coined for the resurgence of artists working with subject matter traditionally deemed unattractive or repulsive, but representing them in a sympathetic manner in a highly formal technical style.” More than that, it’s a modern exploration of the intriguing dissonance between the grotesque and the sublime. Concentrated mostly in painting, though often photography as well (think Cindy Sherman’s horrifying prosthetics series), the Neo-Grotesque style is generally lush and figurative, driven by narrative or allegory. Of course, as with any art form, these rules are often broken, but the unifying thread remains in the movement’s overall sense of history, its devotion to realism and its delight in our reaction to it.

No, these aren't photographs

Article: No, these aren't photographs

Gregory Thielker paints some remarkable hyper-realistic paintings of rainy days from the viewpoint of inside a car. The artist explains: These paintings became a way to explore how driving in weather shifts and changes the views outside the car as well how the driving experience informs our basic interpretation of environment. We easily understand how…

Interactive 17th century painting

Article: Interactive 17th century painting

John Baldessari’s “In Still Life” project is freaking cool. It’s an interactive online experience that allows you to rearrange 38 different objects in Abraham van Beyeren’s “Banquet Still Life,” a 17th-century Dutch painting. “When someone completes their own still life using In Still Life 2001-2010 it becomes their own artwork,” says artist John Baldessari. “It’s…

Flame painting

Article: Flame painting

Flame is a fun online painting program where you can manipulate a lot of different settings to create some neat effects. Unleash your inner dragon artist! [Via]

BAM Silent Art Auction

Article: BAM Silent Art Auction

If you’re wondering why this picture above, an untitled photograph from Shirin Neshat’s “Women of Allah” series is the only picture you’ve been seeing to advertise the upcoming BAM Silent Art Auction, it’s probably because she’s the event’s Honorary Artist Chair, but it may also very well be because this year’s auction is slim pickin’s. Even with over 160 artists on the roster, there are only a handful worth bidding on. Before getting to the bad, allow me to first mention some of the better pieces up for auction. Aside from Neshat, there are some good photos up for grabs by Ian Baguskas, Chuck Close, Sally Gall and Christoph Draeger. Lawrence Weiner and Marcel Dzama are offering some nice prints and I have my eye the red desk lamp by David Weeks. Notice that I haven’t (unfortunately) mentioned any of the paintings.

Five happy facts about Bob Ross

Article: Five happy facts about Bob Ross

I greatly enjoyed these interesting five little known facts compiled by Mental Floss about Bob Ross, the iconic and soothing host of the show “The Joy of Painting” which taught thousands of people how to create landscape oil paintings. Before Ross became a TV painter, he spent 20 years in the United States Air Force…

Book spine art

Article: Book spine art

California based artist Mike Stilkey uses the spines and covers of piled old books as a canvas upon which he paints to form larger, often wonderful images. When asked in a recent New Yorker interview on how he selects the books, Stilkey said:
I consider several aspects of the book when I’m selecting for a painting. One factor is the color of the book cover, another is the material of the cover, and a third is the title of the book and how this relates to the narrative of the piece.
Visit Fecal Face’s Dave Kinsey for more on Stilkey’s works.

One more photo after the jump.

Google Street View artist

Article: Google Street View artist

Artist Bill Guffey has been traveling all over the world and painting scenes that capture his eye to share on his blog. By traveling I mean, he’s logging on to Google Maps Street View to virtually visit and paint the world! As one Metafilter commenter wrote: “So now Google needs to add “Impressionist View,” “Romanticists…

Pop culture class painting

Article: Pop culture class painting

Artist Jeff McMillan’s painting, “All Together Now” brings together various pop culture icons for a nice group picture. Finger snaps to whoever can name them all.

Independence (from oil) Day

Article: Independence (from oil) Day

The concept of July 4th as “Oil Independence Day” or “Energy Independence Day” has been floating around for several years: everyone from bloggers to magazines to the Speaker of the House has touted the concept. This July 4th, New York-based artist Michael D’Antuono will add his voice to the debate with the unveiling of the…

David Hockney's iPhone paintings

Article: David Hockney's iPhone paintings

The Daily Mail tells of how the celebrated artist David Hockney has been creating mini-paintings on his iPhone and emailing them to friends.  Pretty tech-savvy for a 71-year-old: [via TUAW]

Portraits of the blogging world

Article: Portraits of the blogging world

Artist Danny Roberts has been painting portraits of the faces behind blogs. May I kindly suggest that the next subjects in this series come from a certain blog at the Sundance Channel? [Via]

Nine Lives: LA artists at the Hammer

Article: Nine Lives: LA artists at the Hammer

How could this not be a good idea? Let’s take nine of the world’s most ambitious, prolific, talented, and hard working artists (all from LA, in this case) and invite them to come together and bring whatever work they want to show. This is one of those shows I could rant on about, like Victoria…