Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Fumi Mini Nakamura

It's hard to make art that describes the intricate connection the human soul has to the natural. Sure, you can say you relate to the power and majesty of the gray wolf, but try to depict that, most of the time, you're going to end up with some horrible piece of detritus like the three wolf moon shirt, of meme fame. Though, in tri-wolf's defense, the rules for wolf art have been clear cut since at least the early 70's: While one wolf is good, more wolves are better, and none should be depicted without accompanying tye dye, moon, monster truck, or dream catcher. The work of Mini Miku Nakamura, however, decides to break most of these rules in favor of a softness that captures the drama of this subject without the quaint crap. Each of her pieces, cleverly arranged in a whirlwind of color and line, contains a quiet contradiction in human life-- whether it is acceptance of death, the frustration of sex, the  realization of our role as a species among species, or the madness that emotions like love create in our classicly animalistic nature. The fact that these are all done in colored pencil only makes these more amazing. Enjoy.

These and more works by Fumi Mini Nakamura can be found at her site: 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Simon Bent

In a world dominated by a constant stream of images and sounds, work, and "modern life", it becomes easy to simply stop thinking for ourselves, and allow a comfortable mindlessness to wash over us in in a constant high tide of consumer-driven media. A thinking life becomes an endless struggle against a system that has so much control over your being, your body, your soul. I cannot fault people for taking the easy way out.  This, however, makes those individuals that still grasp for a better understanding of the human condition all the more precious--wizard philosophers of untold understanding to whom few can relate, and ever fewer can understand. This is why I find the graphic design series "Science versus Delirium" of Simon Bent all the more mesmerizing. His psychadelic transformations of the scientific and philosopher giants of the past boosts them to an almost godlike state of adoration (or at least to the state of the Beatles circa yellow submarine, but I digress). In an era where love of football trumps the safety of children, and war is the answer to everything, it's important to recognize the great minds that have questioned our animalistic desires, our irrational fears, and our eternal ignorance, in hopes of reestablishing our place in Eden.

These images belong to Simon Bent, and if he had a website, I would post it here. Use your google powers.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

James Jirat Patradoon

As a huge comic book nerd, I've bumbled my way through dozens of colorful narratives, most of the time nitpicking through all the oversized breasts and made up muscle groups that make comics so great. It is not often, however, that I am stunned by this kind of art--I mean, you can only go so far with your art without detracting from the plot (ask Frank Miller), so you could say comic book art is limited. For this reason, I find the comic-book like stylings of James Jirat to be a delightfully funky fresh punch in the face. His colors are aweful and awesome, and who doesn't love hooded luchador wrestler bikers popping pills and punching out super heros? While many of his themes are a throw-back to the amazing punk poster artists of the late 70's and 80's, the tasteful use of punch-out color and bitmap-style line renderings make it all work together somehow. His art is on display out Californie-way this month, so if you're out there, dig on some of this.

All of these works belong to James Jirat Patradoon, and can be found with more of his work at:

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Alfons Mucha

Little needs to be said about the tightly controlled, whimsical work of Art Nouveau artsist, Alfons Mucha. His beautiful females have probably graced more puzzles, t-shirts, and black light posters than Bob Marley, and his work never ceases to amaze. Few artists have the intricate mastery of line and color that together make Mucha's work so stunning, and his smooth shading techniques would make a digitial artist envious. Mucha's work is now mostly over 100 years old, however, with his work's emphasis on advertising, it makes you wonder where the "Ad men" went wrong, and how things like "wuu-u-u-uh-zu-u-u-u-uhhh" and that stupid gecko manage to sell anything. One drawback that I've noticed only after researching Mucha's work is the prevalence of horrible Mucha tattoos out there. Take a gander toward google images, and you'll see what I mean. While Mucha's work captures a moment in stunning lines and color, its intricacy and detail doesn't lend itself to good tattoo material without covering, say, your entire back, or...without adaptation by a very good tattoo artist. Moral of the story--tattoo artists are called artists for a reason--if you hand them an image and they say it can't be done, it probably shouldn't be.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Willem de Kooning

So artists and art critics have been drooling over abstract expressionist Willem deKooning's work for the better half of the last century, and for good reason. The guy painted for over 70 years, and produced a huge body of diverse work, including paintings, drawings, and some particularly lumpy sculptures. But, most of what can be said about his work has already been addressed, either in hours of boring modern art lectures, or in the pompous overwrought musings of internet art nerds (myself not included...ha..ha..) Today, however, I'm not going to talk about his now oh-so-overdone style of action painting, or what his nudes have to say about the condition of women, or how he redefined art through a child-like perspective. What I find interesting about de Kooning's work is much more basic, and to all you aspiring artists out there, much more utilitarian--Color. As many comic book colorists, painters, and graphic designers will attest, figuring out which colors work well together to create a unified image that is pleasing to the eye is no easy task. There have been entire classes and textbooks written on the topic of color theory, and even then, knowing what color to paint a black cat is in the dark, or what the reflection of television light does to the color of fabric can seem almost impossible. De Kooning's work, however, shows a beautiful innate understanding of light and color, to the point where the nature and subjects of his abstractions are rendered inconsequential. Few artists can use color alone to impress mood or atmosphere upon a piece, but de Kooning delivers every time-- invoking feelings of claustrophobia, leisurely ease, or untold femininity without having to beat you over the head with a graphical representation. This alone makes de Kooning's works stand out in the world of abstract art, and makes each of his pieces an interesting study for those that wish to follow in his colorist wake.

All of these images are property of the Willem deKooning estate.
Currently, de Kooning's work is on display at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)
in New York. For more images, and how to go see them, check out their website: