Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Alex Pardee

To be honest, I'm not a big fan of cutesy art, especially paintings. I feel like the art medium of splashy watercolor backdrops behind over-rendered, graffiti knock-off line art is over and done, and any issue of High Fructose can attest to that. But, I happened to break this trend in my oh so refined tastes with the art of Alex Pardee. While he subscribes to the aforementioned painting trend, his subject matter is gruesome and creepy enough to keep the eye interested. Some of his pieces, especially the ones with creepy critters riding each other, keep the viewer pleasantly uncomfortable about each seemingly innocuous image, which is more than I can say for most modern painting. That being said, while I was impressed with the scope of Pardee's monster factory, he seems to lean on making art as marketing rather than craft, but then again, even artists have to eat.

All of these works belong to Alex Pardee, and can be found with much of his other work at

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Abelardo Morell

Photography can seem like one of those mediums that has been explored to its limit. With the dawn of digital technology and phones that can take better photos than most cameras I've ever owned, now everyone's an artist...and a critic. It's harder and harder to impress the world with that perfect composition, and if you want notoriety, it seems like every worthwhile piece has to capture that infinitely deep emotion caught only in the perfect context. The art of Abelardo Morell, a Cuban native, pleasantly turns this idea on its head. Rather than photograph the world directly, he implements the age-old process of camera-obscura into his photography. By creating a pin-hole in the wall of a room, the inverse image of the world outside is projected magically onto the wall inside. If this is confusing, check out his piece below, entitled "Light bulb," which explains the process visually. The juxtaposition of each of the outdoor landscapes with the simple room assemblies he creates are beautiful, understated, and whimsical; and they force the viewer to reevaluate the colors, shapes, and visual quality of the outside world in ways that you'd never imagine. As a side note, currently, Morell's work is on display in National Geographic magazine this month, so if you want some impromptu posters of Morell's work on the cheap, you know where to find them.

The magic of camera obscura: A small slit in the box allows the inverted image of the light bulb to filter in, projecting an image onto the back wall of the box.

All of these works belong to Abelardo Morell, and can be found with more of his work at