fabio viale

Gasp! Okay, Italian squares are already magical, but just imagine turning a corner – gelato in hand – and seeing THIS? These pieces are the work of Italian artist Fabio Viale. I had so many questions, especially about how he applies those gorgeous tattoos?! Luckily, I found an interview Fabio did with designboom earlier this year. Here are a couple of Qs, and the corresponding A’s:

designboom (DB): why don’t you create your own busts, your own figures, and instead prefer to take classic iconic references?

fabio viale (FV): the images that come to us from the past do not belong to simple sculptures: they are icons, they are symbols, which have been able to resist in time. I don’t think it’s a matter of aesthetics or content, but rather of survival during the historical periods. I’ve always been attracted to mysteries, such as the mona lisa (leonardo) or the pietà (michelangelo), and their study has led me, during their reproduction, to understand the artist’s personality more analytically which these works generated.

DB: which technique did you use to tattoo your marble work?

FV: when I decided to tattoo the marble, I realized that it was very important not to paint it, but being able to make the color penetrate into the porosity that is proper to this material. only in this way I could reach the effect of the tattoo on human skin in the most realistic way. experimenting with colors and surfaces: this was the beginning that then led me to a wise mix of texture and color chemistry.

Ah-mazing. Happy Monday. {thanks to @underthehickory for sending me a link to Fabio’s work.}

cassie arnold

Wow. Look at her go! Now that is truly blurring the line between art and motherhood, and I could not love it more! This is the work of Texas based artist Cassie Arnold. I’ve loved those droopy, lopsided, engorged – and super not engorged – boobs for ages, and have been following Cassie on Instagram. Well, a few weeks ago she posted ‘The Stereotype Sweater’ on her feed with this caption: ‘For anyone who has been torn down, labeled, verbally attacked, wrongfully stereotyped… this sweater is for you.’  Thank you, Cassie. Sadly, so many of us need this sweater. Here is part of her artist statement:

“My current body of work explores the unspoken and taboo topics connected to miscarriage, pregnancy, and the transformative female form. By using traditional fiber techniques, stereotypically associated with women, I hope to create more honest conversations through approachable art.”

Brilliant and beautiful. Happy Friday.

fabiola jean-louis

These are just a few of the absolutely breathtaking paper sculptures by Haitian born, New York based artist Fabiola Jean-Louis. Yes, I said paper. She’s chosen paper as her main medium because it “acts as a tether linking the present to a past when paper was not just a basic currency, but held the power to determine the freedom of a human being.” That gave me chills. Also, chill-inducing, this caption she recently wrote on Instagram regarding her paper shoes:

“Paper shoes. They are one of my favorite things to make, and have a deeper meaning that many people don’t realize. The feet of my ancestors were not allowed to wear such delicate shoes, because they weren’t seen as delicate creatures. And, it’s not that we cared to be. Just the same, the importance of our feet has long been overlooked. Remember that they helped us stand firm, helped us run, and sometimes they failed by giving out as our bodies succumbed to the painful whip. Somehow our feet have always helped us get back up.”

So beautiful. So powerful.

julie maren

Acorns! Yep, I thought I’d just jump right in with the answer to your question of, “Wha?”. This is just one of many, many, many installations by American artist Julie Maren. It’s part of an ongoing series, titled “Biophilia”, and was installed in 2018 at Walker Fine Art {Denver}. How many acorns, you ask? Just over 800 acorn tops, each one filled with colorful paint! LOVE. Here is Julie’s story about this work, and how it came to be:

“Biophilia is a metaphor for interconnectedness. Each Biophilia (acorn top filled with material) represents an individual, beautiful and complete on its own. A group of Biophilia represents the synergy of a community as a whole.

Acorns, as seeds, are symbols of growth and unlimited potential. Just as one seed can grow into a massive oak that can plant a whole forest, the acorn teaches us about our own potential and what/ how/ who we share with the world. Through this metaphor, Biophilia provides a reminder of this relationship and our interconnectedness with our larger community and world.

“Biophilia” wall-sculptures are the result of my journey to take my paintings out of the confines of traditional square and rectangular canvases. I found paint filled acorn tops to be the perfect vehicle to transcend the omnipresent dot patterns in my paintings, indicative of space and time—and transform them into expansive, multi-dimensional murmurations of color and shadow—like coordinates on a three-dimensional grid.”

Community, unlimited potential, and hundreds of colorful ‘dots’… could I love this more? Nope. {You have to watch that speedy install video above. So. Many. Acorns.}

andré schulze

This is the work of German artist André Schulze … and three other artists: an unlisted artist who clearly loves horses, W.Engelhardt 1930, and J.Vahlert 1928. That’s right, these originals are painted on other originals. A lot of artists who work with vintage landscapes typically use mass-produced prints, but not André. Perhaps that’s because he has expertise in this area… yep, he’s also in the business of repair and restoration! He really knows what he’s doing… and then from time to time he turns your grandmother’s painting of a horse into a flamingo! I wrote about his work, that doesn’t have others’ work underneath it, way back in 2016, but when I found those horses I just had to show this ‘Vintage’ series. Here’s what Andre says about it:

“In my ‘Vintage’ series I am concerned with the restoration and remodeling of old paintings from the period between 1900 – 1960. I change the content of the picture with the utmost respect for the artist’s work and create a new work of art. It is particularly important to me not to destroy the work, but to enrich it. I am fascinated by the traces of aging and painting technique of my original works, which I also like to consciously leave in the picture. It is important to me to keep important areas in the original painting and to keep them visible.”

So good. Now, if you’d rather not have a smiley cruise ship entering your fjord, just go for the cleanup package… I, however, will take that cruise ship, an aqua cottage, and at least one or two flamingos.

leila fanner

Sigh. This dreaminess is the work of South African artist Leila Fanner. Quite a few of these pieces are oil on canvas, but you might also find pastel, acrylic, and gouache in there too. Most of the paintings above are from Leila’s ongoing ‘Picnic’ series… ahhh, drinking tea in a South African, flower-filled garden? That sounds perfect. Also, perfect… Leila’s enthusiasm. Literally. Here is part of her artist statement on the subject:

c. 1600, from Middle French enthousiasme (16c.) and directly from Late Latin enthusiasmus, from Greek enthousiasmos “to be inspired or possessed by God, be rapt, be in ecstasy,” from entheos “divinely inspired, possessed by God”

“The dominant focus as I work is the quality of my thoughts and the connection to emotion during the creative process. I always try to create from a place of inspired action or enthusiasm. Often, negative and painful thought patterns can come to the surface as one works, because art creation is a deeply cathartic experience. Solitude also evokes deeply held memories and emotions. Keeping my focus clear, honest and joyful is a discipline similar to meditation. This is the unseen ‘art’ that comes with each piece of work. My subject matter is either figurative or abstract representations of the ‘dream or unseen’ world, filled with versions of South African flora and fauna.”

Yes! Happy Monday… may your week be filled with “inspired action and enthusiasm”.

aniela sobieski

Weird. Portraits. Women … these are a few of my favorite things! These paintings are the work of Minnesota based artist Aniela Sobieski. I was going to describe them as dreamy, but depending on how you feel about birds on your face, some of them might be bordering on nightmarish. Anywho, you can find a few of her originals through Tory Gallery, or pick up a print in her shop.

david shrobe

This is the absolutely stunning work of New York based artist David Shrobe. Oil and acrylic on canvas and paper, wood, wool tweed, canvas fabric and gold leaf frame molding mounted on carved wood… and that’s just the list for one of the pieces above. Where does he get all of these fabulous materials, you ask? Listen to this:
“David Shrobe creates multi-layered portraits by repurposing everyday materials that he finds in his Harlem neighborhood. He disassembles furniture, separating wood from fabric and recombines them as supports for collage, painting and drawing. In doing so, he excavates history to create fragmented portraits that relate to his family history. Many of his works are oval in shape, and with their use of fabric, they bear a faint relationship to early daguerreian portrait photography, especially the early images of Frederick Douglass. By combining the found and repurposed materials of Harlem with the photographic history of African Americans, Shrobe produces new narratives that feel intimate and personal without being anchored to a specific time or place.”

Brilliant! David’s latest show just opened last weekend. ‘WALK THE AIR’ is at Steve Turner Gallery in Los Angeles from July 25 until August 29, 2020.

tamara jungnickel

Soft, quiet, elegant… and a little bit sad? These dreamy pieces are the work of Netherlands based artist Tamara Jungnickel. I can’t find the ‘why’ behind these lovely faces, but I’m pretty sure they’re feeling all the feels. Behind that foggy pink, I think these ladies have some very deep thoughts, and a lot to say.

*A few of these pieces are available via Tekenkabinet {scroll to the bottom of page 1 on that site to find Tamara’s work.}

derrick adams

Mixed media collage AND rainbow-hued pool floaties? I’m in! This is the work of Brooklyn based artist Derrick Adams. Don’t you wanna float on a gold-toothed unicorn in that cool, blue, negative space?! Me too. Here is something Derrick wrote in an Instagram post earlier this year that sums up this ongoing series beautifully:

“In 2015 there weren’t any images online, or in art, of black figures on floaties – a state of relaxation and reflection. To me it represents the most contemporary form of American leisure, as well as a depiction of lived experience and ones aspiration. That’s when I decided to begin painting them. Because, frankly, I just wanted to see it in the world. Now it’s becoming common place in subject matter. GOOD. Mission accomplished.”

Yes! Paint what you want to see. ps. The first piece in this post is a self portrait… which makes me love it more than I already did!