CERAMIC INFLATABLE TOYS BY BRETT KERN

by Ariadna Zierold

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West Virginia-based artist Brett Kern sculpts these incredible “inflatable” dinosaurs and other objects out of plaster. Kern sculpts his own molds out of clay and uses glaze to emphasize his materials’ depth and details.

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Pop culture has always influenced Kern’s work, and these faux inflatable sculptures are no exception. One of Kern’s first memories as a child was being given an inflatable dinosaur at the hospital for behaving while his mother gave birth to his sister. It’s this playful, childlike wonder that informs the bulk of his work, and the forging of a balance of fragility and buoyancy.

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EMOTIONAL TENSION BY SALMAN KHOSHROO

by Ariadna Zierold

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Tehran-based artist Salman Khoshroo creates large-scale figures and portraits that practically drip from the canvas. Most of these pieces are several feet tall, composed of enormously precise strokes that veer toward abstraction while eventually leading to a cohesive figure.

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Working in his studio in Tehran with a large palette knife to spread oil colors directly on the canvas, Khoshroo’s paintings harness figurative abstraction to evince very concise figures of emotional tension. Beginning with portraits of people he knew, his style evolved from one based on realism to one that draws from abstract art, expressionism and fauvism.

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His interest in painting the human face is twofold, both as a conduit of human emotions, made all the more pertinent in his home country where women have to cover up the rest of their bodies; as well as an expression of identity and self-presentation in the age of Facebook.

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AFRO-BRAZILIAN FOLKLORE BY STEPHAN DOITSCHINOFF

by Ariadna Zierold

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Street artist Stephan Doitschinoff aka Calma is an itinerant painter and muralist in Brazil. In his work, Doitschinoff expresses his interest in Afro-Brazilian folklore and religious traditions, primarily the blending of Christian and African ritual practices. He fills his delicate paintings with alchemic and pagan symbolism, Latin text, and pichação, the graffiti writing unique to São Paulo.

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NIHILIST BEAUTY BY HENRIK ULDALEN

by Ariadna Zierold

henrik aarrestad uldalen, henrik uldalen, painting, figurative, classic, dark, nihilism, existentialism, loneliness, beauty, atmosphere, upper playground

Henrik Aarrestad Uldalen is a self-taught artist whose creative production revolves around classic figurative painting, presented in a contemporary manner. Henrik explores the dark sides of life, nihilism, existentialism, longing and loneliness, juxtaposed with fragile beauty.

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The atmosphere in his subject matter is often presented in a dream or limbo-like state, with elements of surrealism. His focus on atmospheres rather than narratives and realism leaves his painting open for many interpretations.

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RED LIGHT INSTALLATIONS BY NICOLAS RIVALS

by Ariadna Zierold

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Paris based photographer Nicolas Rivals has realized the series ‘La Línea Roja’ — a visual study of geometry and form in dialogue with nature.

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Across scenic landscapes in spain, rivals has installed luminous, neon-hued triangles, squares and lines intersecting with the surrounding environment. Each temporary piece was captured in a series of long-exposure shots that reveal an unusual juxtaposition between fabricated objects and the natural world.

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THOUGHT PROVOKING MURALS BY NEMO’S

by Ariadna Zierold

nemos, mural, street art, italy, newspaper, human, comedy, upper playground

NemO’s is a street artist based in Italy. He works across multiple mediums, including illustration, digital design, spray paint and old newspaper pasted to walls. He is known for his thought-provoking, dark comedy murals inhabited by characteristic human figures.

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He paints skeletons as a base of his murals, which are then covered with layers of old newspapers. This newsprint skin erodes and peels off over time, revealing the innards of his creations underneath. In such way, the artist creates evolving and living art pieces, a proof and exploration of the fleeting nature of street art.

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LIGHTED APHORISMS BY RIK SMITS

by Ariadna Zierold

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Rik Smits is a Dutch artist who works with several media. His large pencil drawings depict cities and landscapes sceneries, sometimes with a realistic attitude and other times with touches of surrealism or a narrative theme.

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“My work deals with the relation between religion and capitalism, which is depicted in a scenery of architectural landscapes/cityscapes. These landscapes show the contours of an imaginary city. A city which breathes the human ambition towards power and status. Its large scale buildings reminds us of the industrial utopia’s which prevailed in the human mind, but failed to shine or provide peace and humanity in the real world.The most prominent facet of this city is perhaps its appearance, from which one can easily read that the main ideology of its inhabitants is Capitalism. But this ideology is beginning to manifest itself in a religious manner, and will maybe even become a religion itself.” Rik Smits

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HYPER-DETAILED CITYSCAPES BY AKIRA YAMAGUCHI

by Ariadna Zierold

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Akira Yamaguchi paints large and complex canvases using a technique which recalls ancient Japanese yamato-e paintings. This traditional style is updated and mixed with manga-like scenes and employed for mostly contemporary subjects.

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The artist’s favorite themes are hyper-detailed cityscapes featuring buildings and infrastructures which are sometimes cross-sectioned in order to show what’s happening in the interiors. Traditional and contemporary buildings are filled with people dressed as in different epochs, cohabiting in a chaotic and stratified world.

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POST POP FEMALE NUDE BY PARRA

by Ariadna Zierold

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Parra (Pieter Janssen) was born in 1976 in The Netherlands and is currently based in Amsterdam. The largely self-taught artist began his career drawing flyers and posters for music venues in Amsterdam in the 1990s. In 2012, he was commissioned by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMoMA) to create Weirded Out, a 60-foot indoor mural, currently part of their permanent collection.

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His signature hand-drawn approach to illustration and design led to collaborations with brands such as Nike, Pendleton and Case Studyo. Parra’s paintings, drawings and sculptures have been exhibited in galleries across Europe, Japan and North America. He also co-founded the apparel label Rockwell by Parra and is a member of electronic music group Le Le.

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