FINGERPRINT DRAWINGS BY NICOLAS JOLLY

by Ariadna Zierold

nicolas jolly, fingerprint, drawing, black and white, france, upper playground

Nicolas Jolly is a French artist working with black ink. Black and white allows him to bring additional emotion to the scene by increasing the set of chiaroscuro. There is a large concern in the compositions of his drawings. The technique he uses,”fingerprint”, allows him to guide the eye of the observer through the various elements of the scene compositions. All convolutions bring dynamism and speed, amplifying the intense and dramatic effect. The subject is anime, dance and grows. It can accentuate a detail in the design and target emotion to convey.

nicolas jolly, fingerprint, drawing, black and white, france, upper playground nicolas jolly, fingerprint, drawing, black and white, france, upper playground nicolas jolly, fingerprint, drawing, black and white, france, upper playground nicolas jolly, fingerprint, drawing, black and white, france, upper playground

THE ORDINARINESS IN PATTERNS BY PAVEL HAYEK

by Ariadna Zierold

pavel hayek, paintings, patterns, ordinary, black and white, repetitive, upper playground

In his paintings, graphic art, and photogrames Pavel Hayek focuses upon visual material at his direct disposal, which also reflects his approach to living nature and to things within his current reach and contact.

pavel hayek, paintings, patterns, ordinary, black and white, repetitive, upper playground

He does not want to attract attention to the exclusiveness of his models; quite the other way round: he focuses upon their ordinariness, their everyday character. Just the patterns the shapes of which we may not realize during the “normal”, the utilitarian contact, appear to be essential for him.

pavel hayek, paintings, patterns, ordinary, black and white, repetitive, upper playground

Beyond any doubt, the most important feature of these Hayek’s works is obviously his understanding of the whole picture area as a certain stucture sui generis.

pavel hayek, paintings, patterns, ordinary, black and white, repetitive, upper playground pavel hayek, paintings, patterns, ordinary, black and white, repetitive, upper playground pavel hayek, paintings, patterns, ordinary, black and white, repetitive, upper playground pavel hayek, paintings, patterns, ordinary, black and white, repetitive, upper playground

THE SOCIAL REALISM OF CHARLES WHITE

by Ariadna Zierold

charles wilbert white, social realist, artist, painting, african american, black and white, sepia, lithographs, upper playground

Born in Chicago, Charles W. White (1918 – 1979) is one of America’s most renowned and recognized African-American & Social Realist artists. Charles White worked primarily in black & white or sepia & white drawings, paintings, and lithographs. His artwork encompassed an incredibly skilled draftsmanship and artistic sensitivity and power that has reached and moved millions.

charles wilbert white, social realist, artist, painting, african american, black and white, sepia, lithographs, upper playground

His meticulously executed drawings and paintings speak of and affirm the humanity and beauty of African American people and culture. Common subjects of his artwork included scenes depicting African-American history in the United States, socio-economic struggles, human relationships, and portraits.

charles wilbert white, social realist, artist, painting, african american, black and white, sepia, lithographs, upper playground

He had several shows in Los Angeles, and was represented by the Heritage Gallery. White received numerous honors and awards and has been exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago, Whitney Museum, Metropolitan Museum, Smithsonian Institution, National Academy of Design, and elsewhere throughout the world. He was elected to the National Academy of Design in 1972. The Heritage Gallery had represented the artwork of Charles White from the early 1960s, when Mr. Horowitz provided Mr. White his first show in Los Angeles, California.

charles wilbert white, social realist, artist, painting, african american, black and white, sepia, lithographs, upper playground charles wilbert white, social realist, artist, painting, african american, black and white, sepia, lithographs, upper playground charles wilbert white, social realist, artist, painting, african american, black and white, sepia, lithographs, upper playground

 

THE DREAMLIKE ILLUSTRATIONS OF MRZYK AND MORICEAU

by Ariadna Zierold

petra mrzyk, jean-francois moriceau, mrzyk and moriceau, illustrations, erotic, surreal, black and white, france, upper playground

The eccentric creative duo formed by Petra Mrzyk & Jean-François Moriceau are famed for their risqué, offbeat illustrations and have built a portfolio heavy on pop erotica out of their French studio.

petra mrzyk, jean-francois moriceau, mrzyk and moriceau, illustrations, erotic, surreal, black and white, france, upper playground

Their surreal, sometimes kaleidoscopic images play with body parts, black humour and innuendo, toeing the line between the dreamlike and the lustful in a way only France seems to cultivate.

petra mrzyk, jean-francois moriceau, mrzyk and moriceau, illustrations, erotic, surreal, black and white, france, upper playground

Using the bare bones of illustration their almost exclusively black and white line drawings are no less stirring for their simplicity, and between them they’ve built something of a cult following for their music video animations for musicians like Air and Sébastien Tellier.

petra mrzyk, jean-francois moriceau, mrzyk and moriceau, illustrations, erotic, surreal, black and white, france, upper playground petra mrzyk, jean-francois moriceau, mrzyk and moriceau, illustrations, erotic, surreal, black and white, france, upper playground petra mrzyk, jean-francois moriceau, mrzyk and moriceau, illustrations, erotic, surreal, black and white, france, upper playground petra mrzyk, jean-francois moriceau, mrzyk and moriceau, illustrations, erotic, surreal, black and white, france, upper playground

Free Usugrow Print with Each Online Purchase at Upper Playground

For a limited time, Upper Playground and creator of ‘Shinganist’, Usugrow, is giving away one FREE 8×10 inch print with each online purchase at upperplayground.com.  The deal is only good while supplies last so be sure to take on the opportunity while it’s still available.

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The beautiful 8×10 print is from Usugrow’s HASADHU series from his work titled ‘CREATION’ done with ink on paper, currently on display at Fifty24SF Gallery. Usugrow’s solo show ‘INKFLOW’ will be open to the public until Sunday, November 23.  Check out the gallery website for more information.

Related Articles:

New Mural by Usugrow at Upper Playground SF
http://www.upperplayground.com/blogs/news-upperplayground/15601512-new-mural-by-usugrow-at-upper-playground-san-francisco

Exclusive Interview with Usugrow
http://www.upperplayground.com/blogs/news-upperplayground/15562244-upper-playground-exclusive-interview-with-japanese-artist-usugrow

New Shinganist T-shirts by Usugrow
http://www.upperplayground.com/blogs/news-upperplayground/15587608-new-shinganist-t-shirt-designs-by-usugrow

New Mural at Fifty24SF Gallery by Usugrow
http://www.upperplayground.com/blogs/news-upperplayground/15588156-new-mural-in-progress-by-usugrow-at-fifty24sf-gallery-san-francisco

Upper Playground Exclusive: Interview with Japanese artist, USUGROW

Upper Playground’s long time friend and contributing artist, USUGROW, made his way from Tokyo to San Francisco this month for his solo exhibit, “INKFLOW” at Fifty24SF Gallery.

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The artist hit the ground running with a Book Signing and Print Release at Upper Playground SF last weekend.  The renown artist recognized around the world for his signature black and white illustrations, lettering and ink works is currently installing his highly anticipated show opening this Saturday, October 4th at 7PM.  We caught up with USUGROW for an exclusive interview with the artist.  Interview by Jy-ah Min:

Tell us about the theme of your show “INKFLOW”. Will it have any connections to your last show at Fifty24SF Gallery in 2007?

U: There is no special meaning to “INKFLOW”. I just like the words and feel that they are very fitting for my style at this time, because of their simplicity.

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The ‘Skulls’ in your work have a unique style to them. How did you get started in incorporating them into your work, and has it evolved over time?

U: I used to like the way that a person’s mad or scary face looked on their head and realized I was actually seeing their skull behind it. I started to see skulls and skeletons in another dimension and appreciated their beauty and simplicity. Now I focus on the positive side of skeletons instead of the negative.

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You explained in the past that your signature use of Black and White was born from economy and restriction. What led you to work primarily in Black and White?

U: I started out working on flyers for the hardcore and underground punk scene, where we used to photocopy flyers in B/W and make screen prints for  t-shirts. Black and white is always cheaper than full color which is how I got started. So it started for economic reasons and for simplicity’s sake and I have stayed with it ever since.

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You seem to draw many references from other languages than your own.  Any significant influences in your calligraphic work?

U: I’ve always had an open mind and strongly dislike being categorized. I use what I want and try not to compartmentalize myself.

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What is the conceptual preparation required for your hand inked artworks?  Do you go through several drafts in the process?

U: Yes sometimes, when there is a request from the client for commissioned work. For my personal work, I’m making up a story from my imagination and creating from my minds eye. I enjoy working in both ways.

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Many people identify your style as having strong references to chicano tattoo cultures born from Southern California.  Do you find this to be true?

U: Yes, that is one of my inspirations but just a part.

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Your latest print release with Upper Playground is a third edition of the KOKUTEN series titled ‘Shijima’. Could you explain a bit more about your subject matter, Kokuten, the messenger of sun and moon in this series?

U: Kokuten is the messenger from the sun. The sun and the moon are just like yin and yang except in front and behind instead of side by side but still all in one. Kokuten is simply a portrait. There is technology all over the place in our human world, we all need to make time to communicate to the sun and the moon. Kokuten literally means “sun spot” in Japanese, in Japan the icon for the sun spot is the black crow, the messenger of the sun.

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And finally, What music is playing in the background while you work in your studio in Tokyo?

U: I play every different kind of music in the background: hardcore, metal, electro, hip-hop and lately I’ve been playing a lot of indigenous/ world music from around the globe all the time. I don’t believe in written down/ textbook history. I learn real history from the indigenous/ world music that has been handed down directly from generation to generation.

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Upper Playground releases new Designs by Japanese Artist, Usugrow

Upper Playground, Usugrow, Katherine Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany's

New Designs by  Japanese artist, Usugrow is released at Upper Playground this week.  Usugrow, a master of  the black and white aesthetic in calligraphy forms, pursued classic lady like figures and references like Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s to illustrate ‘Katrina’ and ‘Breakfast with Usugrow’. Check out the pics and click on them direct if you’re interested in nabbing one of these: Upper Playground, Usugrow, Japan, calligraphy Upper Playground, Usugrow, Japan, calligraphy


Upper Playground, Usugrow, Katherine Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany's Upper Playground, Usugrow, Katherine Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany's