AMERICAN STORIES BY SHAWN HUCKINS

by Ariadna Zierold

shawn huckins, painting, humor, text, american, vintage, classic, modern, typography, upper playground

Shawn Huckins (previously featured here) was not inspired by the likes of Van Gogh, Monet, or DaVinci. As a young boy in the second grade, Huckins found inspiration in someone who he affectionately refers to as the ‘Big Kid.’ Observing the ‘Big Kid’ and his drawing talents during a school bus ride home, Huckins took to creating his own sketches. Now a painter, Huckins’ introduction to painting came in the form of a family loss when his grandmother passed away a year later and inherited her slightly used oil painting set.

shawn huckins, painting, humor, text, american, vintage, classic, modern, typography, upper playground

Unfortunately, Huckins’ love affair with painting did not last long. As the medium was not quite what he was used to, he became increasingly frustrated, and stepped away from painting altogether until his college years. After a little globetrotting and some brief stints as a film major, an architecture major, and then as a graphic designer, Huckins found his way back to the medium that he now skillfully manipulates.

shawn huckins, painting, humor, text, american, vintage, classic, modern, typography, upper playground

Now settled in a creative niche that he could call home, Huckins went onto create his most notable series to date, The American Revolution Revolution and The American __tier.

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DAZZLING CANVASES BY NICOLA VERLATO

by Ariadna Zierold

nicola verlato, painting, italy, verona, los angeles, pagan, contemporary, classic, dynamic, unsettling, dazzling, epic, upper playground

Los Angeles based Nicola Verlato was born in Verona, Italy. He started to paint when he was 7, and to sell his paintings when he was 9. His artistic education has been quite unorthodox. He considers himself almost self thought. However, from 9 to 14 he spent every summer at the studio of a monk-painter in the monastery nearby his village in northeast Italy.

nicola verlato, painting, italy, verona, los angeles, pagan, contemporary, classic, dynamic, unsettling, dazzling, epic, upper playground

Verlato’s paintings fantasize the many ways that pagan themes and elements might survive and reappear in contemporary society. Dynamic, unsettling and skillfully executed, his canvases dazzle and bewilder.

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AMAZING ILLUSTRATIONS BY ANTHONY BAUS

by Ariadna Zierold

anthony baus, illustration, classic, epic, magestic, monochrome, anatomy, landscape, upper playground

Anthony Baus is from Racine, WI. He received his BFA from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. He later moved to Chicago and apprenticed under Eric J. Nordstrom, owner of Bldg 51 museum. The museum hosts a collection of historically important American architectural artifacts from such notable architects as Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright, exposing Anthony to an unwavering appreciation of the past. In 2010 he began study at Grand Central Academy. He is the recipient of the 2015 Alma Schapiro Prize and currently instructor of GCA’s perspective/design studio.

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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.

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

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.

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

Unreleased Photos from New Documentary “Blue Velvet Revisted” by Peter Braatz

Blue Velvet is celebrating its 30th birthday this year coinciding with Peter Braatz’s release of Blue Velvet Revisited – never before seen photos and footage depicting the making-of. Director, Filmmaker and Transcendental Meditator, David Lynch asked German-born Braatz to come out to North Carolina to “observe him direct.” Braatz shot 70 reels of Super 8 film and took nearly 1000 photos. The behind the scenes look encapsulates the world of Blue Velvet and David Lynch like a fly on the psychedelic wall of the 1985 set. Photos of Dennis Hopper, Isabella Rossellini, Laura Dern, Kyle MacLachlan and of course, Mr. Lynch himself. 

“David was producing every piece of art,” Braatz says. “He’s writing, he’s creating props, he’s making set decoration. You see him in my film working on each piece himself. So it’s not just a portrait of Blue Velvet, but a portrait of David in 1985 as an artist.”

“Beneath that appearance there are so many things happening,” says Lynch in Blue Velvet Revisited, and this making-of piece will take its viewers there. The documentary is being released along with a soundtrack just out from Crammed Discs.

“Sound is so important to him [Lynch], he adds so many things in postproduction,” Braatz says. “Ants crawling under a glass or—how do you call it in English?—a match that goes on fire. These things are mostly related very closely to the sound of the picture.” Angelo Badalamenti composed the original movie’s soundtrack and went on to create many more musical masterpieces with Lynch on projects such as Lost Highway, Mulholland Drive, and Twin Peaks.

Now Braatz has made an homage to Blue Velvet, sensual, provocative and true to the eccentric, dreamy vibrations of what is now a voyeur classic. A “meditation,” he calls it.

Braatz hopes the documentary will have a film festival premiere this year.

Photos: Peter Braatz Blue Velvet Revisited 

David Lynch

Isabella Rossellini

Isabella Rossellini

Isabella Rossellini

Isabella Rossellini

David Lynch and Isabella Rossellini

Isabella Rossellini

Laura Dern and Kyle MacLachlan

Laura Dern and Kyle MacLachlan

Laura Dern and Kyle MacLachlan

 

“I’LL CRY WHEN I’M DONE KILLING” BY MAGNUS GJOEN

by Ariadna Zierold

magnus gjoen, painting, prints, weapons, classic, war, religion, contemporary, upper playground

Magnus Gjoen brings a touch of punk- sensibility to the art tradition. His fashion background infuses Magnus’ art, re-thinking old concepts and re-interpreting them for the contemporary climate. Working to shed new light on past treasures, Magnus’ prints alters the relationships between the viewer and the preconceived notions of objects; something which is ostensibly powerful and destructive is transfigured into beautiful and fragile objects of art, be it weapons, animals or the human race itself.

magnus gjoen, painting, prints, weapons, classic, war, religion, contemporary, upper playground

His digital works make us look twice to grasp their meaning. Gjoen’s unique style of juxtaposing themes of religion, war, beauty, and destruction in his art bring us to also question their correlation.

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PLAYFUL PORTRAITS BY MARIO SORIA

by Ariadna Zierold

mario soria, portrait, toys, classic, modern, upper playground

Mario Soria, a Barcelona based artist, creates portraits that tell a different story up close. From a distance, his paintings of icons like appeared realistic, but upon closer inspection, revealed characters interacting with them in bizarre scenes, tagging their clothing with graffiti or enjoying a musical jubilee on top of their heads.

mario soria, portrait, toys, classic, modern, upper playground

Adding to the surreal quality of his work was his incorporation of found objects like smashed soda cans and legos, which he describes as a combination of still life and traditional painting. Soria replaces the seriousness and formality of the original portrait with playfulness and fantasy.

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Must Watch: ‘The Dream Team’ Documentary

We can still remember the classic SI cover with Ewing, Jordan, Barkley, Malone, and Magic on the cover, kick starting the best basektball team in history and the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. The Dream Team is the ultimate height (in our opinion) of basketball popularity and personality, with Bird, Pippen, Robinson, Mullin, Stockton, Drexler, and Laettner (even though he is from Duke, he fits just because of Coach K). We will most definitely be watching this documentary.

Vintage Edward Gorey @ Book / Shop

A Murcurial Bear Vintage Edward Gorey @ Book / Shop edward gorey collection book/shop

Something we like: Edward Gorey. Something else we like: Book/Shop and their incredible collection and penchant for finding really special things. This month, they have a wonderful collection of all things Edward Gorey, the classic Chicago-born illustrator and writer. His style… second to none.

Program for Dracula Vintage Edward Gorey @ Book / Shop edward gorey collection book/shop

The Dwindling Party Vintage Edward Gorey @ Book / Shop edward gorey collection book/shop

From The Citrus Report

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