A SHITTY EXISTENCE BY ALEX PAULUS

by Ariadna Zierold

alex paulus, alexander paulus, memphis, painting, paintings, humor, funny, grotesque, figurative, acrylic, oil, pop culture, upper playground

Memphis-based Alex Paulus’ paintings reflect the denial of a shitty existence. Paulus has created a crowded installation of grotesque figurative paintings that are unapologetically in your face and ridiculously successful. He combines acrylic, oil and paint marker to create a variety of textures, which also add depth to his works.

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A variety of misshapen and jumbled characters inhabit Alex’s canvases, and his figures are depicted trying out VR headsets, swimming with dolphins and windsurfing on a Papa John slice of pizza. Alex’s work is surreal, yet the topical and pop culture references he includes not only add humor but also keeps them grounded in a familiar sort of reality.

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WICKED ILLUSTRATIONS BY CUTE BRUTE

by Ariadna Zierold

cute brute, brooklyn, illustrator, illustration, illustrations, humor, funny, fun, pop art, colorful, bold, cartoonish, quirky, clever, upper playground

Brooklyn based illustrator Cute Brute‘s images (previously featured here) are pure insane-pop-art-genius with each piece telling at least a thousand stories. Cute Brute’s sense of humor is wickedly on-point, as the illustrator’s style is cartoonish yet polished and so acutely observed, the images always remain on the right side of smutty. The quirky and clever work of Cute Brute appears solely on Instagram.

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ALTERNATIVE NARRATIVES BY DEVIN TROY STROTHER

by Ariadna Zierold

devin troy strother, narratives, painting, paintings, mixed media, sculpture, neon, installation, humor, funny, punch line, upper playground

Devin Troy Strother is known for his intricate alternative narratives in a variety of mediums such as mixed-media, sculpture, neon, and installation. He finds inspiration in snippets of overheard conversations, movies, television, music, stand-up comedy podcasts, and the work of numerous canonic artists such as Joseph Cornell, Marcel Duchamp, and Henri Matisse. Strother likes to incorporate humor and language relevant to his peers and does not shy from the outrageous; his titles often serving as the punch line.

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THE TWISTED SURREAL WORLD OF ROBERT DEUTSCH

by Ariadna Zierold

robert deutsch, illustration, illustrations, painting, paintings, humor, fun, funny, twisted, pop, surreal, bizarre, landscape, absurd, leipzig, germany, upper playground

Leipzig based graphic-designer and artist Robert Deutsch works on a twisted pop-surreal inspired world reflecting the incongruous human behavior and thinking in a chaotic upside-down society, dominated by the image of the anti-hero.

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Bizarre comic-landscapes and ludicrous humor impel the works of Deutsch into the absurd, although their essence is not far from reality and its current social and political issues. He represents and builds his characters with a bold artistic approach referring to various actions and topical allusions.

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DYNAMIC ILLUSTRATIONS BY CARI VANDER YACHT

by Ariadna Zierold

cari vander yacht, new york, illustrator, illustration, dynamic, fun, color, texture, funny, animations, gif, gifs, photography, everyday life, upper playground

New York based Cari Vander Yacht is an illustrator and gif maker creating dynamic, fun and relevant images. Her work comprises color, texture, and funny faces – all wrapped up to produce amusing, story-driven animations. Working with a combination of illustration and photography, Cari creates animations that draw inspiration from her everyday life; from people on her block to quiet moments at home and the little jokes that pop up between.

cari vander yacht, new york, illustrator, illustration, dynamic, fun, color, texture, funny, animations, gif, gifs, photography, everyday life, upper playground

Since 2009, Vander Yacht has displayed her work as part of solo and group shows in both her home state and in places as far-flung from Oregon as Lianzhou City, China.

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NODS TO POPULAR CULTURE BY MARC ETHERINGTON

by Ariadna Zierold

marc etherington, sydney, illustration, illustrations, drawings, funny, comical, popular culture, pop culture, icons, upper playground

Not having come from a formal fine arts background, Sydney based Marc Etherington (previously featured here) is a self-taught artist with a practice that is driven by an inner compulsion to make art. Etherington’s works make very obvious nods to popular culture. Referencing contemporary icons like the Kardashian’s, McDonald’s and Justin Bieber, he also gives a slow and deliberate wink to pop culture of the past.

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THE WORK OF MASAMI TERAOKA

by Ariadna Zierold

masami teraoka, watercolor, painting, paintings, japan, japanese, culture, traditional, humor, funny, woodblock, print, culture, america, society, los angeles, upper playground

Los Angeles based Masami Teraoka‘s early work consisted primarily of watercolor paintings and prints that mimicked the flat, bold qualities of ukiyo-e woodblock prints. These paintings, done after his arrival in the United States, often featured the collision of the two cultures. Series such as McDonald’s Hamburgers Invading Japan and 31 Flavors Invading Japan characterize themes in the work in this time period. These pieces blended reality with fantasy, humor with commentary, history with the present.

masami teraoka, watercolor, painting, paintings, japan, japanese, culture, traditional, humor, funny, woodblock, print, culture, america, society, los angeles, upper playground

He has abandoned this style in favor of Western European religious iconography, in tune with his cultural and political critique of contemporary culture, particularly its confessional quality in America society. Teraoka’s work has been reviewed, collected and exhibited throughout the United States and abroad.

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CONCEPTUAL ILLUSTRATION BY ANDREA UCINI

by Ariadna Zierold

andrea ucini. italian, italy, illustration, conceptual, life, narrative, funny, upper playground

Andrea Ucini is a self-thought Italian illustrator with a degree in composition and classic piano from the Music Academy of Florence and is specialized in conceptual illustration. The target of all his work is turning complex concepts into strong visual solutions without straying too far from the reality of everyday life.

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