BUILT ENVIRONMENTS BY BEN TOLMAN

by Ariadna Zierold

ben tolman, illustration, monochrome, intricate, detail, city, cities, building, buildings, upper playground

Artist Ben Tolman creates incredibly intricate drawings that dig for the heart beneath the hard edges of the built environment. He lives and works in Washington DC. He received his MFA in 2012 from American University and his BFA from the Corcoran College of Art and Design in 2005. He has exhibited work nationally and internationally including being an exhibited finalist in the  Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery.

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Tolman has focused on the built environment—cities and suburbs, real and imagined, and the effects that they have, for better or for worse, on the people who inhabit them.

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BOTANICAL SCULPTURES BY HITOMI HOSONO

by Ariadna Zierold

hitomi hosono, ceramic, sculpture, uk, botanical, nature, leafs, intricate, monochromatic, porcelain, chiseled, upper playground

UK based Hitomi Hosono is a ceramic sculptor who studied pottery in Kanazawa, Japan and Copenhagen, Denmark. Ever since then she’s studied the botanical forms of leaves and flowers she found in her garden. She allows herself to be consumed by the legion of small, intricate details present in every leaf.

hitomi hosono, ceramic, sculpture, uk, botanical, nature, leafs, intricate, monochromatic, porcelain, chiseled, upper playground

Often monochromatic, the works are focused on carved detail rather than color—repetition of form making each piece uniquely beautiful. The level of detail she’s able to wrestle from her porcelain sculptures is astounding. Every fragment of her botanical-inspired forms screams with intention, whether it’s in the finely-chiseled and painstakingly-researched anatomy of the plant or the mesmerizing colors of her glazes, which make the forms look equally organic whether they’re in cream and orange or black.

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DETAILED CITIES BY VASCO MOURAO

by Ariadna Zierold

vasco mourao, architecture, illustration, portugal, barcelona, city, cities, buildings, detailed, monochrome, drawing, intricate, upper playground

Vasco Mourao is an architect and illustrator originally from Portugal who now lives and works in Barcelona. His densely illustrated cities and structures are drawn entirely by hand and while all are of course fictional places, they often incorporate real buildings.

vasco mourao, architecture, illustration, portugal, barcelona, city, cities, buildings, detailed, monochrome, drawing, intricate, upper playground

Mourao has an unparalleled eye for detail and underlying structures that has led to a full-time career drawing buildings. He describes himself as having a ‘tendency for obsessive drawings,’ starting with an early focus on horses, but growing to encompass entire cities in his own intricate style.

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AMERICAN WILDERNESS BY LAUREN MARX

by Ariadna Zierold

lauren marx, illustrations, nature, wilderness, animals, flora, fauna, biology, maximalist, intricate, upper playground

St. Louis-based artist Lauren Marx creates beautiful vignettes that speak to the cycle of life. Rather than a cleaned-up version of nature, her paintings give us raw depictions of birth and death. Influenced my scientific illustrations and the Baroque period alike, Marx’s maximalist mixed-media works present these cyclical phenomena in visually appealing ways, often fusing the chaotic elements of nature into stylized compositions with an emphasis on design.

lauren marx, illustrations, nature, wilderness, animals, flora, fauna, biology, maximalist, intricate, upper playground

Lauren’s goal in creating her illustrations is that a symbolic representation allows the viewer to see phenomena as a complete picture. A picture of an interacting universe filled to the brim with animals, plants, fungi, and insects. Using these organisms, she makes her own mythologies of nature and the Cosmos to better illustrate how humans attempt to understand the epic intricacies and mysteries of the Universe.

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NATURE INSPIRED ILLUSTRATIONS BY ZOE KELLER

by Ariadna Zierold

zoe keller, illustration, nature, animals, plants, flora, fauna, intricate, graphite, monochrome, creatures, upper playground

Portland based Zoe Keller is a freelance illustrator known for her realistic, intricate, and nature-inspired illustrations. Zoe is originally from Upstate, New York, attended school at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore.

zoe keller, illustration, nature, animals, plants, flora, fauna, intricate, graphite, monochrome, creatures, upper playground

Her graphite drawings take inspiration from natural forms and creatures, recreating them in highly stylized compositions. Keller’s work renders nature with intricate detail in an elaborate narrative featuring flora and fauna.

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MULTI DIMENSIONAL PAINTINGS BY DAVID COOLEY

by Ariadna Zierold

david cooley, painting, surreal, abstract, geometric, colorful, saturated, intricate, acrylic, upper playground

David Cooley was born in North Hollywood and currently lives in Santa Barbara, CA. He’s been creating art ever since he was a youngster. Now he’s creating intricate multi layered, multi dimensional mixed media paintings using mostly acrylic, resin, spray paint, pen and fabric, to achieve an effect in and of his own.

david cooley, painting, surreal, abstract, geometric, colorful, saturated, intricate, acrylic, upper playground

He’s always been inspired by the idea of creating something that’s previously only existed in thought and making something that’s tangible, with the intent to have an impact on others, weather it’s thought provoking, fun, or just aesthetically pleasing.

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RENDERED LANDSCAPES BY ALEX LUKAS

by Ariadna Zierold

alex lukas, drawing, illustration, landscapes, intricate, desolate, places, things, upper playground

Alex Lukas was born in Boston, Massachusetts and raised in nearby Cambridge. With a wide range of artistic influences, Lukas creates both highly detailed drawings and intricate ‘zines. Lukas’ delicately rendered landscapes on paper capture a kind of magical, high-velocity serenity of a compelling image seen from a moving train.

alex lukas, drawing, illustration, landscapes, intricate, desolate, places, things, upper playground

Alex’s drawings and paintings often feature desolate places with pieces from the past. These remnants—such as a deteriorating wall with a name spray-painted on it or a discarded tire that an unruly tree has grown through—are hints of habitation, which connect the past with the viewer’s present experience.

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AMAZING CLAY SCULPTURES BY MEREDITH DITTMAR

by Ariadna Zierold

meredith dittmar, clay, sculptures, nature, animals, surreal, diagram, colorful, detailed, intricate, portland, upper playground

Portland based artist Meredith Dittmar‘s human-animal-plant-energy clay amalgams contain threads of common elements and colors to express deep levels of union across themes of biology, technology, and consciousness. Her characters are frequently involved in quiet expressive moments, or lounge facing their audience so they can share their inner space. Dittmar believes it is this space we recognize in ourselves, and through convening in that space, the interconnectedness of all things is revealed. She sees the act of spontaneous artistic creation as part of a larger practice of being present, and a way to better understand herself and reality.

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SOFT SCULPTURES BY ELENA STONAKER

by Ariadna Zierold

elena stonaker, sculpture, textile, mixed media, folk, intricate, quilting, beading, los angeles, upper playground

Los Angeles-based artist and designer, Elena Stonaker makes soft sculptures and wearable art pieces using intricate quilting and beading techniques. Her soft sculpture and wearable art works have been described as evoking “a shamanistic aesthetic”, through the use of quilting techniques, beading, and myth-based narratives.

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ANTHROPOMORPHIZED ANIMALS BY AJ FOSIK

by Ariadna Zierold

aj fosik, colorful, vivid, intricate, folk, sculpture, animals, wood, upper playground

Portland-based AJ Fosik creates intricate, vividly colored three-dimensional pieces that reference folk art, taxidermy, and cultural ritual. Fosik’s wall pieces and freestanding sculptures of anthropomorphized animals are carefully crafted from hundreds of pieces of wood that he cuts and paints individually by hand. Once the basic forms are complete, he adds threatening teeth, claws, and eyes to give the objects an intimidating presence. Familiar cultural icons and traditions are re-configured, confronting the viewer with cryptic symbols from overlapping sources.

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