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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MODERN REALITIES BY ALEKSANDAR TODOROVIC

by Ariadna Zierold

aleksandar todorovic, serbia, culture, cultural, political, comics, pop culture, illustration, painting, modern, complex, f¡greed, upper playground

Aleksandar Todorovic is the child of the Serbian 90’s, meaning he has been exposed to a dramatic collapse of major moral and cultural values, along with the break-up of Yugoslav republic and the unfortunate war-colored years after. This period proves to be crucial in the formation of the artist’s visual language, as his learned impulse is that politicians equal evil. His style has been influenced by comics and pop culture, video games, and illustration, through which the artist endeavors in depicting the modern reality, such as it is – complex, crooked and festered with greed and ill will.

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FAUX FANCINESS BY RYAN LAUDERDALE

by Ariadna Zierold

ryan lauderdale, brooklyn, structures, structure, sculpture, modern, light, lights, clean, geometric, minimal, upper playground

Ryan Lauderdale is a Brooklyn-based artist who was born in Cushing, Oklahoma, and graduated from Hunter College in 2012 with an MFA in Combined Media. His work slips between associations of Modernist furniture and architecture into other realms where similar codes have been borrowed and particularized such as the aspirational marketing of exercise equipment, transcendental meditation, and the faux-fancy gaudiness common to cheap casinos and strip clubs. His combination of design nostalgia with minimal art just works. It amounts to a precisely observed American Mannerism that is simultaneously earnest and cheeky.

ryan lauderdale, brooklyn, structures, structure, sculpture, modern, light, lights, clean, geometric, minimal, upper playground

“What we think of as a tidy and linear historical timeline becomes wholly strange and interconnected when looking at specific visual historical threads such as car design or mall architecture. We see how hopes and dreams were passed from one source only to be modulated to different aims by another. The Internet, with all of its archiving potential, further establishes this rhizomatic worldview as reality. Nodes of information collide, mix and hybridize. It is here that the potential for new cultural material can grow.”

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CONCEPTUAL ILLUSTRATIONS BY MARCO MELGRATI

by Ariadna Zierold

marco melgrati, illustration, illustrations, conceptual, milan, mexico city, modern, everyday, absurd, absurdity, upper playground

Marco Melgrati was born in 1984 in Milan, Italy. In 2006 he graduated at Santa Giulia School of Fine Arts. He is living in Mexico City. Melgrati works with magazines by mail, mostly for USA , Italy, and Mexico. He works with mixed media plus digital programs.

marco melgrati, illustration, illustrations, conceptual, milan, mexico city, modern, everyday, absurd, absurdity, upper playground

He definitely spends a lot of time on observing our modern world. This world of technology, virtual reality, and stereotypes imposed by the media. He describes his style as conceptual illustration – a style that is focused on the idea. This means that Melgrati crates the illustrations that depict all the absurdity of everyday life.

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MODERNIST SANDCASTLES BY CALVIN SEIBERT

by Ariadna Zierold

calvin seibert, sandcastle, sandcastles, sand, castle, sculpture, sculptures, new york, modern, modernist, geometric, upper playground

New York based Calvin Seibert builds sand castles inspired by modern architecture. His sculptures are minimal in appearance, yet complex in form. They feature a mix of geometrical shapes and neat angular edges, that it’s hard to believe are made of sand and water. Using a paint bucket, homemade plastic trowels, and up to about 150 gallons of water he creates spectacular modernist sandcastles.

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COLORFUL PIECES BY TYLER SPANGLER

by Ariadna Zierold

tyler spangler, design, huntington beach, california, colorful, bright, digital, collage, vintage, modern, gif, gifs, upper playground

Tyler Spangler is a designer, visual artist and punk enthusiast from Huntington Beach, California. Through his work, he plays with color and animation, often interposing bright color with aged black and white photos— merging different worlds together and bringing old-fashioned two-dimension photography into the age of color and gifs. He describes his way of working as “a bit obsessive”, at one point creating as many as 2,000 pieces in one year and sharing them.

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METAPHYSICAL LANDSCAPES BY JIM BUCKELS

by Ariadna Zierold

jim buckels, post modern, surreal, dreamlike, neo surrealist, airbrush, modern, serigraphs, acrylic, fantasy, upper playground

Jim Buckels is a delightful anomaly: An artist more driven by his inner visions than by fashions and trends. Yet, his work possesses an innate sophistication that places it prominently within the post-modern mainstream. In fact, Buckels is a Neo-Surrealist of a peculiarly American Breed: a creator of dream-like images, rendered in a meticulous, modern airbrush technique with the crystalline clarity of a Colonial limner. In his lithographs and serigraphs, as well as in his acrylic paintings, Buckels limns a seamless realm of fantasy that has won him a major reputation in a remarkably short span of time.

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ART HISTORY IN CONTEMPORARY LIFE BY ALEXEY KONDAKOV

by Ariadna Zierold

alexey kondakov, classical, juxtaposed, oil, modern, naples, upper playground

Ukranian artist and designer Alexey Kondakov merges figures from classical oil paintings with photographic scenes of modern Naples. The figures effortless merge with their present day surroundings, two women looking perfectly bored flipping through comic books in the back of a dusty book store, while a different woman takes a nap beside a latte and half-eaten sandwich. See more amusing juxtapositions from “Art History in Contemporary Life” here.

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MODERN PAINTINGS BY STEVE KIM

by Ariadna Zierold

steve kim, painting, modern, abstract, illustration, upper playground

Oxford, Mississippi based artist and illustrator Steve Kim was born in Seoul, Korea, and he immigrated to the United States at the age of two. All of his artworks were painted in different sizes on canvas. With his art, Steve skillfully blends figurative with abstract styles.

steve kim, painting, modern, abstract, illustration, upper playground

He received his undergraduate degree from Art Center College of Design in 2006 and his masters from Claremont Graduate University in 2010. He has shown in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Korea, Italy, London, Amsterdam, and Krakow and clients include The Outline, FRAMƎ, Matter/Medium, Adobe, Hohe Luft, The New Republic, Arc/New Scientist, and The Verge.

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