DREAMLIKE SURREALISM BY ANDREA WAN

by Ariadna Zierold

andrea wan, berlin, dreamlike, illustration, subconscious, drawing, landscape, surreal, animals, people, ghosts, ink, upper playground

Berlin-based Andrea Wan is a Hong Kong-born illustrator and visual artist, known for the dream-like illustrations created in her unique surrealist style. Andrea’s work is often inspired by the subconscious mind as well as her daily life and travels. Her surrealist ink drawings often combine emotional states with dreamscapes and characters that represents people that plays various roles in her life.

andrea wan, berlin, dreamlike, illustration, subconscious, drawing, landscape, surreal, animals, people, ghosts, ink, upper playground

Through an emotional landscape, people, animals and ghosts, Andrea communicates her most private emotions and thoughts, conveying them on watercolor paper. A distinctive visual language emerges from her illustrations, made from acrylic ink.

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HYPERREALIST ENVIRONMENTS BY JOSHUA COCKING

by Ariadna Zierold

joshua cocking, surreal, hyperreal, landscape, composition, environment, portrait, people, balloons, australia, broome, upper playground

Broome, Australia based artist Joshua Cocking is quickly becoming known for his surreal compositions and hyperrealist style. Within his compositions, Cocking addresses the relationship humans have with their immediate environment, how one can affect the other and that they are inextricably linked.

joshua cocking, surreal, hyperreal, landscape, composition, environment, portrait, people, balloons, australia, broome, upper playground

After 15 years painting, Joshua has found his visual voice and in the last 4 years and has received acclaim in several prestigious Australian Art Prizes.  In 2014 he was the winner of the 2014 Cossack Acquisitive Art Award  and was awarded a highly commended in the 2015 Paddington Art Prize and 2015 Black Swan Portrait Prize.

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DIPPED SCULPTURES BY CHRISTINA A. WEST

by Ariadna Zierold

christina west, sculpture, human, nude, people, figures, upper playground

Atlanta-based artist Christina A. West (featured before) is an avid people watcher with a dry sense of humor, active imagination, and an innate impulse to create with her hands. She says that if you meet her and she stares at you a bit too long, she’s probably just picturing you naked.

christina west, sculpture, human, nude, people, figures, upper playground

West’s sculptures do not provide answers or assertions, but embrace uncertainty through the provocation of more questions. The figures are permanently frozen mid-gesture in a moment that encourages the generation of ambiguous narratives. Stripped from the context of previous actions, the figures’ personalities, motives, intentions are malleable and unfixed in the viewers’ minds.

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SANTIAGO SALVADOR ASCUI CREATES A SENSE OF UNITY

by Ariadna Zierold

santiago salvador ascui, painting, colorful, vibrant, human, people, subjects, characters, hue, chile, upper playground

Chilean artist Santiago Salvador Ascui’s vibrant creations consist of people, whether rendered as a greater pattern, bunched together in corporate intimacy, or a private moment between two subjects. Rarely are these stylized characters alone. Rather, the painter seems most focused on creating a sense of unity with much of this work.

santiago salvador ascui, painting, colorful, vibrant, human, people, subjects, characters, hue, chile, upper playground

While having the playfulness of the “new folk” work of the 1990s, his work is also informed by a strict systematic structure. His pieces function almost as color studies, guiding the eye through the placement of hue, rather than, as most figurative paintings would, narrative.

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“BODEGA” BY MIKE LEE

by Ariadna Zierold

mike lee, monochromatic, pencil, bodega, narrative, people, places, california, upper playground

Mike Lee was born in 1983 in Placentia, California and is currently living and working in New York City. He is a visual artist and he received his Bachelor degree in Fine Arts from Otis College of Art and Design in 2006.

mike lee, monochromatic, pencil, bodega, narrative, people, places, california, upper playground

Alongside his commercial work, Lee finds the time to devote to his own personal artwork and often exhibits his highly meticulous figurative drawings at prestigious galleries throughout the US. Lee is also an active member of RVMP, a collaborative art group. In 2012, Mike self-published his first book, entitled ‘Bodega’, which revolves around the everyday activities of an urban corner store; each hour is represented in its 24 pages and illustrates the daily life of the neighborhood.

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NEW PAINTINGS BY HYURO

by Ariadna Zierold

hyuro, painting, mural, argentina, valencia, crowds, people, urban, upper playground

Argentinian-born, Valencia-based artist Hyuro makes use of negative space through a series of repeating figures, where the location of her work is integral to how we perceive it.

hyuro, painting, mural, argentina, valencia, crowds, people, urban, upper playground

Whether she is mural painting, building installations, or showing her paintings in a gallery, Hyuro is making observations about life: framed by an empty white background, the people in her work demonstrate our relationships and how we interact with one another. In her minimalist style, her works challenge stereotypes and address themes surrounding urban relationships, co-existence and the notion of being “alone together”.

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LOCAL OUTSIDERS BY JOEL DANIEL PHILLIPS

by Ariadna Zierold

joel daniel phillips, graphite, drawings, street, portrait, san francisco, charcoal, people, upper playground

In San Francisco based artist Joel Daniel Phillips’ art, the characters living in his neighborhood are brought to the center stage and become the hero of their own story. His graphite and charcoal drawings feature people on the streets who generally go unnoticed by the public, or are virtually ignored, only to become celebrated in his monumental works.

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CARDBOARD SCULPTURES BY WARREN KING

by Ariadna Zierold

warren king, cardboard, sculpture, lifesize, people, upper playground

Warren King is an American artist who lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden. King has been working on a collection of life­sized figures constructed from cardboard.

warren king, cardboard, sculpture, lifesize, people, upper playground

The impetus for this body of work came after King visited his grandparents’ small village in China for the first time. After meeting elderly residents who had known his grandfather, the artist began to reflect upon their shared history, memories, and a sense of relation which has stayed with King ever since.

warren king, cardboard, sculpture, lifesize, people, upper playground

When Warren left his own home in the U.S. and moved to Stockholm, the connection to his grandfather and the lost relations from this village accompanied him. With a heightened awareness of the time and distance that comes with being far away from home while creating home anew, King has often found himself reflecting on “the nature of personal and cultural connections, the consequences of severing them, and the limits to how much they can ultimately be restored”.

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Ray Bradbury, RIP

fahrenheit 451 605x1000 Ray Bradbury, RIP RIP ray bradbury

An excerpt from Bradbury’s finest novel, Fahrenheit 451. The author died yesterday, June 5.

“When did it all start, you ask, this job of ours, how did it come about, where, when? Well, I’d say it really got started around about a thing called the Civil War. Even though our rule-book claims it was founded earlier. The fact is we didn’t get along well until photography came into its own. Then — motion pictures in the early twentieth century. Radio. Television. Things began to have mass.”
Montag sat in bed, not moving.
“And because they had mass, they became simpler,” said Beatty. “Once, books appealed to a few people, here, there, everywhere. They could afford to be different. The world was roomy. But then the world got full of eyes and elbows and mouths. Double, triple, quadruple population. Films and radios, magazines, books levelled down to a sort of paste pudding norm, do you follow me?”
“I think so.”
Beatty peered at the smoke pattern he had put out on the air. “Picture it. Nineteenth-century man with his horses, dogs, carts, slow motion. Then, in the twentieth century, speed up your camera. Books cut shorter. Condensations. Digests. Tabloids. Everything boils down to the gag, the snap ending.”
“Classics cut to fit fifteen-minute radio shows, then cut again to fill a two-minute book column, winding up at last as a ten- or twelve-line dictionary resume. I exaggerate, of course. The dictionaries were for reference. But many were those whose sole knowledge of Hamlet (you know the title certainly, Montag; it is probably only a faint rumour of a title to you, Mrs. Montag) whose sole knowledge, as I say, of Hamlet was a one-page digest in a book that claimed: ‘now at least you can read all the classics; keep up with your neighbours.’ Do you see? Out of the nursery into the college and back to the nursery; there’s your intellectual pattern for the past five centuries or more.”
“Speed up the film, Montag, quick. Click? Pic? Look, Eye, Now, Flick, Here, There, Swift, Pace, Up, Down, In, Out, Why, How, Who, What, Where, Eh? Uh! Bang! Smack! Wallop, Bing, Bong, Boom! Digest-digests, digest-digest-digests. Politics? One column, two sentences, a headline! Then, in mid-air, all vanishes! Whirl man’s mind around about so fast under the pumping hands of publishers, exploiters, broadcasters, that the centrifuge flings off all unnecessary, time-wasting thought!”
“School is shortened, discipline relaxed, philosophies, histories, languages dropped, English and spelling gradually neglected, finally almost completely ignored. Life is immediate, the job counts, pleasure lies all about after work. Why learn anything save pressing buttons, pulling switches, fitting nuts and bolts?”
“The zipper displaces the button and a man lacks just that much time to think while dressing at dawn, a philosophical hour, and thus a melancholy hour.”
“Life becomes one big pratfall, Montag; everything bang, boff, and wow!”
“Empty the theatres save for clowns and furnish the rooms with glass walls and pretty colours running up and down the walls like confetti or blood or sherry or sauterne. You like baseball, don’t you, Montag?”
“Baseball’s a fine game.”
Beatty went on, “You like bowling, don’t you, Montag?”
“Bowling, yes.”
“And golf?”
“Golf is a fine game.”
“Basketball?”
“A fine game.”
“Billiards, pool? Football?”
“Fine games, all of them.”
“More sports for everyone, group spirit, fun, and you don’t have to think, eh? Organize and organize and superorganize super-super sports. More cartoons in books. More pictures. The mind drinks less and less. Impatience. Highways full of crowds going somewhere, somewhere, somewhere, nowhere. The gasoline refugee. Towns turn into motels, people in nomadic surges from place to place, following the moon tides, living tonight in the room where you slept this noon and I the night before.”
“Now let’s take up the minorities in our civilization, shall we? Bigger the population, the more minorities. Don’t step on the toes of the dog-lovers, the cat-lovers, doctors, lawyers, merchants, chiefs, Mormons, Baptists, Unitarians, second-generation Chinese, Swedes, Italians, Germans, Texans, Brooklynites, Irishmen, people from Oregon or Mexico. The people in this book, this play, this TV serial are not meant to represent any actual painters, cartographers, mechanics anywhere. The bigger your market, Montag, the less you handle controversy, remember that! All the minor minor minorities with their navels to be kept clean. Authors, full of evil thoughts, lock up your typewriters. They did. Magazines became a nice blend of vanilla tapioca. Books, so the damned snobbish critics said, were dishwater. No wonder books stopped selling, the critics said. But the public, knowing what it wanted, spinning happily, let the comic books survive. And the three-dimensional sex-magazines, of course. There you have it, Montag. It didn’t come from the Government down. There was no dictum, no declaration, no censorship, to start with, no! Technology, mass exploitation, and minority pressure carried the trick, thank God. Today, thanks to them, you can stay happy all the time, you are allowed to read comics, the good old confessions, or trade journals.”
“Yes, but what about the firemen, then?” asked Montag.
“Ah.” Beatty leaned forward in the faint mist of smoke from his pipe. “What more easily explained and natural? With school turning out more runners, jumpers, racers, tinkerers, grabbers, snatchers, fliers, and swimmers instead of examiners, critics, knowers, and imaginative creators, the word ‘intellectual,’ of course, became the swear word it deserved to be. You always dread the unfamiliar. Surely you remember the boy in your own school class who was exceptionally ‘bright,’ did most of the reciting and answering while the others sat like so many leaden idols, hating him. And wasn’t it this bright boy you selected for beatings and tortures after hours? Of course it was. We must all be alike. Not everyone born free and equal, as the Constitution says, but everyone made equal. Each man the image of every other; then all are happy, for there are no mountains to make them cower, to judge themselves against. So! A book is a loaded gun in the house next door. Burn it. Take the shot from the weapon. Breach man’s mind. Who knows who might be the target of the well-read man? Me? I won’t stomach them for a minute. And so when houses were finally fireproofed completely, all over the world (you were correct in your assumption the other night) there was no longer need of firemen for the old purposes. They were given the new job, as custodians of our peace of mind, the focus of our understandable and rightful dread of being inferior; official censors, judges, and executors. That’s you, Montag, and that’s me.”
Beatty knocked his pipe into the palm of his pink hand, studied the ashes as if they were a symbol to be diagnosed and searched for meaning.
“You must understand that our civilization is so vast that we can’t have our minorities upset and stirred. Ask yourself, What do we want in this country, above all? People want to be happy, isn’t that right? Haven’t you heard it all your life? I want to be happy, people say. Well, aren’t they? Don’t we keep them moving, don’t we give them fun? That’s all we live for, isn’t it? For pleasure, for titillation? And you must admit our culture provides plenty of these.”
“Yes.”
“Coloured people don’t like Little Black Sambo. Burn it. White people don’t feel good about Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Burn it. Someone’s written a book on tobacco and cancer of the lungs? The cigarette people are weeping? Burn the book. Serenity, Montag. Peace, Montag. Take your fight outside. Better yet, into the incinerator. Funerals are unhappy and pagan? Eliminate them, too. Five minutes after a person is dead he’s on his way to the Big Flue, the Incinerators serviced by helicopters all over the country. Ten minutes after death a man’s a speck of black dust. Let’s not quibble over individuals with memoriams. Forget them. Burn them all, burn everything. Fire is bright and fire is clean.”
“There was a girl next door,” he said, slowly. “She’s gone now, I think, dead. I can’t even remember her face. But she was different. How — how did she happen?”
Beatty smiled. “Here or there, that’s bound to occur. Clarisse McClellan? We’ve a record on her family. We’ve watched them carefully. Heredity and environment are funny things. You can’t rid yourselves of all the odd ducks in just a few years. The home environment can undo a lot you try to do at school. That’s why we’ve lowered the kindergarten age year after year until now we’re almost snatching them from the cradle. We had some false alarms on the McClellans, when they lived in Chicago. Never found a book. Uncle had a mixed record; anti-social. The girl? She was a time bomb. The family had been feeding her subconscious, I’m sure, from what I saw of her school record. She didn’t want to know how a thing was done, but why. That can be embarrassing. You ask Why to a lot of things and you wind up very unhappy indeed, if you keep at it. The poor girl’s better off dead.”
“Luckily, queer ones like her don’t happen, often. We know how to nip most of them in the bud, early. You can’t build a house without nails and wood. If you don’t want a house built, hide the nails and wood. If you don’t want a man unhappy politically, don’t give him two sides to a question to worry him; give him one. Better yet, give him none. Let him forget there is such a thing as war. If the Government is inefficient, top-heavy, and tax-mad, better it be all those than that people worry over it. Peace, Montag. Give the people contests they win by remembering the words to more popular songs or the names of state capitals or how much corn Iowa grew last year. Cram them full of non-combustible data, chock them so damned full of ‘facts’ they feel stuffed, but absolutely ‘brilliant’ with information. Then they’ll feel they’re thinking, they’ll get a sense of motion without moving. And they’ll be happy, because facts of that sort don’t change. Don’t give them any slippery stuff like philosophy or sociology to tie things up with. That way lies melancholy. Any man who can take a TV wall apart and put it back together again, and most men can nowadays, is happier than any man who tries to slide-rule, measure, and equate the universe, which just won’t be measured or equated without making man feel bestial and lonely. I know, I’ve tried it; to hell with it. So bring on your clubs and parties, your acrobats and magicians, your dare-devils, jet cars, motor-cycle helicopters, your sex and heroin, more of everything to do with automatic reflex. If the drama is bad, if the film says nothing, if the play is hollow, sting me with the theremin, loudly. I’ll think I’m responding to the play, when it’s only a tactile reaction to vibration. But I don’t care. I just like solid entertainment.”

From The Citrus Report

Posted By The Citrus Report