VIBRANT SKELETONS BY BRADLEY THEODORE

by Ariadna Zierold

bradley theodore, painting, new york, turks and caicos, painting, skeletons, skeletons, portrait, portraiture, vibrant, colorful, fashion, pop culture, upper playground

Turks and Caicos born street artist and New York based Bradley Theodore mixes and matches in vibrant colors key elements of art and fashion, plastering his power clashing hybrids around the city streets.

bradley theodore, painting, new york, turks and caicos, painting, skeletons, skeletons, portrait, portraiture, vibrant, colorful, fashion, pop culture, upper playground

“Fashion allows people to become art. It’s the only time in our society that’s truly accepted for you to be a form of art. The average person on the street is trying to convey an image. That image could be an identity, he or she could be building himself as a painting: it might be the most super-glossed up glam queen, or they could be portraying this stupendous image of Madonna.” Bradley Theodore

bradley theodore, painting, new york, turks and caicos, painting, skeletons, skeletons, portrait, portraiture, vibrant, colorful, fashion, pop culture, upper playground

He’s painted murals across the globe; done cover art for albums for the Wu Tang Clan, created art for Def Jam, Universal Records, and Sony. He’s been featured in Vogue for his iconic skeletal images of Anna Wintour and Karl Lagerfeld. His works play- fully explores fashion, graphic design and popular culture.

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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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SUBTLE JABS BY SOME HOODLUM

by Ariadna Zierold

some hoodlum, illustration, pop culture, artists, humor, jabs, colorful, upper playground

Some Hoodlum is an extremely talented graphic designer, Internet jokester, and quality meme creator who continues to build his portfolio, working on projects with Comedy Central, Soulection, Migos, and many more. Focused on bright colors and subtle jabs at pop culture, his art is genuine and pure.

some hoodlum, illustration, pop culture, artists, humor, jabs, colorful, upper playground

Through a unique style, this artist is creating something no one else has done before with bright colors and different artists’ faces. Most of the art makes puns out of celebrities and references to music. Artists on this account include Drake, Flosstradamus, LOUDPVCK, Ta-Ku, Ariana Grande and more.

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SYNTHETIC REALISM BY GREG PARMA SMITH

by Ariadna Zierold

greg parma smith, illustration, painting, synthetic, realism, acrylic, metallic leaf, baroque, pop culture, pencil, upper playground

Greg Parma Smith‘s painted realism is perversely synthetic and immaculately crafted. His works, composed of oil, acrylic and metallic leaf, are baroque in their construction and subject matter. Smith’s use of cartoons seems at the service of a more hermetic endeavor, one that further mystifies the relationship between a popular image and a rarified artwork.

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WHIMSICAL PARABLES BY AMY CUTLER

by Ariadna Zierold

amy cutler, illustration, popular culture, pop culture, fairytales, woman, women, womanhood, narrative, upper playground, brooklyn

Brooklyn based Amy Cutler draws from the media, popular culture, fairytales, and her own experiences to convey the complexities of womanhood. At once autobiographical and universal, Cutler’s works are sweet and dark—delicately rendered, whimsical parables illustrating the deleterious effects of the unrealistic expectations that cultures impose on women.

amy cutler, illustration, popular culture, pop culture, fairytales, woman, women, womanhood, narrative, upper playground, brooklyn

She received her BFA degree from The Cooper Union School of Art, New York, New York, in 1997. Since her graduation she has rapidly risen to critical acclaim, and her work has been featured in major surveys of contemporary art, importantly the 2004 Whitney Biennial.

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AMERICAN CULTURE BY JIM SHAW

by Ariadna Zierold

jim shaw, media, imagery, painting, american culture, comic book, pulp novels, posters, pop culture, symbols, narrative, landscape, upper playground, los angeles

The practice of Los Angeles based artist Jim Shaw spans a wide range of both artistic media and visual imagery. Since the 1970s, Shaw has mined the detritus of American culture, finding inspiration for his artworks in comic books, pulp novels, rock albums, protest posters, thrift store paintings and advertisements.

jim shaw, media, imagery, painting, american culture, comic book, pulp novels, posters, pop culture, symbols, narrative, landscape, upper playground, los angeles

Providing a blend of the personal, the commonplace and the uncanny, Shaw’s works frequently place in dialogue images of friends, family members, world events, pop culture and alternate realities. Often unfolding in long-term, narrative cycles, the works contains systems of cross-references and repetitions, which rework similar symbols and motifs, allowing a story-like thread to be perceived.

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NEON COLOR SCHEMES BY MORGAN BLAIR

by Ariadna Zierold

morgan blair, psychedelic, brooklyn, neon, colorful, vivid, gradients, textures, patterns, geometric, abstract, abstraction, pop culture, upper playground

Morgan Blair grew up in rural Massachusetts, graduated from RISD in 2008, and lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Her recent work explores the balance of control and freedom in her process, manifested in a mashing up of low contrast flesh tones with wild, neon color schemes; hard edges with fuzzed out airbrush gradients; smooth, flat shapes with brush marks and rough, sandy textures; and wonky, irregular forms with geometric curves and angles.

morgan blair, psychedelic, brooklyn, neon, colorful, vivid, gradients, textures, patterns, geometric, abstract, abstraction, pop culture, upper playground

The resulting optical abstractions play on the absurd in pop culture, current events, the mall, the internet, common street trash, consumerism, and personal experience.

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ABSURD ART BY DAVID IRVINE

by Ariadna Zierold

david irvine, toronto, prints, vintage, painting, pop culture, redirected, humor, landscapes, upper playground

Toronto-based artist David Irvine has always had a fondness for old prints found at thrift shops. He used buy them to paint over and reuse as blank canvases, then one day started painting on the pictures themselves. Seven years on, he has upcycled hundreds of paintings, adding incongruous pop culture figures such as Darth Vader and Pac-Man to conventional scenes.

david irvine, toronto, prints, vintage, painting, pop culture, redirected, humor, landscapes, upper playground

Irvine has been refining and pushing the boundaries of “redirected” art with a unique and original spin almost as long as his good friend, Marcel Duchamp. David’s quirky and very popular style is created by repurposing unwanted prints or original art from thrift stores or found at yard sales and painted upon using his own style of creativity. Seemingly random subject matter including pop cultural references, political comment, the camp and the absurd, often combining all these elements to create truly original art pieces.

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POLITICAL POP CULTURE BY ERIC YAHNKER

by Ariadna Zierold

eric yahnker, drawing, illustration, colorful, pencil, graphite, pop culture, politics, humor, upper playground

Eric Yahnker is a contemporary artist born in 1976 in Torrance, California. His humorous, meticulously rendered graphite and colored pencil drawings and elaborate process pieces examine pop culture and politics. His jaw-dropping graphite and colored pencil drawings and other vivid works are sprinkled with absurdist humor and glimmers of the subconscious.

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