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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REPERTOIRE OF BEASTS BY AMANDINE URRUTY

by Ariadna Zierold

amandine urruty, monochrome, monochromatic, illustration, characters, cartoon, cartoonish, pop culture, detailed, upper playground

Amandine Urruty lives and works on her bed, with a suit case full of pens always nearby. After studying at University for long years and a brief career in underground music, Amandine spreads her repertoire of beasts and her gallery of weird characters on all kind of mediums, on paper as on walls. As she masters techniques of traditional drawing, Urruty offers us a cheerful gallery of deviant portraits, associating grotesque outfits with baroque decorum which miraculously reconcile lovers of alchemistic symbolism to young ladies with too much make up.

amandine urruty, monochrome, monochromatic, illustration, characters, cartoon, cartoonish, pop culture, detailed, upper playground

Urruty trusts her instincts and draws inspiration from a wealth of eclectic interests which span the wide gap between high art and pop culture. Revelling in the mystique of her decision making process, she engages in the creation of a unique and personal symbolism, which unveils and unravels itself over the course of time.

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ICONIC POP CULTURE PORTRAITS BY RICH PELLEGRINO

by Ariadna Zierold

rich pellegrino, portrait, portraiture, faces, pop culture, icons, characters, boston, upper playground

Boston, Massachusetts based Rich Pellegrino is an artist and freelance illustrator who seems to have exceptional ability at creating iconic pop culture works of art in a one of a kind, traditional painting style.  His ability has led him to having a specially commissioned painting by Wes Anderson for use in “The Grand Budapest Hotel” to countless magazine articles and media publications around the globe.

rich pellegrino, portrait, portraiture, faces, pop culture, icons, characters, boston, upper playground

“My latest series of paintings split in two parts of pop culture icons and figurative works. Depending on the subject, I usually find myself keeping things light and fun but never at the expense of quality and character, which is what is most important to me artistically.” Rich Pellegrino

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VISUAL STORYTELLING BY ISABEL SAMARAS

by Ariadna Zierold

isabel samaras, storytelling, painting, portraiture, humor, pop culture, lush, horror movies, mythology, television, fables, upper playground

San Francisco based artist Isabel Samarasʼ work is a form of visual storytelling that is witty, mysterious, and tender. Her painted narratives are classical in technique and pop in content, revolving around issues of secret love, unrequited lust and making things end the way we wish they would.

isabel samaras, storytelling, painting, portraiture, humor, pop culture, lush, horror movies, mythology, television, fables, upper playground

Best known for lush and meticulously painted riffs on Old Masters that send up pop culture icons of the ’70s, her ribald images are woven with references to classic horror movies, ancient mythology, cheesy television, and childhood fables.

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