THE WORK OF KEIICHI TANAAMI

by Ariadna Zierold

keiichi tanaami, painting, paintings, japanese, japan, pop art, surreal, cartoonish, colorful, vibrant, pop culture, iconography, upper playground

Keiichi Tanaami is a seminal figure in Japanese Pop art. “Most of my expressions are based on my actual experiences,” he has said. “The countless amount of stimulative experiences, happenings and encounters…they become the keywords of my expressions.”

keiichi tanaami, painting, paintings, japanese, japan, pop art, surreal, cartoonish, colorful, vibrant, pop culture, iconography, upper playground

Best known for his cartoonish and colorful paintings that blend dream figures and references to childhood experiences with pop culture iconography, Tanaami has also worked in video, animation, as well as graphic design and commercial illustration, drawing profound influence from the work of Andy Warhol.

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COLOR DRIVEN ART BY MWANEL PIERRE LOUIS

by Ariadna Zierold

mwanel pierre louis, illustration, painting, paintings, miami, color, colorful, pop, culture, pop culture, realism, abstraction, people, upper playground

Mwanel Pierre-Louis is an artist and illustrator based in Miami. His work is based from a graphic and color driven language of today’s pop culture and is mixed with realism and abstraction. The work is also derives from fashion, music, and people. He’s shown his works within Art Basel Miami in Dec 2014 to Tokyo, Japan in summer of 2013. Color is driven in most of his work and as well in his life.

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BITING HUMOR BY MATTHEW PALLADINO

by Ariadna Zierold

matthew palladino, mixed media, watercolor, ink, acrylic, paint, painting, candy molds, 3d, humor, grid based, compositions, pop culture, optical illusions, upper playground

Matthew Palladino has taken up multiple mediums, and considers each new shift as “another mutation of the thing that came before it.” Palladino first became known for his works in watercolor, ink on paper, and acrylic paint. He then moved on to three-dimensional reliefs, made in part from candy molds. Both his two- and three-dimensional works share a biting humor, variations on grid-based compositions, references to pop culture and art history, and optical illusions that distort spatial relationships. He cites his main influences as Margaret KilgallenChris Johanson, and Barry McGee.

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JARRING IMAGES BY DIEGO RODRIGUEZ WARNER

by Ariadna Zierold

diego rodriguez warner, painting, jarring, violence, layers, pop culture, urban, managua, nicaragua, upper playground

Diego Rodriguez-Warner was born in Managua, Nicaragua in 1986. In 2008, he studied under the Cuban Minister for Fine Arts, Lesbia Vent Dumois, in Havana,  and completed his Bachelor of Arts in COIN Theory and Fine Arts from Hampshire College in 2009. In 2013, he received his Masters of Fine Arts from the Printmaking Department of the Rhode Island School of Design.

diego rodriguez warner, painting, jarring, violence, layers, pop culture, urban, managua, nicaragua, upper playground

Rodriguez-Warner is an artist who makes often jarring images dealing with violence, layered history, originality, and collapse. He’s keen on art history and pop culture, so you see in the works references to Matisse, Picasso and Asian watercolors but also to Disney, Japanese anime, urban street art, superheroes and maybe some Internet porn.

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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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