Austin, Texas based Jon MacNair (previously featured here) was born in Seoul, South Korea and grew up in the suburbs of southeast Michigan near Detroit. He graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2005, where he earned a BFA in Illustration. His commercial work has appeared in editorial publications and mainly been used for apparel and package design.
With pen in hand, MacNair creates phantasmagoric images that reveal stories of parallel worlds observed by giant eyes. Chimeric creatures captive from a dark innocence invade the hallucinatory universes of this work.
Adrian Landon Brooks (previously featured here) studied painting at the San Francisco Art Institute and currently lives and works in Wimberley, Texas. Brooks works predominately in the mediums of painting and illustration, using found materials such as wood, metal, and old photographs as his canvas.
“Creating otherworldly backdrops for mystical iconography has long been a driving force in my work. Wormholes, starscapes and portals serve as monuments to something greater than myself. Through the process of making this work, I attempt to share my vision of a higher power and purpose.” Adrian Landon Brooks
Drawn to art at a young age, but raised in rural South Texas with very little access to any art education, Roberto Benavidez followed a secondary interest into a BFA in acting at Texas State University. After a few years of moderate acting success in the Texas market, Benavidez found himself drawn back to sculpture and headed west to California. He reorientated himself with art classes at Pasadena City College in sculpting, drawing and painting, extending into bronze casting where he initially worked in an abstract, figurative style and exhibited in group shows. He and now specializes in sculpturally elegant and fantastical piñatas.
Dallas based artist Dan Lam (previously featured here) has made a name for herself innovating sculpture using polyurethane foam. Her alien works are known for their remarkable vibrant colors as well as their illusionistic appearance. Lam enjoys the unpredictable quality of her process. This is seen in the way she manipulates the foam structures and handles the resin. She couples this with the tedious and controlled placement of her acrylic “spikes” and surface designs. This opposition is crucial to her work. Whether seen in the process itself, or the final result, which exudes both an intense beauty and an intense uncomfortability, Lam plays with these polarities and examines them closely.
Born in Manila to a Vietnamese family who relocated to Texas when she was a child, Lam spent her formative creative years in Dallas with her mother. She received her B.F.A. in 2010 from the University of North Texas and later completed a Masters of Fine Arts degree at Arizona State University.
San Antonio, Texas based Jason Limon is a painter who has exhibited his artwork in galleries across the U.S. and in parts of Europe. He studied Fine art and Communication Art in San Antonio and later began working as a graphic designer. His current art follows stories based on mythological creatures and paranormal cryptids portrayed with a hint of humor with a dose of strangeness. You can often see his characters brought to life in dimensional form through his complex sculptures.
Blanco, Texas based Adrian Landon Brooks‘ latest body of work presents universal themes of love, loss, and redemption placed within unique surreal worlds that transcend race or creed. Influenced by the purity of Folk Art, Brooks strips illustrations to their minimalist core and uses found materials such as wood, metal, and old photographs as repurposed canvases to instill an underlying sense of history for each piece.
In his paintings, huge statuesque heads hover over multi-color blocks while hands of worship float into the void. Sorrow and yearning are conveyed through the hunched postures of his figures and captured through ceremonial acts of giving and receiving. Each scene offers a fragmented tale and forces viewers to immerse themselves into the framework of the narrative.
Buddy Holly is the reason why we wear big black/tortoise shell eye glasses. And J. Davis Armistead is the reason why Buddy Holly wore those thick frames. He was the optometrist from Lubbock, Texas who saw the kid with 20/800 vision in both eyes, and now at age 96, remembers watching the “‘he Phil Silvers Show’ one night on television. The doctor noticed how Mr. Silvers, playing the role of beleaguered U.S. Army Master Sergeant Ernest G. Bilko, used his heavy black frames to accentuate his everyman persona. ‘The next morning I got up and said, ‘This is what Buddy Holly needs’.’”
Now the WSJ has a full story about how those black frames have helped shape rock music and fashion forever… great read.
We love a good gif, and not just one borrowed from pop culture, but an original idea executed well. Texan photographer Igancio Torres created this great series of “gifs”, Stellar, saying in his artist statement: “This project began from the theory that humans are made of cosmic matter as a result of a stars death. I created imagery that showcased this cosmic birth through the use of dust and reflective confetti to create galaxies. The models organic bodily expressions as they are frozen in time between the particles suggest their celestial creation. In addition, space and time is heightened by the use of three-dimensional animated gifs. Their movement serves as a visual metaphor to the spatial link we share with stars as well as their separateness through time.”
It’s lunch time, and we’re hungry, and we think this is kind of cool, and we wish it was open right now, and a lot closer than Austin, so we could feast on healthy foods, but not that bundt cake at the end of this video, because it looks kind of weird.
In.gredients, a soon-to-be grocery store in Austin, Texas, will not only specialize in local and organic ingredients, but is promising to be the nation’s first “package-free, zero waste grocery store,” a concept that has only been executed in London so far. “Americans add 570 million pounds of food packaging to their landfills each day, while pre-packaged foods force consumers to buy more than they need, stuffing their bellies and their trash bins: 27 percent of food brought into U.S. kitchens ends up getting tossed out.” But even we sometimes forget our tote bags at places like Trader Joes (which is a total bummer because we don’t get to fill out a ticket… do not collect prize), what will we do in a scenario of this kind in a bulk food store? Will we have to carry our hummus home, seeping through the palms of our hands? In.gredients say they will also offer compostable containers in case a shopper forgets theirs.
This student at the University of Texas did an experiment that backed a theory about schizophrenia that the brain gets overloaded by memories and facts. They have a computer there at UT that is supposed to replicate a neural network. Long story, short they taught this network how to remember things like a human brain would and then overloaded it with memory and facts the way some theories believe the brain does in people with schizophrenia. The computer apparently reacted with systems pretty similarly to those in schizophrenia patents. While this is great news for psychological research, we are sure the last thing the world needs is schizophrenic computer on the loose.