I really respect what you’re doing at Natural Earth Paint, as it definitely does coincide with the relatively recent return to Old Masters’ techniques, as seen in the burgeoning growth of art atelier academies.
You might remember the young artist, Kareem Waris Olamilekan, who went viral when he was featured in a BBC Africa video in 2018. Well, this is the artist who inspired him.
Arinze Stanley Egbengwu, also from Nigeria, practices a type of art called hyper-realism, where the pictures look more like photographs than drawings.
He shows BBC Africa’s What’s New? what it takes to create such a realistic-looking piece of art.
20 Apr 2019
Last week, the Lotte Museum in Seoul unveiled an expansive retrospective entitled Eternal Journey featuring the art of James Jean (interviewed). The exhibition features over 500 works from the American artist including pieces from his time as a comic book artist, sketchbooks, videos, digital art, and sculptures like a new eight foot tall stained glass obelisk. The highlight of the show though has the be the room with a series of large scale paintings, prime examples of Jean’s fantastical artistic vision and unparalleled imagination.
Photo credit: Giant Robot, @kurmanix, Brandon Shigeta, @bluednirvana, @mirandaleebohon, @slownote, @jiyoonmall, @ana.0k, @cohrojae, @hypebeastkr, @9.nee, @mrmrtrapgod, and the artist.
Discuss James Jean here.
James Jean had his first exhibition with Jonathan LeVine Gallery back in January 2009. Arrested Motion wrote about it here.
“‘Company Man’ was created early on in our process of James and I writing music together,” Jonathan tells me. “It sort of developed out of this driving riff and thumping bass drum. There is a funny story about this song. James has a tendency to write lyrics as we develop the songs and I typically don’t know what they are until much later in the process. I kept thinking he was singing, ‘I’m a company man,’ but he was actually saying, ‘I’m a confident man.’ I started calling the song ‘Company Man’ and he never corrected me, so that became the title. I had this whole idea about what the narrative was based on the title but I was totally wrong. I didn’t find this out to very recently.”
In addition to his duties in Cyclone Static, Jonathan is a well-known curator and art gallery owner in the NYC area who has worked with many notable artists in the underground worlds of Pop Surrealism and Street Art including Shepard Fairey, Gary Baseman, Shag, and many others.
It’s part of human nature to seek out patterns, and to revel in the skillful play of colour and beautiful forms, especially those that are informed by nature. Perhaps the most complex pattern-play can be found in Islamic art, which features an impressive visual lexicon of nature-inspired geometries that overlap and interlace to create stunning works of art and architecture.
These patterns are not anything new, but with the help of modern technologies that can effortlessly iterate these forms, artists are indeed having plenty of fun with them — and pushing some boundaries too. Building upon traditions found in Islamic geometry, embroidery, enamel work, United Emirates-based artist Julia Ibbini synthesizes them all into these incredible laser-cut artworks that seem to pulse with a living harmony of form and colour.
As Ibbini explains, much of her work is not only centred on the “language of pattern and ornament,” teasing stories out of each curve, but it also questions that arise from her multicultural background — a dual Jordanian-British national who lives in UAE:
My work plays on combinations and contrasts. Complex digital design using computer algorithms and a contemporary aesthetic juxtaposed against traditional ornament and craftsmanship resulting in works of extreme intricacy articulating themes of identity, place and belonging.
Each of Ibbini’s works starts as a single line and circle, which then evolve using a variety of digital tools to create larger and larger forms. These digital drawings are then laser-cut, layer by layer, using paper and mylar, on a customized laser-cutting machine.
Each work can take months to complete, from drawing to cutting, and each work can have hundreds of pieces that need to be glued together. Inks are then added to the mylar pieces to give gorgeous pops of vibrancy.
The intense bursts of colour found in Ibbini’s art seem to belie the inherent delicacy of these paper-based works — reminding us that even the most seemingly complex and defined relationships are, in reality, ephemeral and fleeting at their foundation, but nevertheless must be given expression. To see more, visit Julia Ibbini, Facebook and Instagram.
Cyclone Static threw their record release party in Jersey City at the FM Bar, last week. The band tore through a set of post-grunge tunes off their their new album From Scratch to the joy of a packed room of friends and fans.
Here are some of my favorite photos from the evening. Also, check out our interview with drummer Jonathan LeVine on Mai Tai Happy Hour for more info about the history of the band, their approach to writing and a ton more.
Photos from our record release party at FM Restaurant Bar and Lounge. We were joined by the amazing Alpha Rabbit and the legendary Geoff Rickly of Thursday graced us with a DJ set. Special thanks to our label Mint 400 Records, Anthony Vito Susco, DJ Appetite, Orion Landau and everyone who showed up and supported us. We are feeling very loved. Check out our new record “From Scratch” on all streaming services. All photos by the excellent Jon Pro.
Julia Ibbini‘s laser-cut paper designs are inspired by differing cultures, geometry, and other, unexpected influences. The artist has a online exhibition that runs April 3 through May 3 with Jonathan Levine Projects. Ibbini says that the algorithm-driven aspects of her creations and contemporary sensibility “contrasts with traditional ornament and craftsmanship resulting in highly detailed, multi-faceted pieces.”
Jonathan Levine Projects explains her process. “Each work begins with a single line and a circle which are then are built into a digital unit. Once the drawings are complete, they are cut in numerous layers out of paper and mylar using a customized laser machine. The final work is finished entirely by hand with each part glued individually and juxtaposed against ink poured over mylar to create an intensity of contrast and color.”
See more of her work below.
United Emirates-based artist Julia Ibbini sources elements from Islamic geometry, embroidery, meenakari enamel work, and even electronic music to inspire the designs that compose her laser-cut paper works. The complex patterns and layers of her colorful compositions are a metaphor for the artist’s multicultural background as a dual national from Jordan and the UK, and share elements of symbolism seen in the Middle East region. Ibbini uses computer algorithms to create digital designs that she laser cuts onto paper. She then layers these detailed pieces and hand-paints them with ink in brilliant shades of pink, blue, yellow, and orange. Her solo exhibition The Sublime Line opens April 3, 2019, at Jonathan LeVine Projects and runs through May 3, 2019. You can see more of her detailed compositions on her website and Instagram.
How did your journey as an artist begin?
I’ve been making art since I was a very young child and it’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. However, it took until my early 30’s to actually label myself an artist. I spent most of my 20’s crippled with self-doubt about my abilities and then at some point, something changed. I had the thought “right, enough with that BS, I’m going to just try and make stuff.” I guess it started there.
What do artists do all day? What happens in your studio?
It starts with tea. Then I survey the complete chaos that is my workspace. My work is very meticulous, but it needs to be made in a space that is strewn with paper and other detritus. Once I’ve mapped out my day – all the machines (three computers and my laser cutter) are switched on and it’s sort of a dance between the machines and the physical assembly of the work for the rest of the day. Punctuated with more tea.
Can you tell us a bit about your relationship with technology and machines?
My entire practice is deeply intertwined with technology. I work very quickly – almost frantically, I want the work to be highly detailed and multi-faceted – but, I make a lot of mistakes and frequent changes. Computers make that process possible.
I’m always very careful to make sure a human element remains in the work. It’s that play between my hands (and all the human error that comes with them) and the machine’s precision that makes the work special.
What are you most proud of?
How my practice has progressed and evolved.
I was invited to take part in the Islamic Arts Festival at the Sharjah Art Museum last December. It’s a fabulous space and the pieces I showed there were some of my most complex. The opening was one of those moments where I was able to step back and realize how far the work had come.
What’s life like in the United Arab Emirates?
Hot. It frequently hits 50°C (that’s over 120°F) in the summer, winters are fantastic though.
It’s a very young country and there’s a tremendous energy and will to succeed, particularly in Dubai. Everything happens at a very fast pace. I have spent my whole life here so I’ve literally seen cities rise from the desert in the span of three decades, which is incredible.
What do you most enjoy doing when you’re not making work?
I run. I love distance running and when I have enough time to train I run ultra-marathons. The furthest I’ve run so far is 100km (62 miles) through the mountains in a day.
If you hadn’t become an artist, what do you think you would have become?
Probably very lost.
Press release March 4, 2019
Susannah Martin JUST NATURE March 17 to May 26, 2019 at the Kunstforum of the TU Darmstadt
Press Tour: Wednesday, March 13, 2019 11 am Vernissage: Saturday, March 16, 2019 6 pm
For the first time, the exhibition JUST NATURE pays tribute in large part to the painterly work of the US artist Susannah Martin in the Rhine-Main region.
“Art is never chaste.” (Pablo Picasso)
The exhibition JUST NATURE in the spring of 2019 will deal with concepts of freedom that are reflected in the relationship between man and nature.
Which images of nature are prevalent in contemporary culture and how is the human body represented in the landscape? The exhibition JUST NATURE in the Kunstforum of the TU Darmstadt compares the predominantly digital life with the question of the relationship between man and nature and enquires into possible social utopias beyond the Internet and the virtual world.
In our exhibition LOST IN TRANSITION at the Kunstforum TU DArmstadt – From Fugitive, Ephemeral (September 24 to December 10, 2017), the American artist William Lamson´s video work “In the roaring garden” discusses the thoughts of the transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862 ). Thoreau described the question of the possibility of a simple life in nature, a remarkably current theme, in his 1854 published book “ Walden-Or Life in the Woods”. These suggestions are taken up in JUST NATURE.
The exhibition, curated by Julia Reichelt, focuses on the work of the American artist Susannah Martin (* 1964, New York). Her paintings, which are dedicated to the classic theme of ” the Nude in Landscape”, are not only surprising due to complex allusions. Known motifs can be found in it as well as certain periods of art history, such as the painting “Déjeuner sur l Herbe” (The breakfast in the open) by Éduard Manet (1863) or the period of the “ Lebensreform” movement around 1900.
Susannah Martin finds a completely unique pictorial language to represent the relationship of the nude in nature. For her, the exposed human being, devoid of any social indicators, is a symbol of the human being par excellence. In its relation to nature, the antagonistic gap between the natural and the natural state and the human being as a consumer or cultural being is reflected: “I am interested in exploring the nature of our enslavement to our own cultural creations and our psychic battle for liberation from these addictions ” (Susannah Martin)
Supporting Program Public Guided Tours Thursday, March 21, 2019, 6 pm also an introduction for interested teachers of all school types and Sunday, April 28, 2019, 5 pm
Reading Wednesday, May 22, 2019, 8 pm Cheating: Margarete Stokowski – The Downfall of the Patriarchate Moderation: Lisa Hille, Wilhelm Köhler Hall of the TU Darmstadt (next to the TU Kunstforum) – in cooperation with the Festival Sex @ TheCity
Conversation with the artist Thursday, May 23, 2019, 6 pm Susannah Martin in conversation with Julia Reichelt Lecture Sunday, May 26, 2019, 5 pm – Finissage – “ Lebensreform heute?! “ (Prof. Kai Buchholz, h_da Darmstadt) followed by a short tour and aperitif.
Pictures of the exhibition Available for download at bit.ly/2GtsTl7 Susannah Martin JUST NATURE March 17 to May 26, 2019 at the Kunstforum of the TU Darmstadt Hochschulstr.1, 64289 Darmstadt Opening hours of the exhibition Wednesday to Sunday, 1 to 6 pm
More information at www.tu-darmstadt.de/kunstforum . This exhibition is part of the Sex @ TheCity festival