Art

50 Uncanny Artworks

Pop surrealists and lowbrow artists owe a debt of gratitude to Margaret Keane — painter of melancholic, saucer-eyed little girls. Tim Burton’s Keane biopic Big Eyes, in theaters December 25, tells the story of the tumultuous relationship Keane had with husband Walter, who took credit for her work. Amy Adams plays the artist, who struggles against her husband (played by Christoph Waltz) for control of her art. “I was as sad as that painting,” Keane said in a recent interview with Eye on the Bay, pointing to one of her famous works. “I was thinking, ‘What is all this about? Why is life so sad?’” The world-weary waifs in Keane’s paintings are doll-like and uncanny. Freud defined the uncanny as the “unhome,” or the opposite of familiar. Keane’s girls feel too fragile for this world. Here is a treasury of other artworks whose uncanny appeal has fascinated and frightened, capturing a sense of otherness, wonder, and disquiet. … Read More

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Poison, Pubes and Pubs: Links You Need To See

Poison–readily available in traditional domestic settings and requiring little brute force to use effectively–has long been considered a woman’s weapon. While most poisonings are committed by men–only 39.5 percent are committed by the fairer sex–if a woman kills, she’s most likely to have used poison as her method. At The Hairpin, Meredith Haggerty wrote a piece detailing some of history’s most famous–and horrifying–female poisoners, including Lucrezia Borgia (who was said to possess a ring filled with poison that she’d use at parties), pictured above. … Read More

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You Don’t Have to Embrace Lumbersexuality to Love the 12 Beards of Christmas

“Lumbersexual” is the worst kind of buzzword — not only is it pegged to a dubious trend, but it’s an egregious perversion of language. (Like “metrosexual” before it, the word describes an aesthetic, not a sexual orientation.) And yet, there’s still delight to be taken in the spectacular beards of its so-called adherents, particularly during this coziest time of the year. For a new photo series aimed at both spreading seasonal cheer and (according to her Bored Panda post about project) raising awareness for men’s health and prostate cancer, Stephanie Jarstad decorated some truly impressive facial hair to resemble Christmas trees, reindeer, and even stockings hung by the chimney with care. If you’re taken with these portraits (spotted via Design Taxi), you might consider buying them in poster or holiday-card form for the beardo in your life. … Read More

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Take a Look at Catherine Opie’s ‘Portlandia’ Season 5 Promotional Art

Portlandia, more than perhaps any other show, provides a complex (albeit sketch-comedically exaggerated) blueprint of a community — a warm… Read More

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Playful Paintbrush Portraits Inspired by Art History

San Francisco-based artist Rebecca Szeto, who we discovered on I Need a Guide, uses playful “visual prompts” and explores “conflated realities” in her multimedia works. “As someone who enjoys the small details of the everyday, doing art is a way for me to make those often times invisible moments visible,” Szeto writes on her website. “I am interested in the poetic intersection of the material and the immaterial — a transformative, and often humorous, synthesis of confounded expectations.” … Read More

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10 Gorgeous Tree Art Installations

Environmental issues are more urgent than ever. After all, there are politicians and an alarming number of people who truly believe that global warming is a giant hoax. These concerns are reflected in the works of environmental artists, many who use organic materials to draw attention to ecological problems like deforestation. Forests cover approximately one-third of the planet so it seems obvious that the subject of trees would be a major component of these artworks. After spotting a gorgeous natural “cathedral” built along the base of Mount Arera in Northern Italy (found on Honestly), we searched for other tree art installations that celebrate the beauty of nature and raise activist concerns. … Read More

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Photos That Explore Young Womanhood Unencumbered By Feminine Stereotypes

Swedish artist Arvida Byström was a precocious child. At only 12 years old, she started her painting and photography career, and at 22 she’s a Tumblr star and owns her own gallery (Gal in East London). Her work is a rainbow of glitter, “girly” things, and ‘90s ephemera — which she subverts to explore taboo subjects, sexuality, gender, and identity. Byström recently collaborated with photographer Valerie Phillips on the book Hi You Are Beautiful How Are You (first spotted on iGNANT), which focuses on presenting young womanhood untouched by Photoshop and preconceived notions of femininity. … Read More

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Intricate, Masterful Cityscapes Drawn Entirely From Memory

In a world consisting of nearly endless numbers of the endless collections of grids that we call cities, buildings and trees and parks and river ways aren’t the first things that come to mind as intriguing subjects for black-and-white illustrations. You’d be mistaken, though, to ignore the creations of artist Stefan Bleekrode (via Beautiful/Decay). The Dutch illustrator meticulously draws and paints cityscapes from memory, resulting in partly true-to-life, partly better-than-real cities that contain enough detail to mesmerize for longer than even a genuine, beautifully composed photograph might. … Read More

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Beautiful Photos of American Landscapes (and a Very Handsome Dog)

There are times when I have many serious and considered things to say about art, and there are other times when I’m happy to go “OMG dog!” So it’s exciting to find (via Booooooom) a project that allows me to do both at once. It’s called “John and Wolf,” the “Wolf” in question being John Stortz’s adorable dog, and it documents their journeys around the US. The result is some really gorgeous landscape photography — Stortz clearly has an aptitude for composition and framing — as well as some lovely portraits of a beautiful animal. What more could you ask? … Read More

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