Art

Stunning Portraits Depict Superheroes as the Subjects of Delicate Flemish Paintings

If you were The Hulk, wouldn’t you tire of the constant, uncontrolled transformation into a green version of the Governator? Wouldn’t people’s reliance on your pea-colored, tumescent masculinity get a little old? And eventually, wouldn’t you just want to hop over to the Renaissance Faire, buy a pretty ruff, some breeches, and sit for a portrait that’d express not just your superhuman physique, but also the inner turmoil (and, perhaps, the inner Renaissance fetish) that physique stirs? … Read More

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10 Female Outsider Artists You Should Know

Their talents went unrecognized during their time, but they are celebrated by the art world today — and many would say exploited. Outsider artists, those self-taught or “naïve” creatives (Jean Dubuffet called it the “art brut” or “raw art”), are recognized for their personal vision. In a world of artists where authenticity and inclusiveness reign, it’s always surprising the number of outsider retrospectives that exclude women from the line-up. “Unlike the context for the Guerilla Girls’ historic condemnations of overwhelmingly male curatorial skews at the likes of the Metropolitan Museum and the Museum of Modern Art, the premise of outsider art hinges upon an ostensibly ungendered status of marginalization,” writes Mostafa Heddaya — who explored this conundrum following a major outsider art survey that was overwhelmingly male. “Though it’s impossible to fully diagnose here the condition that has guaranteed institutional and commercial recognition for an almost exclusively male cadre of ‘outsiders,’ the modern conception of productive madness is one overwhelmingly dominated by the narrative of the male madman whose insanity is not rudely clinical but intellectual, essential, and artistically or aesthetically liberated.” In our continuing series highlighting female artists in male-dominated genres, here are ten female outsider artists you should know. … Read More

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Dreamy Photos That Capture the Awe of First-Time New Yorkers

For decades, New York City has been a place for artists, dreamers, families full of hope, and those still stumbling to find their way. Photographer Peter Liepke, whose work we discovered on Faith is Torment, wanted to capture the feeling of arriving in the city for the first time and the awe the landscape inspires. His series Above & Beyond, currently on view at Gallery 270 until January 17, might be his most personal yet:

After growing up in suburban Minnesota as an artist, like many before me, and many more who will continually arrive in NYC each day, we embrace the challenge of wanting to broaden our lives by moving into a bigger arena. For this series I wanted to go back and attempt to remember my feelings or first impressions upon arriving in NYC as an outsider for the first time well over twenty years ago.

What makes Liepke’s work so striking is his platinum/palladium and gum bichromate processing. The techniques add an otherworldly feeling to a city that embraces so many different people every day. … Read More

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Retro Glamour Photos and Headshots Styled in Ridiculous ’70s and ’80s Fashions

From one of the makers of the Original Video Pizza — featuring an hour-long montage of saucy, spinning pie with sizzling sound effects — comes the Glamour & Headshots series. Portland photographer Robbie Augspurger, who we first discovered on Ignant, takes a page from the Sears, yearbook, and Glamour Shots portraits of yore, styled in the best-worst of the 1970s and ‘80s. Random firewood? Check. Creepy double-exposure portraits with pets? Check. Lightsaber and brown knitwear? Check, check. “This photo series started when I purchased an old light kit. Its power settings put limits on what I could do in a studio portraiture context, having only ‘on’ and ‘off’ as my main controls,” writes Augspurger on the project website. Vintage Instagram filters are fun and all, but we can’t get enough of Augspurger’s hilarious and frequently convincing photos. See more in our gallery. … Read More

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‘Paper’ Magazine Founder David Hershkovits on Kim Kardashian’s Internet-Breaking Cover: “It’s Almost Like Israel and Palestine”

Kim Kardashian has appeared on magazine covers nude before. But this week, when Paper Magazine positioned Kim K ass-first on its Winter 2014 issue under the tagline “Break the Internet,” the world took the command seriously — for better and for worse. For a magazine that routinely places movie and music stars on its covers, the Jean-Paul Goude photographs of Kardashian are some of Paper‘s finest visual work. But for a 30-year-old print publication trying to sell its downtown Manhattan view of the arts to an Internet overloaded with pop culture, the Kim K cover was an inspired jackpot. … Read More

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Kim Kardashian’s Naked ‘Paper’ Magazine Cover Is About Camp, Not Sex

If sex is funny, then the butt is its punchline. Kim Kardashian’s greased-up naked ass coming out of a dress that looks like a trash bag on the cover of Paper Magazine isn’t best understood as wet-dream fodder, though I’m sure many young men will add it to their fapping collections alongside the sex tape that made Kardashian a household name. Rather, Kim K’s cover is a glorious joke, the most spectacular bit of trolling in the “Year of the Ass,” a declaration that says, “I am willingly objectifying myself, but I’m not taking myself too seriously.” It is pure camp. In fact, it’s a brilliant example of that sensibility — and on that count, more credit is due to Paper than to Kim, though it certainly portrays a different side of her too (HAR HAR). … Read More

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10 Female Abstract Expressionists You Should Know

Few art movements are as synonymous with the image of a paint-splattered male painter than abstract expressionism. Some of art history’s most radical masculine personalities emerged from the period, in which the physicality of the works echoed the ever-present “cult of manhood.” Female abstract expressionists adopted pseudonyms, positioning their work as genderless — often leading to deeply personal conflicts with their roles as women, artists, and occasionally, the wives of the movement’s most celebrated figures. Few were accepted into the circle of men, and most weren’t recognized until their deaths. Continuing our series about female artists, we revisit the work and careers of ten abstract expressionists whose contributions are essential to the movement and whose struggle for legitimacy paved the way for women in the arts. … Read More

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The Dark Side of LEGO: Creepy Scenes Built with Blocks

New York City-based designer Mike Doyle has a talent with building blocks. We’re talking about Legos, of course. The artist even created a massive piece titled Contact I, which was composed with more than 200,000 Lego blocks. It’s part of the inaugural collection at the Museum of Realist Art in Boston. Doyle is also an author — and his Beautiful Lego book, published last year, showcased some of the most intricate designs across the world by Lego artists. On November 20, Doyle is publishing a follow-up book, Beautiful Lego 2: Dark, which we learned about on Beautiful/Decay. Think of it as Beautiful Lego’s evil twin. From creepy things that crawl and spooky houses, to sci-fi monsters and horrific scenes, Dark delights in Legos gone bad. See a preview of the book in our gallery. … Read More

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