Mladen Penev is an extremely talented graphic designer who is a 31-year-old graphic designer from Bulgaria. His work is an impressive mix of photography, CGI, and digital image manipulation. One of my favorite series of his is his ‘Power of Books” series where the reader is literally enveloped by the open book he reads. The series was published way back in 2005 in Vienna, Austria but Mladen’s message is just as relevant today as it was nine years ago. Books, really good ones, have the power to grab the reader’s attention and immerse him in a make-believe world. Mladen currently lives and works in Australia.
“Landline” is one of Aakash Nihalani’s latest series featuring people skewered by colorful geometric shapes. No actual skewering went on in the course of the series. The neon tape was cleverly positioned to make it look like they’re going through the models. Aakash is pretty well-known for his observational street art and Landline is another exemplary addition to his ever-growing list of awesome street art.
Murmurations are synchronized movement of flocks of birds, usually starlings. The patterns they create are beautiful and fleeting. Alain Delorme is the artist behind these recreations of starling murmurations. His murmurations are made up of meticulously arranged plastic bags instead of birds but the essence of the patterns are the same. He said: “The mesmerizing act is typically seen at dusk throughout Europe, between November and February. Each evening, shortly before sunset, starlings can be seen performing breathtaking aerial manoeuvres, before choosing a place to roost for the night. These range in number from a few hundred to tens of thousands of birds. Murmurations exhibit strong spatial coherence and show extremely synchronized maneuvers, which seem to occur spontaneously, or in response to an approaching threat.”
Clif Dickens’ re-imagined brand slogans is a fun tongue-in-cheek jibe at some of the biggest brands on the market today. The grain (more of a boulder, really) of truth in his words will definitely make anyone smile. As they say in the business: There’s no such thing as bad publicity. People get a good laugh, and they’re brand gets advertised for free, albeit in a different light. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing more of Clif’s work in the future.
Esther Honig is an American photographer and journalist who wondered about the different standards of beauty around the world. To get an idea, she sent her photo to a bunch of freelance Photoshoppers from around the world with one instruction: Make me beautiful. The results vary from barely edited to wildly Photoshopped. She said: “(I hoped) that each designer will pull from their personal and cultural constructs of beauty to enhance my unaltered image.” And they did just that. Esther calls the entire project “Before and After”. Esther also added: “Each one is a reflection of both the personal and cultural concepts of beauty that pertain to their creator. Photoshop allows us to achieve our unobtainable standards of beauty, but when we compare those standards on a global scale, achieving the ideal remains all the more elusive.“
Grupo Artplan is a communications group currently based in Brazil. It’s composed of Dreamfactory, a company that connects famous brands with their public; Gruda, a creative content-focused digital company; Artpla, one of the largest publicity agencies in Brazil. Rock in Rio is also part of Grupo Artplan. It is three things at once: a brand, an independent company, and a one of the largest rock concerts in the world where some of the biggest names in the music industry perform to mammoth crowds of their adoring fans. According to theri website: “We like to think and do things differently. Independent of the platform, of the technology, or the new name that will come up. What is important – and what will always be important – is a good idea. ”
Aaron Hegert delights in capturing images of hidden things, especially when he’s the one who hid them in the first place. His series “Foxhole” documents his attempts at catching “a glimpse of something between the seen and unseen”. According to Aaron, photography, like camouflage, is the visual product of a spatial practice: both require a presence and awareness in the material environment, and both entail a perceived transmutation of that environment. His photographs borrow criteria from various tactics of camouflage in both the natural and synthetic world. Thus the ‘how’ of disappearance remains the same but the ‘why’ remains mysterious.
Herakut is actually a partnership between Jasmin Siddiqui Hera and Falk Lehmann Akut. Both of them studied Visual Communication and Graphic Design with extensive backgrounds in graffiti. Their collaborations can be found all over the world including San Francisco, Los Angeles, London, Melbourne, Kathmandu, and New York. They started working together in 2004 with Hera setting the character’s form while Akut paints the photorealistic elements. References to the character’s life can often be found as short quotes or passages integrated into the artwork itself. This fantastically artistic duo is currently based in Germany.
Gilf! is a prolific street and conceptual artist currently wreaking havoc on the various walls (and in some instances, doors) of Brooklyn, NYC. Gilf! obtained her bachelor’s degree in Fine Art from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She had her first solo show just last year at Arcilesi Homberg Fine Art in New York. During an interview, she said: “I make art that poses questions to and present solutions for the challenges we face as a global community. Whether it be the street, a gallery, museum, or the internet it is important to have these discussions in various dimensions to produce the most thoughtful, comprehensive, and effective solutions. . . As I work to create comprehensive progress through my art I hope you will choose to be an active participant in the discussion, and momentous change we will build together.”
Mehdi Ghadyanloo is an Iranian street artist who has been coating Iran’s walls with wacky murals designed to make passersby smile. His fun, creative, and overall wacky work pepper the walls of Tehran, Iran’s capital. Mehdi studied in the prestigious Tarbiat Modares University where he undoubtedly honed his artistic skills. When not bringing cheer to the residents of Tehran, he’s busy managing his very own mural painting company called Blue Sky Painters Company.