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.
The white, faceless, vaguely human shape that you see trying to jump out of a window is one of the products of artist Daan Botlek’s imagination. While poking around in an abandoned building in Berlin, he dreamed up theidead of white silhouettes escaping from the building. The series is called “Escape from Wuhlheide” – a creatively concept where daring figures are depicted in the act of running away. Scroll down and I guarantee you that by the end of the series,you’ll be cheering for them.
Alex Schweder and Ward Shelley are a couple of performance artists with extremely well-developed senses of balance. Their three collaborative performances; In Orbit, Stability, and Counterweight Roommate all involve both of them living in constructs of their own creation for days on end. In Orbit is basically a fully-furnished giant hamster wheel with Ward living in the exterior (about 30 feet off the ground) and Alex in the interior (due to his fear of heights). They access the various built-in furniture through carefully coordinated movements, thus, when one wants to go to the bathroom, the other must also do so. Stability, on the other hand, is a 25-foot structure which strongly resembles a see-saw and the artists need to move closer or further away from the fulcrum in order to keep the piece balanced. Counterweight Roommate has both artists living in a vertical ‘dorm’ and strapped to a harness. The only way for them to access any floor is for the other to act as a counterweight and go up or down as need be.
They say that all jokes are half-meant. WuMo’s infographics on the other hand, are nothing but the truth, generously coated with humor and shaped into a graph to make them look scientific. WuMo is actually a contraction for the hilarious Danish duo Mikael Wulff and Anders Morgenthaler. They previously called themselves Wulffmorgenthaler, but realized that the name was too long and a bit of a mouthful to boot, so they shortened it. Mikael is a writer while Anders is an artist. Their sarcastically snarky ideas coupled with simplistic design has won them the affection of a lot of netizens out there. They started their rise to fame as cartoonists when they won a cartoon competition. It allowed them to have their work published for free in the local paper for a month. Their popularity soared and several years later, they’re regularly running a cartoon strip in the New York Times.
His real name may be a tightly kept secret, but Blu has a rather long Wikipedia article devoted to him. Blue is the pseudonym of the elusive yet extremely talented Italian street artist whose characteristic style began appearing in the walls of Bologna in 1999. Like so many street artists, spray paint was his first medium of choice, but as the years and his style progressed, he began using housepaint and rollers mounted on telescopic sticks. Nowadays, he has filled the sides of entire buildings with his clever and slightly political works of art. He is also a digital whiz who has created a great number of animations and videos. Wikipedia describes his inspiration as “…motivated by a belief in an open source philosophy, persistent in its anarchical revolt against contemporary art conventions and unique in beauty.”
Contemporary artist Dionisio González created these ‘disaster-proof’ dwellings through the magic of photo manipulation. The series, entitled ‘Dauphin Island’, was inspired by the ability of Dauphin Island residents to bounce back after repeated devastation by hurricanes, Dionisio designed these realistic-looking mini fortresses that could allegedly withstand all kinds of natural disasters. These buildings, he said, ‘give shape to new habitable structures in the vacuums in the perception of spaces that had previously been devastated‘. Another similar series called ‘Inter-Actions’ feature stark black and white images of buildings literally rooted to the earth. Dionisio’s passion for architecture is evident in all of his works.
Using hand-drawn paper cut-outs and his imagination, Japanese artist Kouichi Chiba has managed to create fragile worlds teeming with adventure. His tiny paper people are doing all sorts of daring stunts, from hanging out in hammocks to nearly being blown away by the wind, to hanging off a skyscraper. Kouichi’s whimsical photo series is fast becoming a sensation on the internet after being featured on 500px. He currently lives and works in Shizuoka, Japan.
Vesa Lehtimäki is a Finnish photographer with a fetish for fantastic dioramas. He utilizes LEGO mini figures, imagination, and generous amounts of baking soda to recreates scenes based on Star Wars and Indiana Jones. His realistic dioramas aren’t found in the actual movies, they’re original pieces of art. Some of them even look like “never-before-seen” deleted scenes from the actual movies. His passion for miniature photography started way back in 2009 when he first made dioramas to show off his kid’s toys. Vesa hasn’t looked back since.