A hundred years ago in Italy, artists roamed the land. For a coin or two, they would scratch a quick chalk portrait of the Madonna for you. These artist were thus called Madonnaris. Francois Pelletier is a modern-day Madonnari of sorts. He does incredibly accurate sidewalk reproductions of famous Renaissance paintings using layers of soft chalk. He is a full-time artist who travels and draws his income entirely from the proceeds of his work. He said: “I’m a busker and my public is my money and my inspiration. I don’t go looking further than that right now. I’m happy with what I do. I’m not selling anything, I’m not running after anyone, trying to sell a product or grab a contract. I do it and people give me just enough to travel around and pay my rent.”
David Zinn describes himself as an avid whistler, a haphazard ukulele player, a shameless word nerd, and an inveterate doodler. He is a self-taught artist who has a B.A. in Creative Writing and English Language. David has also been known to dabble in theater now and then. He has used ink, pencil, chalk, charcoal, paint (water-, acrylic, oil, and house), dyed silk, small rocks, cake frosting, and outdated computers to utilize art as a problem-solving tool. The playful and imaginitive humor found in his art is what sets it aside from other street artists. He said: “My career reflects a love of drawing, a love of words, and a keen desire to understand when to use which to make a point.”
What looks like an unwashed pair of underwear is actually a wood carving by Mary Leu. Her laundry list of carvings also include: a filthy pair of socks, a lacy bra, a brown hand towel, a pair of gardening gloves, and a remarkably detailed handbag complete with wooden zippers. Leu’s attention to the finest details in her life-sized carvings sets her work head and shoulders above the competition. It takes her anywhere between tree months to a year to complete a single piece. Leu also owns and operates her very own Fine Carving Gallery.
Marc Sparfel turns abandoned wardrobes, hat stands, and chairs into a veritable work of art. He starts out by picking out the best pieces and spends hours in his workshop coaxing out intricately sculpted animals out of the bits and pieces. According to Marc, the process of transformation is sometimes slow and painful but always intuitive. The end product are simplified, but perfectly recognizable caricatures of animals.
Sergei Tarasov is an art teacher who spent the better part of a year origami replicas of Moscow’s cathedrals. Over ten thousand sheets of A4 paper were hand-folded to create these amazing replicas. Sergei is a perfectionist. He has disassembled his work several times when he was unhappy with the way it was going. Each of his remarkably accurate creations were created without a sketch or blueprint.
Dave Engledow is the “World’s Best Father”, at least according to his coffee mug. But if his photographs are to be believed, he’s due for a visit from the authorities. According to him, his wacky photos were simply a way for him to deal with his personal fears and neuroses as a new father. Ever since the birth of his daughter, Alice Bee in 2010, he has been creatively inspired to document the memorable moments of her life in their family. His wife Jen also had a hand in setting up the shots behind his “World’s Best Father” series.
Treehouses are something you and your kid brother built in your backyard with little help from Dad, maybe. It’s usually made with a few discarded pieces of lumber and plywood. Pete Nelson’s tree houses on the other hand, are neither shoddily built, nor are they made with scraps of wood. These are first-class tree homes. Pete is the founder of Treehouse Workshop, Inc. He has designed and built treehouses in 26 States and 9 countries over the last 15 years.
Christian Guémy is a Paris-based street artist who has been featured in Pondly once before. It looks like he has a fine new crop of artwork dotting the streets of Paris. His alias C215 is creatively incorporated into each work, rendered as a cube into an inconspicuous corner. He nay describe himself as a stencil artist but don’t be fooled. Each of his street art is drawn free hand.
Sets for a Film I’ll Never Make is a series of cardboard sculptures made by Melbourne-based artist Daniel Agdag. Each peice is made entirely by hand without detailed plans. The whole thing is strictly improvised. Daniel says it’s like sketching with cardboard. A fine, sharp knife, some wood glue, cardboard, and his innate artistic sense are all that Daniel used in aking his sculptures.
There are many talented painters out there who can easily fool you into thinking their paintings are photos. Jason de Graaf on the other hand, is in a class of his own. His talent is simply Olympian. Jason loves to play with perspective and light. Most, if not all, of his paintings highlight spheres, water, reflections, refractions, and shadows. According to him “My paintings are about staging an alternate reality, the illusion of verisimilitude on the painted surface, filtered so that it expresses my unique vision. Though my paintings may appear photoreal my goal is not to reproduce or document faithfully what I see one hundred percent, but also to create the illusion of depth and sense of presence not found in photographs.”