Mother, Queen of Hearts, and Three Queens make this selection of Mark Sarmel’s work “5 Of A Kind.” His style, however, is one of a kind. Sarmel muses with portraits of futuristic women that quietly exude an ancestral lineage and are beautiful in every way and in every era. The Three Queens represent the queens from the three tribes of Azteca, but don headdresses with a technological design aesthetic. Beneath the surface beauty of the Three Queens is there an evil so deep that would allow the alleged human sacrifice, and cannibalism within the Aztec culture?
Sarmel values honesty, passion and a sense of humor and these virtues are evident in his work. Sarmel admits that he is a daydreamer, but stays up late and gets things done. His work has appeared in print and on-line in places such as Empty, Semi-Permanent, Faestehetic, and Society of Illustrators.
All images courtesy and copyrighted by Mark Sarmel on Flickr
We are left standing atop a building, high above the urban sprawl of a faceless city. We see the flames of passion on his back and his words call out to us. “You have experiences, and the experiences you have in life are just lessons… Keep that dream in your mind alive.”
Watch this short film, “Ride” directed by Garth Davis, featuring pro skater Steve Berra and a band of his skate buddies as they light up the streets of Mexico city with fearless abandonment. If the sponsoring company Burn, a Coca-Cola energy drink continues making commercials with such artistic sensibility, that’s good news for our ad-assaulted brains and marketing-deadened eyes. “Artbranding” at its best.
That’s what New York City based artist, designer and technologist, Joshua Davis says about himself on twitter. But he’s selling his bio a little short. Davis uses unprecedented techniques and creates work that is 100% original. Davis’ work is inconceivably intricate and unique. So much so, that a highly trained craftsman or programmer couldn’t re-engineer his designs no matter how hard they tried – Davis’ artwork is the digital equivalent of a snowflake.
In order to create work at this caliber, Davis pioneered an art making process known as “Dynamic Abstraction,” which generates artwork from Flash-based computer programs. Davis writes these computer programs based in Chaos Theory, which then execute random patterns of his hand drawn artwork. Davis calls this process, “Computational Design,” and he names his body of work “Tropism,” which is defined as the innate tendency of living organisms to move or grow without cognitive thought.
One of the biggest artistic influences for Davis is Jackson Pollock. Davis said, “I like Jackson Pollock. I don’t necessarily like his work, but I like Pollock as an idea.” The resonating idea is that Pollock’s paintings aren’t derived from a concept nor deliberate control of the paint or brush. Pollock (and Davis) initiate and “own” the finished work that they create, but the artists are only vehicles for the chance and movement that they cannot control.
“Tropism” at it’s best.
Following Pollock’s example, Davis loses control when he makes his art. In return, both artists make original, unrepeatable pieces. Davis’ computational design programs are randomized and unencumbered with very little restrictions, so the programs generate visual products of pure chance. Pollock’s fortuitous paintings are also produced by unplanned movements with limited controls such as the canvas frame, media, pigment color, and time duration.
When making artwork, Davis plays three roles – “the programmer, the designer, and the critic.” The critic, he says is the hard part because he’ll sometimes run a program 300-500 times before arriving at the result he wants. He mentioned running a program for 2 weeks before he saw the perfectly rendered design of his liking – a final result that “suspends chaos in a state of harmony… like waiting for that beautiful accident.”
The logo is animated. Its letters, in Monotype Grotesque, drift back and forth along a horizontal axis, sometimes bumping into each other, then overlapping, before splitting in opposite directions. SECCA is a newly renovated space in lush Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and it doesn’t have a permanent collection, which means that its galleries are constantly in flux. The logo is a clever expression of that identity. It also prompts the question: Is multimedia transforming branding?”
Earlier the summer, PBS Art Beat correspondent, Jeffery Brown published an interesting interview with Art Critic, Barbara Pollack. The interview covered the main ideas in Barbara Pollock’s recent book, “The Wild, Wild East: An American Art Critic’s Adventures in China.” In this book, Barbara details China’s booming art scene and the explosion of art creation and art consumption within a culture that westerners typically regard as a repressive society. Continue Reading →