Archive for the ‘art’ Category

Calvin and Hobbes   1 comment

yukon ho

Some fantastic person (specifically, Nite4awk, AKA freelance photographer Michael S. Den Beste) took illustrations from Calvin and Hobbes and placed the characters into some gorgeous real-life photographs.

These are simply too stupendously awesome not to share.

autumn treehouse

mutant snowmen

living room

log over river

spiff

As I was admiring these things, I couldn’t help but think of ways that some of them could be improved even further, and I couldn’t resist throwing them into Photoshop and sprucing them up a little. The following were composed by Den Beste, with a few small embellishments added by myself. Full credit for these belongs to him (and of course to Bill Watterson for drawing the comic in the first place).

snow art

Added color to the comic panels and shadows to the snowmen.

giant city

Added fire and smoke in Giant Calvin’s wake.

tracer bullet

Faded the smoke wafting away from the cigarette.

wagon pond

Added reflections in the water for the cartoons.

You can see all of Nite4awk’s Calvin and Hobbes images in this gallery, including a few others I didn’t post here. He also has a blog where he’ll hopefully be posting more of these in the future.

The Maine Labor Mural is now on display in the Maine State Museum   Leave a comment

Maine Labor Mural - Clarke Canfield, AP

Clarke Canfield, AP

Maine Labor Mural - Andy Molloy, Kennebec Journal

Andy Molloy, Kennebec Journal

Five years ago, in 2008, Maine artist Judy Taylor completed a 36-foot, eleven-panel mural depicting the history of labor in our state, which was then displayed in the lobby of the Maine Department of Labor in Augusta.

And there it sat until March 2011, when our blustering illustrious governor decided he didn’t like its pro-labor message and had taken from the walls of the Labor Department.

Gov. LePage received an anonymous letter signed by a “secret admirer” who sputtered in outrage at the presence of pro-union, Communist North Korean-style propaganda adorning the walls of a government building. This right-wing mouth-breather’s heartfelt plea for the state government to embrace reactionary anti-union paranoia resonated with LePage’s “Solidarity for Businesses and the People Who Own Them” agenda, and thus Dear Leader declared the mural objectum non grata in the very building it was commissioned to adorn.

It was a nasty if pathetically impotent attack on the labor movement, and it seriously pissed off quite a lot of Mainers.

Of course, it ended up backfiring completely on LePage: he made himself look like an obnoxious, bullying despot, the issue became a distraction for his administration and a rallying point for his detractors, and the mural became famous, celebrated – beloved, even – and is now prominently displayed in the Maine State Museum.

Bangor Daily News: Labor mural unveiled at new home, the Maine State Museum in Augusta

By Matthew Stone

AUGUSTA, Maine — Nearly two years after Gov. Paul LePage had a mural depicting Maine labor history removed from the lobby of the Department of Labor building, the artwork resurfaced Monday at its new home: the Maine State Museum.

Labor Commissioner Jeanne Paquette and Maine State Museum Director Bernard Fishman unveiled the Maine Labor History Mural in the atrium ofthe state Cultural Building in Augusta, which houses the museum, the Maine State Library and the Maine State Archives.

The Department of Labor has loaned the mural to the Maine State Museum for three years. Fishman, the museum’s director, said Monday that museum staff and others would work to find the artwork a permanent home during that period. The mural’s final home might be the museum, he said, but that would require some renovation.

“The murals, when they first came to public attention, were only contemporary art in a functional office,” Fishman said. “And after their removal became a public issue, they became historic in their own right. They recall and commemorate the past, but they also remind us of the power of art to stir thought and to stir feelings.”

This is a satisfying victory, and even if the  resolution is quiet and a bit undramatic, it’s a wonderful outcome. LePage failed, and the things he attacked came out stronger. It still doesn’t make up for that fact a bullying little puke is our governor, but it’s a nice offset to the damage he’s done to our state.

Maine Labor Mural

Maine Labor Mural 2

ABC African Animal Book   Leave a comment

Hey lookit me I’m on BuzzFeed!

But seriously though, check out this totally sweet book I wrote and illustrated and presented at the ‘96 Viola Rand Elementary School Talent Show.

BuzzFeed: “ABC African Animal Book” By A 7-Year-Old

When I was in first grade, I wrote and illustrated a book which I read aloud at the school talent show. [Ed. note: This spectacular book is part of keepsake show and tell]

Dik-diks happen to be the most painfully adorable antelope ever.

After I’d finished about half the drawings, I started to get bored with rote depictions of animals in their natural habitats, and my illustrations started to get a bit more … creative.

Here, for example, we have an ibis who’s apparently just locked a bad guy in a cage or prison of some sort, and is also dressed to attend a birthday party. Or maybe he’s some kind of rather flamboyant wizard? I can’t recall.

These nyala are apparently sailing to France in the year 1731. Because, sure, why not?

Can you see the ostriches? There’s one in the middle of the page, who’s just punted Scar over a waterfall with a kick of one of his mighty ostrich legs.

Depicted here is some sort of epic battle, featuring ostriches, chameleons, hyenas, characters from The Lion King, and a large arsenal of missiles on both sides.

Boring.

Now that’s more like it!

This image features, among other things:

  • a lemur with a police badge on his chest and a sign saying “Lemur” taped to his forehead
  • two chameleons gesticulating angrily at some warthogs
  • and a gray character who appears to be either rudely mocking someone, unhinged with fury, or perhaps both simultaneously

Urotriorchis macrourus is the scientific name for the Long-tailed Hawk, and was the closest thing I could find to an African animal whose name started with a U.

“Macrourus” is from the Greek for “long tail”; “uro” is Greek for “tail” and “triorchis” is from the Greek meaning “having three testicles.”

I was unaware of that fact at the time.

So, since this is an alphabet of African animals, you all knew from the beginning that the last animal was going to be “zebra” OH SNAP NO IT’S “ZEBU”!!!

The zebu is a type of domestic cattle originating in South Asia that has been raised in Africa for hundreds of years. It’s pretty obscure; you probably haven’t heard of it.

Oh man, I totally had you fooled! I even tricked you by decorating the “Z’s” with black and white zebra stripes.

This is the back cover. Here we have, let’s see:

  • a white chess piece knight on a checkered path of some kind
  • a bunch of hyenas (they had haunched shoulders and gangly hips in The Lion King,features which I depicted in a manner that makes them look the twin humps of Bactrian camels)
  • and a grey hyena who is A) apparently a good guy, or at least disguising himself as one, B) sporting a purple bandana and cape, and C) also maybe some sort of cyborg, with mechanical spider legs – and maybe that cape is actually an exhaust pipe?

And God only knows what this poor bugger’s deal is.

And finally, my performance at the Talent Show (with assistance from my mom).
image

Bodies of Olympic athletes   Leave a comment

In anticipation of the upcoming Olympic Games in London next week, here are some beautiful photographs of nude American Olympic athletes. These images are from ESPN The Magazine’s third annual Body Issue, which is that sports media outlet’s classier, artistic answer to the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.

Abby Wambach

Forward, USA Women’s National Soccer Team        Age: 32      5’11”, 170 pounds

Photograph by Carlos Serrao

Danell Leyva       

Gymnast, US Gymnastics Team       Age: 27      5’7″, 165 pounds

Photographs by Peter Hapak

Walter Dix

Sprinter, USA Track & Field Team       Age: 26      5’10”, 195 pounds

Photograph by Olugbenro Ogunsemore

Oksans Masters

USA Paralympic Rower       Age: 23       5’8″, 125 pounds with prosthetics

Photograph by Martin Schoeller

Ashton Eaton

Decathlete, USA Track & Field Team       Age: 24       6’1″, 185 pounds

Photograph by Carlos Serrao

Anna Tunnicliffe

Sailor, USA Sailing Team       Age: 29       5’6″, 146 pounds

Photograph by Stephen Lippman

Tim Morhouse

Fencer, USA Fencing Team, Silver Medalist at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing       Age: 33      6’2″, 200 pounds

Photograph by Peter Hapak

Carlos Bocanegra

Defender, US Men’s Soccer Team      Age: 33      6’0″, 170 pounds

Photographs by Richard Phibbs

Heather Brown, Alisha Glass, Megan Hodge, Cynthia Barboza, Stacy Sykora, Nellie Spicer, Destinee Hooker

USA Women’s Indoor Volleyball Team

Photograph by Art Streiber

Carmelita Jeter

Sprinter, USA Track & Field Team       Age: 32        5’4″, 135 pounds

Photograph by Francesco Carrozzini

 

A Sound of Thunder   Leave a comment

Ray Bradbury died on Tuesday, June 5. He was 91 – although to be honest, I’d thought that he’d died years ago. It’s just hard to imagine an author of such classic science fiction whose most celebrated works were all written in the early 1950’s and who had such a luddite bent still kicking around in the age of iPhones.

I thought I should post these illustrations for his short story “A Sound of Thunder,” which I drew for a project in my sophomore English class, as a memorial. I’ve come a long way artistically since 2005 – the anatomy in the final drawing makes me want to avert my eyes in horror – but creating these illustrations was a great challenge and a lot of fun for me.

RIP Ralph McQuarrie   Leave a comment

starwarsmcquarrie

Ralph McQuarrie, the legendary concept artist behind the original Star Wars trilogy, the original Battlestar Galactica TV series, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Cocoon, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and Jurassic Park, died at his home on Saturday at the age of 82.

Star Wars wouldn’t have been half the film it was without this guy. The visual style of everything in the Star Wars universe was based on Ralph McQuarrie’s art. The Millennium Falcon, the Death Star, the X-wing, lightsabers, Darth Vader, Cloud City, R2-D2 and C-3PO – all of these were taken directly from his concept illustrations.

Not a bad legacy.

Ralph McQuarrie - Star Wars - 1

Ralph McQuarrie - Star Wars - 2

Ralph McQuarrie - Star Wars - 3

Ralph McQuarrie - Star Wars - 4

Ralph McQuarrie - Star Wars - 5

Ralph McQuarrie - Star Wars - 6

Ralph McQuarrie - Star Wars - 7

Ralph McQuarrie - Empire - 1

Ralph McQuarrie - Empire - 2

Ralph McQuarrie - Empire - 3

Ralph McQuarrie - Empire - 4

Ralph McQuarrie - Empire - 5

Ralph McQuarrie - Slave I - matte painting

Ralph McQuarrie - Jedi - 1

Ralph McQuarrie - Jedi - 2

Ralph McQuarrie - Jedi - 3

Ralph McQuarrie - Jedi - 4

Ralph McQuarrie - Jedi - 5

Ralph McQuarrie - Jedi - 6

Ralph McQuarrie - Jedi - 7

Ralph McQuarrie - Jedi - 8

Ralph McQuarrie - Alderaan

Ralph McQuarrie - Coruscant

“Rhine II” by Andreas Gursky   Leave a comment

The Telegraph: Photograph by Andreas Gursky breaks auction record

By Florence Waters

11 Nov 2011

A landscape so perfectly flat, vibrant and minimal that on first glance it appearas to be abstract now holds the record for most expensive photograph.

The chromogenic colour print, which is mounted on acrylic glass, far exceeded its pre-sale estimate of $2.5m-$3.5m (£1.6m-£2.2m).

Rhine II, 1999, is one of an edition of six photographs by Gursky, four of which are in major museums, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Tate Modern in London. Gursky’s name already appears in the list of five most expensive photographs with 99 Cent II Diptychon (2001), which sold for £2.1m in 2007. With this sale it has been relegated to fourth place.

The previous record was set in May this year by the American artist Cindy Sherman Untitled #96 (1981), also at Christie’s in New York. The dichromatic print which depicts the artist dressed up as a lovelorn adolescent, shot in 1981, fetched $3.89m (£2.4).

Gursky, born in Düsseldorf in 1955, is widely regarded as one of the most important and influential photographers of his generation. He is known for his large scale photographs, which seek out formal patterns in real environments.

The photo doesn’t look like much when viewed alone, but Gursky’s work is actually really great. He takes large-scale photographs of objects in a series (apartments, supermarkets, buildings, crowds of people) and frames them so they appear as rote patterns. His photographs work brilliantly as a series. They’re disturbingly provocative, reducing the wonder of human existence to a series of vast geometric forms on an inhuman scale.

 

99 Cent

 

Kamiokande

 

Chicago Board of Trade II

 

Shanghai

 

Ratingen Swimming Pool

 

Tokyo Stock Exchange

 

Copan

Posted November 10, 2011 by benjaminsapiens in art, cool

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