Amy Wilke has been known in the past for her wonderful cut-paper works, but more and more recently she has been letting us see her equally marvelous talent for clean, hyper-detailed ink drawings. Paired with her whimsical and macabre subject matter, her rich and delicate linework will have you staring raptly at each piece for minutes upon hours. There’s always more to discover. But don’t take my word for it, have a look at these pieces from her “Still Lives: Wunderkabinett” show.
I was reminded of this amazing show a few days ago when I saw one of Amy’s pieces over at a friend’s house. The show actually took place last year, but since 2014 was a very busy freelance year for me I haven’t been able to document it properly until now.
When I first saw the show I was immediately reminded of the concept of studiolo, something a former art history prof of mine told me about long ago. The studiolo (or “study”) was a special room that was richly appointed with interesting and mysterious paintings, myriad books, curiosities, tools of science and writing, and objects d’art. The room’s function was to serve as a place for a learned man to sit musing or contemplating deep and interesting things. He would turn over the room’s curiosities in his hands, examine a book or skull or sculpture, and perhaps come away with a new understanding of some minute aspect of our universe.
It came as no suprise when I went to find the meaning of “Wunderkabinett” that it was basically the German counterpart of the Italian studiolo, a “cabinet of wonders” that contained strange and interesting objects that invited the owner to handle and contemplate them in quiet moments.
The insects, skulls and other curiosities in these delicate and exacting drawings bring to mind that same appreciation and worship of the natural world, while at the same time underlining how beautifully disturbing and uncanny it can really be. Every cell and and scale is lovingly imagined, giving almost infinite facets to these gems. I think these particular pieces might all be sold by now, but you are always welcome to check out Amy at Paper Raven Art + Design and see what she has brewing now…or even better, commission something of your very own.
Today I want to show you some of the crazy-awesome pieces from TACODoom artist Melissa Erwin‘s newest show, The Mother Load down at PG Gallery. As you can see below, these incredibly rich and detailed pieces are lavish with color, texture, and unexpected associations. They’re made even better by being gorgeously printed on canvas and mounted onto interesting and varied surfaces including leather and reeds. (Of some sort, I’m not a reed/tatami/bamboo sort of expert even though I adore it.) As usual, I took pictures of a few but not all of the wonderful pieces in the show. Feast your eyes on this!!
So where did all these crazy ideas and textures come from? I’ll let the artist herself explain in her own words. From Erwin’s facebook event page:
Sometimes after suffering some severe frustrations my brain will vomit out a large quantity of questionable imagery. Then I need to do something about it more constructive than a stabbing spree.
This would be that.
A series of digital illustrations based on scribblings in my trusty sketch pad.
Fair warning, I’m not responsible for any weird feelings or nightmares resulting from them.
After all, I don’t sleep at night, why should you?
I have to warn you, I saw a lot of “sold” stickers already, which did not surprise me in the least considering the amazing artwork and the unreal prices (I’m talking $35, $65…it’s nuts!!). The show’s up until the 17th~18th so be sure to check it out before then before everything sells.
Incidentally, keep your eyes peeled for more posts about Erwin’s art. I’m planning “A Look Back At…” series of posts featuring other amazing art shows I wasn’t able to document at the time, including Erwin’s Grenade Pin Girls series, her It Can’t Happen Here show and her Benign Acquiescence show. I’ll also be featuring Amy Wilke‘s awesome show Still Lives: Wunderkabinett, Space Madness II, some past shows of mine, and other shows and events that were too good to miss.
Would you know it, my phone died while I was setting up. No event photos for me! Fortunately for you all, I went and grabbed a lot of art for myself. So I can at least show you pics of what I bought. If I get permission, I’ll also feature some other pieces of art I admired that I know people took pictures of, so stay tuned for a possible update.
First off, the featured image above is a painting on poster-board by Ryan McCain, who somehow manages to be an amazing artist and a heck of a nice guy as well!! He has a huge body of work and he’s done mural work too…I’m a new huge fan. The second image of a creepy and fascinating guy is by Ryan too:
Below, I also snatched up a gorgeous little wire and bead tree on driftwood by Damon Murray. Next year this sculpture artist will have an even more amazing array of art, which will be hard considering how beautiful all of his trees and other small wire sculptures are. But he’s experimenting with MAGNETS now!! Our fellow artist Megan Black showed me an amazing little spider he made that actually moves and dances because of magnets. It was awesome…
Speaking of Megan Black! Check this out: this year she premiers her new loveable and intricate Voodoo Babiez styles!! Each one of these individual dolls is painstakingly and lovingly crafted with Meghan’s love rather than with bad juujuu, and I GOT ONE. Not only one, a PINK BUNNY ONE. …yeah my excitement pretty much knew no bounds when I took this little lady home…
Lastly, I grabbed an amazing Monster Pin-Up Calender by Christy Jochum!
I also admired everyone else’s stuff including all the amazing vintage paintings and drawings by Lisa Herzog.
It was a fantastic event and a great night all around, I can’t wait to see who will be there next year!
Come on down to the Ahh Spa, 600 North Weinbach, tomorrow October 4rth from 6pm to 9pm to snap up some fantastic scary and morbid art, jewelry and other treats and goodies! At least 20% of all sales go to benefit PAAWS Animal Rescue, and some artists do more! The lovely piece above is by Jamie Gish-Bates of Silent Salvation Jewelry and Watches.
Here’s the Night Gallery event page where you can see awesome art and cute Voodoo Babiez plushies that people will be bringing, and more! I’ll be bringing a fistful of new morbid and creepy art prints, so be warned.
Check them out, don’t they look awesome?? This from Corvidae Collective’s facebook page. I’m also blown away that DIVE is honored to appear next to these awesome pieces. I just know that the overall show is going to be phenomenal. I can tell that the leftmost image is another one by Karen Short, but I’ll have to find out who did the middle one (which I also adore) so I can point you toward their page.
I did discover another awesome artist named Dolly Gode through this art show though. She’s freaking awesome!! I don’t know if she did the middle image or not, but I like her work a lot.
I don’t think I’ve mentioned it on here, but I’m doing 3 illustrations for Lauren Tharp’s upcoming book on ghostwriting. This cute ghostie is by Sandra Kang, I’ll be posting some teaser ghosts in a couple of weeks.
In the meantime, feel free to check out Lauren’s post on the book or look at any of her other awesome freelancing advice…she frequently helps me out with freelancing dilemmas and her site is chock-full of info on the subject.
Today let’s take a look at the playfully irreverent work of the artistic team of Amanda and Kristofer Sibrel! They’ve currently got a wonderful show at PG, showcasing pieces characteristic of each artist’s very distinct approach. Here’s the Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/248066348731601/ and below I have more images of each artist’s work! First, Amanda:
Amanda couples delicate pencil work on wood with painstakingly wrought patterns and tessellations to create a series of small gems that superficially resemble Russian or Greek icons, complete with roughly hewn wooden frames. However, this religious imagery is humorously applied to cats, with names like “Lazarus, Lord of Terror” and “Devourer of Souls” accompanying the admittedly rather adorable haloed housecats they describe. Although I must admit, as a long-time cat owner (or maybe “tolerated room-mate” is a better term) I could easily see any of these fearsome descriptions fitting a cat.
Kristofer’s gorgeous and unusual stained-glass pieces, each boasting its own light source, are a wonderful counterpoint to these quiet wooden portraits. Not pictured is “Sensory Fenestration,” a joint stained-glass effort between Amanda and Kristopher blazing with the different talents of each artist. These stained-glass works continue the theme of turning religious imagery on its head with pieces like “Lucifer’s Leotard,” a light-hearted and visually pleasing piece which nonetheless is modestly framed in an inverted cross. “Nosfowlratu” reveals more and more bird shapes as you look at it. And of course, like Amanda’s iconic pieces, stained glass is a medium many of us might typically associate with a religious setting.
I suspect that this gentle kaleidoscopic shifting of provocative elements may be the secret of “Let’s Agree to Disagree.” In an understated way, these pieces appropriate religious imagery to poke gentle fun at the ideas and images which have caused so much passion and unrest over the centuries. When you think about it, that’s pretty bold stuff! But rather than approach their bold statement like a shout or a slap in the face, this show resonates with the promise that even those with radically different beliefs and backgrounds can find a common ground, even one where they can laugh.
As usual, I’m only going to show you a few of these marvelous pieces. Suffice to say I adored the show in its entirety and I highly recommend it! It will be hanging at PG until June 17th, so go catch it!
As you may see in the “Upcoming Events” section below, I hope to be at The Arts Council of Doom‘s Space Madness II: There is No Cure group art show this summer.
The first Space Madness show was back in 2012 and was absolutely amazing. I was just becoming aware of the Arts Council of Doom’s activities when they were doing this show. Therefore, I missed it. So how do I know how stunning the show was?!
JEANNIE WORLEY’S AWESOME PHOTOS DOCUMENTING THE EVENT!!
You can see them two different places, on The Arts Council of Doom’s tumbr, and in this Facebook album. They give you some idea of how truly mindblowing this upcoming show promises to be. Check ’em out! And then come see the show. I’ll have more information on the 2014 show when I have a firm date, flyer and etc for it. Stay tuned!
As promised, here’s some images from Wilke‘s January 2014 solo show at PG Gallery and Cafe, “All is ‘Naut.” It was a hum-dinger of a show, wildly successful and enjoyed by all! (I thought the Tang was an especially nice touch and guzzled my fair share.) The overall whimsical and satirical tone of the subject matter was a good compliment to the bright, cheerful colors and clean lines of the ‘nauts. I would be surprised if any of these gems are left unsold at the time of this post. However, Wilke is another digital artist like myself so don’t hesitate to ask him about a re-print. It’s one of the great things about the medium!
To see more ‘Naut goodness, check out Wilke’s tumblr page here: http://drxwilke.tumblr.com/