Through Mystical Mixed-Media Narratives, Artist Rithika Merchant Explores Intrinsic Connection
November 9, 2022

“I’m drawn to works that are rich in symbolism and also have a strong element of storytelling,” says Rithika Merchant. “I love seeing the artist’s hand in the work—I have a huge appreciation for small details and works that draw from a multitude of references—literary, mythical, and visual.”
The Mumbai-born artist manifests these same qualities in her practice, creating works that expertly translate concepts and themes through her own idiosyncratic allusions. Beginning with hours of study, research, and reading on an eclectic array of topics, Merchant tends to hone in on an image that she sketches onto sheets of paper, sometimes folded into generous rectangles or triangles. More

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Chaotic Facial Markings Express the Wildly Varied Emotions of Reen Barrera’s Imaginative Ohala Dolls
September 16, 2022

Growing up in the Phillipines in the 90’s, Reen Barrera would often repurpose scraps of fabric and wood into imaginative figures that became central to his play. The constructions were stand-ins for what the Filipino artist considers a “toy-deprived” childhood, and today, Barrera continues the visual language of those early sculptures in his recurring Ohala characters.
Often dressed in stripes and animalistic patchwork hoods, the wildly expressive figures are covered in a chaotic mishmash of symbols and patterns. More Continue reading

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Undulating Lines and Geometric Shapes Comprise a Minimally Illustrated Menagerie
September 15, 2022

In Surf & Turf, designer Adam G., who’s behind the Santa Monica-based studio TRÜF Creative, transfers his signature messymod style from typography to biology. The ongoing illustrated series melds geometric shapes, clean lines, and squiggly forms into playful interpretations of foxes, roosters, and piranhas.
Varying from stark and abstract to more dense compositions, the minimal creatures are all rendered in the designer’s signature red and black color palette. More Continue reading

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Devoid of Surroundings, Grainy Colored Pencil Portraits by Uli Knörzer Emphasize a Subject’s Distinct Demeanor
August 17, 2022

Berlin-based artist Uli Knörzer (previously) highlights the signature grainy texture of colored pencils in his faithful portraiture. Whether for personal projects or commissions from fashion labels and publications—many of the pieces shown here are part of a recent project for Tommy Hilfiger—the richly illustrated works hone in on the emotions of the subject. By positioning the figures against monochromatic backdrops devoid of setting, he accentuates the minute details of their facial expressions and body language. More Continue reading

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An Ethereal Daily Portrait Series by Chiron Duong Captures the Vietnamese Tradition of Ao Dai
June 23, 2022

Softness is often mistaken for weakness, and simplicity for lack, but Chiron Duong’s 365 Days of Ao Dai series holds the history of this Vietnamese tradition in full texture.
According to Duong, “Vietnamese Ao Dai is not only a kind of national costume but also contains a rich history, cultural traditions, aesthetic conceptions, national consciousness, and spirit of the Vietnamese people.” The garment’s capacity to “contain many memories” is most obviously captured by multi-bodied portraits, such as photos from days 183 and 208 that indicate unfolding stories. More Continue reading

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A New AI-System Designs Cameras as Playful Pop-Culture Mashups
June 16, 2022

A photographer doubling as an inventor of the bizarre, Mathieu Stern has been developing new cameras based on simple ideas: one collection is created for pharaohs, another designed by Aztecs, and others are inspired by superheroes and pop culture. The devices are visually intriguing and wildly diverse, but unfortunately, they’re not real.
Stern experimented with the new artificial intelligence system called DALL-E 2, which accepts short natural language text prompts and then generates near photo-realistic images, often with uncanny results. More Continue reading

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The Precious Nature of Water Ripples Through Maya Lin’s Sprawling Installations
May 26, 2022

Water is both versatile and undisguised. Its magnitude is only made possible by its minute, microscopic makeup, and this equilibrium is what carries its message. It’s what makes water so precious, so fluid.
Maya Lin’s A Study of Water mimics these qualities in scale, subject, form, and material. Lin has previously erected public land sculptures from the earth’s materials, called “Wavefields,” that speak to the interconnectedness of natural systems. More Continue reading

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