Tag Archives: pop culture

Friday Finds: Hunka Hunka Burnin’ Art

17 Aug

Ya’ll, I am a long time fan of The King.  Not a crazy-I-have-an-Elvis-room-in-my-house-and-make-a-yearly-pilgrimage-to-Graceland fan, but I will sing along with him every time he comes up on the iPod.  Yesterday marked the 35th anniversary of Elvis’s death and I’ve been seeing a lot of artists drawing inspiration from Mr. Presley lately, so thought I’d round up a few of my faves for you!

Sticker Elvis by Jim Blanchard

( Elvis ) Beyond the Bend by Deborah Scott

The Dr. Martin Luther King of Rock & Roll by Troy Gua

Thank You, Thank You Very Much by Sarah Ashley Longshore

Jim BlanchardDeborah Scott | Troy Gua Sarah Ashley Longshore 

Be sure and check out all these artists’ websites, linked above.  If you happen to be in the Seattle area, don’t miss Elvistravaganza!a curated show featuring works inspired by The King during Bumbershoot, Sept 1st-3rd.  All the cool kids will be showing, including Deborah Scott, Jim Blanchard and more!

All images are via the artists’ websites, linked above.

Artsy on Escape Into Life: Robert Townsend

17 Apr

Take a look back with me on Escape Into Life today!  I’m in love with the nostalgic pop culture work by California artist Robert Townsend.

Bill Connor by Robert Townsend, oil on panel, 72 x 48

Robert Townsend on Escape Into Life

Artsy on Escape Into Life: Jill Ricci

19 Mar

Special treat for your Monday!  Due to Escape Into Life website maintenance, my EIL feature ran early yesterday.  Head over and enjoy!

Love at first sight.  That’s what I felt for Jill Ricci’s work. The colors!  The texture!  The graphics!  I love it all and am sharing it over on Escape Into Life today.  Click on the link below to fall in love!

Hocus Pocus, mixed media on canvas, 20x30

Jill Ricci on Escape Into Life

Raku Pop: Karen Shapiro

19 Mar

Isn’t it funny how seeing an object from our past will immediately take us back to a certain time and place?  It seems that we have an innate sense of nostalgia within us, whether we relate our memories to a place, an object, a film, a piece of music.  Ceramic artist Karen Shapiro, after working for years as a pastry chef, now creates raku concoctions of iconic products from long ago and what will soon be past.

Animal Crackers, raku, 14.5x8.5

Just looking through the images of her work, memories come flooding back.  As a young girl, I used to love to buy Barnum’s Animal Cracker boxes.  It was like a little purse with cookies inside?!  What could be better?

Noxzema, raku, 10x10

As with any Pop Art, Shapiro puts her own spin on her recreated icons.  These effigies are literally larger than life, as you can see in the Starbucks image ( below ), just as the cultural staples often come to symbolize not just a product, but an era.  Her use of raku, an ancient process whose temperature change causes characteristic crazing or cracking, gives a nod to the temporal nature of the more contemporary icons.

Starbucks Coffee, raku, 10x14

Prozac, raku, 15x4.5

I’m quickly coming to an age where the pop culture and products that populated my past are reaching iconographic status.  It does make me wonder how future generations will look back on us and all that we have consumed.  Will it be with disdain or idyllic fascination?

Campbell's Soup, raku, 8.5x15

To see more of Karen Shapiro’s work, please visit her website.

This artist found via Daily Dolan Geiman.

PS– I still occasionally treat myself to a box of animal crackers!

Featured image is Chiclets ( wall piece ), raku, 25x11x1.75.  All images are via the artist’s website.

Vintage Pop: Melody Postma

21 Nov

Vintage photos and ephemera, bright colors against faded backgrounds, pop culture iconography.. these are a few of my favorite things and they can all be found in the work of Melody Postma.

Absolute Beginners, mixed media on panel, 36×36 ( via Lanoue Fine Art )

This Clearwater, FL native and graduate of SCAD shares my own fascination with old photographs, utilizing their documentary/slice-of-life style and pop culture graphics of years gone by to create work that calls to us from the past.  We see our parents and grandparents in these faces, recalling memories of favorite games, candy, the way of life as we like to remember it.

Languishing in the Calm, mixed media on panel, 36×36 ( via Lanoue Fine Art )

Looking at these images and icons leads me to wonder.. Will audiences in the future be impacted as emotionally when they look back on today’s culture?  Will we see artists exploring the good ol’ days of the 00’s, the digital revolution, reality shows and social media?  Will the cultural phenomena of today hold as much charm as other decades?

Might Cause Double Vision, mixed media on panel, 42×42 ( via Lanoue Fine Art )

Or is it just that we always look back with nostalgia at times that held precious memories or periods that we’ve idealized?  Maybe it’s the 21st century cynic in me, but I’m just not sure we’ll look back on the current era quite as fondly.  Or maybe it’s that most of us didn’t live through the eras we’re most nostalgic about.  And perhaps that what Melody Postma is getting at.

A Memory Hard to Ignore, mixed media on panel, 36×36 ( via Lanoue Fine Art )

There’s Treasure Children Always, mixed media on panel, 36×36 ( via Lanoue Fine Art )

To see more of Melody Postma’s work, please visit her website.  Her work can also be viewed at Lanoue Fine Art in Boston, Hubert Gallery in NYC, Gallery Brown in L.A and Trudy Labell Fine Art in Naples, FL.

Featured image is An Afternoon With Whitman, mixed media on panel, 36×36.

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