I am on Instagram everyday, and everyday I come across artists and work that are a source of inspiration to me in different ways. The act of going on Instagram is not like going to a gallery. It’s very throw away, we spend less than a few seconds looking at each image before we decide to “like” it or not. I am trying to be more conscious of the inspiration that goes behind my work, so I have started to screenshot images that appeal to me whilst scrolling through my feed. I screenshot without thinking too hard about whether I find the image inspiring or not. I base it on instinct.
I have built up quite a collection of pieces and artists and have decided to make sure they are documented on here. I won’t go into great detail about each one, but will describe why I saved this image and what I get from it. I may go into more depth with a few of the pieces in future posts.
I’m becoming more interested in historical medical illustration and its morbidity. Nychos blends this with a comic and cartoon aesthetic to create graphic and precise images. I like the way he uses layers in his work, peeling them back to reveal accuracy and mortality.
Donwood is responsible for some of the Radiohead album covers. I really like the precision in this piece and the use of pencil. I was inspired by this because the branches are reminiscent of veins and tissue, which is something I’ve been looking at more. I may go back to pencil in my drawing and get more tonal variation.
Lice 4 Life is a printmaker, using largely woodcut relief printing. I like the line work in his wood cuts as well as how he illustrates anatomy. I also really like the way he layers different woodcuts in different arrangements to create a different narrative.
Ronit works in Israel creating ceramic sculptures, often using unusual placement of anatomical elements. This piece is her interpretation of Artemis, inspired by the ancient sculptures of her. Artemis was a feeding patriarchal Mother God, therefore is often depicted with multiple breasts. I love the way Baranga has included incredibly detailed mouths, all positioned to look as though they are about to be fed. I haven’t worked with sculpture before, but being really precise about the positioning and placement of anatomical features like in Baranga’s work translates well to what I have been working on with my illustrations of personified cells. The brush strokes of the pen can change the way the eyes I draw are perceived and how the expression is read.
This is a close up of one of Diana’s pieces that takes organic and biological inspiration into the abstract. I want to play around more with ink in both ways she uses here. I want to be more free and fluid with ink, allowing it to make its own shapes and try going into it with precision after its dry and structure characters
I’ve been following Cavolo’s work for a while but this post was something a bit different. I have a degree in Photography and would like to include that somewhere in my work if its suitable to the subject. I like the way he has added in characters to old family photos. There is definitely scope for me to be able to do this in my research, playing around with the idea of my body and me being to separate beings.
I have become increasingly obsessed almost with Carp Matthew’s work. He describes his work as:
MY WORK IS AN OPENLY HOPELESS STRUGGLE WITH, AND ACCEPTANCE OF, THE ETERNALLY UNKNOWABLE NATURE OF REALITY. IT IS ABOUT NOTHING. IT IS ABOUT YEARNING. IT IS ABOUT THE RABID PURSUIT OF PURPOSE AND MEANING IN EMPTY SPACES AND DEAD ENDS, IN BRAIN BENDING-FANTASY AND FANATIC IDEOLOGY, BE IT RELIGIOUS, POLITICAL, OCCULT, ECONOMIC OR OTHERWISE. IT IS ABOUT HIDING AND LYING, FARCE AND THE MYTH OF PROGRESS.
THE FIGURES I PAINT ARE LOST, IN ROOMS WITHOUT DOORS AND VOIDS WITHOUT WALLS, THEIR MUTATIONS MANIFESTATIONS OF DYING SPIRIT AND SICKNESS OF SOUL, OF THEIR OWNERS REPRESSED FEARS, DENIED INADEQUACIES, DERANGED NARCISSISM AND INESCAPABLE SOLITUDE.
THEY LONG FOR WHAT THEY CAN NEVER HAVE WITHOUT DECEIVING THEMSELVES. WORSE THAN TRAGIC, THEIR MOVEMENTS ARE MEANINGLESS, EACH SIMULTANEOUSLY UNDERSTANDING SO FULLY, AND INCAPABLE OF UNDERSTANDING AT ALL.
MY WORK IS A MEDITATION ON THIS PREDICAMENT, EVERY PIECE EITHER AN ATTEMPTED EXORCISM OF FUTILITY OR A DESPERATE GRASPING AT FLEETING BEAUTY AND MOMENTARY LOSS OF SELF-CONSCIOUSNESS TO SAID PLEASURE. A TANGIBLE SOLIDIFICATION OF THE CREEPING NIHILISM THAT PERMEATES EVERY ATOM OF THIS AGE, IT IS AN OPEN ENDED VIEW OF ALL LIFE AS MERE SPECTACLE AND AN EXPLORATION OF THE MIND’S CEASELESS REJECTION OF SUCH. AND ULTIMATELY IT IS ABOUT HOW IT FEELS TO EXIST WITHOUT FAITH IN ANYTHING BEYOND LOVE.
I love his paintings but really appreciate pieces like this that are, I assume, ink. His multiple portraits are fascinating as they, for me, encompass so much of what it is like living with an invisible illness, physical or psychological. There are different layers that overlap and conflict with each other.
Again, with the theme of human anatomy, I love to see artists do different things with it. I really enjoyed Pablo’s use of layering of tissue and anatomical elements. I also really like to play around with multiple faces in the same figure, and like seeing how other artists approach this idea.
Emilio’s artist statement says:
With these pieces, I wanted to explore a kind of omnipresent pressure I think we all live under. One that grows out of the clash between humanity —our unique mess of emotions, obsessions and urges—and society’s prescription for success.
I’ve always been fascinated by the mess.
I was drawn to this through the multiple use of eyes. I draw eyes a lot and include them in a lot of my pieces, whether they traditionally belong there or not. Looking at his statement, I identify with the unique mess of emotions and that is something I want to reflect in what I do.
I am starting to become more interested in working in animation as I think it’s a medium that would be able to deliver my messages effectively. I have started to play around with it in Photoshop, and Abbey Luck’s animations have been an inspiration. Her topic is very close to what I’m researching and I’m interested in how she makes them move.
Abbey Luck shared some work of Bang Sangho’s on her Instagram page and that is how I became aware of his work. Bang uses natural and biological elements on a molecular level to create new universes. He says:
This planet is a medium to observe the unconscious, and I makes it myself. In the planet, everything is instinctive and free; the creation, the explosion, and the mating are occurred.
I want to collect more cell images and be able to pick elements from them to create new pieces. I have started to do this but want to continue looking at different cells and microscopic images. I also want to more experimental with colour. Bang uses bright neon colours. He is not subtle with his use of colour, similar to colours seen in microscopic images. Saying that, I want to be able to use more subtle colour too, similar to Emilio Villalba’s work.
Reworked an older piece from last year – “Reverse Masks” – digital collage. . . . . . . . . . . . #digitalcollage #expressionism #collageartist #collageart #surrealart #popsurrealism #artistsofinstagram #contemporaryartist #graphicart #artshow #weirdart #newcontemporary #outsiderart #illo #lowbrowart #artbrut #juxtapoz #hifructose #brutsubmission #beautifulbizarre
Matt Cunningham is a collage artist, working with themes such as: horror movies, folklore and 80’s cartoons. He is inspired William S Burrough’s cut up techniques, which I studied a few years ago. I was particularly struck by this piece because of the subject matter. This piece resonated with me because the inside is worn outside like a mask, which I interpreted as an interesting reflection of illness. The source material is stunning, I love medical illustrations. I also really like how he places the piece on ephemera, in keeping with the rest of the work. I would like to start playing with collage elements in my work. Maybe I should go back to my William Burrough’s cut up technique research to give me a focus.
I have followed Alex Pardee for a long time now, since high school I think, but this piece stuck with me because of the vines/veins going through the figure’s body, with the illusion that they are spreading. I interpreted this as the spreading of pain, that’s how I think it looks when I’m having a flare up of pain symptoms. Nature plays well into biology in that there are so many aesthetic similarities. Maybe my sources of inspiration don’t have to be solely from inside the body but from nature in general.
Doing this was a really interesting process. Looking at pieces that I’ve liked on Instagram without spending too much time looking at them makes me think harder about why I am subconsciously drawn to them. It has brought out new ideas that I want to try and play around with so will start to work on them in the next few weeks. It also helps to document them on my blog as something to look back on, with the links to their Instagram pages, and looking back at them, I may find something new. I will continue to do this with images and artists of interest from online, as it helps me to pick out ideas for future experimentation.