hong yi chopstick art

Hong Yi

Hong Yi, also famously known as Red, was born in 1987.  She was born in Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Sabah in Malaysia. Hong Yi is famously known for using unconventional material to create amazing art. She is an artist who does not comply to the paintbrush technique, and uses different material sourced locally to create portraits of people. These materials can be as common as tea bags. This stroke of genius was by accident when she realized that she had forgotten her materials back in Melbourne.

She was unable to work on her art skills while in school as multitasking was difficult at the time. Pressurized by the requirements of school, she put her skills to the back burner and focused on school. She had time however, to jot down some notes and scribble designs, but focusing mainly on her passion for architecture.

She moved from Malaysia and decided to settle in the busy city of Shanghai as she fell in love with the city’s chaotic nature. She is a graduate from the University of Melbourne, where she acquired a Bachelor’s degree in planning and design in 2007. She also went ahead in 2010 to acquire a MA in Architecture from the same university. After acquiring her certifications, she moved to Shanghai and worked for an Australian firm, HASSEL that deals with architecture.

Inspired by her shanghai surroundings, she decided to document her new adventure in Shanghai, uploading videos that soon were to go viral on YouTube.With encouragement from her bossto take a sabbatical, she explored art using local materials.

Her debut to the world was back in 2012 when she recorded a video painting Yao Ming a famous Chinese basketball prayer. The video got over 10,000 views the first week and shot up to 50,000 views after being featured on Gizmodo a tech site. News networks like ABC, picked up the story and Red became the sensation that she is.Since 2013 after quitting her office job, Red has stamped her art presence as one of the most dynamic artists there is. 

Her work and style

Red is known for her brilliance in using different material to attain different textures. Red says “Architecture school taught me that there are many directions, possibilities and techniques out there”. She used materials like sunflower seeds to paint artist like Ai Weiwei, and up to 2000 socks just to make Zhang Yimao’s portrait.

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She used chilli to paint Justin Bieber and chopsticks to make Jackie Chan a portrait that he, commissioned himself. She has used materials like coffee dregs, dyed carnations, and melted tea light candles. She says “I like to use ordinary, mundane objects and materials that may often be overlooked, and turn them into something unexpected and meaningful”. She has also used makeup, candy, food items, flower petals, and continues to explore new materials daily.

Red’s growth in mainstream art

Red has claimed success by her own right. Her first accolade was back when she was seven, attaining second place in an art competition. She got recognised in 2009 by SONA superstudio, an Australian competition. She has gotten recognition from international stars like Jackie Chan, who commissioned a portrait on his 60th birthday. She has presented her work of “Teh Tarik Man” during the World Economic Forum in Switzerland.

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She was named among the Brilliant Artist Award and named among the top brilliant Malaysians by Esquire magazine. She has rubbed shoulders with big names while speaking at the EG conference. She has been recognised by gig publications like TIME, Wall street journal, Huffington post and Fast company. Back in 2015, she gunnerd the ASEAN Outstanding Business Award

She has been part of international campaigns like Nespresso and other international brands like Ponds. She has been invited to speak at TEDxkl and APEC young entrepreneur conference. She was names by Australia Unlimited as one of one of the 19 “future chasers” Perspective 40 under 40 also names her, a shaper of the future design world.

She hopes to change the future landscape of art using her architectural skills that she has gained. Inspired by the quote “Move fast and break things and Keep on shippingshe hopes to push her boundaries even further and achieve bigger and better goals. She takes time to travel the world in conferences and temporary teaching assignments to show others how to encompass architecture and design in their art.

For a trend setter like Hong Yi, the sky is the limit. A strong believer in chasing one’s dreams, Hong Yi encourages upcoming artist to work hard at their craft, and to never stop running after their dreams. Her name has been put up with some of the greatest innovative artists of our time. To see her amazing work, visit her website and let your eyes behold the future.

iris scott finger painting in gallery

Iris Scott Paints with her Finger

Iris Scott, is a Brooklyn based, phenomenal artist that is taking the world by storm. Born in 1984 and named after a Greek goddess, Iris Scott lived a pretty normal childhood in a tiny farm located near Seattle. While her hipster parents took care of the household, Iris had plenty of time to expand her creative horizons and dive into drawing books which she got from the library.

Undistracted by television, Iris was left to indulge in other forms of entertainment. She imitated images that she got from other photographs and paintings. Surrounded by woodlands that entranced their farm and unending variety of pets, Iris and her sister were never bored.  Since practice makes perfect, she spent hours on end horning her craft. She was to bend a few art rules in the future, despite her unawareness at the time.

She progressed towards high school expanding her craft. After attaining a Bachelors Degree in Fine Art from Washington State University, she moved to Taiwan, where she opened her mind to her creative juices away from the stifling life in Seattle. She was eager to merge her two passions of art and photography.

By sheer laziness, Iris Scott stumbled upon finger painting by accident while in living in Taiwan back in 2010. As the story goes, she was painting some yellow colored flowers when she realised all her brushes were dirty. Eager to get the painting done, she took a few swabs of oil paint and used her fingertips to control the paint. A light bulb went on and she realised that she had discovered and mastered the technique that was finger painting. She set out the next day to acquire surgical gloves that would be part of her now famous trade.

Her style of painting

Iris Scott is known to have adopted her own unique version of textural impressionism. She says “I want my paintings to be both an escape from our everyday life, and an intensification of the recognizable.” She is known to combine over 100 colors at a time to attain vibrancy and fluid movements. Her heavy set finger painting technique allows her paintings to portray normal life as dreamy and dynamic.

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She has inspired millions of artists all over the world to abandon their expensive painting brushes and use their fingers. Due to the time spent in her childhood home surrounded by animals and rainy days she is able to portray any kind of flora and fauna with utmost intensity. She said herself, “There’s a denseness to those woods that has stayed with me. The trees were draped in moss, and play days were drenched with rain, animal and plant life blooming from every nook.”

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She is especially known for her “shaking dogs” where she captures the motion as if frozen in time. She likes travelling to different parts of the world in order to capture different scenes and color pallet. Armed with her camera and surgical gloves she is an unstoppable force of art.

Growth and Success

Iris Scott has now become a famous artist having her paintings hang in different high profile galleries. Her art shows sell out as she has acquired millions of fans. Her paintings have received recognition from big multinational companies like Microsoft and Coca Cola, who have in turn bought her paintings. Her works have graced Swedish Medicare centers and children’s hospitals as away of cheering them up and as a form of therapy.

Iris Autumn Trees, 2/1/12, 10:58 AM, 16C, 9828x13119 (73+100), 125%, Custom,  1/60 s, R70.5, G48.9, B67.2

Though she is overly busy due to various bookings, Iris Scott makes time to teach others. She released a how- to book back 2016 titled Finger Painting Weekend Workshop, to aid others into the world of impressionistic finger painting art. She is passionate about her work and she shares all on social media platforms like Instagram, Youtube and Facebook so that her fans can learn from them. She is like the mother Teresa of finger painting.

She also does her very best to make her prints available as she is of the notion that hoarding  does not respect the future of art. Scott does not believe in over charging for her paintings. She says she has been steadily increasing the price of her paintings from 2010 and only charges high but fair prices when available prints are overwhelmed by the number of demands.

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With her trail blazing antics, Iris Scott is set to be one of the 21st century most influential artists. Her work is in such demand you have to book her a year ahead, if you want a project done by her. We as the art community salute her for her brilliance and trend setting ways.  Her name will surely be stumped among the legends of art throughout history.

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Artist Spotlight: Mode 2

This brilliant man was born in Mauritius in the year 1967. His days as a child were spent exploring the Indian ocean before eventually relocating to the UK in 1976. Heavily influenced by the culture he was exposed to in the 80s, the young boy spent his time diving through comic books and sci-fi stories. He claims to draw for as long as he can remember. This only speaks of his exceptional talent.

Mode 2 has taken the art world by storm, drawing his inspiration from the hip-hop culture which was close to his heart. He says “After my school exams in summer ‘84, I started hanging out in Covent Garden, the hub of the London Hip Hop scene, which I had discovered the year before, walking through it with my mother and the younger of my older brothers. My drawing ability led me to pick up the marker and spray-can, doing anything from painting banners for the “Alternative Arts” center, or customizing the trousers or jackets of some of the other people hanging out with me, whether they were dancers or Mc’s”

He has written his name among the greats like his partners’ Eskimo, Zaki, Scribla, and last but not least forming Chrome Angelz. The forerunners of the British graffiti circle recognize his work in street art inspired movement. For more info you can check out his latest tales on his blog.

His Artwork

His motto to empty every paint can as beautifully as he can has followed him all through his art life. Understanding rhythm and movement are the hints given to understand his artistic way. Mode 2 uses the fluidity of the movement in dancing to emit some good vibes from his projects.

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He has enjoyed residence at the emporium Coco de Mer. During his residency, he refined an offshoot style where he mixes graffiti art and variables of traditional portraits. He says that he cannot put his art in a box and refuses to categorize or define his art.

Taking leave days from school, Mode 2 used to travel to Paris to get commissioned jobs. He rubbed shoulders with the famous Bando. He became part and parcel of the first generation of graffiti writers who were based in Europe. Their environment was soaked in inspiration for them to take in and create amazing artwork.

As an artist, he employs a harmonious contrast to make his objects come alive. He loves painting about situations everyone faces like lust, love. And sexual promiscuity. He uses his style in such a way that it has no proper posturing or obvious antagonism. This turn of events landed him on the cover of” Spraycan Art “back in 1987 and the exposure took him to a new level in his career.

His passion for soaking his surroundings brought him a close working relationship with the compact camera. He took photos of what captures his eye. Some of his photographs were however used in a book that was printed by Lazarides Gallery located in London. This was the beginning of “Toxic” Paris parties in 2004.

Because of his love for hip hop, she designs banners for the” battle of the year” even though he is still one of the competition’s committee. Lately, he has gotten opportunity to display his prints at the Galarie Issue in Paris, France. This event is to socialize people with digital applications.

The year 1996 was a good year for Mode 2. He met Swiftly who hosted a show and this changed his life yet again. He opened doors making flyer illustrations for various companies both locally and internationally. Till today he still enjoys making presentations once in a while.

Although his artwork shows an obsession with the female form, he insists that he tries not to have preferences while making art. Even while painting of harsh realities, Mode two tries to breathe a little positivity into the wood work.

He also hints of how he got his success. He is heard saying”Still, when looking back over the years, what had helped me to really make my name was what many would call graffiti, though it was actually called “writing”, by those who practiced it and made it evolve.” He encourages young artists to let creativity flow and to avoid tags.

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Mode 2 has been around the art scene to see it morph into what it is today. He has already put his name in the hall of fame. We salute his hard work and his inspiring history as he has gained millions of loyal fans all over the world.

He lives us saying “We, in the meantime, despite the plague of communication technology, will continue to evolve and refine what we do, choosing where and when we wish to reach out to the public and give from what makes us feel alive.”

rob the original at work

Artist Spotlight: Rob ‘The Original’ Ferrel

Rob Ferrel a.k.a Rob ‘The Original’ is a master barber who will blow your mind away with his artistic touch and amazing eye for detail in all matters hair; he is mostly known for his life-like hair designs. He is based in San Antonio, Texas where he owns and operates his own barbershop.

Background

Rob ‘The Original’ is originally from Los Angeles, California. It was ten years ago that he started engraving portraits into people’s hair and going by the love that he is receiving, it comes as no surprise that his passion has turned into a lucrative career.

Rob started by cutting some pretty good zigzag lines and stars into kids’ haircuts and this impressed his peers. It was only a matter of time before people began asking for drawings from the young artist. He took time to learn his own style with the buzzer and scissors before he eventually became a master of his craft.

Rob practiced drawing from a tender age because he always saw himself as an artist; however, he would later learn some professional barber skills. He might not have planned to be a barber but, it is the combination of both his skills that would make him stand out. It was while he was in San Antonio that he pioneered “hair art” which can include portraits, complex designs and simple fades. Rob the Original has changed the way we look at haircuts and the job of a barber because he simply doesn’t limit himself to the boundaries of normal barber.

More than just a skilled barber, Rob the Original is a revolutionary hair artist who is shaping the hair cuts of the future.

Trademark Style

Rob the original has managed to build a niche for himself by mastering the art of haircuts that are more original than others. He is renowned for creatively using people’s hair and scalp as his canvas to create hair portraits. He also does portraits and cool designs using colors in his cuts.

Most of Rob’s hair portraits are influenced by special occasions and sporting events. These works of art are definitely meant to draw attention; the kind of body art that may get the wearer on television.

rob the original various cuts

As if that isn’t enough, Rob the original’s love for art doesn’t stop there. He creates art using dust on cars, wood stain, salt and other things; he is constantly expanding his portfolio to see how far his talents can take him. This guy simply sees art in everything around us.

Online success

Rob has amassed a huge online following; he is particularly big on Instagram where he has over 70,000 followers.

The hair artist has been hitting headlines for his remarkable designs of Spurs and other celebrities using everything from ketchup, salt and hair. Notably, Rob’s depiction of Adele, drawn in Whataburger ketchup was recently featured on E Online.

Some cool designs

One of Rob’s masterpieces is a Tupac Shakur hair cut; perhaps even better a Tupac pancake.

Another popular one is a drake portrait made from hair on the floor.

He even did a Mayweather vs Canello haircut back in the day.

Rob also carved Hillary Clinton  on a 70-year-old man during the 2016 US presidential campaign period.

 

Renowned San Antonio Barber

Rob is by far the most renowned barber in San Antonio, if not the nation, he stands for unparalleled skill, talent and professionalism. Rob The Original barbershop is a “must stop” if you are into barber shops. This place definitely has a “vibe” and it goes without saying that Rob’s work simply sells itself.

Having been featured on ESPN, Yahoo.com, and other prominent media platforms, Rob the original has emerged as a force to reckon with and a shining example of what makes San Antonio unique.

ian berry denim art woman in bedroom

Ian Berry Does Artwork Using Denim

If you think your old jeans are only good for the dustbin, artist Ian Berry differs greatly differs with you. Instead of using paint, Ian uses denim jeans to create incredibly detailed pieces of art. For him, denim is an art with which to design portraits and landscapes using only bits of vintage denim. His art revolves around the depressing urban scene, usually representing the solitary and less enchanting side of the city life.

How he started

The Yorkshire-born Denimu, as he’s famously known, was always this kid with the dream of becoming an artist, yet he ended up going down into commercial advertising. His story simply began at home. Ian was planning to leave his mom’s house and go seek a job in London. Since he was leaving for good, his mom decided to redecorate his old bedroom and get rid of all his old stuff, including a large pile of jeans.

While cleaning out his room he noticed the different textures, shades and colors of the denim together. And that was the moment he thought the jeans would make a pretty interesting medium for a piece of art.

When he started working out the jeans, it was purely aesthetic. He was still feeling attached to some of his most favorite jeans and he didn’t want to throw them away, even though they didn’t fit anymore. They had a link to his memories throughout his past years.

Working with denim brought even more meaning into it. He realized that he was as comfortable using denim jeans in creating art as he was comfortable wearing them. When Ian sees denim, the only thing in his mind is how he would design something out of it.
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Denim’s art technique

Ian’s work begins from photographs. Initially, he used to work with Photoshop to mark pieces out then he advanced to work directly from the colour photo, which he acknowledged is easier to visualize. The process is really technical and needs so much concentration. He can only work at one artwork a single time since he needs to focus on the kind of shade he’s using. On the off chance that he uses a wrong shade or loses one, the job will be as good as screwed up.

As an established artist, these days he enjoys plenty of jeans at his disposal which makes his work better as he can find various shades and textures that he needs. That suggests his work is now much easier but it’s not; it takes much longer to find and choose from the many options available.
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Over time development

When he started, he could use blocked colors, of which the denim pieces remained the same shade. The end portraits usually looked like they were created using paint. He now varies the shades within the jeans and plays with high contrast that it becomes hard to tell whether his pieces are made out of denim.

On the subject matter, he began with faces of people who wore iconic in the history of denim, the likes of Marilyn and James Dean. Today, he tries to work bigger and put more emphasis into the work with city scenes. Such work contrasts with him personally considering he now lives in rural Sweden, yet the scenes he does features urban areas like London and New York City.

His typical piece is a man having dinner alone or a lonely girl in a bar with everyone else minding their own business – that melancholic side of urban life.

Exhibition

Ian’s work gained popularity a few years into the industry. That was good for him yet the pressure for exhibitions built up. He did a solo exhibition in London last year which wowed many art lovers who were craving for his work.

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One of the featured work, Behind Closed Doors, is comprised of a series of opulent interiors and almost all of them had a lonely woman as the subject. However, the exteriors look glossy and that was the narrative of the pieces in this collection; to portray the gap that exists between perception and reality. You might look at someone’s life and think it’s beautiful, yet the truth is more complicated. The works are basically based along those lines.

Another work he exhibited is one he calls My Beautiful Launderette. It focused on the devastating cost of living in the city and the effect it brings to communities. The idea was the energy that used to exist in the city is now disappearing and he settled on the launderette to represent the idea. Launderettes were such places where people could meet and talk and get to know each other yet they are now disappearing. That’s the message.

Ian’s creative pieces certainly continue to attract many followers. From the technical brilliance he inputs in designing denim art to the emotional complexity experienced in the finished work, every piece triggers imagination and should be marveled in every home.

subway doodle by ben rubin showing a pile of garbage resembling donald trump in the subway of new york

Ben Rubin Subway Doodle

Art being a creative way of visually expressing imagination, skill and talent, some artists have found a way to link art and technology to come up with some of the most amazing pieces today.

Ben Rubin, a media artist from New York City was born in 1964, Massachusetts, Boston, says that he has been drawing all his life; though there was a time he did not do too much art. He took AB Computer Science in Brown University in 1987 and later went to Massachusetts Institute of Technology for MS Visual Studies in 1989. Mr. Rubin also became a critic in graphic design after teaching in the Yale School of Art in 2004. He has worked for 25 years in television, and owns a marketing company called The Mint in Brooklyn New York which makes promotions for social media and also television networks.

Mr. Rubin has also has a number of exhibitions to his name. Starting as early as 1993 with The Tuning of the World in the Nickel Art museum in Calgary, art in the Anchorage in Brooklyn all the way to Madrid for the Ministerio de Fomento with Habitats Techtonicas in 2001. The same year he teamed up with Mark Hansen at the Next Wave Festival in Brooklyn Academy of Music.

subway doodle by ben rubin showing a young boy and a playful rat beast

Some of his works are situated in the collections of the San Jose Museum of art, the art institute of Chicago and the Science Museum, London and some of his work has been publicized at the MoMA, Whitney Museum in New York, and other worldwide venues. He has in turn been appointed to craft a large-scale public art work for the New York Times Building, the University of Texas and the City of San Jose among others.

The Shakespeare Machine which was commissioned by the New York City’s Percent of Art initiative as an on-going restoration of the landmark institution and completed in October 2012 is an art fitting, which is site-specific and long-lasting.

subway doodle by ben rubin showing a monster wiht a horn on it's head in a small police car

It was Rubin’s large-scale multimedia sculpture creating a clarifying display of the Shakespearean dialect. It pauses as the Public Theatre lobby’s chandelier and organizes pieces of the texts according to various attributes that are arranged into motion guidelines of an infinite number of texts. 37 display panels one of each representing Shakespeare’s plays, appear in luminous characters of the moving texts. Ben Rubin himself said that his goal for the Shakespeare Machine was to generate flashes of the wit and passion that existed at the time of these plays’ creation.

For his achievements in the field of public art; he received the Public Art Annual Award in 2012,  and later went on to win the CoD+A Public Art Award in the category of Public Spaces in 2013, his work was included in the 2013 Public Art Network year in review.

subway doodle by ben rubin showing a celebrating monster heading to a sports game in subway tunnel

Mr. Rubin has operated closely with some key figures including architects, performers, theorists and artists. Mostly he has collaborated with Mark Hansen in projects like Listening Post (2002), Movable Type (2007) and together with the Elevator Repair Service presented a performance, Shuffle, that reviewed text of three 1920s American novels

subway doodle by ben rubin showing a monster with two horns riding on a blue bicycle in new york

In 2011, Ben Rubin took art to another level as he found a creative innovative way to pass time during his daily routine commuting from Brooklyn to Manhattan by doodling on his iPad. If ever you’ve ridden the New York City subway you clearly experienced it first-hand that there’s never a shortage of peculiar and bizarre incidents. Subway Doodling is simply cartoon characters which are humorously integrated into certain or immediate surroundings. These characters are incorporated in photos next to subway riders who are unaware and find themselves starring in social media avenues which has drawn more than 52000 followers.

subway doodle by ben rubin showing a tentacle monster beast snuggle a sleeping guy on subway

Mr. Rubin started drawing humorous creatures in the subway environment on his iPad that gave it the social media sensation termed as Subway Doodle. In kind of a funny way these subway doodle creatures, from a wide range of sweet and cuddly to scary monsters, took the representation of the New York subway riders themselves.

subway doodle by ben rubin showing a pile of garbage resembling donald trump in the subway of new york

He then jumped into sharing his creations on social media some years back as a place to archive them but in an unexpected way took the internet by storm. Most of his monsters are furry blue creatures with a weird-looking facial or body attribute, sometime come in a beautiful form such as unicorns and chicken holding flowers. Those who want more should visit his official Subway Doodle website.

He enjoys making these creatures around unsuspecting people who are in their own world which is part of the humour though he sometimes asks friends or family to pose. It is not as a way to make a statement, but from the humour that comes from it. It is just a creative way to pass time in what could be a boring subway ride and brings some kind of fun to people who are seated on the subway, not imagine being having a ridiculous creature sitting next to them.

 

glow in the dark mural by reskate arts & crafts

Reskate Arts & Crafts create Murals that Glow in the Dark

We have great admiration for street art, yet Maria Lopez and Havier de Riba have taken the game to new heights with their glow-in-the-dark artworks. Their murals use a phosphorescent paint, which glows up to 12 hours creating two different impressions between day and night. It’s hard to imagine how the technique works yet the duo going by the name Reskate Studio hide clever pictures inside the images they design.

The phosphorescent technique became popular quickly and it’s the kind they employed in perhaps one of their famous projects, Harreman Project, which featured 3 masterpieces along with two exhibitions. The name of this project came from the word Basque, meaning relationship. The painting was done in dark places where it’s possible to control lighting with a motion sensor because lights charge the photoluminescent paint so it glows once lights go out.

Take a look at the Rabbit shadow puppet mural in Timisoara Romania, for instance. On a clear day, you’ll see an image a rabbit. Wait till the sun goes down and street lights illuminate the mural then it shows two hands overlapping each other. They called this mural Asombrar which is Spanish word meaning “to amaze”. The word ‘sombra’ means “putting shadows to a clear idea you already had”.

Another piece in Zaragoza, Spain illustrates a loaf of bread in broad daylight then shows a bread knife when illuminated. This work was their contribution to the Action Against Hunger campaign in 2016 which calls us to imagine the power of participation to find actual solutions to hunger.

How about the Saturn-like planet mural still in Timisoara, which at night depicts an underwater helmet? Given the name “Unawareness”, the piece comments that scientific advances relating to deep-sea exploration slowed down because of the beginning of the space race between the USSR and the US.

Reskate Studio also exhibited their photo-luminescent paintings at the 10th anniversary of Festival Asalto held in Zaragoza in 2016. That came after they participated at the Harreman Exhibition in Vienna, 2015 where they showcased work that reflected on the aspects that establish the correlation between objects.

Meet the artists

Maria Lopez (1980) and Javier de Riba (1985), born in San Sebastian and Barcelona respectively, started painting indoor murals five years ago. Since then, they have developed to creating installations, illustrations, designs, and extensive outdoor murals. The duo began working together when they created an artist gallery called Reskateboarding, work that involved recycling old skateboards.

With their skills in graphic design, they picked artists to work with, arranged shows, and organized gallery openings through the Reskateboarding collective. This work was an avenue through which they met artists and illustrators whose work intrigued them. That was the driving force that led to their collaboration to a more illustrative approach in their personal work. It was also a crucial factor in the growth of their artistic careers and later their collaborative venture, Reskate Arts & Crafts.

Working as a team, they are keen on the materials they choose as to them every piece must reflect their expressive capabilities. They strongly believe that the materials and techniques used must never be unjustified and must convey the underlying message effortlessly. Driven by color and strong illustrations, they strive to make each project to be coherent with the surrounding environment.

Their inspiration comes from interacting with people from different cultural backgrounds and other artists from whom they can learn about various styles and media. With every new endeavor, their restlessness brings them to question their artistic style, and reinterpret it to best serve every project. Each piece challenges their aesthetic, pushing them to try new techniques and styles while balancing their existing abilities with the desire for growth and exploration. Their journey is a continuous fight against stagnancy and in favour of versatility and transformation.

Other works

Reskate Arts & Crafts have done several murals across Spain in a project they called “Reaction Project”. It intended to reflect on the use of public space as a social networking tool. To them, public space is a place to share common proverbs that encourage actions that call for reactions, and this is evident in all the murals featured in the Reaction Project. The murals include Gogoa den tokian/Donostia, Forta es la roca, A so de timbals, Qui sembra and A mes mar.

Reskate Arts & Crafts have plans to create more murals in the future even though they need special conditions that work for the photoluminescent murals. Their aim is to light the dark corners in different cities, both installing new lights and encouraging people to interact with the murals. Find out more about the artists on their website.

burst by jame bullough

James Bullough Bio

James Bullough is an American born artist who grew up in Washington DC and now lives and works in Berlin, Germany.

As a kid growing up in the exurb of Washington DC, Bullough was fascinated with the innovative graffiti art that he used to see around the DC subway. He began developing an interest in making his own art inspired by the edgy urban art, which came innately to him. He started studying the mastery of the Old Masters and illustrating extraordinary oil paintings of urban contemporary art.

His work is about creating captivating contrasts and juxtapositions, which he achieves by integrating the momentum of one image and the technical of the other. In most of his works, Bullough leans heavily towards photorealism combined with 3D effects, producing paintings that strike a balance between realistic figurations and stylized intervention. He works with oil, latex, acrylic, spray paint among other materials.

Bullough’s transition has been like any other artist; from doing small pieces on walls of train tracks around his hometown to massive murals on the sides of tower blocks. He moved from the United States to Germany in 2010, after quitting his job as a middle-school teacher in Baltimore, the US. With the desire to focus on his artwork full-time, he’s never regretted the decision, acknowledging it’s the best decision he ever made in his life. It was best for the world; perhaps we couldn’t be seeing his stunning pieces of art that exist today.

While in Berlin, he found himself concentrating his efforts to the spray can as opposed to his initial paintbrush. His seamless transformation from painting photorealistic oil murals using a paintbrush to creating photorealistic spray-paint murals has attracted the attention of many art fanatics. In his first three years in Berlin, he worked with another American born and Berlin based artist Addison Karl under the name JBAK.

james bullough artwork of a woman in blue shirt

The pair gained popularity for their various works and wide-ranging murals across Germany and the US. One of their major artistic accomplishments in Berlin is his ‘Totem’ mural, done at Landsberger Alle 228B in 2014. This epic mural bursts with color and imagination, featuring three individuals all standing on each other’s backs – forming the totem. It looks more of an acrobatic art to a Layman’s eye and stands as tall as 11 stories. The duo had to employ a crane when they painted the mural and the job took over a month to complete.

Today, Bullough works as an independent artist, balancing his time between mural painting and studio work. A quick look at his work will show you he prefers to paint people in his trademark colourful style. He especially decorates women onto dull walls, crushing the blankness with the magnificence of beauty of the smooth delicate skin of women and long flowing hair. His Desi mural in Brooklyn, NYC is a perfect example.

James Bullough artwork of person jumping in the air

VantagePoint Radio

Bullough also has eyes for other ventures apart from art. In 2014, he introduced a new project to the world as co-creator and host of VantagePoint Radio. The interview show focuses on urban art and the graffiti/mural artists who occupy the genre. Each episode features an established artist or a group of artists in the contemporary art scene and Bullough sheds light on their lives and works.

Exhibitions

Since his departure from the US, James Bullough has returned to his mother country for several exhibitions. His last visit to Los Angeles in May 2016 saw him exhibit a series of works called ‘Breaking Point’ at the Thinkspace Gallery, which was nothing less than jaw-dropping.

Thinkspace Gallery – Breaking Point

In this series, Bullough captures fractured moments of existence; disruption and personal break through the expressive body motion, asking his models to channel individual memory and to remember encounters of “breaking” at the time of their capture.

Working with dancers from Berlin, he starts with the body movement, captured in an expanse of negative space, then disguises it further, grafting, striating, and dividing its surfaces and planes. The models remain mysterious and faceless all through, an exclusion planned to reaffirm the typical universality of the emotive physical motion.

This masterpiece shows how his style has evolved significantly over the years. Previous works featured graphic inclusions and interruptions, with areas of the subject clearly removed. His recent works are more dynamic as he shifts and activates the interrupted segments of the figures rather than delete them. Areas of the body are superimposed, shaking with transitional movement as opposed to being static.

Generally, Bullough has attended many exhibitions in Germany and the United States. He was also invited, among other international artists, to exhibit his works at the Stolenspace Gallery in London, the UK in December 2015.

His illustration of photorealistic imagery challenges the viewer’s perception of reality by shifting and breaking up the bodies he paints. Bullough is simply proving that tower blocks and city walls shouldn’t be a dull opaque white, but instead a playground for creativity.

Young Artist Uses 3D Lenses to Paint Double Portrait Murals

Born Stathis Tsavalis, Insane 51 is a young Greek mural artist that began as a graffiti writer in 2007. From his teenage years, he showed great enthusiasm for art and installations. He wandered around Athens discovering the beauty of the city’s walls. Insane51 did his first mural in 2006 and his works are based on images using experimental techniques and hues.

Insane51 is still a student in Athens School of Fine Arts and he has studied applied arts and graphic arts as well. Nowadays, he specializes in photorealism on massive walls. Perhaps his most recent style is using 3D painting in his murals and he creates unimaginable double-imaged pieces.

His incredible talent has propelled him to take part in several art exhibitions and graffiti festivals in Greece and other countries across Europe. He’s exhibited works in street art exhibitions including Lobart Festival and Designwars Exhibition, art events including Live Paintings (Colour Our Day Festival, Athens Tattoo Convention, Athens Rockwave Festival, and Euro Tatoo Convention.

He’s taken part in graffiti festivals such as Thessaloniki Street Art Festival, HipHop Shop Graffiti Jams, Living Color Festival, Ram the Spot, Overline Festival and Roskilde Festival. Insane51 also painted a canvas for StreetArtToday, possibly the biggest street art museum in Europe. He’s a member of SakeTatooCrew channel on Youtube which also uploads several of his murals.

His mission is to travel around the world and leave his artworks wherever he goes. Here are three of his most recent incredible pieces;

‘Antithesis’ mural in Naousa

Insane51 did this ‘Antithesis’ mural at the Lobart festival held in Naousa, Greece in 2016. He painted a double-portrait of Brad Pitt and Edward Norton from the movie Fightclub. Insane used 3D glasses and LED light to create a double exposure 3D piece of the actors.

From a naked eye, it appears as one image from either angle you look at the mural from. Looking from the right, you see Edward Norton in turquoise shirt and black tie, his face dazzling with some wrinkles showing. He holds a cigar between his lips with the cigarette smoke blowing to the left. If you look from the left side, you’ll see Brad Pitt in a t-shirt and jacket and holding a cigar between his teeth. The word “Thesis” appears at the top side of the mural.

Once you put on your 3D glasses, you’ll the genius of Insane51; the images appear directly opposite to each other, flipped over each other hence the name ‘Antithesis’.

X-Ray Girl in Berlin

The X-ray girl is another collection of art pieces from Insane 51, that he did this inside a train station (raoul-wallenberg-straße) in Berlin. Using 3D this mural depicts a girl’s skull from an x-ray view and within a flash of a second the image changes to a beautiful ordinary lady.

The lady is seen to be staring to a window. The idea behind the drawing must have been motivated from Leonardo da Vinci. Notably about this art is that the mural assumes the real appearance of xray images on humans.May be Insane 51 might have dropped a radiology course before joining the art profession. Train travelers using this station must be amused at this piece of art.

Malcom McDowell Portrait

Insane 51 derived the art from the movie A clockwork Orange. The mural embraces blue/red 3D glass effect graffiti. The art was done for clock café bar which is based at Halandri, Anthens, Greece. This piece of art has attracted the attention of many art lovers and even those with little taste for art can’t hide their admiration for this mural.

Insane 51 must have put his heart on this art. With the LED lights shining you will be able to see the true beauty of this art. Well, still without the LED the portrait takes after Malcolm McDowell. The portrait is spot on and the café must have gotten value for their money.

masaaki hiroi holding one of his spinning tops

80-year-old Masaaki Hiroi Makes Spinning Toys for Fun

Nowadays, it’s uncommon to find craftsmen who have mastered their art through eras as well as really love what they do. 80-year-old Masaaki Hiroi is one of those jewels – a fourth generation wooden toymaker prominent for his Japanese Edo spinning tops.

Masaaki Hiroi started making the spinning tops in his 30s having learned the technique from his father. He has presently made more than 4,000 varieties. Edo spinning tops were popular during the Edo Period, around 1603-1867 but Hiroi still thrives on these toys. They have a distinctive component which adds an extraordinary movement to the toys and they are sometimes loaded with entertainment.

He says, “I want to make people who buy my toys laugh”, which he creates to be enjoyed by both young and old people.

In spite of the fact that his original works were based on tradition, they were not acknowledged in Japan and perhaps it was a big blow to his efforts. Yet, Hiroi continued his endeavor. In 1980, he was invited to Paris to exhibit his creations and was exceptionally appraised. While in the exhibition, he was convinced that to maintain the tradition, one needs to continue creating the tradition from the old.

At long last, the Japanese caught up with his innovation, uniqueness and his conviction. And since 1983, Hiroi began to be invited to the United States and other countries to have exhibitions and workshops. He has exhibited his works in over 50 countries to date.

The Japanese craftsman is also popular for his ability in creating conventional super spinner, kyoku-goma tops which are used by conventional spinning performers for their expert exhibitions.
The Kyoku-goma is extremely basic top yet which needs the highly skilled craftsman to make the best balance and spinning movement. You might need to take a spin but it’s difficult. This top is for those who try to reach the apex in spinning tops. But once you master the skill, you’ll have the capacity to get this magnificence to move along a tight string while spinning at the same time.

Although many children these days forego toys and rather choose to keep their minds buried in their pervasive iPads and iPhones, far less would ever opt to play with an antiquated wooden toy instead of their cutting-edge plastic partners. Yet, this hasn’t discouraged the 80-year-old craftsman from spending his days making carefully assembled wooden artworks to amuse an increasingly smaller group of youngsters.

“Cutting-edge technology is fun, but it’s a pity if children become absorbed only in those toys. There are traditional toys and traditional ways to play in Japan, one of them is spinning top. I am sad to see so many old toys become obsolete around the world. I can only wish that children continue to play with both new and old toy. I want to make people who buy my toys to laugh and make toys that anyone, old and young, men and women can enjoy. We are given such little time”, says Hiroi.

Today, Masaaki Hiroi is highly perceived an expert craftsman of Edo Tops and his mission for inventiveness still continue.