Patrick Hardziej is an illustrator from Gdynia, Poland whose surreal works of art immerse viewers in the dreamlike adventures of his characters. Often donning detached facial expressions, the everyday guys in his works find themselves in adrenaline-inducing scenarios that we experience vicariously as viewers. Whether traveling through space or battling sea monsters, Hardziej’s characters are humorous, and never self-serious, much like the artist’s quirky visual style itself.
No matter how attractively someone is dressed, invading their personal space is never okay. Designer Anouk Wipprecht uses this concept as the inspiration for her Spider dress, a 3D printed, chic garment outfitted with micro-controllers. The dress’ pronounced epaulettes feature arachnid-like, moving limbs that will jut out at anyone who gets too close. Wipprecht, who is based in the Netherlands, partnered with Intel to create the technology for this innovative, wearable piece.
German street artist “1010” turns buildings into dreamy, bottomless pits of color with his murals. His two most recent, titled “Enter the Vortex”, are part of the international street art festival Memorie Urbane in Fondi, Italy. They represent his signature style of layering colors two dimensionally to create a 3D optical illusion that tricks the eye. The result turns something beautiful and mesmerizing out of blank, unattractive spaces.
Yoh Nagao, originating from Japan and now based in Berlin, projects a candy colored vision of the world into his Pop collage paintings. They are created using a variety of techniques and media, such as acrylic paint, marker, ballpoint pen, and cut out magazine images, sprinkled with some inspiration from his childhood in Nagoya. As someone with a background in advertising, and even a little modeling experience, Nagao’s subjects are especially fashion forward. His list of influences includes cinematic costume designer Eiko Ishioka and the colors found in the cartoon-style paintings of Todd James. When we visited with him in Berlin last week, Nagao was putting the finishing touches on his latest pieces.
Originally from Japan, Yasuaki Okamoto lived in Barcelona, London, and Montreal before settling down in New York, where he is currently based. His paintings of quirky underwater scenes take inspiration from various experiences he had during his world travels. Through a storybook-like style, Okamoto paints cornucopias of brightly-colored sea creatures and underwater plants. His work draws a stark contrast between this aquatic paradise and the war and chaos on the earth above. While fighter jets and satellites fly through the sky, the colorful creatures coexist in perfect harmony under water.
Alejandro Pasquale uses charcoal and graphite to create images with photographic accuracy. From top to bottom, each picture is flush with elaborate detail. Pasquale brings to life seemingly banal background elements, like blades of grass and tree branches, which he makes look luscious and vivid.