Chaim Machlev is a Berlin-based tattoo artist originally from Israel whose captivating, geometric designs resemble the spiked images of cardiographs. Machlev works intimately with clients one-on-one in his private workshop where he creates custom designs suited to each person’s body. Though his work appears somewhat digitized, he says he draws out each image entirely freehand before making it permanent. The lines and curves of each piece respond to the unique shape of each individual. As a result, Machlev never inks the same design twice.
Nicolas Fong creates GIFS and short animated films filled with peculiar characters and imaginative scenarios. In his work, psychedelic shapes morph into one another as dreamlike narratives unravel. In a recent video Fong created for the band BRNS’ song “Many Changes,” an abstract, underwater creature evolves into many different lifeforms. The video highlights the cyclical nature of life and the beauty of the natural world. In another video for Forever Pavot’s song “Green Nap,” smoke filling an 1800s-style opium den floats to the ceiling, revealing kaleidoscopic visuals and trippy patterns. Take a look at some of Fong’s work below and follow his Vimeo channel to see more of his films.
A skilled hyperrealist painter, Eloy Morales creates large-scale portraits that play with the expressiveness of the human face. Often using himself as a subject, his mural-scale paintings immerse his viewers in the hairs and wrinkles of his subjects. With each face towering over the viewer, the details becomes much more apparent than what we see in our day-to-day interactions with others. Morales often uses the face as a sort of canvas, as well. For many of his self-portraits, he lathers himself in paint to create an interplay of textures. In other pieces, he covers his sitters’ visages with props like googly eyes and butterflies. If you find Morales’s skills impressive, he frequently teaches painting workshops in Madrid, where he is based.
Multimedia artist Magnus Gjoen has a signature way of combining grim imagery with classically inspired techniques. We recently featured his series of war weapons made to look like delicate 16th century blue and white porcelain. Can something so horrific also be considered beautiful? This is a central theme of Gjoen’s upcoming solo exhibition “Monster”, opening March 20th at Hang Up gallery in London. He began working on the show after reading an FBI article about a real-life monster, a serial killer who fantasized about children. In newly abstract illustrations, Gjoen seeks to reveal the killer’s beautifully disturbed psyche.
Minneapolis-based artist and designer John Foster makes sparkling glass objects that look well-suited for the homes of fairies and mermaids. Interested in the geometric structures that govern various natural phenomena, Foster creates iridescent prisms that, when grouped together, cast brilliant reflections in the surrounding space. The artist works in a variety of media, including sculpture, painting, and installation, and seeks to use geometry as a way to change the ways viewers interact with the spaces around them.
Japanese artist Toru Kamei creates sensual, dreamlike paintings that reference nature and mythology. While some of his pieces delve into the enchanted worlds of serpentine gods and mermen, other works offer a surrealist take on vanitas painting. Like the Northern Renaissance still lifes, Kamei’s work meditates on the fragility of life and the imminence of mortality. But his work takes on a bizarre dimension when one notices the eyeballs popping out of the flowers he paints, making them look haunted and eerily alive.