Menu
The New Contemporary Art Magazine

Painter Alfred Steiner Mixes Unseemly Images with Pop Culture Icons

Ohio based artist Alfred Steiner has an admittedly bizarre predilection for anatomical and fragmented parts since his childhood. His watercolor paintings of pop culture icons, logos, and cartoon characters use unseemly pieces to build an image. His work could be described as modern day Pop-Mannerism, a combination of Pop Art and Mannerist art, and brings to mind that of Italian painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo, who painted imaginative faces made of fruits and other objects. However, Steiner credits more surprising and eclectic inspirations, such as the fantastic imagery of Netherlandish painter Hieronymus Bosch and fictional characters like Homer Simpson.

Ohio based artist Alfred Steiner has an admittedly bizarre predilection for anatomical and fragmented parts since his childhood. His watercolor paintings of pop culture icons, logos, and cartoon characters use unseemly pieces to build an image. His work could be described as modern day Pop-Mannerism, a combination of Pop Art and Mannerist art, and brings to mind that of Italian painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo, who painted imaginative faces made of fruits and other objects. However, Steiner credits more surprising and eclectic inspirations, such as the fantastic imagery of Netherlandish painter Hieronymus Bosch and fictional characters like Homer Simpson.

In keeping with the theme of Bosch, Steiner’s works are a hybrid of the natural and unnatural, stylized forms. For example, his portrait of “Spongebob” (2012), uses various objects and food, like cheese, mushrooms, lime and honeycomb to create the impression of a recognizable image. Even in the process of creating such a simple character design, whose main shape is a square, Steiner follows a set of visual rules. On his process, he shares, “Once I find an object, I scour Google images for a suitable photographic model. If I cannot find one, I free-associate another object. Then I render the full image using these sources, which typically differ radically in terms of their clarity, resolution, contrast, saturation, etc. I use watercolor to both unite the disparate elements and to engage the tradition of naturalist illustration, keeping in mind that the underlying subjects are often wildlife… in these works, Audubon and Nickelodeon collide on the Infobahn.”

Meta
Share
Facebook
Reddit
Pinterest
Email
Related Articles
If you think of giant stainless-steel puppy balloons when you hear the name Jeff Koons, think again. On Friday, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York celebrated the most comprehensive collection of the Pop artist’s work to date. The exhibition, which will be traveling internationally into 2015, is the artist’s first retrospective spanning his highly influential career. Notably, it is also the museum’s last showing before moving to a new space to be announced next year. There are nearly 150 works total displayed chronologically, dating from late 1970s series “The Pre-New, The New, and Equilibrium” to new works like “Play-Doh”, 20 years in the making. Often described as “kitsch” for his outlandish taste, Koons’ retrospective may redefine what taste actually is. Read more after the jump!
Mural artist and painter Jet Martinez (covered here) is using his art to carry on an ancient form of visual inspiration while providing a contemporary spin on folk art motifs. For Martinez, each painting is an opportunity to preserve heritage as well as build our living community through creativity and public interactions. Originally from Tuxpan, Veracruz, Mexico, Martinez attended the San Francisco Art Institute to pursue painting and printmaking. In his current body of work, the artist focuses on a technique of painting floral works inspired by Michoacán lacquered plates – objects crafted by generations of Mexican artisans that has made up a primary industry in the area for generations.
Japanese artist Yasuto Sasada, just 27 years old, has already made a name for himself in the modern art and fashion world, through his collaborations with Yohji Yamamoto. Sasada has his own visual language that combines cultural traditions with the future. His detailed pen drawings of creatures mix motifs from modern technology and religion. Their black and white tonality, achieved with a thin 0.3mm pen, is harshly contrasted against bright pink, blue, and green backgrounds. He's created a new form of painting that juxtaposes old and contemporary ideas, taking us into an entirely new dimension.
Japanese artist known as Mr., a member of Takashi Murakami's Kaikai Kiki collective, earned worldwide attention by directing the music video for Pharrell Williams' "It Girl". His vibrant, Pop Art-inspired paintings of Anime characters and graffiti elements have been likened to "the display in one's dirty bedroom." On November 22nd, Seattle Museum of Art's Asian Art Museum will present his first major museum retrospective in the United States. As a full retrospective of Mr.'s career, the exhibit will include his early paintings and drawings, and film work, to a new series of paintings created for the show.

Subscribe to the Hi-Fructose Mailing List