In 1990 French comic book artist extraordinaire Moebius painted seven images featuring some of Marvel Comics most iconic characters: Spider-Man, Iron Man, The Punisher, Daredevil, Elektra, Wolverine and The Thing. The paintings were released as posters in 1990 and quickly went out of print.

I simply love these paintings and how can you not love Moebius excellent illustration style. Just fantastic. He is one of the greats.



Love it.

Earlier this year, on the occasion of 23rd edition of Life Ball that took place in Vienna, photographer Inge Prader made incredible photographs in a tribute to Gustav Klimt’s Golden phase. The settings of Klimt’s iconic paintings were recreated with models specially dressed for Prader´s visual project. (via Fubiz)


A native from south Florida, Jason Kowalski was raised in California where he used to study and graduated in Fine Art from Laguna College of Art and Design. The painter is specialized in oil paintings and draws his inspiration from landscapes, signage, roads and structures. (via Fubiz)

Hawaii-native Sean Yoro, aka Hula, traditionally worked with paint on wood panels, until the day he combined his surfboarding skills and creative character, and took to the seas in search of street art-style canvasses. Instead of applying his paint to walls and surfaces in urban environments, hula made his way to abandoned spaces and untouched building façades only accessible by water. Carefully carrying cans of colored paint on the edge of his board, the now new york-based artist sources seaside locations in the creation of his most recent series of female portraits, half submerged in the surrounding water.

The series of artworks comprises four female portraits, each painted with a distinct hyper-realism. While their faces are painted on the wall, their bodies ‘hide’ under the water’s edge — the perfect placement for them to appear as if they are serenely floating in the surrounding abyss. The pool of water below reflects a semi-transparent image onto the surface, making the faces seem as if they are looking into a mirror. (via DesignBoom)

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Cristóbal Pérez García’s oil painted scenes are those found in twilight or dusk, landscapes encased in smog and the highly trafficked realities of living in an urban metropolis. The vantage points are those of the pedestrian, Garcia’s own view when embarking on a new city to paint. Garcia’s highly textured paintings give a nice balance to the blurred masses of city inhabitants and his detailed buses, cabs, and cars. Each painting also has an emphasis on light, either natural or the reflection of vehicle and traffic lights in the crowded streets.

Garcia was born in 1976 in Álora, Málaga and studied painting and sculpture at the Universidad de Granada, Spain. Garcia has upcoming exhibitions at Galería Mar from March 5-18, and Art Expo New York from April 23-26. You can see more of Garcia’s urban landscapes on his website and Twitter. (via Colossal and Kate Sierzputowski)

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Interesting topic.

This brief outline of Poul Gernes’ life could hardly have been put together during his lifetime. For reasons of principle, this artist did not wish to be portrayed with any kind of biography. For Gernes, it was only the work that mattered. According to his way of thinking, the person behind the work was irrelevant to the case. Should we aspire, however, to arrive at a clear understanding of his efforts, his own background is not entirely irrelevant. He was born in 1925 into the home of a craftsman in Copenhagen. His father earned his daily bread as a shoemaker while his mother took care of the chores at home. Throughout the course of his life, he maintained a respect for the ordinary person; in his works, there is a recurrent conception that art is, in fact, a craft, endowed with special social and mentally hygienic potentials, especially by virtue of its decorative capacities. At the age of eighteen, Poul Gernes became an apprentice to a lithographer. Without ever having received any other artistic training, he managed – already from his early years – to survive as an artist, with his income supplemented with teaching.

He made his debut in 1949 at the Artist’s Autumn Exhibition at Charlottenborg, a juried exhibition that is still held annually at Den Frie exhibition building in Copenhagen. It appears that Gernes, at the outset of his career, was operating under the most recent influences of modernism, seeing as his early paintings were created in a concrete and non-figurative style. It wasn’t long, however, before he started to lose faith in the value of an individual artistic expression. In a society where respect for the general welfare and the social collective carried far greater weight than any considerations paid to the isolated artistic achievement, it wasn’t possible anymore for him to justify making ‘easel paintings’. As a consequence of this, he began to nurture an ever-expanding awareness about art’s utility function and he set out to design furniture, lamps, wallpaper and the like.

Gernes sensed the need for a completely different type of dialogue between the artist and the modern society. In 1961, together with art historian Troels Andersen, he started the Experimenting Art School as an alternative counterweight to the tradition-laden Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen. The “Eks-Skolen”, as it quickly came to be known, came to be a forum for more wide-reaching experiments. Here, a new and more socially conscious art was being stimulated and tested out, with a collective and untraditional experimental form of teaching as the catalyst and Gernes became, as Troels Andersen later put it, “the driving force in the school”. It was Gernes who took charge of the instruction. What we had here was “anarchy under artistic responsibility”.

The backbone of the “Eks-Skolen” was the collective and social responsibility embraced by the instructors – and also the students, who accordingly came to form an integral part of the environment. Art should not necessarily manifest itself as an individual enterprise. Neither was the value of art, as such, to be restricted to particular materials with a particularly extensive history or a particular economic value. Everything – including wreckage and randomly found objects – could be incorporated actively into the artistic process – and be utilised. The Eks-Skolen’s artistic mantra was, as much as anything else, constituted as a rebellion against abstract expressionism’s private soulfulness and the French-oriented art’s refined tastefulness, which had been predominant in Denmark during the period after the Second World War. Instead, these autodidact separatists were receptive to the impulses emanating from the United States and Germany in the nineteen-sixties. Accordingly, at the Eks-Skolen, art was not supposed to be created for the sake of the artist but entirely for the sake of society and the collective artwork supplanted and superseded the private one. After the school’s gradual dissolution that started in the early 1970s, Poul Gernes continued to create and exhibit in collective groupings. The most well known of these groups was “Arm og Ben” [Arms and Legs], where he re-collaborated with some of his artist comrades from the Eks-Skolen in the nineteen-seventies, one of them being the artist Per Kirkeby, with whom Gernes created the film, Normannerne [The Normans], working on this project from 1974 to 1976.

Notwithstanding the fact that the advent of democracy had emancipated the artist, modern art was still fenced in by formidable social barriers. And it was precisely these barriers that Gernes sought to break down through the numerous public works for which he now assumed responsibility. Of these, the site-specific work at the Copenhagen County Hospital in Herlev was by far the most comprehensive and the one that kept him busy for the longest period of time, engaging the artist from 1968 to 1976. The enormous hospital’s site-specific decoration and systematic colour scheme was Gernes’ magnum opus as a socially integrated artist – or decorator, which he frequently referred to, in all his signature modesty, as being his genuine function.

After this tremendous exertion in Herlev, Poul Gernes gradually moved away from painting pictures in the traditional sense. During the last sixteen years of his life, he worked exclusively with site-specific projects in the public space. During the years 1985-1991, he also worked as a professor at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, at the School for Wall and Space. And here, typical of Gernes’ way of going about things, he attempted to alter the contents in the training offered at this institution.

A basic characteristic feature of Gernes’ art was his unshakeable faith that the most simple and immediate expression must necessarily always possess the greatest social impact. The colours ought to be clear and vibrant. But even more important, they ought to be pleasurable to look at. And the shapes that emerge as a result of the differences in hue ought to fashion clear symbols – with maximum recognisability. Such were Poul Gernes reasons for supplying his artistic alphabet with circles, spirals, letters and the like – shapes that all possess a strong visual appeal and are easy to decipher, even at a distance. These kinds of lucid forms and bright colours could improve the quality of people’s lives. As evidence that he was indeed taking history into account in re-interpreting art’s social function, Gernes alluded to ancient temples and public buildings, which had originally been embellished in festive colours.

For these same reasons, Poul Gernes was not ashamed of employing stencils in his extensive work with in-situ projects, since the stencil is only one of a multitude of visual impressions in the context of the large and decorative site-specific works, where each and every form must be subordinate to the whole. In addition to this, the stencil in itself bears no traces of the artist’s personal fingerprint. This penchant for suppressing artistic subjectivity came to stand as Poul Gernes’ justification for his extensive employment of helpers, assistants and even members of his own family, in the execution of the commissioned assignments. “Gernes Painters Co.” was a family co-operative, which consisted, apart from Poul Gernes himself, of the artist’s wife, Aase Seidler Gernes, and his children. In 1989, for example, his daughter, the poet Ulrikka S. Gernes, took part in the application of colours to the façade of the Palads Biograf, downtown Copenhagen’s landmark movie-house building, which still today stands as one of the more daring and provocative contributions to the urban profile of Copenhagen.

During his tenure as a professor at the academy, Poul Gernes defended art’s social and practical dimension more staunchly than had any of his predecessors at that same institution. Among other things, he called upon the efforts of his students in connection with the creation of the site-specific assignments so that they could experience a first-hand initiation into the practices and techniques employed in this kind of artistic work. In reality, this arrangement constituted a return to that same system of craft’s apprenticeship which has, ever since the Middle Ages, perpetuated the transmission of artistic skills from one generation to the next.

With the incisive knowledge about colours’ and ornamentation’s social effect and space-engendering potentials that Poul Gernes had come to acquire, he could not see any sense at all in producing artworks that merely served as a mirror for aesthetic sentiments for deep-seated personal feelings, frames of mind and moods, and which latched onto some exclusive commercial orbit. He was so vehemently opposed to the notion that art had taken on the character of investment-object and was being utilised for economic speculation that, for a number of years, he flatly refused to participate in gallery exhibitions. In the last years of his life, after having to work on his own once again, he did however assent to having his work shown at exhibitions where the pieces were actually offered for sale; but such occasions were few.

In 1988, Poul Gernes represented Denmark at the Venice Biennial. Here, he also made use of the occasion to propagate his message of a socially intentioned art, which elicited its effects especially through the form’s practical function and the colour’s stimulating effect. This is the very same attitude that was also articulated in the many critical newspaper articles that Gernes authored on the theme of art in modern society. Counter to the cynicism of the commercial art scene, Gernes postulated a broader-based conception of art, which could inspire the individual citizen, regardless of background, and which would accordingly be of benefit to society in the final analysis. He was averse to the very notion of the museum, since his thinking proceeded along the lines that art museums – notwithstanding their preserving function – pulled art from everyday life and contributed instead to building walls separating so-called “ART” from the ordinary citizen’s need for visual and decorative stimuli in the course of his/her daily doings. However, he did come up with a proposal for a colourful annex to the Statens Museum for Kunst (The Danish National Gallery) in 1993. His scheme, however, was not carried into fruition.

Shortly after having turned 71 years of age, Poul Gernes passed away in 1996. His efforts continue to affect hundreds of thousands of Danes as they move about inside and around the vast number of schools, factories, offices, dormitories and other public and private institutions that this creative artist succeeded in embellishing with fantasy and vitality and adorning with his singularly wonderful sense of practicality. Today he has almost attained cult status in the minds of many younger artists who believe in art’s vital and social limitlessness and in its capacity to create happier citizens. (© Peter Michael Hornung – Translated by Dan A. Marmorstein and Ulrikka S. Gernes)

Françoise Nielly’s massive, colorful portraits are without no doubt fantastic in my eyes. Wow… Amazing…. her paintings with vivid colours on large canvases (some are 78 x 25 inches – 195 x 62 centimeters) are done from black-and-white photos, wich shows her ability to interpret light, shadow, hue and tone by applying strong colours and sharp strokes. Françoise Nielly was born in Marseille, brought up near Cannes and Saint-Tropez, and now lives in Paris. (via The Coolhunter)

Duran Duran´s second album “Rio”, originally released in 1982 carries both an album cover and 9 songs to be fascinated by. “Rio”, “My Own Way”, “Lonely In Your Nightmare”, “Hungry Like A Wolf”, “Hold Back The Rain”, “New Religion”, “Last Chance On The Stairway”, “Save A Prayer” and finally “The Chauffeur” (the weakest song) are all single material. This is just an excellent album. I reckon this was and is Duran Duran´s high point in their career. The band had their own plans and ambitions for promotion as well back then. They reunited with director Russell Mulcahy (who had directed the music video for their first single, “Planet Earth”), and planned the release of a full length video album—eleven videos for the best songs off of the Duran Duran and Rio albums. The band travelled to Sri Lanka and Antigua between tour dates to film the memorable videos for the singles “Rio”, “Hungry Like the Wolf” and “Save a Prayer”, as well as the lesser-known “Lonely in Your Nightmare”.

Patrick Nagel (November 25, 1945 – February 4, 1984) an american artist, was the one who painted the cover of the best selling album Rio. He created popular illustrations on board, paper, and canvas, most of which emphasize the simple grace of and beauty of the female form, in a distinctive style descended from Art Deco. Nagel would start with a photograph and work down, always simplifying and removing elements which he felt were unnecessary. The resulting image would look flat, but emphasized those elements which he felt were most important. Nagel’s figures generally have black hair, bright white skin, full-lipped mouths, and the distinctive Nagel eyes, which are often squared off in the later works. Because of the intense stylization and reduction of facial features into clean lines, generally the figures resemble each other, though Nagel worked with many models, including Playboy Playmates Cathy St. George, Tracy Vaccaro and Shannon Tweed. Nagel also painted several celebrity portraits including those of Joan Collins (whose portrait was subsequently released as a limited edition print) and Joanna Cassidy. Nagel also painted men, though only one was ever released as a fine art print while Nagel was alive. He had and continues to have a devoted following of collectors. Nagel’s artwork strongly influenced the illustration and clip art of the late 1980s. (via Wikipedia)

The design of the cover itself was created by the british graphic designer Malcolm Garrett (born 1956). The sleeves that Garrett designed for Duran Duran (from 1981 until 1986) include their first four albums (Duran Duran, Rio, Seven and the Ragged Tiger (together with Keith Breeden) and Arena) and their associated singles such as Planet Earth, Is There Something I Should Know? and The Reflex. (via Wikipedia)

“Rio” is an album that shows how the merge between an interesting cover and great music can add several other layers to the final product.

Digging Andy Smith´s poparty play with words, typography and symbolism.

Illustrator Andy Smith’s solo show, Sunny Side Up, is currently running at Bristol’s Soma gallery until August 20. The show features a host of screenprints, invariably featuring hand-lettered messages, plus some painted and screenprinted wooden panel artworks too. Almost all the 50 x 70 cm screenprints are available to buy in signed and numbered editions of 30, with prices starting from £50.

Sunny Side Up runs until August 8 at Soma Gallery, 4 Boyces Avenue, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 4AA. (via Creative Review)

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