Hey! Do you want to watch the most unsettling music video ever? Let me introduce to you the Lithuanian rapper Tommy Cash. Gird your loins dear reader, ‘cus we’re about to shake it to the core with this one!
Tommy Cash grew up in a poor neighbourhood in the suburbs of Tallinn, Estonia. In an early press shoot he is seen ordering at a McDonald’s drive through on a horse. In an interview with The Guardian he says “I like to make things I’ve never seen before”. And his Instagram is a highly provocative form of self expression. Trust me, I’ve really tried to find more facts about this guy, but Johnny Cash remains an artistic enigma.
Although Tommy Cash’s visuals are questionable at best, I do consider him to be the quintessential contemporary artist. In the hyper-digitalised world we live in – where kids consume visual content at an accelerated speed – Tommy Cash has managed to combine stupidity, brains and talent in a way that leaves his audience at a loss for words.
Watch the music video to Winaloto below; a film that Tommy Cash directed himself, and his girlfriend Anna is the producer and stylist. As with a lot of art, I am so confused as to whether it is a thoughtful commentary on racism… or straight up the most racist stuff I’ve ever seen. But I like to give most artists the benefit of the doubt and opt for the first theory. With that being said, it’s sexist af. But hey! All is fair in love & war… and art? ¯\(°_o)/¯All I know is that Tommy Cash is onto something. His Post-Soviet trap rap and very innovative visuals have me hoping that there is a lot more where this came from!
If you wish to see more from Tommy Cash I highly suggest you watch his Colors performance here, watch the music video for Surf here and follow him on Instagram here.
Heather Day is a San Fransisco-based artist who creates large-scale abstract paintings and murals. A few months back she collaborated with Facebook to create the first ever artwork using augmented reality as a medium.
I came across the incredibly aesthetically pleasing works by Heather Day a while back and was immediately mesmerised by her sense of color and composition. In a podcast interview with The Jealous Curator, Day explains how she usually has about 50 works in process at once. I personally l o v e contemporary abstract expressionism and Heather Day is arguably one of the most interesting names out there.
This spring, Day was asked to produce the first ever augmented reality art to be installed at the Facebook headquarters. Day accepted the challenge not knowing exactly what she was getting into, and the next day the Facebook team invaded her studio with cameras and computers. Watch the result in the video below! The finished product is in itself perhaps not a groundbreaking masterpiece, but I am fascinated by the many opportunities that a merger of tech and art would entail. Augmented reality is a new artistic medium and it’s exciting to see how technology will challenge the definition of making and experiencing art!
Photographer Chan Dick stumbled upon the perfect aerial view of a fire station courtyard from the window of his worksop bathroom. And these minimalistic compositions of tiny firemen doing their daily duties are so aesthetically pleasing!
The award winning series Chai Wan Fire Station photographed by Chan Dick came about by pure chance. Who knew that the mundane activities of a fire station could turn into fine-art photography? The pastel color of the courtyard in combination with the bright red firehose… I mean it’s almost a little too aesthetically pleasing for this to be 100% accidental??
Nigerian contemporary artist Njideka Akunyili Crosby moved to the US at age 16 to pursue a career in medicine. Little did she know that she would end up with a Master of Fine Arts from Yale, and skyrocketing auction sales.
As a student of art, I unwillingly try to see the value in studying obsolete art theories invented by dead professors. Half the time my energy goes towards not writing sassy things like that ^ in my academic texts :))) What I prefer to do is staying updated on the art market. Because trust me, theories by Panofsky or Bourdieu won’t be going anywhere any time soon. The art market however, so much is happening there! And so much of what is happening at the financial end of things affects what is happening in the rest of the world.
With this being said I would like to shine the light on Nigerian artist Njideka Akunyili Crosby. She has become a breakout star at auctions, showcasing at the most prestigious biennales and institutions. Just over a year ago, her pieces sold for around $100,000, and now, last spring, her painting ‘The Beautyful Ones’ sold at Christie’s for more than $3 million!
Njideka Akunyili Crosby layers her canvas with images from Nigerian magazines or movies. What I appreciate about her work other than the aesthetics of her color palette and painting technique, is that it truly feels like she is telling a story with each piece. Most of her paintings depict normal scenes of family members casually interacting with each other in domestic settings. With this Akunyili Crosby is challenging the myth of what is ´authentically African´. By showing how relatable and normal life is in Nigeria she hopes to de-mystify African culture: “It’s hard to think people matter if you don’t feel connected to them. And so it’s about making that connection.”
St. Vincentrecently released two very colourful music videos for her songs New York andLos Angeles. Venezuelan artist Alex da Corte directed both videos and applied his unique aesthetic touch to each scene. Consequently these flamboyant films have garnered a lot of attention in the ‘art-blog world’.
Posted below are stills from New York, a song rumoured to be about St. Vincent’s ex-girlfriend (/fiancé?) supermodel turned actress Cara Delevingne.
The great thing about photography is that it can show you places you might otherwise never see. Remote towns in post-Soviet countries such as Ukraine and Uzbekistan would for instance qualify for that list. In 2014 Maryam Omidi visited a sanatorium in the mountains of Tajikistan and was blown away by the experience. She contacted a group of photographers specialising in capturing post-Soviet culture and together they set off to visit as many sanatoriums as their budget (raised on Kickstarter) would allow.
USSR sanatoriums were built as a place of relaxation and rehabilitation so that workers could remain efficient and diligent. At their peak they were visited by millions of citizens across the USSR every year through a state-funded voucher system. Dozens of them are still in business.
The book Holidays in Soviet Sanatariumspublished by Fuel describes these incredible facilities as “a combination of medical institution and spa, the era’s sanatoriums are among the most innovative buildings of their time.” I personally love the plump, brutalist aesthetics of most USSR architecture, especially if it entails weird indoor swimming pools. Say what you will about Stalin, but you can’t deny that he had a keen eye for some pretty poppin’ aesthetics.
Australian hyperrealist artist Cj Hendry creates pencil drawings illustrating blobs of paint. This might not sound like the type of art that will leave you floored, but trust me, it will.
In her ongoing series ‘Complimentary Colors’ the Australian artist Cj Hendry recreates blobs of oil paint in a mindblowingly realistic way. Like how are these drawings not photographs?? And how can a blob of paint be so aesthetically pleasing to the retina??
The craftsmanship of hyperrealism doesn’t get a lot of credit on the contemporary art scene these days, but I personally think that the technique of layering pigment in such a masterful way deserves the occasional round of applause. I mean, just look at how perfectly executed these drawings are:
In the series ‘I am more than my face’ Japanese photographer Mitsuko Nagone explores the concept of personal identity. She uses herself as the subject, masking her face with everyday objects.
Mitsuko Nagone states that “with this project, I intend to create myself, instead of finding my identity … I believe that the self should be created, instead of being found.” Interestingly, many of the objects used are cooking or cleaning appliances, so one can’t help but wonder if there is a feminist agenda in the mix. Either way, my very academically phrased review of Nagone’s art is: THESE PHOTOGRAPHS ARE SO NICE.
Sooo Bist du down is obviously old news and we have all watched this German masterpiece a million times by now. But JUST IN CASE somebody out there loves a good 90’s hip-hop aesthetic and missed it… you now owe me your firstborn.
The 23-year-old German/Ghanaian Tarin Wilda, known as Ace Tee, directed the music video to Bist du down herself. I am actually sharing this in light of Ace Tee’s recently released EP, which is accompanied by not one, but TWO MUSIC VIDEOS. You can watch both music videos here. And don’t forget to watch the music video to Bist du down below. ***blessed***
When I first found Ukranian artist Alexey Kondakov’s art on Pinterest a couple years back I went crazy realising that there were no articles written on him at all. Who was this guy photoshopping classical art subjects into contemporary environments?
Now Alexey Kondakov is a lot more recognised and I just love his ongoing series ‘Art history in contemporary life’ and ‘The daily life of gods’. Scenes we usually only see in history books or museums are now taking place on the subway! It obviously doesn’t take a lot to blow my mind – blurring the lines between academic art and postmodernism basically gets you there.