When I’m inadvertently or advertently a jerk in public, I sometimes get apprehensive someone with Mel Stringer’s insight and sense of justice will be present and make a comic about it. Based in Brisbane, Stringer’s kawaii characters bely a subtle but potent introspection into every day situations. She uses a gentle pallet of pastels to create comics and cards, and she takes commissions.
A mutagenic R Crumb, James Unsworth’s art is scatological and venereal. A print-maker based in London who employs pen and ink, his drawings contort penises and breasts and sex toys into people and animals. Unsworth was raised ‘on a diet of Thrash Metal, Clive Barker, Stephen King and Video Nasties’, and he studied at the Royal Collage of Art, and his work is a Danteian vision of excess and depravity manifesting through decay, dismemberment, and excrement. Bless his work and soul. I feel nauseous.
Through the obscene and brilliant faith/artistic movement that is Zef, South African hip-hop duo Die Antwoord kind of parody and embrace their own ridiculousness. Lady Gaga asked Die Antwoord to open for her; Yolandi Vi$$er and Ninja responded by making a video for their single Fatty Boom Boom where Gaga wears a meat dress, finds […]
Take a magnet to the screen of an old cathode-ray television and it generates bizarre swirling spectrums of ultravivid colour. It also completely busts your television. If you magnetised a pornographic skateboard shoot starring succulent naked women, you’d get images like Bicicleta Sem Freio’s.
Hungarian illustrator Aman draws ghosts trapped by powerlines, cats in streetwear, and cyclopean skyscraper monsters. Realspace name David Szebenyi, Aman’s art indirectly reflects a quaint magic realism. He sees life, monstrous but harmless, in lifeless places. Szebenyi reveals a persistent desire to integrate mythology into otherwise inert inner-city landscapes. His spectres and beasts are benign and curious, perhaps as lost in their urban surrounding as anyone else would be.
Scottish-born Berliner Rudi Zygadlo’s music is the sound of a smashed ballerina box that’s been patched up by a producer of experimental electronica. Tragicomedies reflects a maturation of what can soberly be called the post-dubstep sound. Zygadlo’s second album demonstrates the genre no longer needs to cling to the novelty of obnoxious and overblown electronic instrumentation; a novelty that unfortunately mainstream producers are yet to tire of. Zygadlo’s baroque piano progressions are integrated into fractured time signatures, and electronic production is applied with discretion. It’s a pretty perfect record; comparable with ease to the work of pop-rock extremophile St Vincent. Melpomene, Russian Dolls, and Catharine are the standouts if you’re pressed for time; although longtime listeners will recognise Catharine from the earlier Achtung EP.
As a kid, I had this friend who’d strut the playground pretending he was kitted out in a giant suit of powered robot armour. Inspired by the MechWarrior series and to a lesser extent by Total Annihilation, he’d pretend his hands were mini-guns and make these really convincing gear noises through his mouth in tandem with his movements.
Gargantuan quiffs, martian invaders and armour of vivid polyhedra: Martin E Wills paints the apocalypse David Bowie foresaw in Diamond Dogs. Working primarily in acrylic, his art depicts the Wellsian science fiction archetypes of war, mutation, and apocalypse, but with a charisma of style that renders them oddly familiar.
The Pinata’s doom is a cruel metaphor for determinism. It’s pretty much a Christ-figure for the cruelty of children; a sacrifice consecrated to violence and gluttony by millions of nine-year-olds at birthdays across the planet. Florida four-piece Hundred Waters’s video for the single Thistle celebrates the liberation of the beast and its subsequent existential meandering. […]
A more focussed application of low tempo electronic music than M83’s saccharine, stadium-grade bombast; Bat for Lashes’ new track Marilyn is a reminder of the disciplined aestheticism behind Natasha Khan’s music. It’s a nocturnal track; delicate, cold, and perhaps a dream, but still human. Pushing an analog four-note synth progression to one side of the […]
Valeriya Volkova’s art suggests magic is everywhere. Drawing on an East European sensibility, Volkova integrates the innocuous and the urban with colourful mythology: her art is the art of parable, complete with onion turrets, pine tress, babushkas, bogatyrs, seaside vacation towns, and beasts of folklore. Her vivid pastels and gentle linework disguise her keen eye for the small contradictions and absurdities of modern life. Based in Philadelphia, Volkova works principally in acrylic or watercolour.
GIRL and Bunny do street-art in Perth, Western Australia. GIRL is actually a guy who drinks six energy drinks and then draws with a bunch of textas. GIRL is inspired by Rugrats, slime, Brian Chippendale, Asian girls, regrets, fluro pink, the ’90s, and Jurassic Park.
The word ‘muse’ is used so frequently and thoughtlessly in this Internet era it has come to mean little more than citing some ex-girlfriend who read Kafka. But viewing the video for St Vincent and David Byrne’s new track, Who, is like witnessing a strange and wonderful Rorschach test in motion.