Monday, June 28, 2010

Beards And Mustaches

I visited Chelsea Market in New York City and came across these photographs by Dave Mead, when a passer-by caught me LOLing by myself in public space and thought I was crazy or something. I shrugged my shoulders and continued to roam the entire building to catch the rest of this amazing and funny series of photography that was carefully placed throughout Chelsea Market. I would have posted original images of the photographs mounted on large gold painted wood framing, but the halogen lighting was not friendly to the camera. From what I could see, the photographs generated a lot of questions and discussions as well as kids pointing and laughing. At one point, there is an suspended wooden frame for people to pose behind a drawn mustache to photograph themselves. That was a BIG hit.

My inquiring mind had to ask Dave Mead some questions about this series, "Magnificent Specimens". Dave Mead is from Austin, Texas. He heard about "The World Beard and Mustache Championships" in Anchorage, Alaska. In 2009, Dave contacted the event organizers and informed them that he was interested in shooting. Dave said, "After a brief introduction, they decided it was in their best interest to fly me Anchorage, provide me with a tour guide and per diem." He continued, "All contestants came dressed and ready. I simply sat each contestant in front of my camera, fed him a sandwich and directed him."

Dave Mead informed Monzuki that the photography was not part of the competition, but they were used them to promote Beard Nationals in Bend, Oregon. If you are in New York City, I recommend paying a visit to Chelsea Market and view these prints in person. The exhibition ends June 30. If you are not in the area or missed the show, you may view them on Dave Mead's website as well as prints for sale.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Nature vs. Industry

I enjoy the depth and complexity of these designs, taking the usual elements and recreating something new and different into fun and eye-catching compositions. Graduated from Savannah College of Art and Design in 2000, Patrick Haemmerlein incorporates his photography and collage skills in his designs. The subject matter is usually "nature vs. industry". The images of nature are a collection of photos from his hometown in Upstate New York, while the industrial elements are gathered images from Los Angeles where Patrick Haemmerlein is currently residing. Check out his website for his photography and collage artwork, as well as his commercial work.

Monday, June 14, 2010


I am observing, but I could not get enough of these paintings by Nathan Ota. I am intrigue by the visuals, the focused subject matter, and the appealing usage of color hues. Notice the repeat usage of wood, red and white strips, and panties... yes, panties. I would love to ask Nathan for his response to his method and concept, but at the same time, I like being intrigued by the ominous and mysterious nature of his work. Nathan Ota quoted, "My inspiration mostly comes from my real life experiences from teaching to my personal life. I work mostly on wood panels and work from dark to light, background to foreground. I usually stick to that format."

Nathan Ota received a BFA with Distinction Honors in Illustration from Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, California. He has been freelancing as well as teaching at Santa Monica College and Otis College of Art and Design.

Nathan Ota will be exhibiting "An Unforeseen Homecoming" at La Luz de Jesus Gallery in Los Angeles, September 3-26, 2010. Opening reception on Friday, September 3rd, 8-11pm.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Fragmentation and Recomposition

Influenced by writers, H.P. Lovecraft, Algernon Blackwood and J.K. Huysmans, Jim Kazanjian uses various found, high-resolution photographs, manipulate and composite them to create new artwork. He explains having over 30 gigs of images and would begin with a vague idea, letting the process built upon itself by using Photoshop.

Jim Kazanjian graduated from Kansas City Art Institute with a BFA and Art Center College of Design with an MFA. He is currently located in Portland, Oregon, and working as an art director for a computer game developer. Prints are available through 23 Sandy Gallery.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Raw And Gritty

It started with a friend who organizes concerts for bands and concurrently owns a tattoo shop. His friend had an idea and requested for Fab5, aka Fabrice, to shoot photos of his customers and band members. Upon accepting the request, Fab5 quickly set up some static lighting on a simple red velvet backdrop and began shooting. He quoted, "It reminded me of a David Lynch movie."

He would work alone, without an assistant nor a make-up artist. Before the shoot, he would instruct the models to visually tell a story through photography. The rest is history.

Fab5 is from Belgium who studied publicity and discovered photography at the same time. His passion for human interaction is the reason why he loves to shoot portraiture, and he finds inspirations from film, graffiti, and within his daily lifestyles. This series of work is titled, "Backstage." Fab5 is currently freelancing and is available for commercial work.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Alice In Wonderland

Great visuals from concept and character designer, Michael Kutsche who is one of three artists hired to work with "Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland." Michael's been drawing since four years old without any formal training in illustration. Creativity runs in the family and with an early exposure to computers, Michael finds a natural transition from traditional illustration to digital art.

His career path started at a small 3D studio at 18. Upon years of experiences, Michael gradually had the opportunity to learn the multitude workings of the industry from modeling, rigging, animation and lighting.

One day, Michael decided to post his work online and to his amazement, received plenty of exposure with only one email that changed Michael's life, an email from Sony Pictures Imageworks requesting for him to draw a Caterpillar in the style of Pan's Labyrinth. It was when Michael received the job before he found out it was for Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland. According to Michael, timing was a major factor, working with a very tight schedule and continuous designing during the filming of the movie.

Although some of the images seen here have been modified for a less darker style to appeal to the general audience. Honestly, I prefer these images than the final outcome. Michael Kutsche's work is detailed, and amazing. His character designs are consistent and truly fits in the world he created. And finally, I can not image painting these images digitally by the usage of a that is talent!

Michael Kutsche is from Germany, but now lives in Venice Beach, California with his wife. He is currently working for Marvel as a character designer for the movie, "Thor." Great vision Michael Kutsche!