Artist who scares me a lil bit but who I want to learn more about: Günter Brus

I’m not  very familiar with performance art. I would like to change that, and I’ve never been a person to wade gently into the shallow end of a thing. I don’t know that much about Günter Brus yet, but I like his aesthetic and I am learning more every day.

^Dat aesthetic^

Some sources I’m looking at:

Some of the best things Günter ever said IMO:

“Art is gushing hot bile on the fields and harvesting the looks of nasty dwarfs”

“In simple terms: art has not been a public nuisance for quite a while now. Either the people have become well-behaved or the perpetrators of nuisances have become tired.”

(Images copyright either Günter Brus or the estate of same or whoever owns his art now. Quotes taken from wikiquote via Nervous Stillness on the Horizon.)

Artist who makes me pretty uncomfortable: Renee French

I don’t know why I like Renee French’s weird little graphite monstrosities. I think it’s probably for the same reason I like David Lynch films: I enjoy being made uncomfortable. There’s a really Lynchian quality to her portrait drawings, too: you have a thing that’s mundane and pleasant, a person sitting for a nice portrait, and then it’s perverted and ruined somehow.

I don’t have the titles for any of these but I’m sure at least some of them have titles. I know the last one was for a “teachers from memory” project where you draw your old teachers, which is why there’s no weird eldritch horror in that one.

She’s also doing this project right now with these little animals (?) but they actually make me too uncomfortable and I don’t like looking at them. I didn’t even like The Lion King as a child; I’m just not an animal person. I’m putting one below so I’m not suffering alone.

Renee French’s blog is here

(all images copyright Renee French)

Artist whose identity I wish I could entirely consume and pass off as my own

Jessica Hayworth.

I took art history, at least the intro class, and I saw all those amazing paintings and drawings and photos and I was in many cases impressed by the level of sheer technical proficiency humans could achieve. But none of them really made me feel anything much.

This illustrator and grad student’s(!) work makes me feel feelings. I don’t know if that’s the point of art, I don’t know if there is any point to art, but if there is she’s achieved it.

She works as an illustrator for (among other things) the popular podcast Welcome to Night Vale, which I used to like years ago before listening to it started to feel like homework, and she’s done a gallery show called I WILL KILL YOU WITH MY BARE HANDS.

Part of I WILL KILL YOU WITH MY BARE HANDS and I am considering getting it as a tattoo

Self portrait with void



another part of BARE HANDS I think, or maybe a standalone piece

an illustration for a poem

I don’t know what this is, she didn’t title it she never titles things she’s too cool for titles

^these three are oil on wood and if I had enough money to give her what she deserves for them I would buy them and hang them in my house I love them so much.


You might notice a marked difference between this artist and the other artists I’ve posted – all of the others are very colorful, mostly do portraits, have a unique “style.” They’re the kind of artists I like. The kind of artists I buy prints from and favorite on Instagram. Jessica Hayworth – who I discovered wayyyyyy back in 2012 when she was drawing weird little existential comics – is the kind of artist I aspire to be.

(Although I should really buy her book remind me to do that.)


Here’s her blog

(all images copyright Jessica Hayworth)


Artist I like: Lois van Baarle (Loish)

Lois van Baarle, known online as Loish, is a digital artist known for her portraits done in a cute, pixie-ish style. I really admire and covet her command of color.

These are just a few of her recent works that I’ve culled from her Facebook page but as you can see she loves experimenting with color and light:

I really think that digital artists get a bad rap in the fine art community, especially when you can see that she has such a fine command of all the principles of light and shadow and color theory – she’s not “cheating” by using digital, she’s creating art in a totally different and new way but with a strong command of the basics. She did the bottom two in the app Procreate on the iPad (I have it, it’s an excellent program, although I’m not capable of anything like those two) and then the upper ones in Photoshop. She’s very nice and responds to nearly all comments on Facebook.

Here’s her Website

(all images copyright Lois van Baarle)

An artist I admire: Bokkei

Bokkei is a Swedish tattoo artist who does masterpieces in her spare time. I absolutely love her use of color in skin tone – she doesn’t just use brown and peach and pink, she’s got purple and blue and orange in there and it looks amazing. I would love to have her eye. Here are some select pieces that I shamelessly stole from instagram (@bokkei):

She did this piece for a gallery showing. She’s so amazing at meshing the portrait with the background/foreground; she never leaves anything floating. His hair especially is amazing, in that it’s not super detailed and yet it’s not totally amorphous.

Twin Peaks! That’s a damn good Dale Cooper. Once again, everything’s working together to form a beautiful whole.

Always combining unexpected elements to make a beautiful and seamless final product.

How Art

I’ve been thinking a bit about what kind of artist I want to be. Even though I don’t plan to go into art directly as a field, I still plan to keep growing as an artist after graduation. I’ve been thinking about what it means to be an artist today. There are no more patrons. There is no means by which to make art that will be seen by large numbers of people without self-promoting at great expense to yourself. Except for album covers. The album cover is the ultimate means by which to distribute art, in my opinion. As long as the band likes it, you’re golden to do whatever you want, and you get to stretch your creative muscles. Here are some of my favorite examples (all from bands I listen to:)

 Vintage. Say no mo.

 Modern! Such a geometric modern art style

. Retro, and fitting the band’s robot theme. Robots are to CP as floaty guy is to me.

. Photography, but so evocative in its angle and use of color. Who is man? Where he go?

 ‘Nother Caravan Palace because I love them. Love the retro, B-movie poster aesthetic of this one.

 Love me some digital painting and also world building. It also looks like the letters aren’t a typeface – they’re individually painted.

 Photography, but very subtly altered to unsettling effect.

 I don’t know what’s up with the fish, but I like it. The only-one-color thing is a cliche, but it’s a great one.

 Design like some old vinyl covers, with bonus creepiness due to the lack of saturation in the photo and her expression. It looks almost like an old black and white photo that’s been recolored after the fact.

 They made three dimensional art and then they photographed the art and now it’s an album cover of musical art.

 Very pop.  A masterpiece of minimalism. And robots.