Despite a contemporary culture seemingly obsessed with the digital form, traditional art mediums, and paint in particular, are striking a chord with creative types and their audiences. Take, for example, the current fascination with George Condo, an artist whose old master techniques reach people from downtown museum visitors
to mainstream hip-hop fans
. Though not all demonstrate such formal training, designers, artists and brands alike are showcasing paint.
The Dress Project: Fort Makers
, a Brooklyn design team of self-proclaimed “urban folk artists”
Naomi Clark, Nana Spears and Noah James Spears, got its start reimagining
old wool camping blankets
as art pieces more appropriate for hanging on walls than throwing on beds. With their latest endeavor, The Dress Project
, they’re collaborating with fashion designer Lauren Nevada on a collection of hand-painted dresses. Clark first treats yardage of silk and cotton like an abstract canvas, after which Nevada cuts the fabric into relaxed shirtdresses. The casually elegant results often lead to, in Nevada’s words, paint “compositions hidden under the collars and button tabs—details that make them very special.” The only bummer is that this specialness is also reflected in the price
New York-based artist Holton Rower has always been known for working in three dimensions, but a series of recently uploaded YouTube videos
unveiling his process has really gotten people talking. In particular, his Tall Painting
video has garnered more than one million views. The short film, set to a Kronos Quartet
soundtrack, depicts Rower and his team pouring paint, color after color, down the sides of a tall, rectangular block of wood. The denouement is a psychedelic, yet surprisingly symmetrical, spill consisting of concentrically dripping ribbons. Coupled with other recent live painting performances
, the video’s popularity suggests that a time when clubs book painters alongside more traditional performers may not be too far off.
Skate Art: Red Bull Canvas:
Last spring, three guerilla artists on bikes dumped 13 gallons of paint
onto Rosenthaler Platz, one of Berlin’s busiest intersections. As traffic passed through, the puddles spread, generating colorful patterns on the pavement. Perhaps inspired by the stunt, Skate Art: Red Bull Canvas
is also an exercise in ‘wheels as paintbrush’. The video short stars pro skater Joey Brezinski
pouring buckets of primary brights onto a primer-coated landscape, then using his skateboard agility to manipulate the paint in Pollock-like fashion. A behind the scenes video
reveals the artistic process, and, naturally, there’s also a 3D version
. Of course, as pointed out in the former video, mixing skating and liquids is not as easy as it looks, so don’t try this at home.