Monday, July 2, 2012


Max Tilmann
MNRG, Portugal
Hardcover 

This man is a painter from Dusseldorf, Germany and has studied at the Art Academy there.  I see similarities to Basquiat and Keith Haring here.  The shock value of the images is horrific.  There are references to every crime known to humanity and social problem.  The way they are framed in a brutish painting style lends the subjects a sterile anonymity that frees us from the pain of witnessing, enduring.


Does compassion go dry here?  I feel in the "brutal" lines the brush did not jump, deviate, or dry out with any sort of anxiety. What message is expressed in the muted variance and the calmly nuanced movement of the hand and the brush?  These minimal compositions with their simple yet conscious application guide us gently through the carnage of human interaction, inequality, and vapid reflection...

He draws the subjects of senior citizens undergoing sexual slavery, dying abortions and smokestacks with the calm innocence of a Anesthetized Philip Guston stripped of his agenda.  We see not the gritty Don Juan in Basquiat, no excitement, no romanticism.  In here we see an exploration into a deeper kind of ice.

-A.$.


"SWAMR!"
And Various Work
Michael Olivo
Oakland CA
2012
Self Published

I've been blogging about this particular illustrator a lot recently but wanted to formally congratulate him for having a sensibility that is simultaneously refreshing, hard edged, clean-lined, and downright hilarious, even mysterious.

Recently he has had a spot in the New Yorker, and also has
been blogging for Beautiful Decay.  He was also featured in a 
large anthology put out by Andy Burkholder in Chicago for the
annual zine fest "CAKE."
 .
 His work reminds me of a shattered realm viewed through broken glass.  Keith Haring and Kiki Picasso collide in a realm of deadpan non-sequiturs, cryptic humor, and air-plane safety manuals.

There is so much humor in the work, I find myself cracking up.  For example the small color strip "Sewer Dongs" has to be the funniest thing I've seen in 6 months.  

There is little to no dialogue, but the silent Futurist Absurdist cartoon animals and people collide in a mess of familiarity and kaleidoscopic explorations of the consciousness.
More of his work available here at Juxtapoz:
http://www.juxtapoz.com/Illustration/michael-olivo

On nearly every other panel we see a pornographic allusion, and forms that are constantly abstracted/severed/exploding.  The placement is not haphazard, however, so the forms stay within strict guidelines, as if they were designed to be read as a sort of industrial hieroglyphic language, suspended as if pinned in on a museum whiteboard.

Exploration in to this kind of thought process is a puzzling, gratifying process for certain.  I can only describe it as Sterilized Psychedelic Pornography, and I mean that in the most positive way.

-A.$.