Taking cues from Renaissance portraiture, totalitarian propaganda and Eastern iconography, Zupa creates a unique universe of historic characters and anthropomorphic creatures. Figures are precisely rendered to emulatethe stylings of Japanese wood-block illustrations, Medieval religious art, and zoological drawings. However, each pastiche is intervened with bold reference to modernity and a looming dystopian future.
“The Turmoil of Being” brings together several of Zupa’s ongoing bodies of work. His series, “Age of Enlightenment,” display his mastery of combining traditional methods of printmaking, assemblage, and painting. Zupa’s ornate work seems as it were unearthed from centuries ago, yet it contains traces of our contemporary age. Dreamlike, unsettling and mysterious, these works unify what is seemingly unrelated, to strive towards something universal.
In his continuing series, “Mightier Than,” Zupa dismantles and welds together pieces of antique typewriters to create realistic depictions of modern assault rifles. Upon closer inspection, barrels and triggers are merely carriages and keys. Each weapon is even loaded with ammunition meticulously crafted from discarded pencil stubs and fountain-pens. This work confronts the violent and absurd by re-interpreting the old adage “the pen is mightier than the sword.”
“The Turmoil of Being” will be on display until September 24th, 2016.
The 10 day international arts festival will see 10+ curated murals in downtown Worcester painted by artists from around the world. In addition to live painting throughout, attendees, residents and visitors alike can expect to see mobile installations created through a youth art initiative with the Worcester Public School and the YWCA of Central Massachusetts, gallery shows at Nine Dot Gallery in Worcester’s Main South neighborhood and the Worcester PopUp in downtown Worcester, an “Entering Worcester” ARTraiser presented by Worcester Wares at the Sprinkler Factory to benefit Main Idea and more. Events will take place throughout the city with a centralized hub in downtown Worcester.
Painting Imperfect Flowers Perfectly with KT Smail
This story is part of our new series #FashionIllustrated, stories of artists from around the world who are using their imaginations to bring style to life. To see more of KT’s work, follow @ktsmail on Instagram.
“Flowers are never perfect,” says KT Smail (@ktsmail), whose fashion illustrations often feature vivid blooms. “The key to a great floral is not making it too perfect or symmetrical.” Whether KT’s florals fill a whole page or appear as a backdrop for prints on a @gucci or @erdemlondon gown, her advice is the same: “Always start with colors that are complementary, or at least colors that clash in a good way.” KT, who lives in Brooklyn, admits that sharing work in progress can be scary. “I think that remaining vulnerable and open is important for an artist — and a human — so I force myself.”