PRATEEK VATASH: COLOUR COLOUR COLOUR

I could repeat the word “colour” for a month and it wouldn’t be enough; Prateek Vatash knows. This Bangalore (India) based graphic designer controles tones, textures, shades and light games like no one else. He doesn’t just combine colours that we all know they’re going to look good together, but in a moment of experimentation with volumes and palettes, he makes orange and pink look like an amazing lisergic sundown and not a badly chosen ice cream. His participation at 36Days Of Type is also worth having a look at. So much talent out there and how we love that.

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BEN ZANK: WAS IT ALL A DREAM?

Ben Zank seems like one of those who goes all-in on one hand. At least, that’s the impression he gives. It’s his very persona the one that lays in the middle of a road or appears deep in frozen water since he started expressing himself through images at the age of 18. His pictures have all the same thing in common: a kind of surrealism that mixes the unsettling, a feeling of danger and that something was going on just before and will continue afterwards. His images are oniric, as in those nights when you find it hard to digest your food and that last gin&tonic can take you both to a marvellous world or a Roland Topor film. We like him very much, we do.

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CRTOMIR JUST: LOOKS LIKE GOLD

We don’t really know if it happens in general or it’s some sort of thing going on with us, but sometimes it seems that 3D gets to show more than what our eyes can look at, understand and process; exactly what Crtomir Just does. This Slovenian artist and designer creates plastic, colourful, squishy and, above all, golden worlds. Very gold. Such gold. Wow. Our inner magpie is well happy.

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VAN SANTEN & BOLLEURS: YOU KNOW WHAT WE LIKE

Wendy Van Santen & Hans Bolleurs are Dutch creative couple that can get one of your eyeballs to explode in visual happiness. They know what we like; colour and concept walk hand in hand in the projects they’ve created for IKEA, Viktor & Rolf, Sony and a very long list of exhibitions here, there and further away. If this was not enough, they’ve included a piñata in one of their images and let me tell you, it’s easy to win our hearts that way.

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SARA ZAHER: AUSTRALOVE

In the same way that we’re a little bit scared of Australia ’cause all the animals there can and want to kill you, we profoundly love that country due to the amazing creative talents it hosts, like that of Sara Zaher. Her work is one of those that breaks borders; with cultural references that everybody can understand, her use of colour, acid irony and an impeccable aesthetics turn her into one of those IG accounts that it’s a pleasure to follow. La Monda approves.

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JONATHAN CALUGI: STRAIGHTFORWARD, BUT NOT SIMPLE

There’s something engaging and uncomfortable in straightforward things, as happens with Jonathan Calugi. It’s engaging because, well, he’s well suited with aesthetic quality, human warmth and an intricate balance of shapes and lines. It’s uncomfortable because it’s inevitable to feel that little voice in your head saying “how did I not do this before”, saying “I could’ve done that”. And you could’ve. But you didn’t. Calugi is clear and straightforward, but not simple in the slightest.

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MARK HAVENS: VIVA LA DECADENCE

More than a year ago we spoke about Mark Havens and his magnetic eye for the holiday decadent architecture; the American neon and plastic cheesy-kitsch was as familiar (hello Spanish coast) as picturesque. His scenery was Wildwood, but it could’ve very easily been Benidorm.

Life works in mysterious ways, they say. The gods of corny resorts listened to our prayers and now Havens is back, in a book. “Out of Season: The Vanishing Architecture of the Wildwoods” focuses on the walks of this Philadelphia artist around the New Jersey island; 50s and 60s architecture landscapes mixed with the uneasy feeling of a place that should be full of life, but it’s not. We hope Mark does very well so he can come and portray the Spanish building boom; he’d have enough material for a trilogy.

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MEATWRECK: UNCOMFORTABLE

There’s something terribly surrealistic in Meatwreck. In the same way that the posts about object annoyingly misplaced and not matching tyles provoke as much fascination as irrepressible hatred, Meatwreck has that morbid attractive side that only phobias have. Just have a look at that people that suffer from trypophobia (like our Editor in Chief) that simply can’t stop watching pictures that emanate just that, extreme trypophobia, while they’re about to be sick. Meatwreck is a photography duo conformed by Mitra Saboury and Derek Paul Boyle. Their creations are, above all, unexpected; they feed on uncomfortable sensations as if they were taken out of a feverish dream. They are temptation that you can’t stop looking at even though you don’t really know why; surrealism with a twist in impeccable aesthetics. Obviously, we love it.

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SEBASTIAN WEISS: THE CORNER

Sebastian Weiss makes me wonder that the world of paraphilias is more extense than you would think of. There’s something in his photography that is so unique, so perfect and so precise that makes something even sensual out of concrete. This German photographer fascinated with architecture defies logical reasons; in the same way that planes fly, his buildings seem light, attractive and free of context.
Parts of sky and structures are what, basically, fill up Weiss’s work in such an harmonic way they seem to be alive. If there was a Playboy of buildings, it would be Sebastian’s. And I would probably end up like those people that married national monuments and objects.
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JAMES BALL aka DOCUBYTE: DEEP DOWN IN THE BACKGROUND

We can’t help but feeling a kind of inner joy, a shiver down the spine, everytime we come across someone like James Ball aka Docubyte. It’s like drinking the first sip of Coca-Cola that one day of the year you feel like having one without adding whisky to it or feeling like a sugary rubbish addict.
James Ball is bold. He’s not scared of making the background the protagonist of the compositions he creates; the central objects that, one would think, should take up most of the space, sometimes get lost in plastic lively colours in Ball’s work. And he does is too right. With his amazing visual taste, photograpy and retouching combo he’s been published nearly everywhere you’d like to be published in the UK. So, yes, let’s follow Docubyte.
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