Blank generation: Depressingly accurate reflections of modern society
11:02 am

“Mammon.” A painting by Alex Gross.

“Past success is no guarantee of future success, and anything is possible. It’s something that I try not to forget.”

—Artist Alex Gross on what keeps him going.

You may already be familiar with the work of New York-based artist Alex Gross as his striking surrealist pop creations have been seen in many publications including The Los Angeles Times. His warped, hyperrealistic artwork was also compiled into a couple of books—one in 2008 by Bruce Sterling, The Art of Alex Gross: Paintings and Other Works, and another published in 2014, Future Tense, Paintings by Alex Gross, 2010-2014.

It’s clear from Gross’ take on modern times that, like many of us, he may have already abandoned hope for the future. And his most recent gallery show, “Antisocial Network,” his first in nearly ten years back in February of this year, is a perfect example of his perhaps dim outlook on our collective existence. The work featured in the show was the result of two years of observation and reflection while the world began its downward spiral and the U.S. somehow ended up with a “president” that says shit like this.

Many of the paintings I’ve featured in this post involve people interacting with their smartphones while mayhem ensues behind them, unnoticed, which seems entirely plausible as it happens every goddamn day. I mean, people are so attached to their smartphones that they have panic attacks when they can’t find them and quite literally fall into holes in the sidewalk because they can’t bear to not stare into them while simply walking down the street. Despite perpetuating the notion that we all might end up in a hole in the sidewalk never to be seen again, Gross says that he hopes that his work helps people connect with each other. I’m all for that.

If you’d like to add some of Gross’ artwork to your collection, you can pick up limited edition prints at his website.


“Service Industry.”
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb
11:02 am
Artist gives old photographs a superhero makeover

Someone’s dead relatives just got a makeover. Artist Alex Gross takes discarded vintage photographs, paints on them and turns them into portraits of pop culture icons like Batman, Superman, Electra, Wonder Woman, Super Mario and Marge Simpson. These mixed media paintings raise questions about the relevance of history, family and memory in our neo-liberal consumerist world—where fictional characters have far more currency and longevity than familial ties or dead relatives.

Gross is best known for his beautiful, disturbing and surreal paintings that explore modern life.

The world that I live in is both spiritually profound and culturally vapid. It is extremely violent but can also be extremely beautiful. Globalization and technology are responsible for wonderfully positive changes in the world as well as terrible tragedy and homogeneity. This dichotomy fascinates me, and naturally influences much of my work.

I like Alex Gross’s paintings. I like his ideas. He is painting a narrative to our lives—and like all good art he is questioning our role within this story and the values we consider important in its telling. More of Alex Gross’ work can be seen here.
More photographs reborn after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher
09:45 am