By grabbing the internet and turning it around to look back at us, Ryan Strasser dangles the sex-fueled absurdity of our online lives in front of our faces. His series “Curating Craigslist.org” features painted renditions of local posts, which, taken out of the context of the site, become both morbid and ridiculous. Like hand-painted yard signs plastered with our most garish motives, “Curating Craigslist.org” makes us look, and sometimes laugh, at ourselves.
Strasser believes that the ability to look at the world in a new way defines whether or not art becomes interesting.
“You’ve got to do something so outlandish, it will rip eyes away from the boxes of square art and focus sight on your unconventionally unique art … It’s got to be more impressive — conventional thinking won’t get you there.”
A graduate of UNF with a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts, Strasser has had exhibits around Jacksonville at venues such as Rain Dogs, C.O.R.K. and Bold Bean. He is currently doing his residency in Skagastrond, Iceland.
If you’re looking for a creatively styled coiffure, Erica Keelen can make your tress-filled fantasies come true. Keelen works with color and texture to produce wearable works of art on a daily basis. While eccentric colors are relatively vogue in the hair world, Keelen layers and blends the exciting with the natural for a truly original look. By mixing metallics and integrating intense colors with natural tones, her styles stand out as beautifully vibrant and practical do’s for your day-to-day life.
Keelen said she categorizes her work as, “original and organic [hair that] pushes the limits.” With her use of a full spectrum of colors and layering multiple shades, Keelen’s styles take an unconventional approach, which backlashes against the narrow limits of what acceptable hair used to be.
Currently, she is engaged in opening up her own salon called Studio Sage in November. The studio will take a unique approach by blending both hairdressing and photography in one space.
Mike Wilson takes it back old school with his traditional approach on tattoo design. Stemming from when the art gained traction with sailors during WWII, this style often features nautical themes, dice or depictions of women. Wilson describes the style as tattoos that, “stand the test of time,” which, of course, helps given the business.
Wilson said that although his interest in drawing has been with him from a young age, he enjoys being challenged by working with the “moving canvas” of the body. Since then he has taken up residence at the beach’s Inksmith & Rogers where he creates his custom, throwback designs.
Wilson’s work certainly looks better than something you might get from a your run-of-the-mill tattoo spot. His ability to blend vibrant colors and create distinctive detailing makes his work stand out as a truly unique take on the traditional style. By enhancing contrast and focusing on shading, Wilson creates a more modern approach to the classic, “old school” tattoo.