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cARTel RELATED: NARCO CULTURA INSPIRED ART

Narco culture has become a pop-culture phenomenon and why not? The world has long been obsessed with bad guys and if you disagree, then think Scarface, John Gotti, Goodfellas, and the list goes on. Keep in mind, we’re not condoning the lifestyle, but we are looking at it as a cultural influence which can’t be denied.

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Wood carvings by Camp Bosworth: Can you name these drug lords? If so, you’ve been influenced by narco cultura.

There’s a certain aura about the anti-hero, the villain and the outlaw. Maybe it’s their confidence, their total disregard for the law, or maybe it’s as simple as their ability to do whatever it is the fuck they want, but in the end it’s admirable. You have to admit, there’s something much more appealing to the Joker than there is to Batman, and even when it comes to the work place, most of us find it particularly amusing to watch the corporate big mouth – that get’s away with everything.

But narco culture (narcotics culture) is even that much more intriguing and if anyone wants to argue then let me say two words: Breaking Bad. Most of us were obsessed with Walter White. We watched his transformation, started to take notice of – and pointed – to any old motorhome (while poking our passengers in excitement), and in short, he inspired and entertained us.

 

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But if you’re keen to the streets, then you already know that the real power behind the show are the drug kingpins that ran the game – and the ones that did it in real life. In the real world of narcotics those in the know are all too familiar with  names such as Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, Armando Fuentes, Edgar “La Barbie” Villarreal, and Jose de Jesus Vargas. These names started a cult-like following, and La Barbie pretty much single handedly made Polo shirts with oversized logos popular….because he was arrested while wearing that shirt and it made international headlines.

Yet it is that same movement which sparked a multi-million dollar music industry called “corridos”, which are tales about the drug lord lifestyle. Corridos is now a multi-million dollar industry and if you want to think more mainstream, then just think rap. Actually, it’s been the main stay of rap content for the past decade – except they rap a make believe lifestyle – which these drug lords lived. In the same breath, rappers have even taken on the names of famous drug Lords such as 50 Cent, Rick Ross and the list goes on.

narco-suitcaseThat said, it comes as no surprise that it has now become an influence in art, and this artist is a great example and he does a great job. Campbell Bowsorth, is a Texan who is highly influenced by the traditions of artisans, ranging from wood workers and spur makers, to guilders and gunsmiths. But as a Texan who lives on the Mexican-American border, he has also been unavoidably influenced by Narco Corridos, the politics of the border, and the ongoing cartel wars.

Just as narco corridos tell the stories of the drug lords in song, this artist tells the same tales through his sculptures. In scale, his work mimics the cartels’ larger than life exploits, and tries to tell the stories of their accumulation of status and power, of the transformation of poverty into wealth, of campesinos into drug lords.

Enjoy his work!

 

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THE SHOTGUN SHELL CHAIR

If you’re a gun-loving, adrenaline induced junkie then you’re going to love this this shot gun chair. Constructed out of heavy gauge steel and then laser cut to hold the 388 empty 12-guage shotgun shells, this chair is perfect addition to the man cave, office or even your tattoo studio.

 

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Sure it’s probably not that comfortable, but it’s a conversation piece that has miles of style. Designed by Brooklyn artist, Alexander Reh, the chair comes fully loaded – pun intended – for $3,750 each.

 

 

 

MIND FVCK

Let’s face it. Art is subjective and a matter of opinion and debate. From photography, all the way to paintings and tattoos, there are always those pieces – and those artists – that make you say, “WTF!” and Washington born artist, Alexa Meade definitely falls into this category. As a painter, with no formal training, her work is simply mind-boggling. By utilizing live canvases, she literally plays head games with your senses and creates imagery which is far more fascinating than anything Photoshop or even CG could create.

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Come into contact with one of these living, breathing art pieces and you might feel like you’re on a bad trip or maybe strung out on shrooms.

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Born in Washington, this former Political Science major never attended art school and is completely self-taught. By applying acrylic paint to her live subjects, Alexa is able to make two-dimensional art appear 3D and the end results are pretty damn incredible. In what could be described as trompe l’oeil (on steroids), her work plays with your intellect and stimulates the mind.  Since she’s started, she’s amassed a cult-like  following and her live installments have baffled, entertained and mesmerized all who have been lucky enough to experience her work.

 

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Redefining the Photoshop term: Post Process

 

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PUNCTURED ART

Tattoos and the culture that surrounds it, has sparked a billion-dollar industry that runs more than skin deep. But even more impressive than the financial numbers themselves is the art and the communities it has positively influenced.  With each unique tattoo, is a piece of art indicative of someone’s values or beliefs, and often times they also represent milestones in someone’s life. But as the art and culture continues to grow, so has the unique ways it has inspired other forms of creativity and industry growth. From t-shirt designs, housewares, to custom car wraps, tattoos have inspired a wave of creativity that ceases to amaze and this example by Punctured Artefact is no different.

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A close up look at the process.
 

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The artisans over at Punctured Artefact in the UK have created these unique art pieces which substitutes a live canvas for leather, and the process is one which is both tedious and time consuming. As chronicled on their site, the process involves hand-picking a piece of leather, dying it the appropriate shade, and then tattooing the leather with their own original designs. From there, the leather is worked using special techniques to help bring out the fine line work and the end result is stunning.  Needless to say, we were impressed with their artistic vision, and the launch of their limited edition pieces are sure to awe and inspire. Be sure to check out their official site by visiting them at Punctured Artefact.