I cannot draw, I cannot paint, and I surely cannot sculpt. In fact, when it comes to art, I completely understand my lack of capabilities in creating something that people will admire and love. But when I view the works of Alex Pardee, I can only stare in amazement. His artwork has a unique comic book style, and his themes cover so many basis.

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When I first entered the massive lobby that held the Atlanta Tattoo Arts Convention, I wondered if I was hearing bees. The “zzz” of electric tattoo guns filled the air. As someone with no tattoos, I felt out of place at first as I wandered through the room, past table after table covered with thin black cloth and plastic scrapbooks filled with samples of artists’ work. There is no replacement for a tattoo - nothing else is both permanent and customizable. It’s art you commit to for the rest of your life...unless you get a cover-up, of course.

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Popular culture has always influenced artistic trends and styles. The genre of Pop art was conceived by forefather Andy Warhol and his infamous Campbell Soup cans that he depicted in the cans true form and simultaneously reimagined in varying neon shades. Critics of Warhol attacked his art as regurgitations of familiar imagery, lacking originality, character, or inspiration. Viewers despised Warhol’s artwork for precisely the same reason that people enjoy it in modern society today. He harnessed cultural iconography and warped it into something that pushes the viewer to challenge their preconceived notion of what a cultural symbol truly signifies.

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You’ve seen Roadrunner, right? *Meep meep*- dashes off! The show revolves around the iconic villain Wile E. Coyote’s various schemes to catch the roadrunner, but the roadrunner always escapes. One of coyote’s more infamous schemes is a wall painted to look exactly like a tunnel. It’s a distortion of perspective and color that illudes the eye into running straight at it.

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Chaos. Grandeur. Reverence. Vitality. Surrealism.

A sense of almighty infinity.

These words only hint at the abstract, hyper-stylized nature of James Roper's artwork. Currently based in Manchester, UK, Roper sets a higher standard for what a visual artist can be in the 21st century, by working in whatever medium suits his needs, along with some impressive clientele. 

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