Istvan Sandorfi (1948-2007) was a Hungarian painter known for his hyperrealistic oil paintings of cloth-draped and vanishing figures. In his works, pale skin melds with the surrounding atmosphere, and bodies embrace and pull apart from one another, twisting in silent expressions of pain. Engrossed amidst states of transfiguration, Sandorfi’s “incomplete” characters exhibit both profound vulnerability and strength.
From detailed facial expressions to the minute details of wrinkles and bones beneath flesh, the paintings bear a photorealistic effect that is troubled by a fragmentary surrealism suggestive of digital manipulation. Such meticulousness came from Sandorfi’s never-ending dedication to the craft of painting, which he did mostly alone and at night. As he himself humbly claimed, “I never had the impression that I really knew how to paint, not in the past, not now. If you paint, you are simply never satisfied” (Source).
Sandorfi’s ghostly images have been shown on display around Europe for the last three decades. His works remain in several private collections and museums around the world, including the Centre Georges Pompidou, Musee de la Ville de Paris, and the Taiwan Museum of Art (Source). As a master of his medium who could replicate and expressively unmake the human body, Sandorfi’s oeuvre is one that deserves ongoing appreciation. His work can be followed on Facebook. (Via Art Fucks Me)
Antonella Arismendi is an Argentine fashion photographer and visual artist whose colorfully esoteric works explore alternate planes of consciousness. In a striking divergence from mainstream fashion photography, Antonella splices her work with dark symbols and glitch-like art, dissolving bodies into a white-noise fuzz and superimposing faces over volcanic eruptions. In some of her more quiet and scenic pieces — such as Tephra, for example — Antonella uses fashion to explore haunting-yet-spirituality rich worlds, depicting a model who stands in reverence beneath an empty, alien sky. By blending darkness with light and incorporating multiple symbols, Antonella produces beautifully obscure images of enigmatic and ever-transforming power.
Like a spiritual, chemical reaction, Antonella’s creative process is intuitive and experimental. As she explains in a fascinating interview with People of Shambhala,
What inspires me the most is to isolate myself from everything that has already been done visually and create something new. It’s an intense process to convert ideas from the ethereal to the tangible plane — it’s when the alchemical act happens. (Source)
By utilizing and fusing symbols of the occult, the Cabbala, and astrology, Antonella’s expressive photography reinvests such symbolism with contemporary meaning; like a visualization of cyber-age witchcraft, the images are portraits of inherited, ancient spiritual practices, blended with visual art to show the plateaus of meaning between apparently disparate traditions. As she continues in the interview, “I believe that the spiritual movements that have occurred in different times arise from the same origin and have simply reinterpreted it. […] One of my greatest motivations is based in astrology and spiritual knowledge. Photography is simply the tool to express them.” (Source)
Using imagery taken from popular culture, photographer Alexander Khokhlov creates whimsical portraits of models with famous logos on their faces. By combining the brand with the figure chosen to sell it he examines the role personalities play in representing certain products and how they become associated with that brand sometimes for their whole careers. The placement of the logo incorporated onto the face from an aesthetic standpoint puts emphasis on the persona which sells it. Some of the logos which decorate the models faces then shot on black and white film include Mickey Mouse and Chanel . Besides commercial brands the artist has photographed paintings of corsets, lightning and eight balls on model’s faces which lend a strange dynamic rooted in painting. These take on more of a circus-like narrative, perhaps something akin to what the performers in Cirque du soleil would wear.
Throughout history facepaint has been practiced in wars, ceremonies, sports and entertainment. It’s mostly associated with the native Americans who used it to prepare for hunting, spiritual enlightenment and death. The different marks and colors appropriately symbolized what tribe they belonged to. (via artfucksme)
The work of Italian artist Alessandro Rabatti humorously comments on the current economic state that the world is in. Using different currencies from around the world, Rabatti rearranges and alters the faces of each political icon and transforms them into a comic book hero. By rearranging and breaking down household faces such as Abraham Lincoln and Queen Elizabeth II, the artist deconstructs their economic status. Each important leader’s status has been elevated from historical legend to fictional superhero, as if their alter egos are really Spiderman, Ironman, and Catwoman. The interesting part about this transformation is that some of these heroes and villains are more recognizable to people than the historical figures themselves.
This series, titled Facebank, comically comments on our economic state and the actual worth of money today. We trust in these icons just as children trust Captain America and the other courageous characters. In creating this series, Rabatti aims to spark a dialogue concerning the current, unstable state of world economics. Another interesting element in the artist’s work is that each face is now wearing a mask. The mask is often associated with hiding one’s identity or giving a false appearance; pretending to be something you are not. This is no doubt another layer in Rabatti’s series, commenting on political figures and their place in society. The artist’s funny and clever artwork combines comic book superheroes, economics, and political satire to create this multifaceted series. (via Design Boom)
A brand new method for painting 3D objects may just revolutionize the way our cups, shoes, masks, vases, or car parts are decorated. Basically any type of object – and not necessarily a 3D printed one, can undergo this process, and come out with a multicolored pattern transferred onto it’s surface. Researchers from Hangzhou’s Zheijiang University and NYC’s Columbia University ave come up with this idea, one that they call computational hydrographic printing.
Hydrographic printing isn’t entirely a new thing – in the past, patterns were applied onto a thin film of plastic sitting on a body of water. The object was then dipped into the water, through the adhesive-soaked film. The trouble with that method is that the pattern was stretched around the sides of the item, warping and ruining the design. It could never yield consistent results. But this is the difference now:
….what they do is 3-D scan whatever object they want to print on before they dunk it. Algorithms then take whatever pattern you want to paint on it, and print it on the layer of transparent film in such a way that, when lowered into the water bath by a robotic arm, the pattern will be applied perfectly, every time. (Source)
With this method, you can repeatedly dunk the item, and decorate multiple sides, without the pattern getting screwed up. Be sure to watch the video to watch the whole incredible process. (Via Fast Code Design)
Artist Anna Barlow creates a kind of dessert that you would never want to eat –ice cream made out of ceramic! Although her work contains the same rich, juicy colors irresistibly drippings as ice cream does; the substance is not actually melting at all. It is constructed with ceramic and porcelain entirely by hand. She not only molds clay into scoops of this dairy treat, but also little cherries, candy hearts, ice cream cones, and even the occasional pillow being engulfed by the seeping dessert. Even more interesting, the artist also makes ceramic shoes that appear to be comprised of ice cream and flavored syrups swirling around the heel.
Barlow’s incredible skill in sculpting these delicious desserts combines with her perfect sense of color and glazing to create a finished piece that looks good enough to eat. The artist explains that she finds beauty in the drips of oozing ice cream and is fascinated by its natural transformation in shape due to its current state. It may be fluid with colors blending together on a hot day, or frozen into perfect form. The malleable nature of the substance is somewhat similar to clay. It can be manipulated and molded to a certain extent, but, unlike ice cream, clay can be fired into ceramic in order for it to hold a permanent shape. She unites ceramic and porcelain in order to achieve the right texture and coloring to portray these desserts.
“…the dry translucency of high fired porcelain suits the biscuit texture of wafers and ice cream cones, while the colourful liquidity of a silky opaque earthenware glaze is used to capture the quality of dripping ice cream.”
- Anna Barlow
Elizabeth McGrath is a Los Angeles-born artist known for her sculptural explorations of beauty and the grotesque. Her animal figures are both endearing and frightening; with jagged teeth and oozing, bloodshot eyes, they resemble possessed dolls, manifesting horror and fragility all at once. Many of them have been anthropomorphized with human clothing and objects, lending them distinct characters. By distorting beauty into twisted, monstrous reflections of itself, McGrath playfully comments on vanity and materiality and the forces of death and decay that fester right beneath. Her Artist’s Bio elaborates further:
“Inspired by the relationship between the natural world and the detritus of consumer culture, [McGrath] brings forth a new cavalcade of creatures from the darker corners of the streets, the city, the imagination. It is this melancholy interaction between man-made status symbols and suffering specimens of nature that make up her intricate body of work.” (Source)
In addition to her morbid menagerie, McGrath also makes similarly-themed dioramas. Channeling the aesthetics of Tim Burton, tattoo artistry, and the carnivalesque, each creation is a dark miscellany, coupling death with innocence. Visit McGrath’s website and Facebook page to learn more about her work.