Described as a “photographic painter” or “character portraitist”, Franz Szony transcends traditional photography in order to open windows into a lush, seductive, and intricately detailed world of fantasy and dreams where his seductive imagery fuses the classical with the modern, and depicts baroque aesthetics with a bizarre twist.
Szony’s work explores the intention and meaning behind beauty, evoking a mythical, archetypical atmosphere that has the potential to summon a meditative, imaginative, and even transcendental state of mind. Many of the photographs find their direct inspiration from Szony’s dreams, which he keeps meticulously logged in a dream diary. “The worlds and characters I’ve dreamt have inspired both minute details, as well as entire works of art, both aesthetically and emotionally. ”
Franz explains that, while most people consider themselves unconscious while sleeping, many philosophies teach that we are, in fact, more conscious while asleep than while awake… “If so, I can’t help but think our dreams to be more real and truthful than the physical world.”
See Szony’s solo show at Project One in San Francisco from July 11th-August 4th, 2012.
The drawings of Los Angeles based illustrator Sterling Bartlett are a perfect mix of heavy metal cool and Ironic humor. Each drawing is a perfect iconic image that grabs your attention from a mile away yet is easy to digest in just a few seconds. Perhaps that’s why he creates graphics for some of our favorite LA based clothing lines such as Blood Is The New Black and Krew Denim.
Hailing from Valencia, Spain, Vinz Feel Free’s large scale wheat paste street art installations where nude women’s heads are replaced with bird heads and the heads of business men are altered to look like reptiles.
“Birds and naked people are extracted from the book of Genesis in the Bible. Mayas, Aztechs, Sumerians etc. talk about the figure of reptile as the animals which take control over us, like police in our world. And the frog appears in Apocalypse scenes and is responsible for Humanity disasters. This is why I use them to build men in suit characters.” (via)
Through the work of Ellie Coates the viewer is invited into the timeless world of story telling. Combining inspiration drawn from myths, folklore and Renaissance painting she creates the props with which to encourage the imagination of the viewer to weave the narrative. Through the well-known Greek Myth of Medusa the Gorgon Queen Ellie explores and adapts both the anatomy of this formidable character and that of the story surrounding her.
The work deals with entrapment, the female role in storytelling and the close relationship between the beast and the human. Whilst Ellie’s work addresses themes of entrapment it in turn provides the tools for escapism. The otherworldly and uncanny feel is made even more mysterious and mythical through her drawing and making process. The surface of the paper is laboriously prepared with layer upon layer of rabbit skin glue and gesso before graphite is applied with meticulous mark making to give an ethereal and luminescent quality.
For as long as she can remember, Kerstin Zu Pan has been drawing and painting. when she began her studies of the arts, she gravitated to photography as her medium of choice – and with it, refined her unique visual style while combining the languages of various media. using her imagination like a brush, kerstin’s lens takes the familiar and rearranges it, catching beauty by surprise when it plays around in rare, unobserved moments.
The Berlin-based photographer has worked her craft in unusual circumstances, blurring the boundaries between fashion photography and high art. The powder white skinned and rainbow colored hair figures in Zu Pan’s Supervision series (featured here) is one of our favorite bodies of work by the talented photographer.
Sydney, Australia based Alexander Seton’s sculptures are a thing of wonder. Stare at them for a while and you’ll soon realize that these casual images of light weight clothing are in fact carved out of marble, one of the heaviest stones around!
“Alexander Seton’s work memorializes impermanence and the transitory. His marble sculptures give permanent form to fleeting cultural moments and fashions, capturing icons of the contemporary world. In Elegy On Resistance Seton has arranged around a central figure [Soloist] a group of CCTV cameras [Quartet 1 - 4] and hanging hoodies [Chorus 1-7]. The naming of these objects implies a relationship, like a musical performance, an ensemble that bears witness to the resistance of the individual against the apparatus of surveillance and control. The central track-suited man might be a heroic figure, but, in reality, the cities of the modern world are full of such figures, faces shrouded and bodies stooped, faceless everymen who habitually pass through train stations, shopping centres and the outer zones of the non-place. These hooded figures are ambiguous citizens, often feared as potential criminals, or as wild youth gone wrong. In Seton’s work, however, the figure recalls the pose of a Buddha, but with its substance – the body within – missing. There are connotations of religious art here, but in the generic striping of the tracksuit, the hands in pockets, the crossed legs and the unmistakably casual pose of a street beggar, a skillful conceptual play between the ubiquity and invisibility of an instantly recognizable, yet largely ignored figure.” -Andrew Frost
Dominic McGill’s dense works on paper mix the jarring combination of finely detailed pencil drawings and amorphous photographic collages. Both image and text are piled sky high in McGill’s massive drawings, some measuring at over eight feet high and covering a broad spectrum of topics torn from news headlines from greedy executives to the the violence and bigotry of war. With a never-ending flood information coming at you from every direction, McGill tries to make sense of the constant chaos and despair and perhaps find some answers to the worlds many painful questions.
Lia Halloran’s work blurs the boundaries of photography and become self-portraits and drawings as well as records of performances. Light is used to form the drawing line while Halloran skateboards at night through different venues. The resulting images are each a trajectory of the artist’s movements over time. The photographs pair urban environments with lines of light which behave as physical objects or break apart into flurries of abstraction.
The images also have ghost-like connotations, showing action with no trace of a figure and leaving an after-image of where but not of whom. They become memory as well as exaggerations of architecture combined with landscape. The light pollution of the Los Angeles night sky is often heightened by the long exposure time of the camera.