Designer Ignacio Canales Aracil has created delicate floral sculptures that recall the garden and home. Aracil doesn’t use any adhesives; he dries and presses the flowers for months at a time and then lightly sprays them with varnish. The resulting works are fragile yet strong enough to stand on their own.
“The flowers of these sculptures have been collected in the private gardens of the most renowned landscape designers of Europe,” Aracil says. He also says that a key part of his work is to “show the plants and flowers which represent the better the spirit of the garden in a different place where you wouldn’t expect to find it.”
Aracil acknowledges the history of the art of pressing flowers. “Tradition is a very important value in my work,” he says. Just as traditional or long-lived as the medium, perhaps, are the themes that Aracil seeks to tackle.
“Working with flowers trying to preserve their beauty, faces directly the fears that we share in the society about time,” Aracil says. “Life and dead are confronted in a piece which celebrates beauty, sexuality and time.”
Russian painter Slava Fokk creates surrealistic art with elegant lines and bold colors. Inspired by art deco, Fokk’s work inhabits a geometrical world filled with stunning detail. Fokk also draws inspiration from a range of sources, from the Netherlands in Jan Van Eyck to Germany in Otto Dix. According to his biography, he explores “allusions, paradoxical and phantasmagoric combinations” in his artwork, using Russian symbolism in some to evoke deeper meaning.
Much as his style is eclectic, Fokk himself has himself traveled internationally. He’s showcased his art in Arizona and California, though he has now returned to his native Russia. According to Tutt’Art, he says of his background: “I felt that the atmosphere where I was living was pressing on me. It seems to me that everyone at some point in time needs to leave…to live somewhere else, far away. As a native of Krasnodar, I knew that I would have to work to adapt to another city, another culture. I knew that it would be very useful.” (via I Need a Guide)
David Spriggs‘ installations are crafted meticulously with acrylic paint on panes of glass, producing an otherworldly effect that is utterly complete. Appearing like holograms before the viewers, they make a spectacle out of the conceptual, exploring ideas such as perception and emergence and consciousness.
In many of his pieces, it’s as though Spriggs has caught something ethereal and fleeting on a microscope slide, allowing us to inspect it however temporarily. His painstaking methods and striking presentation force viewers to look beyond the surface of his works, allowing the amorphous metaphorical nature of his subject matter to take center stage.
“Perception of Consciousness,” for instance looks at first glance like the many layers of a cloud. However, suspended in mid air, the image beckons and implies a deeper meaning. “My interest in clouds and atmospheric phenomena is not one so much of learning about them as natural phenomena, but rather an interest in their symbolic nature and representation,” Spriggs explains. “The cloud is an ephemeral form, without boundaries, and in constant change; interesting properties that in the context of history of art find affinity with Futurist theories and certain concepts of the light and space artists of the 60/70′s on the nature of space and form.”
Spriggs draws his inspiration from a wide variety of disciplines, such as psychology and the information age. He seeks to examine the relationships and dichomoties between abstractions and the way they affect the material world. The space they occupy is just as important as their shapes themselves. (via Hi-Fructose)
If you thought the goofy family photo in your holiday cards was original, then you’d better think again. Nick and Martha Desbiens recently launched a Kickstarter campaign for Fahz, a unique take on the usual 3D-printed decor. Fahz is a 3D-printed vase that features customized silhouettes in the negative space along the sides, a la the famous optical illusion.
“The vase begins with facial profile photos that are converted into vector geometry,” the Desbiens’ Kickstarter page explains. It continues: “The outlines from the photos become the scaffolding for a 3D model that merges the distinct profiles into a seamless sculptural form.” In other words, if you send the Desbiens a photo of the side of someone’s face, they can incorporate that into a new item for your mantelpiece.
An architect and computational designer, Nick originally conceived of the idea as a Mother’s Day gift for Martha. After friends and family began showing interest, however, the two of them expanded the project. (via This Is Colossal)
Bara Prasilova‘s photography is both playful and disturbing. She uses soft pastels with pops of neon color to evoke feelings of nostalgia and innocence; simultaneously, she hints at themes of restraint and constriction. In her project for the Hasselblad Masters Book, she’s chosen to explore the theme of “evolve.” Her prop of choice is hair: a natural material that she portrays in a surreal and absurd fashion.
In one photograph, a woman jumpropes with a long Rapunzel-esque whip of hair; in another, a thick braid wrapped around a woman’s neck looks suffocating yet elegant. Prasilova explains:
“Through my photographs, I have been trying to understand human relationships and connections: long hair symbolises the invisible strings we use to strap somebody to us or, perhaps, the opposite, to let somebody loose. They are the threads of our emotions, worries and fears that we are afraid to loosen like hair.” (via I Need a Guide)
Photographer Ben Hopper‘s “Transfiguration” project transforms his subjects into living sculptures. Each photo is charged with kinetic energy, only heightened by the bold streaks of body paint and splatters of white powder.
“Like a mask, the layers of body paint and powder disguise the identity and release something animalistic from within,” Hopper says. “It also creates a sculptor / painting looking figure, more abstract and less human.”
For his subjects, he chose to work with dancers and circus artists whose athleticism and grace enabled them to contort themselves into the surreal shapes needed. Some of the photographs look like cubist paintings because of the contrast between black, white, and human flesh along with the seemingly impossible angles and feats of flexibility performed by the subjects. The body paint looks almost like strokes of charcoal, creating depth while also the illusion of two-dimensionality.
Tarek Mawad and Friedrich van Schoor have teamed up to light up a forest, using real-time projections to create the effect of bioluminesce. With their digital wizardry, trees glow as though veined with lava and wild mushrooms dance with fairy lights.
The duo spent six weeks in the forest, mapping all the contours of their subjects to ensure the illusion would be complete. Ice blue stripes shimmer and disappear on a tree frog’s back and spiderwebs glint with threads of light. The result is subtle and magical, hinting at undiscovered mysteries just off the beaten path.
Simply named “Bioluminescent Forest,” the project was inspired by the natural bioluminescence found in marine life such as jellyfish and certain deep water creatures; seeing the aquatic lightshow transposed onto land adds yet another layer of intrigue and otherworldliness. (via This Is Colossal)
Barcelona-based artist Elisa Ancori‘s illustrations are somewhat arcane in nature, like drawings of dryads or nymphs. A common characteristic in Ancori’s artwork seems to be that of metamorphosis, blending animal and human forms. One of her collections is a play on the word: “Metamorfish,” with an aquatic theme throughout.
The allure of her work is in the matter-of-fact anatomical nature of each piece. Even though the subject is fantastical, she isn’t heavyhanded or tongue-in-cheek with her flavor of surrealism. There’s a subtlety to her illustrations. She treats both the grotesque and the sensual with a light hand; the crook of an inviting finger is shaded just as delicately as the soft petal pink of a mermaid’s innards. (via I Need a Guide)