The Mysterious Pixel Illustrations Of Uno Moralez Disturbs And Provokes The Imagination

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When he’s not drawing for commercials and films, Russian artist Uno Moralez disseminates mysterious—and oftentimes erotic and horrific—bit-style illustrations onto the internet. His work is both thought-provoking and unsettling, depicting supernatural events, bizarre social situations à la David Lynch, and sexual scenes uncomfortably twisted with an aroma of absurdity and the grotesque. Demons, deranged gods, devious criminals, and sleeping beauties populate Moralez’s world.

What makes each of Moralez’s images captivating is the amount of narrative they encompass; it may be as eerily simple as a boy waiting for a bus in the dark woods, or as strangely elaborate as a man being asphyxiated by a demon’s tongue while two women look on. Elsewhere, Karl Lagerfeld is voyeur to a woman’s encounter with herself in a mirror held aloft by two teddy bears; in another image, a man vomits mournfully into the ocean. Objectively, none of these scenes make logical sense, serving instead as fuel for the imagination, like symbolic—and somewhat disturbing—images wrenched from a dream. Even where Moralez has drawn several connected images, such as the thief who steals a jewel from a sleeping woman’s forehead, there appears to be a story that supersedes the boundaries of the illustrations.

In an older but fascinating interview with The Comics Journal, Sean T. Collins had the opportunity to chat with Moralez about his art and influences, which draw from traditional Soviet art and Japanese manga. Remaining somewhat ambiguous, Moralez maintained in the interview that his images are aimed at being imaginative, symbolic, and mysterious, rather than directly shocking or horrific. When asked if the erotic energy present in his work was personally sourced, the artist compellingly replied,

Does it mean that erotic nightmares regularly strangle me, and that is reflected in my art? Of course not. In sexual passion I see an irresistible force, in front of which most people, even very strong ones, appear as helpless victims. There is something diabolic in it. Passion is a fire. This symbol seems very suitable for passion, and I use it very often myself. (Source)

Enticing us with mystery, human drives, and drama, Moralez’s dark, pixelated stage is worth wandering onto. Check out his website to view more, and click here to read the full interview The Comics Journal. (Via Juxtapoz)

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Lou Paquet’s Stunning Photographs Merge Lonely Human Bodies With Nature

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Photographer Orlane Lou Paquet’s most recent work includes a number of models in a variety of landscapes. She places her subjects, nude in mythical, dreamlike landscapes and, by doing so, she has created her own magical land. Her dreams as well as notions of vast nature and solitude inspire her work. Her subjects can be seen lying on beaches, rocks and in forests and give a off a sort of atmosphere of silence that can only be found in nature.

She uses cool colors in her photographs in a such a way that they give off an eerie yet comforting energy that explores deeper notions of solitude and the relationship we have with nature. By placing the human body in such settings, she plays with the intertwining of humanity and Mother Earth in such a way that reminds of our place in nature.

She plays with the idea that nature, like solitude can both surround and engulf us in both frightening and beautiful ways. In this, the grandeur of nature is paralleled with the waves of emotion we are sometimes subject to as human beings, Paquet depicts humans as a small part of the greater detail and the mythological energy that fills her photographs is reminiscent of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the ways that is closely studies the power of nature and gives it a magical influence on human life. She focuses on the vastness of human emotion and aligns this vastness with the role nature plays in our lives and, on a greater scale our existence.

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Body Talk: Natalie Fletcher’s Painted Bodies Create Optical Illusions

Natalie Fletcher - Painted Bodies

Natalie Fletcher - Painted Bodies

Natalie Fletcher - Painted Bodies

Natalie Fletcher - Painted Bodies

At first glance, these twisted, manipulated, and camouflaged bodies appear to be the work of a photographer who is very skilled in Photoshop. However, the subjects in these photographs are not the product of digital alteration, but were transformed at the hand of a simple paintbrush. Artist Natalie Fletcher uses the body as a canvas, applying her paint and imagination directly upon the skin of her subjects. Formally trained at art school, she broke away from the traditional method of painting after graduation and began her pursuit as a master of body art. The artist uses the lines and color applied by paint as a means to create a variety of different captivating and puzzling optical illusions.

In her series titled Just An Illusion, op art breathes new life on the skin of her subjects, as she covers the bodies in spiraling lines. The bends formed in the patterns seem to warp the bodies so to us they appear twisted, sunk in, and even cut open. In another series of Natalie Fletcher’s, titled Against the Wall, an illusion is still apparent, as each body has been blended into the background thanks to her painterly magic. In some cases, it is difficult for you to decipher where the wall stops and where the paint begins. Fletcher’s talents in body painting has not gone unseen, as she has won GSN’s “Skin Wars” and is in the process of traveling across the country, painting two bodies in each state.

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Laura Makabresku’s Ethereal Photographs Explore The Tragedy And Beauty Of Fairy Tales

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Laura Makabresku is a Polish photographer and visual artist who creates atmospheric images that harness the tragedy and beauty of myths and fairy tales. The photos featured here are from Laura’s more recent posts on her blog. Brimming with a romantic darkness, the images include a pale woman lying in a “garden of wounds,” engaged in a subtly violent and erotic ritual with the flowers and a sharp blade. Set against her white dress, the flower petals resemble blood, turning the woman into a mythical — almost sacrificial — figure. Death blends with beauty in a quiet dream.

In another series, the mythos surrounding death becomes darker: in a dingy room filtered with a hellish green moonlight, a cloaked figure stands in a boat overlooking a nude woman. In some scenes the woman is struggling to escape; in others, she is lying prone, pinned by the boatman’s paddle or with coins resting on her mouth, suggesting the River of Styx — the coin shall pay her entrance into the underworld. Elsewhere are images of women communing in different ways with taxidermied animals such as deer, birds, and foxes. These animals emanate with a sense of attentive care over the women they are protecting — but of course, they are dead, troubling us with their simultaneous beauty and artificiality. Speaking of how her works seek to explore fairy tale imagery by highlighting traces of pain and horror, Laura writes:

“My [photographs] are like screenshots from beautiful but cruel fairy tales. Their narrations are not straight. Images that appear are more like feelings that come during a lecture of an old folk-based story – full of witchcrafts and retributions. The structure of my works is similar to the structure of a dream where natural tendencies of collecting and organizing impulses and motivations coincide with irrational clashes of objects and feelings. Isolation and wounds are closed into patterns, uneasy and artificial orders – visual spells created in order to divide beastliness from humanity and dreams from horror.” (Source)

Poetic, grim, and beautiful, Laura’s photographs are truly spellbinding on several emotional levels. Be sure to follow her blog, Tumblr, and Facebook to see what evocative and dream-like images she composes for us next. (Via Art Fucks Me)

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Wildcat Will Merges Past, Present, And Punk In A New Series Of Beautiful Collages

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In his new series of collages entitled Love is like a Butterfly, artist/musician Wildcat Will delves into the absinthe drenched demi-monde of Parisian cabaret, and uses his own pop art inclinations, and other contemporary elements to create original pieces. This new series in based on the powerful imagery of the butterfly, its transitional phases, and its ephemeral and intense beauty as a parallel for the beauty and tragedy of human life.

His collages combine photographs from the Parisian cabaret Les Folies Bergère with texts. The intricate backgrounds of his collages incorporate elements such as zebra print, oversized flowers and, butterflies. The combination of old photographs with modern typography and colorful, ornate details leave room for the viewers to get lost in his work and examine the world of cabaret from a different perspective.

The clashing of old photographs and typography work together towards creating a sort of punk aesthetic which Will attributes to his cultural upbringing . He equates the ladies of the Folies Bergère to the punk rock movement and, by doing so gives another level of depth to his collages. Through these pieces, Will has created a magical platform for us to meditate on our morals and standards.

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William Mortensen’s Photographs Of Witchcraft And Debauchery From The 1920’s Were Ahead Of Their Time

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Photographer William Mortensen (1897-1965) was known throughout his life as someone who took pictures of Hollywood Stars. These were during the 1920s and depicted celluloid figures in a pictorialist romantic style. In his spare time, Mortensen would create images featuring semi-nude women engaged in various acts of witchcraft and debauchery.  Mortensen’s practice of creating elaborately staged scenes and technical effects were ahead of their time. They set certain standards and became popular trends in fine art photography still valid today.

By using different elements in his pictures, Mortensen also turns these unique creations into storyboards filled with narrative. There’s movement and action in these stills which add to their beauty.

Despite the apparent influence, Mortensen would have great debates with Anselm Adams, the great naturalist who would call him a heretic and the anti-Christ. Funny be known now and probably back then too that the anti-Christ would always be much more interesting a subject to ponder in the realm of ideas.

The exhibit, curated by Stephen Romano at the Museum of Morbid Anatomy in Brooklyn, NY focuses on a series called “A Pictorial Compendium of Witchcraft.” The exhibit “Opus Hypnagogia : sacred spaces of the visionary and vernacular.” is a curated collection from The Museum of Everything, London.

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Ramona Zordini’s Eerie Photographs Of Nude Bodies In Watery States Of Erotic Ambiguity

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Ramona Zordini is an Italian photographer who seeks to explore states of ambiguity and transition in her work. Featured here is Changing Time III, the third part of a series of images wherein bodies float, twist, and thrash in a murky tide of passion and despair. There is a sense of profound liminality as the figures skim the water’s surface; bare skin is exposed to the air and light, while faces are obscured, making their emotional experiences unreadable to the viewer. Some of the photos feature solitary bodies, curled up as the water embraces them. Elsewhere, lovers cling together, groping wet, chilled flesh in postures that are both erotically charged and desperately troubling.

The emotions these images provoke are both powerful and conflicting — are we seeing lovers holding on to each other out of need in an unforgiving world? Or are they destroying each other? Indeed, some of the water around the figures looks milky and eerily bloodstained, suspending the couples in a dark, amniotic fluid wherein they hunger for connection and love. The submerged faces, arched torsos, and reaching limbs suggest imminent death as much as they do the submission experienced in sex and desire.

“I would like the impermeability of things to touch every sensation,” Zordini writes on her biography page, explaining her drive to explore uncertain states of transience and becoming. “Ambiguous term, ambiguous place, gesture, thought […] there is nothing like yesterday.” (Source) Ambiguity permeates Changing Time; drifting in states between life and death, passion and sorrow, the nude figures unfurl on the edges of their own physical and psychological evolutions.

Visit Zordini’s website to view more images from the Changing Time series, as well as her other stunning and immersive projects. She can also be found on Facebook.

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The Candid Embroidery Of Alaina Varrone Celebrates Friendship And Absurdity

Alaina Varrone - Embroidery Alaina Varrone - Embroidery Alaina Varrone - Embroidery Alaina Varrone - Embroidery

Alaina Varrone is a Connecticut-based artist who reinvests the folk art of embroidery with her off-the-cuff brand of weirdness. Many of her works explore nudity, and some are candidly erotic, displaying cross-stitched pornographic stills endowed with traces of memory and fantasy. Other pieces are humorous and somewhat morbid (don’t let the masked man’s “smile” deceive you, with those severed arms of his). More recently, Varrone has embroidered a series of portraits of empowered young women simply hanging out — often dressed in rock metal clothes — and indulging in the occasional bawdy behavior, such as the poolside alien “kiss.”

Despite the apparent clash of a traditional medium with contemporary “deviance,” Varrone’s intention is not to shock, but rather to raise questions, provoke absurdity, and induce laughter (you can read more about this in her interview with Evil Tender). Indeed, her raw, unapologetic style and bizarre subject matter is humorous; like the amusingly strange marginalia people have found in medieval tomes, Varrone’s works participate in a very human tradition of wanting to create lightness and celebrate fun and absurdity. With her skill, creativity, and wit, Varrone’s pieces are uniquely entertaining. You can view more on her website, Facebook, Instagram, and Flickr. (Via Juxtapoz)

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