The paintings of artist Benjamin Björklund unearth and obscure the emotional states of his subjects. Working from a rustic, nineteenth-century farmhouse in Uppsala, Sweden, his muses are often those around him: family members, Solomon (his Great Dane), his pet rabbits, mice, rats, and guinea pigs, as well as the wild animals outside. Faces are painted in soft colors, seeming to reflect the pale light of the northern sun. However, everything seems a bit out of focus; eyes and hairlines and skin meld together, giving the portraits an impressionistic style. Dual forces are at play as the figures shift imperceptibly between reality and abstraction, presence and distance.
Ben’s project is to interpret and convey the inner worlds of his subjects. This is a compelling concept, given that portraiture is traditionally a desired projection of someone—a veneer of their character. Ben’s work, however, is more honest in that it connects the physical surface to the intangible swirl within. His about page explains his approach further:
“Ben’s figurative and portraiture work can, at times, depict scenes bordering on the surreal with characters influenced by those around him existing in various physical or emotional situations. These are usually emphasized through the use of abstracted light and darts of color. These, Ben refers to as ‘happy mistakes’ being borne from spontaneous actions and serving to focus the viewer’s attention whilst adding to the emotional impact on the viewer.” (Source)
In their abstraction, Ben’s subjects become deeply individualistic, while also exploring the metaphysical depths and complexities of human identity.
Ben’s paintings are held in private collections in many cities around the world, including LA, Melbourne, and throughout Europe. You can explore more of his work on his website and Instagram. (Via Hi-Fructose)
Photographer Ramona Zordini creates images that tastefully and powerfully channel sexuality and eroticism between lovers and oneself. Zordini is interested in both showcasing pairs of naked bodies floating on murky water as they interact with one another and portraits of single bodies as they emerge from whitish liquids. Although Zordini’s sensual photography carries an undeniable sexual energy, they embody an aesthetic that resembles organic textures and lines, as well as a concepts (of love, sex and self-discovery) that are poignant and relatable.
In her recent series, Changing Time III, Zordini creates images of posing nude couples in a variety of positions that imply imitate moments. A man wraps his arms around a woman who curls up, head down, under water. In another photograph, a man with an undercut wraps his arms around his nude partner who faces upwards and appears to be pushing against a confining force. Their legs intertwine and one feels their desperation, their need to cling and hold on to one another. The aesthetic and composition of Changing Time IIIrepresent a clear development from the Italian artist’s previous engagement with the human form as beauty and sculpture, into a more nuanced interest in the body as communication.
Zordini’s earlier works, on the other hand, feature single bodies and complex colors and compositions; these are more intriguing and less straightforward that the couple shots. In many of these photographs, a single female twists and contorts her body to reveal a breast, hand, or leg above the obscuring smoky surface. (via Hi-Fructose)
Ukranian Sasha Kurmaz’s portfolio is full of well composed still lives and delightfully awkward figurative photography.
Tim Lee’s pen and ink drawings conger a notion that hopeless romance still thrives in the world of art. Watch out for “The Kids are Alright” Tour featuring Tim and other surrealist spectacles when it hits Black Maria Gallery Los Angeles in July.
Greg Mamczak’s painted worlds are fascinating storybooks with a creepy calm air. I’m completely drawn in to see the different parts of his scenes, and explore the eerie feeling they exude. Each painting has so much in it, but still leaves ample room for imagination. His scenes range from people participating in what looks like cult worship, to every day scenes centered around exploration and discovery. Whatever is behind these creations, it’s peaked my curiosity. Have a look…
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Keri Oldham‘s collections of watercolors are studies in familiarity and restraint. Each mark is deliberate, yet still manages to accidentally wander, bleeding and pooling into the next, happening upon a recognizable form.