David Skazaly is a Hungarian/German graphic designer who has been creating hypnotic, mind-warping GIFs since 2008. Working under the name Davidope, Skazaly’s psychedelic GIFs and warped images have set the standard for animated GIFs across the internet. Even if you haven’t heard his name before (or his online pseudonym, Davidope), you probably recognize some of Skazaly’s technicolor, organic forms, pulsing in infinite loops, whether on art blogs or the annals of Tumblr. Skazaly’s animations are strangely hypnotic and entrancing, pushing a format that is now primarily used for cat memes and celebrity reactions into successful, technically adept artistic territory.
Skazaly got his start experimenting with animation program Macromedia Flash in the 90s before focusing on his own motion graphics. Looking at his Tumblr now, it’s clear Skazaly has mastered the art form of creating technically perfect GIFs, from trippy, twisting shapes to black and white worms perpetually moving forward. Skazaly’s mind-bending GIFs are dizzying, satisfying works of art, elevating a now common internet trend to a mesmerizing new level.
According to Ray Kurzweil, scientist & Singularity theorist, “We [as human beings] can ‘go beyond’ the ‘ordinary’ powers of the material world through the power of patterns . . . It’s through the emergent powers of the pattern that we transcend.”
Similarly, these concepts of materiality, patterns, technology, and transcendence haunt the mixed media paintings of Nick Gentry, who hails from the London street art scene and beyond.
As far as process goes, Gentry engages in what he calls a “social art project”, whereas people mail archaic technology (film negatives, floppy disks) to his studio/gallery to help build the base of his work. Instead of just relying on a pictorial image, Gentry allows the “history” and “variety of unique memories contained in used objects” to also serve as the subject of each piece. The result is reminiscent of 1990s Electronica and aches of a strange collective sense of contemporary loss.
The geometry of perception is a concept Michael Zelehoski touches on. His work plays tricks with your eye challenging the part of your brain that processes three dimensional forms. What it soon discovers is that Zelehoski is presenting an idea to challenge your notion of a two dimensional object. Not so much an optical illusion as a different way of looking at things, Zelehoski uses common, mostly found structural debris to explore his ideas. Some of the objects he has painted include a twisted police barrier, a pile of wooden planks and the skeletal remains of wooden platforms. He recently created a three dimensional piece depicting a fallen electric tower. The structure was laid out flat on the gallery floor similar to how his paintings look. When shown next to his canvases, it was hard to tell which was real and which was a painting. This further challenges our notion of what is and what should be. It explores ideas which give insight into how perception affects our everyday reality and also tells us we should not take things only at face value.
I’m absolutely loving Nike Savvas’ brilliant installation Atomic: Full Of Love, Full Of Love which is created with thousands of suspended
bouncy balls organized in a hyperspectrum of colors. Created in 2005 this piece is a rainbow-brite labryinth of color that I’d love to get lost in for hours and hours. (via colosal & jobs wife)
Israeli photographer Dori Caspi has spent 10 years capturing personal and intimate portraits of the Himba African tribe, a tribe that is facing extinction. For this particular series, Caspi traveled to Namibia 15 times and formed a close relationship with the people of the Himba village. This village has been encountering a progressive amount of challenges, including the intrusion of roads upon their land, and the increasingly severe threat of the AIDS epidemic which has the potential to eradicate the village entirely.
“My camera was never used as a tool of anthropological or research-like documentation of the tribes’ way of life, but always as an instrument with which I could express my love for its wonderful people, and my admiration of their inner and physical beauty. They had opened their hearts and huts to me and with time, as we shared deeper and intimate relations, they became my second family.”
Caspi’s most recent project is taking place in Southern Ethiopia, where he is capturing the tribes from the Lower Omo Valley. “In contrary to my intimate relations with the Himba people, here I have to build trust, to create an atmosphere which would allow me to photograph the tribes’ people in a relaxed situation, yet proud and reserved as they naturally are.”
One may find the concepts explored in Ward Roberts’Billions series confronting, given that the images within this series represent a fast-forming reality, predicted to be the dystopian future not so long ago. But the present is never perceived as the future we envisaged in the past. We move along the arrrow of time as stationary observers, watching the world transform before our very eyes, yet rarely aware of our transition into ‘the future’.
Billions removes us from this stationary reality for a brief moment, lifting us to the surface for air. From this detached place, these images allow us to see our world, yet we feel neither comfortable nor uncomfortable about it. We find the challenges of cognitive mapping, the loss of individualism, that theorists like Fredric Jameson were concerned with. But we seem not to feel alarm. Perhaps we have evolved along with our ideas, with our effects on the world and its dynamic entropy. Our minds have unconsciously integrated what was, through past eyes, a forecast of chaos. In our times, the concept of a billion no longer overwhelms us. As these photographs show us, we can stay solid and identify connectedness between floating transparencies. We now recognize a new kind of whole. It is a work that allows you to recognize your world and your place within it that is truly effective.
London-based street artist D*Face dropped into Hollywood, Los Angeles to pay his regards: “face lifts, fools gold and plastic surgery arghhhh thats [his] sort of city.” The 6 feet or so tall statue sits proud atop one of Runyon’s highest peaks, watching over the land as a lone protector of the things mentioned above. If you’re in need of a jog or a hike, go check it out. Not sure if it’s still there though but it’s worth a try!