Opposite to “normal” portraits, Benjamin Nadjib took pictures of people with their eyes closed. Normally the focus is on the eyes, but instead the face itself has the most attention. Well played. Check out the gallery HERE.
Zhang Xiao, a Chinese freelance photographer, knows just how to grip the viewer’s attention. Incredibly nostalgic, and dream-like, these photos have a way of keeping themselves in our thoughts. I especially enjoyed his series entitled: They I, They II, and They III.
Ellen Jantzen‘s newest photoseries, Disturbing The Spirits, explores the photographers recent interest in the healing power of nature. In her series’ statement, the St. Louis-born photographer questions, “As human actions impact the natural environment, can artists heal nature? Does art bring “special powers” to the table? If so, what are they? What is ‘art’? What is ‘nature’? What needs healing?”
Focusing on the cameras ability to record fleeting elements of natural elements, Jantzen hopes to bring attention and connection to our environment, often represented in the series by trees. The artist explains, “In “Disturbing the Spirits” I am using imagery to convey my feelings about the state of nature, the nature of trees, and how to express their connection to past, present and future.” The added element of digital manipulation, pulling the image into sheets of linear veils both obscures the focus, yet creates an alluring, gossamer magnetism. Jantzen continues, “By obscuring a portion of the image through a veil, I strive to heighten the remaining reality through discovery and reflection.” The work is made more convincing by using these digital aftereffects, bringing attention to the necessary connection (and beauty) possible when both human and nature coexist.
Although many of the photos present human-altered versions of bucolic landscapes, forests and watery reflections, Jantzen’s work does not seem to say that the natural world is perfection. Rather, the images she depicts are impermanent, and simply reconnecting with nature is not a remedy to our human condition. Instead, the transience (if respected and protected) is the beauty, and will continue to regenerate forever if allowed. Jantzen acknowledges this, stating “(trees) are seen as powerful symbols of growth, decay and resurrection….a tree’s longevity can lull us into a false sense of immortality. It is this very impermanence that I long to understand through my photographic explorations. There is an ineffable natural beauty…. too great to be expressed or described in words.” (via lancia trendvisions)
Inspired by the futuristic animation of Katsuhiro Otomo‘s 1988 film, Akira, Gianmarco Magnani’s latest prints bring a third dimension to an otherwise flat medium. His two part series, “Silence Television”, draws from the linear style of traditional Japanese anime, and maintains a simliar graphic appeal. In his first set of four illustrations, entitled “Riders and Villains”, Magnani hoped to create a tension between good and bad in his riders. (As he pointed out, good without evil is just uninteresting). His second set, “The Forgotten Monarchy” marries a modern aesthetic with vestiges of the styles of 16th century European monarchies.
These works by Timothy Pakron may look like magnificently loose ink drawings but they are in fact photographs created using an unorthodox method of exposing film. Pakron’s process begins in the darkroom where he loosely hand paints on the photo developer onto the paper intentionally revealing specific desired areas of the face and neglecting others. The result is a magical image full of lucidity and unsettling strangeness that only hints at the reality of the photograph and challenges the viewer to question both the image and materials that they are confronted with.
The street art of Sergio Gómez brings the latest in abstract art and graphic design to urban walls. Unlike much complex and text heavy street art, Gomez’ work primarily relies on primary colors and simple geometric forms. He seems to borrow as much from art styles such as Suprematism as he does from principles of graphic design. Gomez’ street art even seems to express a similar tendency to some the most exciting new abstract painters often referred to as the New Casualists. The murals seem to acknowledge street art conventions but mischievously not deliver. His work is subversive in reclaiming public space while undermining expectations.
New York-based artist Brian Dettmer’s sculptural, multi-layered books are so intricate that they require him to use surgeon tools in his process. He carefully carves illustrations and text out of old medical journals, dictionaries, maps books, encyclopedias, and more. Nothing inside of the books is implanted – pieces are only removed. The idea is that these subtractions will reveal new histories and memories now that the story and context has changed. Dettmer sees his work as a collaboration with the existing work’s past creators.
He writes about his creations, which are a comment on the changing landscape of technology. From Dettmer’s artist statement:
The age of information in physical form is waning. As intangible routes thrive with quicker fluidity, material and history are being lost, slipping and eroding into the ether. Newer media swiftly flips forms, unrestricted by the weight of material and the responsibility of history. In the tangible world we are left with a frozen material but in the intangible world we may be left with nothing. History is lost as formats change from physical stability to digital distress.
The richness and depth of the book is universally respected yet often undiscovered as the monopoly of the form and relevance of the information fades over time. The book’s intended function has decreased and the form remains linear in a non-linear world. By altering physical forms of information and shifting preconceived functions, new and unexpected roles emerge. (Via Demilked)