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Clément Guegan’s Surreal Portraiture Explores Nightmares And The Loss Of Identity

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Clément Guegan is a Montréal-based photographer and filmmaker from Paris. His works are dark and conceptual, exploring nightmares and states of alienation. Interested in the loss of control, he depicts characters who are struggling within the remains of identity; their faces are always turned away or obscured, putting the viewer’s focus on their bleak surroundings. In some photos, people fall from the sky, and in others, the camera follows them as they walk through graveyards and down empty mountain roads. There is a sense you are being guided through a surreal world with no certainty (or even sense) of where you’re going.

Existential voids aside, there is a beauty that arrives through the fearlessness of Guegan’s work. He is not afraid to unravel identity and reality by exploring existence as a strange wandering. At the same time, the stillness he conveys is inspiring, and the mystery is provoking. His characters (when they aren’t plummeting from the clouds) seem brave going into the unknown, even though they merely represent the physical remnants of the self. In this way, Geugan’s images make meaning where meaning seems to have been stripped away.

On January 1st, 2015, Guegan started a 365 Day Project, which means he posted a picture every day of the year. The project is almost at a close, but the results are impressive, blending portraiture with his unique surrealist style. Some of the photos from the challenge are featured here, and you can see a bigger selection on his website. He also has a Tumblr and Flickr to check out.

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Odeith’s Amazing Anamorphic 3D Graffiti Appears To Miraculously Float In Space

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Odeith-Graffiti

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3d Graffiti

Lisbon based graffiti artist Odeith has a very specific talent – one he has refined since picking up his first spray can in the mid 1980s. He has a unique way of using only paint on flat walls to create amazing eye-popping 3D effects that seem to float in between surfaces, or jump out from corners. He earned his chops in the 90’s mostly bombing on train tracks and street walls, until he started noticing large scale murals around the place, and wanted to follow suit – to paint something with a message. Slowly his murals began growing more ambitious in size, and more detailed.

Early on, [Odeith] showed a special interest in perspective and shading, in an obscure style, which he later called “sombre 3D”, where the compositions, landscapes or portraits, messages or homages, stood out for their realism and technique. (Source)

After deciding to shut his tattoo parlor in 2008, he dedicated all of his time to graffiti art and eventually gained international recognition, in particular for his optical illusions and anamorphic graffiti. But that’s not to say Odeith is a one trick pony, or only limited to spraying his name with different effects. He also paints large homages and portraits of musicians, actors, politicians, as well as film scenes, commercial billboards, banners for football clubs and murals for Portuguese city halls. He has created artwork for London Shell, Kingsmill, the Coca-Cola Company, Estradas de Portugal, and Samsung.

Odeith talks about his success and having to have confidence in ideas that seem unsuccessful at first:

If [you] want to put your name on top, you need to work, no matter what people say, you need to believe [in] yourself. After years thinking [about] what I could do different[ly] I start[ed] with that crazy anamorphic idea, and it worked well. (Source)

See more of his crazy talent here and here.

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The Process Behind Making Barry X Ball’s Purity And Envy Sculptures

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The sculptor Barry X Ball is known for interesting projects. One called ‘Masterpieces’ was especially riveting. He took two Italian sculptures made in the 16th century: Corradini’s La Puria (“Purity (veiled woman)”) and Court’s La Invidia (“Envy”) and created perfected versions of the original. In a statement to his collectors he explains in detail the changes he made and why they are valid artworks on their own and not just copies or appropriations. Ball’s documentation also discusses his process and gives invaluable insight into it.

Both of these sculptures were made using materials other than white Italian marble such as onyx, calcite and black marble. This lends a different dynamic to the work altogether. Unlike white marble, onyx has the ability to glow from within and through the veils of Purity we are able to see light. On the other hand, the calcite material is veined and therefore camouflages Envy’s folds and sweeps creating complexity not there with the original.

Another different perspective on the two Ball pieces is that they are made to depict someone looking into a mirror. This is done with today’s advanced technology and adds a strange narcissistic glance. It’s almost as though we are looking at a more refined version of the sculptures which captures the very old paired with something new. Other changes involved refining of drape, finishing the back and making the pedestals which they are placed much sturdier in order to view the work correctly from all sides.

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Jenny Aryton Encapsulates Childhood Memories In Molten Glass

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British artist Jenny Aryton creates “miniature wonderlands captured in molten glass.” Almost like snow globe depictions of every day life, Jenny Aryton’s work physically encapsulates intimate depictions of her private world. Gaining inspiration from her young daughter, she aims to gather excitement from the mundane. Her work tends to have a “domestic twist” as she allows her surrounding of her home and family guide the way as her source imagery. Her process begins by creating small metal wire figurines. She fashions tiny sweaters, chairs, trees, shovels, and other objects found in an everyday family home. She then organizes a simplistic scene, almost like a child playing with a dollhouse. After everything has been arranged, Aryton then encases it between two layers of molten hot glass which is poured at 1100ºC (2012ºF). She uses what is called sandcasting. She molds the overall shape of the piece in sand — just as a plaster sculptor would do with clay or wax. One the first layer is poured, she has one brief moment, while the glass is still fluid, to manipulate the aspects of the piece. The second layer is then poured and the whole piece is placed to set in a kiln for two days where it will take its final form. The glass, as a fragile and volatile material, will solidify differently each time, creating a one of a kind piece.  The delicate and cloudy imperfection of each piece almost seems to mimic the memory of a child. The have a solemn charm that is nostalgic yet innocent. Each piece is quiet, quaint and unique. (via iGNANT)

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Tomasso Sartori’s Dark, Majestic Landscape Photographs

 

Organic life is almost completely absent from Tomasso Sartori’s photographs. Instead, we’re left with sparse, apocalyptic images washed in glaring red and stifling shadow. The people-less landscapes remain defiantly intact, as if to say “we existed before you, and we’ll keep going long after you’re gone”. A nice reminder of the strength and majesty of our natural surroundings. Too often, we lapse into a flawed impression that we are the most important force in the world. Sartori’s pictures correct that mistake pretty quickly. (via)

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Denis Darzacq

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Denis Darzacq‘s latest series of work, Hyper, seems like  scenes captured from the movies….some crazy Matrix looking moves. When I first looked at Darzacq’s work, I thought it was digital photo manipulation or maybe even green screen. Something magical was definitely going on, it didn’t seem real. But much to my surprise there’s no sorcery here, nothing was manipulated in post. If you don’t believe me, check out this documentary that shows the French photographer at work, collaborating with young street dancers in Paris in order capture their dance moves in mid air, and gives them the illusion of falling or flying.

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Martin Eder’s Atmospheric Paintings Of Fearless And Melancholic Female Warriors

"Blut/Blood". Oil on canvas, 225 x 150 cm.

“Blut/Blood”. Oil on canvas, 225 x 150 cm.

"Inner Reality". Oil on canvas, 150 cm x 100 cm.

“Inner Reality”. Oil on canvas, 150 cm x 100 cm.

"How to Stand". Oil on canvas, 142 cm x 186 cm.

“How to Stand”. Oil on canvas, 142 cm x 186 cm.

"Behind the Curtain". Oil on canvas, 80 cm x 60 cm.

“Behind the Curtain”. Oil on canvas, 80 cm x 60 cm.

Martin Eder is German artist who paints atmospheric portraits, blurring the lines between reality and fantasy in a semi-surreal haze. His recent series involves figures of mythological repute, clad in armor and posing on the battlefield while the background boils with fire, smoke, and blood. Elsewhere, in more subdued scenes, his subjects recline in tender contemplation, or transform — with a silent violence — into a swan. Blending Botticelli-esque classicism with contemporary hyperrealism, Eder’s paintings defy categorization, appealing in their ambivalence to our fantasies through passionate stories radiating courage and melancholia.

Eder’s previous works are known for their flickering touches of eroticism blended with absurdity. Those who see his depictions of women as somewhat fetishized are not mistaken; experimenting with desire (and engaged criticisms) as affirmations of life, Eder asks us, in a rhetorical turn, “isn’t arousal, if it’s present at all, a rebellion against death?” (Source). In his bloodied and battle-wearied warrior portraits, however, Eder seems to be metaphorically driving at something else: a connection to the present, as the curator’s statement for Eder’s current exhibition at Galerie Eigen + Art suggests:

Women in armour, torn linen fabrics, armed with swords, traces of acts of war on their faces. The theme seems to be of a historical one, but is omnipresent: women of war in battle, in combat. Amongst the overflow of catastrophes, natural disasters and war images, emerge female figures as warriors that we repeatedly see, as soldiers, in the form of mothers who protect their children or their villages with weapons in the Middle East, or on another front on Maidan Square, equipped with improvised armour of street signs, gaffer tapes and plastic containers. (Source)

Eder’s exhibition, titled “Those Bloody Colours,” is showing at Eigen + Art in Berlin until May 23rd.  The title of the exhibition refers to a cry of war uttered in Shakespeare’s Henry VI, Part 3: “Let our bloody colours wave!/And either victory, or else a grave!” Offering yet another level of interpretation, Eder’s works remind us of the power of fantasies, as they can cover up (or romanticize) bloody histories and ongoing violences occurring beneath the “colours” of a flag.

Visit Eder’s website to see more of his art. In addition to oil paintings, he also works in watercolour, photography, and sculpture.

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