Through careful manipulation, Silvia Grav‘s ethereal black and white images capture a psychological realm where death and fear lurk around each corner, a world beyond the material where rich blacks and blinding white tones evoke a heightened anxiety and ecstasy. In her spooky portraits, the self is blurred by smoke and transparency, as if transported from the page by some unknowable force.
As with the works of the prolific photographer Francesca Woodman, Grav’s images are often set against the backdrop of the domestic space. The house, associated symbolically with the female, is no longer seen as safe or comforting; deteriorated walls and filthy floors cannot protect or contain inhabitants, and a woman rises ghostly towards a lit window. In another eerie image, the sleeping female is disturbed in sleep, her delicate floral bedding overcast by a foreboding shadow whose presence forces her to cover her breast and frightfully clasp at her back. Later, she is shown to be levitating, reaching out for the comforts of her mattress.
Within the terror of the images lies a sort of ecstasy, a dreamy surrender to instability and fright. The woman subject, surrounded by smoke clouds that seem to melt away her flesh, clasps her skeleton hands in rapturous prayer. Her nighttime slumber is seen in mysterious light, and she basks in its warmth, seeming to wriggle with delirium so that the majority of her body is pulled out of the frame.
The impressive work seems to invoke the memory of troubled women artists who came before. In one poignant image, the artist seems to mirror the famous profile portrait of Virginia Woolf by the photographer George Charles Beresford, down to the dark, pulled-back hair, the white blouse, and the ominous shadow below the eye. Contributing to the dialogue on femininity and mortality began by the likes of Woodman and Woolf, Grav adds a unique and potent modern voice. (via Colossal)
London based artist Dan Hillier creates unique, fantastical prints that blend both contemporary and antique styles. With portraits of beings composed of tree branch silhouetted hair, adornments of constellation filled skies, third eyes, and intricately pattered antlers, Hillier’s work is magnificently ornate. Using a steampunk reminiscent aesthetic, Hillier juxtaposes victorian imagery with moments of nature, creating his own sort of mythological, science fiction world. His work takes notes from the Symbolist movement that began in the late nineteenth century, such as human-animal hybrid motifs seen in Fernand Khnopff’s The Sphinx (1896), or the whimsical, grim illustrative style of Aubrey Beardsley. While most of his titles are straightforward descriptions of the image it is paired with, there are slight winks to a following of both psychological and theological threads. For example, the piece Son of the Father depicts a man wearing a mask of a perfectly sculpted face to cover a more complex, dark, geometrical entity, in which another face lurks. The piece titled Pachamama, which can either refer to the Incan fertilely goddess, or acts as the Incan word for the creation of the world, depicts a woman made up of a fully starred sky and a robe created from a forest. The prints are both recognizable, yet manifestly mythical, leaving the viewer in a sort of satisfied state of inquisition. The work is almost pleasantly dark, as if they are images taken from a memory, dream, or story that just cannot quite be placed, yet is yearned to be remembered.
Carol Inez Charney is a photographer based in San Francisco. Her newest body of work is a series of images that resemble colorful abstractions. In reality the photographs are close-ups of water on windows as well as the colors that surround them. In her own words: “My current photographic series, Interior Landscape, uses natural distortions present in our everyday world—namely, moisture on windows—to evoke a painterly image that recontextualizes our everyday architectural landscape. While focusing on the minute details of these natural distortions, we enter a space of quiet contemplation, which simultaneously inspires a new kind of internal and external vision. After several years of combining painting and photography with mixed results, one very cold day in Minnesota I looked through a window completely covered in condensation out to the frosty distant landscape. I realized I could use the camera to reinterpret the world around me into a form akin to that of painting.” (via)
Former art critic William Powhida unpacks his feelings about the art world and community by craftily using the medium itself to exemplify, deconstruct, and evaluate. Whether it’s an installation piece, abstract painting, or neon structure, the essence of art criticism and commercial machine surrounding an artist’s success or failure is heavily examined in his work.
However, Powhida’s recent emerging sentiment is not completely sardonic nor too serious or precious. Of his recent show, “Bill by Bill,” the LA Timessuggests, “What saves the work from grating sarcasm or smart aleck cleverness — toward which the artist has erred in the past — is a curious undertone of sincerity. Powhida is not mean-spirited or bitter but seems genuinely driven to understand his subject: the internal mechanisms of this peculiar social and economic ecosystem. How does the art world work and how should we feel about that? How much of ourselves should we reconcile to it?”
French artist Julien Berthier brings a pranksters twist to conceptual art with tongue and cheek alterations, manipulations, and juxtapositions. A great example of his comic wit is A Lost (pictured above) featuring a ripped piece of a billboard with “A Lost” written across it. Next to the torn billboard fragment Berthier hangs a photo of the billboard that originally read “Making Thievery A Lost Art”. Other favorite projects include a large fully functional boat that appears to be capsized, skull topiary, and a fabricated chair based on the artists left handed drawing of a chair (Berthier is right handed.
Midwest illustrator Sabrina Burbaker is a self described is an illustrator, pack rat, insomniac (robot), horror enthusiast, eldest child, dog lover, & maybe-possibly-probably wino. When she’s not busy being all of the above she spends her time making beautifully detailed pen and ink illustrations with a slightly dark sense of humor.
Commercial illustrator Théo Gènnitsakis was born in Greece, and is now Creative Director of design agency LA SUNRISE in Paris whose modus operandi is “Audacity is the safest path” (check out their blog, it’s kinda funny). Well, it’s definitely safe to assume we know what Théo enjoys! And…safe to say that I feel a bit violated looking at these, haha.
The good folks at LG are introducing the UltraWide 21:9 monitors to the creative world in a unique way. Instead of a boring ad campaign they’ve decided to team up with YouTube sensation and master extreme sports video impresario Devin Graham A.K.A devinsupertramp. With 3/4 of a billion views and 4 million subscribers Devin has a loyal fan base that expects only the absolute best in video production and design so teaming up with LG was a natural fit. The UltraWide 21:9 monitor allows Devin to film and edit footage in glorious “Cinematic” aspect ratio making each of his videos feel like a real movie for the big screen. Find out more about this unique cinematic collaboration here and get more information about the new LG UltraWide 21:9 monitors here.