The massive large scale ink drawings of French graffiti artist Deck Two are a narrative that you can really get immersed in. At over 29 feet long, his sketches are a part of a series called Expanding Drawing. And they are exactly that – drawings that stretch out and don’t end at the usual borders. For this particular project he was based in Tokyo and has tried to capture the all-encompassing feeling of the city. Every inch is filled with intricate details about city life, and we can really see just how much of a living, breathing organism major metropolises are.
His drawings are like precise, architectural illustrations made of a future city. Motorways curve around beautifully, and merge together, running into the center of the urban sprawl. Deck Two profiles mega cities with a gracefulness reminiscent of the Francis Ford Coppola film Koyaanisqatsi. He talks about his idea of a utopian place:
My idea of a perfect town is a place where young and old people can live together; poor and rich, who always have access to culture and art. (Source)
The French artist is interested in many different forms of art, involving different aspects of the urban landscape. From motion design to illustration, VFX to storyboard, drawing to graffiti – Deck Two likes to switch from computer to wall painting, and vice versa. He has painted walls, cars, and numerous murals. Be sure to check out his other work and a few videos showing the artist at work, here and here.
Through the lens of Mona Kuhn, images turn into memories that slip through your fingers. Her photography captures fragmented pieces of time, filled with shameless beauty with an ethereal aura. An enigmatic narrative flows through her series Private, as Kuhn offers us delicate and intimate moments filled with breathtaking nudes and spider webs. Kuhn explains that this particular series is a personal journey of hers, exploring beauty and mysticism. The color palette in Private is serene, airy, and embracing all at the same time. Seeing each photograph of Kuhn’s is like uncovering a clue to a past life, like looking inwards through your memories that have slipped through the cracks of time.
In Kuhn’s equally stunning series Acido Dorado, translating to “acid gold”, the nude also appears often. Kuhn’s nudes represent a timeless sense of self, of all humans, and our direction on this earth. The artist often pushes the nude figure to abstraction, creating new context and meaning. There is a mysterious atmosphere that follows Kuhn’s work that is both seductive and mesmerizing. Both series’ are filled with surreal scenes and abstracted imagery that is like a mirage. Large format nude photography being a reoccurring theme in Kuhn’s work, she explains the draw to this raw form of a person or subject.
“I realized I ought to photograph the human in us, without shame, without regret, free and timeless.”
- Mona Kuhn
Istvan Sandorfi (1948-2007) was a Hungarian painter known for his hyperrealistic oil paintings of cloth-draped and vanishing figures. In his works, pale skin melds with the surrounding atmosphere, and bodies embrace and pull apart from one another, twisting in silent expressions of pain. Engrossed amidst states of transfiguration, Sandorfi’s “incomplete” characters exhibit both profound vulnerability and strength.
From detailed facial expressions to the minute details of wrinkles and bones beneath flesh, the paintings bear a photorealistic effect that is troubled by a fragmentary surrealism suggestive of digital manipulation. Such meticulousness came from Sandorfi’s never-ending dedication to the craft of painting, which he did mostly alone and at night. As he himself humbly claimed, “I never had the impression that I really knew how to paint, not in the past, not now. If you paint, you are simply never satisfied” (Source).
Sandorfi’s ghostly images have been shown on display around Europe for the last three decades. His works remain in several private collections and museums around the world, including the Centre Georges Pompidou, Musee de la Ville de Paris, and the Taiwan Museum of Art (Source). As a master of his medium who could replicate and expressively unmake the human body, Sandorfi’s oeuvre is one that deserves ongoing appreciation. His work can be followed on Facebook. (Via Art Fucks Me)
Antonella Arismendi is an Argentine fashion photographer and visual artist whose colorfully esoteric works explore alternate planes of consciousness. In a striking divergence from mainstream fashion photography, Antonella splices her work with dark symbols and glitch-like art, dissolving bodies into a white-noise fuzz and superimposing faces over volcanic eruptions. In some of her more quiet and scenic pieces — such as Tephra, for example — Antonella uses fashion to explore haunting-yet-spirituality rich worlds, depicting a model who stands in reverence beneath an empty, alien sky. By blending darkness with light and incorporating multiple symbols, Antonella produces beautifully obscure images of enigmatic and ever-transforming power.
Like a spiritual, chemical reaction, Antonella’s creative process is intuitive and experimental. As she explains in a fascinating interview with People of Shambhala,
What inspires me the most is to isolate myself from everything that has already been done visually and create something new. It’s an intense process to convert ideas from the ethereal to the tangible plane — it’s when the alchemical act happens. (Source)
By utilizing and fusing symbols of the occult, the Cabbala, and astrology, Antonella’s expressive photography reinvests such symbolism with contemporary meaning; like a visualization of cyber-age witchcraft, the images are portraits of inherited, ancient spiritual practices, blended with visual art to show the plateaus of meaning between apparently disparate traditions. As she continues in the interview, “I believe that the spiritual movements that have occurred in different times arise from the same origin and have simply reinterpreted it. […] One of my greatest motivations is based in astrology and spiritual knowledge. Photography is simply the tool to express them.” (Source)
Using imagery taken from popular culture, photographer Alexander Khokhlov creates whimsical portraits of models with famous logos on their faces. By combining the brand with the figure chosen to sell it he examines the role personalities play in representing certain products and how they become associated with that brand sometimes for their whole careers. The placement of the logo incorporated onto the face from an aesthetic standpoint puts emphasis on the persona which sells it. Some of the logos which decorate the models faces then shot on black and white film include Mickey Mouse and Chanel . Besides commercial brands the artist has photographed paintings of corsets, lightning and eight balls on model’s faces which lend a strange dynamic rooted in painting. These take on more of a circus-like narrative, perhaps something akin to what the performers in Cirque du soleil would wear.
Throughout history facepaint has been practiced in wars, ceremonies, sports and entertainment. It’s mostly associated with the native Americans who used it to prepare for hunting, spiritual enlightenment and death. The different marks and colors appropriately symbolized what tribe they belonged to. (via artfucksme)
The work of Italian artist Alessandro Rabatti humorously comments on the current economic state that the world is in. Using different currencies from around the world, Rabatti rearranges and alters the faces of each political icon and transforms them into a comic book hero. By rearranging and breaking down household faces such as Abraham Lincoln and Queen Elizabeth II, the artist deconstructs their economic status. Each important leader’s status has been elevated from historical legend to fictional superhero, as if their alter egos are really Spiderman, Ironman, and Catwoman. The interesting part about this transformation is that some of these heroes and villains are more recognizable to people than the historical figures themselves.
This series, titled Facebank, comically comments on our economic state and the actual worth of money today. We trust in these icons just as children trust Captain America and the other courageous characters. In creating this series, Rabatti aims to spark a dialogue concerning the current, unstable state of world economics. Another interesting element in the artist’s work is that each face is now wearing a mask. The mask is often associated with hiding one’s identity or giving a false appearance; pretending to be something you are not. This is no doubt another layer in Rabatti’s series, commenting on political figures and their place in society. The artist’s funny and clever artwork combines comic book superheroes, economics, and political satire to create this multifaceted series. (via Design Boom)