Hula balances his paddle board on the water the same way he balances the hyper-realistic paintings of women he depicts above the surface of that same water. The artist chooses abandoned sites and approaches the walls of his future murals by paddling on his surf board and carefully bringing his paint and brushes along with him.
Sean Yoro, a.k.a. Hula, represents women gracefully enjoying the contact of the water. The colors used are natural, dissolving with the stone color tones of the murals and the grey/green tones of the water. Geometric pastel signs are drawn onto the naked parts of their bodies such as the neck, shoulders and arms. The rest of their bodies is covered with water as Hula depicts only the top parts of the women’s bodies. The reflection of the pictures onto the surface of the water creates a double image, accentuating the peaceful and intimate moments caught by the artist.
Hula captures the smiles of pleasure and well being the women are experiencing in hidden places. Leaving the viewer wondering who these women are and if they even exist. Away from the city of New York, with nothing but his paint and his women, the moments spent scouting locations and painting in solitude in the middle of nowhere confers a meditative break to the artist.
It was a unique call for submissions: “Please send me your best nudes so I can draw them while I figure out my next move.” Seeking inspiration, Brooklyn-based artist Frances Waite posted this message on her Instagram, along with her phone number. Men and women responded enthusiastically, sending her intimate nude selfies of themselves sprawling on beds and squatting over mirrors. Choosing the images she found especially playful and unique—or rather, the nudes “where people [were] being themselves and posing in a way they [thought was] sexy and beautiful”—Waite began recreating them as illustrations, translating mischief and bodily expression into skillfully-drawn portraits (Source). The result is a fun, provoking, and ongoing series titled NUDES.
Waites’ project is one of empowerment, seeking self-expression beyond voyeurism, objectification, and the boundaries of heteronormativity. “I do think that I give people an opportunity to perform a part of themselves they might not display otherwise,” she explains in an interview with The Creators Project. “I’m some weird girl on the internet that wants to draw naked strangers, and I already have a repertoire of images that, I hope, make people feel comfortable doing whatever the hell they want.” (Source) She seeks to create a safe space where people can celebrate their bodies and sexual identities with agency and anonymity.
Hungarian photographer Flora Borsi digitally “distouches” images of models. After analyzing fashion portraits, the artist took note of the overt emphasis on perfection the images took. She then decided to play with the process to perfect by attempting the opposite. Her images wink to the classic artist portrait, perhaps even take their composition from what looks like could be a model or actor’s headshot, yet instead of aiming to portray women at their most beautiful, her mission was to create something truly unusual. Her portraits highlight distorted faces of women that tend to have three eyes, peculiar brow lines, and lips that droop, giving an almost absent chin. With a thread of shiny hair and dramatic lighting, this body of work almost acts as a portrait series of genuine alien beings. The artist explains the project in her own words:
“In this project I’ve been analyzing some fashion portraits, how perfect they are. So I made the opposite of retouching, somehow I distouched these pictures of perfect models. This project is connected to surrealist painters point of view: beauty wasn’t enough to give me interest. I love imperfections as much as I love surrealism. These pictures are my little monsters, no one wants to look like them, because they are totally unique.”
Borsi’s work uses digital manipulation in order to explore her fascination with surrealism. She focuses on issues surrounding identity, relationships, emotions, and dreams with the aim to investigate the complexity of the human psyche.
Ron Nagle makes mini sculptures using a variety of colors and shapes. He takes ceramics to another level, transforming utilitarian pottery into abstract modern art. In the ‘Five O’Clock Shadow’ series he presents innovative forms mixed with saturated colors.
He uses different methods to produce his pieces such as slip-casting and hand-molding. Dealing with traditional and non-traditional materials, including glazed ceramic, Sculp-metal, polyurethane, and epoxy. Ron Nagle always lays his inspiration on paper. Transferring the sketch into a 3 dimensional piece. The sculptures are never more high than a few inches. The shapes are figurative and translate the artist’s passion for tea cups, its handles and bowl volume. His gets inspired by the works of Giorgio Morandi, Philip Guston, Japanese Momoyama ceramics, and George Herriman.
Ron Nagle injects in his art pieces a glimpse of pop art and a dash of music. He is a ceramist as well as a confirmed singer. The sculptures seem to be on the verge of moving. At any moment, they can get moving. The top parts, which are almost all twisted and contorted are waiting for the signal of the viewer to maliciously escape from their pedestal. The artist wants to trigger new sensations from the viewer. His work is meant to be singular. According to him, there’s no point in looking at a form of art for which we already felt something. Emotions generated from his work has to be fresh and possibly never been experienced before.
Jan Fabre is an innovative visual artist whose works explore the realms of psychology, anatomy, and metamorphosis. Throughout his career, Fabre has been particularly fascinated by the human brain—the seat of cognition, and arguably, the spirit—and the way neurobiology intersects with the heart. He studied the brain for over ten years, working in dialogue with neurobiologist Giacomo Rizzolatti. Wondering about the brain’s role in the experience of emotion and empathy, Fabre asks himself and his viewers, “Do we feel with our brains and think with our heart?”
Featured here is a series of Fabre’s Carrara marble brain sculptures, each one bearing surprising elements; insects crawl across the veined surfaces, and scissors and corkscrews protrude in a macabre flare of the surgeon’s table. Fabre experienced being in a coma twice in his life, which caused him to explore the brain as an eerie, post-mortem state (Source). As a result, death is present throughout these works; the brains stand as white monuments not only to our mortality, but to our statuses as both individuals and interconnected human beings. Following this theme, Fabre has also sculpted marble bodies resting on tombs, similarly adorned with insects, which represent the transmutation of the physical and spiritual, life and decay.
Fabre’s work will be exhibited at the Deweer Gallery in Otegem, Belgium, from November 4th–December 20th, 2015. Titled 30 Years / 7 Rooms, the show features Fabre’s decades-long collaboration with Mark Deweer. (Via Hi-Fructose)
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.
Portrait paintings or portrait embroideries? Cayce Zavaglia wants us to wonder and question the technique she is using. ‘About-Face’ is actually a series of embroideries. And they depict exclusively the artist’s close friends and family members. When flipped around, the portraits become abstract art pieces. “an attempt to show both sides…in hopes of initiating a dialogue about the two sides we each possess: the presented and the private self.’
As a former painter Cayce Zavaglia knows the impact of a brushstroke on the canvas and is therefore able to meticulously transfer the effect onto the tapestries. She begins the process by roughly taking a hundred pictures of her futur subject. She wants to catch the right expression. After selecting just one picture she starts working with one-ply embroidery thread on Belgian linen. She is able to render via fabric and thread the intricate details of blended colors and the texture that imitates oil painting.
The artists wants to create a dialogue between the viewer, the subject and herself. From far, the viewer might perceive the hyper-realist portraits as paintings and that’s ok. Up-close, they realize the mean used is embroidery. And by looking at the reverse side of the piece the viewers can begin to connect with the subject. The back of tapestries were historically never shown to the public. Cayce Zavaglia is making an exception. Because abstraction blurs the boundaries between the viewer and the art piece he/she is looking at and that’s when the dialogue begins to become interesting.
Cayce Zavaglia’s work will be displayed at Lyonswier Gallery in New York from November 5th until December 6th 2015. The artist’s daily process is updated on her Instagram account.
A fairy tale, the garden of Eden and Hell. Hieronymus Bosch was a painter (ca. 1450 to 1516) from the Medieval era representing fantasy landscapes with imaginary and bizarre characters. In one of his most famous painting, ‘The Garden of Earthly Delights’ he depicts in a triptych, a multitude of religious symbols blended with amusing dark isolated little scenes.
Hieronymus Bosch’s style is childlike and at the same time stern and serious. On the left side of the triptych, a religious scene. G.od is presenting Eve to Adam in the quiet and peaceful garden of Eden. What is looking like a traditional scene seems in fact to represent the beginning of life and its debauchery. The following part of the painting shows the consequences of a story we know too well nowadays. That is, the story of Adam eating the forbidden fruit and sent with Eve to another land. A land where nothing is in order. Birds and fruits are bigger than humans and seem to have dominated. The animals are feeding the humans. Which, from the look on their faces, are acting like zombies. We are looking at submissive and obedient individuals satisfying their primal needs, mating and eating. The last part of the triptych depicts macabre and violent scenes. The decline of corruption through the representation of hell. People are being tortured and murdered by the animals and other hybrid creatures. Knives, swords and arrows are completing the disastrous landscape.
The set of paintings is ultra-detailed and furthermore for an artist living in the Medieval era. This looks from afar like a tale for children. The naive colors and the rounded shapes makes the art piece easy to watch. That was probably the first intent. The second was to maybe address a message indirectly to the viewers. The story of Adam and Eve disobeying from their original paths and its inevitable deadly consequences is shown to the public. The context of the paintings are unsure but what is unquestionable is the talent, vision and beautiful imagination of Hieronymus Bosch.
The triptych, 20 paintings and 19 drawings, will be displayed at Noordbrabants Museum in the Netherlands as part of the ‘Hieronymus Bosch: Visions of a Genius’ exhibition from February 13th to May 8th 2016. (via Juxtapoz)