Aptitude, a digital agency based in Bedfordshire, U.K., pays cheeky homage to the (lost?) art of the album cover. They’ve picked an array of such album covers, some more tongue-in-cheek than others, and played around with the design by showing what’s been left out. On their site, you can scroll over each photo and “zoom out” to view the imagined bits from the cutting floor.
“Album cover art used to be meticulously created to portray some kind of message that the band or artist was trying to convey,” Aptitude says. In a way, that sums up their mission with this project as they set out to turn that message on its head. Their designs also function as a retrospective as they add a time traveler’s souvenirs into the mix: Justin Bieber’s My World pans out to reveal his untimely arrest; Bubbles glares balefully from a jail cell on the outskirts of Off the Wall.
Bruce Springsteen’s iconic Born in the U.S.A. zooms out to show the rock star approaching food truck serving — what else — burgers. In the foreground is a stereotypically hefty American. A bit on the nose? Maybe, but all in good fun.
“We all have a favourite album,” the agency says. “One that means something to us more than others.” (via Demilked)
Korean-born Brooklyn artist Timothy Hyunsoo Lee creates 3D escapades in a 2D format. The paper is both painted upon and sculpted: acted on as a canvas for gouache and watercolor, then the paper is cut into and reformed, creating shapes and 3D sculptures which the paintings move across.
Primarily intending to pursue medical school, Lee changed his mind after graduation and instead found a studio and continued working on his other passion, art. You can see traces of his past ambitions in the technical precision of his paintings. The symmetry is scientific.
Some shapes are forming, some dissolving, some reforming. Matter shifts between sections of his work, created in one area and destroyed in another. Rectangle cut-outs fan inward from the edges of the paper like waves of autumn leaves kicked up from the ground, like a school of fish flickering in unison. He paints with gradients, running in and out of them, some color, some grayscale. Faces and eyes are a prominent feature of his work. The Sabrina Amrani Gallery, where Lee has shown work, summarizes his technique rather aptly:
“Hyunsoo Lee’s works are inspired by themes of social stigma, identity, psychological disorders, and more recently, of spirituality and religion. He explores these themes through a novel vector – paintings and sculptures consisting largely of cell-like marks that vary in size, color, and saturation. His works are seen as ethereal and delicate, but the extremely labor-intensive compositions, marked by intensely obsessive repetitions, quickly betray that initial perception. Exploring his own history of anxiety disorders through his art, Timothy confronts and manipulates his tics and compulsions and channels them into his works. In responding to his anxiety with art, he has developed a novel system of mind-mapping – “a cartography of his psychopathology” – to study a part of himself that initially drew him to study developmental biology and neuroscience in college.” (Excerpt from Source)
Given the prevalence of new technologies and the endless possibilities associated with digital programs, it is no surprise that most contemporary artists working in collage seldom create works entirely by hand. To Argentinian artist Larissa Haily Aguado, however, fabricating collages manually has become an integral aspect of her practice, as “the possibilities of fixed manual collage in the digital age provide exciting opportunities to engage with craft, materials, analysis and outcomes.”
With mesmerizing compositions, dream-like subject matter, and a “sharper, more immediate, and more human dynamic than is possible with computer software,” Aguado’s collages combine photographs, illustration, found materials, and elements of graphic design to form surreal yet seamlessly cohesive scenes. By attaching inanimate objects to human bodies or placing retro furniture in scenes of nature, Aguado creates works that are both tongue-in-cheek and aesthetically appealing.
Representative of her wide range of artistic experiences and clearly influenced by her multi-faceted career (including major music industry projects, fashion campaigns, movie poster designs, and TV commercials), the diverse nature of her collages undoubtedly conveys her inventive imagination and eye for design.
Swiss-Italian photographer Christian Tagliavini’s contemporary antique photos blend fine arts and craftsmanship seamlessly into “1503,” his captivating portrait series. 1503 is the birth year of Agnolo Bronzino, an Italian court painter for the Medici family of Florence, whose realistic paintings had an enormous influence on portraiture.
Though Tagliavini’s photos may appear to be historically based oil paintings, they are more than just a literal translation of antiquated art through new technology. The clothes and body positioning echo Bronzino and the light in these portraits is tender and perfect, but it’s the details of the photos that emphasize the modernity of the work-the stylized outfits, exaggerated necks, translucent skin and clear directness of the models’ gazes. Unlike the bold colors of the paintings, the photographs are printed in pale, unsaturated tones, which work to make them feel more contemporary.
“Christian Tagliavini loves designing stories with open endings (requiring observer’s complicity) on unexplored themes or unusual concepts, featuring uncommon people with their lives and their thoughts made visible. This rich and exciting collision of circumstances results in photos as a final product.”
Tagliavini is impressively skilled-not only is he the photographer, he is also the costume designer, set builder, and casting director. He says, “I’m fascinated by the fact that I don’t simply release the shutter, but that the real fun for me is before I take the pictures. I say that I’m not really a photographer, but a workman of photography.”
Jody Xiong has created a wonderful collaboration between man and machine, art and science, expression and technology. He has enlisted the help of 16 people with physical disabilities and set as part of an innovative experiment. With a person sitting in a chair wearing headphones, electric signals from their brain are captured and transmitted to a Neurosky processing unit. On the other end of the installation, Xiong has set up a structure with four blank canvas walls in a box shape. Inside is a hanging balloon – filled with the subject’s chosen color. The brain signals stemming from the person then trigger detonators attached to the balloon, resulting in an explosion of paint, splattering on all four walls. This installation is quite literally painting what is coming from inside the mind.
You can see the variations between the abstract paintings from all of the subjects and just how different the thought patterns of each of us are. Ranging in large violent bursts to small, stuttered splatters, the paintings are beautiful recordings of the inside of our heads. Each painting was then sold for 800 Renminbi (about 300USD) and donated to different charities. This installation is a beautiful way of getting back to the core of expression. And hopefully our ideas about limitations and potential will be changed because of it.
It shows that the capacity of the human spirit is unlimited, even though it may be trapped within a disabled body. (Source)
Xiong has been connecting ideas of expression and technology for over 16 years. With a background in creative advertising, he is adept at capturing people’s attention with interesting, simple ideas. He seems to have tried his hand at most artistic disciplines, and is known as an expert and innovator in the worlds of painting, environmental design, video and other cutting-edge technologies. To see more of his unique projects, go here (Keyboard of Isolation) and here (Walk for Green). (Via Designboom)
Turkish photographer Yonca Karakas used to want to be a genetic engineer due to her attraction to the idea of cloning. Somewhere along the line she became a photographer instead, but this fascination with mass produced identities is all too present within her work. Her work, which is polished and waxen, features symbols and people styled, and nearly de-stylized, to look mute and plasticine.
Karakas utilizes symmetry to her artistic advantage. She manipulates framing by organizing her props to dramatize the exploitation of whatever symbol: meat, or the cross, she is working with. Her characters are emotionless; colonized by the future, they are clean, well groomed, and the antithesis of squeamish. They wear meat, their religion is sugar coated. When thinking of her work, she recognizes that she is in the business of constructing dreams:
“I don’t like to define every frame I shoot or say ‘that is exactly what I tried to tell’. Once it’s all done that’s when I think why I shot it, I go back and say I might have been influenced by this or that movie. And by going back I can see my concerns and try to solve them. The Box is influenced by Ray Bradbruy’s novel Fahrenheit 451. It’s about a despotic future in an oppressive community where books are burnt by firefighters, televisions broadcasting brainwashing shows. I believe we are more or less facing the same situation now. We are burying ourselves in our tablets and phones, looking at ourselves and making others watch us too. It’s like we really like that, don’t we?”
German street artist 1010 uses tromp l’oeil technique in murals that occupy the sides of buildings and gallery spaces. The abstract shapes have rings of color and have just enough shading to give them the illusion that they’re different layers. It gives them the appearance of paper cutouts, with multiple colorful “sheets” highlight the incredible depth that’s on flat surfaces.
1010’s illusion makes the entire side of a building feel like something that’s as light as paper. Their scale is large enough to create a cavernous feel, like you could venture inside of these paintings. In this way, he creates a fantasy within the ordinary urban environment. You start to ponder: what if these structures really were made of something as delicate as paper? Where would this dark abyss lead, and what would be there? Considering the oddly-shaped holes, it could be anything.
These figures were then attached to slides and, along a conveyer belt, they rotate in front of a projector, illuminating on a screen the moving image of a man digging up earth. Short and sweet, this little ‘film’ shows the man digging and re-digging an eternal hole in the earth’s surface. Maire formulated and completed this project while at an artist’s residency at the iMAL Centre for Digital Cultures and Technology in Brussels. The iMal noted that Maire has skillfully utilized machinery when making his art:
“For more than 10 years, Julien Maire has mastered and used in unexpected ways advanced technologies such as CNC mills, laser cutters, precision optics, etc. Today, 3D printers are naturally also part of his toolbox. For these two new pieces, Julien designed and built all original parts, mechanisms and components using the whole range of machines available at Fablab.iMAL, from Ultimaker and Mendel DIY printers to the laser-based Form1 3D printer.” (Excerpt from Source)