As digital technology takes over analog traditions it becomes harder to keep alive the tried and true methods of yesteryear. Case in point, analog photography. This is why British photographer Richard Nicholson began documenting the few remaining professional dark rooms in London before they all slowly disappeared and were replaced with high resolution digital cameras and massive digital printers. Will these labs one day only live in history museums and through the work of such photographers such as Richard? Only time will tell.
Collage has fascinated artist Matthias Jung since he was a child when he built his first fantastical buildings in his father’s photo lab. Not much has changed since then, and he still cut aparts photos to make them into new scenes. He doesn’t want help from digital technology in his artwork, and doesn’t use Photoshop.
Jung explains why he focuses on structures, writing:
I am always amazed at how architectural details can evoke certain associations and feelings. This is how a latticed window conveys coziness; one might even say it is soulful. Framework is soothing, sometimes touching. Antennas have something sinister about them. They point to something outside the picture. Concrete is cold and foreign – but maybe interesting for just that reason.
He began with the series Houses in January 2015, and developed seven complex images within a few weeks. “All the images used have been photographed by me,” he explains. “Many were taken during trips in northeastern Germany. My last trip took me to the Ruhr region where there are abandoned steel mills and heaps of coal. I find that to be very exciting.”
Matthis says that his dreams are collages, and that for them to “function properly,” he also has to consider design rules.
Thus, the relationship between order/disorder and homogeneity/diversity must agree. A building has to first be stable and credible before I can add some “disorder,” to let it fly for example. One such disorder refers to another, only hinting at reality. I weave, so to speak, spiritual realities into everyday things.
“Choosing to focus on natural elements that are not commonly appreciated or used for decorative purposes, my artwork is connected to the ‘wildness’ in nature even as it is taming it by the creation of formal patterning.”
Drawing on her background in textile design, Lisa A. Frank creates large-scale “repeating patterns”, “tapestry-like designs”, and “floor to ceiling ‘sections'” from her own nature photography. The artist’s works (some of which are composed of over 100 digital layers) obviously draw on a strong connection to nature and its various trappings: flaura, fauna, etc. Such elements are inherently wild and unpredictable. So Frank’s application of computerized media and pattern work, logical processes very unlike the mysterious mechanisms that govern the natural world, sets up a really interesting dynamic. And, like in the natural environment, there’s a lot going on in these works. The effort really shows and I could spend a long time looking at each one.
Great stuff. Definitely worth a click past the jump to check out more images of the artist’s work, which draws material from all four seasons.
What sets Adam Roth apart from other illustrators is that you can actually go beyond the initial surface-level awesomeness of his pieces. For example, the burger warrior above is rad as hell, right? However, it’s not just that. It’s also got Adam’s pain, joy, and personal nature infused into it, making it more of a fine artwork then just a cartoon rendering of a cheeseburger gladiator. To most of us, action figures were toys we played with as children just for fun. Yet, to Adam Roth, they mean so much more, as you’ll find out in the interview below. They’re his muses. They’re his models. And they’re part of the reason Adam is one of the most unique artists I’ve come across in Los Angeles. So, in order to give you a full spectrum of his world, I’ve carefully curated the following images so you’re not just seeing Adam’s paintings, but you’re also getting a glimpse at the toys in his collection that inspire many of his works. Adam will be featured in the upcoming exhibit VOID: In the Nether Regions, which opens on April 12th  at Homeroom Gallery in Los Angeles.
When I was a kid I was obsessed with turtles. Not sure why but I just loved turtles. I even had a pet miniature turtle named Skatey. Why did I name him Skatey do you ask? Because I liked to skateboard…. I know I know… I’m very good at naming pets.
This video goes out to my buddy Skatey up there in turtle heaven. RIP
Aesop’s pranksters, villains and modest heroes are apposite subjects for sculptor Nicola Hicks, whose work frequently balances the mythical and the anthropomorphic.This exceptional selection of new sculptures form a body of work surrounding contemporary themes, imbuing great energy and combining complex compositions with painstakingly detailed expressions.
It is important to recognize that Hicks is not interested in merely illustrating the fables, rather the works serve as a catalyst for her creative process, providing the foundation upon which she is able to express her own personal visual language. Furthermore, the lively narrative has enabled Hicks to continue her investigation into the effects of gravity on the physicality and assemblage of the works, whilst allowing her to pursue her chosen composition.
The raw-edged, tactile nature of these works epitomizes Hicks’ delight in sculpting. Plaster is blended and contoured into natural forms creating aesthetic qualities rich with spontaneity and strength so as to capture the essence of the characters.This, combined with the large scale of the sculptures forces us to confront the realities of the fables.
Rather than depicting the resolution of each of the fables, the animals are frozen in their moments of decision.The expression of the transitory moment serves to evoke the innate sensibilities of her subjects.The foolish crow has not yet dropped his cheese, unaware that soon he will be hungry and mocked on his branch.
Conner Contemporary Art is very pleased to present Patricia Piccinin’s first solo exhibition in Washington, DC: “The Welcome Guest.” The selection of works ranges in date from 1997 to the present, including video and small- to large-scale sculptures (made of silicone, fiberglass, human and animal hair, taxidermied peacocks, polyester, nylon, wool, plastic and bronze). Using natural and artificial media to create realistic and grotesque forms, the world renowned Australian artist visualizes humanity’s challenges in navigating between nature and biotechnology.
The exhibition title comes from its signature piece, “The Welcome Guest” (2011), Piccinini’s most recent creation, which recalls Goethe’s statement, ‘Beauty is everywhere a welcome guest.’ The artist explains that this work “reflects on the beauty and strangeness of nature.” In this compelling sculptural grouping, a fleshy mutant creature embraces a cute little girl as a graceful peacock looks on from atop an icy perch. Here Piccinini asks: Who will we become as technology refashions the relationship between people and the natural world? Other works in the exhibition elaborate on what kinds of emotional connections could emerge between us and the strange yet vulnerable life forms our science may yet create. See the show from November 5th – December 7th, 2011 at Conner Contemporary Art.
Spain based artist Paco Pomet paints colorful clouds of pink and blue that consume and take over vintage scenes of landscapes. A skilled painter, Pomet uses oil paints to create surreal landscapes where his vibrant colors transform each image into something out of the ordinary. He paints his transformative palette like a wave that will eventually consume everything in its path. Pomet’s work starts out looking like vintage photos of tranquil wilderness in black and white or sepia tones, but then a burst of colored slime oozes and covers the scene. His fluffy pinks and fiery reds cut through the composition to reveal new elements, changing the situation and meaning of each image. Not only does this now distort the circumstance of the painting, but also the setting has become a whole different world where anything is possible. This is a place where tree trunks can glow, the sky can drip, and mountains can break in half. Each color is placed cleverly and adds a bit of humor and curiosity to his work.
Pomet’s paintings show influence of traditional western paintings and landscapes, with their inclusion of desert scenes, covered wagons, and cowboys. His choices of misfit colors do not only break up this traditional imagery, but ads a contemporary, dream-like quality not unlike that of contemporary pop-surrealism. His paintings hint at analogue photography, but with elements of modern design.
Paco Pomet is represented by Richard Heller Gallery in Santa Monica, CA and currently has a solo exhibition on view until February 15th. Make sure to see the artist’s incredible work in person while you have the chance!