Barcelona based artist Sergio Albiac creates these abstract portraits by writing computer programs that generate images, always including code that will randomly generate some aspect of the results. Through this medium of expression, Albiac has found a captivating balance of control and randomness, such as the portraits of Rimbaud and Neruda created from their words and signatures.
Albiac explains his process, “When I code a generative sketch, I introduce control (the sentences that govern the sketching action) and also a degree of randomness in the code. This is a machine control/randomness balance. Then, I select certain outputs (again, human control) and I paint a canvas using the selected generative images as an starting point, without the aim of exact reproduction. The act of painting is a struggle between control and randomness because, depending of the painting technique, paint behavior cannot be totally controlled by the painter. In this way, I explore a fascinating “dialogue” between control/randomness and machine/human interaction. It makes sense to me. I feel connected to artistic tradition but using the generative sketchbook process, I can create in a very contemporary and innovative way that deeply reflects the ideas I need to express.”
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When you take a look at Jazmin Berahka’s work you’re transported back to a time where craft was key. Her intricate embroidery drawings are flawlessly made, full of pattern, detail and distinct personality. You can clearly see how much thought and care she puts into each of her pieces. Her series range from shy girls with delicately patterned garments, to more abstract works showcasing her embroidery skills. Whichever you prefer, her work is definitely worth a good long look.
Maurizio Bongiovanni’s paintings look like the effects of the past, or perhaps the future making its stamp on the present. But what makes Maurizio’s imagery even more effective is his choice of mundane subjects. Birds – sweet, chirpy, perched – suffering the effects of having fallen through refractive cracks… or their existence stretched as they fall toward some unforseen black hole?
Carol Carter is a contemporary watercolor artist based out of St Louis, MO. She is such a prolific painter that it proved nearly impossible to select just seventeen images to feature out of the hundreds documented throughout her website. Her subject matter is incredibly varied, ranging from swimmers, nudes, flora and fauna, to interiors and landscapes of the Everglades and Italy. In spite of painting such a vast range of subject matter, her work remains consistent with her personal style; painting with an electric color palette, she saturates values of light and dark with a brilliant range of unpredictable color that often takes on the effect of solarization. Her technique shifts between wet-in-wet application and controlled execution, producing work that is peppered with an incredible amount of detail and spontaneity. Carol’s mastery of watercolor and divergent way of seeing the world is apparent in her remarkable paintings.
Mexican photographer Alinka Echeverria’sThe Road to Tepeyac , for which she won the prestigious French prize HSBC Prix pour la Photographie is a typology of the backs of three hundred Mexican pilgrims on their journey to the Basilica de Guadalupe in Mexico city. This yearly pilgrimage is undertaken by approximately six million devout Catholics on the anniversary of the apparitions of the Virgin of Guadalupe in 1531 to the indigenous man Juan Diego. This journey is a manifestation of the iconic power of the Virgin, whose image was miraculously imposed onto Juan Diego’s cloak. Belief in the apparitions and their evidence, the ‘sacred image of a miracle and a miracle of images’, marks a turning point in the struggle for power of the Spanish conquerors, for whom evangelizing was imperative to the success of the empire. They successfully conquered the imagination using imagery as a tool for acculturation and domination in an already extremely visual indigenous culture.
The pilgrims photographed, carry their own reproduction of the Virgin – paintings, sculptures, posters or cloaks of the icon, taken from home and shouldered on their backs to the place of the apparition. The journey is an arduous one, a physical and spiritual undertaking with each pilgrim bearing their own evidence of devotion whilst enforcing their own personal relationship with the Virgin. Echeverria takes each portrait separately, which is then cut and transposed onto a plain background. This de-contextualisation is intended to raise the subject above the corporal world, making them appear like an isolated icon.
Seen as a series, each portrait creates a dialogue with the others. A narrative of interconnecting personal missions removed from the rest of the elements originally in the image. The sheer number of portraits helps to create a visual maze of similarities and differences. With the surrounding landscape removed we are struck by the contrasting richly colored Virgins and muted tones of the pilgrims.
In Ben F Carney’s digital world objects fly through your body, gravity takes its toll in unperdictable ways, and human skin can be strectched, torn, pulled, and bent in every which way possible. Make sure to check out the video by Ben after the jump.