London based illustrator Andrew Clark brings together the photorealistic, the abstract, and the geometric. His work seems to hint at the future, while interweaving what feels like folklore into his intricate illustrations.
Clark has created work for magazines, album covers, posters, and corporate identity.
Artist Maude White combines her gorgeous illustrative skills with intricate paper cutting expertise to create incredible paper work creations. A self-taught artist, she credits her Waldorf education and artistic family for encouraging her to create.
“I am influenced by my mother’s art a great deal. When I was little she would make wool felt playscapes — little scenes of a tree stump in a forest-covered in plants and animals, a small garden scene with vegetables and apple trees, a playscape for the story The Three Billy Goats Gruff. It was these types of small, precious, complete worlds that drew me to working with paper.” (Source)
Using an X-Acto knife she cuts each piece by hand slicing away the negative space to make elegant figures with fantastic hidden scenes and stories laced into the designs. “It may sound weird, but I love to cut. I just enjoy the process,” she said in an interview.
White’s paper cutting technique is almost unbelievable—the fine lines and elaborate detail are incredibly impressive. What gives these pieces their charm, though, are the whimsical drawings and ornamental designs. They would be lovely drawn on paper, but the delicacy of the paper, the cast shadows, and the ability to look through the empty spaces make these pieces captivating.
“When I cut paper, I feel as if I am peeling back the outer, superficial layer of our vision to reveal the secret space beneath. With paper cutting there are so many opportunities to create negative space that tells its own story. Letting the observer become present in the piece allows him or her to look through it. … I am not creating for Art’s sake. I am creating for Paper’s sake, to make visible the stories that every piece of paper attempts to communicate to us.” (via booooooom)
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René Benjowski is a Berlin-based self-taught photographer who finds beauty, horror, and sensuality in dark, private rooms. Delving into the worlds of surrealism and erotic portraiture, Benjowski’s quiet, hazy, and provocative work skillfully traverses the line between passionate intensity and a reverence for the strength and symmetry of the human figure. The images are like intangible visions of a dream: in silent, dusty corners with bare, iron bed frames, bodies twist with a sensual — almost demonic — rapture. Colliding intimacy with images of death, skulls are clutched in hands and worms emerge from open mouths. The fetish element is visible: bodies embraced in ropes engage in silent power dynamics with an unseen participant, playing chess or attempting to reach a hanging book.
Contortion and mystery are important elements in Benjowski’s beautifully macabre works. Deviating far from conventional portraiture, these images convey a desire to experiment with strange angles and uncanny positions: knees twist, backs arch, figures levitate. The black-and-white shading adds an extra element of bleakness to the beautiful physicality of the twisted forms, producing bold, intimate contrasts between shadows and illuminated skin. In addition to the raw energy brimming within each surreal photograph, there is also a truthful power: not only do the images explore the subversive, alternative edges of desire and eroticism, but they leak with a physical honesty and agency, exploring the capacities of the body as it bravely endures unseen, emotional forces and its own physical limitations.
There will always be something magical about photo-realism, and UK artist Tom French adds just enough abstract brushwork to keep it interesting. The wildness of some of his mark making gives his pieces a real feeling of movement specific to the subject matter; the angry, chaotic bucking of a bull or the seeming tranquility of a boy slipping through space.
Peter Cross makes pencil drawings to salivate over, precise and delicate, they bear witness with photographic verisimilitude to times and places that have never existed but seem weirdly deja-vu-ish. Cross worked for over twenty years as an art handler and then as a registrar in Manhattan galleries. Much of that time was spent with Leo Castelli, where he worked with artists like Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenburg and Roy Lichtenstein. When I first got to NYC Peter hired me to install shows, and despite my being nosy and persistent, has always been extremely secretive about his drawings. I finally got him to email these. Peter doesn’t have a website just yet, so if you want to contact him – leave some way to be reached in the comments section.
Bowling Green’s Jordan Speer creates spacious worlds of clumps and lumps that bring to mind what would’ve occurred if Philip Guston had happened to have access to a 3D modeling program. Jordan starts in a subdivision modeler called Wings 3D where he creates each element of the image, and he then stages them in Cinema 4D, which allows him to apply lighting and various textures. Once the file is complete, he tweaks the image in Adobe Photoshop, prints the image out, and then scans it back into his computer at either a high or low resolution setting. In spite of its heavily digital origin, Speer’s work physically manifests itself in the forms of zines, short-form comics, show posters, and publication covers.
Speer’s isometric view strengthens the image’s technical origins, while his comically gory content and grainy finish give it an organic touch. With the colors of a clown’s wardrobe Speer arranges mysterious peeks into a world where dismemberment and assembly are spontaneous and painless. His vision is uniquely his, sitting somewhere between the fashionably crude renderings of the many artists dabbling in 3D programs, and the professionally-polished films of Dreamworks and Pixar. He just released QCHQ through Space Face Books, a 68-page full-color book, and he created the wrap-around cover image for the eagerly awaited Happiness #4. It’s exciting to think about where Speer will continue to push this unique look, be it into a long-form animation or a graphic novel.