San Francisco-based metalsmith and neon artist Meryl Pataky has shared with us some behind-the-scenes moments from her studio, as she gears up for her next solo project, Cellar Door.
Working exclusively with elements from the periodic table, Pataky uses a collision of phrase and loose linework to give life to her concepts—silver, copper, iron, carbon, neon and all of the noble gases are integral to her investigations. For her latest collection of work, Pataky is creating a series of signage-based installations that attempt to coexist with natural elements. Matching up blown glass with honey, and pairing neon lettering with leafy underbrush, she explores the effect that context and concept have on her luminous, typically commercial medium. The vivid colors and natural, flowing use of line in her pieces echo a mastery of medium, and her nods to just the right amount of science geekery are playful and perfectly timed.
In his project Original/Ideal, British photographer Scott Chasserot tries to answer the question “What would we change about ourselves if no one were looking?” Using photography, image manipulation software, and an Emotiv EEG brain scanner, Chasserot’s project attempts to discover each individual’s ideal self-image without having the subject utter a word. It’s an interesting combination of art, science, and perception.
The first step of the process is to remove or reduce accessories and enhancements from the subject being photographed. Makeup is removed, hair is pulled back, clothes are adjusted so as not to appear in the frame—the goal is neutrality. The photograph is taken, then manipulated into 50 versions, each with tweaks to facial features, head shape, coloring, and more. The subjects are then hooked up to the Emotive scanner which records brain activity while they are shown the altered images. The scans are examined for signs of “engagement”—particular mental focus which Chasserot interprets to be a positive reaction. The image that produces the most positive brain reaction is thought to be the subject’s ideal version of his- or herself.
“What do we find instinctively beautiful in the human face, and how does this translate to self-image?”
It’s interesting that Chasserot equates an unvoiced preference to instinct. After all, even though the person’s reaction to his or her images is ungoverned, societal influences, cultural ideals, and pre-existing ideas about attractiveness are all learned, not instinctive.
“The methodology is still in pilot study phase,” Chasserot told The Creators Project. “There is plenty to be improved upon. The ‘Ideal’ image is simply the one with the greatest positive reaction immediately after presentation and that cannot be distinguished from any theoretical, specific ‘ideal self’ reaction.”
In the photos below, the original image is on the left and the chosen “ideal” version on the right.
Photography has long been used to document the scientific process and display visual evidence, so when Ulric Collette began to use the medium to show how genetics can exhibit itself, it was both the obvious similarities, and differences, that caught everyone’s attention. Working out of Quebec, Canada, Ulric, a self-taught photographer and graphic designer, began the photoseries in 2008 where family member’s faces were spliced together to create portraits that compared physical appearance with contrasting ages. The process seems like a no-brainer, but it was truly born from an accident. The photographer explains, “I was attempting to create something totally different with another project, and in the process I came up with the first picture, me and my then 7-year-old son,”. Realizing the easily viewed comparison between generations when shown spliced together, Ulric began to enlist the help of others to show the effects of genetics. He continues, “I decided to try the same process with a few family members and the project was born.”
Collette uses specific portraits edited down from hundreds of tightly-controlled photos, to create his finished works. Acknowledging that even with the advances of editing software, it is still very difficult to find an appropriate match that works, he explains the difficulty of the project, “I need to take a lot of pictures in a controlled environment of each model, compare the picture to one another, chose the right ones and stick them together in Photoshop” .
The photographer used many of his own family members to investigate these connections, including his daughter and mother (above, Ginette & Ismaëlle), and even himself and his own brother (below, Christopher & Ulric). Collette explains, “The reaction to the project never ceases to surprise me…A few of the ones I’m in shocked me – me and my brother Christopher, for example, we totally look the same!” (via huffington post and bbc)
Pop culture and classic, fine art mashups aren’t anything new, but they nevertheless provided an interesting juxtaposition between the visual culture of then and now. Philippines-based multimedia producer Eisen Bernardo has created a series that places the covers of contemporary magazines like Vogue, Rolling Stone, and Vanity Fair. It’s appropriately titled Mag+Art.
Bernardo told Buzzfeed that he began the project because he felt that magazine covers were inspired by classical paintings. This is his way of comparing the aesthetics of the long ago as well as the present. What kind of clothing, hairstyles, poses, etc. are popular now? How has beauty changed or stayed the same. He poses the question, “Do we still see a naked woman as an object of art/beauty? Can the celebrities and models on magazine cover be considered as muses of the contemporary masters?” And, he hopes that these covers can be considered classic art. (Via The Huffington Post and Buzzfeed)
For more than several years now, Rosemarie Fiore has painted with fireworks. She does so by creating machines that produce an action, like lighting a combustible container to produce smoke. The results are colorful, non-representational images that are very gestural, as if the artist is taking us on a journey. Fiore writes about her work, stating:
My drawings are created by containing and controlling firework explosions. I bomb blank sheets of paper with different fireworks including color smoke bombs, jumping jacks, monster balls, rings of fire, and lasers. As I work, I create imagery by controlling the chaotic nature of the explosions in upside-down containers. When the paper becomes saturated in color, dark and burned, I take it back to my studio and collage blank paper circles onto the image to establish new planes and open up the composition. I then continue to bomb the pieces. These actions are repeated a number of times. The final works contain many layers of collaged explosions and are thick and heavy.
Fiore’s machine is built out of mixed media and found materials. It is fitted with wheels and is comprised of multiple connected containers. When lit, the machine creates a combustion that releases smoke at different intervals.
There’s no doubt that Fiore’s work is labor intensive, as she describes the physical and repeated process of building her images. Knowing this information provides for a greater appreciation of the work itself; It transcends what’s on paper and becomes the product of ingenuity.
This Saturday Beautiful/Decay will be taking part in L.A. Print: Edition 2, the second annual showcase of Los Angeles printmakers, dealers, galleries, and non-profits focusing on current trends in printmaking and publishing. Guests are invited to connect directly with artists, curators, printers, and dealers to learn more about the production and collection of
fine art prints and editions.
Presentations and artist talks throughout the day illuminate the creativity and process behind printmaking. With a variety of affordable prints available, it is perfect for those looking to build their own collection or to purchase special gifts for the holidays.
A bicycle made out willow, ash and stinging nettle found in it’s organic and primal form in nature, near the artist’s home in Somerset, England. Michael West has built an intricate sculpture as a self portrait. Imitating each and every components of a real bike from the handlebars to the tires. His process of creation excludes all boundaries, he lets the imagination interpret the symbols he left out on the bike to understand the meaning of his art. He was influenced by Van Gogh’s chair, where the empty chair is used as the personification of its owner. “I chose the bike as society often uses anthropomorphism to reflect themselves within everyday objects, for example a car may be male or female and often given a personality and sometimes even a name”.
Michael West believes in playing with the subconscious to create. Blending an adult and a child’s vision, he gathers many layers, clue information such as symbols, signs and colors to clarify his intentions and his claims towards society and politics.This process creates a dynamic relationship between the artist and his object. The details characterized by a slow construction, attention to detail and means chosen carefully mirror the artist’s personality. This assembled bike, at first and abstract piece; becomes the reality of Michael West and soon an extension of himself.(Via Junkculture)
Swedish illustrator Niklas Lundberg AKA Diftype creates dense digital collages that transport you to another world where everyone and everything is constantly changing, morphing, and manipulating. His alternate digital worlds are so convincing that I wonder if even his business cards shape shift once they exchange hands. Guess I’ll have to go to Sweden to find out.