London-based Japanese photographer Chino Otsuka has created a series of time-traveling photo manipulations that allow her past and present selves to exist in the same time and place. Titled “Imagine Finding Me,” the series is a result of Ostuka digitally splicing her image into old photographs from her childhood during the 70s and 80s, creating seamless collaged manipulations. These photographs represent a doubled identity for Otsuka, reflecting both her Japanese roots and the heavy influence of Western culture. They also raise questions about how we remember our pasts and how these stories intersect with our modern lives. Otsuka explains, “The digital process becomes a tool, almost like a time machine, as I’m embarking on the journey to where I once belonged and at the same time becoming a tourist in my own history.” (via my modern met)
When viewing (usually photographic) evidence of Dutch artist Berndnaut Smilde‘s fantastical cloud works, the first question is usually: “Is it real?”
Yes, it’s actually a small, perfect indoor cloud.
The next question you might have is “How?” The answer is shrouded in Smilde’s process, which requires deftly precise observations of humidity, temperature, air movement and lighting. Existing for just one perfect moment, then slipping away, his clouds are carefully documented via photograph, but in the video above—the viewer gets a glimpse at the cloud-making event, narrated by the artist. The strange, beautiful creations appear and fades, serving as both a physical phenomena and a lilting metaphor for grasping at the ephemeral.
Finders Keepers, a group exhibition curated by An Hoang including Joseph Hart, Todd Knopke, Blaze Lamper, Andy Ness, and Justin Valdes featuring drawings, collages, and photographic prints. This show brings together artists who engage in a creative process which allows for discovery through the act of making. What is found by the artists remains to be discovered by the viewer. Whether it is an edge, a gesture or the way the figure is revealed, all the works provide for the experience of uncovering the hidden.
Joseph Hart’s works on paper examine compositional tension through an elegant balance of spontaneous and deliberate marks, heavy and delicate forms, and subtle gestures confined by thick layers of graphite. The detailed, constructed fabric pieces and photographic prints by
Todd Knopke, incorporate the textures, patterns and seams inherent in the material to form dreamlike compositions which transcend the original story of the clothing. Blaze Lamper’s enigmatic graphite drawings feature mysterious figures whose faces remain veiled while in plain sight. The watercolors and pencil drawings by Andy Ness explore personal themes of searching and wandering using recurring imagery of ships, airplanes, teeth, and the reconstructed body to form newly defined narratives. Incorporating airbrush, acrylic and pencil, the still-life drawings by Justin Valdes investigate the relationship between object and frame.
João Ruas is a Brazilian visual artist who paints esoteric scenes of ghostly bodies and mysterious symbols. Each image appears to be filled with a chiaroscuro-like fog that dissolves form into shadow. Recurring motifs include animal skulls, red tattoos, and medieval weapons that drift amongst hooded figures and undead dogs. There is a sense of arcane mythology mixed with everyday banality, for intermingling with strange and ancient-looking objects are scissors, helmets, and electrical cords.
By unfolding layers of time and myth, Ruas’ paintings emit a deep emotional timbre, unsettling the soul with their dark scenes. A boy with what appears to be animal ears growing down his face evokes something akin to despair and alienation, while a blindfolded woman on the back of a red horse (a reference to Lady Godiva) emanates with vulnerability, fear, and strength. With mystifying combinations of symbols, Ruas’ paintings function like open tomes that can be inscribed with the viewer’s own imagination and spiritual significance.
Anders Krisár is an artist and photographer based in Stockholm, I especially love these gloomy rooms and photographic ghosts.
Using salvaged plaster lath, the wooden strips embedded in the construction of walls of old houses, Andy Vogt creates two and three dimensional sculptures and installations that explore the structural vernacular of our built environment and how we perceive it. Through the rules and methods of technical drawing and the vantage points of architectural model building Andy pursues concepts of mass, weight and space via material that has little integrity on it’s own.
Guillermo Lorca is a Chilean artist who infuses Baroque- and Renaissance-influenced paintings with touches of surrealism, fantasy, and paranoia. In scenes of luxury and violence, bright-haired children wander around in the company of shadowy, mythical beasts. The classical style and carefully planned (and almost theatrical) compositions lend Lorca’s works an air of gravitas and serenity, but among his innocent and otherworldly characters are signs of deep trouble and impending chaos, such as smoke-filled skies, bloodied animal carcasses, and snarling dogs. Similar to the Flemish vanitas, his works are beautiful, symbolic visions that teeter on the verge of becoming nightmares of death and human excess.
The ambiguity that permeates from Lorca’s paintings allows him to tell stories through metaphor, thereby exploring the shape of the human soul. Just as fairy tales transmit their veiled messages across generations, his imagery can be unpacked to uncover layers of meaning. For example, there is savagery and madness in the dogs that demolish a pristine-white table setting into a mountain of blood and gore; there is obscenity and greed in the animal-headed clowns who topple over platters of uneaten meat; and the child sitting courageously in the burning field alludes to a loss of innocence. The beautiful thing about Lorca’s works, however, is that their immense detail and seductive atmosphere allows the viewer to extract his or her own meaning, one that resonates across time to masterfully portray symptoms of the human psyche and experience.
I can’t look at Warwick Saint’s portfolio without blushing. His Ink series is dripping with bad girl sex appeal that will have you clicking the next button over and over to see all 85 images from the series. If that’s not enough reason to check out his work he also is an accomplished portrait, music, and celebrity photographer.