Winter 2010, the stunning landscape of Iceland succumbs to the Arctic cold. Beaches and lakes get frozen, but something unexpected is going to happen… the earth shakes, warms up, and suddenly a big crack opens up at the top of the glacier Eyjafjallajokull. Lava, smoke, ash and fire come up from the depth of the earth, melting everything in its path.
Carolyn Lefley uses photoshop to superimposes her photos of the outdoors on her photos of the indoors, creating hybrid images that combine our constructed environments with our natural environment. Lefley’s artist statement reads:
I make photographs that depict a world that floats between reality and fantasy, between believable spaces and sites of make believe. I am interested in the relationship between literary fiction and fantasy stories and the inherent make-believe qualities of a photograph. Photographs are windows to another world and as such have a magical quality to them. In my new work ‘Realm’ I have created digitally altered photographs, where the familiar place of the home becomes a portal into mythical realm. This fascinated authors such as C S Lewis and George MacDonald. The realm of Narnia is entered through a wardrobe and the layers of fur coats inside which become trees.
Although she doesn’t state it herself, her images seem to be searching for the link between our place in nature and our feeling of belonging in our home. At this point, humanity has all but detached itself from our natural habitat, fighting to block out the chaos of the natural world with walls, ceilings, and floors. As she states, her photographs act as a window to a fantasy where we can feel at home in the natural realm, and reconcile our longing for reassurance in a world that is in reality, beyond our control. (Via I Need a Guide)
The lens of the Indonesian photographer Donald Jusa has miraculously allowed us to see into the eyes of tiny, wholly bizarre creatures; with his macro camera, the artist is able to capture the most minute details of the insect body. At times, the faces of these beings seem entirely foreign; as viewers, we search for marks of human feeling and features, but the multiple eyes and strange limbs transfix and confound our perceptive powers.
Unlike some macro photography cataloging the lives of insects, Jusa does not capture the surrounding environment or even the entire body. Instead, his photographs read like strange portraits; against a colored backdrop, the miniature creatures seem absurdly to sit for the artist, proudly displaying their features. Fixed perfectly within the boundaries of the frame, Jusa’s non-human subjects are magically motionless, as if frozen between periods of buzzing and flight. At such close range, the viewer experiences the texture of insect flesh and bone; our eyes scan coarse, moistened hairs.
Jusa’s insects, magnified many times over and seen in such fine detail, tone, and resolution, resemble strange beasts, unrecognizable as the tiny creatures that they most certainly are. As we peer at them and their multiple eyes stare back, we might feel affrighted or startled by their clarity, the very fact of their largeness. It is unnerving to imagine our own faces reflected a thousand times over in these complex, repeating ocular lenses, and yet magically, we can interpret the tiniest hint of recognition within the insect eyes. Take a look. (via Demilked)
Jen Mussari is a Pennsylvania native fine artist, illustrator, typographer, and maker of DIY handmade art. She is now at MICA in Baltimore working on her BFA. Check out her new series of hand printed poster series called Very Important Posters, which are a combination of hand-drawn typography and minimal illustration to communicate varied messages. These messages range from critical to welcoming, comical to concerned. You can collect all eight on her ETSY store!
San Francisco-based photographer has a few different ongoing projects, but the one I like the best is the tentatively named “The Inhabited West.” The series consists of aerial photographs parts of the American landscape: “pursuing themes of mapping, vertigo, human impact on the land, geology, and various aspects of the sublime.” Some interesting points on how we’ve constructed our world around nature, and how the two interact.
Semi- readymade sculptures by Michael DeLucia.
Proving that snow globes aren’t just kitschy souvenirs, artist duo Walter Martin and Paloma Muñoz create mini worlds covered by glass domes that are dark, gloomy, and slightly sinister. The scenarios they build are usually set in a stark wintery landscape and feature characters carrying out strange, ill-disposed acts on each other.
Working together since 1994, Martin and Muñoz source different figurines or model making elements, cut them up and re-assemble them as victims or criminals at a crime scene. They use plumber’s epoxy to build the base of the scenes, and cover it in a water resistant resin. Then, they fill up the globes with a water and alcohol solution, to create the authenticity of the object.
Taking inspiration from dreams, movies, and literature, the pair is happy to build on a bizarre or surreal narrative. Their scenes are very dark indeed: A man is caught in the act of dropping a boulder onto another man’s face, or we watch a woman suspiciously planting a dead tree in the snow, or two men vindictively dangling children over a deep dark well, all surrounded by the stillness of snow and winter. They see their snow globes as a celebration of that uneasy feeling you get when you are lost in a crowd, or left alone somewhere uncomfortable. Martin reflects on the environment that he grew up in and those feelings he experienced within them:
I always liked a good snowstorm, and so many of my best memories revolve around those occasions. The water is the thing in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. Everything that comes out of it, everything that you can do on it, or in it, is special. (Source)
Their globes and a number of other artist’s impressions of winter were also featured previously in a post on B/D. Click here to check out the different ideas of just what that wintery spirit is all about.
Secret Cavern, a.k.a. Aphte (who’s secret real name is Daniel Abensour, a Frenchmanguy), has a unique illustrative style. Whimsical and sometimes deceivingly morbid, Secret Cavern applies wonderful details to each work of art.