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BEST OF 2011: Colin Chillag’s Deconstructed Portraits

I love these ultra detailed, goopy portraits by Colin Chillag!

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Eko Nugroho

Working with thick dark outlines, Eko Nugroho‘s graphic technique and imagery reflect Indonesia’s media-rich and politically charged environment. The artist cites Malaysian cartoonist Lat, TV series from the 1980s such as Megaloman and wayang kulit (shadow puppets) as early influences. His part man-part machine characters are often accompanied by bizarre and ironic statements in speech bubbles or t-shirt slogans. At times, they can be menacing, displaying the potential for violence – wielding sharp objects in their hands, or with weapons as limbs. In others, they come across as scientific experiments gone wrong –a la B-grade films – where humans mutate into alien-like creatures, sprouting plastic flowers from their orifices, crouching on all fours with test tubes and strange objects growing from different parts of their bodies. Imbued with macabre humour and satire, Nugroho’s comic inspired work may come across as seemingly straightforward – often a central figure standing against a simple background, presented as a series of simple scenes from a larger narrative – while the artist’s inimitable pating tlecek style of fusing and juxtaposing a wide range of visual elements (and languages), lends his work a certain layer of absurdity.

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Sprios Hadjidjanos Combines Ultra Violet And 3D Printing To Transform Plants Into Futuristic Images

Sprios Hadjidjanos - Mixed MediaSprios Hadjidjanos - Mixed MediaSprios Hadjidjanos - Mixed Media

The incredibly innovative, tech-infused work of artist Sprios Hadjidjanos is created from an impressive variety of methods using modern technology. He combines the amazing world of 3D printing and other modern devices with the natural, tranquil world of plants. When you first glance at his series titled “Displacement/Height Maps,” it is almost impossiple to tell how the work was made. Using UV prints on carbon fiber, Hadjidjanos miraculously births an amazing hybrid representation of a part of our natural environment and made-man substances. Large-format, Technicolor images of different flora are created, colored brilliantly in all different hues of the spectrum.

Sprios Hadjidjanos beautifully captures the balance of the natural world in juxtapose to artificial elements in his other series, which transforms the photography in the historical book Uniform der Kunst from 1928. The artist’s unbelievable techniques have rendered these blooming flowers three dimensional, allowing you to see every line and detail. He did by scanning the original photographs, then using intricate algorithms, printed the images onto hundred of points. The artist’s version of the photography looks similar to the original, but look much more mechanical in an almost science fictional way. He not only uses modern technology in his processes, but also displays them in his art, like his larger than life iphone. His installations, like Network Gradient, use a combination of wireless routers, optic lights, and electronic circuits to forms beams of light like that of another world. His artwork ingeniously lays our world of technology out in a strange, futuristic way that is both strange and beautiful. (via Hi-Fructose)

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Aphte’s Secret Cavern

Secret Cavern

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.

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Colorful X-Rays Show The Shocking Intricacies Of The Human Body

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The photographer Xavier Lucchesi doesn’t use a camera to capture his portraits; instead, he penetrates the human body with an advanced x-ray machine, revealing organs, arteries, and bones. The artist adds color to the medical images, highlighting the intricacies of the human body in electric blues and deep, bloody reds. For Luccesi, the act of seeing is active and passionate; a passing glance is insufficient, and to truly view another truthfully is to dissect and peel away exterior layers.

Lucchesi’s portraits are perhaps those of our deepest human core: when our superficial features are stripped back, a more primal self emerges. Lucchesi’s sitters are laid completely bare; though they might pose or strain, their bodies betray secret inner worlds and open them up to a profound vulnerability. A triptych presents a man in three stages of undress: clothed, then nude, then uncovered and unprotected by skin. As he lays with his arms crossed, the x-ray bears down on him, and he becomes increasingly naked, at the mercy of our eager, inquisitive eyes.

As we reach new levels of intimacy with our own bodies, they reveal themselves like brightly colorful and graphic foreign roadmaps; red blood vessels line the figure like highways, leading to pale geometric bone or grassy green lungs in either direction. Like an intricate maze of machinery or a small, delicate cityscape, the miraculous pieces of the human being—the flesh, the lungs, the ribcage— function autonomously, just beneath the surface of our gaze. Take a look. (via Design Boom)

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Pamela Council’s Sculptures Made Of Fake Acrylic Nails

Pamela Council - Acrylic Nails, Paint Pamela Council - Acrylic Nails, Paint

Pamela Council - Acrylic Nails, Paint

Pamela Council - Acrylic Nails, Paint

New York-based artist and product developer Pamela Council creates sculptures using hundreds of fake acrylic nails. Putting together these tiny, mundane objects, she builds extraordinary busts, lanterns, and sculptures about Olympic athletes. Her socially-conscious work focuses on the deeper meaning of these objects. What kind of associations do we have with them? Council writes about her thought process, stating:

I take everyday objects and re-figure them as I consider their associations and power. The process begins with research and includes a dissection of the cultural implications of the product, from why it was created, to how and where it is made, sold, and used. This enables me to extricate the object from its commercial value and present it in sculpture. Through this process, the object becomes re-possessed.

Mass-produced objects that are used on the body interest me the most; recently, my focus has been almost exclusively on beauty products. As I continue to investigate these cultural artifacts, my goal is to create a new dialogue and awareness about the things that we collect, consume, and discard. Hopefully, it will encourage an analysis that eulogizes the significance of these objects even as it allows for a more critical view of their value. If it works, my art will serve as a proxy for the objects and psyches we decide we can live without.

Council created a sculpture titled, Flo Jo World Record Nails, which used 200 sets of the manicured nails that Florence Griffith-Joyner wore during the 1988 Olympics, when she set the 200 meter world record. Council painted each set and had them for sale. You too could harness the same power as Flo Jo – being young, extremely talented, all while remaining stylish.

You can visit Council’s Tumblr, Blaxidermy, for her photos, work in progress, and things she comes across in her day-to-day life.

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Mariano Garcia

mariano garciaMariano Garcia is an amazing art director from Las Palmas De Gran Canaria, Spain. Mariano’s work is colorful and fun with plenty of eye-popping illustrations. Check it out.

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Elena Helfrecht´s Striking Poetic Photographs Of Chilling Horror Scenes

Elena Helbrecht - photographElena Helbrecht - photographElena Helbrecht - photograph Elena Helbrecht - photograph

We have all been haunted by something worrying or had nightmares we just can´t forget. And so has German photographer Elena Helfrecht. She uses her camera as a therapeutic device to overcome her worries, fears and nightmares. After shooting many dark and dramatic photographs exploring the depths of human emotions, Helbrecht has quite the oeuvre of dramatic images. She works with many different narratives, creating a mini story in each frame. Last week we featured her past series Little Stories, this time are focusing on her collection called Nightmares. A bunch of disturbing snapshots, each photograph represents something that has been frightening to Helbrecht at some point.

Scenes of long creepy fingers reaching out of cupboards and from around doors, bodies smeared in blood or wrapped in plastic have such an impact, they will haunt you nearly as much as an actual nightmare. Helbrecht tells us a bit more about her inspiration:

“Nightmares developed from my very beginnings as a photographer and continues to grow. The series shows exactly what it describes: my very own nightmares. The series is a mix of early visions which I used to have as a child (a great fear were creatures coming from my closet and taking me with them for example) and abstract dark emotions and anxieties. By visualizing these thoughts, feelings and visions I get rid of them. Whenever I am inspired and have a picture in my mind I get my camera and pull it out of my head. By visualizing your inner demons you somehow remove their power. It gets less terryfing; you somehow disclose the darkness you previously feared.”

You would think from someone who spends a lot of time expressing horrific and challenging thoughts, that her work would have a heavy severity to it, but the end result is quite different – they are something of a melancholic, sentimental memory, albeit ones often filled with blood.

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