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This Is What Humans Looked Like 30,000 Years Ago

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The Paris-based sculptor Elisabeth Daynès listens to bones, to the remains of our evolutionary ancestors that have lived up to three million years ago. Throughout her prolific 20 year career, the “paleoartist” has worked from the skulls of wooly mammoths to species of hominid to create vividly detailed figures. Based on 18 data points that mark the bone, she can use a computer to model facial features that she later shapes out of clay. She refers to research and other bone samples to determine the build of her subjects, and ultimately she creates a silicone cast, complete with delicate painted features: veins, goosebumps, blemishes.

In a final step towards humanizing her sculptures, Daynès includes prosthetic eyes, teeth, and hair, each of which is as historically and scientifically accurate as possible. Current research suggests that Neanderthals, for example, had red hair; for her uncanny hominids, that range from Homo sapien to Homo erectus, she uses a blend of human hair. In her mind’s eye, the artist draws an informed portrait of each subject she reanimates; from the bones, she can determine period, sex and age, along with finer details like culture, climate, diet, and health.

For Daynès, this process is as much an art as it is a science. Ultimately, she hopes to reconnect with our past, embarking on a forensic search of what makes us human. Dismayed by the ways in which early human ancestors are reviled as unintelligent brutes, she injects her creations with a powerful dose of humanity; their brows furrow with concentration, and their eyes are painfully gentle. She explains “missing” them when they leave her studio for a permanent home in a museum. Take a look. (via Daily Mail and Lost at E Minor)

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Kim Dong-Kyu Gives Girl With A Pearl Earring And Other Iconic Figures In Paintings Tech Upgrades

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‘girl with a pearl earring and an iPhone’ – based on ‘girl with a pearl earring’ by johannes vermeer, 1665

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‘always in my hand’ based on ‘in the conservatory’ by édouard manet, 1878-9

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‘a family gathering’ based on ‘the balcony’ by édouard manet, 1868

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‘her mirror’ – based on ‘rokeby venus’ by diego velázquez, 1647–51

Korean illustrator Kim Dong-Kyu gives technological updates to Girl With A Pearl Earring and other iconic works in Art History.

Kyu’s images, although hysterical, are quite critical of the way smartphones/gadgets have dramatically changed today’s social interaction. Themes of alienation, avoidance, self-centerness, and attachment prevail through the series of images. It is interesting to think back on the cultural history of most of these works [mostly the 19th and 20th century works on here]; the juxtaposition of the cultural implications of the scenes of each painting and today’s conception of socialization is quite amusing and very different, yet, at some points, very similar.

For instance, Degas’ The Absinthe Drinker’ from 1876, reveals the increasing social isolation in Paris due to a stage of rapid growth and confinement brought forth by the highly urbanized and elite-driven atmosphere of the new Paris. The woman, actress Ellen Andrée, blankly stares into the walls of a Parisian café. With a glass of absinthe in front of her, she solemnly contemplates the nothingness of what is going on around her. The man, painter Marcellin Desboutin, sits next to her but glaces towards the opposite direction, looking to catch on to something interesting outside of his close quarters. Similarly, on Kyu’s rendition, the woman find herself ignored and in a state of alienation as she is the only one not using a gadget.

These definitely leave us wondering if social interaction has been one of those things that evolve to become more of the same thing. With or without technology, it seems clear to me that the urban, and the elite societies, both rendered in these paintings (with and without Kyu’s additions),  look to the outside, and inside, towards their phones, in order to fill some sort of void, and/or escape whatever lies in font of them. If this is true or not…that is up to you to decide.

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Marcelo Monreal’s Surreal Collages Replace Our Insides With Beautiful Blooms

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Marcelo Monreal is a Brazilian collage artist who cracks skulls in the most beautiful way possible. Digitally splitting parts of models and celebrities faces (Christopher Walken and Kate Moss are among them), he fuses beautiful blooms with the broken shapes. Small, colorful flowers grow from behind eye sockets, in the place of noses, and out of mouths. This surreal series is called Faces [UN]bonded.

In Monreal’s opinon, people don’t often tell us who they really are. Instead, they keep parts of their real selves hidden. He opens them up with his collages and reveals the rare moments in which we see the beauty that’s behind their appearance. (Via Art Fucks Me)

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Justin Bryan Nelson

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The artwork of Justin Bryan Nelson has this folk-like quality with minimum colors and symbolic imagery that not much is needed in the drawings to appreciate its symbolic and rather mysterious illustration. What I like about them, it’s just how delicately done the pencil and ink marks are on the illustrations but also how the artwork revolves around one main subject, without cluttering the audience.

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Jonty Hurwitz’s Sculptures Are So Small They Can’t Be Seen By The Human Eye

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Size matters. Anamophic artist Jonty Hurwitz’s new sculpture series recreates the smallest human form ever at 20x80x100 microns, or roughly the scale of a human sperm. According to Hurwitz’s website, the size of these sculptures approximately equals the amount your fingernails grow every 5 or 6 hours. These tiny art works are too small to be seen by the naked eye!

We’ve previously covered Hurwitz’s warped sculptures on beautiful/decay, which also used physics to challenge human perception. These new nano sculptures, “Trust”, “Cupid and Psyche: The First Kiss”, and “Intensity”, explore the idea of science vs. legend, myth vs. reality. Created with a ground-breaking 3D printing technology, the work is ultimately created using two photon absorption—art made with Quantum Physics.

“As technology starts to evolve faster than our human perception is able to handle, the line between science and myth becomes blurred.

We live in an era where the impossible has finally come to pass. We have, in our own little way we have become demigods of creation in our physical world…. The nano works that I present to you here represent more that just a feat of science though. They represent the moment in history that we ourselves are able to create a full human form at the same scale as the sperm that creates us in order to facilitate the creation.”

Despite their microscopic size, these are detailed sculptures, with individual feathers in Cupid’s wings and tiny fingers, belly-buttons, and ears. It’s almost impossible to imagine that these realistic, emotive human figures are much smaller than an ant’s eye.

“The absolute fact is this: the human eye is unable to see these sculptures. In your hand all you see is a small mirror with … nothing on it. The only way to perceive these works is on the screen of powerful scanning electron microscope. Can you be sure of its existence if your basic senses are telling you that nothing is there?”

These sculptures were created in collaboration with The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and the Weitzmann Institute of Science and involved over 10 people as a working team over several months.

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Caleb Cole Becomes Other People In His Photo Series ‘Other People’s Clothes’

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Boston-based photographer Caleb Cole creates self-portraits that are not so much about himself. Cole’s curiosity about the live (introspective lives) of others inspired him to come up with Other People’s Clothes, a photographic series in which the artist becomes the stranger, the ‘Other’, in order to further understand his desire to know more about the unknown.

“Though I am the physical subject of these images, they are not traditional self-portraits. They are portraits of people I have never met but with whom I feel familiar, as well as documents of the process wherein I try on the transitional moments of others’ lives in order to better understand my own.”

By using scavenged clothing and various themed setting that matched the clothing, the artists creates characters that resembles people in real life – I assume, people by whom he is intrigued by (he fails to portray people of color/other ethnicities, although he does not exclude women). Each photograph evokes a story, which Cole makes possible by arranging and creating the set of each and every one of these images.

The artist’s facial expressions, however, seem static; he seems to hold about the same face, one of despair or discontent, throughout the series. The reason behind that specific characteristic is unknown, however it can be speculated that he might be channeling his own beleifs about the people he is portraying…can all his characters be this unhappy and apathetic about life in real life, or are those just his impressions?

Whatever his reasons may be, there is no doubt that, through his representation of the ‘real people’, Cole is demonstrating an understated sense of empathy. (via Feature Shoot)

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Storm Tharp’s Fluid figure paintings.

Portland, Oregon based artist Storm Tharp’s fluid figurative paintings mix ornate patterning with a delicate “happy accidents” style of brush work that make his striking figures seem to be in motion yet completely still. This playfulness of medium creates an unsettling state in the work making each piece psychological portraits of figures who could be real or completely out of the artists imagination.

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Stephen Cheetham’s Iconic Laugh

This  Stephen Cheetham character sure knows how to pack a lot of laughs into his illustrations. Nothing says cancer like a a lung with a dozen hands and a butt head!

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