The dark, mysterious painting and drawings of artist Constantine Lianos are full of psychological paradoxes and allegories. This Greece-based artist creates windows into a strange world where troubled beings and mythological creatures exist. Devoid of color, Lianos sets an unnerving mood appropriately complimenting his equally disturbing individuals that appear to be in a never-ending struggle. Each figurative narrative he illustrates portrays fable-like characters that are in a personal crossroad or inner struggle, contemplating their own fate. The artist himself draws inspiration from his own personal reflections. The internal struggle that is represented in Lianos’s work is something relatable to everyone. What makes this so captivating is the bizarre and surreal situations that we find depicting this turmoil. You can see conflicting emotions in the faces of each character. Doubt, fear, indecision, and even anger can be found in his peculiar circumstances.
A talented figure painter, Lianos is not interested in rendering reality, but instead a more abstract idea with less restraints. The artist’s work pulls influence from a large range of sources such as street art, comics, and imagery from classic art movements. Interested in paradoxes, he believes art is a place where illusion and reality meet, where a new construction of the world can begin to form. The artist explains this in relations to his process. (via Hi-Fructose)
“The painting process is for me the ultimate introspection process, where the rational and the emotional are inseparable, where the method meets the random.”
Although most of America (currently enduring one of the worst winter cold snaps in nearly two decades) would like to ignore this fact in for favor of bundled layers and heated blankets, sometimes even the dire cold, snow and ice can provide the tools and inspiration for those who brave it’s elements. Famed land and installation artist Andy Goldsworthy (previously here and here) has often utilized ice, frost, snow and frozen earth to create his trademark land interventions. And rather than avoiding the elements, Goldsworthy is only able to create these delicate and precise sculptures by embracing the cold.
In Goldsworthy’s 2004 documentary, Rivers & Tides, several scenes document the difficulty in attempting to harness the cold’s elements. One scene shows the artist, braving the winter elements for hours at a time in finger-less gloves (so as to be able to properly feel and hold the materials) fusing together icicle chunks together with warm water, holding them in place while they freeze together into naturally-made though unnatural shapes. The smallest temperature changes, light, and even chance cause the ice sculpture to collapse, repeatedly, which is all part of Goldsworthy’s process. Says the artist, “Movement, change, light, growth and decay are the lifeblood of nature, the energies that I try to tap through my work. I need the shock of touch, the resistance of place, materials and weather, the earth as my source. Nature is in a state of change and that change is the key to understanding. I want my art to be sensitive and alert to changes in material, season and weather. Each work grows, stays, decays. Process and decay are implicit. Transience in my work reflects what I find in nature.”
Goldsworthy’s process is only captured through the use of photographs, and the often detailed notes (below) which the artist uses to document the difficulties and triumphs of each individual piece.
Born in Semarang, Central Java, Indonesia, Hengki Koentjoro studied film and photography at California’s Brooks Institute. Now once again residing in Indonesia, this fine art photographer’s careful captures reflect the essence of his homeland. His black-and-white images perfectly showcase the natural beauty of the landscape, from its cloud-rimmed cinder cones to its wave-roiled seas.
Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, visual artist Josh Vanover (a.k.a. SPACEKNUCKLE) combines geometric wizardry with a frenzied collage technique to explosive effect. Something about that darkly epic aesthetic seems to scream contemporary design. Outer-space overload can be a beautiful thing.
Andreas Pihlström is an extremely talented Swedish designer working in the arenas of graphic design, typography, web, and interactive work. You might know him as the creator of Dropular (pictured above), an extremely slick and well engineered image sharing and tagging website. I assumed based on these credentials he was more of a coder than a designer, but really he is equally strong in both disciplines, as you can see after the jump.
PS: Mr. Pihlström, if you read this, can I get a dropular invite? Please?
Faig Ahmed, a visual artist from Baku, Azerbaijan, reworks the aesthetic of carpets, an “indestructible symbol of the Eastern tradition”, by weaving digital patterns onto the already conventional recurring patterns of the traditional Azerbaijani rug.
“Tradition is the main factor creating the society as a self regulated system. Changes in the non-written rule happen under influence of global modern culture.”
Ahmed’s interest in extending this traditional practice to one that alludes to today’s relevant digital imagery is his way of creating new boundaries. By mixing and matching two different aesthetics, Ahmed creates a rekindling of tradition and progress.
In order to create the illusions of glitchy carpet bits, Ahmed superimposes digital patterns onto traditional weaving compositions, these combinations either create rugs with bold optical illusions and/or generate transformations that leave carpets looking like unconventional sculptures.
“To be honest, things I do are not always right and beautiful. I do things without thinking- it’s my instantaneous expression. Changes in the world are instantaneous as well, and that is what I am channeling-ideas that have been formed for ages are being changed in moments- that is what I hope to do with me work. I just make bold experiments, putting them into the art scene, trusting myself and the viewers of my art.”