According to photographer Ismael Moumin everyone has two sides to their personality. In his cleverly crafted collaged pictures he renders a kind of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde narrative. In portrait style pics he explores dual sensibilities. Some are traditionally made with happy/angry faces while others are left more open to interpretation. The flawless models are aesthetically pleasing to view and in some Moumin cuts parts of their faces to fit perfectly into another, thus making comment about the interchangeable definition of beauty. In one an Asian model is split with a Caucasian lady. Again a subtle reference to what appears on the outside might not necessarily coincide with what is on the inside. Then there are some where he erases the face altogether except for the silhouette and fills it with cosmic looking substances. These become scientific planetary like images which recall mood rings and heat sensitive substances which change at the touch.
Moumin makes his living as a professional photographer. He has done shoots for Rue Blanche, Cacharel, Sage, LESinrocks and Hero Magazine. He is represented by Frenzy Picture in Paris.(via Ineedaguide)
Precision and thorough work is the base of Yoo Huyn’s design pieces. Through small hollow spaces a portrait of a celebrity appears: Audrey Hepburn, Pablo Picasso, Marilyn Monroe, and Jim Morrison to name a few. The Korea based artist uses an intriguing method to create his hyper realistic photos.
He uses an X-acto knife, tweezers, ink and Korean paper. Hand carving takes a lot of patience, and in this case it also takes talent.
Yoo Hyun’s signature style consists of zig-zag patterns, but he doesn’t carve in straight lines. Instead, he varies the thickness of each strip, to create facial features and expressions. Each line specifically adds to the three-dimensional illusion. The negative spaces are see-through, so layering the portrait over a colored surface or pattern adds even more depth.
From far away, and placed in front of a black background we can clearly recognize the face but zooming in, the cut-outs and white parts make a pattern which looks like an abstract illustration. There is something fascinating about his inspirations; the fact that he chooses celebrities mostly from Hollywood vs the contrast of the use of traditional ink and paper.
Yoo Huyn pushes the limits of what can be done intuitively and without the help of a computer.
Daan Botlek‘s trademark figural painted works always evoke a certain one-off kind of narrative, but his latest series, Escape From Wuhlheide, carries this idea even further. Based in the Dutch city of Rotterdam, Botlek (previously here) was exploring an abandoned and graffiti-filled building in Berlin, when the idea of painting an escape came to mind.
“While wandering through Wuhlheide looking for some spots to paint the idea arose…to make some sort of storyline of an escape.”
The story in Escape From Wuhlheidereads like a cartoon rendered in real life, blending street art, animation, illustration and painting. Each ‘cell’ of the escape is painted individually, depicting two blanked-outline characters making their way through the dilapidated space, peeking around corners, crawling up walls and climbing ladders. Each ‘cell’ is then photographed, documenting their run away. (via colossal)
New York based artist Mindo Cikanavicius photographs portraits of men with foam “facial hair.” Within this series, titled Bubbleissimo, (perhaps making a play on the word “machismo”), the artist distorts the notion of masculinity through a comedic display of the growing obsession with groomed facial hair. His work aims to speak about the fragility and absurdity of what “manliness” means, depicting it as being just as allusive and indefinite as the bubbles meant to represent it. These works portray the sitters in a sort of kitschy, glamor portrait style, engulfed in one side of sky blue and one side of bubble gum pink, the colors used to denote gendered objects. His series mocks the need to define and portray what it means to be masculine, and, through what seems at first glance to be an overtly serious series, successfully, upon further inspection, invites in a air of making fun of itself. Once it becomes clear that this facial hair is in fact made of bubbles, the work switches from being a strange cataloging of men, to a witty depiction of gender norms. His artist statement notes that “Mindo is focused creating story based unexpected moments with touch of cinematic drama, humor and mystery. His work is a blend of ideas, imagination, observations, experiences and emotions into making intriguing constructed reality photographs.”
British artist Joseph Loughborough creates dark and grotesque , yet delicate and beautiful charcoal drawings that challenge and trigger existential questions and anxieties.
Loughborough’s trademarks an expressive, impulsive and honest style that strikes as vague at first; however, a closer look reveals deep and thoughtful technical decisions that render his concepts fairly well; his choices are simultaneously charming and intimidating.
Through his eerie,whimsical subjects, whose faces are usually deconstructed, Loughborough renders the grim side of human nature: sin, desire, fear and anxiety over one’s own absurdity.
I can understand why my work is considered dark but I have never really looked at it in this way. I have always intended it to be revealing, honest and expressive. Some of the pieces act like a personal exorcism through which I try to express, rather than deny, the emotions I encounter. Through my drawing, I strive to grasp a comprehension of the human condition and question how we interpret our oft-untold fears and desires.
Young Unbecoming (2015). Ceramic, glaze, glass, resin, epoxy, and plasticine.
Young Unbecoming (detail view) (2015).
Lunacy (2015). Ceramic, glaze, glass, resin, epoxy, and plasticine.
Coupling (2015). Ceramic and glaze.
Meghan Smythe is a California-based (Canadian-born) artist who creates expressively disturbing sculptures of crushed flesh and glistening viscera. The muted, peaches-and-cream colors are initially deceiving in their innocence; emerging from the twisted monuments are dismembered and defleshed body parts, shaved down and mashed together. Like a theater of the grotesque, faces gasp from beneath piles of entrails and moldering skulls, and limbs reach and splay in dynamic expressions of violence, love, lust, and tenderness. Much like the contortions of passion and death, the energy rolls throughout the compositions, oscillating between states of vigor and exhaustion. Leah Ollman, having reviewed Smythe’s recent solo show at the Mark Moore Gallery, provided this spot-on description of “Young Becoming” for The Los Angeles Times:
“Limbs are entwined, tongues extended. Clay is rarely, if ever, this carnal. Some of the skin is mannequin-smooth but veined with cracks. Some seep a pink foam or a pale fecal flood. Erotic pleasure plays a part here, but is only one of many competing charges” (Source).
By displaying representations of body parts in surprising (and unsettling) reconfigurations, Smythe brings the charges of pleasure and agony, beauty and squalor to the operating table. Displayed for us are simultaneous births and deaths, made almost indecipherable by the material realities of the body: the fluids, the waste, the mess of living, and the will to survive. In “A Light Culture”, for example, a man with a severed arm and scarred flesh sits quietly, wounded but pensive, while a disembodied hand gropes at his erection. Elsewhere, in “Lunacy”, a decapitated subject grimaces in despair while reaching for his heart. More tenderly still, in “Coupling”, two hands lie adjacent to each other and touch lightly. In moments of both intimacy and horror, Smythe turns the possibilities and limitations of the flesh into sculptures and makes them strangely beautiful.
Visit Smythe’s website and the Mark Moore Gallery to learn about her work and see additional images. Check out Ollman’s article for a captivating description of the solo show.