Perhaps in the strictest sense, these abstract pieces by artist Siebren Versteeg aren’t paintings (or maybe in any sense they are not really paintings). However, they do say quite a bit about painting and creativity. Versteeg created code that utilizes a complex set of algorithms to create these pieces. The work is then often printed on to paper or canvas. Versteeg observes patterns, tendencies, styles in abstract expressionist painting and uses these as the basis for the code that create these “paintings”. His programmed algorithms work with variable qualities such as viscosity, color, drips, and so on. The program then “decides” how to use and combine these variable in several layers to create a complete composition. In a way, the art is in the code Versteeg creates – the paintings merely a visual manifestation of that code.
Robert Mapplethorpe, the timelesss American photographer most active in the 1980’s, was mainly known for his highly stylized black and white flower series. However, his most iconic and prolific works, various series of photographs dealing with homoeroticism and sadomasochistic BSDM acts between men of diverse cultural backgrounds, fuelled national debate in the NSA over the public funding of controversial artworks.
Some of these photographs, made visible by The Mapplethorpe Foundation, were part of his first solo gallery exhibition, ‘Polaroids’, at the Light Gallery in 1973.
Mapplethorpe quickly found satisfaction taking Polaroid photographs in their own right and indeed few Polaroids actually appear in his mixed-media works. Two years after his Polaroids exhibition, he acquired a Hasselblad medium-format camera and began shooting his circle of friends and acquaintances—artists, musicians, socialites, pornographic film stars, and members of the S & M underground. He also worked on commercial projects, creating album cover art for Patti Smith and Television and a series of portraits and party pictures for Interview Magazine.
Jan Otto Schreiber, a photographer from Hamburg, Germany, decided to explore Australia last year. He traveled by cargo ship for two months, traveling on the Panama Canal, and in that time documented his surroundings with over 250 different shots of islands, ships, and the sea. He spent weeks editing the proofs of his documentation, and ended up with 14 dreamy images.
This series is titled: Somewhere Between the Shores. A yellow-tinged, pale collection of photographs that mimics the experience of quiet nostalgia, the subtle stillness of the ocean, and the mystery inside moving silhouettes.
Adam Vorhees’ photographs portray animals in a new light. Gone is the image of a pathetic beast destined for a crappy zoo or slaughter house. Instead Adam presents portraits of complex and intriguing animals that you want to keep around forever and maybe even go for a jog with (Babe’s training for a marathon!).
What happens when a classic Victorian illustrator lives through poverty, World War I, and the deaths of a sister, mother, and wife; all in the space of a few years? Louis Wain (1860-1939) has become a famous case study in mental illness. Wain, who became famous in the early twentieth-century for his pioneering, whimsical illustrations of anthropomorphic cats, suffered a mental breakdown at the age of 64, and spent the remaining 15 years of his life in various mental institutions. The Chris Beetles Gallery of London recently exhibited a host of works from various points in his career.
The paintings of Victor Castillo have a unique eerie style. He began drawing from a young age inspired by cartoons, comics, and album covers. Castillo finally attended art school but found himself disillusioned with his time there. After leaving school he spent some time working with an experimental art collective in his native country of Chile. Next Castillo relocated to Barcelona, Spain. It is in Barcelona that his signature style solidified.
His painted world are most noticeably populated by children wearing clown-like masks: a red nose protrudes from a white face and any eyes are conspicuously absent. Though the masks smile, there is something disturbingly insincere about the expressions. Castillo carefully sets up each scene of his paintings almost as a sort of visual parable. A small narrative unfolds hinting at a larger message. Political themes such as greed or abuse of power begin to emerge within the symbolism of each piece. Castillo makes use of narrative tools often found not only in painting, but also comics. A statement from a past solo exhibit at the Jonathan Levine Gallery further explains the symbolism behind his paintings:
“In this exhibition, Castillo’s allegorical visions of the current socio-economic world crisis come in the form of spooky children’s tales. Through acrylic works on canvas and drawings on paper, his cast of masked, hollow-eyed children serve as a vehicle to convey ominous narratives of survival, greed and indoctrination. Inspired by vintage animation, his paintings are like theatrical sketches of tragicomic situations. With cartoon-like figures in the foreground and lush, classical landscapes in the background, Castillo’s dramatic baroque lighting completes the effect of exposing corrupted innocence.”
Seung Mo Park’s painstaking process to create his transparent portraits are nothing short of incredible. Park overlaps several layers of steel mesh and rotates them slightly so they are slightly out of line with one another — leaving a space about two finger widths between. He then sketches the contours of the images of his models on steel meshes and cuts them out, creating a three-dimensionality in these contours. Depending on the viewer’s standpoint, the images may look transparent, illusory, or shadowy. See more of his work along with a great video that shows his process after the jump! (via colossal)
Singer and model Viktoria Modesta isn’t satisfied with just the practical everyday. After having to amputate her leg because of medical reasons, she’s reinvented herself as a cyborg pop star, performing graceful pirouettes and sexy catwalks, completely unencumbered by her prosthetic limb.
In her collaboration with Channel 4, Modesta released a music video (watch it after the jump) called “Prototype,” which features her doing a breathtaking dance using her bionic leg like the blade of a knife. It’s a dramatic display of sci-fi elegance, one that ends with the slogan, “Some of us were born to be different; some of us were born to take risks.”
Modesta echoed this sentiment in past interviews, saying, “The time for boring ethical discussions around disability is over. It’s only through feelings of admiration, aspiration, curiosity and envy that we can move forward.” (via Bored Panda)