Portland based Meredith Dittmar draws on the world around her as inspiration for her delicately formed compositions. Made entirely from polymer clay, she twists, squeezes, slices and weaves different shades together to form her distinctive artworks. Reminiscent of fantasy computer games, scientific drawings and algorithms, and including organic forms of vines, leaves and trees, Dittmar’s work is a beautiful combination of science and art; man and nature; patterns and rhythms.
She cites her influences as:
“the mushrooms found in our forest, Eames power of 10, and the visualizations of complex math, science, and especially theoretical physics.”
The idea of a “Cosmic Zoom” that Dittmar displays in her work is very evident. She simultaneously depicts the Universe at a large scale, including cities, forests and planets; while also focusing in on it at a minute scale – including quarks, atoms and molecule structures.
She often includes some sort of figures in her work to add a human scale. These can be anything from human hands holding a form, or body parts being split open by triangles. Known also for designing different characters in polymer, Dittmar sculpts these into her landscapes. Alien-like creatures with big eyes bring a strange sense of humanity to her work. They make you feel like you are viewing your own world, and something quite different. Dittmar and her creations definitely bring a new sense of wonder to the simple things around us. She points out, that maybe things aren’t that simple, after all.
This October, Scion launched the fifth installment of its Installation Art Tour. The program is designed to give exposure to both established and emerging artists. Installation 5: Self Portraits highlights a diverse array of artists from around the world.
Gelitin is comprised of four Austrian artists who met in 1978 at a summer camp and started exhibiting internationally as a group. Their cleverness in dealing with topics such as childhood, the functionality of objects, scale and absurdity are obvious in projects and corresponding titles such as “Klunk Garden” and “The Dig Cunt.” I like that their work seems to take on a variety of tones- ironic one moment and nostalgic the next. But all appropriate.
Amsterdam artist Chris Berens is an anomaly in the art world, an expert painter who does not use traditional media (he uses inks on photo paper rather than oils on canvas…and no digital or photographic elements whatsoever), but creates some of the most compellingly executed, enigmatic, and emotionally resonant paintings seen in a long time.
His work features a fantastical mélange of exotic creatures and 18th century imagery, floating in buttermilk colored clouds or silvery sea blues. Photo realistic, totem-like animals and distorted childlike people float like dreams through blurry surrealistic European cityscapes or drift on stormy seas on decrepit ships in a soft focus haze, shimmering as if in a fevered dream. It is almost shocking to look at, but in the gentlest of ways. See more of his works after the jump and on his site.
Andi Schreiber refuses to disappear. In her ongoing series, “Pretty Please”, she documents life as an aging suburban mom in a youth-obsessed culture. “Middle-aged mom” must be one of the least sexy descriptors around, redolent of yoga pants and stretch marks and sun-damaged skin. Yet as the years have passed, Schreiber has continued to feel young and sexual, even as she’s felt that society has closed those roles to her. She says:
“When I was in my thirties I heard the expression “Invisible Forties.” I couldn’t imagine how sexually inconsequential I’d feel throughout this decade.”
The powerful documentary style photos in “Pretty, Please” beg you to look. Honest and vibrant, they are not always comfortable. Victoria’s Secret has trained us to expect sexy lingerie on a young, taut body, not on folded and stretched skin. And yet, why isn’t this just as beautiful? Grow old or die, those are the only options. Why can’t we appreciate the child-scarred body of a woman who wants to be seen?
Self-portraits are interspersed with images from Schreiber’s life. A drop of blood on the toilet seat symbolizes her ebbing fertility; the lit interior of her closet holds neatly hung clothes and shelves of shoes, but also, stashed up and away, naked kewpie dolls, whimsical and eerie.
“You get into your 40s and things are very different, your perspective changes, and the way the world looks at you changes as well.”
In “Pretty, Please” we’re looking at Andi Schreiber and she’s looking back. This is definitively her — her life, her body, her blood — and yet this desire to be seen, to be valued on her own terms, could also represent the scores of middle-aged women who chose family and stability and have had their sense of self sacrificed to their suburban houses, and diapers, and carpools.
Just like you shouldn’t trust everything you read on the internet, you shouldn’t believe everything you see. L.A based special effects artist Ari Fararooy‘s latest photographic series is a perfect example of this. Using a tripod, mirrors, a self timer and ‘a few digital manipulations’ he has created a very surreal, and futuristic set of self portraits. He went to Joshua Tree National Park wanting to carry on his creative twists on the latest ‘selfies’ craze.
The goal was to experiment with reflections and explore the various ways I could creatively photograph myself. (Source)
He also had this aim in mind while attending the Burning Man festival in 2014. After he found himself in the strange environment that is the desert, surrounded by many creative people, he began clicking his shutter and coming up with some very inventive camera tricks, involving glow sticks, long exposures, strange perspectives and wide angles. You can see that series here.
His photographs are just as surreal as a Dali painting, but he uses modern technologies and a different set of skills. Be sure to see the extent of his talents to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary on his Facebook and Instagram pages. (Via Fubiz)
Gabriela Herman’s photography portfolio features a wide array of self portraits and photos from various travels.