Creative collective Funwunce brings together a group of talented artists from various genres to create mind bending artwork for your needy eyeballs. Some of my favorite works on their site has to be their album art and prints which seemlessly blend analog and digital skills for you to enjoy.
New Levels, the title of John Chae‘s new series of work, captures its dual nature succinctly. While the phrase New Levels may partly refer to higher levels of perception or consciousness, you may likely have had the same first impression as I did: video games. Chae’s paintings use both elements of fine art history and throw-away pop culture imagery – he visually cites Magritte and Escher alongside manga artists. Chae moves beyond the highbrow/lowbrow juxtaposition of our pop-art grandparents. Rather, his paintings are for and from a generation that doesn’t consume images as much as it puts them to use as a recyclable tool of self-expression.
For Lost and Found, the photographer Will Ellis photographs objects collected from the deserted buildings, parks, and bays of New York City. Dating back to the first half of the 20th century, each recovered object is shot with the utmost care, regardless of condition or value. The artist’s long journeys in search of his discarded relics— traversing less frequented city spots with haunting names like Dead Horse Bay and North Brother Island— give historical and totemic meanings to each possession. Once relevant only to a forgotten child, a plastic toy shoe from the 1920s is studied under lights, archived by a seemingly objective lens, and repurposed as evidence of some imagined urban ancestry.
Ellis’s choice to incorporate animal bones into a few of the images strengthens the work’s genealogical impulse; a set of hospital keys, ripped from their locks and rusted beyond recognition, stands alongside a raccoon bone separated from its socket in time. Similarly, a horse bone from the city’s industrial age is visually equated with a pair of plastic doll arms; shot from the same angle, the eroded bone and muddied plastic occupy similar portions of the frame, each lit with expert precision.
As if part of a museum catalog, the series of 30 photographs provides a cohesive, if subjective, vision of history. Through the eyes of Lost and Found, the city’s children narrate its evolution, telling a visual story that begins with doll, touches on music book, and culminates in senior portrait. Ellis’s choice of a stark white backdrop and harsh lighting brilliantly avoids potential sentimentality; as the artist invites us into a distinctly nostalgic space, we are instructed to view the work with the utmost seriousness. Take a look. (via Feature Shoot)
Suellen Parker builds each character from unforgettable moments of strangers or friends. First, she starts with sculpting the shape from plastiline clay before photographing it with a blank backdrop. Then, simultaneously, she scavengers for props, walls, or environments that might suit a certain character well and shoots those too. All of these images are finally loaded into a computer, where the art of merging and manipulation occurs. Skin tones are “digitally painted” and human faces technologically blend with clay while backgrounds stitch together to create a new imaginative world.
Of Letting Go, her most recent series collected here, Parker strives to twist not only mediums, but also gender roles. She suggests her characters concretely and conceptually have a fine blend of both, and states, they “are attempting to find a sacred space, a place of vulnerability, a place where they allow themselves to be really seen. By quieting one’s life, even momentarily, an opportunity is presented to learn truths about oneself. By engaging in private play, one is able to let go of expectations and rules. The result is a private and truthful moment that may be enjoyed without fear of judgment or consequence.”
Italian photographer Stefano Bonazzi melds smoke and body together in his lush series Smoke. These high contrast black and white photographs feature naked bodies melting into the atmosphere, drifting off in a plume of velvety smoke. They feel soft, mysterious, and cinematic.
Bonazzi, who has a multitude of different series, speaks about this body of work in a very compelling way:
Smoke fascinates me because it is hypnotic, evanescent and impalpable. The smoke you can perceive it with your sense of smell and can even be fatal despite being a natural element devoid of texture and weight. I often compare the smoke to the human soul and in my series “Smoke” I just try to contrast the weight and consistency of the human body with the lightness and elusiveness of his soul, that in these shots I try to represent their with the use of the smoke. The “smoky” of the subjects is in fact their own feelings and emotions. The protagonists of these shots express sexual desire, more anxiety and melancholy, loneliness and suffering. These feelings are so powerful that they evaporate, split from the body and rise into the unknown, which in this case is represented by the black background of the shots.” (Excerpt from Source)
Lui Bolin is not a ghost, but a Chinese artist who is very mysterious in his ways of producing art. Is it performance art? Photography? Conceptual? All of the above? Either way, I couldn’t find him in the tractor picture for a good 5 minutes.