Artist Jennifer Presant is a painter with training in figurative realism and a background in graphic design. Her multifaceted works are a combination of indoor and outdoor spaces. Bedrooms look like they’re in a park, statues are on beaches, and French doors open onto ice. “Thematically, my paintings address the complexity of memory, by blurring the lines between recollection, projection, and reality,” Presant writes in an artist statement. “Each painting becomes a psychological landscape or waking dream, reinforcing the fluid relationships between time, memory and place.”
The contemporary media has a huge impact on the content of Presant’s images. She says:
By merging both real and fictitious images in these painted fictional documentaries, I explore the conflation of our media-saturated lives and our lived reality; we live among images and in many ways as images. Our memories of events have become distorted. With media today, we have grown accustomed to watching ourselves and living from a voyeuristic standpoint. With these paintings, the viewer’s imagination plays an important role in the piece, while also being implicated in the voyeurism depicted. (Via Feather of Me)
Los Angeles-based artist Kevin Appel‘s Screen series shows trivial nature photography layered with coloured, transparent materials in different graphic shapes. Appel uses a range of media – acrylic, ink, enamel and print – to achieve this effect, in order to distort the photo by adding a ‘screen’ of new material. More images from the series here:
Walking the line between fashion illustration and fine art these fashion designers are capable of creating beautiful drawings. Whimsical and fanciful, each artist is able to transfer images from imagination to paper in a way that is unique and dramatic.
Langley Fox’s beautiful graphite drawings are surreal and poetic. Sometimes purely beautiful and sometimes borderline bizarre Fox captures her subjects, often times figments of her imagination, with impressive precision and detail.
Intrigued by ancient Greek mythology, particularly the legend of the Moirai, Inès Katamso’s illustrations are enchanting and narrative. In the legend, the Moirai, or Fates, were white-robed incarnations of destiny. Clotho (spinner), Lachesis (allotter) and Atropos (unturnable), controlled the metaphorical thread of life for every mortal from birth to death. Katamso became interested in the idea of the “thread of life” and the line itself. Her beautiful illustrations capture this interest in the line, gracefully weaving lines together to create amazing compositions.
New York designer Katie Gallagher’s sketches are moody, dark and evocative. Telling a story that is at once about fashion and something else—something more serious and haunting—they transcend mere fashion sketches and become fantastical stories.
Helsinki-based illustrator Laura Laine’s characters are serious, sometimes frightening, but ultimately incredible. Each has a distinct personality that exudes attitude. Her quasi gothic, certainly poignant images are intriguing and lovely.
In the last year, we’ve featured a variety of artists who are using embroidery in unique ways, such as Leah Emery’s erotic stitches and Juana Gomez’s anatomy portraits. Featured today is the work of Lisa Smirnova, who embroiders images that ripple with impressionistic life. Her subjects range from animals, to pensive tattooed men, to creative portraits of icons such as Frida Kahlo. Body parts are also recurring throughout work—such as a heart in a bouquet, and a pelvis on a white shirt—lending the otherwise “unassuming” medium of embroidery a flavor of surrealism and the macabre.
Smirnova’s artworks require time and patience, some taking months to complete. This is not surprising, considering the way she masterfully stitches threads into the likeness of skin, fur, and bone. The colors blend together seamlessly, capturing the reflection of light on skin and the red-blue tones of the heart. Texture and emotion arrive together as the threads interlock, each character appearing to vibrate with an inner life.
The medium of artist Caroline Slotte is a familiar one. Dishes commonly found in homes and thrift shops become surprising dioramas. The simple images usually hidden under food become multilayered narratives. The many memories associated with family meals, dinner parties, milestone celebrations aren’t lost on Slotte. She says of her medium choice:
” Objects in our private sphere stir feelings in us and connect us to our history. They are tangible reminders of the past, of our own life story, and that of the family. In this way the most humble object can function as a key to the past, as a key to our inner.”
Batman holds a gun to his own head at the edge of an empty swimming pool. Captain and Mrs. America sip mixed drinks under palm fronds. Spiderman naps on the couch. These are our Superheroes, candidly captured in their off hours. But they’re not the Superheroes we’re used to underneath their familiar suits. These Superheroes are aged, white-haired and wrinkled, and somehow completely wrong. The characters we know may die, but although they live for decades they never grow old. Our heroes stay perpetually strong, alluring, and complicated, and always, always young.
Lina Manousogiannaki’s costumed heretics of “Superheroes Gone Old” represent more than the inevitability of old age. To her, the aging superheroes they serve as reminders of the damaged Greek political system, one that politicians and people of her parents’ generation have been unwilling or unable to change.
[The series] was conceived as homage to the generation of my parents, the same one as our politicians. They have been pretending to be heroes ever since the collapse of the military junta but time has caught up with them. My heroes are old and they are afraid of everything that they can’t control. … The heroes of another time can no longer save me as they have pretended to do for so many years.
There is anger in Manousogiannaki’s writing that isn’t reflected in her images. These heroes are worn out, slightly absurd, certainly pathetic. And yet, there is the suggestion of pride here, of perseverance. They haven’t divested themselves of their worn finery. They haven’t stopped fighting. In a country with a struggling economy and generational discord, the heroes are stooped and sad. Manousogiannaki’s intent may be to put them aside and lead her own fight, but these archetypical heroes seem to be saying that it will be harder than she thinks.