German photographer Loretta Lux captures surreal portraits of children, portraying them in a way that makes them appear as if they’re porcelain dolls. Young boys and girls stare towards the camera and with expressions that you can’t get out of your head. As they look beyond or at you, their large eyes look as if they know deep, dark secrets. Pastel and faded colors contrast with the mysterious feel that these works evoke.
Lux studied painting at Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Munich and uses this influence in her images. Some pieces take up to a year to complete, and her process involves a combination of photography and digital manipulation. She’ll strip the background and then place her subjects into muted, minimal environments. The flatted backdrop and realistic foreground confuse your eye and help craft these strange images.
One of the hottest talents to come out of South Africa lately is painter Kurt Pio. His practice includes printmaking, painting and sculptural pieces, exploring many different topics. But the most eye catching of his works, I think, would be his diamond series. A collection of abstract, fragmented, striking paintings of jewels, diamonds, and gems, his canvases are a display of his sensitivity to color.
With a background in interior design, Pio thinks of the designer’s point of view while painting his fine art pieces. He likes to create work that will suit the environment they could be placed in, and is finely tuned to the colors and atmosphere of his surroundings. This may have something to do with growing up in the picturesque Cape Town and appreciating it’s unique aesthetic.
You are constantly told by foreigners that the city is very beautiful. It’s a constant thing that you hear. But until you go traveling and compare your city to other places, that’s when you realize that what they say is true. I wanted to pay patronage to my home, and to celebrate the beautiful place that I’m living in. (Source)
Pio says the things around him are a massive influence on him; they are the things that make him the most excited. So, taking mundane objects, he combines that with a love of colors and contrast to produce some beautiful work. The talented painter is looking forward to the future, and is currently obsessed with the idea of using gold in his work. But as we can see from Pio’s Diamond series, gold is not the only thing that glitters. (Via The Jealous Curator)
It’s not new when artists try different techniques then combine them with more traditional ones. It only becomes more significant if new ground is broken in the process. In Rachel Wrigley’s case this is certainly true. Her paper sculptures created from pages taken from magazines are turned into organic forms which comment on the transience of nature. By utilizing a material which has already been used for another purpose Wrigley recycles an idea in a formal setting which speaks to several different notions. It reimagines the ready made image with hints of origami and paper cutting techniques taking on characteristics which resemble silhouettes of butterflies, snowflakes and flowers.
The recent work Wrigley has produced turns images of domestic spaces such as living rooms and windows into organic forms. It becomes a play off two sensibilities of idea and material which capture moments that reminisce a sliver of morning light streaming through the window blind highlighting only a portion of the room giving it a new and different perspective. These then become unique abstracted forms found and reimagined within the folds of a paper magazine. (via lustik)
New York based photographer Mike Mellia creates Another Day in Paradise, a series of images that capture the essence of New York City under the influence of Mellia’s father.
After the unexpected death of his dad, the photographer began creating cinematic scenes around New York that were reminiscent of his father’s life. Mellia is compelled to showcase his father’s contemplative presence and love for jazz . The many clues that reveal what his father was, and is to him even after death, are subtle but powerfully present.
Mellia’s sentimental piece works along the lines of alienation and tension, however. It not only provides a glimpse into his father’s life but it also showcases Mellia’s hardships to accept his passing.
Anne Simone combines her knowledge of computer programming with a love of music. Bittersweet is her new lp which features a twist. The lyrics of lead track “Digitize Me” make up a running computer program and the words you hear are directly taken from written code. The idea came to Simone when she thought about a computer reading language. In that environment, a simple machine responds to basic commands of yes/no, true/false and 1s and 0s.
The artist compared it to human nature and concluded that life would be so much simpler, if we just followed these Zen-like rules. If we did, there would be less complication and miscommunication in our lives. Getting a further glimpse of what actually occurs when two different disciplines collide, it can be witnessed on the actual computer printout of “Digitize me”. Nothing too complicated or elaborate in the aesthetic sense, it reveals just a simple drawing. The real innovation is in concept and design. A place marker for today’s interdisciplinary melding of styles and tastes. Originally from Vancouver, Canada, Simone currently resides in Seattle, Washington, where she works as a software designer. Her passion has led to a double life that now overlaps and is reflected in well written, emotionally charged songs. These are further enhanced by an equally lovely voice, reminiscent of Imogen Heap or Tegan and Sara. Besides uplifting music, other novel bits on her new record take cues from classic synthsters Kraftwerk. The German outfit had a single called “Pocket Calculator” where the sound of fingers pressing a keypad accounted for the actual beat. Another, “Computer Love” taken from the same album, falls in line with Simone’s dreamier tracks. For the technically minded or just curious, the code/lyrics to “Digitize Me” is available on GitHub (https://github.com/kineticsongs/digitizeMe).
Mark Alsweiler, an emerging artist in Sydney, just finished one of his exhibitions over at Nine Lives Gallery in Brisbane. He gains inspiration from his personal interests (immediately you can notice the influence of American Indian, Western, and Mexican imagery) to create a symbolic body of work. I am really enjoying his skull paintings and his love of pattern making.
I first got into Zach Johnsen’s work a few years ago when he lived in New York. But for a while now, he’s been in Portland, and it looks like he’s making his raddest stuff yet. He always incorporated fantastic characters into his mixed media work, and he’s continued to do so, creating more wooden cut-out installations and a series of graphite drawings infused with explosive watercolor elements. Johnsen’s always done a great job of rendering the darker side of life. His characters are full of dark eyes and yellowing teeth. Seriously awesome stuff from this dude, always.