Dutch fashion photographer Rohn Meijer applies a chemical cocktail to old negatives in order to produce stunning effects of surreal color and distortion. This idea occurred to Meijer when he discovered some old negatives that were damaged by moisture. He then decided to concoct his own chemical-water treatment (the specifics of which he’d like kept secret) that would interact with the silver nitrate on the back of the negatives and enhance the effect of crystallization. Though he does like to treat entire negatives with the caustic bath, he will sometimes deliberately apply the cocktail to certain parts of the photograph in order to draw out or deepen the effect.
“What I’m looking for is the way that colors play out, sometimes a bleeding effect, other times more harsh effects,” he says. “It’s a different kind of developing I’m doing, it’s not done in a laboratory.”
Meijer claims that 90 percent of each batch he creates is trashed, but apparently, he has a large arsenal of film that he doesn’t mind tossing as they were most likely going to end up in the garbage anyway. (via wired)
Ari Weinkle has created an extremely unique and bizarre typography, titled Feelers, that moves and squirms with each carefully constructed letter. This is no ordinary alphabet; each letter is formed from different animal appendages. Weinkle designed his somewhat creepy typography to be explore and interpret the movements of animals and their body parts. It is hard to believe that these odd colored squiggles were once part of animals, especially since they look like amoebas, worms, or insect parts. The way the ends of the letters taper in at each end and sways back and forth closely resembles aquatic life such as seaweed moving in the water.
One aspect of this typography project that makes its concept so interesting, is trying to determine what appendage could have possibly made the type of movement that the individual letter is making. Even more intriguing, is that not every part of the letter moves. Some stand still while others whip back and forth, spread apart, or jump quickly away from the viewer. The movement is so organic, it is almost as if these alphabet creatures are pinned under a microscope and we are watching them squirm. Although the letters are hard to determine once they begin to wiggle, you cannot deny the unique creativity behind this mesmerizing typography. Make sure to check out Ari Weinkles Tumblr to see every single letter of his alphabet in its still form, and then again as 26 organically moving organisms.
This picture of Morgan Freeman is not a photograph. It’s actually a hyperrealistic digital painting by Kyle Lambert. Using an iPad, the app Procreate, and over 285,000 brush strokes, the artist recreated a picture of the actor (the original photograph is by Scott Gries). The result makes you do a double and then triple take. Lambert’s painting is nearly identical to its source. The entire thing took over 200 hours, and he created a four minute time-lapse video that details the process.
Touted as “The World’s Most Realistic Finger Painting,” Lambert approaches the construction of his piece in a traditional way. He prepares a solid ground to paint on and works in layers, building up volume and texture. He refines details with each stroke. Just when you think the portrait is nearly done, Lambert continues to add highlights and details to the tiny hairs in Freeman’s beard. Here, the his fingerprint works to his advantage, as he uses light pressure to make subtle, light strokes.
There’s no denying that technology has changed painting. With apps like Procreate and the ease of holding an iPad, it’s possible to create something like Lambert did with enough practice and skill. You don’t necessarily have to know hold a paintbrush, or have knowledge of traditional methods of painting. You just need to know how to use the program. Working digitally gives an artist the chance to zoom into their piece, adding fine details that wouldn’t be possible otherwise. It’s also very forgiving. Instead of having to cover up part of a painting with more paint, they can simply undo their last moves. Whereas a covering up an oil painting will show some evidence of what’s beneath, in a digital work, no one is the wiser. (Via Twisted Sifter)
Like stunning x-rays from an alien world, Bruce Riley‘s resin paintings seem to be lit from within. His playful shapes and psychedelic colors blossom in suspended animation, humming with as much electrical energy as any other multicellular organism.
Riley describes his process as intuitive and organic, saying, “I’m not really trying to define any ideas, I’m just letting it flow.” Watching him work is certainly hypnotizing as fluorescent greens and ozone blues blossom and blend into each other. The paintings can be appreciated from afar as well as up close, each brimming with meditative detail.
“You’re always investigating,” Riley says of his process. “It’s not about an end result. [You’re] trying to use techniques that you remember but also looking for things you’ve never seen before.”
Part of the beauty of Riley’s work is that it can be appreciated on various levels. Open to interpretation, one could call it the secret life of lava lamps . It could also be described with a narrative, a foray into extraterrestrial forensics. Or you could just take it as it is: the stream of conscious of a man who certainly knows his way around a paint brush. (via This Is Colossal)
Pierre Commoy and Gilles Blanchard – Pierre and Gilles – have made portraits of Madonna, Jean Paul Gaultier, Andy Warhol, and Iggy Pop, just to name a few. The portraits are sexually charged and totally fantastical. Their subjects are placed under water, surrounded by flowers, or in what looks like a McDonalds ball pen (a not so subtle reference, in the tradition of most of their portraiture). Their kitschy and outlandish aesthetic has had them attain international recognition; they’re included in collections like the MoMA’s and have had a major retrospective at the New Museum in 2000.
Not only do they work together professionally, they have also been together as a couple for the duration of their shared career. Pierre is the photographer, and Gilles does the painting afterward. According to a VMagazine interview, the entire process of one portrait takes them about three weeks:
“We do everything from creating the décor to taking the picture to constructing the frame. We are always inspired by the person’s personality.”
Although their sexual orientation is a large part of their public persona, they say they are cautious not to pigeonhole themselves into what they call the “gay ghetto” and for this reason take portraits of a variety of celebrities they admire, while maintaining their own distinct style.
Their aesthetic is whimsical and edgy. Certainly setting a man up fully nude peeing into a garden of flowers is not an image you will see every day. It’s provocative, but not aggressive, probably because of the teasing, over-the-top nature of the accompanying imagery. They find a way to playfully bring the mainstream out of its comfort zone so it seems like every day should be filled with sexy nuns riding bedazzled horses!
We sent off Book 4 to the printers the other day, so we thought we’d give you a sneak peak of what we have in store for you. The above is a screen cap from an amazing collaboration between 26 artists from around the world. I don’t want to give away all the details for this project, but think of it as a Y2K version of one of the most classic art-based games. Confused? Good! Read on to see more behind-the-scenes tidbits….
Woohoo! The press keeps rolling in for our Spring 2010 line! This week has seen a number of other excellent reviews, including a mention by TWBE that Ben Tegel’s t-shirt, “Greetings from LA” above, looked as “if Paris Hilton turned into Heidi Montag.” I’d say that’s pretty accurate. Other great reviews from Spanky Stokes & Addicteed. Thanks guys, for the blog love!
Although we aren’t hiring here at Beautiful/Decay, we wanted to share Manny G‘s portfolio with you all. Navigating through media seamlessly, this recent CalArts graduate pretty much does it all. Whether it’s transforming a found book inside and out, illustrating Chewbacca with only one intense image-making technique, or revealing the cuter (?!) side of sex, Manny G delivers visual feasts.