Photographer Wes Naman‘s Scotch Tape series is playful if not a bit creepy. Naman wraps clear tape around his subjects’ heads severely distorting their face. The tape tugs and squeezes lips, eyebrows, and noses making light of the idea of portraits. Slightly disturbing, the portraits resemble smiling car accident survivors or botched plastic surgery victims. Such simple but inventive ideas have made Naman a rather successful photographer winning him clients as diverse as High Times Magazine and T-Mobile. [via]
Merijn Hos lives and works in Utrecht, the Netherlands. When he isn’t working on an illustration project he creates drawings and paintings that showcase a multitude of idiosyncratic characters and objects. In a new body of work Hos constructs lively sculptural works out of wood and paint. The simplicity of the materials adds an accessibility to his signature quirks.
Swedish artist Michael Johansson is the Tetris master of art. His brilliant assemblages of found objects such as books, luggage and other everyday materials into tight geometric shapes is absolutely brilliant. Filling empty spaces in buildings, between shipping containers and entrances, Johansson transforms voids into color coordinated shapes of wonder. (via)
Victoria Wagner is an artist who is fascinated by unlikely pairings. Her set of gem-like sculptures called Woodrocks are comprised of wood and decorated with color, as she explains, “My eye generally and naturally tends toward tessellation and pattern, seeking a rhythm that mimics regular pulse. On the one hand, visual order provides a place for the senses to rest, while color relationships create problems for the brain to solve. I like this simultaneity.” The natural material and the unnatural oil pigments combine to create a precious object that’s small enough to be held comfortably.
Woodrocks serve as an iconic reference to the downed tree. They’re salvaged from local materials and painted to follow organic growth patterns and feature gradient spectrums.These sculptures were influenced by two books that Wagner read: The Golden Bough by Sir James Frazer and The Secret Life of Plants by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird. “Both pseudoscientific works that examine sentience among carbon-based life forms and human revelation, practical and metaphysical,” she explains. “Both books forced a recognition in my life-of my own personal reverence for the trees being downed in the forest surrounding my studio.” The result? Woodrocks.
Pakayla Biehn is a San Franciso-based artist who collaborates with photographers in her Double Exposure series, by taking inspiration from double exposure photography and painting the images using oil on canvas. The end result is an incredibly beautiful and detailed series with an oneiric quality.
Artist Dean Monogenis paints landscapes that fuse modern buildings with geometric shapes. The abstract compositions often feature the architecture suspended in midair, connected to giant rock formations, or structural patterns.
Monogenis’ colorful and minimalist paintings came to life after witnessing the fall of the World Trade Center in 2011. “ Subsequent to that day,” he writes, “I began to see buildings organically in terms of birth and death.” The artist continues:
Interestingly the post 9/11 period was the beginning of a world wide building boom. At the time I lived in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where the breadth and pace of this development felt like an invasion. Buildings grew nearly over night like mushrooms or mold before my very eyes. I found it simultaneously engaging and frightening.
This construction had little regard for continuity or urban planning:
After overcoming my initial shock, I began to distance myself and consider the situation aesthetically. I interpreted the randomness as more akin to the shantytowns in Jamaica or the Favelas in Rio. I took notice of the simplicity and planer forms of the skeletal structures as they ascended upward. Brightly colored building materials like netting and scaffolding, became interesting to me. I thought if there was a way to distill the temporary and all its ephemera, isolating key pieces into my work, then I would be able to elevate the visual indicators that speak to this period of transformation.
Monogenis usually paints on wood or plastic panels and uses customized stencils of graphic elements. He’ll paint the sky last, but isn’t afraid to sand and rework areas if something doesn’t look right. This allows him to create precise work without forfeiting the spontaneity that’s inherent in painting. (Via Supersonic)
Using herself as a model, Spanish photographer Ángela Burón creates surreal and often optically perplexing photographs. With askew imagery and mysterious compositions, Burón seeks to disorient the viewer and prompts them to question the reality of what they are seeing.
While Burón boasts a diverse body of work, a common motif in her photographs is a focus on hybridity. Feet replaced by hands, breasts conjoined with thighs, and legs sporting two sets of knees are just a few examples of these peculiar pieces, which make up a large portion of her celebrated portfolio.
In addition to her surreal photographs, Burón also dabbles in more conventional portraiture. Spanning coy self-portraits, sensual nudes, shots of amorous couples, and even a close-up of a bright-eyed cat, these works—though seemingly realistic—still convey the artist’s unique and curious style. Characterized by unnatural poses and disconcerting expressions, this side of Burón’s oeuvre still captures her inherent tendency toward the surreal and, thus, portrays her unique and unusual style. (Via Inkult)
Meet Noodles, Loli, and Scout, the radiantly emotive canine subjects of the photographer Elke Vogelsang’s personal project “All Good Dogs…” For the series, the artist captures the psychological lives of her trio of rescue animals, each honestly and earnestly displaying his or her own personal inclinations and attitudes.
Vogelsang explains that all her dogs love participating, knowing that they will get rewarded with treats and play; often it’s hard to limit a shot to one or two dogs, as Loli (the diva), Scout (the patient daydreamer), and Noodles (the excitable trickster) all vie for her camera’s affections.
What emerges from this unique and intimate play between dog and human is a touching archive of self-expression, a whimsical catalog of physical impulses and profound yearnings shared between species. Vogelsang’s lens treats the animals’ instinctive movements with the utmost care and fascination, capturing their desires (for treats, for activity, for love) by tracing the slightest movement of a pink tongue or a snout prickled with excited whiskers. Viewers are invited to empathize with a tilt of the head, a glint in the eye.
The artist’s sensitivities and attention to detail allow for effortless harmony not only between artist, viewer, and canine but also between individual dogs. Noodles, Loli, and Scout feed off of one another’s energies and restraint, moving with astounding purpose while remaining in synch with one another. In one image, two share a powerful yawn or bark, opening their eyes and mouths wide to the camera. Aligned in a perfect tryptic, the three are shot in black and white, each with their noses sniffing upwards and their lips carefully parted.
Simultaneously earnest and humorous, this standout series reminds viewers of the wisdom and longings of our canine friends, who are indeed “All Good Dogs…” (via Colossal and Bored Panda)