Dimitri Kozyrev Paints Disrupted Landscapes To Critique The Edges Of Art And War


Dimitri Kozyrev - Painting

Dimitri Kozyrev - Painting

Dimitri Kozyrev - Painting

Dimitri Kozyrev’s paintings are captivating, to say the least. His color precision from plane to line and surface to sky balances the ephemerally abstract beautifully with a hardened environment. This compositional fracturing feels like ice cracking on the pond, disrupting the reflection or illusion of us and our structures, before we crash into a new reality.

This “crash” echoes of Constructivism or Futurism, with deep contemporary critique on not just the disruption of landscape during wartime, but maybe even more so, the distortion of self, identity, and technology in relation to art and activism as these terms relate to the avant-garde, painting, and intention in today’s milieu.

On this note, Kozyrev elaborates:

“I have titled this body of work ‘Lost Edge.’ I use the word ‘edge’ because I draw a comparison between the notion of the avant-garde in war and the art world. In the early 20th Century, the avant-garde was at the height of its importance in both realms. Now, however, I maintain that just as the concept of the military avant-garde has been “lost,” because of changes in methods of warfare, the avant-garde in the contemporary art world, has also lost its edge.

“The source material for this body of work is images of ruins of the once mighty fortifications of the Mannerhiem Line, built to protect Finland from the advances of the Soviet military avant-garde. Finland’s attempt was valiant and not in vain; this war and the lives that were lost in 1939 are largely forgotten. The fortification lie in ruins, and nature is slowly reclaiming them. Similarly, the ‘cutting edge’ of the contemporary art world seems to have become blunted. Viewers of the avant-garde work of many visionary artists of the early 20th Century were shocked, challenged and inspired by The Malevich’s ‘Black Square’ and ‘Fountain’ of Marcel Duchamp. Because of changes in society, like changes in warfare, it has become difficult for today’s contemporary artist to generate the same level of response without resorting to vulgarity.”

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Sergio Albiac’s Computer Program Combines Chance And Control To Generate Portraits

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Barcelona based artist Sergio Albiac creates these abstract portraits by writing computer programs that generate images, always including code that will randomly generate some aspect of the results. Through this medium of expression, Albiac has found a captivating balance of control and randomness, such as the portraits of Rimbaud and Neruda created from their words and signatures.

Albiac explains his process, “When I code a generative sketch, I introduce control (the sentences that govern the sketching action) and also a degree of randomness in the code. This is a machine control/randomness balance. Then, I select certain outputs (again, human control) and I paint a canvas using the selected generative images as an starting point, without the aim of exact reproduction. The act of painting is a struggle between control and randomness because, depending of the painting technique, paint behavior cannot be totally controlled by the painter. In this way, I explore a fascinating “dialogue” between control/randomness and machine/human interaction. It makes sense to me. I feel connected to artistic tradition but using the generative sketchbook process, I can create in a very contemporary and innovative way that deeply reflects the ideas I need to express.”

You can see more at his tumblr and Flickr pages.

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Subtle But Colorful Abstract Street Art

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Abstract Street Art 2

Abstract Street Art

The work of the street artist known as 108 is much like his pseudonym: simple and mysterious.  Often large black masses of abstract street art inhabit walls.  Devoid of most or any detail, these masses are frequently punctuated by bursts of color.  In a way the colorful abstractions feel like offshoots or biological growths on the larger black masses.  There is a larger flow to his murals that are somehow familiar.  The shapes, the way interact with their surfaces, and the way in interacts with itself feels organic.  108 explains this idea in a 2006 interview saying:

“Usually I work in public spaces, you know, and the background is the most important thing. I must find a good shapes for that place, usually I prefer old walls and abandoned places, and my “thing” grow by it self, as a tree or moss did, but I know nature do that really better than me! It’s very hard for me to work on a blank white surface… in that situations I must find a good inspiration elsewhere, maybe in another work I did before or working with a good friend with good ideas.”

Other times his abstract murals almost hint at an iconography, symbols, or recognizable shapes.  Like much abstraction there is a lot of room for interpretation.  Still, he goes on to say:

“Most of my works come from my unconscious and are totally irrational. You can see the abstract, soft and gloomy shapes… My works are also very symbolic. The same old example of the wheel, I found it in my unconscious, it was a big fixation for me… usually I have drawn it with 8 rays inside… In fact it was the sun wheel, one of the most important symbol in ancient Indoeuropean cultures (you can find it in a lot of Indian and Celtic stuff). This is just one example.”

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Lauren Semivan’s Black And White Photography Digs At Our Primitive Nature

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Lauren Semivan’s black and white photography raises the dead, feels rich with ritual, and sullen from the earth. To say it is simply an abstract psychological expression would be too easy. There’s something else happening here that is magically archaic, and it’s not just the finely tailored compositions that carefully, yet seemingly casually, dig at our remains by arranging drawn fragments, bodies, vegetation, bones, and string, against a sparse backdrop. This “something else” is movement or play not just in the environment, but as or with the environment, a dreamy surreal fade that lingers.

Technically, each image is a true representation of not just what collects, but how the collection becomes. Shot with a purist sense of photography’s past, Semivan uses an early 20th century 8 x 10″ view camera and, without digital manipulation or any touch-ups at all, develops prints from a scanned large format negative. The ephemeral result, interestingly, pushes on our own anthropological or archeological impulses as a species– asking us to engage and connect with our ancestors, creatively, scientifically, and divinely.

Of her work, Semivan states, “In scientific disciplines, a line is classified as an event. Something as primitive as a scrawl on a surface reveals an aggregate of events, intersecting and changing course. Drawings made on the seamless backdrop describe an emotional space. Science is inherently experiential, as is art making. Knowing and feeling are not separate, and the whole of the environment can be used as a pedagogic instrument. Observatory elegantly draws upon a tension that exists between irrational and physical worlds. Within each image, ghosts of previous drawings.”

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Abstract Street Art Sculptures Hidden In The City

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Las fall street artists MOMO and El Tono were invited collaborate on a project for the Bien Urbain festival in France.  Both artists often work with an abstract painted style.  For their collaboration, though, the artists added a third dimension.  Using pieces of wood, the artists filled gaps in walls and windows throughout the city.  Instead of being unused negative space, the gaps were transformed into a framing device for these abstract compositions.  Simple but elegant, the series is illustrative of innovative trends in street on new approaches to interacting with the urban environment.

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Colorful Abstractions Transformed Into Street Art

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The pieces of Xuan Alyfe arrive from a variety of influences rarely found in street art.  His work is largely abstract, but peppered with figures and other recognizable objects.  The murals seems to subtly reference minimalist, surrealist, and even graphic design styles.  Aylfe’s art even seems to piece together various influences of other street artists into his own distinct style.  Perhaps appropriately, then, he has exhibited and painted murals worldwide.

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Swarm Of Eating Flies Used To Create Abstract Paintings

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With the help of a huge swarm of flies, John Knuth transforms decay into creation.  Flies have long symbolized death and rot in art as well as popular culture.  In medieval times, for example, it was popularly believed flies were born out of carcasses rather than eggs as larvae.  Knuth, though, emphasizes the flies productive role in the larger cycle of life and death.  He creates his work by first feeding the flies water mixed with sugar and paint.  The flies largely digest their food outside of their body, Knuth’s flies doing this directly on the canvas.  While digesting, each fly leaves a small mark of pigment, a small piece of the larger record or the swarm.  Check out the video to see Knuth’s process and more of his finished paintings.

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Mike Carr’s Abstracted Realist Paintings

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Mike Carr, aka China Mike, has previously been known for his photorealistic paintings, but has since ventured into the realm of abstraction. Using a variety of media such as spray paint, acrylics, oil pastels, and charcoal, Carr’s work captures a particular lack of constraint and fluidity that seems to spill out of the canvas, evoking a whimsical energy. Carr started out as a graphic designer, but embraced the medium of paint to escape the limitations of digital based media. “Process is as important as the end result. I don’t really feel a pressure to create realistically defined images these days. I want there to be a playfulness in my work, to not get bogged down in mechanical routines”. Carr is based in Bristol, England.

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