Subtle But Colorful Abstract Street Art

108 Street Art9

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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Abstract “Paintings” Created By Computer Algorithms

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Perhaps in the strictest sense, these abstract pieces by artist Siebren Versteeg aren’t paintings (or maybe in any sense they are not really paintings).  However, they do say quite a bit about painting and creativity.  Versteeg created code that utilizes a complex set of algorithms to create these pieces.  The work is then often printed on to paper or canvas.  Versteeg observes patterns, tendencies, styles in abstract expressionist painting and uses these as the basis for the code that create these “paintings”.  His programmed algorithms work with variable qualities such as viscosity, color, drips, and so on.  The program then “decides” how to use and combine these variable in several layers to create a complete composition.  In a way, the art is in the code Versteeg creates – the paintings merely a visual manifestation of that code.

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Documenting Ephemeral Underwater Ink Sculptures

Alberto Seveso - Photography

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Alberto Seveso’s high speed photographs of ink mixing with water are hypnotic and fascinating. Each shot depicts pushes of color twisting and bending with an emotive cadence, lulling itself into an ephemeral sculpture, detailed with sharp visceral attention.

Although such imagery is not new, per se, this specific collection feels intrinsically magnetic due to the captive nature of submerged color naturally bonding or relating before diluting. It’s more about documenting the ease of abstraction than pushing a forced abstract agenda.

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