So you’ve endured months of deconstructing every sentence of each presidential candidate’s rhetoric. It’s only fitting that on the eve of Election Day we also visually deconstruct the president, both past and present. French artist Olivier Ratsi produced these presidential digital collages – glitch-like reconstructions of the presidential portrait. Each piece of the series Once Upon a Time the Presidents is made up of various facial features of past American presidents. For example while a portrait’s eyes may have been snatched from Harry Truman, his mouth may be Barack Obama’s and his hair Teddy Roosevelt’s (or is that that John F. Kennedy’s?) The clean shaven cheek, toothy smile, and neatly combed hair appear repeatedly and feel eerily ubiquitous. Ratsi forgoes overt political references in favor of a subtler idea. Each portrait doesn’t so much portray past presidents as it does the idea of the presidential image.
Swedish illustrator Niklas Lundberg AKA Diftype creates dense digital collages that transport you to another world where everyone and everything is constantly changing, morphing, and manipulating. His alternate digital worlds are so convincing that I wonder if even his business cards shape shift once they exchange hands. Guess I’ll have to go to Sweden to find out.
Brian J. Hettler’s work is anything but subtle. He fuses digital imagery with saturated color and virtual elements. Even though Hettler works in digital media, he maintains the belief that his work acts as a painting built upon the directive of formalism. His work functions in a place between religion and science, emotion and sterility. He is a recent graduate from Kansas City Art Institute.
Ricardo Actus is an illustrator and graphic designer from Brazil. His work uses heavy textures and beautiful typography. Actus’ complex mixed media digital collages explore perspective with a fresh set of eyes.
Meet Ivan C. – a visual artist from Mexico. Although he works commercially, his work is conceptul, believing art should now be “Cosa Virtuale,” with technology not leading the ideas, but setting free all the visual possibilities for the interpretation of reality. Ivan releases his imagery through multiple mixed-media processes involving digital photography, digital collage and experimental graphic manipulations.
Franco Brambilla seems to have taken our most odd dreams and brought them to some kind of reality. Is it a painting? A photograph? Something else entirely, or all of the above? I love the feeling of as if I were watching To Catch a Thief or The Sound of Music on the newly-dubbed “Sy-Fy” channel.