Perhaps the digital artwork of Antonio Strafella isn’t so profane as it may at first seem. His series Spiritual Hero at once compares and juxtaposes saints and superheroes, the holy and the vulgar. Comic books are often thought of as the exclusive domain of young people, rarely taken serious. However, in a strange way the superheroes don’t seem exceptionally out of place in Strafella’s work. Indeed, many of the grand story lines of the characters featured by Strafella have clear Biblical references. He goes on to say:
“These icons have various aspects in common: saints do miracles and superheroes have superpowers, both are venerated, opening the conflict between faith and zealotry.”
From Instagram to the Flickr, clenched nail art shots are ubiquitous– ranging from classic solids to wild patterns; however, I’m pretty sure Alice Bartlett holds court as best in show. Moving beyond simple fashion trends, Bartlett artistically installs miniature scenes on the tips of her fingers: clad green flocking covers each nail, creating a tranquil resting place for tiny figures to contemplate the massive scope and delicacy of the world.
The work of artist Derek Paul Boyle can often seem humorous. Everyday objects are presented in simple juxtapositions that can be pleasantly surprising. His work begins with suppositions, trusted concepts, and expectations and ‘plays’ with them. Boyle depicts the familiar from a different conceptual angle to make his subject matter new. He says:
“I am interested in the power of contradiction, objects as events, and incompatible states of the self – what was once bound is made free, the known made unknown. In a wavering step between angst and serenity, fear and pleasure, I want to give form to anxiety, a shape to tension.”
The work of Koen Hauser floats somewhere between fine art and fashion photography. His series Modische Atlas der Anatomie illustrates this well. The series’ title is a kind play on words – literally it translates as “Fashionable Anatomy Atlas”, yet with a single vowel change it can be translated as “Medical Anatomy Atlas”. In the series, his subject seem to be modeling her organs as much as her clothes. Portions of the model’s body are cut away to reveal her inner workings. However, rather than depict the organs true to life, Hauser referenced traditional anatomy atlas’ – artistic medical reference works.
The words ‘serif’ and ‘sans serif’ can get a designers heart beating a bit faster – new and interesting fonts can be a inspirational jumping off point. These photograph based letters from New York based photographer Bela Borsodi definitely have a wide appeal. Borsodi uses household objects and empty space so as to nearly make it appear he happened on the letters by chance. He clearly has a knack for making the meticulously planned appear casual. Borsodi’s skill has won him clients such as the Esquire, Details, and the Wall Street Journal. Also, see his work previously here. [via]
British photographer Nick Veasey uses an x-ray machine to discover the transient magic of everyday things from clothing to stuffed animals, but most beautifully– flowers. Although, the concept is simple, the effect is quite radiant: imagery blooming with intricate nuances, highlighted by surprising shades of light. The whole collection is fine reminder of that medium’s powerful science outside of the airport– that technology doesn’t just serve to protect, but how it also serves to expose.
Suellen Parker builds each character from unforgettable moments of strangers or friends. First, she starts with sculpting the shape from plastiline clay before photographing it with a blank backdrop. Then, simultaneously, she scavengers for props, walls, or environments that might suit a certain character well and shoots those too. All of these images are finally loaded into a computer, where the art of merging and manipulation occurs. Skin tones are “digitally painted” and human faces technologically blend with clay while backgrounds stitch together to create a new imaginative world.
Of Letting Go, her most recent series collected here, Parker strives to twist not only mediums, but also gender roles. She suggests her characters concretely and conceptually have a fine blend of both, and states, they “are attempting to find a sacred space, a place of vulnerability, a place where they allow themselves to be really seen. By quieting one’s life, even momentarily, an opportunity is presented to learn truths about oneself. By engaging in private play, one is able to let go of expectations and rules. The result is a private and truthful moment that may be enjoyed without fear of judgment or consequence.”
The photographs of Matthew Monteith‘s series Guardare turn the subject back on to the viewer. His images depict people explaining, gazing at, and otherwise admiring art. When I first heard about the series I was prepared to be annoyed with the pedantic gestures and expressions of people acting smarter than thou. However, the photographs are surprisingly endearing. People are visibly moved, sincerely engaged with the work often just out of frame. Guardare perhaps suggests that the art in a gallery doesn’t happen with the work but between two viewers discussing it.