Arthur Tress’ Haunting And Mythological Childhood Dream Interpretations

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Published in 1973, Arthur Tress‘ photo book, The Dream Collector, features visions of childhood dreams and nightmares. Tress began shooting these dream scenarios in the 1960s, first speaking with children about their dreams and nightmares, then staging an interpretation of the children’s visions via photography. During the 60s, staged photography was a rather new development within the photography medium; most photographers were taking shots on the streets. Over the next 20 years, Tress developed his trademark black and white, mythological, surreal photography. The Dream Collector collection represents Tress’ particular style while expressing “how the child’s creative imagination is constantly transforming his existence into magical symbols for unexpressed states of feeling or being.”

“The children would be asked means of acting out their visions or to suggest ways of making them into visual actualities,” Tress explains. “Often the location itself, such as an automobile graveyard or abandoned merry-go-round, would provide the possibility of dreamlike themes and spontaneous improvisation to the photographer and his subjects. In recreating these fantasies there is often a combination of actual dream, mythical archetypes, fairytale, horror movie, comic hook, and imaginative play. These inventions often reflect the child’s inner life, his hopes and fears…”

The Getty Museum recently acquired 66 of Tress’ photographs from two collections, including images from The Dream Collector. (via juxtapoz and gothamist)

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Eddy Stevens’ Magical Paintings Capture The Bond Between Woman And Horse

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In his soulful, surreal paintings, Eddy Stevens imagines a world dominated by intuition and emotion, abandoning the mundane for an ethereal landscape dominated by female sensual power. In his wondrous vision, the woman, a heroine modeled after his wife Sophie, sheds her clothes, forging a primal connection with the natural world. The horse, in his majestic equine glory, mirrors the innocent nakedness of the woman, his massive muscles rippling parallel to her bosom.

In Stevens’s evocative images, raw, exposed sexuality is a source of spiritual strength rather than shame, fueling miracles like levitation and mysterious candle lights. Here, the domestic space of the house cannot contain the divinity of woman, and its walls crumble at her feet; she, like the horse, is free to roam infinite wildness.

Stevens’s cornerstone motifs, the nude female and the white horse, are reminiscent of the work of surrealist master Salvador Dalí, whose 1946 painting The Temptation of Saint Anthony also imagined the gift of levitation. But Stevens’s impressive body of work differs in its treatment of the nude and the equine creature; where Dalí presents them as perverse and frightful temptations, both symbols of the desires of the flesh, Stevens depicts them tenderly, as embodiments of purity and strength. This vision is perhaps most fully realized in “Birth of a Dream,” a painting depicting a trinity of nudes following a horse as he ascends into the clouds above. In a stunning reversal of Dalí’s imagery, the parade is shown from the back; instead of falling to earth, they climb to the holy heavens. Take a look. (via HiFructose)

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Isabel Chiara’s Award Winning Surreal Gif Collages Blend Classic, Vintage, And Modern Imagery

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Spanish artist and illustrator Isabel Chiara creates impressive gif collages, some uncannily reminiscent of animations in the Monty Python vein. Chiara cites the great masters of painting as her influences, and that’s something you can easily identify in her gif collages. One of her gif collages, “George Clooney is Inside,” was recently awarded Best Gif Collage at The Giphoscope Award 2014. Blending popular culture, absurdity, and classical aesthetics, Chiara creates unique animations that captivate your attention by telling a story. Juxtaposing classic and vintage human figures with modern, surrealist elements undoubtedly yields humorous and enchanting results. Visit Behance to explore more of Chiara’s work. (via cross connect)

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Artist Applies Paint Solvents To Photographs To Create Eerie And Surreal Images

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There is little to be found on mixed media artist Kuinexs, who claims this name as an identity and artform. For his “Photodissolutions,” the artist applies paints solvents to photographs, creating a chemical reaction that smears and blurs the colors in the photograph. The effect is at once haunting and a bit disturbing. Some of the elements of the original photograph peek through or remain untouched backgrounds to the dissolutions, presenting a jarring juxtaposition of realism and surrealism. The subjects in Kuinexs’ images are often obscured, and only the curves of faces and bodies and flesh-tone colors exist as evidence of a subject’s presence. (via juxtapoz)

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Kate Lacour’s Anatomical Drawings Gone Wild

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James Thurber said, “Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility,” which seems to be a tactic comic artist and illustrator Kate (Ellen) Lacour has mastered in her recent drawing series Bodies, which she has only described with three words,  “body horror beauty.” The motives, inspiration, or goals behind the series have not been disclosed, yet appear to be a distinct side-project from her usual cartooning work, replacing a visually lighter style with a combination of human anatomical drawings found in textbooks. The results twist the familiar style of textbook, anatomical human renderings, creating drawings which utilize symmetry, unique and unusual body arrangements, and religious or spiritual iconography.

Symbolic poses are taken by transparent, headless bodies, such as the Lotus position, a pose with Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist relevance. Lacour (who perhaps tellingly also works as an art therapist) enhances this peaceful, evocative aesthetic by drawing lines with ink and pen but softly coloring the drawings in with food coloring. However, even with the emphasis of religious and anatomical text, the drawings evoke a humorous effect, replacing heads with comically screaming mouths and adding eyes to the Fallopian tubes of a levitating uterus. The most successful works are those which pack in detail, such as Devouring Mother (first drawing, above) where a creation myth entirely new is presented by mixing tales and traditions of the past. (via hi-fructose)

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Maja Daniels Photographs The Surreal Resemblance Of Identical Twins

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Maja Daniels, a Swedish photographer based in London, compiled the series “Monette & Mady”, a photo collection of identical twin sisters, Monette and Mady.

Daniels approached the identical twins in 2010 after years of watching them from afar in the streets of Paris. The photographer was intrigued by their way of being and coexisting with each other. Neither Mady nor Monette have married or had children, they always eat the same kind of food in identical portions, they dress the same, and they move in similar ways. If they ever go out dressed in different outfits, people stop and ask why they argue- there is no room to be different from each other.

With the beauty of the Parisian sidewalks as her backdrop,Daniels shoots photos of the twins’ interactions and eerie resemblance. Some may look at the collection as a classy lookbook, others may find that there is something quite peculiar and surreal about their ways with each other. Many will wonder about the mysterious bonds between twin siblings.

This addition of fiction makes for a dreamy atmosphere, a bit like a mirage that reflects my initial impression of them. The streets of Paris make the perfect backdrop for such ambiguity to be played out, confusing us with its references to fashion, film and art. It makes the documenting of everyday events somewhat surreal.

 

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Cari Vander Yacht Turns Vintage Photographs Into Humorous Animated Gifs

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Cari Vander Yacht animates old photographs she found in thrift stores located near her hometown in Portland, Oregon. For the Amsterdam-based art director’s side project, TGIMGIF (Thank God It’s Monday Graphic Interchange Format), she breathes humor and new life into photographs that have been abandoned. Vander Yacht says she stares at the photos until she finds herself giggling over her animation ideas; she then scans and digitally manipulates the images until they become the animation she envisions. Her only rule is that she has to use the elements already in the photograph. Of her acquisition of these old photos, Vander Yacht tells Fast Company, “At a certain point, one must justify their creepy acquisition of other people’s pasts. Either you make up stories about how you’re related to the people in the pictures or you animate them.” Vander Yacht’s website is currently down for maintenance, but you can view more of her work on Tumblr. (via fast company)

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Aliza Razell’s Mythological and Emotional Watercolored Photography

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Massachusetts-based visual artist Aliza Razell combines photography and watercolor painting in her series of self-portraits that feature splashes and spills of color. Razell uses watercolors to enhance the vitality of her photographs by evoking mythological and psychological themes.  One series, “Anesidora,” represents the Pandora’s jar narrative (the myth features a jar, not a box, as commonly believed) and another series, ikävä, is the Finnish word for missing or longing after something. Razell’s photography-watercolor combination perfectly captures the humanity and surreality of mythological events and the poetic evocations of a fleeting feeling. (via fubiz)

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