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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Czlowiek Kamera’s Surreal Photography Manipulations

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Czlowiek Kamera is not this photographer’s real name. In Russian the name means “human-cam” or “cam-man,” and was sourced from Vertov’s “Man with a Movie Camera.” This human-mechanical fusion can be identified throughout Kamera’s compositions, at least in the way he fuses his human subjects with the camera’s manipulation of them. His photographs are surreal and mystical, and remind me a bit of Kyle Thompson’s aesthetic. Kamera specializes in recording live music performances, including artists Sigur Rós and Fever Ray. Check out his Flickr for more photos.

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Drawings Of Hybridized Worlds On Layered Mylar

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In his latest series of drawings, Anthony Coicolea poetically engages with the term “pathetic fallacy” or our own egocentric inclination to prescribe human characteristics or qualities to all living things. His imagery, done beautifully with simple graphite on layered mylar, allows worlds to overflow with new pattens of transcendence despite an archaic old world order.

Of this series, the artist statement suggests, “In a new hybridized world of man and nature, nothing is permanent and nothing is safe. Humans, plants and animals have cross-pollinated; they have merged, evolved and adopted different features from each other. Objects acquire pathos and empathy while the decomposition of material things reflects the world in flux.

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Surrealistic Colored Pencil Drawings Inspired By Herbalists And Healers

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Marco Mazzoni’s work softly drips with an exquisite ease of darkness. From blooming faces where birds gather to a rabbit draining with butterfly wings, each image surrealistically depicts folklore infused with spiritual healing properties that twist and twirl with our own imaginative connections to nature.

To elaborate, Jonathan Levine Gallery notes, “Mazzoni’s imagery references herbalist traditions and Sardinian folklore of mystical seductresses who enchant, curse and cure. His body of work is a tribute to the legacy of female healers throughout history. These women held an important role in medieval communities yet their ancient knowledge of the natural healing properties of medicinal plants was widely feared by the Church, viewed as witchcraft and cause for persecution.” 

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The Absurd Realism Of Gerardo Feldstein

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Argentinian artist Gerardo Feldstein and his absurd sur/realist sculptures recontextualize the way we think about space and the body’s movement within that space. Some of his work features anthropomorphized figures, an exaggerated body part (arms, legs, heart), or he places his sculpted figures into a landscape or susceptible position. His figures encompass a narrative of power and humor, and the role that our perspective plays in relation to these concepts. Some of his mixed media sculptures emit a vulnerability that, though expressed through this absurd medium, feels relatable and almost empathetic.

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The Darkly Surreal Photographs Of Kyle Thompson

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Kyle Thompson is the artist behind these haunting photographs.  His image are darkly surreal, seemingly caught in the middle of a or sinister or tragic situation.  An autumnal palette adds a slight chill to each scene.  What may be most surprising about the work, though, is its creator.  Thompson’s biography states that he’s only been photographing work since he was 19 years old – the young photographer is now only 21!  Further, Thompson is a self-taught artist with no formal training.

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The Dreamy Sculptures of MyeongBeom Kim

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The sculptures and installations of MyeongBeom Kim are very dreamlike – it makes just enough sense to prevent you questioning it.  Objects transform into other objects, other inexplicably float, and yet others are designed to be entirely useless.  Yet, somehow, it all seems right.  Also like dreams, Kim’s work is playful but not without out a latent sense of anxiety.  A noose, a crutch, an axe suggest a possible dark turn toward realized fears, a nightmare.

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The Gracefully Surreal Photography of Noell Oszvald

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Young Hungarian photographer Noell Oszvald creates elegantly surreal images.  Her black and white photographs resemble mid-century fashion photography as much as it does the work of her surrealist influences.  Severe contrasts between light and dark create graceful lines and a definite composition for each piece.  In this way each image is intriguing, not only for its dreamy content but also because they are simply pleasing to look at.  Perhaps what is most surprising, though, is the fact Oszvald’s relationship with the camera is relatively new.  Only twenty-two years old Oszvald has only been using the medium for a little over a year. [via]

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