Unbelievably, the stunning and incredibly realistic works of artist Robin Eley are not photographs, but meticulously created paintings! The artist uses oil paint to render hyper-real portraits with fragmented hues and picturesque, nude figures. Each figure looks so photorealistic, it is hard to believe that it is a painting. Every last element is executed perfectly, as you can even see every detail in the tattoos on the figures. As if painting realistic nudes with this high level of skill was not impressive enough, Eley displays his figures through fractals of color, as if they are behind stained glass. The geometric shapes cutting through the composition offer us a stark juxtaposition to the organic, soft bodies that are behind them. This sharp pattern dissects the human body into segments so that we may see it in a different light.
Eley not only paints his figures behind brightly colored, intersecting shapes, but also wrapped in materials like plastic. This highly textural element also gives an interesting contrast to the bare skin of the figures. The crinkles and creases in the plastic create a sort of fractured impression, just like Eley’s pieces with the “stained glass.” Originally from Australia, this L.A-based artist has had his work exhibited internationally and also has work in private collections all over the world. If you have the chance to see Eley’s prolific work in person, make sure to take advantage of it and experience every tiny detail of these hyper-real paintings.
Jeremy Floto and Cassandra Warner of New York-based photography studio Floto+Warner have created a fascinating series of photographs of colored liquids thrown into open landscapes. Titled “Colourant,” the series emerges out of the artists’ ongoing interest in vast environments, as well as the relationships between place, figure, and form. The images feature colored, environmentally-friendly water mixtures floating in the air like alien clouds or frozen waves. There is a palpable tension between motion and stillness, created by the clash between the rapid event and the peaceful backdrop of the Nevada desert. Incredibly, no Photoshop was used in the creation of this series. In a statement provided to Beautiful/Decay, Floto and Warner shared their method:
“We shoot with a high-speed shutter to freeze the action of the throw. Typically, our shutter was around 3200th of a second. Each photograph is set in the open landscape. We don’t stick to the rules of traditional landscape photography in this series. We choose instead to shoot under the harsh midday sun to amplify the adverse feeling of the scene. We use hard lighting and prefer atmospheric space to allow the sculptures space to breathe. For the preparation, we mix a small amount of non-toxic color by hand with a gallon of water and then literally throw it into the air.”
With their bright colors and dramatic forms, the “Colourant” images do an excellent job seizing our curiosity and attention. Floto and Warner call them “floating sculptural events,” or “short-lived anomalies that pass you by at an imperceptible flash.” Not only do they visually defy categories of “liquid” and “solid” matter, but they trouble the line between transience and eternity; captured by the camera, the airborne splashes seem as though they could exist forever, embedded in the landscape. “Colourant” also unveils our perceptual limitations, as such chaotic and beautiful forms cannot be seen without the intervention of technology; just as we cannot fully perceive the fleeting details of waves crashing onto the shore, Floto+Warner’s series remind us that there is more to nature and reality than meets the eye.
As exploratory images, “Colourant” will likely foster a variety of inspiring (and potentially conflicting) interpretations. When asked about how they viewed the series, Floto and Warner explained:
“We see this series as representing a clash between man and nature, [as] giant blobs taking over and obstructing the landscape. That said, we also feel they are quite ambiguous and let people enjoy them as if looking at clouds. Typically, when people see them, they react with a moment of joy, elation, or wonder (which we are happy with), but then there are a lot of people that see the stain. We love the duality of the image.”
Check out Floto+Warner’s website to see more of their works, including “Fume” (2009), the thematic precursor to “Colourant.” Be sure to follow their work and see what creative explorations of various landscapes they dream up next. (Via Honestly WTF)
Mike Frederiqo is a 23-year-old Dutch illustrator with a healthy dose of talent and humor. You may have seen his other works circulating the internet, including his combinations of BAPE’s fashion logo with Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans, or his images of Sponge Bob as Coco Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld, Terry Richardson, and more. In his more recent series, he has taken his illustrative interpretations of the fashion world a bit further, utilizing the bodies and faces of high fashion icons and their collaborators to recreate famous logos. Among the images you’ll see Lagerfeld and choice model Cara Delevingne completing exaggerated backbends with elongated arms and legs to form Coco Chanel’s interlocking Cs; elsewhere, editor-in-chief Anna Wintour twists into the name “Vogue” (while holding what appears to be a Starbucks coffee). In an interview with Life and Times, Frederiqo explained his inspiration for the series:
“You see so many illustrators taking those famous logos and making fun of them — almost in a negative way. So, I wanted to do something in a positive way with the logos that were recognizable. And what is more recognizable than the Coco Chanel logo?” (Source)
Based in good humor and playfulness, Frederiqo’s stylish logo recreations have a way of grabbing our attention and making us laugh. Logos are a vital part of a brand’s identity, representing their international, high-ranking status and presence. Frederiqo’s illustrations remind us of the real human beings behind these labels; we recognize the logos (and the significance of their names in the fashion world), but when given faces, they become lighthearted, tangible, and funny. Frederiqo’s works poke fun while also nodding in homage.
With the precision of an expert glass cutter Myriam Dion snips into the front pages of newspapers to produce an alternative look into current events. Her sharp tools create striking portals of light flickering through pieces of paper which have been crafted to produce a stained glass window or lacey embroidered effect. The dizzying number of cuts are similar to the marks a painter uses to create canvas.The negative space created from Dion’s labor enhances the grainy newsprint which turns more impressive when the paper’s color photographs are used. These resemble light and airy woodblock prints giving it an arts and crafts sensibility.
Dion has made several installations including a project which covered the windows of a government building in Montreal. It referenced the slatted arches seen in gothic style architecture commonly used in old churches each page filling the space with expertly cut and designed sheets. In another a waterfall effect of color newsprint photographs set in a line razored to resemble punctured curtains become a more conceptually minded piece when the paper’s residue is left behind.
Dion is a Canadian artist currently attending the University of Quebec. She first began creating this unusual work in an attempt to reinterpret the state of print journalism. (via honestlywtf)
Artist Alex Garant paints dizzying works of women that have multiple eyes and are seen in double vision. The traditionally-styled oil paintings are a unique take on the standard portrait, as they combine optical-illusions, realistic renderings, and repeat patterns. This offers a graphic element to her compositions where the background and foregrounds fuse to flatten the entire thing.
Garant finds inspiration in early ink printing, vintage pop surrealism, baroque tapestries, and retro kitsch. So, it’s no surprise that we see these patterns edging on and covering the faces of these subjects.
According to the artist’s website, she uses “patterns, duplication of elements, symmetry and image superposition as a way to engage the viewer into her imagery.” The standard, front-facing portraits are made unique with offset facial features and a clash of visual cultures throughout time. (Via L’ACTE GRATUIT)
The ceramics of Jess Riva Cooper are gross, majestic, fragile and poetic. Her Viral Series is a collection of clay heads bursting with groups of insects, tree roots, branches, leaves, flowers, stems and buds. Mostly white with a heavy glaze, Cooper subtly decorates areas of her sculptures and adds accented color. The pieces show a beautiful understanding of the circle of life, or rather how things are destroyed and created simultaneously. Cooper talks about how something seen as destructive and parasitic is no different from the form it is overtaking. She treats all areas of life as equal, and each creepy crawly is as beautiful as a lotus flower.
My work, Viral Series, is a continued exploration into the death and regeneration taking place in deteriorating communities. Places and things, once bustling and animated, have succumbed to nature’s mercy. Without intervention, nature takes over and breathes new life into objects, as it does in my sculptures. (Source)
Cooper has researched heavily into different cultures and how this same idea is treated. In most eastern philosophies, the idea that birth and death are part of the same spectrum rings true. She takes that idea further and looks a bit deeper into one culture in particular:
I also study the foundation myths of the Golem and Dybbuk spirits in Yiddish folklore and reinterpret these traditional stories through a female lens. I see a direct parallel between my interest in insidious plant life and a malevolent Dybbuk spirit, which takes over the human body. In both situations a loss of control is suffered as the parasitic entity subsumes the host. (Source)
Cooper’s ceramics remind us that even though things of beauty are there to be admired and celebrated, it is also a fine thing when those things are disrupted and replaced by other things.
The detailed paintings of Shawn Huckins portray common, day-to-day imagery while flawlessly integrating it into what seems to be miniature paint swatches. Although you may think that the artist paints directly on tiny paint cards used as color samples at hardware stores, but they aren’t actually small at all. In fact, these are not real paint cards, they are fairly large paintings that, thanks to Huckins’ finely crafted skill, are made to replicate exactly the different hues and segments of a paint card. If this was not impressive enough, the realistic imagery included in this series titled The Paint Chip Series, seem to fit perfectly into their settings. He creates a breathtaking mountain range on top of ”Cool Jazz” blue, and a “Pacific Sea Teal” has a pool splash erupting from its color patch. However, not all of Huckins’ imagery perfectly matches their chosen color. Many of the swatches have an unexpected twist, as his “Spring Moss” yellow has a car melting and sinking into the rich tone.
Huckins’ work is inspired by the beauty in the everyday, along with influential artists like Ed Ruscha and Andy Warhol. His work explores common imagery, like people sitting in chairs and an employee pushing a shopping cart, and their role in our lives. Even the paint cards are familiar objects that one might find in any home improvement store. Huckins explains these universal commonalities as a way to connect to our everyday surroundings and explore their meanings.
Mimicking the exact proportions, font, layout, and hues of miniature paint cards found at a nation-wide home improvement store, bands of color we may choose for our most intimate spaces—bedrooms, kitchens, family rooms—are an ideal stage to examine the everyday people and objects that occupy our world.
Julien Salaud is a French artist who creates incredible thread drawings that light up like constellations under ultraviolet light. His otherworldly installations feel larger than life and look like futuristic cave paintings, brimming with both raw primitive energy as well as evoking the sense of some neon-splattered future.
His latest series of installations, called Stellar Cave, brings to life a mythology of their own. Their pantheon includes scenes from the natural world: birds of prey caught in mid-flight, deer-like creatures, and even a human figure who seems draped in the regalia of some minor forest god.
“There are different kinds of beauty. I suppose the one I am interested in is like a fruit: I am not following a logical analysis, and I am not trying to have some concept. I am rather into contemplation, which implies taking some time.”
Observing Salaud’s work from the darkness enables viewers to reflect and contemplate the world as we know it from a different point of view — one that seems almost extraterrestrial. (via This Is Colossal)