Kouhei Nakama’s Mystical Short Film Features Vibrantly Mutating Human Flesh

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Art director Kouhei Nakama has created a computer generated short film that explores the possibilities of a 21st century human chameleon. Within her film titled Diffusion, she portrays a female figure as a generative canvas to investigate the potentiality of human flesh. Using a system that simulates biological processes through mathematical testing, she is able to imitate texturized skin based on patterns and textures that occur in nature. The film begins with what most closely resembles, perhaps, a white and red version of the shapeshifting capabilities of Mystique from X-Men, and transitions into a soft poetic display of a humanoid light show. Through vibrant alterations of rainbow colors and body motions displayed with toned muscles, the film provokes thoughts of almost futuristic yogi sentiments of human aura and energy field displays. The film comes to it’s climax with sculptures of human bodies that seem to be either virtual or somehow physically interconnected as hands appear to have the ability to travel through bodies. The constant shift of color and pattern and eventual bloating and deformation of the figures allow the piece to end on a dramatic, yet satisfying note. Simultaneously alien, human and robotic, Nakama’s display of futuristic metamorphosis is both disturbing and undoubtedly magical. Kouhei Nakama’s short film holds its own as a  mystifying and captivating piece of work; however, it’s true allure lies in it’s ability to display the vast ability (and even further potential) of what CGI programs can accomplish. (via The Creators Project)

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Donna Pinckley’s Photos Of Interracial Couples And The Negative Things That People Say To Them

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A black and white photograph of a couple expressing nothing but tenderness and love. Donna Pinckley captures interracial couple posing naturally in front of their homes. Nothing should be perceived as wrong in these pictures, yet some people are not only condemning these individuals’ relationships but they are throwing hateful words at them. These can be read below the photographs, “as a reminder of how part of society sees them”.

After taking photographs of young children growing up through life, becoming adults and posing with their spouses, Donna Pinckley encountered a recurrent situation where women got to reveal the loathing comments they were facing because of their partner’s race. Her reaction to these women’s confidence has been artistic. She began to photograph interracial couples and depict their resilience and refusal to let others define them.

The couple are of all ages, and they represent any individuals in any country at any given time. This cold harsh reality is however counterbalanced by the message of hope these couples are giving us, via the mean of photography and the presence of Donna Pinckley behind it. A singular and effective way to spread a notion of tolerance and acceptance.  Despite the words, the looks and the attitude towards those relationships, the love and trust created by these couples is bursting and undeniable.

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Ed Fairburn Draws Delicately Detailed Portraits On Vintage Maps And Star Charts

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Artist Ed Fairburn is using maps and star charts as a base to draw detailed portraits. Inlaid in the weave of the roads, signs and lines, the faces appear textured and emotional.

Ed Fairburn draws dashes or fills up a specific area on the map. Playing with the existing colors symbolizing lands, water or housings. It takes him a couple of days to a month to complete a drawing. The artist draws on vintage road maps looking forward to discovering uncommon names or places he once visited in the past. The star charts drawings confer a different atmosphere, a poetic mood to the faces trapped in the constellation. He chooses his ‘canvas’ himself. The patterns and orientations are key for him to start drawing. In terms of details, lines, names printed on the maps; the more cluttered, the better outcome. 

The more contrast exists between the lines, shapes and shadows on the portraits, the more depth it creates on the overall drawing. Not two inches are ever the same, and yet the accumulation of dashes and small lines create a pattern inherent to a part of the face. For either the road or star maps; the association of a land, a space with a human face resonates with evasion and travel. The possibility for the viewer to escape from reality and dive into a foreign land, a dream destination. ( via Booooooom)

Ed Fariburn’s drawings will be displayed at the Mike Wright Gallery in Denver, Colorado until December 19th 2015.

Earth Magic: Rik Garrett’s Spectral Photography Of Nature, Femininity, And Witchcraft

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Rik Garrett is a photographer who uses alternative and outmoded techniques to infuse his images with symbolism and dark surrealism. We featured Symbiosis in 2013, a series wherein Garrett applied paint to images of coupling nude figures in order to make them resemble a single, intimate unit. Last year he published Earth Magic, a book of images that depict nude women stalking through shadowy forests, engaged in strange and arcane ceremonies. The highly detailed yet slightly deteriorated look was created through Garrett’s use of the wet plate collodion process, a photographic method introduced in the early 1850s.

According to the project statement, Earth Magic seeks to explore “historical and personal relationships between witchcraft, femininity, and nature” (Source). Channeling the legends and embedded superstitions about the feminine occult—the woman in tune with wild, decentralized, and hidden powers—Garrett’s images are haunting and empowering. He meshes bodies and woods together in unsettling contrasts of soft skin and jagged, dead trees. The black and white tones resemble moonlight, conveying the hours of witches and ritual. With their faces blurred and eyes shadowed, the women resemble beings crossing over from the other side—part human, part goddess, part ghost.

The book Earth Magic can be purchased from Fulgur Esoterica. Visit Garrett’s website, Facebook page, and Instagram to learn more. Prints are also available via his online shop.

Patricia Piccinini’s Disturbing Sculptures Of Plant-Animal-Human Hybrids

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Australia based artist Patricia Piccinini creates disturbing yet enticing human-animal-plant hybrids. Her work probes your brain in a very uncomfortable way, forcing you to come to terms with the potentiality of a sci-fi engineer’s fantasy come alive. Her work spans various media, however her silicone, fiberglass, and human hair sculptures seem to take the cake of most striking. These alien plants and what may resemble sea creatures made from human flesh are not exactly easy to digest — yet,  they are unquestionably inventive and just as hard to look away from as they are to look at. She begins her process by drawing through her thoughts. Once her idea becomes developed thoroughly, she plays with material. Her ideas manifest themselves through media spanning anywhere from photography to drawing to sculpture. She is able to develop a project anyway in which she believes will best connect the viewer and the concept. Her sculptures range in process — she uses both traditional approaches such as hand sculpting using plasticine models as well as digital techniques such as CNC and 3D-printing. Through provoking thoughts of genetic mutation and the potential of biotechnology, each piece questions the boundary of possibility and perhaps aims to be the foresight to the alarming possibilities of the future.

Patricia Piccinini has been active in the art scene for more than two decades. In 2014, she won the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Melbourne Art Foundation. (via Illusion)

José Manuel Castro López’s Soft Sculptures Made Of Stone Will Play Tricks On Your Eyes

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Spanish artist José Manuel Castro López seems to have the ability to transform the structural properties of rocks. He manipulates the surface of stone to create a new formation. He turns a classic object of solid nature into something strange, malleable and soft. His work, for just a moment, forces the viewer to question reality. For what should be “as hard as a rock” becomes reminiscent of having a materiality as flexible as dough. With loose folds, simple cut outs and pinches, it seems the artist is able to sculpt rocks as if they are as supple as clay. Each piece has a certain sense of humor to it, as it is an optical illusion that kind of asks the viewer to reflect upon his or her own common sense. Yet, simultaneous to its comical, light hearted absurdity, the work also has an almost unusual, uncomfortable resemblance to flesh, giving the work a darker, more complex facet. With these flesh like objects — quite literally for some of them, as they depict faces — the properties of what seems like skin begin to become distorted, perhaps depicting the moments directly after pain has been inflicted. For example, his sculpture of what looks like a ring puncturing skin. Or, the sculpture of what looks like the result of flesh that has been stretched through it’s ability to be elastic. With a large array of pieces, José Manuel Castro López creates clever work that truly plays tricks on your eyes. (via deMilked)

Hula Brings Awareness To Climate Change By Painting Human Figures On Melting Icebergs

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Sean Yoro (aka, Hula) is a globetrotting artist known for his tranquil murals that merge human figures with urban and natural environments. In a new project called A’o ‘Ana (The Warning), Hula traveled north, to an area with icebergs that had broken off a glacier nearby (for legal reasons, the exact location must remain undisclosed). There, using the icebergs as a canvas and the sea as a frame, he painted serene portraits. In the following statement, Hula describes his experience:

“In the short time I was there, I witnessed the extreme melting rate first hand as the sound of ice cracking was a constant background noise while painting. Within a few weeks these murals will be forever gone.” (Source)

Hula’s project is one of ephemerality, both beautiful and disturbing; the paintings, much like the state of the “frozen” north, will one day vanish into the rising sea. As he describes in a statement to The Creators Project, he doesn’t simply wish to forewarn of impending disaster, but rather shed light and urgency on the fact that people are already being affected by climate change (Source).

Learn more about Hula’s work on his website, and check out an article posted earlier this month on his water paintings. (Via The Creators Project)

A Series Of Distorted And Realistic Portraits That Appear Confusing And Uncanny At First Glance

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In Lee Griggs’ pictures, each face has a different shape yet the same human features. The Madrid-based artist is playing with distorted skin and exaggerated stretches by using 3D scans. He is a digital sculptor not afraid to shock. The renderings appear bizarre yet close to reality and open the door to multiple interrogations. 

The artist creates his faces by using Arnold for Maya, a program allowing subjects to be twisted and contorted digitally. In his series ‘Deformations’ he uses Maya to deform and Arnold to apply shade and light. The purpose of Lee Griggs is only empirical. Never knowing where his experiments on his software will lead him; he keeps on adjusting, erasing and reapplying the tools on the portraits indefinitely. 

The final result is intriguing, the features of the faces are kept as close to reality as possible. The wrinkles, eyebrows, expression of the eyes and the skin tone remain intact. But the character’s expressions are dead serious. The duality between the exaggeration of the faces’ shapes and the stern looks demonstrate the artist’s will to communicate irony and to question the meaning of norms. By creating realistic looking anamorphic portraits Lee Griggs creates a space for introspection. (via Sweet Station)