Artist Peter Madden splices tiny elements to create large collages that are a dizzying combination of imagery. Using pictures extracted from encyclopedias, National Geographic magazines, and found photographs, he arranges all of the disparate pieces to form detailed compositions. The large groups are suspended on a transparent background, as if they are capture a moment in time before everything falls apart.
Madden’s collections create different narrative by virtue of the individual elements’ pairings. Some of the things included in his collages include: exotic birds, monkeys, the letter “m,” fishes, and clocks. They are often formed into some sort of larger shape, such as the outskirts of a giant hole, as if it’s surrounding the eye of a tornado.
The use of so many different pieces and the meticulously-constructed explosion-looking compositions feel as though we’re looking at windy, inclement weather that’s strong enough to make these pieces whip through the air. (via Inkult)
Tyler Spangler’s digital collages rehash old portraits to uncanny effect. He mixes faces like batter or melts them like wax. Of course this would be much more gruesome were it not for the joyful neon colours he employs. His artwork has the distinct aesthetic of the internet age. Wild patterns and powerful colours are overload for the eye, providing a high level of stimulation pretty much required, now, to incite a strong reaction in the viewer.
In some cases, the overabundance of pattern and colour has the viewer process less, or otherwise require us to take much more time to do it. When there is so much to take in, the options are either to skim over it, or take much more time to engage with it. Spangler has a great range of intensity. Some of his works have 5 or less elements, where other have 20 or more different textures.
Spangler works digitally, and creates all of his graphics himself. Whereas in aesthetic the works can be called collage, he uses a minimum of recycled imagery. In this way, Spangler is more like a painter than a collage artist, creating his own imagined imagery. He is a digital painter easily able manipulate familiar imagery. (Via Hi Fructose)
Given the prevalence of new technologies and the endless possibilities associated with digital programs, it is no surprise that most contemporary artists working in collage seldom create works entirely by hand. To Argentinian artist Larissa Haily Aguado, however, fabricating collages manually has become an integral aspect of her practice, as “the possibilities of fixed manual collage in the digital age provide exciting opportunities to engage with craft, materials, analysis and outcomes.”
With mesmerizing compositions, dream-like subject matter, and a “sharper, more immediate, and more human dynamic than is possible with computer software,” Aguado’s collages combine photographs, illustration, found materials, and elements of graphic design to form surreal yet seamlessly cohesive scenes. By attaching inanimate objects to human bodies or placing retro furniture in scenes of nature, Aguado creates works that are both tongue-in-cheek and aesthetically appealing.
Representative of her wide range of artistic experiences and clearly influenced by her multi-faceted career (including major music industry projects, fashion campaigns, movie poster designs, and TV commercials), the diverse nature of her collages undoubtedly conveys her inventive imagination and eye for design.
Illustrator Eugenia Loli assembles interstellar collages that are truly out of this world. A terrestrial globetrotter, Loli has lived in Greece, the UK, and the United States; her career has also spanned everything from computer programmer to nurse to filmmaker. Likewise, she seems to utilize disparate jigsaw pieces in her art and assembles them in ways that form a flawless whole.
The execution is truly flawless: whether it’s a woman driving into a galactic sunset or a jewel-encrusted roast beef dinner, Loli’s collages are transformative and transport the viewer into another universe. There’s also a vintage quality to the images, freezing them in time and space. In her artist’s statement, she says:
“Her collages, with the help of the title, often include a teasing, visual narrative, as if they’re a still frame of a surreal movie. The viewers are invited to make up the movie’s plot in their mind.”
There does indeed seem to be a sort of in media res quality to her illustrations, though it would seem that they would be just as inexplicable and magical even if the viewer had some inkling of how it all began. (via This Is Colossal)
In 1995, artist Bryan Lewis Saunders decided to create a unique self-portrait every day for the rest of his life. In 2001 he committed to taking a different drug or intoxicant every day before making his daily portrait, calling this sub-series “Under the Influence.” From absinthe and cocaine to cough syrup and computer duster he sniffed, swallowed and smoked his way through interesting art and into mild, but reversible, brain damage.
Though these are only a small fraction of the collection of over 8,600 self-portraits, they have received the most attention, resurfacing in the media over and over throughout the years. Saunders has mixed feelings about this, telling Fast Company:
“To be honest I’m not proud to be on any drugs in any pictures. I think drugs make me look really ugly. And I’m really a six trick pony, but the world only likes one of my tricks. Each year 500,000 kids around the world discover drugs and so the virus never dies.”
The portraits themselves are fascinating. Is it possible that one day of a psychotropic medicine would have such a clear effect? Are some of these images influenced by Saunders perception of the drug, and not the actual effect of the drug itself? Does it even matter?
“For hundreds of years, artists have been putting themselves into representations of the world around them. I am doing the exact opposite. I put the world around me into representations of myself as I find this more true to my Central Nervous System.”
This is art, not a science experiment. If the idea of the drugs has more of an effect on the art than the drugs themselves, that’s Saunders’ artistic prerogative. The work is provocative and often more than a little bit haunting. The brain spilling Saunders on Abilify and the dark, isolated, limbless Saunders on Nitrous Oxide/Valium represent disturbing and disturbed states of mind. Though he no longer takes drugs in the pursuit of art, the self-portrait series continues, and continues to fascinate.
To promote a new line of recycled paper, the creative ad-agency Soon made these fantastic sculptures of bugs. The bugs are inventive in form and colour, but are still recognizable as beetles, bees, dragonflies, and other species of insect. The wings are meticulously cut out to imitate the texture of real wings, but without the thin film that would allow them to fly. The sculptures really are all about texture. One that looks like it could be a fly has the texture of a fly’s eyes over the entirety of its body, and feelers that look like the filter-feeding system of a baleen whale.
It’s funny to see the “making of” video, because the bugs are as large as their creators’ hands. It’s entertaining to see the process of making the bugs. The video shows everyone at the agency sorting the papers by colour (even enlisting their children to help them), cutting the paper into different shapes or folding it like origami, and gluing it to create rather sturdy looking sculptures. It’s totally enjoyable to see such a collaborative effort to successful effect.
Soon also created flowers and other plants as a sort of habitat for the bugs. Using the habitat, they made a short film of the bugs flying around it, that is equal parts playful and funny. (Via Bizarre Beyond Belief)
Swiss artist Edgar Romanovskis uses simple digital editing techniques to portray the illusion of infinity within his outdoor portraiture. Starting with a hand-made frame, he photographs an outdoor scene either holding or setting the frame in it, then manipulates the image in Photoshop to mirror the frame endlessly, forming a geometric gateway that sinks into oblivion. The results are captivating.
Much of his previous work involves landscape photography, with heavy use of photo manipulation to pull at the tones and contrast, achieving the fullest impact with the image, and creating a nearly other-worldly look. In comparison to that type of work, this series, titled “Concept of Infinity,” has a beautifully muted and nearly fine art quality to it. The tones are even, and although the patterns are simple there is a nearly entrancing quality to them. This is a simple way to turn a beautiful landscape photograph into something that appears to fall into another dimension.
Pop culture and classic, fine art mashups aren’t anything new, but they nevertheless provided an interesting juxtaposition between the visual culture of then and now. Philippines-based multimedia producer Eisen Bernardo has created a series that places the covers of contemporary magazines like Vogue, Rolling Stone, and Vanity Fair. It’s appropriately titled Mag+Art.
Bernardo told Buzzfeed that he began the project because he felt that magazine covers were inspired by classical paintings. This is his way of comparing the aesthetics of the long ago as well as the present. What kind of clothing, hairstyles, poses, etc. are popular now? How has beauty changed or stayed the same. He poses the question, “Do we still see a naked woman as an object of art/beauty? Can the celebrities and models on magazine cover be considered as muses of the contemporary masters?” And, he hopes that these covers can be considered classic art. (Via The Huffington Post and Buzzfeed)