Printed cards illustrating French Revolution scenes. These and another 14,000 illustrations were made available on the French Revolution Digital Archive thanks to the collaboration between Stanford University and the French National Library (Bibliothèque Nationale de France). It’s a mix of caricatures of revolutionary vilains and heroes, key symbols such as the ‘guillotine’ and documents as serious as parliamentary deliberations.
It took several years to bring together the multitude of documents which are now grouped at the French Revolution Digital Archive. It’s been divided into two categories: Parliamentary Archives and French Revolution images dating from 1789.
The data is easily searchable by either random intellectuals or passionate historian. The documents browsed on the site take the form of prints, medals, coins and other elements.
When they don’t represent guillotines instruments or costumes of the time in total seriousness, the illustrations as colorful and amusing. In one of the cards for instance, the people of France, the ‘enemy’ are depicted as a multi-headed beast attacking the aristocracy and the battalion. White, blue and red, tones of the French flag, are mainly used to color the hand drawn cards. A constant reminder, despite the satirical drawings, of the omnipresence and importance of French patriotism at that time.
Roger Deckker is an amazing photographer. From landscape to fashion, his work is so rad! With the majority of his fashion photography in black and white or low color saturation, the emotional strength of the image is on point. His photo editing is very fun and creative, which he uses to depict more of a classic 70s style to his images. Check it out!
Moroccan painter Zakaria Ramhani creates large-scale portraits using Arabic calligraphy as a medium to convey form. Ramhani uses the beautiful painterly forms of Islamic calligraphy to depict and further expound and question political issues, Muslim identity, Islamic piety, text and image in the Muslim culture, amongst other things. Through his technique, the artist defies and contradicts the religious taboo on figuration, which is, to say the least, a very scandalous thing to do. These works are part of a collection called May Allah Forgive you, a name derived from childhood memories of his father, a landscape painter, trying to avoid working on commissioned portraits of the human figure for religious reasons. His father would explain to Zakaria that ‘only god will forgive’ him for the sins he committed whilst painting the commissioned portraits.
Ramhani’s earlier work, precisely a piece called You Were my Only Love (2012), incited much controversy, as the work questioned religious tradition and the prevalent coercion at hand during the last couple of years in Egypt and the Middle East. The piece was banned from last year’s Art Dubai.
Zakaria’s first U.S. exhibition opened November 6th, at the Julie Meneret Contemporary Art (JMCA), a new gallery on the Lower East Side in NYC.
I am an avid admirer of Allison Healy‘s illustrations. She is an illustrator based out of Boston, Mass. Her work strikes me as the colors are rich and vibrant possibly implying digital coloring but I know for a fact she uses watercolor and only watercolor. I find this refreshing in the mass digital illustration age. Check more of her intricate works out after the jump.
Michelle Kingdom uses thread like paint in her highly expressive embroidery of peculiar situations. Her dense embroidery builds up layers of colors and textures, using each stitch to create intricate compositions. Although small in scale, each composition seems to hold endless mystery as it illustrates captivating narratives that are somewhat dreamlike in nature. The artist embraces the use of the thread as a line, as she often connecting the figures included her in work. It is amazing how Michelle Kingdom uses a simple thread to create shadow and depth in her incredibly detailed artwork.
Michelle Kingdom’s surreal work expresses truth and illusion, feelings of expectation and loss. They are small in scale but contain a large amount of emotion and depth. Each of her pieces depicts quirky, ominous scenes full of fun and color. However, we can feel a palpable sense of uncertainty as we are left questioning what exactly happening to the subjects. Her work portrays both beauty and Michelle Kingdom explains further her impressive body of work.
“My work explores psychological landscapes, illuminating thoughts left unspoken. I create tiny worlds in thread to capture elusive yet persistent inner voices. Literary snippets, memories, personal mythologies, and art historical references inform the imagery; fused together, these influences explore relationships, domesticity and self-perception.”
Who Killed Biggie Smalls?, mixed media on masonite, 2003
Pennsylvania-based illustrator Jim Horwat has an affinity for pop culture. His works frequently reference popular narratives, like the mystery of Notorious BIG’s death, and the plots of various movies, especially well known horror flicks. His strongest pieces are the ones that try to explain as much of the story as possible in one big frame, creating a pastiche of images not unlike some of Will Eisner‘s sequential artworks.
Through an intensive process, Shannon Finley applies numerous, translucent layers of acrylic paint and industrial polymers onto canvas with specially designed palette knives. The results offer prism-like surfaces whose subtle nuances chronicle the build up of the material itself. This process draws from the history of geometric abstraction in painting as much as the reductive language of early computer graphics. But Finely eschews any simple opposition between the hand and the pixel, exploring instead the optics of the picture plane while constantly emphasizing the limits of the edge, which provide an unexpected archive of his painterly layers. Ultimately, these compositions remain suspended between the immaterial and the concrete, and are best apprehended as passageways into indeterminate spaces. In this, Finley invokes traces of sacred geometries and religious architecture within a technocratic context, but only as an alternate mode for engaging the unseen. (via)
Katie Scott is an illustrator and printmaker from England. Her works are equal parts 19th century science illustration and tarot card mysticism. Once you look at them long enough, all plants, and living organisms in general, start looking like inspired sculptures. Check out everything on her website, then go to the park and look at the plants!