Kazuhiro Tsuji creates hyperrealist large portraits of celebrities, artists and presidents. His career in Hollywood as a special effect make-up artist has taught him how to transpose fictional features on human faces. He is now entering the art world and leaving his imagination to guide his creations.
The sculptures are 8 times larger than a human head. Made out of resin and platinum silicone, they offer close to real details; such as pores, lashes, hair and wrinkles. Andy Warhol, Frida Kahlo, Salvador Dali, Dick Smith and Abraham Lincoln appear as if they were going to start moving. When looking at the faces, we cannot consider that the celebrity represented could have existed differently.
The sculptures have an underlying process and are not just depicting a person. Kazuhiro Tsuji manipulates the feeling of empathy. He uses the neutral expression of his characters to entice the viewer and connect with his curiosity; wanting to create a dialogue between the public and the sculpture. According to him, different sets of mood can hide behind a poised look. The sculptures have the ability to invite us to go behind the mask. A step the artist is urging us to take. (Via Illusion Scene 360)
Crystal Wagner‘s immersive installations are attractively textured, instantly eye catching, elegantly dramatic, and undeniably wonderful. She carefully arranges pieces of paper bought from office stores into organic explosions of florescent color. She invites visitors to walk through and navigate her neon universe of oceanic waves, throbbing bubbles, and swollen mountains.
Wagner’s work is not only aesthetically organic, bu so is the very nature of her process. She talks about how each complex piece is created:
Each installation, and each drawing is a different conversation I am having. The gesture is the introduction, the first impression, and everything else tumbles out. (Source)
Wagner uses her time spent in the many National Parks of America as a lot of her inspiration. Aspects of Yellowstone and Joshua Tree National Parks find their way into her work. The scale of her installations do make you feel as if you are standing in front of a gigantic cliff – dwarfed and in awe. But she is also a child of the modern world, living in an urban jungle, and is very familiar with plastics, paper, and concrete. Wagner explains the importance of this dichotomy in her work:
My latest installation titled Urban Kudzu explores ideas related to people and their disconnection from the natural world… In my own experience with the world, I have a deep rooted understanding of what the plastic feels like, of what man made materials and spaces feel like, and tend to perceive the natural world through a very exotic lens. (Source)
Her work reminds us that although nature is wonderfully powerful and can annihilate anything at any given time, the modern world can also be just as destructive. In both situations we are reminded of our smallness and how easily we can loose control of that around us. (Via Sweet Station)
Berta Fischer is a Berlin-based artist. Her sculptures and installations feel as though they’re sophisticated set decorations for a play that takes place under the sea. Her colorful sculptures interact with their surrounding architecture, transforming a space into an otherworldly local.
Despite the use of materials that are mainly synthetic, such as PVC and acrylic glass, Fischer’s works maintain an organic quality. This dialogue between the natural and the artificial generates an appearance that has a fragility and a tension to it. Drawing a viewer’s attention the effects seem to be alive or moving.
Mitra Fabian lives and works in Los Angeles. Like Fischer, she is also interested in transforming atypical materials into organic, unearthly shapes and forms that seem to come to life as you look at them. Interested in mimicking the appearance of tumors, magnified cells or mold Fabian strives for an effect that plays tricks on the eye. Fabian explains, “My artwork is a reflection of local human industry. I am a sculptor and installation artist working almost exclusively with manufactured materials- the leftovers, the by products, the remnants of human activity. My material use serves as a commentary on the increasingly modified condition of humans, which pits nature against culture and blurs the line between organic and manufactured.”
Both of these artists are interested in transforming the manmade into something that appears to be organic. The effects allow a viewer to reflect upon our increasingly artificial surroundings and to appreciate the beauty and intricacy of our natural environment.
Mike Carr, aka China Mike, has previously been known for his photorealistic paintings, but has since ventured into the realm of abstraction. Using a variety of media such as spray paint, acrylics, oil pastels, and charcoal, Carr’s work captures a particular lack of constraint and fluidity that seems to spill out of the canvas, evoking a whimsical energy. Carr started out as a graphic designer, but embraced the medium of paint to escape the limitations of digital based media. “Process is as important as the end result. I don’t really feel a pressure to create realistically defined images these days. I want there to be a playfulness in my work, to not get bogged down in mechanical routines”. Carr is based in Bristol, England.
Human Empire is a multidisciplinary design collective that creates playful and iconic works. Beautiful/Decay recently interviewed them about how their collective was started, their influences, and recent projects.
French artist Didier Massard creates eye-deceiving miniature dioramas depicting surreal, mystical landscapes. From a first glance, these sets remind of extremely detailed, hyper-realistic paintings or digitally rendered images. The striking effect unfolds after closer examination, when the viewer is exposed to careful layering and thoughtful light arrangements.
Massard explains his inspiration comes from real and imagined places. The limits of real life infuses his imagination to create mythological and romantic scenarios, which he then calls “the completion of an inner imaginary journey”. China, India, the cliffs of Normandy and many other locations have been depicted in Didier’s works.
“There were many places in the world where I’d never gone that I wished to photograph. I realized that they would not at all look like the images I had of them. Reality was different from my imagination. So I started building and photographing in a studio what I had in mind.”
Artist spends months constructing his miniature worlds, thus the collection is only slowly growing in size. Massard started his career as a commercial photographer for fashion and cosmetic companies like Chanel, Hermes and others. After his first series of dioramas, titled “Imaginary Journeys”, his work was acknowledged and now Didier works exclusively on his personal projects. His work is currently on display at Kopeikin Gallery in Los Angeles until August 23.