French artist Celine Artigau is never really alone. In her series of manipulated photographs, “Goodbye Childhood”, she inserts spectral neon figures into photos of places with personal resonance. She says:
“These luminous characters are the souls of these places and ghosts of my childhood. They are like some lonely and abandoned imaginary friends that still follow me and haunt my life.”
Sometimes sweet, sometimes sad, the figures are simple outlines rendered with a neon glow. Their simplicity is what makes them work. Photoshopping “ghosts” into images—copying and pasting figures from one photo to another and lowering the opacity—has been done and done. With Artigau’s lost souls, the artifice is intentional; these wandering ghosts are meant to look illustrative and not realistic.
“Concerning the process, I use Illustrator to create my character and then Photoshop to integrate it into my picture. For my light effects, I use a mixture of layers and blur effects but the precise process is always different from one project to the next.” (Source)
In this series, Artigau has resurrected her childhood imaginary friends, allowing them to live in the in-between places and shine their light.
Berlin Based artist Deenesh Ghyczy creates Soul Out, a series of oil paintings that deal with the concept of out-of-body-experiences. These hazily surreal and unusual but stunning portraits feature a clear image of a concept that is often questioned by many. Through his paintings, he intends to blur the boundaries between reality and the figments of one’s imagination in order to give the viewer a chance to really visualize what such a thing would look like.
The painterly, yet realistic work displays each subject as a person with multiple existences. The overlapping lines and repetitive facial features allude to different levels of spiritual and/or physical realms. We can say that one of these levels is the physical space in which their current physical form exists, while the others are extension of the physical, perhaps a place in which the soul (an immaterial entity) meanders freely, with no restrictions from the materiel world.
Ghyczy’s previous works appear to be concerned with the multiplicity of the self, as well as inner reflection. His work often evoke feelings of serenity and contemplation as well as feelings of uncertainty and apprehension towards these abstract but very ‘real’ concepts.(via My Modern Met)