Frequent readers of the site know I love plants and artist Paul Wackers makes just the kind of plant paintings I would love to own. Paul has an MFA from San Francisco Art Institute and BFA from Corcoran where he honed his unique style of painting, which to me looks like a contemporary vision of 19th century folk painting.
His latest works center around still life set-ups, almost all of them prominently feature plants, and each are created in an outrageous palette of colors. One of the details I love about his work are the objects which appear to be collaged in. The brush strokes that make up these objects go against the grain of the background as well as the other objects around them, giving them a real energy. I also like his juxtaposition of flat versus rendered that creates an interesting sense of depth to each piece. Probably one of the best artists I’ve come across in the last year or so, really beautiful works.
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When visiting an unfamiliar city it’s always fascinating to see it through the eyes of a local. A resident of the city has an ability to show you the special places, avoiding the cliché destinations and nonsense that interests the common tourist. This is the feeling I get when I’m watching this beautifully shot short film, Paris Through Pentax.
Maison Carnot frames the video through the viewfinder of a Pentax 67, an approach that makes for an incredibly different way of looking at things. We’re all so used to taking photos with our phones these days but the viewfinder of the Pentax has such a romantic feeling to it. It’s both active and full of life but antiquated in a lot of ways. I also like that you can see the photographers hands in each shot which gives it a human element. Every now and then you see the hands keeping the focus on the subject. A subtle touch that adds to the feeling of it all.
Take me to Paris.
One of the founding principles of art is understanding the balance of light and dark and how the two define shape. Once you fully understand these primary elements making art becomes easier… especially if you happen to be color blind. This the case with Kilian Schönberger, a German photographer who is both color blind and has a fantastic grasp of contrast.
Kilian’s type of photography is exactly the kind of photography I love most. The dramatic shifts between black and white make for such impressive photos. His choice of scenery doesn’t hurt either, whether it’s a leafless stretch of fogged out trees or a spooky Bavarian church. You’re drawn because of their dynamic lighting and textures. The lack of color doesn’t detract one bit.
German artist Mark Gmehling has an elastic view on life. He makes fine art prints from 3D renderings of abstract characters and bizarre scenarios, all illustrated in a playfully fluid manner. It’s interesting to see 3D modeling being presented as fine art which you don’t see very often. The aesthetics of each of his figures are highly polished though and resemble beautiful, glossy ceramic pieces.
These pieces in particular are from a show that opened last Thursday called Plastic Relations, which is on view at the RWE Foyer in Dortmund, Germany. I wish I could see the images up close and pick Mark’s brain on how he makes these.
Charlotte based artist and designer Eric Hurtgen creates work that utilizes detail and nuance at it’s core. Abstract imagery is distorted and manipulated to create fascinating pieces which require time to truly appreciate. This week he’s shared a wallpaper with us that bends my mind.
This piece is part of a bigger series I’ve been working on that blurs the line between photography, sculpture and digital art. I’m drawn to the effects of light on surfaces and playing with the perception of those surfaces as I layer images and reflections of images on top of each other. I have quite a few influences from a variety of artists and photographers and designers, but when I think about the main ones I’d say photographers Robert Adams and Henriette Grindat; the artist Gabriel Orozco and the designers Barbara Worjisch and Vaughn Oliver.
I usually listen to music while I work, but I tend to put on albums with limited or no words, it’s easier to write that way. A lot of the time my go-to record is Solo Piano II by Chilly Gonzales. Released in 2012 the album is piano filled masterpiece that feels like an old silent film. There’s one track in particular though that stands out each time I hear and it’s called “Rideaux Lunaires”, the fifth track on the album.
There’s something magical about this piece that makes me think of the films of Miyazaki and the sense of wonder he achieves. At about the 1 minute mark there’s a beautiful refrain which makes you feel like you’re being carried away into the night sky.
If you’ve never heard this album before I highly suggest taking a listen, you definitely won’t be disappointed.
Illusion. Reflection. Vulnerability. These are the things I see when I look at God’s Mirror, a photo series by Maria Svarbova. The images are dreamy and surreal with nude figures floating amongst a dark and cloudy sky. Yet there’s something off with each of the figures. Look closely and you’ll see that each person has an extra limb or a reflect face which distorts the body. Maria claims the effect isn’t done in Photoshop so whatever technique she’s deployed here is quite impressive.
Of all the images my favorite has to be the one at top with the man and mirror. Love how surreal it looks. Almost looks like it could be a painting, not a photo.
All of Maria’s photos are quite impressive, I suggest you take the time to go through all of her series on her Behance page.