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Pop Making Sense: Brian McDonald’s fabulous mixed media art
05.30.2018
10:48 am
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‘Mother’s Little Helper.’
 
Like. Love. Ha-Ha. Tweet. Share. Post. Walk. Don’t Walk. Keep to the left. Turn clockwise. Open lid carefully. Mind the gap. Wash hands after use. Keep out of the reach of children. At times it seems our lives are dictated by a series of commands and demands that tend to infantilize, curtail our thought, and generally make us, you know, uh, dumb.

American Brian McDonald is a mixed media artist whose work engages the viewer in questioning this ever-increasing noise that fills our existence.

My artwork is driven by a need to make sense of the world around me, which I see as fragmented, contradictory, and anxious. I seek to capture the cartoonishness that runs through American society wherein the individual is not only bombarded by an excess of information, choice, and rampant consumerism but is also in a constant state of wanting more.

He makes beautiful, funny, clever, playful pictures that are part painting and part collage.

Flotsam from this perpetual cycle of consumer pop culture is woven into my paintings, embedding the figures in an intricate web that suggests the non-stop movement of the mind, as well as the depth, complexity, and interconnectedness of life.

His paintings hint towards Dada and early works by David Hockney (We Two Boys Together Clinging) and Andy Warhol (Dick Tracy, Before and After) but with a singularly delightful sense of humor. He says the big influences on his work are “music, cartoons, and dreams” and he is “fascinated with their spatial, temporal and structural components,” which he sees “as analogous to contemporary consciousness.”

He creates his pictures “primarily with layers of paint and collage that are woven together to create a dense network of relationships ripe with narrative possibilities.”

By using disparate and often ambiguous imagery, the flow of ideas is disrupted, meaning is subverted, and logic is obfuscated. My work becomes infused with an elusive visual poetry that seeks to inspire viewers to make their own connections based on personal associations.

Based in San Francisco, McDonald originally studied languages (French and Italian) at university in California and Venice before considering a career as a writer. But that wasn’t what he wanted. He then tried furniture-making but that wasn’t the right fit either. It was only after attending painting classes that he found something that left him “hooked,” something that made him feel he was “making magic.”

It’s like when I hear a particularly beautiful piece of music or read a really great book, or experience any kind of work that deeply resonates with my being… it touches something inside of me, and I almost feel like it’s a connection to God, in a spiritual and not a religious sense.

McDonald has exhibited his work in group shows since 2002 and as a solo artist since 2003. See (or better buy) more of his work here.
 
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‘Pecking Order.’
 
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‘Tweet Storm.’
 
More super-duper pictures, after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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05.30.2018
10:48 am
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Space Invader: The absurd, surreal, and disturbing artwork of woodcum
05.01.2018
03:29 pm
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Philipp Igumnov is a Russian artist based in Moscow who over the past decade has created a hybrid art of collage, illustration, and photography under the name “woodcum.” This monicker ain’t no sexual tree-fucker slang or the past tense actions of an amour but (apparently) a play on the words “would come” as inspired by his English teacher at high school who kept repeating the phrase “would come” like some kinda idiosyncratic tic.

Igummov took his cue was from various digital artists who were similarly experimenting with collage and image manipulation. Igummov had produced work as an illustrator but found drawing on top of an assembled picture gave it a clarity, substance, and reality that illustration alone failed to do. Well, at least for him this was the case.

He exhibited his work through his blog and Flickr and soon the browsing public came to like and share his images across the net. Now, you can buy prints of his work from a starting price of around $35 or 30€, details here.
 
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More startlingly good collages, after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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05.01.2018
03:29 pm
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The Artist as Frankenstein ‘piecing together the sublime’: The paintings of Carrie Ann Baade
03.28.2018
10:42 am
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Carrie Ann Baade paints pictures that link “the power of historical masterworks with [her] own experience as a contemporary artist.” Her work is fragmentary using an image bank culled from Renaissance and Baroque art which is used to contemplate “the ageless issues of morality, politics, and the individual quest for self-expression.” She describes herself “as a kind of Dr. Frankenstein attempting to piece together the sublime.”

Baade developed her collagic-style of painting during grad school when she struggled to find a way to be more like her “dead art heroes, Bosch, Fuseli, Moreau, and Knopf,” but keeping her work relevant to today. She started at the beginning and “rediscovered the artists’ first gallery, the refrigerator door.” 

Upon the door were a sentimental photograph of my infant niece and the Christmas gift of magnets made from cut up discount art books.  By moving some of these magnets over the photograph, the child’s eyes were covered with those from a Northern Renaissance portrait.  A Boschian creature was placed on top of her head to serve as an ornamental hat.  Lastly, a Durer Christ child and a Madonna’s hand scaled perfectly to that in the sentimental photo were placed on the arms in the photo. 

The completed the transformation was far more interesting than reality.  After several attempts at turning the image into a painting, the foundation for understanding the difference between collage and pastiche occurred. 

Through research, I realized that the amalgam of images had precedence in the appropriation art of the 80’s which is described as the advent of the citation style in painting and other mediums.  “Appropriation art” stresses the intentionality of the act of borrowing and the historical attitude of the borrower.  By building upon this accepted practice, my paintings incorporate these purloined fragments and keep the physical identity of the different motifs preserved from the overall unity.

Baade describes her intuitive creative process as “part tarot and part advent calendar.”

I have questions in mind when I am composing, I am searching for a solution to say…this feeling I have about the correlation between women and snakes and the moon. I collect images, I dive into my piles of cutouts that I have been archiving for the past five years. The composition of the collage can be immediate or go through 15 hours of revisions.  It is like reading cards, the answer will come as I am searching and the answer is usually visually surprising.

The process begins with Baade covering her studio floor with images ripped from pages of books and magazines. Once the floor is covered, Baade looks for sets of images that have landed on top of each other in an interesting way. She describes this as a form of divination like reading tea leaves or tarot cards. Often Baade has a question she seeks to answer which she hopes will be answered by the chance arrangement of images. Sometimes this can happen very quickly, mostly it’s a long process of trial and error. When ready, Baade collects the images and binds them together with sellotape. It can then take up to 150 hours to paint a picture.

Baade was born in Louisiana in 1974 and was raised in Colorado where she first took an interest in drawing and painting. Baade received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, studied at the Florence Academy of Art in Italy, and earned her MFA in Painting from the University of Delaware.  She currently divides her time between painting and lecturing as an Associate Professor of Painting and Drawing at Florida State University. See more of Carrie Ann Baade’s work here.
 
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More beautiful and surreal paintings, after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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03.28.2018
10:42 am
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(S)explicit collages subvert social media censorship of the right to bare flesh
03.15.2018
10:56 am
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America’s weird. Use a military grade weapon to slaughter a classroom of school kids and there won’t be no handgun ban. Post a nipple on your Facebook page and you’ll be kicked off that social media platform quicker than you can say “Right to bear arms…”

Blood and guts in high school is apparently okay but a Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction….not so much.

Artist and graphic designer Émir Shiro has created a series of highly suggestive collages that make their point about social media’s double standards in an amusing and eye-catching way. Like the Archisexture collages of American artist Giulia, aka Scientwehst, Shiro’s mash-up images subvert social media’s overly censorious approach to the right to bare flesh.

You can follow Shiro’s on his Instagram account to see more of his work.
 
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More eye-catching mash-ups, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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03.15.2018
10:56 am
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Head Shots: Surreal collages by John Stezaker
12.21.2017
10:01 am
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Today, we’re going to make a collage like those made by John Stezaker. Now, for this you’ll need some glue, a craft knife—I like using a Stanley blade—and some white card. You’ll also need a stack of eight by ten black and white glamor photographs. Some old glamor photographs will do nicely.

John Stezaker is an artist. He makes collages using publicity photographs of movie stars and entertainers from the 1940s and 1950s.

Now you might also like to use some colorized postcards of distant exotic lands from around six or seven decades ago to add a bit of commentary to the original image.

Some are well-known stars, some less so. Stezaker dissects these photographs and places them together, sometimes overlapping, on to card or paper, to create, what he describes as “new beings.”

Once you’ve selected the photographs you want to work with—I usually select two—decide how exactly you would like to mix together. I usually lay mine side-by-side before making any decision about where to cut them.

Stezaker tends to work at night during “explosions of activity.” The next morning, he might dismantle the image and start again. This is all part of the creative process.

When you’ve decided how you’re going to place your two images together, use your craft knife to cut across the photos, like this, I use a ruler to keep the line smooth. You could, I suppose, use a guillotine. Now, do the same with the second picture then place the two together.

Stezaker’s collages are hybrid gender-bending portraits of sliced and spliced men and women. Sometimes their faces are lost in dreamy scenic beauty or are figures isolated by landscape. His collages are recognizable but oddly disconcerting. It is difficult to identify the separate parts without being overpowered by the whole. He is questioning our relationship to the past and ideas about memory and how we view the world and the people in it.

Occasionally he will add in a postcard to cover a headshot to suggest an inner reality or an emotional distance between people.

Once you have the two opposite halves of your new face ready, glue them down on to the card and you’ll have a new image.

Stezaker describes his collaged heads as “more like people than the original bland glamour shots of the 40s and 50s.”

Let the glue dry, I usually leave mine overnight, and then you’ll finish up with a picture that looks like one of Stezaker’s, except it’s not.

His collage work seems “deceptively simple” but Stezaker spends considerable time sourcing and choosing his imagery before creating a picture. He takes his inspiration from the Surrealists and Marcel Duchamp. The titles of his work are functional. For example, Masks where scenic postcards disguise faces. Marriages and Betrayals, were the glamor portraits of a men and a women are spliced together to create a new identity.

It seems kinda apt that Stezaker looks a cross between two other people—a bit of Kurt Vonnegut and some W. G. Sebald. He was born in 1949 and attended the Slade School of Art graduating with a Fine Art Diploma in 1973. Since then, he has exhibited his work on-and0ff, but since the turn of the century has had a revitalized interest in his collage work, which led to Stezaker being hailed as “a major influence on the Young British Art movement.” Most recently he has exhibited in the USA and Australia. See more of his work here.
 
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More faces from the past reimagined for the present, after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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12.21.2017
10:01 am
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Power, Beauty & the Feminine: The collage art of Deborah Stevenson
10.11.2017
10:37 am
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‘Cross Pollination.’
 
I could probably spend days looking at artist Deborah Stevenson‘s collage artworks. Well, maybe a slight exaggeration but let’s say hours or at least some considerable time, definitely, as each of Stevenson’s brilliant, complex pictures sets in motion a series of associations and ideas—whether intended or accidental—that connect towards a unifying narrative.

Take for example Cross Pollination which instantly startles with its reworking of Ingres’ portrait of Mademoiselle Caroline Rivière with Harold Edgerton’s photograph Bullet Through Apple.

Okay, so let’s go for basics. My first (obvious) thought was Adam and Eve and the eating of the apple and the start of institutionalized misogyny. Then I noticed the clothes worn by Rivière. Adam and Eve had supposedly been naked in the Garden of Eden. Being naked often signified the status of being a slave in ancient times. While being clothed is about power, freedom, and performance. Ingres’ portrait shows the teenage Rivière (she was about fourteen at the time) as a “ravishing beauty”—even Ingres’ words have multiple connotations—dressed in her finest clothes. She is presented as pure and virginal with the loop of a boa encircling her arms and body like a snake from the Garden of Eden.

Ingres has idealized this portrait and sexualized Rivière. The painting was not well-received when first exhibited as it was considered too Gothic and shockingly eroticised. Mademoiselle Rivière died within a year of the painting’s completion.

Then there is the violence of the exploding apple which is used to replace Rivière’s head. This could suggest the whole history of violence against women or the frustration of being a woman in such oppressive times. What it may also suggest is that in this collage, this photographic image captures one fleeting moment in time. Edgerton invented the electronic flash which enabled him to take his incredible photograph of a bullet passing through an apple. This image, this portrait, is similarly only one fleeting glimpse, one two dimensional aspect of something far more incredibly complex and subtle of which we only have but a small understanding.

Then there are the conversation pieces about identity, the male gaze, religion, and science, and the female body. And so it goes on… Of course, whether Stevenson’s intends all of this micro-reading I dunno, but you get the idea. You can, or at least I can riff on Stevenson’s work for hours. Whether that’s of any value to you, is for you to decide. What I do know is this is one of the things that makes Stevenson’s collage work so rich, so important, so beautiful, and so utterly compelling.

American artist Deborah Stevenson first came to prominence as a painter. Her work includes a series of Brooklyn skylines and another on structures and buildings. These works are beautiful, iconic and idiosyncratic. They mark the talents of an artist who can surprise the viewer by making them aware of the strangeness and beauty in the most unexpected of places.

About seven years ago, Stevenson started making collages. As a painter, she found the process of making collages accessed a different part of her consciousness. This was no longer representational work of urban landscapes but something that worked intuitively as she explained to Klassic Magaizne:

I don’t set out to do a specific image. My work table is crowded with stacks of images I have cut from a variety of print sources (I only use original material, never printing out or doing digital) and I shift them around until something strikes me. I may pick out one image as particularly striking, and then continue moving the images around until I see something that seems to ‘fit’ with the first one. It is an adventure with my muse, and most important to the process is my ability to pay attention and listen to the whispers the muse makes to me, then I see the piece. There are recurring themes in my work: the Feminine, current events, moods and internal states of being, and fashion mash ups. Finding pieces to put together is the easy part: it is the cutting and pasting that can be very labor-intensive and delicate.

Stevenson’s collages aren’t decorative work but intended to express “ideas that would be difficult to put into words, but come out very easily and clearly in imagery.” Her work is an “exploration of concepts of power, beauty, the Feminine, and mysterious archetypal conjunctions.”

The work arises in an ‘automatic’ way; I do not set out with an objective or goal in my mind when I sit down to make something. The images compose themselves spontaneously as I mix and move the masses of paper around on the table in front of me. I feel as though my eyes and hands facilitate the ‘arrival’ of the pictures that I make.

See more of Deborah Stevenson’s work here and here.
 
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‘Cover Up.’
 
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‘Show Horns.’
 
See more of Deborah Stevenson’s collages, after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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10.11.2017
10:37 am
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Porn-optical illusion: Suggestive collages of sex and architecture (probably NSFW)
10.04.2017
09:24 am
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The question is often asked by our dear readers as to why some images are pixelated on social media? “We all got nipples,” they might comment on a post or “I’ve seen nudies before” they might add. Well, yes, of course. But social media is not really that open or user-friendly and never has been. We all might be grown-up about things that may shock or trigger others, but it only takes one turd in the pool for swimming to be canceled or one Mrs. Carmody for an account to get shut down.

Artist provocateur Giulia aka @scientwehst knows this only too well as she has had her artworks pulled and her accounts shut down after some busybody was offended by her erotic collage. I believe being offended is good for the soul. If you are offended then you’re learning something new and increasing your intellectual scope rather than narrowing it down to a rather grotty clogged artery that is on the verge of causing fatal cardiac arrest.

Giulia thinks “Social-media society is not a public, democratic space,” and we should stop treating it as such.

These white-tech bros dictate in their swivel chairs what we can share and how we can manage our platforms. They create a facade of openness, while exploiting us and profiting from our data and content. We are not protected because social-media has been privatized. Social media companies serve as an arm to our government’s agendas… Our government is also inherently sexist… Sexism still thrives in social media society… Let’s all connect the dots.

Giulia is a 27-year-old artist from Florida, who currently resides in Brooklyn. Growing up she felt uncomfortable about her body image. She wanted to be tall and skinny coz that’s what magazines and TV and movies and adverts sold as the perfect female form. This anxiety carried on into her twenties until one day, “about 2–3 years ago, [..] I started to say, ‘fuck this shit! I will never have this type of body, and I’m going to embrace the softness that is me’.” Her view now is “fuck a beauty standard: just be you.”

Out of this rethinking, Giulia started making collages in which she placed architectural pictures of various buildings, churches, and interiors over images lifted from porn and glamour mags. The results were provocative, some might say shocking yet certainly powerful and erotically charged. Sex it seems is everywhere but especially in our minds.

Follow Giulia on @scientwehst.
 
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More of artist provocateur Giulia’s pin-ups, after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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10.04.2017
09:24 am
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Trip out to the wild work of ‘Karaska’ the psychedelic surrealist from Kiev
08.29.2017
07:04 am
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I recently came across the mind-expanding, surrealist collage artwork of Kiev, Ukraine’s Vadim Karasev. Having worked freelance under the pseudonym Karaska since 2013, Karasev’s postmodern vision is the product of several difficult years of personal self-realization and creative discovery. “Generally, I’m an engineer by education,” Karasev explained via email exchange. “I had to study and develop art on my own, which for me is the most amazing journey. The journey into the depths of oneself.”
 
This path toward innovation saw stylistic influences by the likes of Giorgio De Chirico, René Magritte, Jeff Jordan, and other modern artists, such as Maurizio Cattelan. Additionally, many narratives witnessed within Karaska’s work are inspired by classical literature from novelists Jorge Luis Borges, Franz Kafka, poets such as Arthur Rimbaud and André Breton, and many others. “I’m interested in the theme of the mystery of dreams and reality, mixing them, moving from one to another,” Karasev highlights. “These two worlds are interrelated and equally important, they exist, complementing each other and forming our reality.”
 
Take a look at some of Karaska’s reality-shifting examples of psychoactive new surrealism below.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Bennett Kogon
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08.29.2017
07:04 am
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The disturbing and creepy portrait collages of Phillip Kremer
03.15.2017
01:19 pm
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Your worst fears have a face. And it looks like this.

Texas-based artist Phillip Kremer creates weird, funny, and seriously grotesque collages of celebrities, politicians, musicians and movie stars. Kremer’s headshots are created with an app on his i-Phone. He finds images online and then manipulates them into obscene portraits. He pulls their skin, enlarges their mouths to gargantuan proportions and inserts eyeballs, food or bulging muscles where he thinks they will work best. Though the results can often be shocking, Kremer’s finished collages are funny and still recognizably human—often capturing some intrinsic characteristic of the featured celebrity subject.

Kremer’s collages have garnered him a big following on Instagram and Tumblr where you can find more of his work
 
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More of Kremer’s surreal collages, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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03.15.2017
01:19 pm
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Collage Life: The Surreal and Disturbing Artwork of Ffo
01.25.2017
10:44 am
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Ffo is a Moscow-based artist who creates beautiful, strange and surreal collages from anatomical illustrations, classical art, 1950’s pop culture images and Art Nouveau prints.

What little is known about this anonymous artist comes directly from the answers given to questions asked by fans. From these we learn Ffo studied at art college for three years before turning his/her talents to creating collages.

I’m focusing on making collages cuz it’s a really great way to express yourself, for me it’s also a symbol of contemporary world – a hard mix of different people, styles, cultures, eras, like there are no borders between art and reality anymore. It’s very beautiful, multi-layered, provocative and bizarre.

Ffo describes him/herself as “a stalker” who takes “inspiration [from] almost from everything” but mainly life:

[P]eople are my main inspiration, their appearance, relationships, conversations, feelings. Allmost all my works represent my own emotions and desires and means a lot for me.

Ffo makes paper collage with Paint Tool SAI to create fabulously surreal, disturbing yet highly charged images. Once a collage is finished, it is published online at the Ffo Art blog.

There is something about Ffo’s work that makes me think of the quote Francis Bacon famously used when describing his paintings as depicting “the brutality of fact.” By which he meant reworking reality by artificial means to create a more intense, visceral and yet utterly truer vision of the world. Though by different means there is something similar going on here in Ffo’s surreal, disturbing yet strangely beautiful artworks.
 
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See more of Ffo’s strange and surreal collages, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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01.25.2017
10:44 am
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Strange, surreal portraits made from found photographs, food, insects and everyday objects
01.12.2017
08:12 am
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For this recipe you’ll need some bean sprouts, one fish-head, a tablespoon of popcorn, one butterfly, some seeds, half-a-dozen seashells, some buttons, a watch and two dozen photographs found in an old flea market.

Susana Blasco admits to having the soul of a sailor . She also owns up to being an artist, graphic designer, illustrator and razor sharpener. Susana has designed book covers, album covers, posters and all the other things graphic designers do. She also makes rather fabulous and imaginative artworks out of found photographs.

Antiheroes is one of Susana’s many photographic projects. It began through trial and error, chance and experimentation where Susana placed everyday objects on top of old photographs to create surreal and slightly disturbing portraits. A slug becomes a woman’s smile, a girl embraces her sister with a crab tentacle, a woman’s head explodes into shoots, and a man’s head is eaten by confetti. I find these pictures quite irresistible, in large part due to Susana’s highly imaginative use of mundane props to create startling portraits from a seemingly unknown world.

Susanna’s series Antiheroes is available as prints.
 
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See more of Susana Blasco’s surreal portraits, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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01.12.2017
08:12 am
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Home Made Histories: Classical Art meets Pulp Fiction
11.28.2016
11:09 am
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The artist Thomas Robson describes himself as a “recovering ex-broadcast television graphic designer.” He spent fourteen years, “focused on producing graphics and animations for the BBC Newsroom in Belfast during some of the most traumatic years of the Northern Ireland conflict.”

The experience of working with “a highly edited and curated visual language” gave Robson an “increasing unease” to broadcast television—where the finished product “deliberately sets out to blur viewers’ ability to differentiate between the contrived world and the real one.”

Every day he was “editing and re-contexturalising imagery into new transient compositions based around multiple elements and perspectives”—all of which (he admits) may have been “a precursor of [his] collage experimentation?”

Robson began to wonder how he could make viewers question the received imagery more deeply. He started to create collages which fused classic paintings with photography and populist imagery. He tells me he was “visually experimenting, creating visual short circuits disrupting the context form and composition of the original pictures. Generating transitory new types of provisional imagery possessing an amalgam of the enigmatic and the accessible. Offering compelling interplays between the residual associations of the original pictures and the dissonances of the imposed visual collisions.”

He describes this process as Art Remix—“a new categories of art composition.”

In which new layers of visual interventions are used to reconstruct and transform the significance of images, place them in new contexts and in so doing make new demands on the viewer.

It is an approach which seeks to short circuit peoples’ common interactions with representational fine art & photography. Forcing them to question images more intently, and in so doing develop enhanced critical skills and visual literacy.

Home Made Histories mixes classical painting with images from pulp fiction. He describes this work as “Rewiring aesthetics, with new visual narratives.”

One important influence on Robson’s life has been living though thirty years of sectarian conflict in Northern Ireland. This Robson claims has made him “highly sensitive to the repressed emotions and hidden meanings which underpin many social interactions and conversations.”

This search to discover the hidden or the repressed voice has always informed my reaction to the highly representational portraits of western art. To my eyes they always evoke questions of what informed their production, just how accurately do the finished pictures conceal or reveal the sitter’s true identity, the artists personality and indeed how such pictures strive to totally extinguish the context of their production in the studio.

From the democratic and more open contexts of today, it is as if the concept of creative expression was repressed by a slavish adherence to a highly codified academic style of painting. Visual language was defined and corralled in a rigid hierarchical structure, by a self appointed aesthetic elite who had appropriated the power to adjudge and frame what was good and bad art, and in doing suppress and control artistic and creative expression. It is this suppression of expression and selective edit of social memory that creatively excites me.

Home Made Histories depict 17th century and 18th century family portraits juxtaposed with sensationalist images of violence pulled from pulp magazines and novels. Here is a secret narrative to what the original artworks are possibly hiding—abuse, oppression, and the growth of empire. Robson’s artworks encourage the viewer to engage and question rather just passively admire.

I like Robson’s work and wanted to know more. I winged him a few quick q’s by email to ask about his inspiration and ideas behind Home Made Histories.

Thomas Robson: I was listening to James Elroy’s Blood’s A Rover audio book (HIGHLY recommended!) which is pretty pulpy in nature, whist collaging a collection of elements from ‘men’s magazines’ with ‘fine art’ images. To see what would happen when such disparate elements were in forced collision. Basically visually re-interrogating received ‘fine art’, by using collage techniques in combination with the tools, visual language and grammar of today.

In practice it quickly a became apparent the narrative dissonances caused by the widely differing elements. Were successfully impeding received ways of digesting the underlying ‘fine art’ images, by offering intriguing and highly accessible new visual narratives. Pictures cleansing viewers’ visual palettes, enabling new meanings swim in and out of focus.

But most importantly of all I really like the strong aesthetics resultant, and there’s a lot more good work to come. Which when translated into paintings should result in some pretty strong imagery to intrigue, excite and repay repeated viewings.

***

Robson’s work has been included in several books—most recently Anatomy Rocks—Flesh and bones in contemporary art and a new exhibition The Brex Pistols Shrapnel Show will be held on December 5th, The Old Rifle Range, Killyleagh. His work is also available to buy as postcards.

If you like what you see then do check out more of Thomas Robson’s artwork here.
 
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More of Thomas Robson’s pulp histories, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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11.28.2016
11:09 am
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The Surreal world of Coco Fronsac
11.03.2016
10:46 am
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Famille heureuse.
 
In one single day we upload more images onto the Internet than the total number of pictures produced during the whole of 19th century.

In one day—more pictures than a century’s worth of imagery. That’s one heck of a lotta selfies.

Our need for visual stimulus is relentless. We no longer view or experience imagery as previous generations did. The reverence with which some paintings or even photographs were once held is no longer relevant—we view indiscriminately, we consume continuously.

The French artist Coco Fronsac buys old discarded photographs from flea markets and turns them into Surreal works of art. Coco comes from a family of artists. Her grandparents Lucien Neuquelman and Camille Lesné were respected painters. Her parents met at art school. Coco attended art college in Paris before beginning her career as a painter, sculptor and creator of Surreal artworks from found photographs.

Coco takes each photograph—draws on it, paints over it and gives it a new life. If we cannot reclaim our past then we cannot understand our present. These photographs of people long dead, long forgotten have been abandoned, orphaned, thrown to the wind, sent for landfill. We no longer have any interest in them, their subject matter or the lives they lived. By turning these images into art, Coco reconnects the viewer’s relationship with the photo’s subjects. These reinvented images encourage the viewer to take a second look—to enquire about the subject matter and its history. Her intention is to bring people of different backgrounds together and rediscover the connections between us are far greater than the differences.

See more of Coco Fronsac’s work here.
 
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Evidences spectrales.
 
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Ectoplasmes.
 
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Holidays on Mars.
 
More of Coco Fronsac’s work, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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11.03.2016
10:46 am
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Fortune Cookie Porn Portraits
09.27.2016
09:40 am
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New York artist Kalen Hollomon creates disruptive collages exploring commerce, fashion, gender identity and the taboo through everyday images. His work examines “the ever-changing relationship between subject and object.”

“I am always concerned with what lies beneath the surface.

“I hope to create conversation that is rooted in questions related to learned social rules, identity, the subtext of everyday situations and perception. Above all, I try to capture a sense of romance in images that are spontaneous and slightly unnerving.”

 
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Hollomon’s collages juxtapose images of sports stars with fashion models and porn actors, celebrities and brand names with down and outs and environmental disaster, porn with the utterly mundane.
 
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Hollomon photographs his collages on his smartphone and shares them via his Instagram account. He has a following of over 100,000.

All subversive art is ultimately subsumed by the establishment it attacks. Hollomon’s success subverting the medium has led to a demand for his work from the very fashion magazines and brands he satirizes—Gucci, Calvin Klein and Vogue have all commissioned him or used his work.
 
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His most recent project Fortune Portraits combines pages from porn mags taped over with happy, predictive tidings from fortune cookies.

Sayings like: “Business is a lot like playing tennis; if you don’t serve well, you lose,” “Expect much of yourself and little of others” and “Financial hardship in your life is coming to an end!” are plastered across wet-lipped young models who look directly (and suggestively) at the viewer creating a false sense of sexual intimacy and arousal. In the same way the fortune cookie promises some false good tidings to whoever happens to read it.

Hollomon describes the Fortune Portraits as being about “open-ended questions, seduction and desperation, both the wild unknown and the cliche, false promises and first impressions.”

Prints of the Fortune Portraits series are for sale—details here. More of this interesting artist’s work can be seen here.
 
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More of Hollomon’s work, after the jump….

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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09.27.2016
09:40 am
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Classical paintings transformed into beautifully trippy collages
03.24.2016
10:58 am
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Collage by Silviu and Irina Székley based on the 1451 painting by Piero della Francesca,
Collage by Silviu and Irina Székley based on the 1451 painting by Piero della Francesca, “Portrait of Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta.”
 

Each individual existence is a distortion in itself
—Silviu and Irina Székley

 
Silviu and Irina Székley say they were raised on the rebellious artistic concept of Dadism, which rose to popularity in the early part of the 20th Century. The duo’s prowess when it comes to the Dada component of collage is like nothing I’ve ever seen before, and their “manipulations” of famous works of art, such as the 1451 painting by Italian Renaissance painter, Piero della Francesca, “Portrait of Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta,” skillfully display the remarkable talent of these two self-taught Romanian artists.
 
Collage based on the painting,
Collage by Silviu and Irina Székley based on the painting, “Portrait of a Princess of the House of Este” by Pisanello in 1449.
 
A collage by Silviu and Irina Székley based on the early to mid 1400's painting
A collage by Silviu and Irina Székley based on the early to mid-1400’s painting “Portrait of a Princess” by Pisanello.
 

“Circollage XXI” a collage-like interpretation of the 1645 painting by Dutch painter, Pieter Jansz Saenredam “The St. Antoniuskapel in the St. Janskerk at Utrecht.”
 

“Circollage” of XXVI / Henri de Trait by Silviu and Irina Székley.
 
In accordance with their roots being firmly embedded in Dada, when asked in an interview from 2015 if or how their belief system translated to their work, Silviu and Irina had this to say:

Horses are often intimidated by fire. Spiders are extremely useful in reducing the quantity of flies. Steam is employed to great advantage for culinary purposes. The stings of bees are often more virulent than those of wasps.

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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03.24.2016
10:58 am
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