The worlds of fine art and digital art seem to be very slowly converging. There was a time not long ago when Photoshop “art” did not even exist, and traditional artists and art enthusiasts would have shuddered at even the thought. But technological advances, and out-of-the-box thinking have given rise to digitally produced works that are more than computer generated, but thoughtfully composed using time-honored techniques. Los Angeles-based digital artist and designer Anthony Gargasz is one such artist whose work seems to rise above. Gargasz’s thought-provoking series Metallic Faces takes an organic human form, and imposes mechanical attributes, with great effect, color and contrast. Fine, indeed.
There are few joys in life greater than creating something for your child, especially when you’re in the business of creating. San Fransisco-based designer/illustrator Kyson Dana tapped into that very happiness when he and fellow illustrator Jeffery Smith challenged each other to a sketching duel (think Type Fight). After 26 days, Dana knew he would have a special alphabet of animals to share with his young son. The premise was simple, but the execution was quite challenging (and inspiring). In his own words, Dana describes the project: “The rules for the competition were that we had to draw one animal per day and post it to Instagram by midnight. The animal had to start with the letter of the day and the composition could be created using any medium. We made our way through the alphabet beginning with the letter ‘A’ for a full 26 days and never missed a sketch. The pressure of producing a solid sketch grew more and more with each day and we saw our standard for what we posted slowly rise with each new day as well. Finally after 26 days we ended the duel with a bunch of sketches and more than 1,500 new Instagram followers to show for it.” This is just a sampling of Dana’s sketches. Be sure to also check out his outstanding portfolio.
You may already be familiar with the work of contemporary American artist Scott Blake. Blake’s work is not only visually compelling, but also engaging and usually interactive. Some of his most prominent works involve bar codes (aptly called Barcode Art), which fittingly mock consumerism and the increasing societal dominance of big data. Blake has a clear love of technology, and uses it in incredible, sometimes controversial, ways. His “Chuck Close Filter” which emulated a technique made famous by the celebrated artist, for instance, was shut down by Close himself, citing jeopardy to his livelihood and trivializing his work. We are not even scratching the surface of Blake’s growing body of work, nor are we doing it much justice. Be sure to visit Blake’s site and take it all in first-hand.
Done well, photo manipulation can stop you in your tracks. Advances in software technology, particularly Photoshop, have allowed artists to explore surreal scenarios, once restricted to visions inside one’s head, like never before. The cultural and artistic movement known as surrealism began in the early 1920s, and arguably continues today to some degree, with the rise of said technological advances. One such artist engaging in making art that blurs the lines between dream and reality is Mumbai-based Anil Saxena. Saxena is particularly adept at Photoshop, and has a playful sort of style, but does not utilize his skills haphazardly. He creates thoughtful work, and is extremely detail oriented. In his own words, Saxena says “If the image is a success but my work goes unnoticed, I’m doing my job well.” We couldn’t agree more.
Wood probably would not be a sculptor’s first choice to replicate ripples in clothing, flowing strands of hair, or someone emerging from water in a bikini after a swim. But Italian artist Peter Demetz sees no limits in his material of choice, which is what makes his work so remarkable. The incredibly lifelike details are truly awe-inspiring. Demetz’s familiarity with human anatomy, and his ability to transform a material that seems so rigid and inanimate is like nothing we’re ever seen. Also notable is Demetz’s sense of composition. Most of the figures’ backs are facing the viewer, often in some pensive moment that feels a bit sad and poignant through the authentic body language Demetz achieves with an almost photographic quality. Needless to say, Demetz is an immensely talented sculptor.
Be sure to check out the video below too… though it’s not in English, it gives a good sense of scale and process. Truly stunning.
Our love of food here at Barbour is no secret. In fact, it’s a requirement. So we pose the question, is there anything better than this project? Actually initiated by the 8-year-old son of New York City area-based writer/designer/blogger Chris Durso, The Foodnited States of America is a deliciously terrific tour of the U.S. Sure, there have been plenty of food-geography mashups (here and here), but this one is different. The “punny” play on words sells it, and the superb execution knocks it out of the park. Durso rolls out states one-by-one on his Instagram page (hashtag #foodnitedstates), and he’s just passed the halfway mark. This is one to watch, folks. Sampling below, but be sure to head over to Durso’s Instagram for more.
In many industries, some of the most innovative ideas come from young minds. And that is certainly the case here. Simin Qiu, product/industrial design student at the prestigious Royal College of Art in London, conceived the beautiful Swirl faucet. Not only is it aesthetically brilliant, with its elaborately patterned latticework of water streams which are sent through a double turbine inside the fixture, but also conservation conscious, as said turbines limit the flow of water by 15%. Qiu’s work was fittingly awarded a renowned iF Design Concept Award, an international competition recognizing various design disciplines. We really admire how Qiu’s inspiration from nature yielded such an inventive device that could truly make an impact on several levels. Outstanding.
We’ve all been there before… a dreaded lecture, and one’s mind starts to wander as pencil meets paper to create some nonsensical drawing. Doodling is a favorite pastime of bored students the world over. But when elevated to this level of artistry, we sit up and take notice. Japanese artist Keita Sagaki’s prolific body of (rather time consuming) work is really impressive. Sagaki juxtaposes recreations of well-known fine art pieces with what would otherwise be considered notebook doodles. From a distance these large-scale works (often several feet in length) bear a striking resemblance to such masterpieces as the Mona Lisa, The Great Wave off Kanagawa, and The Last Supper. But upon closer examination, they are actually densely hand-drawn improvised doodles. Sagaki has even been commissioned to apply his unique method of art making to create famous landmarks from around the world. Just amazing.