Archives for the month of: October, 2016

The (fleeting) art of pumpkin carving has certainly grown in popularity in recent years, partly due to increased exposure on social media, plus the rise of competitive television programs like Food Network’s Halloween Wars. Once called “the Picasso of Pumpkin Carving”, Arizona-based artist Ray Villafane finds himself in peak pumpkin season on this October 31, so we thought it fitting to take a look at his awe-inspiring work. Villafane, who naturally competed on Halloween Wars in its debut season back in 2011, is one of the most high-profile pumpkin carvers around, and for good reason. His work in a medium that is unfortunately very temporary is incredible on so many levels. From concept to execution, Villafane’s creations go well beyond the ubiquitous jack-o-lantern. In the hands of Villafane and company (collectively called Villafane Studios), these ghoulish gourds come to life with remarkable details and truly lifelike expression. We dare you to peruse through these few examples of his extraordinary work without an expression of utter wonderment and admiration. More spine-chilling posts here and here and here. Happy Halloween!

Via villafanestudios.com and Facebook

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It is often said that art has a way of transporting viewers, whether conjuring past memories or sometimes through the immersion of visual stimulation. In the case of London-based Japanese photographer Chino Otsuka, such transport is a bit more literal, and turned on herself as both photographer and subject. Otsuka’s series Imagine Finding Me is a sort of conceptual time machine, where she digitally inserts herself into childhood photos. In her own words, Otsuka says, “A new journey has begun, on board a time machine built from digital tools. I’m traveling back, transported to places where I once belonged, cities where I once visited and on arrival I find myself from the past. Navigating through the labyrinth of memory I become a tourist of my own history. And throughout this unique journey I keep a diary.” We are absolutely taken with the concept, but it’s Otsuka’s adept skills with said digital tools that really make this series shine. In the hands of a less capable photographer, this would not have been nearly as effective. Huge success any way you look at it.

Via chino.co.uk

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We are compelled to check in on the work of renowned Russian illustrator/graphic designer Eiko Ojala every so often (here and here) because he’s just so good. Ojala’s style is distinct… we now recognize it from a mile away. These are truly mixed media endeavors, mixing digital illustration, paper textures, and both real and artificial shadows. His adept sense of color, composition and depth are hallmarks of his incredible body of work, which includes illustrations for a variety of impressive clients including The New York Times, National Geographic Traveler Magazine, Herman Miller, Harvard Business Review, Scientific American Mind, Ebony Magazine and The New Yorker. Here’s a sampling of some of his more recent work, including a children’s book he recently illustrated (available for purchase here). Enjoy.

Via ploom.tv

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Architectural photographer and (self-described) “aviation dork” Mike Kelley has found a new and intriguing way to capture commercial airliners. If you’ve seen one YouTube video of airplanes taking off and landing (yes, that’s a thing… proof here, with over 2 MILLION views), you’ve seen them all. But Los Angeles-based Kelley documents these aircraft in a whole new way. What if you saw a flock of jumbo jets taking off or landing? Amazing sight, right? This talented photographer captures these very scenes in his brilliant series, cleverly titled, Airportraits. Kelley has spent the better part of nearly two years photographing airplanes and airports. After his initial piece, Wake Turbulence, a day’s worth of takeoffs from LAX’s south runways composited into a single image, took off (pun intended) via social media and subsequently named one of the top images of 2014, Kelley mapped out a plan to capture the “inherent beauty in aviation” through similar composite images from airports around the globe. The result is absolutely awesome, from shooting the underbelly of planes from Dockweiler Beach in Los Angeles departing around sunset, to the descent of morning rush arrivals at London’s Heathrow Airport. For fellow aviation dorks in your life (or folks like us who appreciate stellar photography in general), prints available here.

Via mpkelley.com and Instagram

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On the heels of (no pun intended) the wildly popular Humans of New York series by Brandon Stanton, photographer Stacey Baker takes a slightly different approach, but in a similar vein. Baker, associate photo editor at The New York Times Magazine, takes to the streets and photographs women’s legs from the waist down. The collection as a whole, of meticulously composed shots, documents a dizzying diversity of figures and fashions, with these swift street encounters with perfect strangers. Baker has documented this series on social media, amassing almost 80,000 Instagram followers along the way. Her recently published book, NY Legs, is available for purchase (here).

Via Instragram and lensculture.com

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We love alphabet-based typography work (here and here), and artwork from everyday objects (here and here), so we are naturally drawn to this series, STRUCTURE x Type, by Indian design student Rigved Sathe. With form and structure in mind, Sathe created each individual letter from an object (or objects) corresponding to the letter. We love his use of subtle details, from the ghosted letter in the background, to the objects very subtly peeking in from all sides of the perimeter. Sathe has a terrific sense of composition, and his letterforms are quite unique. It’s amazing how typographic explorations of the alphabet itself never get old, and we’re very fond of this talented student’s take.

Via Behance

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Graffiti by its very nature changes the appearance of the surface on which it is displayed. But what happens when the “graffiti” itself continually changes as well? Delhi, India-based graffiti artist Daku (which literally means “bandit” or “dacoit” in Hindi… clearly a reference to the outlaw nature of graffiti art itself) explores this concept with his absolutely brilliant piece Time Changes Everything. Technically more public art than graffiti, Daku worked with St+art India Foundation, a non-profit organization that works on art projects in public spaces with accessibility of art as the main goal. Daku’s innovative work is basically a typographic sundial, where thoughtfully chosen words associated with change over the passage of time cast a shadow on a building’s facade by way of sunlight. From conception to execution, we are absolutely taken with this project. Mystery surrounding Daku’s actual identity may be part of his allure, but his overwhelming talent is crystal clear.

Via st-artindia.org and Instagram (daku156 and startindia)

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We’ve featured California-based contemporary artist Andrew Myers before (here), but his awesome work deserves a revisit. Myers amalgamates sculpture and portraiture in some really intriguing ways. Whether intentional or not, on some level Myers’ work bears some resemblance (at least conceptually) to that of the great Chuck Close. Rather than splotchy “pixels” of paint, Myers’ work is comprised of screws (yes, as in something you’d get from a hardware store). He painstakingly drives thousands of screws by hand (ranging from a few thousand to over 10,000) at various depths into his “canvas”, then paints over each screw head to create these brilliant works, that in the end are basically three dimensional sculptures. These stunning portraits are engaging viewed from near or far, but as one gets closer, it’s clear that Myers spends some serious time creating these works. He has an obvious love for working with his hands and clearly knows his way around a tool bench… hardware seems to be a common theme in all of his work, from these aforementioned screws to steel rods and even automotive paint. You will see in the video below, Myers has the hands of a carpenter, and we can see why. Tremendous, tactile work… we absolutely love it.

Via andrewmyersart.com

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When you think of 3D renderings, you immediately imagine some complex computer algorithm that miraculously adds a new dimension to something otherwise flat. With that notion in mind, the work of self-taught Serbian artist Nikola Čuljić will floor you. Not only is Čuljić an adept artist, mastering light and shadow with little more than colored pencils, markers and pastels, but he also has a computer-like mind for depth and dimension. Čuljić’s work is basically an optical illusion that confuses the viewer’s brain into thinking his drawings are somehow emerging from a flat paper surface, coming to life before one’s very eyes. Čuljić has smartly taken to social media with his unique work, racking up over 13K Facebook likes, nearly 16K Instagram followers and literally hundreds of thousands of YouTube views. Take a look for yourself… prepare to be amazed.

Via Facebook, Instagram and YouTube

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You must admit, the “pumpkin spice” phenomenon that has taken over in recent years may be getting bit out of hand. We find premature pumpkin spicing particularly offensive (as does this guy)… we do not need pumpkin spiced anything in August! In any case, with the autumnal flavors creeping in, so do all the colors, textures and visuals of the season. We love food-related typography (here and here and here), so when UK designer Daniel Coleman pulled back the curtain on his process for this fittingly delicious take on pumpkin spiced typography, we were immediately intrigued. In his own words, Coleman discusses the project: “Esquires’ Pumpkin Spice Latte is the coffee chain’s hero product for Autumn 2016. We were asked to produce a key visual that captured the Esquires brand points of being artisan and handmade, whilst conveying the products ingredients as authentic (and not just a syrup shot). We designed a visual that captured those standpoints, with a particular focus on the authentic ingredients. By creating the type out of cinnamon, we could emphasise the flavour in the latte. To further set the mood, we added leaves and key ingredients around the typography. We experimented with various ingredients, looking at what gave the greatest clarity, colour and perception of flavour. Given the nature of the product we decided to work with cinnamon. The type was created by adjusting a font named ‘Beyond the Mountains’, making sure it had no complete bowls, eyes or loops. The next step was to laser cut it out onto card to create our stencil. The final result took a few experiments, using varying amounts of cinnamon to ensure the best detail and legibility.”

Via Behance

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