Archives for category: Inspiration

Photo manipulation, at its very core, is surrealist. The results are often unnerving and illogical, but with photographic precision. London-based creative production studio Happy Finish offers high-end retouching as one of its many capabilities to a vast array of notable clients including Nike, Google, Samsonite, Gillette and Smirnoff, to name a few. Here are a handful of samples of Happy Finish’s work that could honestly stand on their own, outside of any marketing context, as thought-provoking works of art. Hats off to the talented artists at Happy Finish for elevating CGI to a whole new level.

More surrealist work here and here and here.

Via Behance

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Posters are some of our favorite, yet challenging, projects. Poster design is a marriage between visual aesthetic and the delivery of information, between textual and graphical elements… the very fundamentals of graphic design. It should come as no surprise, then, that an institution as important and influential as the New York Film Festival places great emphasis on this visual embodiment of its annual event. Festival organizers manage to recruit some truly respected artists and photographers year after year for its remarkable posters. Below is just a sampling, starting with this year’s by renowned sculptor Richard Serra.

Via nytimes.com

Having a close relationship with marketing at ESPN, we see (and create ourselves) lots of sports-related designs. We recently came across the work of a young Texas-based designer by the name of Nick Bascus. His growing portfolio as a whole has a very nice aesthetic, and he has a clear grasp of graphic design fundamentals like color and typography. But the work that really shines is Bascus’s series of low-polygon illustrations and posters featuring some current NBA stars. These killer designs hit all the right notes, from composition to color choices. Bascus could easily expand on this series with great success, and we honestly hope to see his work on the pages of ESPN The Magazine (nudge, nudge… @espnmag) someday soon.

Via nickbascus.com

Autumn is finally upon us, and time for all things pumpkin spice (don’t get us started), as well as corn mazes and such. Which got us thinking… have you ever seen rice paddy art? Originating in Japan, rice paddy art is achieved when people plant rice of various types and colors to create giant pictures in a paddy field. Inakadate, a Japanese village in the prefecture of Aomori is thought to be the birthplace of this fascinating art form that dates back not thousands of years, but to the early 1990s. As a way to revitalize their village, officials of Inakadate decided to cleverly capitalize on a natural resource of 2,000+ years as a way to boost tourism and celebrate their culture. Since then stunning aerial masterpieces have been created year after year, gaining Inakadate recognition not only through local tourism but also through astounded onlookers by way of the internet (much like yourself). Media company Great Big Story, with their uncanny ability to tell stories, recently produced a beautifully shot piece profiling Inakadate, which garnered their stunning landscape and ingenuity further attention.

Via greatbigstory.com and vill.inakadate.lg.jp

We are always intrigued by reinterpretations of existing designs. In our minds, a strong reinterpretation usually derives from the original, but in new and interesting ways. Brazilian designer Matteus Faria happens to be a big fan of the band Oasis and paid tribute to them by reimagining their seven studio albums. What struck us is Faria’s minimalistic approach. But it’s not minimalism just for the sake of it, Faria was thoughtfully analytical when he sort of deconstructed the designs. In his own words, Faria explains: “I put together all the original covers to analyze each of them, so I’ve made a color palette based on the photographs of the scenes. After that, I looked at the scenario something that could be represented in a simple and direct way. For example, in the first cover (“Definitely Maybe”) the element that I chose to use was the window that has an octagon shape. The typeface, Helvetica, gives a nice and clean atmosphere, combining perfectly with the cover’s shapes.”

More reinterpretations, minimalism and Brazilian designers here and here and here.

Via matteusfaria.com

In honor of National Coffee Day, we thought it fitting to showcase an artist who (subtly) uses the magical brown elixir to make art. Maui-based mixed-media artist Alessandra Maria creates beautifully detailed, dark and delicate portraits using little more than a pencil, black ink and gold leaf on coffee-stained paper. Inspired by Austrian symbolist painter Gustav Klimt, Maria’s haunting life-like portraits evoke fantasy and mystery with intricate details set on an eerily enigmatic surface achieved through the coffee’s dark brown grounds. There are even religious overtones in these thought-provoking masterpieces. Maria’s work is simply beautiful and poignant.

Via alessandramaria.com

For most artists, the palette knife is used for mixing paint, and in conjunction with brushes for applying paint. Tehran-based artist Salman Khoshroo eliminates brushes altogether. He applies thick layers of oil paint to his (massive) canvases with an arsenal of palette knives with such deliberate precision. Not only does Khoshroo have a deep visual understanding of the human form, but his sense of color is truly astounding. For an application process that seems so heavy-handed, Khoshroo remarkably uses color in clever and sometimes subtle ways as to establish cohesion in these borderline abstract works. We’d love to see a Bob Ross-style process video by Khoshroo… We find his method and resulting work equally intriguing.

Via salmankhoshroo.com

Melbourne, Australia-based contemporary artist Ben Frost has a pop art aesthetic with a subversive, confrontational spirit. In some of his most recent work, Frost essentially uses mainly (junk) food and pharmaceutical packaging as a canvas for his bold illustrations inspired by pop culture, Roy Lichtenstein, and manga. His mashups are not random, though… Frost exhibits his mastery of juxtaposition with these works in a way that can be truly provocative. Through his work, Frost continually pushes boundaries and challenges social norms while addressing our advertising-soaked, consumer-obsessed culture. In his own statement, Frost describes: “By subverting mainstream iconography from the worlds of advertising, entertainment, and politics, he creates a visual framework that is bold, confronting and often controversial.”

Via benfrostisdead.com

LEGO bricks are no longer just plastic construction toys, they have permeated all facets of pop culture lately… showing up on the silver screen, in video games, on clothing and even fine art. Classically trained Italian artist Stefano Bolcato has had such a penchant for the timeless toys since childhood that he began using them, and specifically the yellow minifigures, as subject matter for years. Recently, Bolcato took this a step further by reimagining classic paintings with LEGO figures in his series titled People. From Andy Warhol’s legendary Marilyn Diptych to Frida Kahlo’s Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird and Leonardo da Vinci’s Portrait of an Unknown Woman (La Belle Ferroniere), Bolcato’s oil paintings are fun and approachable. We’d love to see him expand on the series…. The possibilities are endless.

More LEGO art here and here and here.

Via stefanobolcato.com and Instagram

With one of his latest masterpieces, Wreck, Brooklyn-based sculptor/artist Jordan Griska beautifully juxtaposes opulence and misfortune in a truly provocative way. Painstakingly crafted from over 12,000 individual pieces of mirror-finish stainless steel over the course of almost two years, Griska’s Wreck tells the story of a (life-size) Mercedes-Benz S550 involved in a fatality wreck. We are absolutely in awe of this piece, and Griska multi-disciplinary approach, from 3D modeling technology, engineering proficiency, precision laser cutting and good old fashioned hand assembly. Not only is this fascinating sculpture beautiful, but it also evokes very relevant and stimulating sociopolitical concepts surrounding wealth and debauchery. Griska says it best: “The perfect geometry and flawless materiality of the piece reflect the inspiration of idealized digital design, in stark contrast with the grimness of the reality it represents. Beauty, technology and engineering collide with death and reality.”

Via jordangriska.com

Jordan Griska's Wreck on view at Pier 9 today till Sunday, 11 – 7. Across from @fringearts #pcwreck

A post shared by Philadelphia Contemporary (@philadelphiacontemporary) on

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