Archives for category: Portrait

We have long commented on the convergence of history and art. They are intrinsically intertwined, reliant on one another in many ways. So when an artist turns the documentation and storytelling aspect of said junction on its head, we surely take notice. For his series The American Revolution Revolution, Denver-based artist Shawn Huckins masterfully juxtaposes early American portraiture with social media jargon. Thoughtfully conceptualized and brilliantly executed, Huckins’s incredible work succeeds on so many levels. And it’s also important to note that these are physical paintings, should Huckins’s artistic ability ever come into question. Huckins is a superb American artist who is clearly inspired by American Neo-Classical painters, as well as more contemporary Pop artists. In his own words, Huckins explains the series: “The American Revolution was conceived through an exchange of a few well-formed ideas communicated in person and by handwritten letters. Imagine what George & Co. could have done with the Internet. Or not. Technology influences how much we know and what we believe, as well as how quickly and intelligently we convey our ideas. But does how we communicate govern the value of what we communicate? The physical act of typing very fast on small devices has undeniably impacted spelling, grammar, and punctuation, encouraging a degree of illiteracy that has become the new social norm. As goes our grammatical literacy, do our social and cultural literacies follow?”

Via shawnhuckins.com

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Italian photographer Dan Bannino is a consummate storyteller with a particular penchant for still life and commercial photography. Much of his work could just as easily find a home on a gallery wall as in the pages of a mass market magazine, like National Geographic, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Cosmopolitan and many others. With his terrific Power and Food series, Bannino explores the eating habits of powerful and influential people from around the world. In our celebrity-obsessed culture any glimpse “behind the curtain,” so to speak, is valued. A look into the private lives of public figures, no matter how brief or inconsequential, makes us feel a little closer to them. Bannino’s series capitalizes on that curiosity, with his vibrant and arresting images. We particularly love his compositions and bold style. In his own words, Bannino states, “If you’re a fast food aficionado or a pizza freak, you have more in common with Mr. Donald J. Trump, and Pope Francis himself than you ever imagined. Check out some of the most unexpected food patterns of the world’s leaders, and you’ll never eat the same way again.”

Via danbannino.com

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We’ve looked at double exposure photography many times before (here and here and here), but we’ve never seen analog work quite like this arresting series, Jarred & Displaced, by Finnish photographer Christoffer Relander. We often marvel at artists who choose more traditional or “old school” methods of art making, which is the case with Relander’s striking photos here. Rather than capturing his photos digitally, then quickly bringing them into Photoshop for manipulation, Relander takes to the dark room to work his magic. While each composite is brilliant by its own merits, Relander’s process somehow makes his work that much more precious. As if pouring his heart into these very personal photographs was not enough, Relander also collaborated with fellow Finnish photographer and filmmaker Anders Lönnfeldt on a simply exquisite short film about this project, which is a true work of art in and of itself. In his own words, Relander discusses this mysteriously beautiful ongoing project: “For over a year now I’ve been collecting landscapes in jars using analog double exposures—in this project I have realized a childish dream. I play with the idea of being an ambitious collector; conserving my environments into a large personal collection. Most landscapes are from where I grew up, in the countryside in the south of Finland, where my roots still lie. Separation anxiety to my childhood is simply what absorbed me into this project.”

Via christofferrelander.com

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A lot has happened in the world since we last visited the quirky and thought-provoking work of Atlanta-based BBDO Creative Director Stephen McMennamy. Yet his steadfast #ComboPhotos project continues to churn out clever mashups and engage people around the globe. In fact, as cited in our previous post (here) back in September 2015, he had almost 50K Instagram followers… well, his following has ballooned to 226K and growing. And for good reason. His compositions, which are all comprised of original, thoughtfully captured photography (rather than stock images) are simple and fun. Their brilliance is in their subtlety, and also the purposeful absence of Photoshop blending tools. McMennamy’s work makes us do a double-take, which is a sure measure of something special in our minds. His work is as impressive as ever… can’t wait to check back in another 16 months to see what McMennamy has conjured up.

Via Instagram

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Israeli photographer Rubi Lebovitch has a sort of subversive sense of humor, and for the record, we love it. Though his photographs themselves are pretty straightforward, Lebovitch has the uncanny ability to find the absurd in the ordinary. There’s a great cerebral quality to his work, in which the viewer is not guided by a predetermined story arc, but instead can deduce any number of things from his unexpected and beautifully absurd work. For his series Home Sweet Home, Lebovitch utilizes an intimate domestic setting for a veritable fun house. There is a certain charm in Lebovitch’s hyperbole, and ironically enough, you too can display it in your own home in a tidy coffee table book (available here). In his own words, Lebovitch discusses his book: “My photographs deal with domestic scenes captured in straightforward images…characterized by mystery, vagueness and absurdity. I create a twist in familiar sights and build new contexts, thus endowing the scene with new meanings. Mundane objects and domestic spaces are transformed into something strange and surprising. My images do not contain a clear-cut story or plot. The characters are inscrutable to the viewers and difficult to identify; their relationship with the world around them is senseless and they fail to communicate. Rationality is substituted by a twisted and exaggerated worldview. I employ a multiplicity of objects, allowing the objects to grow stronger and take over reality; they occupy and control the space. The scenes depicted in the photographs emphasize what usually remains hidden: the repressed, which cannot be described. The anxiety these scenes arouse undermines the peacefulness and security usually associated with home.”

Via rubilebovitch.com and loeildelaphotographie.com

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It is said that art is often an honest reflection of societal issues at large. History shows that for centuries art has been a sort of barometer, documenting larger issues through the lens of the artist. This certainly holds true for the work of Italian artist Alessandro Rabatti. His series Facebank serves as commentary for the very uncertain financial state of the world today, with a humorous bent, of course. Rabatti alters iconic faces on currency (related posts here and here and here) from around the world, “disguising” them as fictional superheroes. Despite the seemingly fun nature of these pieces, Rabatti’s intent and message is likely much deeper. For one, by altering the faces of these historical figures to look like familiar comic book characters with a rich (albeit fictional) history of their own, Rabatti remarks on their economic and political status, looking to them as possible “saviors” of the global economic crisis. There is an implied trust in these figures, both real and fictional, so the dialogue Rabatti initiates with this series could really go on and on. Oh, and these works are just plain cool looking. From conception to execution, we’d say Rabatti has creative super powers of his own.

Via alessandrorabatti.com

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We feature fan art (here and here and here) from time to time… we are all about equal opportunity, and certainly feel there’s a place for such creativity. While some in the art community discount fan art because it is based on someone else’s original content, we are from the camp that believes fan art, though not necessarily a complete original expression of the artist because it is derived from already existing content, is a creative expression nonetheless. Fan artists add their own individual style, which is intrinsically expressive and unique. One such case is that of Montreal-based artist Dada, who has a clear penchant for Disney stories in particular. She draws familiar Disney characters not necessarily to mimic them exactly, but to present them in new and distinctive ways. Dada’s latest series merges beloved Disney heroes with their often maligned counterparts. Her drawing skills are impressive, and we love the process videos she often posts on social media. This nod to a very open and unfettered process of art making is certainly in the spirit of Disney, and just reinforces the sense that we all share a love and admiration for their wondrous storytelling. What fun it is to see these clear juxtapositions of good versus evil. Well done.

Via Instagram

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It’s true that we’ve seen our fair share of movie posters through the years (here, here and here), but nothing quite like these. Manchester, UK-based designer/photographer/poster artist Jordan Bolton doesn’t rely on highly stylized shots from the film, or even the film’s actors. No effects-laden titles or much typography to speak of at all. Instead, for his Objects series, Bolton meticulously arranges prop elements from each film, paying careful attention to color palettes and composition to relay the film’s themes. For his Rooms series, Bolton applies that same attention to detail, focusing instead on recreating floor plans from keys scenes in the films. We cannot imagine how much close watching of these films Bolton does to be able to create these works. This is a true cinephile’s dream, and lucky for them Bolton sells prints here and here.

Via Tumblr and Facebook

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We’ve seen art created from a wide variety of media, but nothing quite like this. As a matter of fact, if you had to guess how these were created just by looking at them, you’d probably have a hard time figuring it out. Relying on little more than brown packing tape, an Xacto and the filtering of light behind a translucent surface, Amsterdam-based artist Max Zorn’s work is awe-inspiring. The nuance in shading he achieves by layering tape is astounding all on its own. Never mind Zorn’s ability to manipulate the tape so intricately. It’s interesting how these works, composed of such an unexpected and artless material, are so beautiful. Zorn clearly has a penchant for the past, as indicated by his choice of subjects for the majority of his work. Interestingly, Zorn’s fondness for packing tape began as street art, as he describes in his own words: “There’s a lot of great street art by day, but it disappears after dark. I wanted to come up with urban art that uses nighttime as a setting, and there was nothing more inviting than the street lamps in Amsterdam. In the beginning I used packing tape to fill in larger sections of my marker drawings. Once I hung them on street lamps, the light’s effect opened up new ideas with ditching markers and just using tape.”

Via maxzorn.com and YouTube

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With financial matters on the minds of many around the world on the heals of our historic presidential election just one week ago, we thought it fitting to share this project by Georgian illustrator/designer Tatiana Trikoz. Commissioned by Swiss banking group Swissquote, Trikoz created these incredibly intricate currency portraits featuring some of the world’s most famous billionaires – Mark Zuckerberg, Richard Branson and Elon Musk. Trikoz seamlessly adheres to the look of the existing currency she aims to mimic… we are in awe of the stunning details. Perhaps our president-elect will commission her to imagine his likeness on U.S. currency in the near future? Crazier things have happened….

Via Behance

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