With the proliferation of digital photography, pared with editing software like Photoshop, photo retouching is basically the norm these days. There has certainly been some controversy (good example here) surrounding the practice, especially when it comes to the issue of misrepresentation. Hungarian photographer/artist Flora Borsi specializes in digital manipulation, but with surprising effect that can even be described as unnerving. Turning retouching on its head, with her project Stockify, Borsi’s work clearly finds inspiration from legendary surrealist painters that came before her, most notably Picasso and Dali. Borsi brings the fundamentals of surrealist artwork, particularly unexpected juxtapositions, to the digital age with this arresting series. In her own words, “In this project I’ve been analyzing some fashion portraits, how perfect they are. So I made the opposite of retouching, somehow I distouched these pictures of perfect models. This project is connected to surrealist painters point of view: beauty wasn’t enough to give me interest. I love imperfections as much as I love surrealism. These pictures are my little monsters, no one wants to look like them, because they are totally unique.”
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.
More current surrealist art here and here and here.