Archives for posts with tag: fantasy

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

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We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again… the proliferation of superhero movies in recent years has spawned all sorts of superhero art (here and here and here), which we are generally fond of. If art is a barometer for cultural consciousness, then fantasy and escapism seem to be at the forefront of people’s thoughts lately. Dubai-based fashion and portrait photographer Martin Beck, however, looks at these extraordinary characters and personas as rather ordinary, beyond their colorful costumes. Beck’s series, We Can Be Heroes, is a collection of superbly gritty portraits of regular people with regular struggles, who might not otherwise be viewed as heroes. Beck, in his own words: “When we think of superheroes, we think of perfect bodies and beautiful faces., achieving unbelievable feats. There are people we idealize as characters that can do no wrong and only seem to exist in our daydreams. This project tries to humanize superheroes. Despite our flaws and failures, each of us, in our own way, can be heroes to our family, our friends, our colleagues and we all have the potential to help others. My Heroes are regular people not restricted by race, religion or beliefs. They live among us, they surround us, they are everywhere. Everyone is a superhero.”

Via martinbeckphotography.com

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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.

Via Behance

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It seems as if we are currently in the golden age of superheroes, at least if the release of major motion pictures is a gauge. These characters seem so pervasive in popular culture today, not just in the US but worldwide, that inspired works of art are almost inevitable. French photographer Sacha Goldberger really raises the bar with his phenomenal series Super Flemish. Goldberger uses not only superheroes, but also science-fiction and a few other characters from popular fantasies, and poses some intriguing questions: What if Superman was born in the sixteenth century? What if the Hulk was a Duke? How might Van Eyck have portrayed Snow White? And he answers them beautifully in this mashup of modern day superheroes, Flemish painting techniques and Elizabethan-era fashion. These works are really quite exquisite, and certainly thought-provoking. Well done, Mr. Goldberger!

This series is slightly reminiscent of work by British artist Steve Payne. More superhero related posts here and here and here.

Via sachabada.com

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We may have a subconscious fixation with design in Italy… unintentionally our second such post in a row. This time, we look at some imaginative work of Italian art director Matteo Pozzi. Though these are advertisements for the baby product company Cam, they could easily stand on their own as examples of surrealist design. Cam’s mission is, in part, “To look at the world through children’s eyes to understand exactly what they need… only those who know how to look at the world from a child’s point of view can find the solutions to make this world more enjoyable and, above all, safer.” For this campaign, Pozzi and team answer fanciful questions that children ask, employing a surreal visual narrative that is completely engaging. Though these pieces certainly have the potential to be a hodgepodge of gratuitous Photoshop effects, the execution of these concepts in the hands of Pozzi and his team feels organic and looks flawless.

More surreal design here and here and here.

Via Behance

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UK-based illustrator/designer Andy Fairhurst has amazing artistic abilities, specifically in the realm of what he refers to as “digital painting”, his tools of the trade being his iMac, digital pen and tablet. He also has a strong affinity for science-fiction and fantasy. Together these talents and interests have given birth to quite a body of work in a style all Fairhurst’s own. There’s a common stylistic thread throughout his works that we really love, and his sense of composition is particularly striking. Reimagining movie posters is a long tradition (as exhibited here and here and here), and Fairhurst’s work is among some of the best we’ve seen.

Via andyfairhurstart.com

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Russian-born surrealist painter and sculptor Vladimir Kush sees the world from a very unique perspective, and shares that vision with the world through his extraordinary work. We can’t help but compare these fascinating (and sometimes perplexing) visions to the work of Salvador Dalí. Although his style is often described as surrealist, Kush himself refers to it as “metaphorical realism”, as he describes in his credo: “Any metaphor has its own story to tell. Metaphor “sees” through centuries, unveiling the images of the world and connecting notions created by civilization. At the same time, metaphor can easily reflect the complexities of our modern life, with its ambiguity and contradictions. The painter’s mission is to find a metaphorical “parallel” for every side of real life. The element of unexpectedness will shake up the viewer and awaken his artistic nature.” Such unexpectedness abounds in Kush’s work… we find ourselves making new discoveries each time we look.

Via vladimirkush.com

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