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.”
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.
We find the manipulation of wood just fascinating. In the right hands, the possibilities are endless. In its natural state as trees, wood can obviously be quite beautiful. But the notion that an artist can create objects that harken back to their natural state, even after having served a function, is really quite something. The extraordinary work of Paris-based French-Argentinean artist and designer Pablo Reinoso speaks to this very idea: “For the series entitled Spaghetti Bench, Pablo Reinoso used public benches, which are anonymously designed and travel across cultures with an out-of-time, old-fashioned quality, as a starting point for his reflections. Started in 2006, these new creations have multiplied and found homes in very diverse places. In line with his work on Thonet’s chairs, the artist explores once again the seat as object. Yet this time it is no longer the object but matter that frees itself from its function and pursues its fate of wood, tree, plant. Reinoso stages benches that, after having accomplished their task as furniture, revert into growing, climbing branches. This freedom is expressed in a movement that embraces architecture, wandering through places, exploring their nooks and crannies, and giving free rein to its whims.” The fluidity of his work, juxtaposed with the perceived functionality of the traditional park bench, makes for some thought-provoking art. Each seems to tell a story. We are particularly taken with the Romeo and Juliette bench that climbs a balcony overhead. Incredible.