Archives for posts with tag: thought provoking

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

Advertisements

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

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

mcmennamy-01 mcmennamy-21 mcmennamy-20 mcmennamy-19 mcmennamy-18 mcmennamy-17 mcmennamy-16 mcmennamy-15 mcmennamy-14 mcmennamy-13 mcmennamy-12 mcmennamy-11 mcmennamy-10 mcmennamy-09 mcmennamy-08 mcmennamy-07 mcmennamy-06 mcmennamy-05 mcmennamy-04 mcmennamy-03 mcmennamy-02

Believe it or not, for being such a simple, uncomplicated product, Lego has some particularly clever and thought-provoking advertisements (here and here). Already three years old, this campaign celebrating 55 years of the Lego brand is basically a series of 55 visual riddles, fittingly featuring little more than the iconic bricks. The great minds at Swiss agency Cavalcade are behind these fantastically clever designs, which, much like Legos themselves, inspire a great deal of imagination. We must admit, we’re still struggling to solve many of these, but it’s so satisfying having solved the ones we did. Answer key to the few ads featured here at the bottom of this post. No peeking, try to figure them out for yourself!

Via Behance

cavalcade-01 cavalcade-02 cavalcade-03 cavalcade-04 cavalcade-05 cavalcade-06 cavalcade-07 cavalcade-08 cavalcade-09 cavalcade-10 cavalcade-11 cavalcade-12 cavalcade-13 cavalcade-14 cavalcade-15 cavalcade-16 cavalcade-17 cavalcade-18 cavalcade-19 cavalcade-20 cavalcade-21 cavalcade-22

Answers (in order of images): Yellow Submarine, Alice in Wonderland, Three Little Pigs, Purple Rain, Jaws, Spider-Man, The White Stripes, Hunger Games, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Bob Marley and the Wailers, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Jackson 5, King Kong, Titanic, Stairway to Heaven, I Walk the Line, The Beatles, New Kids on the Block, Little Red Riding Hood, Clockwork Orange, Men in Black, Rolling Stones

On the heals of a dark and bizarre U.S. presidential debate the other night, and the seemingly endless campaign (thankfully) coming to a close in exactly four weeks, we thought it fitting to take a look at artwork with world leaders as subject matter. This is, of course, not regal portraiture hung in the Smithsonian in gilded frames. Israeli illustrator/designer/artist Amit Shimoni’s Hipstory series reimagines world leaders (wanna-be and actual), past and present, is hipsters from all walks of life, complete with piercings, facial hair, and all sorts of hairdos. We appreciate that Simoni’s work (for sale here) is free of political agenda, but rather casts these larger-than-life figures in a new, fresh light. Simply fun and a bit thought-provoking.

Via shimoni-illustration.com

shimoni-01 shimoni-02 shimoni-03 shimoni-04 shimoni-05 shimoni-06 shimoni-07 shimoni-08 shimoni-09 shimoni-10 shimoni-11 shimoni-12 shimoni-13 shimoni-14

Fresh on the minds of Americans in this spirited election season, and following last night’s first presidential debate, Donald Trump has firmly cemented his Q Rating (whether favorable or not) into the public consciousness. It should come as no surprise, then, when artwork reflects current affairs (related posts here and here). We’ve discussed the awesome and thought-provoking work of Brazilian artist Butcher Billy not long ago (here), and thought it fitting to share his recent series featuring Trump. Butcher Billy’s skill is clear, and this homage to Belgian surrealist René Magritte, aptly titled Trump X Magritte: The Surrealist Series, draws on his keen sense of color and composition. As Butcher Billy says himself, “Because nothing is more surreal than The Donald.”

Via Behance

butcherbilly-01 butcherbilly-02 butcherbilly-03 butcherbilly-04 butcherbilly-05 butcherbilly-06 butcherbilly-07 butcherbilly-08 butcherbilly-09 butcherbilly-10 butcherbilly-11 butcherbilly-12

On this Earth Day, we thought it appropriate to feature work that promotes that trendy buzz word: upcycling. In other words, reusing objects that would otherwise be discarded in such a way as to create something of higher quality or value than the original. In this case, it’s the inventive work of UK photographer Dan Tobin Smith. For his project entitled The First Law of Kipple, Smith basically collected a very wide array of rubbish, then painstakingly chromatically arranged it with such attention, that he achieved pleasing gradients from color to color (no Photoshop filters here, folks). And we’re not talking a handful of objects, but thousands upon thousands. What’s this peculiar word “kipple”, you ask? It’s actually a fictional word that was coined by science fiction writer Philip K. Dick in his 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (the film adaptation was Blade Runner), and is used to describe useless, pointless stuff that humans accumulate. It’s sort of odd even saying it, but Smith’s creative display of such junk is quite beautiful and thought-provoking. This project certainly appeals to our own nerdy desire for order and color harmony.

More chromatic-centric posts here and here and here.

Via dantobinsmith.com and Instagram

Smith-01 Smith-02 Smith-03 Smith-04 Smith-05 Smith-06 Smith-07 Smith-08 Smith-09 Smith-10 Smith-11 Smith-12

It wasn’t long ago we featured the work of Hungarian photographer/artist Flora Borsi. Once again, Borsi brings a certain edginess to the art of digital manipulation. While retouching can sometimes be seen as gratuitous, Borsi elevates photo-manipulation to an art form. Her work is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. In her latest series of self-portraits she calls Animeyed, Borsi poses with animals in such a way that they seem to share an eye. Her work has an interesting way of coming across as playful, but also slightly uncomfortable at the same time. Creative, clever and captivating. Once again, we love it.

Via floraborsi.com

Borsi-01 Borsi-02 Borsi-03 Borsi-04 Borsi-05 Borsi-06

Most designers know that sometimes in order to really grab an audience’s attention, you need to be edgy, perhaps even controversial. This notion is not lost on Brazilian-born, Hamburg, Germany-based art director Felipe Nunes Franco. His refreshingly unexpected approach to soliciting something as virtuous as organ donation, of all things, is both tongue-in-cheek and thought provoking. For his series, Everyone Has Something Good, Franco skillfully illustrates how even notorious bad guys, both real and fictional, literally have good hearts. Franco’s subjects include Bin Laden, Hitler, Darth Vader and (wait for it) Justin Bieber! Given the sad state of the world, this series could really be ongoing. We’d love to see more!

Via Tumblr

Franco-01 Franco-02 Franco-03 Franco-04 Franco-05 Franco-06 Franco-07 Franco-08Franco-09Franco-10

We must admit, we have a certain fascination with messy things. There are definitely scholarly psychological studies on the matter, but our armchair psychologist observation falls somewhere in the realm of an innate human interest in discomfort, and how a visual mess makes one feel. While some are unfazed, others may be repulsed or attracted to a mess. We’re just scratching the surface here, in terms of experiences and the mental processes behind them, but San Diego-based photographer Keith Allen Phillips actually sets forth an intriguing series that got us thinking about this in the first place. Aptly entitled Messy, Phillips’s series verges on the subversive… naked women covered in a variety of messy foods. The results are actually sort of unexpected, and we almost forget about the food aspect, and focus instead on the mess, and how the models must feel (is it titillating, liberating, frustrating?). This thought-provoking series really does bring up so many feelings, exemplifying the true power of art.

Via keithallenphillips.com

Phillips-01 Phillips-02 Phillips-03 Phillips-04 Phillips-05 Phillips-06 Phillips-07 Phillips-08 Phillips-09 Phillips-10 Phillips-11 Phillips-12 Phillips-13 Phillips-14 Phillips-15 Phillips-16 Phillips-17 Phillips-18

%d bloggers like this: