Tag Archives: black and white

New Black and White Surrealist Self-Portraits by Noell Oszvald


Visual artist Noell Osvald (previously) creates startlingly bold works through simple gestures all performed in black and white. The self-portraits rarely show the 25-year-old artist’s face, instead expressing emotion through the way she tilts her head or slightly crooks her neck. Emphasizing line, her works incorporate a strict horizon or eliminate it altogether, segmenting the image from left to right. In one particularly powerful image the back of her head faces the camera and her hair is completely down. Her hair is gently separated over her shoulders and her part continues upward from the nape of her neck and meets with the corner of the wall above. She stands directly in the center of this division, making it seem as if her environment is splitting her in two.

The self-taught artist’s works are mostly composites that only allude to being photographs. She explains that she does not pre-visualize any of her works, all are completely spontaneous. “I find post-processing the most enjoyable part of creating,” she told Lines magazine. “I build my pictures up from several different ones, much like a jigsaw puzzle.”

You can see more images by Osvald on her Flickr and Instagram.









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Meet a Completely Colorblind Man Who Uses Special Tech to ‘Hear’ Colors

Produced as a part of The Connected Series, Hearing Colors, is a short film that explores the life of Neil Harbisson, a man who was born with achromatopsia that leaves 1 in 30,000 completely colorblind. Through an antenna-like object implanted into the back of his head, Harbisson is able to gain a comprehension of the colors around him by hearing distinct sounds.

Harbisson completely embraces the unusual technology and openly refers to himself as a cyborg. “I don’t feel that I am using technology. I don’t feel that I am wearing technology. I feel that I am technology,” Harbisson explains. “I feel no difference between the software and my brain.”

The five minute film, shot in black and white, gives the audience a sense of Harbisson’s artificially created one, letting us peer into how he sees humans, cities, and everyday life.

Hearing Colors was created by filmmaker Greg Brunkalla. You can see more of his films on his Vimeo page here. (via Swissmiss)

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Artist Jane Long Digitally Manipulates Black and White WWI-Era Photos Into Colorful Works of Fantasy

All Hands on Deck

All images provided by Jane Long Photography

Australian artist Jane Long transforms cracked and faded black and white photographs into colorful works of fantasy, giving the subjects a new, and entirely surreal context. The images she uses for her series, Dancing with Costica, were captured over a half century ago by Costică Acsinte a Romanian war photographer who documented WWI.

The glass-plate photographs by Costica capture the straight faces and intense eyes of the subjects taken long before smiling was common in images. “I wanted to change the context of the images,” says Long. “Photographic practices at the time meant people rarely smiled in photos but that doesn’t mean they didn’t laugh and love. I wanted to introduce that to the images.”

By altering the images Long imagines the subjects as characters, letting the audience decide whether they are bad or good. These colorful transformations have been a source of controversy as some viewers have felt it improper to alter images of those she doesn’t know. In response to these accusations the artist stands by her work and explains, “I wanted people to see these figures as real people, more than just an old photograph. Adding colour completely changes our perception of images.”

Long’s series Dancing with Costica will be exhibited from August 22nd to September 20th as part of the Ballarat International Photo Biennale. You can see more work by Long on her Facebook page here. (via My Modern Met)

Neptune's Bride



Tall Poppies


Burn it Down

A Fond Farewell



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Vincent van Gogh Possibly Identified in Newly Discovered Group Photo of Famous Artists from 1887

JULES ANTOINE (1863-1948) ATTR. – Vincent Van Gogh in conversation with friends, Paris, 96 rue Blanche, December 1887 Melanotype, direct positive and reversed image on blackboard (carton photographique), 86×112 mm, “Gautier Martin” stamp, recto. Vincent Van Gogh in conversation with Paul Gauguin, Emile Bernard, Félix Jobbé-Duval. André Antoine is standing between them.


Some experts believe this recently discovered 1887 melainotype showing six men drinking around a table may include a rare sighting of painter Vincent van Gogh. Van Gogh famously recorded himself in numerous self-portraits, but was known to abhor photography and supposedly never sat for a photo as an adult; only two rare photos of the artist as a child are known to exist, taken when he was 13 and 19.

The image first came to the attention of French photo expert Serge Plantureux when two individuals acquired the photo at an estate sale and thought they recognized a few of the faces, among them, artists Paul Gauguin and Emile Bernard—a significant discovery in and of itself. Analyzing the photographic process, the photographer (thought to be to Jules Antoine), and pinpointing the when the photo was taken raised the chances significantly that a bearded figure who appears amongst the gathering of stoic men might be Van Gogh. Serge Plantureux writes for magazine L’Oeil de la Photographie (The Eye of Photography):

The photograph they had brought to show me was small, dark, and rather difficult to see. Six characters were around a table. The light was pale, perhaps it was a winter afternoon.

They told me, still hesitant, that they thought they recognized the people in it, artists in whom they had long been interested. They were collectors and liked the painters of the late 19th century, in particular the neo-impressionists. They also said it was possible that one of the figures around the table was someone whose true face had never been seen.

The photo went to auction just this weekend and was expected to fetch between $136,000 to $170,000, though a final sale price hasn’t been made public. Still, some experts aren’t convinced. The photo expert for the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam feels it can’t be the artist “because it simply does not look like him,” and also mentions the artist’s desire to never be photographed. Others note that Van Gogh didn’t mention the gathering in his meticulously written letters from the time period.

Regardless, the photo is still of significant historical value and only time will tell if experts reach a consensus in the identities of everyone depicted. (via PetaPixel, Hyperallergic)

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Artist CJ Hendry Draws 50 Photorealistic Foods in 50 Days


Starting in February, Brisbane artist CJ Hendry embarked on an ambitious drawing project, the creation of 50 food drawings in 50 days, with a new piece posted to Instagram every 24 hours. Each black pen drawing of a photorealistic food set against the backdrop of an ornate French plate is rendered with a stunning grasp of shading and depth. You can scroll through the entire collection of photos here, and see some of her earlier large-scale drawings on Analogue/Digital.com.au. (via Boing Boing, The Cool Hunter)








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Bean: 1, Tourist: 0 — Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate Sculpture Fed-up with Chicago Weather


This photo pretty much sums up the feelings of an entire city as nearly 6 inches of snow fell on Chicago late this weekend. Local photographer Patricia Jones happened to be shooting by Kapoor’s Cloud Gate as tourists were snapping their own photos when the sculpture suddenly attacked. Hilariously perfect timing. (via Reddit, Instagram)

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Sinister Architecture Constructed from Archival Library of Congress Images by Jim Kazanjian






Inspired in part by the classic horror literature of H.P. Lovecraft, artist Jim Kazanjian (previously) assembles foreboding buildings using snippets of photographs found in the Library of Congress archives. Equal parts secret lair, insane asylum, and the work of a deranged architect, Kazanjian’s collages are created from 50-70 separate photographs taken over the last century. Each piece takes nearly three months to complete as he painstakingly searches for just the right elements, a process he likens to “solving a puzzle, except in reverse.” From his artist statement:

I’ve chosen photography as a medium because of the cultural misunderstanding that it has a sort of built-in objectivity. This allows me to set up a visual tension within the work, to make it resonate and lure the viewer further inside. My current series is inspired by the classic horror literature of H.P. Lovecraft, Algernon Blackwood and similar authors. I am intrigued with the narrative archetypes these writers utilize to transform the commonplace into something sinister and foreboding. In my work, I prefer to use these devices as a means to generate entry points for the viewer. I’m interested in occupying a space where the mundane intersects the strange, and the familiar becomes alien. In a sense, I am attempting to render the sublime.

You can see much more of Kazanjian’s work on his website, and at Jennifer Kostuik Gallery in Vancouver later this year. (via Colossal Submissions)

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