Tag Archives: black and white

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

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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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Ancient Trees: Beth Moon’s 14-Year Quest to Photograph the World’s Most Majestic Trees

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Criss-crossing the world with stops on almost every continent, San Francisco-based photographer Beth Moon spent the last 14 years seeking out some of the largest, rarest, and oldest trees on Earth to capture with her camera. Moon develops her exhibition prints with a platinum/palladium process, an extremely labor-intensive and rare practice resulting in prints with tremendous tonal range that are durable enough to rival the longitivity of her subjects, potentially lasting thousands of years. Moon’s collected work of 60 duotone prints were recently published in a new book titled Ancient Trees: Portraits of Time. From Abbeville Press:

This handsome volume presents sixty of Moon’s finest tree portraits as full-page duotone plates. The pictured trees include the tangled, hollow-trunked yews—some more than a thousand years old—that grow in English churchyards; the baobabs of Madagascar, called “upside-down trees” because of the curious disproportion of their giant trunks and modest branches; and the fantastical dragon’s-blood trees, red-sapped and umbrella-shaped, that grow only on the island of Socotra, off the Horn of Africa.

Moon is currently working on a new series of trees photographed by starlight called Diamond Nights. (via Huffington Post)

Avenue of the Baobabs

Bowthorpe Oak copy

Bufflesdrift Baobab 2-2 copy

Croft Chestnut 1 copy

Desert Rose (Wadi Fa Lang) copy

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Sentinels Neg 2014

Wakehurst Yews

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Majestic Black and White Studio Portraits of Goats and Sheep by Kevin Horan

Ben #1, 2014
Ben #1, 2014. Photo © Kevin Horan.

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Sherlock #2, 2012. Ella #1, 2014. Photos © Kevin Horan.

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Carl #1. Photos © Kevin Horan.

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Xantippe #1. Lizzie #1. Photo © Kevin Horan.

Jake #1, 2012
Jake #1, 2012. Photo © Kevin Horan.

horan-4Sydney #3. Xenia #1. Photos © Kevin Horan.

Mr. Beasley #1, 2014
Mr. Beasley #1, 2014. Photo © Kevin Horan.

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Briede #1. Honey #3. Photos © Kevin Horan.

Honey #1, 2014
Honey #1, 2014. Photo © Kevin Horan.

When it comes to fancy studio portraits of pets, it’s no surprise people are willing to hire photographers for loving photos of their cats and dogs, we’ve even seen cameras thoughtfully trained on chickens and exotic snakes, but commercial photographer Kevin Horan decided it was high time for an artistically neglected group of barnyard animals to step into the spotlight: goats and sheep. In 2007, Horan moved from Chicago to Whidbey Island, Washington where he approached a neighbor about photographing one of his sheep. The neighbor agreed and his portrait series Chattel was born.

Lately, Horan photographs mostly sheep and goats from the New Moon Farm Goat Rescue in Arlington, WA, where he sets up a portable studio and works with assistants to achieve surprisingly emotive and humorous portraits that reveal the subtle personality of each animal. The wildly popular series was selected in Photolucida’s Critical Mass Top 50 for 2014, and one of the photos was acquired by the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. Prints are available upon request. (via Slate, PetaPixel)

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Artist Kevin Weir Creates Ghostly Animated GIFs Using Archival Photos from the Library of Congress

Starting this month Verizon FiOS customers can get upload speeds every bit as fast as their download speeds. Since that means faster, easier sharing of high-res illustrations, designs, and photos, FiOS is sponsoring a series of posts on Colossal to help us commission and share these super hi-res animated GIFs from some of the most amazing artists we could find.

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Art director and designer Kevin Weir uses historical black and white photographs forgotten to time as the basis for his quirky—and slightly disturbing—animated GIFs. His path to online GIF superstardom began when he was in high school. He tells us that “my parents’ boss bought me a copy of Photoshop and I decided I wanted to be some kind of designer.” Having mastered the software, he found himself five years later “making black and white GIFs as a way to occupy myself during the downtime of an internship I had during grad school.” He shared the images on his Tumblr, Flux Machine where they quickly went viral.

Weir makes use of photographs he finds in the Library of Congress online archive, and is deeply drawn to what he calls “unknowable places and persons,” images with little connection to present day that he can use as blank canvas for his weird ideas. Perhaps it’s the nature of his imagination, or maybe a result of the medium’s limited frames of animation to communicate anything too serious, but despite the creepiness factor, it’s hard to not to smile at the absurdity of his ideas.

Weir is now an art director at Droga5 in NYC, he also also animates music videos and sassy birds.

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