Despite our humble opinion that Vincent van Gogh’s works are stunning as is, we were pleasantly entertained by the simple shift in focus made to his paintings by Reddit user melonshade. By placing the works into Photoshop and adding a bit of blur to the painting’s backgrounds, they were able to bring a new perspective to the century-old images, simulating the effect of a tilt-shift lens.
Melonshade’s interventions were inspired by image manipulations previously created by Serena Maylon on Artcyclopedia. You can also view Maylon’s altered works on Imgur. (via Laughing Squid)
In this brief video, artist Garip Ay creates an interpretation of Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’ painting using a paper marbling technique—or more specifically the Turkish method called ebru. Marbling involves the careful process of floating colors on the surface of water or a slightly more viscous solution called size, before transferring the design or pattern to a special sheet of paper in a dramatic flourish. If you liked this, here’s another video from the 1970s that demonstrates even more elaborate marbling techniques. (via Metafilter)
Hyperrealist painter Kevin Peterson paints fairytale-like interactions of children and wolves, birds, and bears in scenes much different than the pastoral worlds of storybooks. Instead Peterson places the unlikely packs in distressed cities filled with decaying buildings and urban detritus. Despite the worn surroundings, the young girls in the paintings maintain a sense of innocence while they bravely explore the streets with their powerful compatriots.
“My work is about the varied journeys that we take through life,” explains Peterson in his artist statement. “It’s about growing up and living in a world that is broken. These paintings are about trauma, fear and loneliness and the strength that it takes to survive and thrive. They each contain the contrast of the untainted, young and innocent against a backdrop of a worn, ragged, and defiled world.”
Flattening three-dimensional installations into two-dimensional images, Alexa Meade compresses reality by covering models in specifically applied paint, making sure to focus on painted shadows and highlights to transform her posed subjects into paintings. Meade’s works, which she has referred to as “reverse trompe l’oeil” combine installation, painting, photography, and even performance, as many of her works are done live and with little room for error. Mistakes made during her painting process however, often add to the overall dynamism of the piece, creating an aesthetic tension for each of her living works.
“There are so many things going on at once in my process that something is always bound to go wrong,” Meade recently told Colossal. “Having to problem solve in the moment and hack together a solution will typically result in me bringing something new and fresh to the painting that I didn’t intend or expect. The artwork often turns out so much better than I had originally envisioned.”
Often these errors are due to the fact that Meade is creating her works on live models, and unlike swathes of canvas, her medium has interests, personalities, and needs which influence the work. “If you are a painter painting on canvas you don’t have to care about its feelings or emotions,” said Meade, “the canvas doesn’t have to go to the bathroom.”
Meade didn’t always start out as an artist, in fact she studied politics and worked in Washington D.C. before experimenting with her current practice. “I discovered my method completely by accident,” said Meade. “Then I had to actually teach myself out to paint.” Now Meade is a represented artist in three countries and is often asked to do live painting performances, such as this month during FORM Arcosanti, an outdoor micro arts and music festival which we attended with WeTransfer and came across Meade’s work. You can see more of her process and images on her Facebook and Instagram.
Alexa Meade’s live painting during FORM Arcosanti, base makeup by Josephine Lee
For their latest video game INKS, London-based State of Play Games have created a new spin on classic pinball by turning the background of a pinball game into a piece of interactive art. As the ball traverses the course, the bright lights and clanking sounds of traditional pinball are replaced with pockets of watercolor paint that explode into flourishes. The ball in turn leaves trails of color as you solve each level.
State of Play are no strangers to turning a more tactile world into a digital game. You might remember their groundbreaking work in Lumino City (which won a BAFTA award) where real paper sets and characters were filmed and photographed as components of an immersive digital puzzle game. INKS has much of the same polish a detail, though allows for quicker gameplay. One of my favorite details is that every time you complete a level, the game board complete with paint trails is saved as a thumbnail like an artwork. You can even print and share them.
Inspired by artists like Miro, Matisse, Jackson Pollock and Bridget Riley, each table becomes a unique work of art in its own right, sculpted by the player as they fire an ink covered ball around the canvas. The player is encouraged to share their final work of art on social media with the iOS share function. They can even print them out if they like – with the story of their perfect game literally drawn on the canvas in front of them, something to be proud of and share.
Luke Whittaker from State of Play tells us they were partly inspired by Sam van Doom’s ink-based pinball game from 2012. It’s a visually stunning game with some pretty innovative ideas, even if you don’t particularly enjoy pinball. You can download INKS for iOS here.
From the smallest details expressed on canvas to the cracked facade of a multi-story building, Dutch artist Collin van der Sluijs is comfortable investigating what he refers to as “personal pleasures and struggles in daily life.” Working without sketches or notes, the artist dives into each artwork with spray paint, acrylics, and ink as ideas take hold and images slowly emerge. He frequently examines themes of the natural world such as the cycle of life, the depictions of various species of birds, and the psychology of beings both human and animalistic.
Van der Sluijs was most recently in Chicago where he completed a tremendous mural in the south loop as part of the Wabash Arts Corridor that depicts two endangered Illinois birds amongst an explosion of blooms. He also opened his first solo show in the U.S. titled “Luctor Et Emergo” at Vertical Gallery, featuring a wide range of paintings and drawings. You can follow more of his work on Flickr.