left: the girl with glasses by Marteline Nystad | right: Monica Lee’s illustration of the photograph
Malaysian artist Monica Lee is obsessed with details. But then again, I guess you have to be in order to create some of the most stunning photo-realistic drawings we’ve ever seen. “I like to challenge myself with complex portraits especially people with freckles or beard,” says Lee, who often works from photographic portraits to create seemingly identical drawings. Surprisingly, Lee worked in the digital world for 12 years before making the jump to illustration. But it certainly doesn’t show. She now spends 3-4 weeks on a single drawing. The artist attributes her love for hyperrealism to her father, who worked in the field of photography. You can follow Monica Lee on Facebook or Instagram. She also sells her complex drawings as smartphone cases. (via IGNANT)
The heads atop each of these surreal graphite portraits seem to act as a canvas in and of themselves, as entire scenes and landscapes spill forth from each oversized face. Drawn by Austrian artist Stefan Zsaitsits (previously), each piece seems to depict an individual who is literally or figuratively encumbered by animals, objects, or metaphorical thoughts. The works here are just sampling of new pieces created for a show at Galerie Lang Wien in Vienna and for Art Austria 2014. You can see all of his recent pieces over on Behance, and many of his collected drawings are available in his book, Headsongs.
Sundust is a new series of ten portraits of fictional sun goddesses by Toronto-based visual artist Sara Golish. Each piece is meticulously executed in charcoal, conté, and gold ink, and marks a distinct evolution in Golish’s style of portraiture. From her statement about the series which was unveiled at Brockton Collective during the summer solstice:
This year, Sara Golish marks this celebration [the summer solstice] with her new series SUNDUST, a salute to the fertility of the sun goddess through ten portraits of women from the continent most touched by the sun’s embrace – Africa. Compelled by the lack of female personified sun deities, Golish aims to revise and re-examine the male dominated sun god through the recasting of the past in order to re-envision the future. Released on the eve of summer solstice, the ladies of SUNDUST represent and celebrate all that is light, powerful, and life-giving.
A few of the originals are still available, and limited edition prints are for sale through her website. You can see all ten works with detailed descriptions over on Facebook. (via Gaks Designs)
Philadelphia artist Kim Alsbrooks recreates historial oil portraits on flattened beers cans and fast food containers. Titled “My White Trash Family” the series was conceived while Alsbrook was living in the south and found herself grappling with prevailing ideas of class. She shares via a statement about the project:
The White Trash Series was developed while living in the South out of frustration with some of the prevailing ideologies, in particular, class distinction. This ideology seems to be based on a combination of myth, biased history and a bizarre sentimentality about old wars and social structures. With the juxtaposition of the portraits from museums, once painted on ivory, now on flattened trash like beer cans and fast food containers, the artist sets out to even the playing field, challenging the perception of the social elite in today’s society.
Filmmaker Jesse Brass recently caught up with Alsbrook to interview her for his Making Art series. Watch it above.
Taken recently off the coast of Bali, these surreal photos are the creation of Montreal-based director and photographer Benjamin Von Wong, known for his exceedingly difficult photoshoots. Where it might be more practical to create the complex aspects of these photos digitally, Von Wong took a different path and assembled a team of two models who also happen to be trained freedivers, 7 additional support divers, and obtained special permission to utilize a 50-year-old underwater shipwreck. The entire shoot took place 25 meters below the surface, and because of the extreme conditions and limitations, he relied heavily on natural light to create the final images you see here.
You can watch the video above to see how the photoshoot came together and read more about the process over on his blog. (via PetaPixel, My Modern Met)
New York photographer Sophie Gamand has spent the last four years photographing dogs as part of a larger project to better understand humans. Her latest series, Wet Dog, captures hilarious and awkward photos of small dogs as they are bathed with the help of professional groomer Ruben Santana in the Bronx. Fascinated by the domestication of dogs as one of the first forms of artificial selection, Gamand explores the differences and similarities in animals and humans, making the the distinction that dogs ceased being “animals” long ago as they acquired human attributes and became pets.
With an assortment of trinkets, doodads, and thingamajiggers worthy of the mightiest junk drawer or flea market bin, artist husband and wife Edwige Massart and Xavier Wynn turn collections of random objects into medical cross-sections of the human head. Aptly titled Heads, the duo says the compartmentalized sculptures are meant to be surrealist explorations of portraits created from memories and found objects. When exploring the contents of each piece it’s fun to imagine just who each person might be based on the things found inside. You can see much more over on their website and on My Amp Goes to 11.