In his photographic self-portrait series Struggle to Right Oneself, artist Kerry Skarbakka captures himself in moments of suspended peril: falling from trees, tumbling head over heels in painfully precarious falls, slipping nude in the shower, or teetering on the edge of a fateful leap from a railway bridge. In his artist statement Skarbakka references philosopher Martin Heidegger’s description of human existence as a process of perpetual falling, and the responsibility of each person to catch ourselves from our own uncertainty. He continues:
This photographic work is in response to this delicate state. It comprises a culmination of thought and emotion, a tying together of the threads of everything I perceive life has come to represent. It is my understanding and my perspective, which relies on the shifting human conditions of the world that we inhabit. It’s exploration resides in the sublime metaphorical space from where balance has been disrupted to the definitive point of no return. It asks the question of what it means to resist the struggle, to simply let go. Or what are the consequences of holding on?
Skarbakka says that he utilizes special climbing gear and other rigging to achieve each shot, but the final images are truly convincing if somewhat ambiguous. This too is on purpose, as the images are meant to leave the viewer questioning. Do they suggest we can fly? Do we fall? What happens when we land? See many more shots from the series over on his website. All images courtesy the artist. (via not shaking in the grass)
Do not adjust your web browser, these distorted watercolor and gouache portraits were painted just as they appear by New Zealand-based illustrator Henrietta Harris who says her style “can only be achieved by having occasionally dipped one’s paintbrush accidentally in one’s coffee.” A pretty apt description for these dreamy portraits that seem to convey the precise moment when one becomes lost in thought or memory, an ethereal wind of distortion whirling temporarily through the subjects’ mind. Harris graduated in 2006 from the Auckland University of Technology and his since done work for Amnesty International, Vice Magazine, and BITE. She has a number of prints and several of the original paintings you see above available for sale through her website. (via flavorwire, ignant)
Every single day since November 2010, without fail, Bristol-based artist Guy Denning (previously) posts a daily sketch to his Drawing a Day blog (occasionally mirrored on his Facebook page). It’s well worth following. For more of his work head over to Signal Gallery where he had a solo show in October, and you can see much more on his website.
In 2004 an unconscious man was discovered behind a fast food restaurant in Richmond Hill, Georgia. He had no belongings, severe sunburn, and was nearly blind from cataracts. The man also had absolutely no idea who he was. After months of ongoing evaluation from doctors and psychologists it was determined he was suffering from dissociative amnesia. He adopted the pseudonym Benjaman Kyle and has embarked on a search for his true identity sparking massive amounts of media coverage and even a short film, Finding Benjaman, by John Wikstrom. He is the only citizen in the United States officially listed as missing despite his whereabouts being known. One strange aspect of this predicament is that Kyle now lives completely in limbo: for the past 8 years he has been denied the ability to obtain a new social security number which in turn prevents him from opening a bank account or having a credit card. The government argues that he already has one, but despite the efforts of fingerprint matching, DNA tests, and exposure on television, he simply cannot determine his true identity.
After catching a screening of Finding Benjaman at the Tribeca Film Festival artist Miguel Endara (previously) was inspired to help in any way he could, which meant making art. Endara embarked on this portrait of Benjaman using stippling, a tedious technique which involves a pen, patience, and an obscene amount of dots. The portrait took nearly 138 hours to complete, and at a rate of 4.25 dots per second, he estimates the piece contains roughly 2.1 million of them. The hope is to spread awareness for Bengaman’s plight and to help raise money through the sale of prints to support a petition to get him a new social security number. You can learn more about the drawing here.
This is a beautiful video showing the exquisite control of 27-year old Indonesian artist Elfan Diary as he draws a new portrait. Watch as he works with Fine Color markers, a Sakura Pigma Micron pen, and standard Faber-Castell colored pencils over a period of about three hours. Beautiful work.
Artist Ed Fairburn utilizes the chaotic patchwork of roads, trains, and rivers printed on maps as the framework for his large-scale portraits. Almost like a sculptor carving a subject from a block of stone, or a constellation highlighted in a clump of stars, Fairburn uses meticulous ink or pencil crosshatching to create portraits hidden amongst the topographical features. You can see much more of his work over on Facebook. (via artchipel)
Based on a photograph from Benoit Paille (previously) artist Amy Robins drew this impressive portrait using little more than colored pencils, cartridge paper, and quite a bit of talent. Although there’s just enough style to differentiate the image from a photograph it made me do a double-take. If you liked this also check out the work of Sam Silva.
Without aid of stencils or brushes London-based artist David Walker creates elaborately explosive portraits using directly applied spray paint. Even as the colors drip and mix on large outdoor walls it’s hard to imagine the level of control and detail the artist must possess to create the shadows, lines, and textures that create each piece. The top and bottom pieces in this post are recent works seen in London and Paris, and you can see much more on his Facebook page and in his shop where he has nearly a dozen portraits available as high quality prints. (via street art utopia)