Illustrator and graphic designer Simon Prades (previously) delights in the surreal and dreamlike, where silhouettes of faces open portals to other places and strange visual metaphors for difficult subjects are brought vividly to life. Prades works primarily with non-digital mediums like pen and ink, using Photoshop to cleanup and occasionally animate his work for the web. The German illustrator currently freelances for some of the biggest publications around including the New York Times, The New Yorker, The Guardian, and elsewhere. Shown here is a selection of work from the last two years, but you can explore a bit more on Behance.
Artist Ellen Jewett refers to her sculptural work as “natural history surrealist sculpture,” a blend of plants, animals, and occasionally human-made structures or objects. Her artwork is deeply informed by an extensive background in anthropology, medical illustration, exotic animal care, and even stop-motion animation, all of which accentuate the biological structure of each piece, while freeing her imagination to pursue more abstract ideas.
Over time, Jewett has become more focused on minimizing materials and relying a negative space. “I find my sculptures are evolving to be of greater emotional presence by using less physical substance,” she shares. In addition, she eschews any potentially toxic mediums like paints, glazes, and finishes, opting to use more natural, locally-sourced materials. “This, unavoidably, excludes most of what is commonly commercially available, and has sent me on a journey of unique material combination and invention.” By employing these more uncommon materials, and leaving traces of fingerprints and other slight imperfections Jewett hopes her work leaves a more authentic impression.
You explore more of Ellen’s work on her website, and many of her pieces (some of which you see here) are available for purchase online.
Within the small confines of her 3 x 6 meter studio in Seoul, JeeYoung Lee‘s imagination is without boundaries. For each of her photographs the artist fills every square inch of space with hand-made props, set pieces, and backdrops and never edits or modifies the image digitally post-shoot. We first featured Lee’s work on Colossal last year, and OPIOM Gallery has since shared several more installations spanning from 2008 to 2014. Via OPIOM:
She does so with infinite minutiae and extraordinary patience, in order to exclude any ulterior photographic alteration. Thus materialised, these worlds turn real and concretise; imagination reverts to the tangible and the photo imagery of such fiction testify as to their reality. In the midst of each of these sets stands the artist, those self-portraits however are never frontal, since it is never her visual aspect she shows, but rather her quest for an identity, her desires and her frame of mind. Her creations act as a catharsis which allows her to accept social repression and frustrations.
It should be noted that Lee’s photography seems to be influenced, at least conceptually, by artist Sandy Skoglund. Her latest exhibition titled Stage of Mind will appear in both Bogota and Belfast later this summer. (via My Modern Met)
Update: Lee will also be exhibiting several pieces at Gallery Nine 5 in New York later this week.
Switzerland-based illustrator and artist Christo Dagorov created this unusual series of pencil drawings that transform the texture of lips into trees, the aerial layout of a city, and even other human forms. You can see more of his work here. (via I Need a Guide)
Russian street artist Rustam Qbic (previously) just completed a new 9-story mural in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia for the New City festival. Titled “Blossom” the mural depicts individuals whose heads are literally “blooming” while reading books, an irony not lost on the artist who worked through 11 days of frigid cold and snow to complete the work. The mural is just one of many surreal paintings and walls created by Qbic since we covered his work here last year. You can see more over on his website. (via StreetArtNews)
Collage artist Eugenia Loli uses photography scanned from vintage magazines and science publications to create bizarre visual narratives that borrow from aspects of pop art, dada, and traditional surrealism. Loli’s background is almost as diverse as the imagery she employs, having been born in Greece and living in Germany and the UK before settling in California. She previously worked as a nurse, a computer programmer, and as a technology journalist, but has only recently found a calling in collage work with publication in numerous magazines since 2013.
Loli gives much of her work away as high-resolution files which you can download and print directly from hrt Flickr account for personal usage. She also has a collection of official, signed art prints available here. (via Asylum Art, iGNANT)
Fine art photographer Kylli Sparre (previously) has continued to create her dance-inspired photographs, almost all of which depict the artist herself in various dreamlike states and situations. Working with outdoor landscapes, and bodies of water or ice, Sparre fuses years of formal ballet training with these dramatic and performative photographs. The artist has a show in Amsterdam next month at Qlickeditions, and you can follow her work more on Facebook.