digital

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Animation

Run Forever: A Figure Undergoes Metamorphosis as It Trudges Through Myriad Environments

April 9, 2021

Christopher Jobson

The team at Universal Everything is back with its latest video artwork, “Run Forever,” that stars a now-familiar nondescript figure as it gradually changes from material to material. While previous projects in the series have focused on structure and texture, this new short was created in collaboration with Hyundai Motorstudio as a metaphor for the group’s efforts toward sustainable design and green energy. “Run Forever” seems to turn its focus toward light, both as an artistic medium and as an energy source, as the figure suddenly blooms into a mass of plants. You can follow more of Universal Everything’s digital projects on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

Digital Portraits Reinvent Classical Paintings by Enveloping Subjects in Garments and Masks

March 24, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Hidden Perronneau” (2020), photocollage. All images © Volker Hermes, shared with permission

Nearly a decade before masks became a ubiquitous part of our lives, artist Volker Hermes was fashioning lavish face coverings made of flowers, lace, and ornate baubles. In his ongoing series, Hidden Portraits, Hermes digs into the art historical archive and selects classical paintings that he then reinterprets. Elaborate accessories derived from elements in the original works become tools for obscuring the subjects’ faces, which subsequently draws attention to their garments, gestures, and surroundings.

Since he began the prescient series, Hermes has based his practice in painting even though he realizes each portrait digitally. Time has given him ample opportunities to delve into the original painters’ backgrounds, periods, and the symbolism of various fashions, an experience bolstered by his costuming work for opera productions.

Now fluent in historical significance, Hermes continues to parse questions of representation in the works and their current-day implications. “Each era has its own symbols,” he says. “I always like to mention the Chanel costume as a metaphor for today’s upper-class affiliation. There are of course more current, more specific ones, but this garment has something of a general visualization of an established elite.”

Other emblems—like the big, black hats made from beaver fur that many men don in works from the Dutch Golden Age to signify their rank—are more difficult to recognize today. Hermes says:

Whoever had such a hat, had himself painted with it. But today we don’t know that anymore. We simply see men with black hats, which no longer trigger anything in us. We look the sitters in the face as our natural approach. If I now exaggerate such a hat in my interventions, blocking the access via the face, the focus changes, the viewer is forced, so to speak, to look at the painting under new aspects, taking into account the meanings that determined the painting at that time.

From his studio in Düsseldorf, Hermes is preparing new pieces for a group show centered around a theme of clerical representation and pilgrimage, which you can keep up with on Instagram.

 

“Hidden Pesne” (2021), photocollage

“Hidden Larkin” (2020), photocollage

“Hidden Anonymous (Pourbus)” (2020), photocollage

“Hidden Cranach III” (2019), photocollage

“Hidden Liotard VI” (2021), photocollage

“Hidden Pourbus V” (2019), photocollage

 

 



Illustration Photography

Meticulous Digital Works Layer Petals, Leaves, and Natural Textures into Fantastic Creatures

March 9, 2021

Grace Ebert

Detail of “Kulu.” All images © Josh Dykgaaf, shared with permission

Melbourne-based artist Josh Dykgraaf has a discerning eye for matching two seemingly disparate elements. In his ongoing Terraforms series, autumn leaves become feathers, magnolia petals wind into scales, and plumes form fins that swish through water. Each illustration merges flora and fauna into an entirely new fantastical creature, and a single piece can take days to complete, with the pair of Tawny Frogmouths, for example, clocking in at 55 hours and more than 3,000 layers.

“My process for how I pair natural textures with animals is usually a bit like cloud gazing—like as a kid, did you ever stare up out the clouds and make out different forms and shapes among them?” Dykgraaf says, noting that he takes all of his own photographs of the source materials on hikes or walks around his neighborhood. Once he returns to his studio, he painstakingly collages the extraordinary creatures, coating a closed beak in bark or an echidna in regrown brush following the East Gippsland fires.

In the coming months, Dykgraaf is shifting to a portrait series focused on Indigenous people around the world. His digital works will be included in The Other Art Fair in Sydney from March 18 to 21 and the virtual edition, which runs March 23 to 28. Until then, see a larger collection of the intricately constructed creatures on Behance and Instagram, and pick up a print from his shop. (via designboom)

 

Detail of “Tawu Tawu”

Detail of “Burooli”

“Bunyjul”

Detail of “Kulu”

Left: “Burooli.” Right: “Thaumus”

“Kulu”

“Tawu Tawu”

“Tjirilya”

 

 



Illustration

Fantastical Cartoons, Robotic Pets, and Vibrant Architecture Populate Digital Illustrations by Ori Toor

February 18, 2021

Grace Ebert

“David and the Sphinx”

In Ori Toor’s Gibberish universe, it’s not uncommon to see bulbous cartoon creatures, leaves sprouting from pockets of machinery, or tunnels wrapped in rainbows. Set against solid backdrops, the digitally rendered dreamlands are teeming with fantastical elements and whimsy as Toor plays with scale and shape, planting a yellow pyramid or robotic cat on varying planes. Each drawing evolves naturally, a process Toor likens to creating a “Rorschach painting and trying to figure out what you’re seeing and then continuing work. I’m not sure what I’m trying to convey until the piece is done. I think mostly it’s me trying to feel safe in the world.”

Toor is based in Tel Aviv, and you can find a growing collection of his Gibberish series on Behance. Prints, masks, and other products featuring his illustrations are available from Society6.

 

“Lolopoola”

“Mirrrorrr”

“Gibberish Hubris”

“The Memory of Tommy Teacher”

 

 



Design

‘Same Energy’ is a New Visual Search Engine That Finds Related Images by Style and Mood

February 12, 2021

Grace Ebert

Toronto-based developer Jacob Jackson just launched a simple visual search engine that’s particularly adept at gathering results with similar patterns, compositions, and textures. Aptly named Same Energy, the tool is still in beta and minimal by design, with a focus on the image rather than keywords. Results are grouped together by category, which generates a more comprehensive set of findings than similar searches. “We believe it should integrate a rich visual understanding, capturing the artistic style and overall mood of an image, not just the objects in it,” a statement says.

Follow Jackson on Twitter for updates on the tool, and try it for yourself on the Same Energy site, where you also can save collections of your discoveries. (via Laughing Squid)

 

 

 



Illustration

Expressive Portraits, Line Drawings, and Foliage Are Superimposed into Rich Illustrations by Ana Santos

February 11, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Ana Santos, shared with permission

At the center of Ana Santos’s practice is a commitment to discovery. The Salamanca-based illustrator fuses multiple mediums—her work ranges from watercolor, ink-based drawing, and digital painting to embroidery and ceramics—into portraits superimposed with clusters of foliage, birds, and small, black-and-white renderings, a technique she’s developed through experimentation. “Enjoying the process is very important and being open to error has given me unexpected results, which I really appreciate,” she tells Colossal.

Santos begins the layered works on paper, which she then scans to complete digitally in Photoshop. The resulting portraits are expressive and complex, weaving in elements of emotion, fantasy, and nature.  “I don’t like to explain or give a concrete narrative to my work,” she says. “It seems magical to me that the viewer is open to a free and personal interpretation and that the viewer feels that it is their own.”

Shop originals and prints of Santos’s illustrations on her site, and follow her latest projects on Instagram.