Moscow-based photographer Stas Bartnikas captures landscapes from above. This perspective presents an abstracted view of the scenes below, turning mountains, waterfalls, and streams into compositional elements that provide color or texture. Bartnikas refers to his works as “aero-art,” and intends to capture the character and personality of each abstracted landscape when shooting. “It is almost the same as photographing human portraits,” he tells Colossal. “Each portrait is unique and conveys its own message.”
Iceland is one of Bartnikas’s favorite locations to photograph due to its surreal combination of ice, snow, volcanic formations, glacial rivers, and beaches. “Regular travelers are able to see only so much of this amazing place, whereas aerial photography allows us to see places that are inaccessible on foot,” he continues. “This very different perspective enables us to capture the beauty of our Earth in its fully glory and uniqueness.”
For each series, Bartnikas charters a plane to fly him around the area. His next destination to photograph is San Diego, where he plans on capturing some of the southern parts of the United States and a few northern parts of Mexico. He is one of the winners of the upcoming Siena International Photo Awards and his work, among the other winners, will be featured at the Beyond the Lens photo exhibition held from October 28 to December 2, 2018 in Siena, Italy. You can view more of his work on his website and Instagram.
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Textile artist Alexandra Kehayoglou (previously) creates functional works of art that explore the natural landscapes of her native Argentina. Her selected locations are often ones tied to political controversy, such as the Santa Cruz River, or areas dramatically altered by human activity, such as the Raggio creek. Kehayoglou uses her craft as a chance as a call for environmental awareness, embedding her own memory and research of the disappearing waterways and grasslands into her hand-tufted works.
Each tapestry uses surplus materials from her family’s factory, which has manufactured industrial carpets for more than six decades. The one-of-a-kind carpets are often installed against the wall, with a section of the work trailing along the floor so visitors can walk or lay on the woven rugs.
In December 2017, her piece Santa Cruz River was included in the National Gallery of Victoria Triennial in Melbourne. The installation showcased her research behind the future damming of the river and her own interpretation of the harm that will continue to influence the surrounding area. Later this month Kehayoglou will present a new site-specific tapestry that explores the tribes of Patagonia in the group exhibition Dream at the Chiostro del Bramante in Rome. You can see more of her work on her website and Instagram.
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Russian embroidery artist Vera Shimunia began her landscape embroidery practice in 2015. She tells Colossal that it is the perfect medium for her because it requires less patience than cross-stitch and is more exciting, in her opinion, than painting. The Saint Petersburg-based artist is self-taught (Shimunia studied economics in college) and she shares that she imagines the needle as a brush. Her richly-hued mountainscapes, sunrises, and skies are crafted on palm-sized embroidery hoops using a variety of textured threads. Although Shimunia uses a unified color palette over a small surface area, she distinguishes different landscape elements using various stitch and knot styles, as well as thin, thick, and even three-dimensional fibers. You can see more of her embroideries on Instagram, and purchase work in her Etsy store.
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The textured paintings and assemblages of artist Gregory Euclide (previously) combine organic and man-made materials to present the rapid changes happening to the landscapes around us. In his upcoming solo exhibition Preservation Paradox at Hashimoto Contemporary the Minneapolis-based artist examines the contradictions found in our simultaneous desire to protect some areas of nature while destroying others. The exhibition includes pieces from his most recent series Scrapes. The abstracted landscapes include some of the toxic materials used to create common artworks, such as paint and styrofoam.
“Acrylic paint, a petroleum product, is used to generate the illusion of land or water when in a pile or scraped across the surface, as well as thinned out and used to generate the illusion of landscape,” the artist explains in a press release for his exhibition.
His pieces include large swaths of paint set on top more traditionally painted landscapes, exploring both the landscape and the material that was used to replicate it. Preservation Paradox opens on September 8 and runs through September 29, 2018 at Hashimoto Contemporary in San Fransisco. You can explore more of Euclide’s recent work on Instagram and Behance.
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In French photographer Pierre-Louis Ferrer’s vibrant photographs, Dordogne, France is transformed into an enchanted land bathed in canary yellow. Ferrer’s colorful photographs illustrate the country’s idyllic topography, where the leaves upon the trees, fresh grass, and sculpted shrubbery are captured in the same vivid color.
While photographing, Ferrer takes time to observe his environment and decide on the best photographic technique to use. For his Dordogne photographs, Ferrer used an infrared photography technique which allowed him to capture the landscape in brilliant yellows. “My artistic approach is based on the invisible and imperceptible,” Ferrer tells Colossal. “I work with invisible parts of light (infrared and ultraviolet) and with techniques like long exposure to offer alternative views of our world.”
This yellow effect in Ferrer’s Dordogne photographs is due to a mix of visible and infrared light, and each plant species appears different depending on how it reacts to the light. “I use a selective filter that let’s pass a large part of infrared light and a small part of visible light,” Ferrer explains. “The main subjects of this technique are trees and foliage because they react a lot under infrared light.”
Although yellow is prevalent in nature; found in bananas, autumnal leaves, egg yolks, and the irises of some animal’s eyes, in Ferrer’s photographs he standardizes all natural elements, highlighting the color’s prevalence in natural forms.
As human eyes are not used to infrared light (due to its longer wavelengths), Ferrer’s photographs invite viewers to see Dordogne as through they are in a different dimension. The extravagant Jardins Suspendus at Marqueyssac and its ivy-covered châteaux are transformed into an ethereal world that might otherwise only appear in paintings.
Although fantastical, Ferrer’s photographs encourage mindfulness and allow us to reflect upon the importance of nature. “My goals are to invite contemplation, to realize the place of nature in urban places, to make aware of the impact of our environment on us, and our impact on the environment.”
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Photographer Jan Erik Waider (previously) splits his time between Hamburg, Germany and traveling through the harsh and unpredictable climate of Nordic countries like Greenland, Iceland, and Norway. In each of these locations Waider seeks the most remote and hidden locations, wishing to present rarely seen perspectives of the native landscape to a larger audience. For more than a decade he has captured the monumental beauty of northern glaciers, isolating their color and shape in a way that makes the icy cliffs appear almost extraterrestrial.
In one ongoing series titled Remnants, Waider finds abandoned pieces of icebergs that lay like “stranded whales” on Iceland’s south coast. “Powerful waves wash around them and drag them further ashore, after they drifted aimlessly in the sheltered lagoon for months,” he explains. “The colors tell stories about age and density, and they speak of the history of the volcanoes that let black ash rain down and darkened the skies.”
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British artist Olivia Kemp (previously) creates sprawling, large-scale ink drawings of real world landscapes that are built from photography, observational sketches, and her own memories of the visited destinations. Her two most recent works took a combined nine months to complete, and are pulled from her travels to Malta and Bavaria. Kemp’s drawing “Ascending The High Pass” is inspired by Bavaria’s castles, and is composed of towers, cliffs, and a winding train line that connects the city through a series of bridges and tunnels.
For her other recent piece, she focused more on the plant life of the location. “Unlike with the castles drawing, ‘Melita, Maleth’ was very much a response to selecting a random location and spending time there getting to know it,” Kemp tells Colossal. “I was interested in going to Malta, but didn’t have any particular drawing or architectural style or composition in mind before I went. I loved the variation of plant life on the island, and felt really strongly that the drawing needed to have a full and rich foreground, including all the flora that had most interested me.”
Kemp will often create smaller drawing studies while on location, which she will then incorporate into her larger works. Both “Ascending The High Pass” and “Melita, Maleth” will be included in the group exhibition Early Modern Matters which opens on September 6 at James Freeman Gallery in London and closes September 29, 2018. You can see more of the artist’s work on Instagram and Twitter.
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Editor's Picks: Painting
Highlights below. For the full collection click here.