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Art

Out-of-Focus Paintings by Philip Barlow Capture the Twinkling Lights of Cityscapes at Night

August 8, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

“Electric III,” oil on linen, 47 x 78 inches, all images via Philip Barlow

Cape Town-based artist Philip Barlow paints abstracted depictions of the cityscapes at night, blurring the focus of street lamps and headlights the way our eyes or a photographer’s lens might when adjusting to a city’s bright, multi-colored lights. In this way, Barlow paints from perception rather than reality, showcasing the beautiful ways we process our daily surroundings. In the foreground, the paintings feature overlapping orbs of white, red, and blue light, which obscure blurred buildings, cars, and signs that occupy the dimly painted background.

“The figures in the landscape serve as carriers and reflectors of the light that falls upon them,” explains Barlow. “Bathed in the luminosity, it is my hope that they would become more beautiful. To me, light is the ultimate subject because it embodies the pinnacle of all reality.”

You can view more of the South African artist’s blurred depictions of cities, beaches, and portraits, on his website. (via My Modern Met)

"Electric Wet," oil on canvas, 39 x 59 inches

“Electric Wet,” oil on canvas, 39 x 59 inches

"Glass II," oil on canvas, 47 x 70 inches

“Glass II,” oil on canvas, 47 x 70 inches 

"Glass," oil on canvas, 70 x 47 inches, and "Jingumae II," oil on canvas, 47 x 31 inches

“Glass,” oil on canvas, 70 x 47 inches, and “Jingumae II,” oil on canvas, 47 x 31 inches

"Leaving Shibuya," oil on canvas, 47 x 98 inches

“Leaving Shibuya,” oil on canvas, 47 x 98 inches

"Ultramarine," oil on canvas, 47 x 70 inches

“Ultramarine,” oil on canvas, 47 x 70 inches

"One Way," oil on canvas, 47 x 47 inches

“One Way,” oil on canvas, 47 x 47 inches

 

 



Photography

The Neon Archives: An Exploration of Hong Kong’s Fading Neon Landscape

August 6, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Hong Kong has long been infused with the glowing haze produced by its omnipresent neon signs and advertisements. Recently this saturated element of the city has begun to disappear as maintenance and rent costs rise and government regulation steps in. Local photographer Dennis Isip intends to preserve this aspect of his city’s history through a series titled The Neon Archives.

Started in 2017, the ongoing photography series captures this retreating feature of the city’s culture with images that preserve Hong Kong’s vivid nightlife. “Neon lights define Hong Kong’s character and without it, the city’s identity is lost,” he tells Colossal. “The Neon Archives hope is to capture each neon sign in Hong Kong before they fade away.” (via Colossal Submissions)

 

 



Photography

Dystopian Images Explore a Foggy Irish Town Drenched in Aquamarine Light

May 7, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Adrian Wojtas‘ untitled photographic series captures a dystopian glimpse of Navan, Ireland in a deep fog. The nighttime images are devoid of human life, and are each cast in an aquamarine glow from the surrounding streetlights. The included works were shot over the course of two consecutive nights in the Irish town, however Wojtas’ goal is to expand the series to include a variety of locations which will meld to form a similar atmosphere.

“For each shot, I tried to stay away from including objects that would give away the location, as well as minimized the inclusion of identifiable subjects such as cars or people,” Wojtas tells Colossal. “I didn’t want the images to seem familiar to anyone looking at them.”

The multidisciplinary creative also works in design and film, and currently splits his time between Dublin and Meath, Ireland. You can see more of Wojtas’ images, including this series of transit-based photographs, on his Instagram. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

 

 



Art Photography

Long Exposure Photos Capture the Light Paths of Drones Above Mountainous Landscapes

March 5, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Photographer Reuben Wu creates images that reveal an alien splendor in natural and manmade landscapes across the globe. Previously he has explored the brilliant blue rivers of molten sulfur in Indonesian volcanoes, and photographed the thousands of glistening mirrors that compose Nevada’s SolarReserve. For his ongoing series Lux Noctis, the Chicago-based photographer utilizes modified drones as aerial light sources, illuminating obscure landscapes in a way that makes each appear new and unexplored.

Recently Wu has evolved his process of working with the drones to form light paths above topographical peaks in the mountainous terrain. “I see it as a kind of ‘zero trace’ version of land art where the environment remains untouched by the artist, and at the same time is presented in a sublime way which speaks to 19th century Romantic painting and science and fictional imagery,” said Wu to Colossal.

The light from his GPS-enabled drones create a halo effect around some of the presented cliffs and crests when photographed using a long exposure. An elegant circle of light traces the flight of the drone, leaving a mark only perceptible in the resulting photograph. You can see more of Wu’s landscape photography on his Instagram and Facebook. (via Faith is Torment)

Update: A book of Wu’s photo series will be published in Fall 2018 and is available for preorder.

 

 



Photography

Nighttime City Scenes Bathed in Neon by Photographer Elsa Bleda

November 15, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

Photographer Elsa Bleda captures hazy moments that linger on the outskirts of the cities she visits in Eastern Europe and South Africa. Bleda is drawn to nighttime scenes bathed in colored light, such as a flock of seagulls illuminated by pink neon, or a lone gas station emitting an eerie blue glow. The images she chooses to shoot also have a limited human presence, which gives a dystopian feeling to the work’s empty streets and snow-covered buildings.

Previously, Bleda has presented exhibitions showcasing images she has taken in Johannesburg and Cape Town. Her upcoming solo exhibition with Red Bull will take a look at Durban, South Africa. You can view a preview of her exhibition alongside a list of songs the photographer chose to fit the mood of each work on Redbull’s website. More of her night-based images of South Africa and Istanbul can be found on her Facebook, Instagram, and Behance. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

 

 



Photography

The Night Skies Over Finland & Iceland Saturated with Stars Photographed by Mikko Lagerstedt

September 14, 2017

Christopher Jobson

We’ve long been drawn to self-taught photographer Mikko Lagerstedt’s (previously) dreamy composite photos of Finland and Iceland at night. In his long-exposure images, meteors are seen streaking through the sky and frigid waterfalls appear like mist. Lagerstedt composes and edits all of his images in Lightroom and Photoshop and shares numerous tutorials on his techniques through his website. He most recently returned from a photoshoot at a deserted Yyteri Beach in Finland, more of which he shared on Instagram.

 

 



Photography

Photos of Japanese Playground Equipment at Night by Kito Fujio

June 29, 2017

Johnny Strategy

In 2005 Kito Fujio quit his job as an office worker and became a freelance photographer. And for the last 12 years he’s been exploring various overlooked pockets of Japan like the rooftops of department stores, which typically have games and rides to entertain children while their parents are shopping. More recently, he’s taken notice of the many interesting cement-molded play equipment that dots playgrounds around Japan.

The sculptural, cement-molded play equipment is often modeled after animals that children would be familiar with. But they also take on the form of robots, abstract geometric forms and sometimes even household appliances. Fujio’s process is not entirely clear, but it appears he visits the parks at night and lights up the equipment from the inside, but also from the outside, which often creates an ominous feel to the harmless equipment.

Speaking of harmless, the nostalgic cement molds have been ubiquitous throughout Japan and, for the most part, free of safety concerns. That’s because the cement requires almost no maintenance; maybe just a fresh coat of paint every few years. The telephone (pictured below) is evidence of how long ago the equipment was probably made.

The sculptural cement equipment was a style favored by Isamu Noguchi, who designed his first landscape for children in 1933. Many of his sculptural playground equipment can be found in Sapporo but also stateside at Piedmont Park in Atlanta.

Fujio has made his photographs available as part of a series of photobooks (each priced at 800 yen) that he sells on his website. (Syndicated from Spoon & Tamago)

 

 

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