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Animation Art

Sparkling Balls of Paint and Glitter Explode and Absorb in a New Experimental Short Film by Rus Khasanov

August 16, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Filmmaker Rus Khasanov (previously) was working on a challenging shoot in Seoul, South Korea when he got the idea for this latest experimental film, Unity. The short work follows hundreds of paint bubbles as they roll, explode, and merge across the screen, creating dazzling bursts in shades of purples, oranges, pinks, and blues set to a soundtrack by Dmitry Evgrafov. Khasanov had been attempting to make two paint balls merge perfectly for his original commercial shoot, which he was finally able to achieve on the last day of shooting by chance and luck.

After several various ingredient experiments, he was able to learn how to get paint balls to absorb without bursting. “When you master the technique,” he explains, “you can already playfully turn the flaws into advantages: now in the bursting paint ball I see not a nightmare, but a bright colorful explosion which reminds me of fireworks.”

The film has elements that are in sharp focus while others imitate the bokeh effect, showcasing the sparkling paint elements in a soft out-of-focus that makes the entire thing seem like the bright spots of a blurred photograph. You can see more of Khasanov’s short films on Vimeo and Instagram.

 

 



Art Photography

Black Bodies Painted and Photographed Like the Cosmos by Mikael Owunna

April 7, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Infinite Essence: “James” (2018) All images courtesy of Mikael Owunna

Mikael Chukwuma Owunna, a queer Nigerian-Swedish artist raised in Pittsburgh, has spent the past two and a half years photographing Black men and women for a series titled Infinite Essence. Hand-painted using fluorescent paints and photographed in complete darkness, Owunna’s subjects are illuminated by a flash outfitted with a UV filter, which turns their nude bodies into glowing celestial figures.

Owunna tells Colossal that the series was his response to the frequent images and videos of Black people being killed by those sworn to protect them: the police. The photographer’s friends, family members, dancers, and one person he connected with on Instagram serve as models for the project, which is named after an idea from his Igbo heritage. “All of our individual spirits are just one ray of the infinite essence of the sun,” Owunna explains. “By transcending the visible spectrum, I work to illuminate a world beyond our visible structures of racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia where the black body is free.”

Infinite Essence: “Uche” (2019)

Having struggled with his own body image (and with his identity as a gay African man, which has inspired his previous work), Owunna says that the response to the project has been powerful, both from the public and from the models. “One of the models, Emem, broke down in tears looking at their pictures saying that they had always dreamed of seeing their body adorned with stars and that these images were beyond their wildest imagination,” he said. “They then told me – ‘every black person deserves to see themselves in this way’ and how the experience was life-altering for them.”

After seeing Owunna’s work via an NPR feature, a 60-year-old Black woman told the photographer, “I’ve hated my body all my life, but–for a glorious instant–that photo made me feel good about it.”

To see more of Mikael Owunna’s work and to be informed about his upcoming lectures and exhibitions, follow the artist on Instagram and Twitter.

Infinite Essence: “Sam” (2018)

Infinite Essence: “Sam” (2018)

Infinite Essence: “Sam” (2018)

Infinite Essence: “Sam” (2018)

Infinite Essence: “Kinya” (2017)

Infinite Essence: “Emem” (2018)

Infinite Essence: “Emem” (2018)

 

 



Art

Giant Dabs of Thick Oil Paint Captured as Hyperrealist Colored Pencil Drawings

August 16, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

Australian artist Cj Hendry (previously) tricks the eye with her hyper-realistic drawings, works that recreate the appearance of thick swabs of brightly colored paint. To achieve the dimensionality and sheen of fresh oil paint she layers dry pigment atop colored pencil, accurately portraying the liquid medium’s viscosity.

The series, Complimentary Colors, is far different than the artist’s previous style, which for several years had been exclusively black and white. You can view pieces from her past and present, as well as a series of billboard-sized works, on the artist’s Instagram. (via My Modern Met)

 

 



Art Photography

Gloopy Ice Cream Paint Brushes Photographed by José Lourenço

August 9, 2017

Christopher Jobson

As part of an ongoing project titled “Ice Cream,” Portuguese visual artist José Lourenço photographs swirls of thick paint atop brushes in a form reminiscent of melting ice cream cones. The rainbow-hued brushes ooze with layers of sherbert-y color that look good enough to eat. Lourenço documents a wide range of colorful interventions and artworks on his Instagram account. (via Designboom)

 

 



Art

Happy Accidents Pour from Paint Bottles in Sculptures by Joe Suzuki

July 19, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Happy Accident – Mini Happy Face (Pink). Paint bottle, resin casting and enamel. 12″ x 7″ x 5.5″ in.

In this ongoing series of works by artist Joe Suzuki, pools of paint appear like maniacal smiles as they drip from cans and bottles. The colorful sculptures often pay tribute to artists like Warhol, Basquiat, and Keith Haring by referencing symbols used in their own works. The pieces are constructed with resin casting material and enamel, but give the appearance of freshly spilled paint.

“I consider my work to be artifacts of my own particular culture, which is not the generalized Japanese American culture, but that which formed as a direct result of being a first generation immigrant,” Suzuki shares in an artist statement. “Through a long assimilation process, I found myself not fully belonging to either culture, but rather somewhere in between, which I began to call Japamerica.”

You can explore additional works by Suzuki at Reem Gallery and on his website. (via Artsy)

 

 



Art History

Portraits of Women Painted on the Handles of Old Paint Brushes by Rebecca Szeto

June 23, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Misako Shirasu. 7″h x 3″w x .75″d · Oil on Carved Paintbrush · 2017.

Drawing inspiration from across centuries, mediums, and cultures, artist Rebecca Szeto (previously) identifies both anonymous and historically significant women to depict atop the carved handles of old used paint brushes. From the first woman to graduate with a degree in architecture from MIT to a Chibok schoolgirl kidnapped by Boko Haram in 2014, or an anonymous face lifted from a 17th century Baroque painting, each portrait presents the face of a woman who has come in and out of focus throughout history.

“I am interested in things that fall between the cracks of place and language,” says Szeto in her artist statement. “Rust, dead bees, beaten up paintbrushes and scrap materials from my immediate surroundings all become a starting point. Play and chance are integral parts of my process; they’re a way for me to detach from preconceived ideas about the materials so I can freely explore their inherent qualities and investigate their deeper implications.”

You can explore the individual stories of all the women featured in the works seen here on Szeto’s website, and she’ll have work on view at Root Division in San Francisco as part of an exhibition titled Bizarre Bizarre curated by Michael Arcega starting in July.

Musical Notation. 7.25″h x 2.5″w x .1″d · Oil, Plaster on Carved Paintbrush · 2016.

Marion Mahony. 8″h x 3″w x 1″d · Oil on Carved Paintbrush · 2015.

Angela Isadora Duncan. 6″h x 2″w x .5″d · Oil on Carved Paintbrush · 2015.

Chibok Girl: Salamatu Bulama Usman. 5.5″h x 3″w x .5″d · Oil on Carved Paintbrush · 2017.

Violet Jessep. 5.25″h x 2.5″w x .5″d · Oil on Carved Paintbrush · 2015.

Emilie du Chatelet (2 for Squared). 8″h x 4″w x .5″d · Oil on Carved Paintbrush · 2015.

Margaret Roper (1500). 7″h x 3.5″w x .5″d · Oil on Carved Paintbrush · 2015.

 

 



Amazing Art

Symmetrical Paint Mixing is Strangely Mesmerizing

November 3, 2016

Christopher Jobson

Canadian artist Annette Labedzki specializes in abstract figurative painting, but she’s also discovered the internet’s insatiable taste for the unusual and obscure with her Instagram account where she shares paint mixing videos. If watching paint dry is the most boring thing in the world, watching paint mix might be one of the more interesting things. For some of her clips Labedzki makes symmetrical versions, where the palette knife is obscured and everything seems to happen like magic. You can see more here. (thnx, kim!)

 

 

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