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Art Photography

Set Against Lavishly Patterned Backdrops, Photographer Cecilia Paredes Disguises Herself in Stunning Self-Portraits

October 28, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Zanzibar” (2019). All images © Cecilia Paredes, shared with permission

Whether immersing herself in swathes of ornamental textiles or against paisley-style backdrops, Cecilia Paredes is adept at camouflaging herself in the most elaborate settings. The Peruvian artist disguises her figure by painting her exposed skin and draping her torso in lavishly patterned clothing, leaving just her hair and eyes untouched as she snaps a photograph. The meticulously composed self-portraits, which are part of an ongoing body of work, blur the boundaries between subject and surrounding environment as they consider themes of nature, origin, and transformation.

Paredes is represented by Ruiz-Healy Art, where some of her smaller works are on view as part of two group exhibitions. See more of her multi-media pieces that explore elements of disguise on Artsy.

 

“Asian Dreams” (2018)

“Shield” (2018)

“The Voyage” (2019)

“Of Wings And Thorns” (2020)

 

 



Photography

Thick Technicolor Paint Oozes Over Subjects’ Faces in Mesmerizing New Portraits by Tim Tadder

October 13, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Tim Tadder, shared with permission

First coated in black, the anonymous subjects in Tim Tadder’s portraits are cloaked with hypnotic swirls and thick drips of bright paint. To create the mesmerizing images, the Encinitas, California-based photographer and artist pours a mix of colors over his sitters and snaps a precisely-timed shot to capture each drop as it runs down their necks or splashes from their chins. “There’s something about the human head, and the bald head, and the brain, and that way that everything is here,” Tadder says as he gestures toward his own face. “The soul is here.”

During Tadder’s shoots, gloopy, viscous paint mixes in swirls and marbled-patterns on the subjects’ heads, which are covered to mask distinct locks of hair. A video (shown below) captures his process and shows models Kimberlee Howe and Mohamed Ouedraogo as they’re drenched in pools of color. As they’re photographed, the subjects often hold their breath and respond similarly to being submerged underwater due to the weight and density of the paint, Tadder says.

Explore more of the artist’s textured, multi-media works on Behance and Instagram.

 

 

 



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)