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Photography

Cloaked in Thick Smoke, Submerged Foliage Breaches the Water's Surface in Mysterious Photographs

October 22, 2020

Anna Marks

All images © Robert Peek, shared with permission

Rotterdam-based photographer Robert Peek creates ghostly photographic stills of botanical forms that wouldn’t look out of place on Miss Havisham’s festering dining room table. On first inspection, Peek’s work resembles paintings with smoke dripping from the flowers’ petals and leaves. Colors are drawn out and enhanced, while other hues are shrouded in the white veil. With his perception-bending methodology, close-ups of lavender and thistle heads are transformed into mythical creations that peek out from the hazy background.

Having trained at the Royal College of Art, Peek developed an interest in using light as a tool to change the composition and texture of his pieces, turning photographs into painting-like artworks. Many of his projects, which he shares on Behance, are inspired by an interest in loneliness and isolation, and his photographs capture a melancholic rawness of natural blossoms frozen in time.

To create his eerie works, Peek submerges his chosen flowery forms in a fish glass before adding white ink to the water, then employs two Profoto lamps to manipulate the lighting, sometimes using a high speed to freeze the image in time. The results reveal bold, still forms steeped in mystery. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

 

 

 



Art Photography

Remote Landscapes and Abandoned Structures Momentarily Transformed by Colorful Plumes of Smoke

June 13, 2018

Anna Marks

Billowing clouds of smoke burst upon rugged mountainous terrains, deserted architecture, and blossoming fields. These vibrant, ethereal sceneries are captured by French photographers Isabelle Chapuis and Alexis Pichot and are part of their Blossom project. The duo’s smokey clouds emerge from beautiful landscapes and desolate buildings alike, transforming both natural and abandoned scenes into enchanted spaces of sorcery and wonder.

Chapuis and Pichot’s collaborative project is a celebration of the beauty of natural forms, of what nature grows into without humankind’s influence. Each cloud is created by adding colored pigments to smoke including pastel pinks, vivid blues, dark greens, and creamy yellows. The duo captures the resulting colorful scene scene with a Nikon D810 camera.

The project is set in various parts of the globe including the US, Morocco, Turkey, and Norway, each of which has unique natural topography. The clouds take different forms depending on the landscape. In one photo a mustard yellow cloud resembles volcanic smoke, yet in another, a cloud looks like an peach-hued spiritual form haunting an old industrial site.

With ‘Blossom’, the artists share with Colossal that they seek to illustrate a visual manifestation of humanity’s creative impulse, and to raise awareness on the interventions of mankind in territory. “If people are absent from these photographs, their imprint is suggested among these wild natural or abandoned landscapes,” states Chapuis.

To view more of Chapuis and Pichot’s work visit their website and Instagram.

 

 



Photography

New Smoke-Based Photographs by Ken Hermann Capture Colorful Bursts Rising From an Industrial Corridor

July 20, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

Smoke, the simply titled project photographed by Ken Hermann (previously) and art directed by Gem Fletcher, observes colorful clouds of the title’s subject matter as they disperse through industrial environments, each gaseous mass originating from a ladder at the center of the photograph. The works follow Hermann’s previous series Explosion 2.0, a group of explosive portraits which focused more on the fiery burst at the center of the frame rather than the smoke created by each. With this series the puffs of yellow, blue, orange, and pink clouds are closely documented, each work’s composition completely tied to the way in which the wind decided to turn. You can see more of the Denmark-based artist’s work on his Instagram @kenhermann and Fletcher’s at @gemfletcher.

 

 



Art Food Photography

The Mystical Origins of Fruit and Vegetables Photographed by Maciek Jasik

November 12, 2015

Kate Sierzputowski

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Although it’s recommended we eat five to seven servings of fruits and vegetables daily, many are unaware of the origins, mythology, and symbolism many of our favorite healthy foods hold. Several of the most common vegetables took thousands of years to cultivate, the watermelon was originally known for being bland and buried with pharaohs as a water source in the afterlife, and Buddha considered the pomegranate one of the three most blessed fruits.

Photographer Maciek Jasik is fascinated by the tales behind fruits and vegetables and seeks to reintroduce these mystical qualities back into their being through his eerie depictions of squash, pineapples, horned melons, and others. “The Secret Lives of Fruits and Vegetables” aims to bring back the characteristics “that have been lost amidst the clamor of nutritional statistics,” says Jasik. “Each offers its own indelible powers beyond our narrow habits of thought.”

Jasik achieves this by his use of color and deeply-hued smoke bombs, poking small holes within his subjects to make the smoke subtly waft or flood from the inside. Not sticking to a particular color scheme, the images all convey vastly different moods, an eggplant appearing to be involved in a dark alchemical experiment as the pineapple looks like it is straight from an upbeat advertising shoot.

You can see more vegetative smoke-filled photographs from the NYC-based photographer on his Tumblr and Instagram.

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Art Photography

Ellie Davies Creates Forest Landscapes Illuminated with Fields of Stars and Smoke

May 29, 2015

Kate Sierzputowski

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Ellie Davies' studio is the forest, creating magical, fairytale-like stills throughout the UK. Davies has been exploring this terrain for the past seven years, attempting to uncover the complex interrelationships between landscape and the individual.

Davies creates both temporary and non-invasive interventions within each forested scene. By incorporating pools of light, smoke, and craft materials she places the viewer in the liminal space between reality and fantasy, a re-exploration of the natural world around us. In her series Stars, the artist overlays her own photography with stars plucked from imagery taken by the Hubble space telescope. These mystical images are created in order to encourage pause, and provoke thoughts about how landscapes influences our identity.

Davies lives in London and received her MA in Photography from London College of Communications in 2008. She is represented by several international galleries including A.Galerie in Paris, Crane Kalman BrightonSophie Maree Gallery in The Netherlands, Brucie Collections in Kiev, and Art Gemini, Singapore. Recently Crane Kalman Gallery Brighton took her work to the Photo London Art Fair at Somerset House from May 21st through 24th, 2015. (via Kateoplis, My Modern Met)

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Art

Artist Steve Spazuk Paints with Fire

October 27, 2014

Christopher Jobson

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This is a lovely video profile of artist Steve Spazuk (previously) who has developed a unique way of “painting” using the soot left behind from candle smoke. While it seems like he just holds a candle to paper and draws with the smoke, his range of techniques are a bit more subtle. Spazuk often doesn’t know what images he intends to make but instead explores patterns and shapes found in the soot to guide the artwork. He also employs stencils and a reductive process akin to etching, where he scrapes images into the soot with feathers and paint brushes. You can see more of his recent work on his website. Directed by Patrick Peris. (via iGNANT)

 

 

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