surreal

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Art

Metaphorical Scenes Examine Mystery in Dreamy Paintings by Artist Duy Huynh

November 9, 2020

Grace Ebert

“ReciprociTea,” acrylic on canvas, 40 x 30 x 2.5 inches. All images © Duy Huynh, shared with permission

Vietnamese artist Duy Huynh (previously) examines balance through nuanced scenes replete with ethereal, surreal elements: individual flowers ascend from a teapot, a chain winds around an artichoke heart, and figures float mid-air. Rendered in muted hues, the acrylic paintings are metaphorical and narrative-based, visualizing stories by connecting unusual symbols or positioning disparate objects together. The North Carolina-based artist gives the works witty names— “Thyme to Turnip the Beet” and “ReciprociTea,” for example—adding to their playful and whimsical natures.

In a statement, Huynh writes that the core of his practice involves drawing connections “between two or more mysteries,” which he explains further:

My characters often float (literally) somewhere between science and spirituality, memory and mythology, structure and spontaneity, ephemeral and eternal, humorous and profound, connectivity and non-attachment. The intent isn’t necessarily to provide enlightenment but to celebrate the quest itself.

Huynh co-owns Lark & Key, where his elegant paintings are part of a group show that’s on view through November 28. Limited-edition prints and greeting cards of his works are available through the gallery, as well.

 

“No More Clouded Hearts,” acrylic on canvas, 24 x 24 x 2.5 inches

Left: “Thyme to Turnip the Beet,” acrylic on wood, 12 x 12 x 1.75 inches. Right: “Wisdom Keepers,” acrylic on wood, paper on piano reads “press any key to continue,” 30 x 40 x 2.5 inches

“Heart of Gold,” acrylic on wood, 12 x 12 x 2 inches

Left: “A Matter of Pace, Space and Equanimitea,” acrylic on wood, 16 x 16 x 2.5 inches.  Right: “A Life More Aliferous,” acrylic on canvas, 36 x 36 x 2.5 inches

“New Dawn Rising,” acrylic on canvas, 34 x 34 x 2 inches

 

 



Food Photography

Elegant Eats and Bread-Based Fare Form Quirky Interventions in Jill Burrow's Photographs

October 30, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Jill Burrow, shared with permission

From her home in Kansas City, Missouri, photographer Jill Burrow composes elegant dining tableaus captured in the fleeting light of golden hour. Complete with floral arrangements and unusual additions,  Burrow’s fare distinctly exhibits the artistic potential of a simple meal when presented in unorthodox settings. Her shadow-filled images frame a picnic spread hanging from a washline, a humble breakfast submerged in water, and a quirky still life of bread-based cookware.

Although she’s adept at transforming a simple piece of toast into a dandelion-studded canvas, Burrow’s forays into cooking and baking are recent. “I have always enjoyed cooking but never felt a creative connection to it, so when I started creating art and creative sets I realized how diverse and creative food is. Food is already so vibrant and full of life and pleasure, and it is quite easy to transform and change into unexpected works of art,” she says.

Ultimately, Burrow hopes her sculpted butters and arranged berries convey an alternate vision for understanding life. “My main goal is to create a world where people who don’t have the typical brain might feel stimulated and inspired. I have always seen the world differently,” she says.

For more of the edible interventions highlighted in Burrow’s photographs, follow her on Instagram. (via Trendland)

 

 

 



Animation Art

A Turbine-Faced Pilot Returns from War in a Surreal Animated Short About Love and Transformation

October 30, 2020

Grace Ebert

Presented by the National Film Board of Canada, an animated short by Montreal-based director Alex Boya considers the complex effects of war through a heartwarming tale. “Turbine” opens with a woman climbing aboard a train that inches along the track like a worm. The black-and-white film then chronicles her journey reuniting with her pilot husband, who returns from war with an airplane engine permanently replacing his face and subsequently falls in love with the ceiling fan.

Through incredibly rich renderings—the wrinkles on the characters’ hands and the whorling patterns in their hair are particularly detailed—Boya depicts peculiar scenes and quiet domestic moments to share a story about love, humanity, and transformation. In an interview about “Turbine,” the director says the film’s distinct style came about organically:

It felt like creating sober instructional illustrations of real things, with an honest attempt to simply survey their opaqueness and shadows in a photorealistic world. Just like I focus on the water instead of on my body when I swim, it works not to think of style, but simply on the subject matter that is being drawn.

For more short films, see the board’s Instagram and Vimeo, and check out Boya’s site to explore the entire Turbine Universe, which is complete with dozens of sketches and gifs of the hybrid character.

 

 

 



Animation

An Intimate Short Film Highlights 2020's Crises through Exquisitely Surreal Scenes

September 22, 2020

Grace Ebert

Set to subdued music, Nicolas Lichtle’s short film titled “à la fin…” is an unusually ethereal depiction of the crises climaxing in 2020. The delicate animation flows through a series of lightly-hued scenes that explore reactions to COVID-19, the wildfires raging across the planet, and the endless distractions of technology. “It’s a moment of introspection, very intimate, staged through a succession of small moments imbued with poetry, absurdity, and sometimes surrealism…” Lichtle writes.

Many of the anonymous characters’ faces are obscured by a plant, digital device, or cloth mask, and they undertake both mundane and bizarre tasks that critique contemporary life: An unassuming man runs on a treadmill while someone stands nearby to douse him with disinfectant, a figure with a bowling ball head shouts through a megaphone at upright pins, and two women happily wave at a distant earth set ablaze.

Lichtle is based in Paris and has an extensive collection of films on his site. Follow his critically-minded projects on Vimeo. (via swissmiss)

 

 

 



Art Food

Insatiable Mouths and Fingers Rouse a Delicate Tea Set by Artist Ronit Baranga

September 14, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Ronit Baranga, shared with permission

Israeli artist Ronit Baranga (previously) embodies voracious appetites by merging anatomical parts, desserts, and serving ware in an evocative ceramic series titled All Things Sweet and PainfulDextrous fingers balance a plate and manage to swipe a bit of frosting from a cupcake. Whether implanted in a fruity pie or a teacup, gaping mouths clamor for a taste of the pastries and stick their tongues out for a taste.

In a statement, Baranga explains that the surreal series is focused on luxurious foods. “The mixed emotions of need and the insatiable hunger for more – more sugar, more attention, more love. There is a constant push against the boundaries of rational consumption, craving the sugar rush, forever tempted to go overboard,” she says.

Baranga has a number of ongoing and upcoming exhibitions scheduled, including at Munich’s størpunkt through October 31 and the Eretz Israel Museum in Tel-Aviv through 2021. The sumptuous artworks shown here will be on view at Beinart Gallery in Melbourne starting mid-October, and you can browse more of Baranga’s sculptures on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

These Absurdly Contorted Animals by Bruno Pontiroli Will Leave You With a Backache

August 11, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Le Tigre Reversible” (2020), oil on wood panel,18”x 21 inches. All images © Bruno Pontiroli, shared with permission

The troupe of wild animals in Bruno Pontiroli’s paintings contort their bodies into backbends and handstands that would rival even the most accomplished gymnast. A wrinkly hippo balances on its tongue, a tiger arches its torso into a 90-degree angle, and a hyena rotates its hind legs in the air. The French artist (previously) notes that he begins the bizarre artworks with easily-recognized animals that he then shapes “like the way a child plays with modeling clay or a building set for instance,” morphing a simple depiction of a nimble lion or hare into a peculiar new reality. He explains by saying:

My aim is to turn the narrow vision that we have of the world upside down and disturb our imagination while shaking an accepted reality with images that are as incomprehensible as they are familiar. Distorting a symbol or mixing opposing universes allows me to question the identity of things so that I can reinvent them in a world with no logic. Everything is possible.

Pontiroli’s series A Rebrousse-Poil, or against the grain, will be virtually on view at Corey Helford Gallery in Los Angeles starting August 22. See what the artist has been up to in the meantime on Instagram.

 

“Le rire jaune” (2020), oil on wood panel, 40 x 50 centimeters

Left: (2020), oil on wood panel, 40 x 30 centimeters. Right: “Le coup du lapin” (2020), oil on wood panel, 40 x 30 centimeters

“A rebrousse-poil”