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Art

Exploring the Liminal Spaces of Joshua Flint’s Surreal Paintings

January 22, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Even in the Dim Light” (2018), oil on wood panel, 18 x 18 inches. All images © Joshua Flint, shared with permission

Through hazy lines and obscured faces, Joshua Flint (previously) reflects on the blurriness of in-between states in his most recent paintings. “Big Earth” shows a group of kids reaching up toward red- and pink-hued orbs that are set on a shadowy backdrop, while “Memory of Nature I” features a portrait of a man with a nondescript face as an enlarged hummingbird flies so close that it appears to be drinking from the man’s mouth.

The Portland, Oregon-based painter tells Colossal that much of his newer work is influenced by Rebecca Solnit’s A Field Guide to Getting Lost, which inspired him to consider the link between the interiority and exteriority of human movement. “These paintings have a loose narrative of exploring this unknown territory, these liminal spaces, and the people who populate them,” he says. “I continue to explore themes such as memory, ecological issues, pyscho-geography, identity, loss, and transformation.” Flint says that each body of work elicits a new line of thought for the next project.

What I’ve noticed over the last few years is that I’m making a sort of alternate reality, a kind of parallel world or a world that exists under the surface, where the physical and the metaphysical blend in more obvious ways. This world also relates to literature, poetry, philosophy, science and nature writing rather than current events or the historical canon. Although, I think some of those latter themes inevitably find their way in.

Flint’s upcoming plans include creating a companion to “The Exhibit,” in addition to expanding the story around the subject in “The Messenger,” which are included below. From March 6 to 28, he’ll have a solo show at Robert Lange Studios in Charleston, South Carolina. Until then, follow more of his surreal work on Instagram.

“A Century of Wind I” (2019), oil on paper, 15 x 22 inches

“Eidolon,” oil on linen, 16 x 12 inches

“Memory of Nature I” (2019), oil on wood panel, 20 x 20 inches

“Memory of Nature II” (2019), oil on canvas, 18 x 18 inches

“Molecule,” oil on linen, 12 x 16 inches

“Bright Earth” (2019), oil on linen, 20 x 16 inches

“The Exhibit” (2019), oil on canvas, 36 x 48 inches

“The Messenger,” oil on wood, 24 x 24 inches

“The Well” (2019), oil on canvas, 40 x 40 inches

 

 



Art

Fine Lines and Dotwork Form Surreal Monochromatic Tattoos by Michele Volpi

December 1, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Italian artist Michele Volpi tattoos highly detailed conceptual pieces using black ink and the negative space of her clients’ skin. With a surrealist style and a monochromatic palette, Volpi inks diagrams of insects, plants, and human anatomy that resemble vintage illustrations borrowed from science textbooks. With precise lines and controlled dotwork, each tattoo looks as if it were printed rather than done by hand.

Born in Sant’Elpidio a Mare, Italy in 1991, Volpi tells Colossal that he discovered the art tattooing 5 years ago and fell in love. While attending technical school, he also practiced various art styles to fulfill a desire to have his “fingers in many pies.” A friend recommended buying a tattooing starter kit, and Volpi said that it changed his life. After learning the basics and experimenting with techniques, the young tattoo artist found that line and dotwork were among his favorites. “My style was influenced by geometries, nature, surrealism, and the sciences,” Volpi says. “I like to push my self every day finding inspiration from all around me and trying to go beyond the shallow in what I see. The world of art is endless and I can’t wait to discover it with my passion.”

Volpi also translates sketches to paper to create handmade works of art. To see more tattoos and for appointment booking information, follow the artist on Instagram. To browse and buy his watercolor bookmarks, head over to his Etsy store.

 

 



Art Photography

Moments of Isolation and Belonging Explored in Surreal Composite Photographs by May Parlar

November 20, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

All images © May Parlar, shared with permission of the artist

Photographer May Parlar punctuates open landscapes with colorful elements like masses of balloons and accessories separated from human wearers. Her work reflects on themes of belonging and alienation, Parlar tells Colossal, and she seeks to “explore the human condition through a feminist perspective.”

To build her fanciful scenes, Parlar explains that she layers frames to build composite images rather than manipulating the content itself. “I work across different mediums such as photography, film, performance art, sculpture, installation, and landscape art; and all of which gets merged in the end and put together with a glue that for me is the camera”. The artist first was first drawn to photography and filmmaking during her architecture and design schooling in the U.K.

Parlar describes herself as a global nomad, and is currently based in Berlin. See more of her imaginative images on Instagram, and purchase limited edition prints on Saatchi Art. (via Tu Recepcja)

 

 



Art History Illustration

Salvador Dalí’s Surreal Tarot Card Designs from the 1970’s to be Released as a Complete Deck

November 8, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

The surrealist master Salvador Dalí often dabbled in modes of mainstream culture, whether designing wine guides, appearing on game shows, or—in this instance—designing a deck of tarot cards for a James Bond film. Dalí undertook the project in the early 1970’s for Live and Let Die, starring Roger Moore and Jane Seymour. The deck didn’t end up appearing in the film, apparently due to Dalí’s high fees, but the artist continued to work on the cards for a decade and completed them in 1984. Art book publisher Taschen is releasing the deck, along with an instructional book that Dalí made to accompany it. Dalí.Tarot will be published on November 15, 2019, and is available for preorder on the Taschen website. (via Hyperallergic)

 

 

 



Art

Ironing Wrinkled Chips, Keeping Headphones in Place, and Other Surreal Life-Hacks Photographed by Gab Bois

October 5, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Montreal-based artist Gab Bois uses everyday objects to create photographs that twist reality and illustrate bizarre, yet clever, concepts. Often achieved using post-processing techniques, the seamless images depict unnatural double entendres and impossible feats. For the artist, the ideas are the star and photography is a tool for translation.

Gab Bois has a degree in fine art but didn’t practice photography until after graduating. Finding inspiration in the mundane and random, the common thread in Gab Bois’ work is the familiar. The artist prefers creating from her own imagination and dreams so that the work feels authentic. She tells Colossal that nine times out of ten, she is the model in her photographs. “I like to be very hands-on when it comes to most aspects of my practice and find it very hard to delegate,” she explains. “Being my own subject gives me a sense of control that I wouldn’t have with a model.” She has shot other people on occasion, and Gab Bois says that those were great learning experiences.

Gab Bois’ images live on Instagram, but the artist says that they “aspire to live a much larger life outside of the platform.” She added that Instagram is “a great diffusion tool but it feels reductive to me to have my work reside solely in a virtual environment.” The artist also has a sculptural practice that lives outside of social media.

Gab Bois is working on a solo exhibition for 2020. In the more immediate future, her work will be featured in a group exhibition opening on October 10, 2019 at KK Outlet in London and also in Montreal on October 17, 2019. To see more of her ideas come to life, follow the artist on Instagram.

 

 



Art

The U.K.’s Iconic Red Post Box Gets a Twisted Makeover in Alex Chinneck’s Surreal Urban Interventions

September 30, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Master of distortion Alex Chinneck flips parking lots upside down, unzips buildings, and most recently has tied post boxes in knots. Chinneck traffics in everyday structures that are universally recognizable, which serves to unite passersby in reacting to the bizarre interventions. The post box series, which the artist calls ‘Alphabetti Spaghetti‘ has made appearances over the past week across the U.K., in  London, Margate, and Tinsley, adding three bespoke boxes to the more than 115,500 traditional ones that exist across the kingdom. No word yet on whether postmarked letters placed in Chinneck’s sculptures will be delivered. You can see more of the artist’s mind-bending work on Instagram. (via It’s Nice That)

 

 



Art

Multi-Layered Oil Paintings by Jacob Brostrup Blur Natural and Built Environments

September 19, 2019

Laura Staugaitis


Spectacularly detailed paintings by Jacob Brostrup layer indoor and outdoor scenes in luminescent colors. The artist renders each component of his oil paintings with exacting, realistic detail, but the overlapping narratives of time and place create a dreamlike state. Old-fashioned architectural features, particularly staircases and windows, are common visual elements alongside fallen trees and marshy bodies of water. Brostrup, who is Danish, also spends part of his time in Barcelona. The artist graduated from the Danish National School of Design in Copenhagen. He is represented by Kirk Gallery in Allborg, Denmark, which hosted his most recent shows in 2019; Galeria Contrast in Barcelona; and Galleri Franz Pedersen in Horsens. Explore more of Brostrup’s transfixing paintings on Instagram (we’re loving his recent works with swimming pool motifs) and Artsy. (Thnx, Tanis!) 

 

 

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