surreal

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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!) 

 

 



Art

Hybrid Creatures with Oversized Eyes Reflect Imagined Landscapes in Surreal Paintings by Haoto Nattori

September 15, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Japanese artist Naoto Hattori imagines small fluffy animals with healthy doses of fantasy and some unnatural hybridization. The painted creatures often feature round heads and disproportionately large and reflective eyes. Cat-birds with mushrooms growing on their furry heads and other mashup beasts toe the line between whimsical and eerie thanks to large eyes that reveal unseen forests and landscapes.

These acrylic paintings are small, typically measuring less than 3 inches by 3 inches when unframed. The artist’s style has been labeled as pop surrealist, but Hattori says it’s just what he sees in his mind. Hattori tells Colossal that he has been drawing eyes since he was three years old. “When I closed my eyes, I could see a colorful eye like a mandala and it kept changing shape like a kaleidoscope. I drew hundreds of the eye images. Back then, I was thinking that it was something everyone could see.”

Hattori continued painting eyes as he got older and earned a BFA in Illustration from the School of Visual Arts. The creatures in the paintings are avatars for the artist entering the world of his imagination.

I’m not particular about surrealism, but I like to draw an image which can’t be expressed in words, such as feelings, thoughts, and emotions in my mind. The eye feels like an entrance to the world of visionary memories. I often paint a piece which visualizes myself as a hybrid creature entering the visionary world. The images are twisted but it feels like meditation and calms me down.

Naoto was born in Japan, moved to New York to study art, and has shown in galleries around the world, including Beinart Gallery in Melbourne, Corey Helford in Los Angeles, and Modern Eden in San Francisco. Prints of many of his animals paintings are available to purchase directly from the artist’s online store. To look into the eyes of more of Naoto Hattori’s hybrid creatures, follow him on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art Photography

Fantastical Photographs of Opulently Dressed Models in Castles and Mansions

August 30, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

“Swan Lake” (2014), all images © Natalie Lennard

Photographer Natalie Lennard, who works as Miss Aniela, creates lavish scenes centered around elegantly dressed models. While each image might seem, at first glance, like a straightforward luxury fashion shoot, further inspection reveals surreal details. A canary yellow tulle gown morphs into birds, and ocean water splashes out of a painting frame.

Miss Aniela’s fantastical scenes are created using a combination of on-site shoots with practical effects, along with extensive post-production and even bespoke C.G.I. (as for the 20,000 fish forming the dress worn by a deep sea diver model in “She Shoal”). The photographer explains that all images are shot on location with the model posed and lit in-frame. “Sometimes I do not know whether the image will be largely ‘raw’ and not require overt surrealism added,” Aniela shares, “until I go through the process to feel what is right for each piece.”

The U.K.-based artist has been working as a fine art photographer for 13 years, getting her start with self-portraits as a university student. In some works, she incorporates direct references to paintings from the art historical canon. Aniela has been working in her current style since 2011, and shares with Colossal that she has noticed a rising interest in her work from art collectors, as the lines between fine art and fashion are increasingly blurred.

You can explore more of Miss Aniela’s immersive worlds on Instagram, and go behind the scenes of production in her explanatory blog posts. Fine art prints are available via Saatchi Art.

“What He Bequeathed” (2016)

“She Shoal” (2019)

“Poster & Plumage” (2016)

“Enter the Golden Dragon” (2018)

“Thawed Fortress” (2015)

“Gilt” (2016)

“Scarlet Song” (2013)

“Away with the Canaries” (2013)

“Pokerface” (2015)

 

 



Art Photography

Photographs of Animals and Architecture are Sliced and Rearranged into Bizarre Collages by Lola Dupre

August 27, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Spain and Scotland-based collage artist Lola Dupre (previously) continues to surprise and delight with her unusual composite images. Rather than incorporating unique individual collage elements that contrast with each other, Dupre works with repetition and duplication to build bizarrely proportioned pets, buildings, and human figures. By layering and off-setting shards of the same photo in a sort of visual syncopation, Dupre stretches and bends otherwise familiar subjects into surreal images.

The artist recently exhibited work in the show “The Age of Collage 2” at Feinkunst Krueger gallery in Hamburg, Germany, and currently has a piece in “Lunacy” at Prescription Art in Brighton, U.K. You can see more of Dupre’s collages on Instagram and tumblr, and peruse originals and prints in her online store.

 

 

 

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Sailing Ship Kite