surreal

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Art Photography

Women in Motion Energize Dreamy Photographs by Kylli Sparre

May 22, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Wonder Wheels.” All images © Kylli Sparre, shared with permission

Often blurring or concealing the faces of her dramatically posed figures, Kylli Sparre (previously) captures magical portraits of young women and girls. The fine art photographer, who is based in Tallinn, captures her lone subjects amidst swirling swaths of fabric or perched atop a towering mass of bicycle wheels. Many are in motion, whether dancing against hazy landscapes and or scooting across calm waters.

Sparre tells Colossal that she’s begun to experiment with technical aspects of her process by using a scanner, piecing together images in collages, and experimenting with movement and exposure time. Although she notes that many of her forays into underwater photography “will never see the light of day,” she’s “trying to be as open as I can… I think what has demanded me to grow, is the wish to keep finding the “something” in an image, that would touch a chord in me. Because what I find interesting, slightly changes over time. It is not always an easy task to be truthful to this inner scale, but still essential.”

To see more of Sparre’s conceptual projects focused on the female figure, head to Instagram.

 

“Disquiet”

“Learning Wheels”

“Modest Troubles”

“Mismeeting”

“Wild Things in Mild Wind”

“Line in Time”

“Excusing Shadows”

 

 



Craft Illustration

Rosy Eyes Peer Out From Leaves and Insects in Bizarre Illustrations by Ana Miminoshvili

May 7, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Jasmine” (2018). All images © Ana Miminoshvili

Tbilisi-based illustrator and designer Ana Miminoshvili captures the essence of modern surveillance by hiding it in plain sight. In Blooming Eyes, she implants her verdant leaves and botanical compositions with numerous eyes that peer out from their natural surroundings. Red speckles indicate that they’re bloodshot and strained, giving the scleras a rosy hue that complements and blends with the pink florals.

Miminoshvili describes the surreal series as commentary “on anxiety, (the) fear of being watched, and pressure of social media exposure.” The staring eyes disguise themselves in unusual and yet organic places like ladybugs’ spots and a newly opened flower. In a statement, the illustrator said she prefers “creating warm ambiances and combining strict, geometric shapes with more free and natural lines,” after pinpointing a tight color palette that allows her to merge the otherwise disparate elements.

Follow Miminoshvili’s ongoing illustrations and embroideries that consider privacy in contemporary life on Instagram and Behance, and purchase a print in her shop.

 

“Ladybugs” (2018)

“Blooming face” (2020)

“Caterpillar” (2020)

“Eyeballs” (2019)

 

 



Art

Vintage Jigsaw Puzzles Blended Piece-by-Piece into Surreal Montages by Tim Klein

May 5, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Pig Jaw Suzzle #2,” 11 x 9 inches. All images © Tim Klein, shared with permission

Although there’s seemingly only one way to assemble a jigsaw puzzle, Tim Klein (previously) has diverged from the traditional method of following the photo on the box to assemble unusual arrangements of hybrid animals and everyday objects. The Vancouver, Washington-based artist combines two vintage puzzles that are similar in composition, creating bizarre amalgamations that position a hedgehog on top of a muffin and mask George Washington’s face with verdant greenery and a waterfall.

In a statement, Klein said he often utilizes die-cut pieces from the same manufacturer, which allows him to plug in portions from two different sets. “I take great pleasure in discovering such strange images lying shattered, sometimes for decades, within the cardboard boxes of ordinary mass-produced puzzles,” the artist said.

Although many of Klein’s puzzles are sold out—he notes that he needs more source material to create more—you can follow the humorous combinations on Facebook.

 

Left” “Pupcake,” 10 x 10 inches. Right: “Muffin,” 10 x 10 inches

“Waterfall Grille,” 6 x 18 inches

“King of the Road,” 18 x 24 inches

“Washington,” 18 x 24 inches

“The Other Side,” 18 x 24 inches

“Metamorphosis (Unburdening),” 24 x 18 inches

“Bow Wow,” 15 x 7 inches

“Were-Rabbit,” 11 x 9 inches

 

 



Art

Dreamy Paintings by Jacob Brostrup Layer Interior and Exterior Scenes into Surreal Composites

May 2, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Out of the Swamp,” oil on canvas, 130 x 140 centimeters. All images © Jacob Brostrup

Danish artist Jacob Brostrup (previously) beautifully blurs the organic and domestic in his enchanting scenes of soaked floorboards and branches that jut from every corner. What could be a reason to phone a contractor in real life, the downed trees and pooling water in the artist’s oil paintings create a fictional universe in which nature and humanity exist simultaneously in the same space. Each artwork is filled with an incredible number of realistic details that pattern armchairs and provide moss its fuzzy texture.

In a statement, Brostrup referred to his vivid works as “a sampling of snapshots, of hidden glimpse(s) of the past, of other cultures, of the movement of everyday life… There are layers upon layers; a fusion of sensory impressions.” His process begins with a pencil sketch on canvas before covering backdrops of cloudy skies and tiled floors with ornate molding and tree blossoms.

You can find an extensive history of Brostrup’s charming paintings on Instagram, along with his available pieces on Artsy.

 

Left: “On Top,” oil on canvas. Right: “Fallen Tree,” oil on canvas, 160 x 120 centimeters

“The Bridge” (2019), oil on canvas, 35 2/5 × 31 1/2 inches

“Calling Back Home” (2019), oil on canvas, 27 3/5 × 21 7/10 inches

“The Laboratory” (2019), oil on canvas, 51 1/5 × 70 9/10 inches

“The House” (2019), oil on canvas, 47 1/5 × 55 1/10 inches

“Entries and Exits” (2019), oil on canvas, 47 1/5 × 63 inches

 

 



Animation Photography

An Unnerving New Film by Paul Trillo Imagines Earth Moments Before It’s Sucked into a Black Hole

May 1, 2020

Grace Ebert

A new film by New York-based director Paul Trillo lingers for just a moment on a serene body of water before plunging into a dizzying series of landscape transformations. “Until There Was Nothing” considers how Earth’s natural landscapes and city life would look just moments before being consumed by a black hole. The surreal work shows massive waves suddenly crawling up the left side of the frame, the tops of taxi cabs shooting into the air, and an entire forest of trees ascending in an amorphous mass.

To add an even more unnerving twist, Trillo overlayed the short film with a recording of British writer Alan Watts, who slowly expounds on the “prospect of vanishing.” Despite his film’s disturbing qualities, the director maintains an optimistic outlook. “Someday this will pass and there will be nothing left… That’s not something to fear ‘because we come from nothing’ as Alan Watts puts it… and from nothing comes something new,” he says.

Watch the full film, which Trillo alternatively titled “How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Black Hole,” below. Find more of the director’s perspective-bending projects on Vimeo.

 

 

 



Design Photography

Massive Wild Animals Wander Russian Streets in Surreal Composites by Vadim Solovyov

April 14, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Vadim Solovyov, shared with permission

Seeing a raccoon washing its paws in the rivers of Saint Petersburg or an octopus tumbling out of a city bus would be a startling sight for most city dwellers. Artist Vadim Solovyov, though, takes those surreal scenes a step farther as he imagines massive rooks, penguins, and chameleons invading the Russian city. While many of the composites feature the animals in nature, some position them in spaces typically occupied by a human, like a sloth behind the candy-covered counter of a convenience store.

Solovyov tells Colossal that he began the uncanny series as a way to explore strange events in his real life. For example, he said the giant raccoon and its presumptive counterparts “quietly make their way through the deserted evening city to the embankments and shyly rinse something in the water there. Thoroughly. Not less than 20 seconds,” which is a reference to current handwashing suggestions to prevent COVID-19 from spreading.

The artist says he values his work’s visual and textual components equally.

Giant animals (are) only one of the features of this world. Their origin, the history of the world itself can be found in fragments from the texts under the posts. Many posts exist in the context of actual events in my city and country. Through my work, I often convey in a veiled (and sometimes weird) way important for me issues or problems of society (attitude to animals, politics, social flaws). But this, of course, does not exclude the fact that some works are an ironic “visual game” without additional deep meanings.

For the complete collection of the meandering wildlife and their respective stories, head to Solovyov’s Instagram. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

 

 



Animation Design

A 3D Artist Imagines the Realistic Fossilized Skulls of Endearing Cartoon Characters

March 4, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Canis Goofus – USA, 1932.” All images © Filip Hodas

A Prague-based artist is memorializing some of his favorite cartoons with a series of convincing fossils that provide an unconventional look at the skeletons of animated characters. Filip Hodas’s Cartoon Fossils series features preserved skulls of Spongebob, Tweety Bird, and other familiar characters, accompanied by the years they first were spotted on television and their zoological names like Anas Scroogius, Homo Popoculis, and Mus Minnius.

The artist’s surreal compositions mimic the fossils and assemblages displayed in history museums, although Hodas said in a statement he wanted to add to their playfulness with bright, solid backgrounds. He also embellishes his characters with hats, glasses, and even stacks of coins to amplify their fictional roles.

Initially, I wanted to make them stylized as dinosaur fossils set up in a museum environment, but later decided against it, as the skulls didn’t look very recognizable on their own—especially with parts broken or missing. That’s why I opted for (a) less damaged look and also added some assets to each of the characters.

To create each piece, Hodas used a combination of programs including Cinema 4D, Zbrush, 3D Coat, Substance Painter, and Substance Designer. Find more of the artist’s work that intertwines history, science, and pop culture on Instagram and Behance.

“Mus Minnius – USA, 1928”

“Anas Scroogius – USA, 1947”

“Anas Scroogius – USA, 1947”

“Spongia Bobæ – USA, 1999”

“Homo Popoculis – USA, 1929”

“Homo Popoculis – USA, 1929”

“Canaria Tweetea – USA, 1941”

“Canaria Tweetea – USA, 1941”

 

 

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