surreal

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Photography

Unusual Details Upend Brooke DiDonato’s Seemingly Straightforward Photographs

July 24, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Photographer Brooke DiDonato (previously) twists bodies into unusual shapes that lead the viewer’s eye in transfixing circles. The Brooklyn-based artist creates seemingly tranquil images with soft colors and soothing textures. But surreal details, like a pair of stilettos on the sidewalk that melt into a patent leather puddle, or a gender-bending figure seated on a bench, make each photograph an object of intrigue. DiDonato exhibits her work widely and most recently showed at Le Purgatoire in Paris. Stay up to date on the photographer’s eye-catching and thought-provoking work via Instagram.

 

 



Art Illustration

Black and White Illustrations by Redmer Hoekstra Merge Animals with Architectural Elements

June 13, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Netherlands-based artist Redmer Hoekstra (previously) presents surreal depictions of animals merged with architectural exteriors and everyday objects. The illustrator combines hawks and bell towers, giraffes and toothbrushes, and imagines a goose composed of saxophones rather than feathers. The playful drawings are both literal and abstract: one sad wiener dog is tied in the middle  like an edible frank, and pair of swans’ soft tufted feathers fly off like dandelion seeds. Soon Hoekstra will begin a large-scale drawing titled “Noah’s Ark II,” a reimagining of the famous boat occupied by the animals “that didn’t make it,” he explains to Colossal. You can see more of the artist’s work on Behance and Instagram, and view works for sale in his shop.

 

 



Art Craft Illustration

Intricately Cut Paper and Delicate Illustrated Details Form Character-Filled Scenes by Lucila Biscione

June 10, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Artist Lucila Biscione works with cut and illustrated paper to create surreal, dream-like scenes. Whether creating a tableau backed with toned paper or a floating narrative displayed in a shop window, Biscione incorporates quirky details, including human-animal hybrids and moments of magic. Intricate hand-drawn faces and hairstyles add emotional depth to each multi-part artwork. In an interview with Playgrounds Biscione explains the theatrical tone of her work:

My inspiration comes from looking, going back and exploring moments that I have lived. They are usually memories or dreams or they can also even be stories that I have been told and I decided to transform. I draw thinking that those characters can really come alive on a stage. That is why I always have in mind the fabrics of the costumes or the materiality of the objects.

The artist, who grew up in Argentina, now lives and works in Berlin. In addition to her personal practice, Biscione also hosts workshops where she teaches the art of papercutting. You can see more of Biscione’s detailed paper-based work on Instagram and Facebook, and prints of select works are available from Toi Gallery.

 

 



Photography

Bizarre Details Enliven Seemingly Simple Moments in Photographs by Ben Zank

April 22, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

“Tilted Scales”

Ben Zank (previously) captures emotions of confusion, restriction, and ennui and in his ongoing series of banal-meets-bizarre photographs. Each image features a single subject in a seemingly mundane location: on a city sidewalk, near a semi truck trailer, or in a forest. Yet the individual at hand is engaged with or affected by their surroundings in highly unusual ways: one figure bends backward under the weight of long birch branches stuffed under his shirt; another is sandwiched in a layer cake of collapsed cardboard boxes. Zank shares with Colossal that he’s entering a season of productivity in his personal work as the weather warms, and is looking forward to a solo show in Shanghai, which will open in fall 2020. Stay up to date with Zank’s surreal scenes on Instagram.

“Assisted Living”

“Big Brother”

“Layer Cake”

“The Stigma”

“I DON’T KNOW ANYMORE”

“Going Under”

“Thought Deposit”

“Daily Agenda”

 

 



Art

Everyday People Animated into Bizarre GIFs by Romain Laurent

March 30, 2019

Andrew LaSane

French director and photographer Romain Laurent (previously) turns imagery from expressly planned still and video shoots into animated GIFs where only an isolated section is in motion. Focusing primarily on human subjects and the spaces around them, the looped compositions turn everyday scenes into surreal animations that you can’t help but to watch over and over. In one, a silhouetted subject has fiery sparklers for eyes, and in another, a rain-jacketed pedestrian’s face loops in the frame of his hood.

Separate from his commercial work, Laurent tells Colossal that his once weekly project has become more selective over the past two years in terms of the concepts and ideas that he translates into GIFs. “Other than that the approach is the same—find an idea and movement that amuses or speaks to me and make it right away!” Each GIF is unique, and depending on the complexity of the concept, Laurent can spend anywhere from 15 minutes to two hours capturing the photos before manipulating them in post-production for an hour or several days. To see more of Romain Laurent’s quirky partially-moving portraits, check out his Tumblr and follow him on Instagram.

 

 



Art Illustration

Mind the Gap: A Surrealist Exploration of London Street Life Seen From Above and Below Ground

March 27, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Mind the Gap is a new complexly layered watercolor from the mind of illustrator Marija Tiurina (previously), which melds fictional scenes from above and below ground. The work is jam packed with both realistic and highly imaginative characters that exist in a parallel universe to North London. Cool colors denote what is happening above ground while reds and pinks towards the bottom right corner signal that the work has moved into the London Underground. The work was inspired by Tiurina’s daily commute on the Central line, which is one of the deepest and hottest lines in the city, and is known for its particularly heated rush hours during the summer. Take a peek at other rich watercolor works by Tiurina on her InstagramFacebook, and Behance.

 

 



Art Illustration

Hybrid Graphite Drawings by Mateo Pizarro Merge Animals and Humans with Unexpected Obstacles

February 21, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Colombian artist Mateo Pizarro (previously) is inspired by contradictions. His graphite drawings combine animals with elements of human creation, merging nature with technological advancements or conflicting scenes. A four-winged goose resembles an airplane propeller while an ostrich walks around with a lightbulb as a replacement for its small head and beak.  “Drawing these fantastical animals I have come to realize that the beasts that do exist are just as surreal [as those imagined]: a giraffe or an armadillo is just as improbable as any winged horse,” Pizarro tells Colossal.

His work is included in a group exhibition of works on paper titled Lenguajes en Papel which runs through March 7, 2019 at El Museo Gallery in Bogotá, and his solo exhibition An Anthology of Catastrophes at Heart Ego Contemporary Art in Monterrey runs through April, 2019. You can see more of Pizarro’s drawings on Instagram and Behance.