surreal

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Photography

Intertwined and Contorted Figures Form Surreal New Portraits by Brooke DiDonato

February 14, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Brooklyn-based photographer Brooke DiDonato (previously) poses bodies in twisting forms, skewing the viewer’s perception of where one body ends and the next begins. DiDonato also combines subjects and scenes in surreal ways that question the division between human and nature, presenting limbs popping up from a field of sun-baked crops, or capturing a stream of bountiful flowers spilling generously out of an open spout.

The above image of two men’s intertwined bodies was inspired by a previous image DiDonato made for a shoe campaign that featured two separate subjects wearing the same pair of shoes. She wanted to revisit this concept while incorporating full bodies to play on the idea that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

A selection of DiDonato’s images from her series “As Usual” is included in The Fence, one of the largest traveling photography exhibitions in the world. Upcoming locations for the open-air experience are Boston, Denver, Houston, and Calgary, Canada. You can keep up-to-date with her portraits and other images by visiting her website or Instagram.

 

 



Art

A New Book of Paintings by Tiffany Bozic Explores the Unity and Disjunction of the Natural World

January 22, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

“Triangle of Love”

The natural world gets an unusual interpretation through the lens of Northern California-based painter Tiffany Bozic (previously). She combines a highly developed realism with surreal juxtapositions of animals and plants in carefully composed paintings that question the “natural order” of the environment. In Triangle of Love, an owl family cozies up in a bed of gold-hued four leaf clovers, while in Aether, moths and caterpillars are drawn to a marbled pentagon hovering within a dew-dappled geometric spiderweb.

Bozic’s work over the last six years has been compiled into a forthcoming book, titled Unnatural Selections, published by Gingko Press. The artist explains to Colossal, “Since my paintings vary so widely from one to the next, I feel it’s important to be able to see them together as a continual ecosystem. Each contributes something to a larger dialog, and together they explore how we relate to each other and the natural world.”

Bozic often draws inspiration from direct experience exploring the world, which she often explores in tandem with her ornithologist husband. The works included in Unnatural Selections are also informed by her perspective as the mother of a young daughter. “By discovering universal commonalities between human beings and other living organisms, like reproduction and different parenting strategies, I felt more connected to the natural world and conscious of my role in it,” she explains.

Unnatural Selections is available for preorder on Amazon. You can also follow Bozic’s work and field explorations on Instagram, as she preps for her upcoming summer show at Antler Gallery in Portland, Oregon.

“Altruism”

L: “Joy”, R: “Emotion”

“Divide”

“Aether”

“Point of Origin”

 

 



Art Illustration

Layered Paintings by Betsy Walton Build Memory into Colorful Explorations of the Pacific Northwest

January 17, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Artist Betsy Walton loosely imitates the landscape of Portland, Oregon in paintings infused with geodesic rocks and female subjects dressed as spellbinding goddesses. Walton works in layers, leaving some areas of the paintings bare with minimal sketches, while others have been painted, mixed with new media, or patched over multiple times.

“I paint over old versions of images so that there is a kind of memory to the painting,” she explains to Colossal. “I like being able to create an image that slowly unfolds. My hope is that a person looking at the finished work is able to have a long relationship with the image—lots of nuance to discover over time.”

Although Portland’s winters have become a primary point of inspiration, Walton likes to also bring in elements of travel by including flora that exist outside of the Pacific Northwest. She also includes natural phenomena or invisible structures that we might not see in everyday life, such as winding tree roots or the ribs of a female subject. “In each painting I am working through a kind of mindfulness process wherein I try to stay faithful to my ideas as they arise, even if I can’t explain it or it seems like a hard turn from where I started,” she explains. “It’s a delicate dance between unconditional acceptance of new ideas and subsequent editing phases where I try to refine the image and gain more clarity in the expression of the image’s story. ”

Walton’s first solo exhibition will open in May 2020 at Stephanie Chefas Projects in Portland. You can view more of her paintings on her website and Instagram.

 

 



Art

Elongated Wooden Sculptures by Kiko Miyares Bring a Surreal Perspective to Figural Forms

January 3, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Artist Kiko Miyares carves and colors stretched, distorted sculptures of the human figure. The Spanish sculptor often focuses on the head and shoulders of his subjects, with each bust combining realistic renderings of facial feature with a dramatically narrowed shape that makes the works appear to be squeezed or warped. In some works, elements of the elongated sculptures are fractured, creating surreal doubling of torsos, heads, and arms. Miyares often shows his busts in groups, to create striking and perception-altering vignettes. Although the skewed works are best viewed in the round (like in the video below), each photographed angle provides a new and fascinating look into the the artist’s boundary-pushing portraits. You can see more of Miyares’ figural sculptures on his website and Instagram. (via Hi-Fructose)

 

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Nanana. #sculpture #contemporaryart #galleryart #artcurator #artcollectors #art #swabartfair #efectodopler #woodsculpture #kikomiyares

A post shared by Kiko Miyares (@kikomiyares) on

 

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Art Illustration

Layers of Realistic and Invented Winged Creatures Combine in Surreal Illustrations by Vorja Sánchez

December 13, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

"Birds Dialogue 2," Mixed media on paper

“Birds Dialogue 2,” Mixed media on paper

Vorja Sánchez (previously) combines imaginative interpretations of birds, wolves, and hybrid creatures into surreal paintings and mixed media works that are diverse in both style and form. In the follow up to his popular work Bird Dialogues, the Spanish illustrator layers winged animals of all colors and breeds, presenting realistic drawings alongside half-formed birds that spring from the deep corners of his brain. You can see more recent illustrations of real and invented creatures, in addition to less public murals and less formal sketches, on Instagram and Facebook.

"Birds Dialogue 2" (detail), Mixed media on paper

“Birds Dialogue 2” (detail), Mixed media on paper

"Birds Dialogue 2" (detail), Mixed media on paper

“Birds Dialogue 2” (detail), Mixed media on paper

"Organic Haku," Ink, watercolor and colored pencil on paper.

“Organic Haku,” Ink, watercolor and colored pencil on paper.

"Organic Haku" (detail), Ink, watercolor and colored pencil on paper.

“Organic Haku” (detail), Ink, watercolor and colored pencil on paper.

"Mirada orgánica," Pencil and colored pencil on old paper.

“Mirada orgánica,” Pencil and colored pencil on old paper.

"Frutos Rojos," Ink and watercolor on paper

“Frutos Rojos,” Ink and watercolor on paper

"Frutos Rojos" (detail), Ink and watercolor on paper

“Frutos Rojos” (detail), Ink and watercolor on paper

 

 



Art

Secondhand Armchairs and Loveseats Reconstructed Into Dripping Multi-Media Sculptures by Nina Saunders

December 12, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Danish artist Nina Saunders creates sculptures that drip, tip, and spill what appears to be amorphous contents onto the ground, turning domestic objects of comfort and kitsch into sculptural pieces unintended for practical use. Her works typically involve secondhand furniture like armchairs and love seats, with the occasional melting piano thrown into her multi-media practice. Floral fabrics run from chair to floor, while the shiny black exterior of a piano seems to leak from its position on the balcony of a busy mall.

No matter what alteration Saunders makes to her collected furniture objects, they are always rendered unusable, with cushions ballooned to an abnormal proportion or legs leaning to an unnaturally slanted angle. Several of her works were included in the recent Hang-Up Collections Exhibition at Hang-Up Gallery in London alongside works by Banksy, David Shrigley, Bonnie and Clyde, and several others. You can see more of Saunders’ sculptural works on her website.

 

 



Illustration

Illustrations by Simon Prades Entangle Human Emotions with the Natural World

November 30, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Simon Prades (previously) uses muted color palettes to convey feelings of introspection, inquisitiveness, and even rage in his editorial illustrations. His work often features human portraits interwoven with natural elements such as coiling snakes and growing plants which combine detailed realism with abstracted and surreal environments. The German-Spanish artist and designer currently lives and works in Saarbrücken, Germany, and is regularly commissioned by a wide variety of publications—from Rolling Stone to Outside Magazine. You can see more from the artist on his website, where he sells select artworks as prints, and on Behance.