surreal

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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.

 

 



Art

Surprising Juxtapositions of Mass-Produced Puzzles Produce Surreal New Scenes

November 20, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

“Iron Horse”

Artist Tim Klein takes advantage of the widely used die-cut patterns for jigsaw puzzles to form hybridized montages that combine two unexpected images. By carefully selecting pieces from puzzles with complementary patterns yet surprisingly different subject matter, he creates wild new visuals. In one montage, an old-fashioned locomotive takes the place of a powerful horse torso, while in another, the cylindrical shape of an icy-cold beer fills in for the stocky body of a teddy bear toy.

Klein credits Mel Andringa with inspiring his own puzzle pursuits, and shares with Colossal, “For me, the use of ordinary, mass-produced puzzles is essential to the surreal feel of the artwork. As I visit garage sales and secondhand stores in search of vintage puzzles, I sometimes feel like an archaeologist discovering and ‘reconstructing’ strange, shattered images whose shards have been languishing in dark boxes on the shelves of suburban game room closets for decades.”

Klein, who formerly worked as a computer scientist, lives in Vancouver, Washington. If you like these mash-ups, check out Alma Haser’s custom puzzle designs which combine and interchange the facial features from identical twins. You can see more of Klein’s combined creations on his website. (via Kottke)

“The Mercy-Go-Round (Sunshine and Shadow)”

“To Make Much of Time (Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May)”

“The All-Seeing Elephant”

“Surrogate”

“Mountain Plantation”

“Thaw (Warm Breath on a Winter Window)”

“Sphinx”

“Daisy Bindi”

 

 



Art

Ornate Birds and Sea Creatures Spring to Life With Environmental Embellishments of Flowers and Foliage

October 19, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Artist Ellen Jewett (previously) continues to create sculptures of animals from the land and sea, crafting realistic depictions with a surreal edge. Each porcelain creature features elaborate elements that connect the animal back to its natural environment—such as green leaves that sprout from the wings of a black cockatoo, or tiny yellow fish that are found along the spines of her ornately patterned seahorses.

After she forms each sea turtle, octopus, or fish from porcelain, Jewett free-models a wire armature by hand and coats the piece in polymer. This addition allows her to connect detailed elements such as flowers and other fauna to the animals fins or claws. Her solo exhibition On Wilderness is on view at the Ottawa School of Art’s Main Gallery in Ontario, Canada through November 18, 2018. Her work is also being exhibited in the group exhibition Nature Imagined at the Wilding Museum of Art and Nature in Solvang, California through January 2019. You can learn more about her process by following her work on Instagram.

 

 



Photography

Rural Iceland Transformed Into A Rouge-Tinted World by Photographer Al Mefer

October 1, 2018

Anna Marks

Al Mefer transforms rural Iceland into a rouge-tinted world, producing images that make the area’s shrubbery look like candy floss, and moss-covered landscapes appear like red velvet cake. Mefer photographs a mixture of Icelandic topography, from iconic waterfalls to fields full of pink sheep. His photographs reveal the elements of the natural world that are often blurred into the background, such as the clustered patterns moss makes when growing on boulders, or how water froths was it spills over a waterfall.

Mefer’s project Dreamscapes of Iceland started while Mefer was traveling around the country with friends, and began to use a reflex camera to capture the country’s beautiful scenes. While exploring the Golden Circle, in the South of the country, Mefer photographed locations that would imprint an indelible memory upon him: Skógafoss’s waterfalls, cliffs and coastline, and Jökulsárlón’s glacial lake. “Iceland has been photographed a million times,” says Mefer, “I wanted to picture it in a way that it’d feel new yet as oneiric in the images as it is to see it live.”

The red and pink colors in Mefer’s photographs resemble the reddish hues inside the human body; the tones magnify the differences in texture and form between the living and non-living whilst having an emotional impact on the viewer. “Color affects us emotionally and I often focus my attention on it as a tool to rewrite reality,” he explains. Although some of Mefer’s photographs include people, a stillness is still captured in each photograph. “There’s a common trait among my projects to feel that the landscapes are mysterious and unexplored,” Mefer says. “They’re lonely even if populated.”

To view more of Mefer’s work visit his website and Instagram.

 

 



Art

Surreal Assemblages by Betsy Youngquist Combine Human Features with Beaded Animals

September 10, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Artist Betsy Youngquist creates three-dimensional mixed media utilizing beadwork, crystals, and found doll parts like eyes, mouths, and hands. The elements merge to create surreal creatures that exist between human and animal, mixing animated facial features with long tentacles or hooves. For the works, Youngquist and her partner R. Scott Long first cut apart antique doll heads to determine what sort of animal the face might inspire. Next, Long sculpts a form for the sculpture and Youngquist adheres an assemblage of glass beads, stones, and eyes.

“History and the energy of times past are contained in old materials, in addition to bead color and bead variations that you can’t find among contemporary beads,” the artist explains about her decision to use vintage beads in her mosaic-like pieces. “While playing in my studio I love the intuitive dance of selection, when everything starts humming along and I know which bead choices to make. Beads as a material are ancient and primal. I love that about them. There is also definitely a meditative quality to working with beads.”

Youngquist runs the New Orleans-based Gallery Two with fellow artist Ann Marie Cianciolo, and has work in the exhibition Season of the Surreal at Patina Gallery in Sante Fe, New Mexico from November 2 and through December 2, 2018. You can see more of her beaded sculptures on her website and Instagram.

 

 

 



Photography

Infrared Photographs by Pierre-Louis Ferrer Capture French Landscapes in Bright Yellow Hues

August 31, 2018

Anna Marks

In French photographer Pierre-Louis Ferrer’s vibrant photographs, Dordogne, France is transformed into an enchanted land bathed in canary yellow. Ferrer’s colorful photographs illustrate the country’s idyllic topography, where the leaves upon the trees, fresh grass, and sculpted shrubbery are captured in the same vivid color.

While photographing, Ferrer takes time to observe his environment and decide on the best photographic technique to use. For his Dordogne photographs, Ferrer used an infrared photography technique which allowed him to capture the landscape in brilliant yellows. “My artistic approach is based on the invisible and imperceptible,” Ferrer tells Colossal. “I work with invisible parts of light (infrared and ultraviolet) and with techniques like long exposure to offer alternative views of our world.”

This yellow effect in Ferrer’s Dordogne photographs is due to a mix of visible and infrared light, and each plant species appears different depending on how it reacts to the light. “I use a selective filter that let’s pass a large part of infrared light and a small part of visible light,” Ferrer explains. “The main subjects of this technique are trees and foliage because they react a lot under infrared light.”

Although yellow is prevalent in nature; found in bananas, autumnal leaves, egg yolks, and the irises of some animal’s eyes, in Ferrer’s photographs he standardizes all natural elements, highlighting the color’s prevalence in natural forms.

As human eyes are not used to infrared light (due to its longer wavelengths), Ferrer’s photographs invite viewers to see Dordogne as through they are in a different dimension. The extravagant Jardins Suspendus at Marqueyssac and its ivy-covered châteaux are transformed into an ethereal world that might otherwise only appear in paintings.

Although fantastical, Ferrer’s photographs encourage mindfulness and allow us to reflect upon the importance of nature. “My goals are to invite contemplation, to realize the place of nature in urban places, to make aware of the impact of our environment on us, and our impact on the environment.”

To view more about his work visit his website and Instagram.