A master manipulator in the dark room, Misha Gordin has been creating surreal photographs with PhotoShop-like effects since the 1980s. Gordin’s work looks at the universal elements of life: conflict, birth, death, loneliness and the quest for companionship. His bald, naked subjects represent the archetypical everyman. Often featured alone or with their doubles, these characters are not tied to any particular time or culture. Gordin’s most recent work takes place on the beach, where his unadorned subjects engage in fraught and seemingly aimless activities that suggest a battle within themselves more so than a struggle against an external force.
A prominent player in Russia’s burgeoning street art scene, Rustam QBic paints enormous walls that feature colorful, illustration-inspired imagery that stands out against the bright snow. The artist recently painted a mural called “Blossom” in Nizhny Novgorod for New City, the metropolis’s first street art festival. “Blossom” alludes to the power of the imagination. As they hunch over their books, three boys’ heads bloom into pink peonies. QBic’s storybook-like murals often feature youthful characters navigating their surreal settings, where mundane objects often transform into dreamlike amalgamations of symbols. Take a look at some of QBic’s latest murals below.
Sascha Braunig’s paintings nearly overwhelm the eyes with their barrage of contrasting colors. Their CMYK color palette gives her works a digital glow. Iridescent gradients shift from yellow to electric blue, hot pink to neon green. Geometric forms and patterns contour her figures’ faces and bodies, their voluminous forms more akin to the images produced by 3D modeling software than rendered with a paintbrush. Braunig’s paintings feature an Op Art aesthetic executed with realist techniques, resulting in an otherworldly portraiture style filled with optical illusions.
Tomorrow, California based graffiti artist Doze Green will celebrate his fifth solo at Jonathan LeVine Gallery, “Out of Knowhere”. On the show’s concept, Green shares, “This is my interpretation of the soul’s journey. Leaving behind illusion, ego and material to connect with the self and converge with the source of life.” A recent video takes viewers behind the scenes, where pieces from Green’s rural life are mirrored in his paintings. Among his inspirations are the seasons, reincarnation and the natural cycles of human, plant and animal life.
Nicola Yeoman creates cryptic installations by altering and rearranging mundane objects. Often installed in abandoned buildings or outdoors, her ephemeral works live on in the form of photographs that become works of art in their own right. Many of Yeoman’s pieces explore typography. In one, she piled and hung wooden chairs in two sections of a room. Viewed from a specific angle, the chaotic arrangement of furniture forms the letter “D” with its negative space.
UK graphic designer and artist Chris Labrooy riffs on custom car culture in his latest digital illustration series, “Tales of Auto Elasticity.” A follow-up to last year’s “Auto Aerobics,” in which Labrooy placed his bendy, sculptural low riders in a city park, “Tales of Auto Elasticity” shows pick-up trucks with yogic flexibility bending to extreme degrees in a rural parking lot. Though Labrooy’s work exists only on the computer screen, it evokes sculptures like Erwin Wurm’s pudgy sports cars (featured in HF Vol. 22) and Ichwan Noor’s Beetle sphere (covered here). Perhaps Labrooy should consider sculpture as his next step.