William Basso’s current show at New York’s Last Rites Gallery, “Mise-en-scene,” takes its name from a French theater term that describes all the elements in a stage production or film — the actors, lighting, scenery, etc. Basso treats his mixed-media assemblages something like tiny film sets. He begins by sculpting his figures out of a hodgepodge of materials, such as clay, cardboard, string, paper, wire, tape, wood, hair, and odd bits of cloth. Then, he photographs these sculptures, alters them in PhotoShop, and uses the resulting digital prints to create textured collages. The final works live somewhere between sculpture and digital art. For “Mise-en-scene,” his assemblages are displayed alongside the original sculptures and 3D objects from which they originated. The show is on view through May 16 at Last Rites.
Athens based artist Adam Martinakis has captured the curiosity of his fans for years with his fragmented digital figures. He describes his imagery as “a connection between the spirit and the material, the living and the absent… I compose scenes of the unborn, the dead and the alive, immersed in the metaphysics of perception.” His inspiration is equally other-wordly; mysteries of the universe such as the event horizon. His subjects are shown in various stages of creation in scenes that evade time and space.
Somewhere between the state from wakefulness to sleep, called “the Hypnagogic state”, is where Hong Kong based digital artist Sonya Fu finds her inspiration. Her portraits of dreamy young girls, whose eyes almost always appear closed, are the ghosts of her visions during sleep paralysis. Although digital, they are painted with a sensitive touch to surprising details in their face and hair, and given a soft, eerie atmosphere. Check out more of her artwork after the jump.
Multimedia artist Magnus Gjoen has a signature way of combining grim imagery with classically inspired techniques. We recently featured his series of war weapons made to look like delicate 16th century blue and white porcelain. Can something so horrific also be considered beautiful? This is a central theme of Gjoen’s upcoming solo exhibition “Monster”, opening March 20th at Hang Up gallery in London. He began working on the show after reading an FBI article about a real-life monster, a serial killer who fantasized about children. In newly abstract illustrations, Gjoen seeks to reveal the killer’s beautifully disturbed psyche.
Mahmoud Jouini’s digital artworks are filled with sweeping bird’s eye views that look like something one might see while cruising in a helicopter over Jupiter. The Libyan artist and graphic designer created this series using 3D modeling software, though certain pieces look like extreme close-ups of bacteria under a microscope or perhaps otherworldly landscape photography. Jouini’s uses acidic colors that swirl in oil slick-like patterns; forests of mysterious growths punctuate his fluorescent lagoons. Virtually uninhabited, his toxic planet looks simultaneously inhospitable and alluring.
If Leatherface from Texas Chainsaw Massacre was a sculptor, he would create something that resembles Jason Hopkins’s chillingly fleshy-looking digital art. Hopkins’s work looks believably 3D, so much so that he refers to it as “digital sculpture.” He imagines a next phase of genetic engineering where human bodies become malleable and subject to the whims of scientists working towards the next phase of technological “progress.” He renders geometric, manmade-looking structures and coats them with a skin-like texture that triggers a gut reaction of revulsion. But according to the artist, that’s the point: “The digital sculptures are a fusion of geometric, architectural and biological abstract forms — a bleak evolutionary future where biotechnology has been used to make perfect posthuman beings.”