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.
New York-based artist Yohei Horishita creates digital illustrations with a textured effect that evokes traditional painting. His work is ornate and figurative, juxtaposing human characters with imaginary settings that seem to belong to no particular time or place. Flowers and feathers consume his backgrounds, cultivating a fantasy space removed from our contemporary reality. While Horishita does extensive client work, his pieces have a distinct style that allows them to stand alone.
Miami-based artist Andrew Soria’s color-saturated landscapes might appear completely fictitious, but he creates his digital artworks using his original photography and a heavy dose of PhotoShop. Soria stitches together and flattens the cityscapes he shoots, making them appear cartoonish by accentuating each building’s unique shape and features. He often pays homage to the street art and decor of the local area. Some of his pieces feature murals by artists such as Chor Boogie and Shepard Fairey while others incorporate businesses’ signage. Devoid of human inhabitants, Soria’s cities appear otherworldly with their all-too-pristine contours and candy-colored skies.
German-born, Canada-based artist Andreas Lietzow’s digital works take viewers to universes imperceptible to the human eye. The dramas of otherworldly characters unfold in each piece, evoking molecular processes or perhaps deep sea scenes. Despite being two-dimensional, Lietzow’s works have a convincingly tactile quality. Their texture is tempting to touch. In some of his pieces, he creates optical illusions, rendering tentacles that look as if they are emerging out of the picture frame and into our world.
Though their work can be described as digital art, Ransom & Mitchell are very hands-on with their process. To create the fanciful worlds that they photograph, the San Francisco-based duo sews original costumes, makes props and builds sets. Experts in studio lighting, they imbue their works with a magical ambiance, only adding digitally-painted details to render that which can’t be done in real life. For the upcoming group show “Rough & Ready Sideshow” at Bash Contemporary in San Francisco, Ransom & Mitchell will be exhibiting a new series of photo-illustrations that hearken back to circus freak shows. While there are obvious ethical issues with sideshows themselves, the artists’s vintage-inspired new works are loaded with nostalgic humor, kitsch and illusions. Aunia Kahn, Stefanie Vega and Alexandra Manukyan will also be participating in the exhibition. The opening reception will be held on October 11 and the show will be on view through November 8.
Though they’re created digitally, Can Pekdemir’s portraits mimic the high-contrast values of daguerreotypes. Pekdemir conjures up strange, furry creatures using 3D modeling software, giving them hefty forms and believable textures. The results look as if these characters walked into the artist’s studio and posed for the camera. Presented as framed, archival prints, his pieces could pass for photographs. Pekdemir seems to be testing the boundaries between two and three dimensions, virtual and physical. We often take photography to be a truth-telling medium, but Pekdemir exploits this assumption to engage his viewers with these fictional personalities. Take a look at some of his recent work below.