Based in Santa Catarina, Brazil, collage artist Marcelo Monreal’s work is going viral for his different take on inner beauty. His latest works cut open the portraits of celebrities in Photoshop, super models and other faces of pop culture that are otherwise stagnant, to reveal beautiful blooms underneath. Monreal’s use of floral motifs stems (no pun intended) from his first job as an artist, developing embroidery for a label factory. His imagery is in a similar vein to that of the spliced vintage photographs of Matthieu Bourel, covered here, and Rocío Montoya’s manipulated, experimental photos. While his subjects are uniquely contemporary, Monreal shares the same sense of bizarre humor that combines the morbid with abstracted glamour.
Korean-American multimedia artist Debbie Han tackles the standard of beauty in her photographs of Neoclassical women. Using photographic manipulation, she combines Greek sculpture with her own subjects to make this parallel. The resulting images bring to life familiar figures to any museum-goer, but bubbling with their own personalities and a special bond, like close girlfriends. Han’s work not only makes us think twice about the perception of beauty, but also explores issues of race, culture and identity.
An expert in the software program Arnold, Lee Griggs manipulates photographs to take on sculptural forms that look convincingly 3D. His new series, “Deformations,” takes a studio portrait of an anonymous man and warps it into geometric shapes. In each portrait, his skull stretches into a cube, an enormous sphere, or a cone. Rather grotesquely, Griggs captures the way the surface of the skin would stretch tautly over this unusual skeletal architecture, making the man’s face contort into pained grimaces in the process. Check out some of Griggs’ work below.
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.