For his latest series, French photographer and digital artist Cal Redback has created slightly unsettling portraits of people fused with nature. Many of his subjects are inspired by those of fantasy and horror, as in his version of “Treebeard” of The Lord of the Rings or “Hellraiser”. Redback adds a plant-like appearance to his own characters by photographing them and then digitally manipulating the image in Photoshop. Botanicals sprout from their cheeks and eye sockets in beautiful and sometimes painful looking displays, even more alarming by their casual demeanor.
Los Angeles based artist Steve Kim creates haunting, colorful digital and ink illustrations mostly inspired by his virtual experiences. The majority of his pieces focus on a variety of modern themes, some sounding straight out of science fiction, including body possession to portraits of users that catch his eye on Tumblr. His interest in this type of subject matter undoubtedly rubs off of his professional work for clients such as tech blog Polygon and the Verge. See more after the jump!
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.