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.”
New Delhi-based illustrator Archan Nair creates fluorescent digital art with a painterly effect. Nair composes kaleidoscopic images that resemble Rorschach ink blots. Wisps of color tumble like clouds of pigment in water, creating nebulous shapes that morph into one another. His work has a psychedelic quality evocative of the spiritually-focused visionary art movement, which borrows heavily from Hindu iconography in particular. While human subjects are at the center of Nair’s work, he melts figurative elements into textured, abstract designs and otherworldly visuals.
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.