Mexican born artist Daniel Barreto, now living and working in Boston, creates photo manipulations that express his desire to reconnect to nature. His works combine the use of traditional mediums used to create his subjects with that of technology. Barreto describes his images as naïve, even childlike. “I hope to provoke an inner curiosity by examining the interactions between humans and nature, or the lack thereof,” he writes in his artist statement. His most recent series, “Lonely Islands”, makes these observations with a simple concept. The series portrays mysteriously lonesome islands, disconnected and floating through the vastness of space.
Swiss-Italian photographer Christian Tagliavini combines theater with the language of portrait photography to create curious and open narratives. For his series “Carte,” Tagliavini built wooden clothing and frames around his human subjects to devise life-sized playing cards. This technique creates tension between the two-dimensional quality of the playing cards and the life-like attributes of his distinctive characters, such as their protruding collarbones and rosy cheeks.
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.
Throughout human history, stories about wild and elusive giants have been told on almost every continent. Iceland-based French multimedia artist Philip Ob Rey has reimagined such monsters in a photo series of sculptures made of VHS tapes. Rey created “V” HS Project, a set of 5 series of black and white photos and accompanying short films, in contemplation of the future of the human race. Set against the gray skies of Iceland’s landscape, the photos portray nightmarish figures wandering a cold and post apocalyptic world.
Swedish artist Susanna Hesselberg’s latest work plummets deep into the ground Alice-in-Wonderland-style. “When My Father Died It Was Like a Whole Library Had Burned Down” (named after Laurie Anderson’s song “World Without End”) is a mind bending reproduction of a library inherited by the artist from her father, created for Denmark’s Sculpture by the Sea exhibition series. The biennial festival, which closed on July 5th, boasted 56 site specific installations along the Danish coast. Hesselberg’s mysterious contribution is vertical tunnel framed by a piece of glass that allows viewers to peer into a dark tower books only visible by their spines. Hesselberg wanted to recreate the depth of loss or losing control, as one might experience when a loved one dies.
German photographer Bartholot appreciates the unexplained. Bartholot is not looking to copy a kind of reality or life; his photos celebrate artificiality and design. His digital images merge his own sense of fashion with surrealism and usually start with a single thought or mood. They have been described as a combination of sculpture and photography, also reflecting his interest in colors and textures. For his latest collaboration with the Spanish creative studio Serial Cut, he created a series of photographs of draped unmasked characters.