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Archive For: Art

James Curran’s Cute Animated GIFs

James Curran's amazing work will blow your mind!

James Curran: We have become obsessed with these adorable and fun animated GIFs created by animator, Illustrator and designer James Curran, from Slim Jim Studios. James Curran is widely known as the man who created the amazing fan-made opening credits for TINTIN. Curran, a London-based designer and animator, created the TINTIN credits on a lark and somehow they found their way back to Steven Spielberg (the Director of TINTIN). Curran created the video in just about a month with music from the original TV series and as a huge fan of the series, he incorporated elements from all 24 books, even though they weren’t a big part of the movie. Steven Spielberg saw the opening credits on the web, loved them, contacted James Curran, invited him to the UK premiere and hired him to work on his next film. So it seems you just never know who’s going to see your work on the web. But Curran didn’t do the work to get noticed. He did it because he’s an artist and he loves TINTIN. So a lesson for us all is just do what you love and that passion will come through in your work. We have posted some of our favourite GIFs below but for a complete look at James Curran’s portfolio of work, we strongly encourage you to visit his website. Enjoy!

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Katja Kemnitz – Too Much Love

Katja Kemnitz documents the lives of plush toys by photographing them before & after

Katja Kemnitz: In this fantastic series ‘Too Much Love’, German photographer Katja Kemnitz, who was inspired by her daughter, decided to document the lives of children’s plush toys by photographing them before and after dozens of hours of hugs, kisses, wear and tear. Katja Kemnitz is a 29 years old photographer from Bonn, Germany. She has always been interested in art, mostly poems and paintings, but has never even used a pen or a paint brush. Katja Kemnitz first discovered photography about 7 years ago when she stood in front of the camera and decided to model for the first time. Her love for the medium grew as she continued to meet some great, very creative photographers and learn more about photography and it was at this time, Kemnitz started to become interested in the more technical aspects. She notes ‘I bought an analog film camera and tried to photograph pigeons and seagulls on the Rhine. These pictures were not presentable, but the camera fascinated me. I looked at many photos on the Internet and dabbled in taking self-portraits, which became better over time.’ Katja Kemnitz believes her inspiration comes from her children – not only for her ‘kid’ photos, but also for her more conceptual images. ‘They show me again and again how important the little things are. And that each thing contains a secret story that you just have to discover. I think that to see the world through children’s eyes helps to be a very good photographer. Kemnitz is also inspired by nature  ‘I draw much inspiration from the forest. The silence, the colors – I just feel safe when I’m in the woods. That’s why I’m often alone in the forest to take self-portraits.’ and fairytales ‘I love the kitschy fairy tales with their stereotypes, such as the dark, inscrutable stories.’ About her series ‘Too Much Love’, Kemnitz says ‘I show old, much-loved teddies and dolls compared with new doppelgangers. I think the broken stuffed animals have a lot of soul. The project was inspired by my older daughter, who carried her plush dog with her everywhere when she was little. One day I found that dog in store, without any damages. However, my daughter did not like him. The old one was better and could not be replaced.’ The series is still ongoing and more of Katja Kemnitz’s work can be viewed here.

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Pop Chart Lab – The Vocations of Heroes & Villains

Pop Chart Lab imagines business cards of comic book superhero & villain alter egos

Pop Chart Lab: LOVE! This awesome print imagines the business cards of famed comic alter-egos, from Clark Kent to Tony Stark to ‘The Bruces’ both Banner and Wayne – as well as a slew of notable CEOs notably Green Arrow and Green Goblin, mallet-wielding psychiatrists like Harley Quinn, and patriotic military personnel including Captain America and War Machine. The credentials of over 30 secret identities are featured here – all beautifully designed and hand-illustrated – to form a brave, bold, and business-casual rolodex that makes for an uncanny addition to your wall. Each print is signed and numbered by the artists from a first printing of 500, and comes packaged in a Pop Chart Lab Test Tube. Finishing options include print with hanging rails, print mounted on a panel or simple framing available in white, black, oak or walnut. Also note that framed prints require an additional 3-4 business days of processing time from the date of order. Using 100 lb. archival stock certified by The Forest Stewardship Council, this fantastic poster is pressed on an offset lithographic press with vegetable-based inks in Long Island City, Queens. Not to mention for $29, its an absolute bargain! This is a ‘Want, Love, Need’ with some ‘Gimme, Gimme, Gimme’ thrown in for good measure.

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Natalie Shau – Lost in Wonderland

Natalie Shau's dark, strange and surreal world

Below are a selection of the latest creations by Natalie Shau, a photographer, artist and graphic designer who combines illustrations and photographs to lead us into a dark, strange and surreal world populated with beautiful creatures. Natalie Shau is a mixed media artist and photographer based in Vilnius, Lithuania who has an amazing talent in fashion and portrait photography as well as digital illustration and photo art. Coupled with her personal work, Natalie also creates artwork and photography for musicians, the theatre, fashion magazines, writers and advertisements. Her specialties include digital art, painting, CD artwork, photo manipulation, book covers, illustration, CD design, collage, digital painting, art direction, production design, advertising and fashion photography. Her digital masterpieces have graced the pages of French Vogue during a Lydia Courteille jewellery campaign and her extensive client list of music labels includes Island Def Jam, Sony Music Entertainment, Century Media, and Nuclear Blast. Gothic horror fiction, fairy tales and Russian classics (e.g. Dostoevsky and Gogol) are among the influences she lists for her surreal and strange creations. Natalie Shau uses a range of media, mixing photography, digital painting and 3D and the quality she seeks is “at once fragile and powerful”. “My works are digital mixed media. I mix photography, 3D elements, vector elements and digital drawing. I also enjoy creating surreal and fashion photography. My photography and digital works are often surreal portraits of women; however, I love portraying animals sometimes.” Natalie Shau regards her works as ‘pretty motionless and doll-like’, but they express the burden of waiting, and the inner conflict that boils within the characters. You can sense this in their expressions or in some contradictory elements or symbols hidden in the work. When questioned whether there is a reason that most of her illustrations and images are of women, Shau notes that she does not choose her characters, they choose her – she’s unable to explain how this happens. Her influences are many however Alexander McQueen, Eiko Ishioka, Trevor Brown are amongst them. Describing her creative process, Shau reveals “I have a flash of an idea or vision and, after exploring it in my mind, I try to sketch it and see if I can express it. I collect all the materials I need for that, take portraits, photograph elements, find any elements needed, and then I start working on a piece.” Take a look at Natalie Shau’s beautiful work below and be sure to visit her website:

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Cheuk Lun Lo & his Shampooed Heads of Hair Photos

Cheuk Lun Lo transforms hair & shampooed heads into abstract photographs

The unique creations of photographer Cheuk Lun Lo, who transforms hair and shampooed heads into abstract photographs in a series imagined for Chinese beauty and fashion publication NUMERO, are somewhat gross yet engaging all at the same time. Lo is a professional photographer who established his STUFF STUDIO in 2009. STUFF is a fast growing photographic studio working primarily with world leading luxury brands, magazines and advertising agencies. Under his art direction, the studio continues to create mesmerising shots of fashion related products which are used for numerous key visual and magazine features. They believe every creative opportunity is unique and enjoy collaborating with like-minded partners to create interesting and thought-provoking shots that capture the soul of each product – giving each image a sense of personality and a memorable story. It is almost impossible, at first glance, to know the source of the swirling spherical masses pictured in the following series – are they photographs of liquid, bizarre floating orbs, or something else unidentifiable? Perspective and light offer a strange and surreal take on an ordinary human characteristic – hair.  Cheuk Lun Lo shoots the heads from above, allowing for an alternative view of an otherwise standard, hair-washing routine which suddenly begins to transform into something more fascinating. Shampoo saturates the locks in a foamy white lather, letting it be easily moulded and manipulated into a varied array of shapes, sizes and compositions. Photographed on a pitch black background, the series – realised as a beauty editorial for Numero magazine in China – sees Cheuk Lun Lo’s “hair-scapes” seemingly hover in mid-air, providing an abstract yet beautiful look at the human body and all its artistic possibilities.

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Superheroes & their Secret Lives

Toy Superheroes come to life thanks to Edy Hardjo

Superheroes exposed: Hrjoe Photography’s playful and expertly-executed photos prove that superhero action figures are not just for kids. Filled with hilarious set-ups of action figures, including many iconic Marvel and DC superheroes, these images capture the world’s most adored superheroes in both humorous and often human-like scenarios. Edy Hardjo, the photographer behind the project, uses detailed, high-quality action figures to put some of our favourite superheroes into hilarious and sometimes compromising positions. After putting the Superheroes into their picture-perfect poses, he removes the stands he uses to prop them and some of the more obvious joints with Photoshop to make them seem more life-like. Hardjo was was born in Medan, Indonesia in 1973 and graduated college with a Chemical Engineering degree. He was married in 2004 and has two sons and a daughter. He currently lives with his family in Jakarta, Indonesia. All of which is a long way from the world of superheroes but that hasn’t stopped Hardjo from capturing his out-of-this-world images. For someone who picked up photography as a hobby, he certainly does an exceptional job! In an interview, Hardjo explained ‘Photography is a hobby for me. It all started when I wanted to take better pictures for items that I sell in my online store. I bought an entry-level camera and started to shoot with confidence, but the results were no better than the images shot with my mobile phone’s camera. This made me curious and feeling challenged so later I bought a better camera and took a course in the Canon School of Photography. After that I also took several photo tours—for practice—and learned from the expert in the group. Today, I have a small personal photo studio at home and I sometimes take commission photo shoots as a side job…I use my daily experience as source of ideas… All I do is replace the ‘usual’ thing with the ‘unusual’.’

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Walt Disney & the MultiPlane Camera

Walt Disney was inventing the future of animation

Walt Disney: We have seen different techniques imagined by Walt Disney to help his animators create masterpieces, like the rotoscoping technique or the use of simple mirrors. But to invent the future of animation, Walt Disney was often at the forefront, as shown in this video filmed in 1957 explaining the principle of the MultiPlane Camera which allowed animators to create depth effects never seen before at the time. Walt Disney (1901-1966) was an American business magnate, cartoonist, animator, voice actor, and film producer. As a prominent figure within the American animation industry and throughout the world, he is regarded as a cultural icon, known for his influence and contributions to entertainment during the twentieth century. As a Hollywood business mogul, he and his brother Roy O. Disney co-founded The Walt Disney Company. As an animator and entrepreneur, Walt Disney was particularly noted as a filmmaker and a popular showman, as well as an innovator in animation and theme park design. He and his staff created numerous fictional characters including Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy. Walt Disney himself was the original voice for Mickey. During his lifetime, he received four honorary Academy Awards and won 22 Academy Awards from a total of 59 nominations, including a record of four in one year, giving him more awards and nominations than any other individual in history. Walt Disney also won seven Emmy Awards and gave his name to the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resort theme parks in the U.S., as well as the international resorts, Tokyo Disney ResortDisneyland Paris, and Hong Kong Disneyland. Walt Disney died on December 15, 1966, from lung cancer in Burbank, California. He left behind a vast legacy, including numerous animated shorts and feature films produced during his lifetime; the company, parks, an animation studio that bear his name; and the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). You can jump directly to 3:23 for the MultiPlane Camera demonstration. Enjoy!

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Björk’s MoMA Retrospective

Björk’s first look teaser from her MoMA Retrospective

Björk’s Retrospective: The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) have released the first trailer for Björk’s Retrospective which highlights a museum commissioned sound and video installation, featuring Björk’s song Black Lake from her new album Vulnicura. The exciting exhibit will reference from more than twenty years of the artist’s projects and eight albums with Björk’s career chronicled through sound, film, visuals, instruments, objects, and costumes. Björk is an Icelandic singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and occasional actress. She initially became known as the lead singer of the alternative rock band The Sugarcubes, whose 1987 single “Birthday” was a hit on US and UK indie stations and a favourite among music critics. Björk began her career as a solo artist in 1993. Her first album, Debut, was rooted in electronic dance music, house, jazz and trip-hop, and is widely credited as one of the first albums to introduce electronic dance music into mainstream pop. Now in the third decade of her solo career, Björk has developed an eclectic musical style that incorporates aspects of dance, rock, trip hop, jazz, electronic, classical, experimental and avant-garde music. Björk has had 30 singles reach the Top 40 on pop charts around the world, with 22 Top 40 hits in the UK including the Top 10 hits It’s Oh So Quiet, Army of Me and Hyperballad, 11 in Ireland, eight in Italy, four in France, and two in Australia. Additionally, Big Time Sensuality, Hyperballad, and I Miss You were number one dance hits in the US. Music critics have consistently championed Björk’s body of work, praising her innovative approach to singing and composition, her pioneering use of electronic beats, her groundbreaking music videos, and, above all, her singular voice, describing her as “the most important and forward-looking musician of her generation”. The Björk Retrospective will be on display at MoMA from 8th March until 7th June 2015. For more info, click here.

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Mike Brodie’s ‘A Period of Juvenile Prosperity’

Photographer, Mike Brodie, documents the lives of vagabonds

Mike Brodie, a young, 21 year old photographer at the time, decided to pack up and leave everything behind to document the lives of American vagabonds in an amazing, thought-provoking and touching series of photographs taken between 2006 and 2009. These compelling images by Mike Brodie have now been published in his book A Period of Juvenile ProsperityA Period of Juvenile Prosperity leads us into the precarious daily life of these young people, jumping from train to train, sleeping and living rough all while traveling throughout the United States. Born in Arizona in 1985, Mike Brodie first began photographing in 2004 when he was given a Polaroid camera. Working under the moniker, ‘The Polaroid Kidd’, Mike Brodie spent the next four years circumambulating the U.S. amassing an archive of photographs that would go on to make up one of the few, true collections of American travel photography. Having never undergone any formal training, he chose to remained untethered to the pressures and expectations of the art market. Mike Brodie compulsively documented his explorations and as suddenly as he began making photographs, he left the medium behind. In 2008, Mike Brodie received the Baum Award for American Emerging Artists. A Period of Juvenile Prosperity published by Twin Palms was released in early 2013 and has been followed by numerous gallery shows. Mike Brodie recently graduated from the Nashville Auto Diesel College (NADC) and is now working as a mobile diesel mechanic in his silver ’93 Dodge Ram. Although he has stopped creating photographs, the body of work he developed in four short intense years has left an enduring impact on the photo world.

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Banana Art by Stephan Brusche

And then there was ‘Banana Art’: So it would seem many artists are inspired by fruit these days including Dutch artist Stephan Brusche who continues to find creative ways of turning bananas into works of art via his new series of banana art entitled Banana Doodles. The artist first began by doodling directly onto the banana’s surface a few years back as a way of showcasing his creativity on Instagram. Since then, Brusche has incorporated the fruit’s shape and skin (through carving and peeling), continuing to find new ways to reimagine the same space over and over again. The 37-year-old graphic designer turns humble bananas into iconic characters such as Marilyn Monroe and Homer Simpson as well as animals and famous artworks and although the Dutch artist hadn’t expected his banana art to be so popular, positive feedback has lead him to release his very first book, Fruitdoodles, which documents his initial 50 banana art creations. He also has his own Fruitdoodle calendar with a different creation for each month of the year. Although Stephan has now found his banana art to be rather lucrative, the designer says that his famous fruit had very humble beginnings. ‘I took a ballpoint pen and just started drawing. I was pretty amazed how pleasant a banana peel is to draw on.’ Ba nah nah na indeed.

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