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Archive For: Art

Alexia Sinclair – ‘Rococo’

Alexia Sinclair's 'Rococo' depicts a dreamlike world bathed by influences of the 18th century

Alexia Sinclair: We love the outstanding creations of photographer and artist Alexia Sinclair, including her latest series ‘Rococo’, which depicts a dreamlike world bathed by the influences of the 18th century and the court of Marie Antoinette. Alexia Sinclair notes that “Rococo is a series of theatrical artworks inspired by the lives, fashions, gardens and motifs of 18th century high society. Following the design aesthetic of this period, the series is sensual, playful and flamboyant. During this period, powerful women of the French court became fashion icons and their tastes swept across Europe. Their excessive, luxurious and exotic creations have inspired many aspects of the costuming within this series; from Madame de Pompadour’s porcelain flowers, to Madame du Barry diamond necklace, Marie Antoinette’s muslin chemise and the Duchess of Devonshire’s towering plumes. The floral backdrops within the series pay homage to the dreamlike landscapes of the Rococo period. Known as the pleasure playgrounds, their hidden gardens, mazes and wild flower meadows formed the backdrop of decadent garden parties and mischievous encounters.” Alexia Sinclair is an award winning Australian Artist and Photographer whose distinct style is easily recognisable and highly original. Using a visual narrative, Alexia Sinclair’s art is both dark and seductive, baroque and symbolic yet her multilayered photographs present contemporary notions of fashion and beauty through innovative digital media, whilst restoring antique notions of classicism, elegance and luxury. Sinclair is an artist who skilfully balances the worlds of Fine Art and Commercial Art. Whilst her evocative Fine Art imagery adorns the walls of museums and is held in important art collections, she often translates these skills and signature style into highly polished campaigns in the commercial arena for clients such as Harpers Bazaar and Canon Australia. Completing a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Hons I) and Master of Fine Arts, Alexia Sinclair is the recipient of a travelling arts scholarship, and two postgraduate scholarships. She has worked in New York as a digital artist and exhibited in numerous exhibitions including at the Australian Centre for Photography and the Art Gallery of NSW with her latest series ‘Rococo’ most recently on display at the Black Eye Gallery in Darlinghurst, Sydney Australia. Below is a selection of Alexia Sinclair’s amazing work but for a more detailed look, we suggest a visit to her website.

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Ellen Jewett’s New Phantasmagorical Sculptures

Ellen Jewett's surreal animals meet the magical worlds of natural history, dreams & mythology

Ellen Jewett: We love this new series of phantasmagorical sculptures by Canadian artist Ellen Jewett, who creates beautiful yet surreal animal sculptures that seem to inhabit the magical worlds of natural history and legend as well as dreams and mythology. Ellen Jewett was born in Markham, Ontario and took to shaping three dimensional forms naturally at a young age. In 2007, Ellen completed her post secondary honours degree in Anthropology and Fine Art at McMaster University and while finishing her undergraduate studies, worked in medical illustration, exotic animal care and was teaching a children’s class on stop motion animation. By the time she presented her thesis, Ellen’s academic and artistic interests in the biological were intrinsically interwoven. Ellen Jewett set out on her own path as a career artist while still in high school, spending long summer weekends travelling to exhibitions. Ever the curious soul, Ellen has continued to study art and science respectively while working as an artist, most recently, through Haliburton School of the Arts and University of Guelph. She has also accumulated certifications in other areas of personal intrigue, including applied animal behaviour modification and crisis counseling. According to Ellen, it all informs her art; enriching the content of the unconscious narrative flow. “Plants and animals have always been the surface on which humans have etched the foundations of culture, sustenance, and identity. For myself, natural forms are a continual source of fascination and deep aesthetic pleasure. At first glance, my work explores the more modern prosaic concept of nature: a source of serene nostalgia balanced with the more visceral experience of ‘wildness’ as remarkably alien and indifferent. Upon closer inspection of each ‘creature’, the viewer may discover a frieze on which themes as familiar as domestication and as abrasive as domination fall into sharp relief. These qualities are not only present in the final work but are fleshed out in the process of building.” Today Ellen Jewett’s work is achieving a vibrant internet presence and is featured in public and private collections worldwide.  She is enthusiastically expanding her studio practice, forever experimenting and meeting the demand of her time and art. For more detailed information on Ellen Jewett’s amazing work, we recommend a visit to her website.

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Butcher Billy’s Post-Punk Marvel Superheroes

Butcher Billy mixes his favourite pop & trash punk universes to create amazing mashups

Butcher Billy: ‘Superpowered Post-Punk’ is a new series of illustrations created by Butcher Billy, who continues to mix his two favourite universes to offer us beautiful mashups between the pop world of Marvel superheroes and the trash world of Punk and Rock. A creative director at a busy digital agency in Brazil by day, Butcher Billy was just a kid when he first realised with just a pack of crayons in his tiny hands – no walls were safe. It’s that sort of rule-breaking, devil may care, chaotic attitude that inspires Butcher Billy’s art. He takes what is considered pop culture from a variety of sources – music, comic books, movies, games, etcetera – and mashes them all together to come up with something that draws on nostalgia while, at the same time, provides the audience with a fresh take on a familiar scene. In this side of the world, making a pop culture reference can be tedious and common place. Everyone does it these days, but somehow only a few people, Butcher Billy in particular, get away with it. In Butcher’s case, it could be because of his use of dynamic colors: bright, bold, hard to miss or it could be because of his unique take on childhood favourites. Butcher Billy is a one-man assembly line when it comes to his pieces and can churn out new creations at a cracking pace, drawing stuff without sacrificing quality. It’s that passion for his craft that, like one of his superhero mashup creations, seems to make him virtually unstoppable. For a complete look at Butcher Billy’s entire portfolio of amazing work, we strongly urge you to visit his Behance site and if you are interested in purchasing any of his pieces, visit his website.

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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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