Animal eyes is a continuing series of macro photographs by Armenian Photographer Suren Manvelyan.
After spending six years learning the cumbersome wet-plate collodion process invented in 1851, photographer Michael Shindler opens a walk-in tintype portrait studio (Photobooth) in 2011.
The wet-plate collodion process involves coating an enameled metal plate with a collodion mixture, which is then sensitized, exposed and processed all within a few minutes while the plate is still wet. The resulting image (while technically a negative) is made up of extremely fine silver particles that are creamy-white in color, which allows the image to be viewed as a positive when seen against a black background.
Brendan Hesmondhalgh is a Yorkshire based animal sculptor who works primarily in clay, wax and bronze. Capturing the dynamic nature of animals, and focusing upon structure, movement and character, Hesmondhalgh creates works that encapsulate and embody a creature’s spirit in inimitable style.
Indonisia-based photographer and master Photoshopper Agan Harahap juxtaposes animals in supermarkets in his latest project called Garden Fresh.
“Garden Fresh series investigates the shifting boundaries between humans and animals in today’s environment and the complex relationship between art and nature. It is like a fable about a journey undertaken by the animals when they venture into our daily lives. The animals are confronted by a new reality that is in conﬂict with their natural habits and habitats.
At the same time, when we see these ‘zoo-trapped’ animals in supermarkets, their most outstanding characteristics are isolated as their ‘only’ characteristics. The animals are stripped of their own identities and are used as empty vessels to be ﬁlled with the human drama of parody, satire and allegory. We cannot help but see animals from a human vantage point, and therefore in some sense all the works in the present exhibition are actually about us.”
One of my favourite photographers was born in 1954 in Matsue City , Japan. Hiroshi Nonami graduated from the Osaka Photography Academy in 1974 and founded his Studio No-ah in 1979. He is known for his dreamlike, mythical women, which he decorates with mostly natural props, such as leaves, blooms, seashells, twigs and roots.
Amazingly, Nonami’s images are made entirely by hand and not digitally manipulated. He intensively experiments and uses various techniques like growing mould on his film to create stains and stacking up slides to make his photographs more layered. The results are always breathtaking.
Felice Varini is a Swiss artist known for his geometric perspective-localised paintings in rooms and other spaces, using projector-stencil techniques. He paints on architectural and urban spaces, such as buildings, walls and streets. The paintings are characterized by one vantage point from which the viewer can see the complete painting (usually a simple geometric shape such as circle, square, line), while from other view points the viewer will see ‘broken’ fragmented shapes. Varini argues that the work exists as a whole – with its complete shape as well as the fragments. “My concern,” he says “is what happens outside the vantage point of view.” Source: Wikipedia
Guy Denning (born 1965) is a self taught English contemporary artist and painter based in France. He is the founder of the Neomodern group and part of the urban art scene in Bristol.
Denning’s early work included an interest in the work of Franz Kline and was characterised by powerful, expressive brushstrokes in mainly abstract paintings. More recently he has combined earlier influences with an increasingly figurative style of painting. The human figure features strongly in his latest work and he uses this subject matter to convey powerful emotions.
“Painting is a focusing; a process of exaggeration and editing of a suggestion of reality. I can start with a skeleton, like a foundation illustration, perhaps taken from a life study or a photograph and then I start to manipulate that framework. All the time I am hoping for accidents with the paint as the accidents are usually the source of greatest productivity. Perhaps the accidents of paint give me a similar perspective as the viewer to the finished painting: the surprise at something fresh or something that is not immediately understood in its construction. This aspect of painting is like, perhaps, finding the uncontrolled intention.
I know when it’s right or, at least, tending towards right but I don’t know how to do it. If I knew how to do it, that there was a predetermined and guaranteed method, then it wouldn’t be the challenge that forces me to paint continually.”
© Guy Denning
New York based photographer Bela Borsodi was born in Vienna 1966. After studying graphic design and fine art he started to work as a photographer, focusing on still life photography. This fascinating trompe l’oeil alphabet series, playing on the negative space is one absolutely of my favorites.
DDB China’s Jody Xiong worked with the China Environmental Protection Foundation on a campaign to create awareness about the environmental benefits of walking versus driving through having pedestrians create a visual reminder. Large white canvases depicting only a bare tree trunk and branches were placed across 132 crosswalks in 15 Chinese cities. As pedestrians crossed their shoe soles were imprinted with a small amount of green paint, leaving behind a trail of leaf-like footprints. BBD estimated that nearly 3,920,000 people passed through the installations, and the final posters were eventually hung has billboards in several urban locations.
77-year-old Sonia Soberats only began photography classes in 2001, a decade after she lost her sight due to glaucoma. Working in a pitch-black studio she uses a method known as ‘light painting’. She will arrange her models using her hands, instructing her assistant where to place the edges of the frame and then to open the shutter.
“I feel your face, your hair, then I’ll ask you: ‘Are you light-colored? Or dark? Is your hair blonde or brown or black?’ ” she said. “So with asking and touching, then I’ll get an idea of what I have to work with.”
Sonja walks around the subject with various light sources illuminating details and using shutter speeds (slows) ranging from two minutes to an hour.
Artist Simon Beck spends five to nine hours a day walking the snow in snowshoes to create huge sized patterns of snow art. He designs and redesigns the patterns as new snow falls, sometimes unable to finish a piece due to severe snow fall.
“The main reason for making them was because I can no longer run properly due to problems with my feet, so plodding about on level snow is the least painful way of getting exercise. Gradually, the reason has become photographing them.”
Beth Cavener Stichter is full-time professional studio artist residing in the U.S. state of Washington. Stichter focuses her sculpture on human psychology, stripped of context and rationalisation, and articulated through animal forms. “On the surface,” says Stichter, “these figures are simply feral animals suspended in a moment of tension. Beneath the surface, they embody the consequences of human fear, apathy, aggression, and misunderstanding”. In making these painstakingly modeled works Stichter has learned to read meaning in the subtler signs; “rely[ing] on animal body language in [her] work as a metaphor for these underlying patterns, transforming the animal subjects into human psychological portraits. Something conscious and knowing is captured in their gestures and expressions, both an invitation and a rebuke.
I detest New Year’s resolutions. Not so much the good intentions per se, but the fact that they’re scheduled, i.e. linked to the beginning of a new year in accordance with our Gregorian calendar, which – I think – dooms them to failure. Changing our habits and behaviours is a very complex battle in our brain. As such, a certain amount of urge and will power are the least required when facing the challenge and these qualities are not necessarily “at their best” in January.
On that note, I wish you all a wonderful “New Year’s resolutions free” 2011 and in case you cannot help yourself, I give you a quote by Joey Adams: ”May all your troubles last as long as your New Year’s resolutions”.
Have a great 2011 all!