Thursday, December 26, 2013

Unfolded Photography: Anatoly Zenkov

Russian interactive designer Anatoly Zenkov was initially known for his DIY art software which transformed the movement of your mouse into pieces or art (check IOGraphica, I'm using it as I'm writing this post). In this series, entitled "Persistent Pyramids", Anatoly takes art into a more controlled environment by manipulating landscape images and transforming them into simple and minimalistic interventions. Inspired by the work of Francisco Infante-Arana and Nonna Gorunova, Zenkov takes the mechanics of broken mirrors and forces them into beautiful and ephemeral spaces in a deliberate but delicate manner which make the landscape literally unfold before your eyes.

For that corner of your brain where everything is possible: The Photography of Anatoly Zenkov

Anatoly Zenkov
(All Images used with permission of the artist) 

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Elapsing Passages: The art of Derek Stefanuk

You cannot step twice into the same river; for other waters are continually flowing in
                                                                                                                            -Heraclitus of Ephesus

Born in Saskatchewan and turned into a Montrealais, Canadian painter Derek Stefanuk seems to bring the Pre-Socratic philosopher into his practice in a very current way. As he expresses on his statement:

 "I want to relate the human drama to the larger context of nature through painting. Nature, which is constantly changing and us, being one with nature, are in a continual state of change or flux".
 His often distorted characters reflect this transition or passage, capturing them in ephemeral scenarios which often present us with various moments in one image. I feel there is a voyeuristic pleasure in exploring these paintings. They all seem to convey an ongoing action, sometimes just fragments of it, leaving room for past and future moments still to be imagined or dreamed. Some of the images have an erotic charge and some others just a quiet stillness. Either way, they offer an interesting glimpse of the artist's perspective of realism intersected with abstraction. Subject merged with its environment. A real visual treat. 
For your ongoing flux: The paintings of Derek Stefanuk

Derek Stefanuk
(All Images used with permission from the artist) 

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

The Pictoric Fashion: Miss Aniela

Fashion is one of those fields that are in the center of the debate on whether it should be considered an Art or not. Design, Advertising, Landscaping, etc. are other examples of this debate. The trend now is to finally recognize Fashion and other commercial disciplines as forms of arts. Proof of this are the various exhibitions that world class institutions have hosted, like the Alexander McQueen exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum in New York or the Jean Paul Gaultier's at Le Musée des Beaux Arts de Montréal.

At the center of this hurricane, photographers are the keystone holding up the massive weight of fashion creation and its subsequent commercial exposure. The Art of creating images for this industry has evolved to very refined and even baroque levels of craft and techniques and the list of amazing photographers within its ranks is immense. However, I found the work of Natalie Dybisz a.k.a Miss Aniela, standing out of the ocean of images with a delicate yet bold language that borderlines with surrealism and maximalism.

In my opinion this is the result of a very refined intuition towards esthetic values and norms: Mixing the opulence of the French Courts and English Naturalism with the current industry standards and taking it to a whole new level of contextualization and detail. That intuition could be explained by the fact that Miss Aniela is a self-taught photographer and her work seems to be freed of the academic rigor. There is, however, a classic pictoric quality to her work that relays a theme or a story and serves her with high impact visuals, sophisticated ambiance and a way to deliver a concept and a message. Her characters seem to be immersed in the worlds she fabricates for them more than just posing for a portrait and this makes it almost anecdotic and reachable. For your surreal and most fashionable eyes: The Art of Miss Aniela

(All Images and Videos used with permission of the artist) 
Images: © Miss Aniela

Monday, December 02, 2013

The Pixel Mirror: Interactive Art by Daniel Rozin

With only a few exceptions from the animal kingdom, "Self Awareness" is mostly a human quality. Humans can recognize themselves as an individual by looking themselves in a mirror and identifying unique features that differentiate them from others (In case you were wondering, Whales, Dolphins and some apes are able to do this too). In these series of interactive installations entitled "Mechanical Mirrors", it is the individual who activates the art piece and becomes the subject of an ever observing eye that captures his image and reflects it back at him in a reorganized and metaphoric way. 
Standing in front of these installations, you see a version of yourself that has been processed and transformed into pixels constructed out of different materials (wood, rusted metal, chromed spheres, pieces of garbage and even fans); taking self-awareness to a whole new level. The added components in your image evoke different states of self identification: By instance, a mirror assembled with colored trash found in the streets of New York, brings into the equation the metaphor of us reflected in what we consume and discard. Can you recognize yourself within the consumer society we live in?
I also found very interesting the fact that we are now obsessed with High Definition images and amounts of dots per inch. This body of work, however, relies on Lo-Fi images constructed many times with non-reflective materials that deprives the user of the ever-sought crystal clear image. 
For your pixelated self: The Interactive Art of Daniel Rozin

(All Images and Videos used with permission of the artist)