Tag Archives: art

What I Like About Surrealism

What appeals to me most about surrealism is a sense of connection and transcendence – or even just the possibilities of their taking place. I think we’re all looking to transcend in some way, to explore or become part of something outside ourselves. And yet mostly we go about our routines amid similar scenery so much that our days can seem to blur into one another.

Flying Into the Doric Sea - Richard Smith

Flying Into the Doric Sea – Richard J. Smith

I like to think of my art as an expansion or slowing down of time, taking a focused approach to those moments where ordinary elements from our regular experience become magnified and juxtaposed in ways that achieve transcendence on multiple levels – from the first sighting (“oh, hey, that’s cool”) to a deeper study (“woah… what is that???”) – so that my compositions not only bring dissociative elements together, but also offer deeper appreciation of elementary surroundings. And then all this coalesces in viewers’ minds in fashions unique to individual experience and interpretation. I’ve actually seen it take place in real time when I’ve shown my work, and it’s a great thrill to get completely unique reactions from others looking at my art, something I’ve put together on with my own hands, using pieces of my own ordinary scenery, magnified and blended with any number of disparate elements from all over the country. To me, that’s the ultimate and most rewarding transcendence, maybe even happening right now.

The above is a quick rundown of my thinking on and appreciation for surrealism that I wrote for surrealism.co, where I am a featured artist, among many other wonderful creators. The goal of the site, in its own words, is “to promote contemporary surrealism and surreal artists. Whether it’s Pop-surrealism, visionary art, psychedelic, or dark art, we love fantastic art.”

surrealismtoday

And just for fun, here’s a live version of “What I Like About You” live from 1980 that seems a bit surreal with the random crowd footage.

Single Image Saturdays: Spring is Springing

20120310-174412.jpg

From today’s afternoon walk around town. Shot via iPhone using Hipstamatic with Libatique 73 lens and Ina’s 1969 film. Full-size version over at Flickr.

Outstanding Modern Surrealism

Check out the inspiring creations of these seven modern surreal artists working in collage and photomontage

I’m constantly scanning for examples of inspiring art. Every so often, the work of a certain artist consistently demonstrates extraordinary talent and style — in a way that appeals to my fondness for surrealism. I’m a fan of a certain kind of art, and these creators absolutely blow me away with what they regularly produce. Have a look at their websites, seek them out on your favorite image-sharing network, buy their prints, and get inspired by their talent.

Dariusz Klimczak

Dariusz Klimczak - Timer

Website | Flickr

Antonio Mora

Antonio Mora - Beauty

Website | Pinterest

Sylvia Grav

Sylvia Grav - Universe Project

Website | Flickr

Tommy Ingberg

Tommy Ingberg - Will

Website | Tumblr

Sammy Slabbinck

Sammy Slabbinck - Do you remember

Website | Flickr

Bob May

Bob May - Triangulated

Website | Flickr

Jarek Kubicki

Jarek Kubicki - 60612

WebsiteFacebook

What do you think? Do you enjoy a certain kind of art? Are there visual artists you’ve discovered online or elsewhere that you’ve come to follow? Where do you go for visual inspiration? Let us hear from you in the comments.

UPDATE: The artists speak!

dariusz

KISS in M.I.A. Sample

Matangi & KISS’ Heaven’s On Fire on New Album

Listen to the first 5 seconds of both of these songs…

“Matangi” by M.I.A., 2013

“Heaven’s On Fire” by KISS, 1984

Cool, huh? Share this on Twitter!

What do you think? Ever recognized a sample? Are you a KISS or M.I.A. fan? Let us hear from you in the comments.

Learning From The Masters

As a young guitarist, I learned how to play by listening to my favorite songs and figuring out the riffs. As a young graphic designer, I figured out techniques by recreating ads and absorbing the principles of layout. I sought out the occasional tutorial and picked up things along the way, but a large part of what came to be my creative expression has it roots in studying and emulating the work of others.

Comparison of "Untitled 1989" by Jerry Uelsmann and my own study after.

Comparison of “Untitled 1989” by Jerry Uelsmann and my own study after.

That’s the approach I took recently with my growing photomontage fascination. Over the past few years I’ve been making photomontages with my iPhone and image editing apps like Photoforge2 and Dynamic Light. It’s been particularly rewarding when developing pieces along the lines of my favorite artists, one of which is the great Jerry Uelsmann.

So I was looking through one of my printed Uelsmann books for inspiration and came across this image:

Click for a closer look at Uelsmann's work at Faded & Blurred

Untitled, 1989 · ©Jerry Uelsmann

I then decided to make it a weekend project to emulate the image in an attempt to gain experience and get closer to the techniques involved. Of course, apps and and iPhone are no darkroom and enlargers, but some fundamental composition principles carry over, as I discovered in creating my own version:

My take on Uelsmann

My take on Uelsmann. Click to view at full size. Created via iPhone.

This consists of a view of the sky from downtown Winston-Salem, about 14 stories up; a house from Old Salem, (historical area of my city); my own hands, and my flannel-shirt-wearing self at sunset.I had some help on the portrait and hands shots with the CameraSharp app’s timer, along with a tripod.

Four Source Files

My source files for this composition.

I can say that it was at once freeing and challenging to work toward a specific vision, bringing these elements together. I make no claim to total originality here, since the idea is obviously Uelsmann’s, but I’m satisfied with how it turned out. I may yet use the elements in future compositions, and I will probably revisit the challenge again one day of emulating and learning from the masters.

What do you think? Have you ever created art after something or someone that’s inspired you? Do any other examples of this come to mind? Let us hear from you in the comments.

Dynamic Light App Review

Dynamic Light App

Dynamic Light App

The iPhone app Dynamic Light by Mediachance has become one of my favorite photo manipulation tools. I create many black & white montages, and Dynamic Light’s unique filters (especially “solarize,” “edgy,” and “re-exposure”) almost always yield interesting results — either for montage fodder or even standalone images. It saves at full resolution, is very fast, and improves with each update. It adds an element of randomness to the photo editing process that I enjoy, yet its effects are actually very sophisticated, particularly for producing distressed or distorted-yet-recognizable treatments. I recommend it for anyone looking for a simple, yet very unique bag of tricks to add to their photo manipulating repertoire, for less than the price of a soda ($.99). Here are some before and after examples of my favorite filters:

Dynamic Light Edgy Filter

Edgy

Dynamic Light Re-Exposure

Re-Exposure

Dynamic Light Solarize

Solarize

Video: Dynamic Light in Action

What do you think? Ever used Dynamic Light? What are some of your go-to photo manipulation or photo editing apps? Let us hear from you in the comments.