Invasion. You may think about a takeover of a land by an enemy, or hundreds of ants around the juice you spilled out. Invasion means too much of something, in a place where all this should not be. In other words, it can be about places on earth that we as humans take over, originally untouched places where we leave our tracks. Temporary or permanent. Traces that eventually disappear, or destroy the aesthetics and not least the environment. Human tracks in nature are often linked to commercialism, industrialism and tourism. How far are we prepared to go to let our dreams come true?
The invasion of the pristine can of course have its positive sides. It creates opportunities for us humans to come closer to nature and be art of its beauty, but its always on our own terms. The hard to reach places have become easily accessible.
Joakim Blomquist examines our relationship with nature and places we have invaded. His large scale and knife edge sharp photographs seduce us with beauty and grandeur. But at the same time, there are these small details, those we at first glance do not see. Neither in his photographs nor in reality. Small changes in nature where we have put our footprint, for the moment or permanently. Even in the most inaccessible places impossible to reach.
His motifs require monumental formats. And he finds them. And frame them in one shot. In order to play with the contrasts between monumental views and small details. Joakim Blomquist's photographs are a study of human behaviour and our intrusion into the untouched nature. At the same time, its a picture of our smallness. Its also a reminder that we should approach nature with respect. And seize the moment here and now, not travel and invade nature to remember.
This ongoing body of work explores the vast Mississippi River floodplain, around the region known as The American Bottom. The name derived nearly 100 years ago, encompasses the land that skirts the Mississippi River from Alton, Illinois and travels south to the mouth of the Kaskaskia River. This approximately 65 mile stretch of lowland embodies an incredible diversity- though this is often hard to see. This is a landscape along the Middle Mississippi River is flat and unremarkable to the quick glance. It is with repeated encounters- walking this land over time and through the seasons- that the complexity and layered histories reveal themselves.
This lowland geography was formerly occupied by the Native American Mississippian people— Indigenous Mound Builders. Later, the influence of French settlers, farming practices, industrial growth and the companion company towns, dramatically affected the landscape.The force of the muddy Mississippi River cannot be underestimated in this region. Regular flooding of the land has created both some of the most fertile agricultural soil to be found, but it has also caused a regular cycle of destruction and regeneration. This is a landscape sturdy and resilient; it is a land continually ripped bare, altered by natural as well as human-made forces. This space is as complex and enigmatic as the history it has endured.
The American Bottom Project is an ongoing collaborative project. Jesse Vogler and Mathew Fluharty originally conceived of the project and Jennifer Colten joined later, each person brings something unique to the ongoing project with Jennifer Colten focusing on the photography side amongst many things. We have continued to exhibit the work in galleries and alternative public sites. We publish The American Bottom Gazette, and actively seek ways to place our writing and photographs within the social, cultural and civic spaces of the American Bottom community.
We are pleased to announce that we are media partners with Art Paris, held at the breathtaking Grand Palais in Paris, the show focusses on discovering new artists while at the same time emphasising the European art scene from the post-war years to the present day. The show also provides international artists with a platform to showcase their work to a global audience. With 150 galleries from over 20 different countries, this year also marks the beginning of a new chapter with an emphasis on women artists in France. Curated by AWARE: Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions, the show presents a critical and subjective overview of the work of women artists in France from the post-war period to the present day with 25 projects selected from amongst the exhibits of participating galleries. Founded in 2014 by Art Historian Camille Morineau, AWARE aims to produce, index and distribute information about 20th-century women artists. You can find out more about Art Paris 2019 which runs from 4th - 7th of April 2019 via their website below.
Chinese contemporary artist Fu Wenjun is no stranger to CreativPaper. Graduated from Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, he creates through the medium of conceptual photography, installation, sculpture and oil painting. He has also put forward the concept of "Digital Pictorial Photography."
In our conversation with him, he talks about his participation in the upcoming edition of The Photography Show and what we can expect from him at the event.
Could you tell us a bit about your upcoming exhibition at the 39th edition of The Photography Show?
At the 39th edition of The Photography Show 2019 presented by AIPAD (International Association of Photography Art Dealers), BOCCARA ART, an International art dealer with a global network of galleries and exhibition spaces, presents a solo booth project showcasing my Digital Pictorial Photography works. Most of the pieces are the last two years’ creation that continue my rethink on contemporary photography art. It is the time when photography should change itself by getting away from conventions and ideas conceived commonly, and embracing new possibilities on photographic approaches, process or practice. I think I have found a way of working with the medium to express the philosophical reflection on the issues concerned clearly.
What can we expect to see from you at the show?
AIPAD as the longest-running and foremost exhibition dedicated to the photographic medium, thought-provoking ideas, new trends and unique processes involved in the medium of photography are welcome. I appreciate having the chance to communicate with my photographic style and works. This time I bring pieces from four series: “Misplacement”, “Ask Tea”, “F1”, “Human Nature for Food”.
“Misplacement” I bring the aesthetic nature of ink art into photography, presenting abstract images with philosophical thinking towards our changing world in this critical moment.
“Ask Tea”, inspired by the colours and geometric composition used by Impressionists and Abstract Art; I tell the viewers an old-style teahouse still existing in my hometown. Drinking tea, talking about the world is always a way of life in the corner of the ever-changing city. The world is changing so fast, but maybe not for everything, for everyone, for everywhere.
“F1”, another exciting and fun piece of music written by reality and illusion, success and disappointment, expectation and surprise, which people will never get tired of.
“Human Nature for Food”, under the familiar surface, it is full of often overlooked details, intriguing and shocking, so is the food, people as well.
Could you tell us a bit more about what Digital Pictorial Photography means to you as an artist?
Every artist is searching for his/her way of artistic expression, even for a lifetime. Digital Pictorial Photography is the one I found until now. I take pictures with my camera; at the same time my eyes are also "shooting". From time to time on quiet nights, the shot scenes emerge in the mind. Different times, different places and different people are intermingled with each other. This disorder makes me feel harmonious and peaceful, which seems to be an essential and deep “beauty”. From my own and others, I have seen too many complexities and contradictions in human nature. There is no straight road in our world. People always come and go with hope and bend around. The so-called correctness is only a relative statement at a certain time and in a certain situation. "Misplacement" is a normal state. The reaction made is only the human brain’s momentary decision. "Wrong" could be "right", “right” could also be "wrong". In front of conflicts and crises, pessimists are desperate, and optimists have hope. There isn’t a right or wrong way to do photography; tradition is defined and could be redefined in the new age.
How do you find a balance between aesthetics and narrative in your work?
The "beauty" is an artwork’s indispensable part; it is the key to unlock the message delivered by the artist.
Do you think it is hard to stay motivated as an artist? How do you tackle this common obstacle?
It’s not easy to be an artist. To create a work of art from zero, the artist must be innately courageous and persistent. No matter how old am I, I insist on excavating the beauty of life, connecting with people by art, touching the mind. Having an obstacle is common. When I cannot work as good as I expect myself, no matter how hard I try, I know I have to leave, walking for a while, talking with others or even having a journey to see a strange place.
Could you tell us about your upcoming projects?
In the first three months of 2019, The University of Hong Kong and Chongqing Art Museum presented two solo shows of my works. After getting back from New York in April, I need time to think and create, perhaps on the relation between nature, human and society. I believe nature can speak, just not in the language designed by humans. I like to listen to the sounds of nature, as the ancient Chinese literati who explored the meaning of life among the vast landscapes. Water is invisible, but it can be transformed into many forms; the water is weak, but its accumulation could be powerful; the water reflects reality and illusion too.
What elements of exhibiting your work excite you the most?
I like to listen to different opinions on my exhibited works, especially negative ones. They push me to reflect on the choices I have made while creating and on what to do next times.
Mr Wenjun’s work has also been studied in depth by Professor Mao Qiuyue of Tongi University in Shanghai who offers a unique insight on his work and creative process.
“In recent years, Chinese artist Fu Wenjun is getting more attention. Through a large number of works of art, such as After Fresh Rain in the Mountain, East Wind Blew Again Last Night, Ask Tea, F1, April, Red Cherry, etc., Fu Wenjun gradually made the concept “digital pictorial painting” into a precise form of artistic expression. Digital pictorial photography is a combination of painting elements through digital post-adjustment and multiple-exposure photographic images to reveal unique visual effects. It emphasises the rediscovering and reuse of image resources. Fu’s works not only appears in critical international exhibitions but is appreciated by many contemporary art historians.
Fu Wenjun himself once said: “I incorporate a lot of experience of traditional Chinese art in my work. Many people say that my work is ‘not like photography’, but ‘unlike photography’ is a new way of presentation. We can change anything.” Fu Wenjun uses photography to express his artistic ideas and integrates the essence of modern and contemporary art such as Dadaism, Abstract Expressionism, conceptual art and pop art. While getting rid of the shackles of documentary photography, Fu’s digital pictorial photography captures painting elements, embodying a touch of freehand brushwork in traditional Chinese art. They offer people with unexpected innovations and new visual experience. Rosalind Krauss, a contemporary American female critic, once pointed out that artworks after the modernist paintings have greatly broadened the connotation of “medium”. A medium can be something solid, or it can be a behaviour itself. In other words, artists’ medium is no longer tied to specific things; it exists in the field of communication with the audience. With the purpose of challenging people’s inherent ideas about artistic medium, Fu Wenjun invites his audience to think about the boundaries of art.
Photography has always been regarded as a documentary, while digital pictorial photography blurs the line between reality and illusion. The viewer is invited to enter different scenes created by the artist. Fu Wenjun’s works should be treated as a sequence because they provide a complete context for the audience. As contemporary American scholar Claude Cernuschi has pointed out when analysing Abstract Expressionist painter Franz Kline: “An individual canvas will be read in in terms of the canvases that surround it as well as against the frame of reference, or interpretive background, the spectator has gradually internalised. Consequently, a painting such as Probst I cannot have a single, fixed meaning or emotive resonance existing ‘on’ the canvas...That meaning or resonance, rather, is ‘in’ the spectator’s mind.” Similarly, the meaning of Fu’s digital pictorial photography is also contingent on context and the beholder’s participation.
Fu Wenjun once summed up his creative means as such: “My concept will be expressed using collage, juxtaposition, etc.” Collage and juxtaposition are essential methods in western modern and contemporary art. They were initiated by the masters of early 20th century modern art such as Pablo Picasso and Gorge Braque, culminating in the hands of postmodern artists such as Robert Rauschenberg and Andy Warhol. But the difference is that the post-modern juxtaposition of Western art largely cancels oppositions, while Fu Wenjun sharpens the debate between different items, thus creating a tension on the two-dimensional surface.
Fu Wenjun has shaped his digital pictorial photography with various decompositions and reconstructions. Contemporary critic Katharine W. Kuh believes that the core of modern art is “break-up”. She proposes that in our time, the characteristics of art are manifested in the following aspects: broken appearances, messy colours, scattered composition, disintegrated shape and broken images. Since the birth of modern art, every part of art has been broken down, including colours, light, paint, shapes, lines, spaces, painting surfaces and layouts. Modern art has always emphasised “break-up”, but it does not mean a lack of rules. It attempts to establish a new rule. In other words, a break-up is another form of reconstruction. By doing so, artists analyse, enlarge, and separate some aspects that people have easily overlooked in the past, and provide them with rich and complex experience.
Just as contemporary art historian Yve-Alain Bois has pointed out, most abstract artists are never tired of stressing the richness of their abstract/conceptual subject-matter. As an artist living in the southwestern province of China, Fu Wenjun has been trying to show the collision between traditional national culture and contemporary culture, which is an essential theme in his works. In AskTea series, Fu chooses to locate everyday daily objects of Chinese teahouse in the centre, but the whole image display fragmentations and divisions. This is a way of bringing history back to the present on the one hand, and emphasising the impact of modern lifestyle on tradition on the other side. In his East Wind Blew Again Last Night, Come and Go, and After Fresh Rain in the Mountain, Fu Wenjun also contemplates on the binary opposition such as the past and the present. The process of creation is time-consuming. For example, to create the Twelve Zodiac series, Fu Wenjun took several days taking documentary photos in Yuanmingyuan. After returning to Chongqing, he spent another five months to complete the work. A detailed observation of the world and a large amount of tedious post-processing are both essential in Fu Wenjun’s creation.
The exploration of abstraction is a significant feature of digital pictorial photography. Although we often find it challenging to describe abstraction, the experience of it plays an important part in our visual activities. It seems sure enough that Fu Wenjun is a typical abstract artist. But I think this conclusion is incomplete. In a famous conversation with Christian Zervos in 1935, Pablo Picasso expressed such ideas: “There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterwards, you can remove all appearance of reality; there is no longer any danger because the idea of the object left an indelible mark.” Nowadays more and more people have realised that the interpretation of the dichotomy between “abstract” and “figurative” is only a historical phenomenon instead of an objective truth.
From a close perspective, we tend to interpret Fu Wenjun’s works as diversified combinations of forms, but from a certain distance, we may prefer to explain them as a unified whole. This is, of course, a generalisation, but in many ways, people do encounter difficulties in distinguishing diversity and unity. This difficulty shows that the meaning of abstract artworks exists in the ongoing reconstruction and immediate experience of the viewer. Through digital pictorial photography, Fu Wenjun attempts to evoke people’s keen perception. In these works, both abstraction and representation are not final purposes but means. What lies behind the active surface is always the artist’s reflection on the status quo of people, history and culture. As such, his artworks show a dialectical unity of multiple and one: even if the forms and techniques of Fu’s digital pictorial photography are different, they all present an image of the artist as a thinker.
Thus we may safely conclude that whether abstraction is abstract is not a formal question, but a cognitive issue. People’s disagreements over abstraction are not so much due to the ambiguity of the artistic forms as to people’s different “interpretation community”, a term borrowed from Stanley Fish. To recognise the viewer’s subjectivity in the construction of meaning is not only a prerequisite for the rational interpretation of abstract artworks but also a requirement for initiating all interpretations. People’s understanding and appreciation of abstract elements in artworks are deeply rooted in their basic cognitive abilities, and abstraction is not too high to be popular.
Of course, our appreciation of digital pictorial photography is not like reading. Our cognition changes as the pages of the book are flipped through, while when we look at Fu Wenjun’s works, we experience a “comprehensive loss of visual recognition”. In other words, our eyes are not at rest, but in the process of continually changing focus. Thus, various contradictory forces occur, including tensions between the centre and the edge, gravity versus upward force, and so on. The artist tests our ability to capture information through different contrasts. His digital pictorial photography challenges people’s colour perception and shape perception with multiple colours and lines.
Many of Fu Wenjun’s digital pictorial photography use a soft colour transition at the boundary of objects and the contour line of the characters so that people feel the challenge to distinguish between the figure and the ground. By contrast, in works such as Red Cherry, Ask Tea and April, the artist applies a cubist approach to divide the surface of the photograph into separate small units, using bright colours and sharp contrast, so the images in the centre become more prominent.
What can we learn from such arrangements? Contemporary neuroscientists have discovered that colour perception is an important ability that promotes shape perception because colours cannot exist without shape. By distinguishing colours, one recognises an object or apart from its surroundings. If someone loses this ability, a visual perception disorder will happen. It can be seen that colour perception and shape perception are mixed with each other. The neuroscientists’ research provides an academic reference for us to understand Fu Wenjun’s photography. For example, when we look at Red Cherry, we can recognise the colour of the cherry, but the artist has deliberately added some rectangular squares to destroy the original shape of the fruit. Moreover, by casually rendering red, the cherry has become a highly blurred symbol that guides people to indulge in the world of imagination. This combination of precision and ambiguity makes his work particularly eye-catching.
It is true that the artistic value of digital pictorial photography still needs further research and discussion. In the context of cultural pluralism and photopopularisation, photography has already developed beyond the process of light exposure of photosensitive media, and photography with new languages is in urgent need. Contemporary art critics such as John Berger and Susan Sontag believe that photography is not only an aesthetic form but also a social field with democratic spirits. Artists’ constant exploration of photography urges people to abandon the old theoretical paradigm and respond to its challenges with fresh and diverse perspectives. Fu Wenjun’s digital pictorial photography not only displays the artist’s talents and professional qualities but also represents his sense of cultural and historical responsibility. With various visual possibilities, the viewer and the artist are in a dynamic and benign interaction, enriching each other’s understanding of photography and the world.”
About the author: Mao Qiuyue，post-doctoral researcher of Zhejiang University; assistant professor of Tongji University
Originally published in Issue 13 (February 2018)
For her latest project titled 'Undesirable Forms' artist Maria Risner decided to tackle pain, grief and distress. Emotions that we have all felt at one point or another neither of which can be easy to process. Her content centres around the repulsion and discomfort women can experience within their mind and body. In our image-obsessed societies, Maria exaggerates undesirable female bodily features. Uneven skin tone, wrinkles and body hair all get centre stage, through a self-abasing point of view of a woman. Reactions can be both positive or repulsive, but there is no denying Maria is creating dialogue around sensitive themes that every modern woman has to face.
For his latest project titled '8am walks', Berlin-based British photographer Jeremy Philip Knowles had a simple objective. Leave the house at 8 am every day with his camera and capture what he saw around him. A city that often has a reputation for being dark and gloomy, Jeremy dispels this popular myth with details of colour, pattern and shadow with a project that lasted for over two years. Born in Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom in 1992, Jeremy graduated with a degree in fine art photography from Camberwell College of Art in 2015. His practice has developed into a playful photographic study of the everyday.
After graduating from Pratt Institute with a BFA in painting, artist Alise Loebelsohn studied in France and at the Art Students League in NYC. During her time at Pratt, she worked at an organisation that created murals in hospitals and mental institutions in deep need of beautification. Alise ran the studio for two years, helping with colour decisions and also assisting others with technique and process. Eventually, Alise found herself perched on to of Times Square in New York, painting billboards while the world passed her below. Her current creative practice consists of layering the surface of her materials with Venetian plaster followed up sanding and burnishing to build up patina and shine before the colours are introduced. You can find out more about Alise and her work via her website below.
Originally published in Issue No. 12 Vol 1 (Dec 2018)
We live in a world where people are increasingly defined by the labels associated with them. Straight, gay, trans, the colour of our skin, our ethnicity all pigeonhole us into predetermined stereotypes. As artists, we can work towards blurring these lines, opening dialogue and challenge the status-quo. One artist who is championing this is Stockholm based Bernadetta Tajs, originally from Poland she now resides in the Swedish capital with her family. Her work highlights the beauty of sex and sexuality, a topic that is suppressed in cultures around the world. Bernadetta talks to us in her interview about the importance of the most primal of urges, her life in Stockholm and the importance of silence.
What do you think it is about sex and sexuality that makes people uncomfortable?
I come from a very religious, patriarchal and traditional community. I understood very early that this is wrong and the world has many colours and shades, that the world is not only white and black or bad or good. When I was little, I still listened that everyone needs to suffer in life and I thought; no, absolutely not. We don’t need to suffer all own life. Different religions or someone who uses religion to achieve their own goals make people think that life on earth is a test, and only in heaven can you be happy. The same people through religions say that sex is evil, that sex is the duty of a wife, that a woman is ashamed of her body, that a man is allowed to be drunk and not a woman. Religions have a significant influence on what people think and unfortunately show a woman as guilty, like Eve in Paradise...I want to tell people that sexuality is ok and that it is natural. That homosexual love has the same rights as heterosexual, and everyone has the right to be here and now happy.
Surely the fact it is a fundamental stage in life should make it an open subject?
Yes, of course. I have noticed that if something is hidden, mysterious and forbidden, people more often want to try it. In college, when we drew or sculpted the act, naked bodies of clay, I asked boys what they feel when they see this beautiful naked girl and everyone replied that her body was fresh and exciting only on the first day. On the second day and later her body was already normal, boring, not so attractive anymore. My colleagues also responded that the body is just a body, feelings to someone are more important.
Where are you currently based in the world and why?
I live permanently in Stockholm, Sweden. Here I have found more understanding and tolerance. Here I met my husband, and we now have two wonderful sons.
Do you think that we are getting more close-minded as a culture with each passing day?
I do not think so. We live in a very commercial and busy world, and there is nothing wrong with that. I love activity and diversity. Everything is different than 20 or 30 years ago. Everyone can find what they want.
Would you say your work allows the viewer to decode their own message?
Yes, absolutely. I want the viewer to feel something, and his imagination helped him move to another world. Everyone sees something completely different in my painting, and that's what it's about. These paintings are to stimulate memories and desires. We live in very restrictive times, rules are everywhere, and their breaking is associated with rejection by society. I do not want new rules ... I want to break them and show everyone that it's ok to be open and honest and that we all have desires.
What do you think Dionysus would make of our modern world?
Dionysos could introduce more openness, tolerance and empathy. People physically close themselves to others. People do not want to talk to each other, sit next to each other, we do not know our neighbours, we hide our feelings, we do not trust each other.
What was the best response you have had to your paintings?
I heard that my paintings show porn and then I thought two things: Yes, that's the point, the viewer's fantasy should lead him to a different place, memories or desires ... On the other hand, I thought, How? After all, these images are colourful, graphic, very simplified in form. Where is the pornography here? Another time, when a social media platform blocked the marketing of all my paintings that were there, I thought, something is wrong. We are not becoming more and more open. New rules, censorship, hurt feelings? It's some kind of return to the Middle Ages. Someone with more power wants us to think like him.
What is Bernadetta listening to on repeat at the moment?
I try to listen to silence. To sit in peace with coffee and rest. Analyse the day and reflect on the future.
With a population of 349,000 and an area of 103,000 km, making it the most sparsely populated country in Europe. The Capital and largest city is Reykjavik, with Reykjavik and the surrounding areas in the southwest of the country being home to over two-thirds of the population. Iceland is volcanically and geologically active, the interior consists of plateau characterised by sand and lava fields, mountains and glaciers and many glacial rivers flow to the sea through the lowlands. In this photo series photographer Sunny Bola has captured some beautiful images of Iceland please scroll through the images below and if you like sunny’s work feel free to follow him on Instagram.
The circle is one of the most ancient forms known to man. The discovery of the potential of the humble wheel, an invention that revolutionised our life as we know it is attributed to the discovery of the properties of the circle and its subsequent applications. From science to astrology and geometry the circle has proven itself indispensable. Artist moholinushk, who is based just outside Zurich, Switzerland strives to make this ubiquitous shape visible through her work, highlighting its presence in the mundanity of everyday life. After spending considerable time abroad in countries like India, Japan and Oman. moholinushk's work reflects the inspiration she has drawn from her travels which range from Japanese graphic art to Islamic geometric patterns.
After re-discovering the drawings and photographic essays of the Hungarian artist and photographer László Moholy-Nagy, who also happened to be a professor in the Bauhaus school, moholinushk started to play with circles on paper. Using a variety of mediums ranging from ink to pastel chalks and aquarelles, while at the same time experimenting with different papers in the quest for the perfect foundation medium for her work. In the end, the square format with an interesting structure was the clear winner. She also pays homage to Japanese artist Toko Shinoda, who at the age of 103 this year, continues to create using her hands. Proving that a career in art is timeless.
Q. Wang /
The beauty of art is that it gives the creator the freedom to express their vision in a myriad of ways. This can take form in many ways. One artist might subscribe to a style that resonates most with their vision and aesthetic while the other might re-interpret a school of thought in their own way. Artist Q. Wang tries to carve his road through freeism, a painting style that uses free colours, shapes and strokes in his work. The result of this is an atmosphere that encourages limitless creativity. His work is an amalgamation of contemporary art and Chinese culture, which has its unique rich heritage of arts. The resulting work can often be confusing to the viewers of his work, but Q. Wang is fine with this. Just as people took their time to understand the works of greats such as Monet and Van Gogh, He is happy for his message to unfold with time.
To the outside world, Russia is a land of many mysteries, and yet for its inhabitants, life goes on just like any other part of the world. Trying to make a difference is artist Andrei Epishin, Not only is he an acclaimed artist but throughout his professional career he has become the creator and curator of Art-Eclat Gallery, the author of the monograph album "Myth, project and result. Early Soviet painting of the second half of the 1920's and the beginning of the 1930's" (2012) and the monograph album "Transforming the world into a bloody riot...Russian painting of the revolutionary era" (2017).
His pieces capture the essence of youth and rampancy using a bold plethora of colours. Andrei is also a member of the Moscow Branch of the Union of Artists of Russia, raising awareness and change. You can find out more about Andrei and his works via the links below.
Born in New Jersey to a first-generation, Italian-American Roman Catholic family, we have artist and author Tony Rubino. Revealing the extraordinary amongst the ordinary, he seeks to raise dialogue on pop-culture, celebrity, technology and the barrage of information we are fed on a daily basis through social media and the internet. His latest book, “You Can’t Scare Him He’s A Parent”, is a collection of his internationally syndicated comic strip, “Daddy’s Home.” His book, “Why Didn’t I Think Of That? 101 Inventions That Changed The World By Hardly Trying”, is now an internationally syndicated, weekly column in the UK and other English-speaking countries. It’s also in its third printing and has been released under another title in the UK, Sweden, Australia, and the Netherlands. A third version has been translated and released in Italy. Tony has contributed his articles and cartoons to publications such as Will Ferrell’s “Funny Or Die”, MAD Magazine, Cracked, National Lampoon, and the Chicago Tribune.
Tony is the co-creator of the Internationally syndicated comic strip, “Daddy's Home”, which appears in more than 250 newspapers and websites and is seen by 26 million people every day. “Daddy’s Home” is a fresh and funny look at the contemporary trials and tribulations of a growing segment of the modern family dynamic -- the stay at home dad. His paintings and prints have been featured in galleries in New York, Chicago, Washington, and LA. When not working on his writing and art in New York City, he spends his time not working on his writing and art in New York City.
Dreams can be full of wonder, subconscious fantasies that remain dormant during the day come alive when we slip into slumber. Same goes for nightmares. Fears repressed can crawl their way into elaborate nightmares, realistic enough to compete with any Hollywood blockbuster. Such is the power of imagination, morsels of visual information are transformed into entire worlds.
Artist Peyton Rack has built an elaborate collection of books, magazines, clippings and paint swatches over the walls of her studio over the years. These, to her, are a collage of a dreamlike state where she gets her inspiration from. The city of Chicago was also a significant influence on her both artistically and personally, especially the Chicago Imagists, an art movement from the late 1960s which included artists such as Roger Brown, Phil Hanson, Ed Flood and Sarah Canright to name a few. There’s a fluidity in her work that incorporates the above elements with a sense of nostalgia. A lucid place, where the viewer is drawn from one aspect to the other, each bound organically by swathes of colour. Her work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally at galleries and art fairs including the independent art fair Supermarket held at the cultural centre (Stockholm, Sweden)in 2014, Zhou B Art Center, and Bridgeport Art Center (Chicago).
Digital Pictorial Photography, a photography style created by Chinese contemporary artist Fu Wenjun, represents a photographic art expression working through digital post-processing and multiple exposures, with the integration of pictorial aesthetic features. Presented with the media of photography, it is comprehensively developed by modern and contemporary art ideas, including Conceptual Art, Pop Art, Dadaism, Abstract Expressionism. Digital Pictorial Photography provides the artist with great freedom, helping him to get rid of the objective recording function of photography, which he believes is a limit for photography to develop as an art. So, he can boldly melt pictorial elements into photography, creating in a way something like Chinese traditional freehand brushwork, heartily and carrying through without stopping to express artist’s emotions, reflection and spirit. In Wenjun’s Digital Pictorial Photography works, you can find out his subjective thinking of various issues and his diverse, lasting art exploration on this innovative photography style, which provides the viewers with a very different, often surprising visual experience.
The creation of art can be a liberating process. From picking a medium to the colours and theme, an artist is free to choose the direction it takes. Based in Manila, Philippines, artist Hanna Supetran paints with a sense of joy and freedom. Hanna approaches each canvas playfully, enjoying every moment, every stroke with a heightened excitement of the magic that will be revealed in the end. From abstraction to surrealism, Hanna’s painting impression knows no boundaries, an endless expedition in the vastness of space, fearlessly exploring the unknown, trusting and allowing each stroke to take its form and allowing each colour to speak to each other. Each painting is a soul expedition, an expression of her intimate, inward journey. A journey her artworks invite people to embark in.
Hanna underwent an Intensive Visual Art Course, which included Photography, Fresco, Contemporary Art Technique & Figure Drawing at the Accademia D'Arte-Firenze, in Florence, Italy. Find out more about her work via the links below.
Creating work that blurs the intersection between humans and nature we have Japanese artist Yoshitada Ihara. He strives to develop a harmonious relationship between nature and human-made materials. His work, acting as a bridge, creates an atmosphere which is both tension-free and relaxing. As contradictory as the two components of his work might be, a close relationship exists between these two fractions. Destruction of nature by human civilisation has made it imperative that natural and human-made materials co-exist with one another. This may eventually result in an evolutionary partnership, something we need to be more considerate about. Since July 2012 Yoshitida has been creating land art combining cultivation in Satoyama and thinning timber (Cypress & Cedar). Its organic plant-like shape will continue to evolve with time as pieces are added, and the surrounding nature plays its part
When we are younger life seems so much easier, and more straightforward. Rushing back from school every afternoon to catch up on your favourite cartoons, friends and candy are memories we can all relate to. What's interesting is that we often cannot wait to get older and escape the drudgery of homework and school only to find out that life was much more relaxed before! Artist Cheryl Polcaro enjoyed the escapism that books provided when she was younger. Fairy tales and mythology fuelled her imagination and creativity, As she grew older the darker realities of adulthood set in. Her work acts as a realm between those times. Through manipulation and fragmentation of photographic references on canvas and layers of paint, her work features isolated images of innocence amongst darker voids. However, the viewer is left with enough breathing space to project their interpretation into her work.
Working out of her studio in Tuscaloosa, AL, United States, artist Joni Gruber, like many of the artists we have the joy of working with, is passionate about the world around her. A lifelong environmentalist, landscapes and elements from the natural world are prominent subject matter. Some of her work also touches upon the ravages that unbridled industrialisation, unethical and undemocratic use of technology and greed have waged upon the natural world, The consequences of which we are all becoming widely aware of. Joni earned her BFA in Drawing and Painting from The Ohio State University in 1988 with her work residing in private and public collections in the United States and Europe. Working extensively in Encaustic, her pieces have an organic, earthy atmosphere about them; metallics are combined with elemental tones exhibiting her expertise with colour as an artist. She also happens to be a big Star Trek fan!