I came across the works of Swiss Photographer Fabien Nissels. Unfortunately there is not a lot of info about him throughout the internet world yet his works have caused a storm with everyday activities hilarity.
Born in 1978, Pam Glew is a contemporary artist who is best known for her unique bleaching technique on national flags. She uses dye and bleach to deconstruct and distress vintage materials in her own breed of painting.
Heavily inspired by film, her strong cinematic paintings often reference contemporary culture with portraits of contemporary faces and the artist herself. By painting directly onto vintage textiles with bleach and dye, the artist plays with our notion of culture of heritage, a sense of belonging, or estrangement from our countries. Personal experience is referenced in the works, including motherhood in the edition series ‘Out of the Water’.
Vintage flags, brocade and antique American quilts provide a unique surface to paint on. By dyeing the fabric black and painting freehand with bleach, the portrait slowly develops in the painting process. The fabric is bleached many times to create contrast and the material is washed each time to remove the chemicals. The result is a ghostly timeless image, which emerges from the cloth.
Glew has exhibited in numerous urban, traditional and site-specific exhibitions, alongside such artists as Damien Hirst, Tracy Emin and Peter Blake. As a British artist she has shown widely in the UK and showcased in Paris, Amsterdam, LA, Korea, Cologne, Dallas and Sydney in 100 group exhibitions and 6 major solo shows. Previous solo exhibitions include Beautiful & Damned London, 2011, Circus London, 2010 and Luminaries Sydney, 2010. Her work continues to be collected by art buyers worldwide and commissioned by large brands and individuals.
Pam continues to exhibit in numerous charity exhibitions and supports causes including Teenage Cancer Trust, Big Issue and MTV Staying Alive Foundation. She has produced commissions for brands including Armani, Ralph Lauren and Mitsubishi Bank. Collaborations include Terry O’Neill and Bill Wyman’s documentary photography of the Rolling Stones.
Michelle Caplan’s work has been a personal favourite of mine ever since I came across her website a few months ago. Her work is a beautiful combination of collage and assemblages and her work is mostly inspired by old, vintage photographs and things she has found from flea markets and bargain sales. She finds these old photos and the people in them are the inspiration. What makes her work so special is how she creates her own story for them and for what she thinks they were like or what type of life they may have lived.
Her work is based on forgotten history and it is up to her imagination to create a story about a person in the photograph. She believes that they eyes tell a great deal and that there are endless possibilities which is what makes her work so interesting and inventive.
Michelle uses a lot of different media in her work such as photographs, fabric swatches, newspaper clippings and other ephemera.
“[She is] always so struck by how sad it is that a families memories end up in someone else’s hands.”
Those images are precious to her and she can’t imagine her family photographs in a box for strangers to rummage around. She combines her passion for family history and often makes pieces on commission.
In an article for Real Simple (November 2007) she talks about how she can spend hours seeking good photographs because old snapshots are plagued by sunspots, fingers on the lenses, double exposures or the takers own shadow. She picks ones of people you think you would like to know.
“To me, the collage captures her personality, the true essence of her life”
Michelle believes her portraits bring life to photographic history, each piece with its own narrative; trying to tell the story of the person behind the image. It can provide a link to the families past and provide a visual legacy for the future.
“A piece can capture a point in time in the ever changing life of a child, or evoke the memory of a beloved relative long past”
Her work has inspired my own by looking into my family history and learning more about my late relatives in the process. I feel I have the same passion as Caplan does for old photographs rich with history and narratives. I have experimented with different types of collage in the process each which reflect a different person, time or event.
For more information on the artist featured here please visit: www.michellecaplan.com
I came across a collection of portraits by Katarzyna Gajewska. I find them incredibly mesmerizing, chaotic and beautiful.
Here is her artist statement where she describes her process:
‘My painting process is something between my dreams and documentation. My art is situated in the middle; not in the realistic and not in the abstract, in popular meaning. I am looking for human simplicity and complexity in the same way. I am trying to catch the casual feelings, naked and defenceless in their realism, and then with understanding and patience I start to build portraits.
My portraits are like multilayered cocoons, profoundly intimate, sexual or innocent. Psychological topography; still glances, crucial in their expression are uncovered in layers of my paint. Bold, rich and dramatic faces are like language; pulsing and inspiring. My portraits are my form of communication. For me no subject is sacred. The role of provocative feelings, persuasion, as well as the human impulse to beautify compels my works of art.
I don’t use any tools besides my hands – to be closer. I could say that my art is a first hand emotion – and that’s why I am painting only with my hands. It allows me to make close ups much deeper than they really are. I love using extreme zooming in – in life and in my paintings. My inspirations are deeply rooted in myself. I’m trying to search for inspiration every day: To reach for the deep feelings hidden below the surface of appearances, to pull them out from behind the window pane. It is a permanent record of fleeting sensations. This release from naturalism is a real struggle between the forces of creation and destruction.’
Sarah graduated with a 1st class honours degree in Illustration in 2002 from Falmouth College of Arts, Cornwall, UK. She won the Pentland Prize for Fine Art, Presented by Wayne Hemmingway of Red or Dead, that same year, and was commissioned to create 2 giant paintings based on the retro ski and tennis origins of the Ellesse sportswear brand, for their marketing HQ.
She spent the next 4 years in London working in fashion, illustration and design in-house, first as an illustrator and graphic designer at Yellowdoor, the fashion marketing company run by Mary Portas (of TV’s Mary Queen of Shops). Here she created designs for Thomas Pink, Sussan, Sportsgirl, Boden and Clarks Shoes, and was commissioned to create 4 large scale paintings entirely in tones of white for the launch event of the Clarks Pure range.
During this period Sarah worked as a styling assistant on an issue of Pop magazine under infamous stylist Katie Grand, also helping out at The Face magazine next door. She completed a 7-month print design internship at Stella McCartney assisting in the creation of designs for fabric print and t-shirts, and conducting extensive design research for collections. A commission followed to decorate the walls of the shoe room of Stella’s Bruton Street shop, which opened in London in 2003. She was then offered a placement in couture embroidery for John Galliano at Dior in Paris, turning it down to setup her own market stall, selling her printed and hand painted t-shirt designs in Camden Town.
Since then, she has built a career as a freelance artist and illustrator. Her extensive Illustration client list includes The Telegraph and The Times (UK), The Miami Herald, The Globe and Mail (Toronto), The Wall St Journal, Philadelphia Magazine, The Portland Mercury, Clarks Shoes, Ellesse, Diesel, La Perla, Tezenis, Kings of Neon, Yellow Rat Bastard, Readers Digest, Hachette Children’s, Scholastic Books, The London Magazine, The British Fashion Council, Perth Fashion Festival, IKEA, OXO, Dove Soaps, Knorr Soups, St George Bank, Ernst & Julio Gallo, Nicolas Wines, Ford Germany, Delta Airlines, Continental Airlines, Trader Joe’s, Die Roten Punkte and The Dresden Dolls.
Sarah began exhibiting her work during her time in the London squatting scene in the early noughties, joining together with a creative underbelly of artists and performers and seizing the opportunity of free public space and utilizing it for 1 night only shows. She has since established herself as an international artist, exhibiting work in London, Paris, Portland, New York, Adelaide and Melbourne. She relocated from the UK to Australia in 2006, exhibiting her 1st solo exhibition “Bodies” at The McCulloch Gallery in 2007.
Her 2nd solo exhibition, “50 Bucks Bring On The Sluts” featured Australia’s 1st Art Vending Machine, donated by Pepsi Cola, which Sarah adorned with paintings from vintage Pepsi commercials, and had adjusted to vend artworks in Pepsi bottles at $50 a pop. Sarah created almost 500 works for the exhibition; all inspired by her 1968-1982 Playboy and Penthouse collection, and 50s Cult Gay Americana. The collection was made into 2 limited edition packs of playing cards, which rapidly sold out.
In 2008, Sarah made live drawings of Australian musician Nick Cave at his “In Conversation” sessions at The Arts Centre, Melbourne. Many of the resulting works were sold, several going into collections. In 2009, she took part in a group show with 50 Australian artists to customize a bottle of Belvedere Vodka, and was shortlisted for an award.
Belvedere purchased the bottle. Later that year she was presented in a group exhibition of emerging artists at the prestigious Metro Gallery in Melbourne. Sarah’s 3rd solo exhibition; “YOU ARE NOT WHAT YOU EAT”, was a part of L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival Cultural Events Program 2010, and featured in The Adelaide Fringe 2010, for which it was nominated for an award. The show hailed a celebrated return to her roots in the fashion industry; seeing wearable art collaborations with 6 emerging fashion designers, a series of BMI (Body Mass Index) original art badges, and a collection of limited edition digital print silk scarves.
In 2011, Sarah presented her 4th solo show; “I Dream In Celluloid” – a study in her obsession with film and how this affects her nightly dreamings. Sarah kept a dream sketchbook in which the contents of her dreams were visually recorded. She received a $10,000 RADF grant from The Gold Coast City Council to create a giant digitally printed and embroidered quilt cover showcasing her dream sketches, sewn by Amy Lane, and a short stop-motion animation detailing the creation of one of the works, animated by Shell Weiss. The exhibition toured Gold Coast, Melbourne, London and Ottawa. She also created 3 mini series: “An Homage To Frida Kahlo”, “birth.art” and “Unsung Heroes”, which were exhibited in various Australian cities including Melbourne, Gold Coast and Broken Hill.
In 2012, Sarah was invited to exhibit work at Pick Me Up 2012 Graphic Arts Fair at Somerset House, London. She created a capsule clothing collection with Amy Lane, a series of 6-colour hand screen printed tshirts with Straight Jacket Press, Newcastle, and created Live Portraits of exhibition visitors on site. In July 2012, Sarah was shortlisted among 25 artists for the prestigious Metro Art Award in Melbourne, Australia.
The subject of body image is a recurrent issue within Sarah’s work, as are gender themes and subcultures, and the politics and perversities of popular culture, and her place within her cultural landscape. She counts 60s American literature, John Waters, cult film, Japan, rock music, decaying urban typography, and Coney Island as her inspirations, and divides her time between a picturesque farm in Queensland and a Motor Torpedo boat on The Thames.
Hello everyone, once again so sorry that I have not been around on here lately (busy bee constantly buzzing!)
There are a few things I would like to share with you, firstly I am currently teaching myself how to use perspective all over again (school was so long ago) and well lets face it Youtube is the best I could possibly find to provide me with the simplest of techniques for my confused brain!
Sooooooo anyway here they are listed below, I certainly found these select few helpful, more so for beginners and refreshing the mind.
Now the other thing that I would to share with you is this page http://littlemissartyfarty.tumblr.com/ ……..this is not me in any way shape or form apart from the name of which they have taken without asking! It came to my attention after friends and clients were constantly asking about my Tumblr, with me obviously replying with ‘but I do not have a Tumblr page’. However if anyone knows me and the work I create they will know that the content on said page is not me
Also I thought it was about time to do some reviews on the arts and crafts of the world that are an inspiration to me and my work (I have a beautiful list of people to talk about!)
Bye bye for now and once again I apologize for the lack of blogging action, now I have to plan how on earth to get four paintings completed by Friday (yikes)
Just a tiny post to fill you all in with what I am currently undertaking at the moment.
I have started a developmental drawing project where I will use a range of different surfaces and drawing mediums to eventually create a final piece. For this I have to use four objects which can be in a complete contrast to one another; so eventually I had decided to use the following:-
organic – shell
contemporary – a voodoo statue
historical – an owl engraved pocket watch
manufactured – well I’m still undecided about this unfortunately.
Now to start off obviously I wanted to create a range of sketches where i explore what mediums work best together and also work best on different types of surfaces. I decided to use my first object for these little experiments – the shell – and created a nifty fifty sketches.
Not all of them are my best quality but I suppose they were an experiment worth researching and now I know myself to not use some of them ideas again! I have created a slideshow of these and to view a more in depth explanation about each one you can always view my facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.439914156044070.90452.209288559106632&type=1
For this mixed media project I had chosen the environment of wetland swamps. This part one is to show you a selection of sketches I had worked through in order to just give me a general idea of what mediums work brilliantly together and what mediums are better left on their own!
sketch 2 – this sketch is of the marsh marigold using water based felt pens. Now I am slightly disappointed by this as usually when I used felt pens by themselves they tend to brighten up the image and add a slight Fauvism feel; sadly this has failed and maybe a different subject choice would have been more appropriate.
now this is what I discovered on the back of the above sketch of the marigold and this is so much better! This has the bright, happy feeling that I normally get from using felt pens. I shall certainly progress this further (without writing on the back).
sketch 3 – this is the Okovango Delta Swamp using Indian coloured inks. I find this to be quite a hard medium to use on its own – I usually have a tendency to mix some white acrylic and biro with this.
sketch 4 – this is also the Okovango Delta Swamp created using biro and Indian coloured ink. Now you can never go wrong with biro and ink; the medium also helps to create a dark and dreary atmosphere to pieces. Now the white marks that you can see have been caused by the excessive rubbings of my finger work…all I wanted to do was smudge the biro but instead I took thin layers of paper away from the page!
sketch 5 – water lily pads using quink ink and bleach. This is one of my Favorite mediums to use especially once used with biro (biro is a savior… if the image looks like it may fail just whip the biro out!).
sketch 6 – freshwater stingray using oil pastels and quink ink/bleach. Unfortunately the oil pastels (as well as wax crayons) had soaked up the quink ink that by the time I layered on the bleach there really was no point!
sketch 7 – a jiburu stork using an acrylic base and then quink ink/bleach. I have mixed feelings for this – should I have left it like this or should I have used biro for a speck of detail? It is quite a unique and illustrated piece.
sketch 8 – now this is the same technique as above but using Indian oil colours as a base instead. I was hoping that once the bleach had been applied on the bushes that they would be a bright green/blue! This is the Lignum swamp of Australia.
sketch 9 – an ariel view of the Everglades swamp using a collage surface with tissue paper. This technique has worked brilliantly once I had added the oil pastel and white acrylic spotted around the tissue paper.
sketch 10 – this is the yellow anaconda scale detail created by collage surface and hand paper towel. I used quink ink and bleach on the hand towel to create that crinkled and ribbed snake texture; black and white acrylic were used on the collage surfaces.
sketch 12 – the Canadian pond weed using oil pastels on acrylic base. I had created this by using the scrafito technique which always works between oil pastels/wax crayons and acrylics. The colours are vibrant and I could possibly take this technique onto further developments.
sketch 14 – the Everglades swamp in Florida using coloured inks, quink ink/bleach, white acrylic and biro on tissue paper. Using all of these techniques together would never work with cartridge paper or any other for that matter as the bleach and ink would soak everything up; however, within this experiment it has destroyed the tissue paper (which I was slightly expecting) yet it has somehow worked. It has a collaged feel to the image without even being a collage!
I think I have produced enough rough sketches to help me progress to creating more refined developments.
On the 24th of August 2012 Aberdeen we endured a horrific storm (well in my frightened case I class the storm as horrific). The worst hit spot was unfortunately Footdee, swamped with foam, flooding, flying bins and roads smothered in trees.
Therefore I took the liberty of taking photo’s of the after effects: