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Michelle Caplan

Michelle Caplan

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

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Posted by on December 15, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Katarzyna Gajewska’s portraits

I came across a collection of portraits by Katarzyna Gajewska. I find them incredibly mesmerizing, chaotic and beautiful.

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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.’

 
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Posted by on December 15, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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British Illustrator Sarah Beetson

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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.

 
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Posted by on December 15, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Digital media development LO2 part 9

continuation of the digital development sketchbook.

    

here i thought i would experiment with mixing a rope sketch with another abstract male portrait. this post is not as extensive as the rest of the developmental posts have been for my digital media as the image sadly seems to have not been that successful apart from the below image: -

  the piece has a rough edge about it and even though the portrait was already abstract before the manipulation, the rope has helped it along by being compositioned within the middle of the contorted portrait to give it the extra abstracted appeal.

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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a little more to my sketchbook randoms

continuing from my previous post I am adding a few more images from my sketchbook randoms all for your viewing pleasures

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enjoy everyone :)

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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