Born in St Petersbourg, and raised in Beirut by his Russian-Estonian mother and Lebanese father, autodidactic photographer Sherif Elhage now lives in Paris. Phew! He employs no corrective methods to his photography, so the composition of the colour and the original framing are integral elements of Sherif’s work.
I had the pleasure of meeting painter Maria Calderon a few years back through some mutual friends. Even then her work was stunning. It seemed as though you could stand back and take in everything you thought you could, and if you moved up to a piece, you were pulled in to all the different […]
I’ve always been a huge Milton Avery fan, so the instant I stumbled across the work of Californian artist Chi Birmingham, I was head over heals. I really enjoy how every year Birmingham decides to take his distinctive style in a new direction, from various American landscapes to basements (as if, after all those wide open landscapes, he needed to feel a little more protected?), to various everyday rooms (not quite ready to venture back into the wide outdoors, but tired of the dank basement day in day out?). I’d certainly recommend popping by Birmingham’s blog as well, as the subject matter on there are a lot of fun doodles and cool figurative bits.
Andrew Foster’s whimsical and erotic nudes seem to simultaneously lampoon and pay homage to the Impressionists. His pastel landscapes are completely devoid of men, and the women that inhabit them seem not to mind.
Argentinian illustrator Gustavo Aimar’s version of the Deluge is full of light and peace in it’s inherent simplicity and wondrous naivety. Generally speaking, the innocence and playfulness of childhood is never far from the core symbolic theme in Aimar’s works.
Jeff Farber’s work is imbued with a wonderful sense of texture and shading, which conveys stark images in a rich colour palette. Of his work, he says: ‘My artistic inspiration has been a combination of other people’s artwork as well as dreams, literature, current events, things I observe in life, movies, music, mango cutney, and discussions on morality, politics, and sexuality’.
In the same vein as Andy Goldsworthy, the landscape for Christo and Jean Claude is a canvas. The husband and wife team, renowned for their 1969 piece — Wrapped Coast — and early 1980s Surrounded Coast series, are still going strong with their project in Akansas entitled Over the River. The sketches are ambitious, but […]
Alec Soth is a huge inspiration on me, a contemporary American photographer who dabbles in the grim realities of life, but always manages to coat them just enough not to depress the hell out of you. Some of his photographs are openly unbiased views of the human race, while others are just statements about how we live and the environment that surrounds us. Two books I received recently take my breath away: one is Soth’s Columbian photographic memoirs Dog Days, Bogota; the other is his peculiar photo diary, Niagara. Both books mix deep elements of tragic realism molded with Soth’s own thumbprint of bold lighting techniques and wide exposures.
I love the sense of space and subtle introspection that seeps through Gregory Euclide’s artwork. His says of his latest series, ‘my work explores the way we experience nature and how this is tied to the cultural practice of constructing landscapes as idealized images. When we are in nature we experience the world through all of our senses in a dynamic way, but at the same time we are framing what we see through the cultural expectations we have absorbed through representational systems such as landscape painting, wildlife documentary, and travel guides. It is impossible, then, to have a true, non-mediated experience of nature even though we may long for it. My work explores the contradictions between the projection of idealized, picturesque views of landscape and our desire to have an authentic experience in nature’.
Claude Monet may have started going blind when he painted some of his most iconic pieces, but Turkish painter Esref Armagan has been totally blind since birth. He uses a Braille stylus to sketch out images, which he then paints using his hands.
With the planet increasingly overrun by humans, perhaps landscape painting has a new relevance in contemporary art. Nancy Lindsay works in the Impressionist tradition, actually taking her easel outdoors, just like the old masters, and stunningly translates Midwestern skies, Mediterranean shores, and ancient forests at sunset into paint.
I recenly came across the illustration work of Seattle student, Tyson Roberts. It’s very cool line drawings with a distinct sense of expression and an inherent sense of vulnerability. I asked him a few questions about his inspirations: ‘The places I draw are locations around me. Sometimes I draw outdoors looking at the subject and other times I will draw from a photo or memory. I enjoy the raw results of ink on paper. Drawing in black and white is quite honest and exposes ones abilities and creativity completely. I usually work to silence and the sounds living around me. Other times, I throw on some headphones and listen to music. At the moment, I’m really digging stuff by architects and architectual drawings and, more specifically, the work of Frank Loyd Wright and Frank Gehry. I also love the creative of Gregory Euclide and Armsrock. As far as bands go, right now I am into Yeasayer, The Dodo’s, El-P, and Damian Marley’.