The illustrations of Manchester-based artist James Roper draw on many diverse sources, from Baroque Art to the flow of energy found in complex structure, for example human beings. Rendered in delicate black and white pencil and splashed with the odd brush of colour to maximise effect, they are fascinating pieces of contemporary art. The subject matter is a diversified mix of fashion models, saints and abstract shapes.
Photos © James Roper Via Behance
In Giulio Musardo’s photographs, humans take second place to the raw powers of nature. Using surreal or exaggerated camera angles, and showing situations of how small we are when compared to the immensity of Mother Nature. For example: starfish swarm across a rocky beach while a lighting bolt strikes right at the heart of man.
Artwork © Giulio Musardo
Lee Howell is an award-winning Edinburgh-based photographer. The images showcased here are from his “Beauté Aviaire” series, a collection of conceptual art prints which examine the connection between the aesthetically pleasing world of birds and the female form. It is a place where fashion meets feathers in an opulent set of striking images.
Artwork © Lee Howell
I wonder what took me so long to find Charles Reid’s watercolor paintings. His color combinations and fluid brushstrokes are superb, mesmerizing. I could easily lose hours of the day just looking at his art. It is really special, and it reminds me of why I started Scene 360 many years ago: to feature outstanding artists and their work. Charles Reid is not just any painter, he is a master of the watercolor medium, a teacher, and an author who shares technique secrets in books, DVDs, and online videos.
Artwork © Charles Reid Via Facebook
The work of contemporary photographer David Uzochukwu is one tinged with a mood of melancholy and dreaminess. Characters in his images look like they are grappling with some kind of internal trauma. This manifests itself in a number of versatile motifs: secrets spill out the mouth and transform into sand; stylishly dressed girls are pulled up by invisible strings. It is all very fascinating, both in terms of the ideas explored and the visual metaphors.
Artwork © David Uzochukwu Via Flickr
We are looking for someone to help us manage our social network pages on Google+, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. This will include responding to questions and comments on our pages, re-tweeting, tracking arts-related readers, and more.
- You must be fluent in English.
- You should have a good understanding of art and design.
- You must have a personal Facebook and Google ID account.
- You should have some experience using social network sites.
This is an on-going assignment. It will include working 2-4 hours per week—specifically updating our social networks in sessions of 20 or 30 minutes per day (weekdays).
This is a paying position: $10 per hour. You will be part of the Illusion team, your biography and website will be linked on the About page.
How to apply?
Please send an email to [apply(AT)scene360(DOT)com] with:
- Your CV
- Your website URL(s), and your Facebook and Instagram URLs.
Paul Schroeder is known as Monocat the vicious doodler and cartoonist who has worked on projects like “Minimalist British Humour” (which gives variety to the word butt), and “Eat Eggs to Maintain Your Health” a collaboration with writer Luke Walsh.
Artwork © Monocat Via Doodlers Anonynmous
Born in Udine, Italy, Federico Bebber has been making exciting digital and photographic projects since 1998. The tones are colourless with little stop off in between and the ideas behind his art are like rivers running deep: metamorphosis, surrealism and dreams make themselves known frequently.
Artwork © Federico Bebber
I don’t know a single soul who hasn’t been moved to tears by a film, or ever seen one that failed to put a smile on their face. When you have a memorable time at the movies, you tend to remember it for a long time. The ability for cinema to put a person in a good mood should never be under appreciated. It feels special. The world can even feel like a sunnier place, for a short time.
Whether it is a comedy, documentary or musical, a movie that leaves you feeling uplifted and positive is something to treasure forever.
Top: Asa Butterfield and Chloe Moritez enjoy the secret pleasure of cinema in “Hugo.”
Wes Anderson’s retro love story is charm personified.
Wes Anderson is king of the kooky castle. He’s a filmmaker respected by his followers on an almost God-like level. I’m not even joking. In some people’s eyes, he can do no wrong. However, I’ve actually struggled for years with his quirky sensibility, but “Moonrise Kingdom,” a sweet and very endearing tale of first love, won me over. What changed, me or him?
Spielberg’s war epic features a horse as its lead character.
Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s novel captured the hell of the First World War and the goodness of people, even in the most terrible of circumstances. “War Horse” is a story of the utmost courage and a tribute to beasts of burden, who helped in the military effort.
Woody Allen’s sci-fi comedy became the biggest success of his career.
Midnight in Paris
This film is my literary daydream brought to celluloid life. Owen Wilson’s troubled screenwriter, on vacation in Paris, travels back in time to the 1920s and hangs out with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and all the other modernist artists of the time. Who wouldn’t love to party with those guys?
Tim Burton’s best work in years was a remake of his own 1980s short film.
“Frankenweenie” represented everything I love about Tim Burton’s work. It paid homage to James Whale’s 1931 adaptation of “Frankenstein” and Creature Features of the 1950s, as well as exploring the heartache of losing a beloved family pet. The stop-motion animation and black-and-white cinematography is extraordinary, too. Welcome to a world of dogs and monsters!
Hugo is Martin Scorsese’s love letter to the birth of cinema.
Martin Scorsese has made very dark and brutal movies over the years. It was something of a surprise, then, that he decided to adapt Brian Selznick’s “The Invention of Hugo Cabret” and jump on the 3D bandwagon. The film allowed America’s greatest living director to pay tribute to the medium he loves dearly, and one of its earliest pioneers: Georges Méliès.
Not the greatest film or musical ever made, but it’s guaranteed to make you smile.
Have I lost my mind?! “Mamma Mia”? Really? Sure, the film is hardly what you’d call a masterwork of cinematic invention, but it is jam-packed with ABBA tunes (yay!) and the cast is clearly having a whale of a time singing and dancing on a photogenic Greek island. Who wouldn’t?
A modern masterpiece of French cinema with an amazing cast.
A Christmas Tale
As expressed in “To Kill a Mockingbird” (1960): “you can choose your friends but you sho’ can’t choose your family.” Headlined by Catherine Deneuve (the grand dame of French cinema), Arnaud Desplechin’s dazzling epic drama is focused on a middle class family and their complex relationships with each other. It is gorgeously presented and perfectly acted. The film tests the theory that blood is thicker than water.
The life and times of a true Hollywood rebel.
Corman’s World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel
Hollywood owes a huge debt to Roger Corman. “Corman’s World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel” is a celebration of the first guerrilla filmmaker. The movie is poignant and in one memorable scene: Jack Nicholson bursts into tears recalling the time he was starting out and Corman was the only guy in town that would hire him. Roger, if anything, had an eye for talent.
Greta Gerwig and Whit Stillman is a match made in heaven.
Damsels in Distress
It’s one of my lifetime ambitions to dance the Sambola with Greta Gerwig. A man must have his dreams, right? Whit Stillman hadn’t directed a film since 1998’s “The Last Days of Disco,” but his return in 2012 heralded a comic gem, and brought a whole new meaning to the term “deadpan comedy.”
Jack Black fronts Richard Linklater’s cult classic. The film rawks!
School of Rock
I find Jack Black annoying as hell, but in Richard Linklater’s “School of Rock,” the actor’s loudmouth routine worked ever so well. I think it helped, too, that Mike White wrote the screenplay. Joyful, hilarious and totally rawkin’, Linklater’s ode to sticking it to The Man saw the indie legend from Austin, Texas have a genuine mainstream hit on his hands.
All images © respective film studios
The images on this page are by the Italian photographer Flora Borsi, and they are from her “IRÉEL” series. She mixes photographic and painting techniques to achieve a hyperrealist finish, which nods to both mediums beautifully. The colour and toning effects used here are masterful. All in all, this set of portraits pleases the mind as much as the eye.
All images © Flora Borsi
Alessandro Pautasso is a graphic designer and illustrator who does a great line in vector art. One only has to look at his colourful images to get to appreciate the level of detail that goes into one of his creations. He depicts famous faces like Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe with a fresh insight. There is so much colour and originality here.
Artwork © Alessandro Pautasso
She is known online as “The Calling of Drawing—L.A. Dessin” (that’s a serious title), but her real name is Lorine Angelmann from France. She is dedicated to making beautiful portraits of family pets and exotic animals using mechanical pencils for some, and for others, she does a complete 180 using bright-colored brush pens.
All images © Lorine Angelmann, The Call of Drawing—L.A. Dessin Via Drawing Pencil
Warning: This post contains images with nudity. Viewer discretion is advised.
Alberto Seveso is an Italian artist working in Bristol (UK), who is being represented by Bernstein & Andriulli in the United States and Central Illustration Agency in Europe. Let’s just say he is known. Well, he’s actually one of the top digital artists out there. His distinct creative style has mesmerized so many people worldwide, that it has even been imitated quite a bit; but Seveso is the King of Photoshop when it comes to fluid paint swirl and sperm-shape layered portraits.
When used ineffectively, mirrors and illusions in any kind of art can seem like cheap tricks. But when used appropriately, it can feel like a dream.
The artists selected here are all exciting image-makers at the top of their fields who understand the power that illusions and mirrors can lend their craft. It is a diverse group including conceptualists, graphic designers and photographers who have been specifically chosen for their unique and eye-grabbing talents.
Top: Alejandro Maestre Gasteazi and his muddy photographic illusions.
“Mirror Fence” by the American artist Alyson Shotz.
Contemporary artist Alyson Shotz, based in Brooklyn, makes excellent use of space and light in her art. One can see this clearly in the large-scale works she stages inside gallery walls. But it is her outdoor piece “Mirror Fence” that really catches the eye. It is deceptively simple, and the philosophical ideas lurking beneath the surface invigorate the senses.
Visitors having a blast on Leandro Erlich’s mirror installation in Dalston, London.
Leandro Erlich has been called a master of illusion, and when looking at his back catalogue it is a hard statement not to agree with. His recent project “Dalston House” is typical of his witty and urban style. It involves a giant mirror placed at a specific angle, so as to reflect visitors either falling or scaling the walls of the building. Magical stuff.
Man emerges from the mud in these gorgeous illusions.
Alejandro Maestre Gasteazi
Photographer and educator Alejandro Maestre Gasteazi has made a visually arresting set of images, ones in which a male model materialises from a sea of mud. The process of creating these photographic illusions involved physical aspects like blue paint and mud, and then computer elements in the form of manipulations in Photoshop.
Noma Bar knows how to use negative space in his work.
The Israeli graphic designer Noma Bar has become a household name, with his distinct illustrations appearing everywhere from The New York Times to Apple. He is known for his use of negative space which he engages to create Art Deco-esque portraits of celebrities. They are subtle illusions but utterly engaging with bright colour schemes and beautiful line work.
It is amazing what a little paint can do.
Body painter Johannes Stoetter is a deft hand when it comes to transforming the human body into an array of exotic animals. He manages with great skill to blend his illusions seamlessly into constructed environments, so as to make them even more believable. He has made parrots, tree frogs and pythons, all breathtaking.
Magical mirror effects by artist Daniel Rozin.
Here is another visual artist who employs the use of mirrors to breathtaking effect in his art. Daniel Rozin’s whole ideology is in fact built around delving into mirror effects in order to create spellbinding illusionary art. His “Rust Mirror” series generates an image of the viewer in dirty copper shades by tilting the tiles up and down, the more they interact with it, the more they will get from it. Very clever indeed.
All images © respective artists and photographers.
Clearly inspired by modern art, Robert Nero’s tattoos have a touch of abstraction mixed with representational elements of nature. His bird illustrations seem like they flew into Kandinsky’s art world, especially the Bauhaus period.
All images © Nero Tattoos Via Skin Deep Tales
Malaysian artist Chong-Yi is quite something with a pencil, as you can plainly see here with his exquisitely meticulous artworks. Sources of inspiration for this talented young guy include contemporary cinema, such as characters from”Les Miserables.” He has also stated that he attained a lot of his drawing technique from studying the Internet.
All images © Chong-Yi
Normally, if we’re in one of those masochistic moods where we want to feel the cold fingers of terror, we naturally turn to cinema or literature. Settling down to watch “The Shining” for the seventeenth time, or jumping into some Lovecraft can usually scratch that particular (and peculiar) itch. Rarely do we turn to visual art—but perhaps we should.
From paintings to ornaments to installations, these 10 selected artworks are guaranteed to cause their fair share of grimaces and goose-bumps, either through their forms or grisly implications.
Top: Pretty in red—innocence and experience in Helnwein’s composition. Image © Gottfried Helnwein.
Faceless and twisted: modern beauty standards meet their match in Thein’s project.
Ivonne Thein’s cutting exhibit “32 Kilos” takes aim at Thinspiration culture, size 0 models, and damaging standards of beauty in Western media. The photo shown above is just one of fourteen, with each portraying emaciated and anorexic models posing as if for a fashion shoot. In some cases, the models are wrapped in medical bandaging to represent the severity of the condition and to highlight that anorexia is not simply being skinny, but is a full-blown disorder. Perhaps even more disturbing than the exhibit itself is, that several pro-anorexia communities have declared Thein’s images inspirational.
Gregory Barsamian’s every-men roll towards capture. View in animated form.
“Die Falle” translates from German to “The Trap,” and depicts the journey of man during a state of dreamtime. The unnerving illusory movement is achieved through 19th century zoetrope technology: images, rotations, and light are utilised to create the illusion of animation. Our minds fill in the gaps to create a continuous movement, resulting in the stuttering progression of the contorted figures as they morph towards the mousetraps waiting at the top. Gregory Barsamian’s “Die Falle” presents us with unsettling questions about the conflicts between the logical, the sensory, and the imagined.
The organic expressed as the artificial in Mueck’s sculpture.
It isn’t the subject of “A Girl” that is so unsettling, but rather the form itself: the sculpture is far larger than any baby has the right to be. On top of this, and arguably more affecting, is the fact that Ron Mueck has exaggerated and accentuated the child’s features to the point of caricature. Deep carved creases in the baby’s face and the glistening film that seems to coat the flesh make this most natural and innocent creature seem alien and grotesque; these subtle accentuations are enough to elicit repulsion, but not enough to mask the baby. The consequent conflict of reactions in viewers is an additional disturbing nuance.
Biomechanical nightmare-landscape abound in the late H.R Giger’s painting.
No list of disturbing artistic creations would be complete without a nod to the late king of the uncomfortable, H.R. Giger. “The Hermit” (Der Ermit) is part of a series of tarot cards all featuring Giger’s work, and is typical of the artist in merging the biological with the mechanical. In this case, a biomechanical creature lurks alone, nestled in a fleshy mass of phallic shapes. This can be interpreted in a number of ways: is it an allegory for sexual pressure? Isolation in a mechanised world? Perhaps, it’s best not to know.
A second skin—Recht’s ring isn’t your average gold band.
Forget Me Knot
Arguably the most stomach-turning and twisted entry on this list, Sruli Recht’s “Forget Me Knot” is a ring made from a slice of skin from the artist’s own belly. The skin was surgically removed, salted and tanned, and attached to a 24 carat gold band that was then put on sale for 350,000 euros. Surprisingly, this piece was actually the result of fashion design, though it’s hard to picture it adorning a model’s finger; but it was so grim that it had to be included. Besides, whether intended or not, the piece certainly makes some points about the cost of excess.
Myra Hindley’s gaze loses none of its terrible power in Harvey’s painting.
This notorious painting by Marcus Harvey caused a wave of controversy when it was exhibited in 1997, and it’s easy to see why. The face of infamous Moors murderer Myra Hindley stares out at the viewer, created using thousands of children’s handprints. The painting attracted massive attention in the UK, and one critic described it as juxtaposing the youthfulness of an “innocent child” with the “depraved world of adults.” This rendition of the iconic mugshot creates a mosaic that comments both upon the void between innocence and experience, and the perverse creed of media obsession.
Helnwein’s hyperrealistic little girl seems straight out of a horror film.
The Disasters of War 3
Gottfried Helnwein’s “The Disasters of War 3” is part of a larger series depicting young girls embroiled in conflict. Some art pieces feature anime girls mixed hyperrealistic children, whereas some feature more explicit symbols of war, such as toy soldiers or machine guns. This painting opts for a simpler, more striking approach; the horribly wounded and blood-spattered girl stands uncomfortably alongside a doll laid on a bed next to her. The background is a cold grey. Like Harvey’s “Myra,” we see childhood’s innocence measured up to adult atrocities.
Desperate, tender, doomed—Beksinski’s couple are heartbreaking.
In one of the most directly affecting pieces on this list, Zdizslaw Beksinski presents the charred and skeletal forms of a couple clinging to one another in the aftermath of some disaster. The red and orange palette suggests some form of fiery destruction, whether nuclear or solar, and the vague backdrop suggests a sandstorm whipping at their remains. The desperation in these individuals is prevalent even in death, and the brilliant combination of raw human emotion and death at its most grotesque, makes for one disturbing image.
Surgeons, reptiles, and babies are just some of the tools Ishida uses to make his point.
Tetsuya Ishida is my personal favourite artist from this list. His bleak and surreal images of Japanese workers suffering abstract transformations are as bizarre as they are disturbing. In “Descendant” we see a child born of a prehistoric dinosaur, while nearby surgeons operate on some kind of car/alligator hybrid. The implication seems to be that while the descendants of the dinosaurs are alligators and other reptiles, the descendants of the human baby are purely mechanical. Ishida’s art almost exclusively expresses his disillusionment in the mechanistic and commercial Japanese culture, within which people are defined solely by their professions.
If Dr. Frankenstein made camels, they would look like Lemsalu’s.
When the Big Trees Were Kings
Part installation, part water feature, Kris Lamsalu’s “When the Big Trees Were Kings” is a complex and strange creation that only gains points when it’s fully operational. The tongue-humps that are lodged into the camel’s back are actually fountains, and when activated water flows from the top and trickles off the tongues in a horrible imitation of saliva. This, combined with the scrawny head, stick-legs, and constricted neck, suggest a sharp criticism of animal treatment, or more specifically, of defining animals by their uses alone.
All artwork © respective artists
Canadian visual artist and tattooer Kit King (killer name by the way) does a great line in finely detailed and beautifully rendered black and white drawings. The imagery she creates is rooted in darkness, with symbols of death like skulls reappearing frequently, and the level of realism she achieves is stunning.
Artwork © Kit King
Warning: This post contains content with sexual references. Viewer discretion is advised.
A sexual tone is present in Aenaluck’s vast collection of drawings and paintings. Many of her characters are inspired by the open world fantasy video game, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. There are Barbarian-style warriors posing their perfectly toned bodies, while others seem curious to have romantic relationships with brothers-in-arms. Her art is indeed her own storytelling of these characters; and it does remind me a bit of a movie I watched: “Gohatto” (1999)—a plot about homosexuality among samurais.
Artwork © Aenaluck Via Drawing Pencil
Flipping through the portfolio of photographer Rebeca Sarey, it is like going back in time and witnessing all the strongest women throughout history. In this world, we have the mythical Valkyries rising against stormy seas and golden warriors emerging from the tops of dragons. Throw in mermaids and fairies, and you have a perfect recipe for dramatic and legendary shots.
Artwork © Rebeca Sarey Via 500px