It might be the coolest superpower ever, and with photo editing software now it’s possible: people can fly. Only visually unfortunately, not physically, but seeing the image of a person flying makes it seem like it’s that much closer to possible. Maybe someday soon it will be, inventions these days are reaching new levels of amazing – we’re basically able to reconstruct working human limbs now so jetpacks can’t be too far off. But then there would have to be flying legislation and we wouldn’t actually get to use the jetpacks legally till the year 3000.
[zl_mate_code name=”Pink Dynamic” label=”1″ count=”1″ who=”div” text=”More floating than flying, he glides eerily over the smooth top of the lake.
He’s in the exact center, and the sky’s clouds and colors are reflected in the lake below, the ripples transforming their shapes into a real kind of impressionism.”][/zl_mate_code]
[zl_mate_code name=”Orange Dynamic” label=”3″ count=”1″ who=”div” text=”Balloons lift a girl from her center, and she’s flying without realizing it; her head falls back and her body is limp in the middle of the sky.
The scene behind her is blurred and faded – not as real as the girl in the plaid skirt who looks like she’s just flown away from the party. “][/zl_mate_code]
3. Untitled by AgnieszkaSikorska
[zl_mate_code name=”Blue Dynamic” label=”2″ count=”1″ who=”div” text=”Flying is more like hovering here. A figure dressed all in black hangs a couple feet off the ground, her hair falling forward and tickling the leaves and the dirt.
She looks captive, hands held above her head and feet kicking back, speckled in dirt.”] [/zl_mate_code]
[zl_mate_code name=”Green Dynamic” label=”4″ count=”1″ who=”div” text=”Against a fiery red sky, the girl plays a dangerous game of musical chairs, arms outstretched for balance even though she’s not afraid of falling.
She’s almost halfway to the chair at the other end of the sky.”] [/zl_mate_code]
[zl_mate_code name=”Pink Dynamic” label=”1″ count=”1″ who=”div” text=”She doesn’t have wings but she still looks like a fairy, a girl flying over the sand in the sunlight with her back arched; the petals of her skirt dance in the wind.”][/zl_mate_code]
[zl_mate_code name=”Blue Dynamic” label=”2″ count=”1″ who=”div” text=”She sits in a wooden fold-up chair and both chair and girl fly a few feet above the ground, with tree branches stretching out like spiderwebs behind her.
She looks over the back of the chair and down, surprised at the magic she’s found in the woods.”][/zl_mate_code]
Photographs from recent years are given a splash of past – a figure or middle-ground cast in a hauntingly transparent black and white, an image that comes from a photograph of what stood in the exact same spot decades before. Usually this image from the past comes from a time of war, so that the dramatic differences between countries fighting and not fighting can be witnessed in their entirety.
Below sits a photograph of Berlin’s Strasse des siebzehnten Juni taken in 2004. A man casually talks on his phone in the foreground and a car speeds past on the left, but in the center of the image stand two men from 1989, and behind them running through the middle of the scene sits the Berlin Wall, turned gray and translucent by time. A man walks along the wall in the older photograph, his form framed by a crane building in the future.
On the Strasse des siebzehnten Juni, Berlin, 1989/2004
A peaceful scene in New Jersey is interrupted by the giant flaming Hindenburg blimp as it crashes to the ground, its second half already turned to collapsed rubble on the ground. This historical event that happened in 1937 is brought forward in time and crashes over the ground in 2004, as a man in a red coat walks his red dog in the foreground, completely unaware of the past happening behind him.
Lakehurst, New Jersey USA, 1937/2004
The series was created in collaboration with the advertising agency, Ground Zero, as part of a marketing campaign for the History Channel. The campaign also included tv ads in which black and white videos of the Berlin Wall falling are superimposed upon modern, ordinary scenes of people commuting.
The History Channel said the aim of the campaign is to “Motivate people to understand the history of where they live by watching the History Channel.” It’s easy to forget the people who came before us, and probably sat where we sit now and walked where we walk.
The terrace of the Palais de Chaillot, Paris, 1940/2004
Seth Taras is a self-taught American artist, born into a family of artists. He’s been named one of Luerzer’s Archive’s 200 Best Photographers Worldwide. “Know Where You Stand” won Taras a Cannes Lion, and the campaign has now been translated into 30 languages and published in 130 countries.
His website gives more information into how his photographs come to be, reading, “Nearly all pictures are direct prints from original film negatives with no digital alteration and taken largely hand-held.”
Girls balance on chairs in impossible ways, their limbs lifted and poised far above ground but they still don’t fall. They’re frozen in place by photo manipulation, caught in time between the leap and the fall, between sky and land. Their bodies defy gravity and anything else that might try to keep them grounded, their soft ivory skin against a dull brown textured background as they float like angels before us.
The girl below holds her hand to her mouth and looks out at us embarrassed, as if she’s just rung the bell she holds when she knew she wasn’t supposed to. Her peach dress wraps around her like a tube, letting her legs poke out like two long sticks that bend and extend and keep her in the air.
Most of the girls are left unclothed, their bodies long and skinny, stretched out like taffy across the chairs and space. That simple brown wooden chair and the gold bell are the only two props that make appearances, besides the occasional peach dress that both covers and reveals. The chair props up each girl in different ways as she seems to float above it, and the bell weighs her down with an invisible noise, its shiny gold surface against all the browns and ivories that surround it.
Bodrunova explains that many of her photographs “defy conventional physics and show her subjects as weightless objects with an ability to transcend space and time.”
“Sometimes we change the space around us to fit our ideas and sometimes space, place, or time dictates their rules. We can fight or we can embrace, the choice is ours.”
Katerina Bodrunova is a self taught 28-year-old Russian photographer whose works have been shown all over Moscow and London, along with every other big city in Europe since she first began her professional career in 2009. Since then she’s been featured in magazines from Seoul to Pittsburg, and you can also find her works on Saatchi Online.
A naked man stands before an empty gray background, shown only from the waist up, but parts of him are missing – whole sections of his arms and stomach and head are edited out. But instead of seeing bones and blood inside, there’s just a gaping clean-cut hole, and you can even see the same skin within him, as if we’re all just empty skin vessels filled with soul.
In the image below, the faceless man seems aware of his missing parts, looking down and reaching through the hole in his stomach with hands crisscrossed and fingers elegantly outstretched, feeling for something that isn’t there. His spine’s notches rise up at his shoulders, creeping to his neck.
A warm light shines luminescent against his skin, almost white in some places, blinding but not quite. In the image below, the man doesn’t seem to realize his head’s upper half is missing, which could have something to do with the fact that his eyes are gone too. Cut right at where his mouth opens, his lower lip remains above a cavity of empty head – a basin of smooth dented skin with arms stretching behind it, as if his head were still there to lean on.
Defragmentados means “defragmented” in Spanish, which according to Google:
This man’s emptiness, without any sort of interior flesh, somehow makes him seem less human, and more like a virtual recreation that’s intended to do away with all the messiness we real humans have inside us.
Yago Partal is a 29-year-old Spanish artist doing editorial work for the special effects company DDT Efectos Especiales, which actually sounds like the greatest job ever. DDT won an Oscar for their work in Pan’s Labyrinth, and Partal uses his photography and photo manipulation skills to perfect their special effect designs.
Partal’s website is filled with conceptual photography like this – his Zoo Portraits series features exotic animals in suits and ties and is almost too adorable.
For more conceptual photography from Yago Partal, check out his website.
Dave Engledow is recording his daughter’s childhood in a way more creative than most, but then again he is a professional photographer. He calls this series World’s Best Father, and manipulates pictures of him and his daughter doing dangerous things together – the kinds of things people call Child Protective Services about as soon as they’re out the front door.
Keep an eye out for his not-so-deserved World’s Best Father mug that makes an ironic appearance in every scene.
His tiny daughter Alice always has the most adorable expression on her face, while Engledow’s is purposely overdramatic and hilarious, wide-eyed in wonder or weeping like a sad clown might. He endearingly calls her by her full name, Alice Bee, on his Facebook page and writes, “I love photography, and (to paraphrase Garry Winograd) my main drive to shoot is fueled by my eternal curiosity to see what the world looks like in photographs. I am fascinated by light and shadow, form and shape, lines and composition.”
Alice always looks like she’s having a good time though, except in scenes where she’s forced to do chores or fulfill her father’s expectation to raise an Olympic swimmer. Her bright blonde hair is always styled to fit the part too – tied up in cute little buns and ponytails on top of her head, and extra wild when she’s on the loose.
The manipulation on the photos matches the detail put into comprising the scenes too, often with a shiny surreal sheen over them that somehow just makes the scene look more realistic. In one photo he’s scolding her through an iPad even though he’s right across the couch, but Alice doesn’t care because there’s no way she’s eating those peas.
Images from Joe’s Daily, and the artist’s Facebook page. Like his page to keep updated on Alice’s new adventures.
My best friend loves movies and all of the incredibly beautiful people in them. A couple of summers ago she set to collecting cutouts of her favorite actors and comedians from magazines, and after a while she collaged them onto this massive sheet of purple paper – hundreds of photoshop-perfected faces looking out at you with adorably quirky smiles and teeth whiter than humanly possible. They covered the entire wall, thousands of eyeballs making one-way eye contact. After a while it felt like I was best friends with Tina Fey and Aziz Ansari, but only one very specific, perfected version of them.
Everyone has made a collage at least once in their life, just like we all turn our hands into turkeys for Thanksgiving as a kid. So usually when I see art with “collage” listed as the medium, to me it just kinda seems like the artist was lazy and quit after the collecting ideas phase, because I find there’s always something lacking from art that didn’t come directly from the artist’s hand. If you’re just altering and combining things then how are you creating?
But while researching an article (that will be my first ever in PRINT! -so glad I made it before the industry died;) I found a number of collage or collage-type artists whose work is really powerful.
Even though they’re not sketching the images themselves, they’re collaging ideas, creating something new and unexpected. A lot of the times the works gain significance because some of the pieces come from older forms of media that we’re now all nostalgic over.
Julien Pacaud‘s work uses this kind of nostalgia to its advantage, creating surreal thought-provoking scenes that seem to exist in multiple dimensions. “Funny Games” casts giant children onto a vast grass landscape, gripping guns in one hand and toys in the other.
Pacaud is a French artist and illustrator who uses his work as a way to allow viewers “to transcend and transform their world as surreal qu’onirique (dream).”
Richard Vergez‘s work collages on a more conceptual level, the images often left without a background to prevent idea-interference. The backgrounds are not only blank, but a warm cream color, like that of older magazines that have yellowed gracefully.
“I make collages inspired by post-punk, Dada, and Surrealism,” said Vergez. “Loose Cannon” shows the figure of a man walking, but with thick blue cloud of smoke rising from his jacket collar instead of a neck and head and billowing out of the frame He walks across his white, empty landscape casually, a universal representation of the internal mini-freakouts when we miss a deadline or forget a payment. The kind we all hope no one notices.
Jordan Clark was selected as one of the four artists for SCOPE New York’s Breeder Program showcasing this May, a program now in its 13th year of introducing emerging artists and galleries to the contemporary market. His works are more simple; pixelated portraits of some of history’s most recognizable men and vast landscapes interrupted by a central out-of-place element. Inverting conventions the way Clark does wouldn’t be possible without collage.