Bill Viola

my e-workbook

The visual/audio installations of Bill Viola communicate the theme of the universal human experience and subjectivity. Viola’s intention is to provoke viewers to contemplate collective and individual conscious thoughts and perceptions of the universal human experience. He explores topics of birth, death and self knowledge with deep influences from Eastern and Western spiritual traditions.

What intrigues me about his work is the vulnerability that he has his models revealing to the viewer.   Not only are they often naked, but also displaying gestures of shock, pain, sorrow and introspection. I am compelled to empathise with the people featured in the works, and as I do so, great compassion and humility is provoked within me.

Reference:

Viola, B. (n.d). Bill Viola. Retrieved from http://www.billviola.com/

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Richard Tuschman

Photomontage artist, Richard Tuschman works with digital and traditional methods of creating imagery, including making overlays from his own paintings and photographs – of which I have begun to do myself. I am intrigued by the way he combines organic elements with distressed and corroded surfaces, juxtaposing the qualities of beauty with decay.

The way that Tuschman also illuminates his scenes with an ethereal light, is a quality that I also want to bring to my imagery, lending to a soft, intimate and dream like aesthetic.

Reference:

Cyr, L. (2009). Art Revolution: alternative approaches for fine artists and illustrators. Ohio, USA: North Light Books

Linda Plaisted

The works of award winning photographic mixed media artist, Linda Plaisted have captured my attention in “Photocraft: creative mixed media and digital approaches to transforming your photographs.” by Susan Tuttle and Christi Hydeck.

My recent ideas of layering images in an etheric and dream-story way has already been successfully achieved by Plaisted in America. Plaisted’s award winning work is on a similar track to what I had thought to be a unique idea for me to pursue in the next stage of my and photographic art, however, I will not let this realisation stop me from exploring this idea.

I need to trust that I am still a unique artist and at the end of the day, no one does anything the same as another. So, off I go to explore layering nature images and self-portraiture together. My only intention is to combine these elements that I have a deep sense of reverence for. I have no end ideal result in mind, just thoughts of layers of transparency, blending modes at play, intimate, ethereal and contemplative images with a digital encaustic aesthetic.

Whats interesting is that Plaisted also works with encaustics, as seen below:

References:

Hydeck, C & Tuttle, S. (2012). Photocraft: creative mixed media and digital approaches to transforming your photographs. Ohio, USA: North Light Books.

Plaisted, L. (2013). Linda Plaisted Fine Art Photography and Mixed Media. Retrieved from http://lindaplaisted.com/

 

Kathy Klein

Kathy Klein is the intuitive creator of these mandalas (sanskrit meaning – ‘sacred circle’) made from natures bounty. This avid collector of wild treasures tunes into the creative process in a ritualistic way – ensuring that her experience is both meditative and meaningful for herself and the people who adorn walls with her limited edition prints, or for those fortunate people who serendipitously come across them on their travels amongst the landscape. I am truly inspired by her desire to create in a ‘connected to cosmos’ way allowing the treasures to take their own colourful forms and energy, seemingly without a pre-meditated (excuse the pun) outcome. Her works are obviously linked to higher intentions and I am comforted to witness the actions of a kindred artist taking a profound step into claiming such. Klein has provoked me to really stand in my power as an artist who honors our co-creator in all that becomes manifest.

Kathy Klein is a devout lover of plants, animals, people and the divine presence within all.  She creates the danmalas by first centering herself in a meditative devotional space.  Next she gathers flowers and natural objects while her mind is kept in mantra, resting in the immaterial. Then, through an act of grace and giving to all, she allows the materials to fall to the will of creation patterns.

 

Reference:

Retrieved on 26th November 2013, from https://www.danmala.com

Chris Jordon’s film

In addition to my previous post ‘Speaking of Sustainability’ In his short film A message from Gyre, Chris Jordon tells a visual story that is profoundly disturbing and heartbreaking. To acknowledge the truth of humankind’s neglect of our planet is difficult to stomach. I refuse to turn a blind eye and allow the creatures of our Earth to suffer from our inability to clean up after ourselves.

Chris Jordon

Environmentalist and social issue activist Chris Jordon speaks to his global audience through the eye of the lens.  His artful photographic works in Running the Numbers: An American Self-Portrait portray the extent of very real issues by including not just figures of the statistics, but pictures of the statistics themselves.  These photographs easily captured my attention, for the tales that they tell and the artistic concepts that astound me.

References:

Jordon, C. (2009). Running the Numbers: An American Self-Portrait. Washington, USA. Washington State University.

An Artful Life – Oleg Dou

In my attempts to become familiar with the basics in Adobe Photoshop Elements within the online tutorials, I stumbled upon the acclaimed Russian Photographer Oleg Dou – the artist whose work in 2012 graced the cover version of Photoshop CS6.  My attention was captured during the entire you tube clip where he described his journey to becoming the international artist that he is now, only seven years since his photographic work was first discovered.  It was only a year before that when he purchased his first professional camera.CS6 Version Cover

Born in 1983, as the son of a painter and dress designer, he was always surrounded by the artist culture, but never particularly enjoyed being immersed in it at the time.  He remembers unhappy childhood memories where he was made to wear costumes against his wishes, which ended up being a primary motivating focus for his works as his own creative cravings began later in his life.

“I felt an urge for arts and creation some time ago, when I was working as a web designer, which pushed me to study seriously the design. Thats how I “bumped into” photography, and I had an idea to combine it with design.”

When you pay a visit to Oleg Dou online you will see that he has produced a series of self-portraits (like this one) of him as a child in the 80’s with his face digitally manipulated to suggest the enforced costume era that he remembers so vividly.

His work is unique to anything I have ever seen before, and the disturbing but also beautiful personas he has created intrigue me. I am particularly fond of the ‘Cub’ and ‘Toy Story’ series as above, as they feature children in animal and ‘dress up’ objects, reminding me of my own childhood dress up sessions of which I enjoyed immensely.  Many of his works have been inspired by an interest in medieval portraits of women with pale skin and no emotion displayed on their faces.  Other works are inspired by a curious tradition practiced in XIX century where dead children were painted and immortalized in a picture for the family. Using Adobe Photoshop Elements Oleg creates a representational twist of this tradition in a contemporary context.

“I use artificial nature of a digital photography as a tool to reach the point between opposites such as alive and dead, attractive and disturbing, beautiful and ugly.”

When viewing the Adobe Photoshop spotlight feature of Oleg, I was mesmerized at the painstakingly long and precise lengths he goes to, in order to create his vision in mind; a vision that initially struck him by a purely fortunate accident.

‘According to legend, one day when he began to retouch a photo of one of his girlfriend, the much overdone. However, this whitewashed, and Peeled portrait as a result of Oleg so impressed that he decided to continue to create something similar.’

Now much of Oleg’s art takes place hours before the photograph is even taken to produce the smooth and semi-fantastic end result. Using costume and other media to create the foundations of the image, before even seeing the digital form of it, to then go on to manipulate and continue the piece is this way. I appreciate and admire his meticulous nature that drives him to bring such work into manifestation.

Like the work of a sculptor he first manually imposes on the facial textures, sometimes as if like Paper-Mache and creates the desired costume. Then utilising digital tools to fine-tune his images to flawless perfection, the results become striking a bit eerie fraught with deep and disturbing emotion. His models become a mirror for his own reflecting emotions, so to some extent one could say that his works are a form of self-portrait. From children with bloodshot eyes from tears, ascetic monks, cub’s beasts with human faces and storybook characters, every set of eyes seemingly pierces right through the viewer. Alluring don’t you think?

See for yourself here in the clip that inspired me.

Information on Oleg Dou is extremely scarce, however any of these links I have referenced will give you more insight into one of the most prominent artists of his generation.

Art Investment RU. (2012). Artist of the Week: Oleg Dou. Retrieved from

http://artinvestment.ru/en/invest/ideas/20120810_oleg_duryagin_dou.html

Duncan Miller Gallery. (n.d). Artists: Oleg Dou. Retrieved on April 10, 2013 from http://www.duncanmillergallery.com/artists/Oleg%20Dou.html

Explorations Project. (2011). Who is Oleg Dou? Retrieved from http://explorationsproject.wordpress.com/2011/03/16/who-is-oleg-dou/

The Ground. (2012). Oleg Dou – Beautiful and Repulsive Portraits. Retrieved from http://www.thegroundmag.com/oleg-dou-beautiful-and-repulsive-portraits/

Robert Fontaine Gallery. (2013). Artists: Oleg Dou. Retrieved from http://www.robertfontainegallery.com/artists/Oleg_Dou/bio.html

Russian Tea Room Gallery. (n.d). Artists: Oleg Dou. Retrieved on April 10, 2013 from http://www.rtrgallery.com/html.php?lang=en&id=21

Oleg Dou. (2013). Oleg Dou. Retrieved from http://olegdou.com

You Tube. (2013). Adobe & Oleg Dou. Retrieved on April 10, 2013 from

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ooPrqJ5in4