Still Waters Run Deep

Today I would like to derive your attention to an exceptional artist: Gregory Crewdson. Although he would firmly be considered a photographer, I call him artist intentionally. He images are all thoroughly staged and composed by the photographer himself in a Hollywood-like style; Crewdson sometimes blocks streets or areas for several days in order to be able to shoot. Truly created like this, his photographs still have nothing in them, that would be considered supernatural or abnormal. On the contrary: they seem like normal, everyday scenes that could be just across the street. What makes them so magical, so breathtaking, so ‘heartbeatstopping’ is their aura of peril, of horror. They seem like scenes from an Alfred Hitchcock movie, those, which describe the climax of attention: the calm before the storm.

What is also so very special about Crewdson’s work, is that they show one moment, a scene, that needs to have a history and a future. Each frame leaves the onlooker wondering, what happened and is a world in itself. Here, the saying: “One picture says more than a thousand words” can truly be applied. This is also, what is so wonderful about them: More than any other works of art, Crewdson’s photographs encourage people to spin stories around them, very individual stories that might tell more about the person itself, than about the picture.

All images also show the deepest fear of humans: absolute loneliness and isolation; the subjects strangely are in the center of the picture but alienated from the scene itself.

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Fotografie/ Gregory Crewdson

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Fotografie/ Gregory Crewdson

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all rights reserved to gregory crewdson

African Art

I am very excited to be able to introduce you to the very talented, young Senegalese artists Momar Seck who now finally decided to expand his scope into Europe and the United States. He studied at the Dakar Graduate School of Visual Arts as well as in Switzerland at the University of Strasbourg to explore the studies of fine art in addition to purely plastic art.

Working in Dakar, Momar Seck clearly reflects the impression of his surrounding in his work. His pictures are characterized by the bright colors typical for African art and the idea many have of Africa in general. Upon closer inspection, one realizes, that the materials the artist uses are all recycled. In his personal statement, Momar Seck explains that he wants to show the interculturality of our modern, globalized world, where every good undergoes a cycle and in the end ends up, where it started.

The first painting below exemplifies this perfectly. The painting is dominated by the warm yellow and red-brown tones of the background as well as the warm orange of the greatest object in the center of the painting which creates a harmonic and snug atmosphere. The small individual rectangles which are arranged in three long vertical stripes show batik patterns in bright pink, blue and yellow and other fabric with very special, diverse structures or patterns. Being so different and extraordinary the singularity of these elements paradoxically is also their binding element, their lowest common denominator. Because of this characteristic, every rectangle seems like a window to a foreign world, a world that is so azure blue, so free, so Jamaican-chill, that it seems so far away from our western European lives that it gets a paradisiacal character.

The largest rectangle is in the center of the picture with a dark red line closely bisecting it, which makes the whole image appear symmetrical, although it clearly is not. This work shows the spirit of Africa, of Senegal with all its different facets and colors that cannot be felt this way in our world, which is what makes the painting so thrilling and fascinating for me.

The background of the upper third of the picture is kept in black, covered here and there by orange and yellow streams of paint that lead to the middle part of the painting, which includes this dark color into the picture, as it would otherwise stand apart and in contrast to the bright orange and yellow shades that dominate the rest of the painting. Still, in its darkness it suggests peril and doom, posed by the Western culture? It seems as if the orange streams fight against the dark, which adds another tension to the picture.

The background colors constitute the Belgium flag. Momar Seck thereby takes up his intention to show interculturality of our world, linking Belgium as a European and EU country with the Jamaican flag in a piece of art that is in its composition African.

This image is only one example of the wonderful work of Momar Seck and surely his other pictures all say equally much about our world, which is why I strongly encourage you to have a close look on them!

 

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Quirky

Amazing. Surreal. Seemingly ordinary. The very special pictures of Djuno Tomsni are hard to describe, but I believe these three points describe them quite adequately. The artist chose ordinary scenes and common compositions, such as a boat in the center of the picture  floating on a river towards the horizon. To differ from these rather dull and known photographs he created a mashup with pictures of extraterrestrial objects, galaxies, planets or stars. The result is truly amazing. At the first sight the onlooker recognizes the ordinary scene before its details and is tempted to characterize or box it in that category. The mashup is perfect, which makes it so intense: although the scene is clearly not taken from reality, the inserted photography is adapted to all elements of the original picture and therefore it is not a disturbing factor. The effect these works have is hard to put into words, so please have a look yourself.

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Enfants de la Rue

The artist I would like to present today is Aboudia Abdoulaye Diarrassouba, who I discovered during my visit at Saatchi Gallery in London. His series “Enfants de la rue” was especially fascinating to me. Aboudia captures images from the streets of his hometown Abidjan and sees himself only as a reporter. However, his work goes far beyond an observatory function. Aboudia enhances and exaggerates certain characteristics of the persons and objects he portrays to reveal absurdities of our modern world. In “Enfants the la rue 1″ the, wide, bright smiles of the children shows the preposterous nature of people (only in extreme cases children) following directions of a superior ‘ruler’, a person that is human just like everybody else, to fight and kill for the sake of the country– fight humans, just because they were born in a country this ‘ruler’ considers to be generally evil, the enemy. During wars, citizen kill, become murderers, and are celebrated and honored for that. The white-colored weapons (where white traditionally stands for peace, innocence and life) in this context seem highly ironical and provocative.

The technique of painting in a sarcastic manner creates the tension of these works and forces their onlooker to deduct the artists’ message themselves; at the same time there is relatively little room for misinterpretation. The message Aboudia conveys is extremely profound and an essential problem of human nature, however, his pictures are not at all grave and onerous, which is why I could not stop looking at them.

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Momentaufnahmen [snapshots]

One picture says more than one thousand words.

Today I would like to draw your attention to Frederik Buyckx‘ art. Buyckx is a Belgium artist with an increasingly growing popularity. I discovered his series “Jesus, Make-Up and Football” in Antwerp one year ago. Buyckx travelled to Brasil to capture the country in its purest form, in contrast to the blurred image the media presents. The pictures show people living in Rio de Janeiro’s ‘no-go-areas’, however staged as if shot for a high-end fashion label. He manages to capture the air of the country and the life spirit as he brings fleeting everyday situations in the spotlight, the center of attention. The subject’s honesty give the pictures a certain charm; they convey brazilian lives with neither posed grievance nor false joy. It is hard to put the picture’s complexity each of which are rather individual stories- into words, which in my opinion is one of the most important attribute for truly good art. Art should not be pretty, it should be affecting.

Enjoy.

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Please also take a look at Frederik Buyckx’ other work!

CREDITS TO FREDERIK BUYCKX

Psychokinesis

The power of belief is the greatest power we possess. I believe everything supernatural that goes beyond pure science give certain things so much more value and I envy all who lived before the disenchantment of the world. Brendon Bruton’s photographs master to capture this ‘special something’ that is in all of us through the visualization of light. I chose theses specific pictures not only because they show the human being in another perspective but above that because they are so extremely intense. They give you a sense of belief. No matter if it seems disconcerting to you, it makes you sense its power. In my opinion it is this intensity that sets these pictures apart from any other works of art.

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CREDITS TO BRENDON BRUTON

B/W Tensions

Dear Readers!

The series I would like to present to you today is the work of marvelous Stefani Pappas: Branko! He took photographs of the New York male model Branko and by that especially played with light and shadow effects in the individual works. In addition to that some of the photographs are rather blurry which creates an effect of movement and motion and make the pictures lively. In my view the contrast between the clear edges of black and white and vagueness gives the pictures its energy and tension, however discretely and without intimidating the original object of the picture which makes it so mysterious and eye-catching!

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CREDITS: Photography STEFANI PAPPAS
Styling KATHARINE ERWIN
Model BRANKO at Fusion Model Management NYC