Friday, February 21, 2014

►Menno Aden - Room Portraits

►German photographer Menno Aden shot a series of pictures of Berlin interiors looking down from the ceiling – a series he calls "Room Portraits". To create the 'portraits', Aden fastens a camera with a wide-angle lens to the ceiling of a room and takes pictures straight down. Sometimes he uses a monopod or tripod, other times a boom. The camera is often controlled remotely. He takes about 150 pictures from the elevated position before he begins his post-production processing and editing.

"Watching from a higher position on a small space is interesting because I can see someone's 'compressed personality'," said Aden to Slate in an interview. With the third dimension removed, the objects in a room seemed as if they are placed on an architect's floor plan.

Menno Aden started photographing rooms of friends in Berlin, to make portraits of them without actually seeing them. "Many of them had - or still have - an unpretentious life, which is quite typical in Berlin since rents have been quite low", said Aden. Shooting from above, however, can make even the most chaotic room look neat and organized.
"This happens because all the things on the floor such as the furniture flatten into two dimensions", explained the photographer. "I knew about it and I wanted this organized look over chaotic spaces because it makes the viewer feel elevated - sublime - but to be honest I didn't know that an untidy room would look so organized, too".
"When I find a good one [space] I walk through a room, stare at the floor, and note the furniture or the structure of a room. If a room interests me, I'm making plans where I'll put the camera and check the height and material of the ceiling".
Aden doesn't limit himself to private spaces. He has take images of stores, elevators, basements and also parking garages.

►Christophe Jacrot - Overwhelming Rain

Christophe Jacrot lives and works in Paris. He started his photographic career with Paris sous la pluie (Paris in the rain)€, for which a book was edited in October 2008. Following this success, he photographed Hong Kong under the rain and New York under the rain. Aside from being a photographer, Christophe Jacrot has also directed a movie Prison à Domicile released in 1999.

"In my opinion, there are two ways of capturing the world for a photographer; on the one hand grasping its horror, and on the other sublimating it," says French photographer Christophe Jacrot. "I have chosen the second. More specifically, I like the way rain, snow and "bad weather" awaken a feeling of romantic fiction within me (climatic excesses are another topic). I see these elements as a fabulous ground for photography, an under-used visual universe with a strong evocative power, and with a richness of subtle lights. This universe escapes most of us, since we are too occupied getting undercover. Man becomes a ghostly silhouette wandering and obeying the hazards of rain or of snow. My approach is deliberately pictorial and emotional."

Thursday, February 13, 2014

►Michael Aaron Williams - Portraits Painted with Coffee

►Artist Michael Aaron Williams has been working on a beautiful series of portraits painted with coffee on found sheets of used ledger paper that dates back to the 1920s and 30s.

►Shintaro Ohata - Sculpture and Canvas to 3D Paintings

When first viewing the artwork of Shintaro Ohata up close it appears the scenes are made from simple oil paints, but take a step back and you’re in for a surprise. Each piece is actually a hybrid of painted canvas and sculpture that blend almost flawlessly in color and texture to create a single image. The cinematic figures are sculpted from polystyrene while the backgrounds are made from traditional painting techniques. 
Via his artist statement:
Shintaro Ohata is an artist who depicts little things in everyday life like scenes of a movie and captures all sorts of light in his work with a unique touch: convenience stores at night, city roads on rainy day and fast-food shops at dawn etc. His paintings show us ordinary sceneries as dramas. He is also known for his characteristic style; placing sculptures in front of paintings, and shows them as one work, a combination of 2-D and 3-D world. He says that it all started from when he wondered "I could bring the atmosphere or dynamism of my paintings with a more different way if I place sculptures in front of paintings". Many viewers tend to assume that there is a light source set into his work itself because of the strong expression of lights in his sculpture.

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