Yui Ishibari is a japanese artist who works with paintings and sculptures, but her main focus is her sculptures. Ishibari creates disturbing and bizarre art pieces, portraying children taken by plants, in a grotesque fusion of body, leaves, branches and roots. Ishibari’s sculptures are made from a wide range of materials, from resin, steel wires, cloth, stone powder cray and wood. The final pieces are surreal figures, hopeless against the forces of nature, figures who accepted their cruel destiny, a metaphor for nature’s power over the man.
Russian artist Yaroslav Gerzhedovich mixes photography, digital post-production (photoshop) and paintwork to create his fantastic and dark art pieces. In this post, let’s focus on his paintings.
It doesn’t matter if they are photo-based or painting-based. Gerzhedovich’s illustrations are dark and gothic. They seem extracted from dark corners of the worst nightmares, where there is barely a thin light, where invisible eyes are constantly and secretly watching you, where gods or other ancient beigns play carelessly with the life of mortals, generally driving them crazy.
Appreciate ahe dark, gothic and surreal paintings by Yaroslav Gerzhedovich:
“It misses the point to ask me what scenes in my paintings ‘mean’. Simply, I do not know, myself. Moreover, I am not at all interested in knowing.”–Zdzislaw Beksinski
Zdzislaw Beksinski was born in Poland in the town of Sanok near the Carpathians Mountains in 1929. After a childhood was spent during the Second World War, Beksinski went on to university where he studied architecture in Cracow. Subsequent to this education he spent several years as a construction site supervisor, a job he hated, frought with pressures and countless boring details. He would soon throw himself into the arts. In 1958, Beksinski began to gain critical praise for his photography, and later went on to drawing. His highly detailed drawings are often quite large, and may remind some of the works of Ernst Fuchs in their intricate, and nearly obsessive rendering.
Beksinski eventually threw himself into painting with a passion, and worked constantly, always to the strains of classical music. He soon became the leading figure in contemporary Polish art.
Beksinski and his family moved to Warsaw in 1977. The artist had many exhibitions throughout his native Poland and Europe. He rarely attended any of them. Bekinski’s art hangs in the National Museums Warsaw, Sanok, Krakow, Poznan, and the Goteborgs Art Museum in Sweden. Much of his art is displayed in the Sanok Museum of art in his native city.
“I have quite simply been trying, from the very beginning, to paint beautiful paintings.”
Drawings from the 1960s
Beksinki’s remarkable drawings possess a strength in both mood and subject matter. Like his later paintings, they are intensely haunting and mysterious. The drawings, particularly, project a nightmarish quality reminiscent of the surrealist, Bohemian master, Alfred Kubin.
“I react strongly to images that have no obvious answer to their mysteries. If there is a key to their construction, they are simply illustration.”
Paintings from the 1970s
Beksinski began painting in oils on masonite around the year 1970. His ability to manipulate the effects of light quickly became a hallmark of his work, and can only be compared with the renown abilities of William Turner. Beksinski’s paintings aremasterfully rendered, monumental enigmans. One thing they share is an aesthetic of beauty so potent that it overpowers any desperate nature of the given subject matter, as is similarly the case with Swiss artist, H.R. Giger. The paintings as a whole are wonderfully dark, and allow the viewer to interperet them as they will, as they will certainly get no help from this particular artist. As Magritte said: “The purpose of art is mystery.”
“The blend of vivid colors in relation to other more subdued colors in my paintings is like a musical theme. As in a symphony, a motif occurs, is blurred, comes back in crescendo, is finally accentuated and becomes pure and complete.”
Paintings from the 1980s
“Meaning is meaningless to me. I do not care for symbolism and I paint what I paint without medatating on a story.”
Paintings and Computer Graphics from the 1990s: Beksniski’s paintings have grown less representational over the years and now seem almost abstract in nature. Color and texture and now the proncipal themes in themselves. Not so odd, as the artist began his career in the abstract realm. His recent computer art, however, continues the lineage of fantastic realism, and the artist never allows the technology to get in the way of that he is attempting to convey creatively.
Beksinski was murdered in February of 2005, during a robbery attempt at his flat in Warsaw. He will be remembered as a brilliant artist, and by those who knew him, as a docile man with a profound wit and keen sense of the human condition. I cherish the time we spent corresponding as friends, self-aware neurotics who could not wait to try and top the other. What a remarkeble piece of work he was. A bit of Woody Allen, a dash of Oscar Wilde for spice, and brushes of Francisco Goya and William Turner. – James Cowan
Takato Yamamoto: I drew illustrations for commercial advertising, mainly in the 1980s after graduating from art university. In the 1990s, I had the yearning for UKIYOE to the cut-in illustration book, the work such as cut-in illustrations and cover illustrations of novels, and wanting to draw before increases. After 2000, I mainly worked on original paintings.
What inspires you as an artist? Which inspirations help you to make your stile?
My basic theme is the image of the universe operation that has repeated the circulating generation (life) and dismantlement (death). I express symbolically the image to be a man’s body as the main motif, while taking the image of a plant, an insect, and other various objects.
What is the process in creating one of your illustrations?
The character of the boy or the girl who becomes the face of the work is extracted from among the first hazy images. I multiply to imagine the image from that, and tie the form automatically, and then I start to draw the rough sketch of the line that becomes the blueprint of the work, is then made. After the rough sketch is done, I trace on canvas or paper and then paint.
What kind of tools and painting materials do you use for drawing?
Drawing the rough sketch I use pencil and mechanical pencils. And I start to draw on paper by pigment-ink or on canvas by an acrylic pigment, etc.
You have so many art works, all very detailed. How long you take to create one piece?
About one week with a small one. It takes one month or more when it is a large one. It rarely happens for it to take several months.
What is your process to create art works?
Day by day the artwork is changed by meeting something and someone and what image stands up into reality, the dream, and the illusion. Even I am expected for the unknown expression world to be created while enjoying those meeting.
Did you decide the concepts and titles for each of your art books by yourself? Those books are designed beautifully. Do you imagine the design for books or have ideas to tell the designer?
Books take about two years to complete. The whole time, I’m thinking and discussing with the planner and the editor of the book. We overview the art works for those two years, and we figured out the theme and title for them. And then we are thinking about the structure of the book. Furthermore I’d add some new art works. About the book design, we also talk and focus the image for the design.
Recently you released your original Tenugui: Washcloth. Do you want to do anything with another culture or different way of art in the future? Or are you interested in anything else?
Before I considered the size of the art book, there were comparatively a lot of small size works. Otherwise, recently I have had the chance to exhibit with a gallery. It has increased, I think the original work with a little larger size canvas will increased. Moreover I would like to try to draw the hanging scroll and the folding screen, by the technique of the Japanese style paintings.
Do you plan to publish any new books and or have any upcoming exhibitions to speak of? Any new styles or visions that you are approaching? And what about plans for overseas publishing or exhibitions? Let us know everything!
I’m in various exhibitions, and there will be books for all of them: Art Tapei 2009, Japonism at Span Art Gallery, and 100 Alice at Span Art Gallery as well.
There is something about the unknown, when an exciting discovery shakes your brain, the flesh quivers, and the heart races just a little bit faster. Eyes pop open forward, with lips drying as the mouth gawks in sheer amazement. As an artist, this can be a regular occurrence when the talent of another is exposed for the first time. Witnessing technique or craft blended together of another’s style is a rewarding experience. It’s the beauty of being one who creates: You can marvel at others who do the same thing. When it’s on, it rocks hard.
The perfect example is Japanese artist, Takato Yamamoto. Relatively unknown outside of Japan, there is a brilliance to his highly detailed illustrations that combine tight line work with moments of ukiyo-e, eroticism, bondage, ghostly images, and Bellmer-esque surrealism. Dark, with emotionless, stoic faces, the characters beautiful colors seem helpless, almost soft and doll-like in their positions. With four books already under his wing, Takato is prolific with a fantastic imagination, advancing the dynamics of his stylistic approach. For a fan of this genre, of illustrative embellishment, the work is amazing. Domo arigato Yamamoto-san
Marcos Raya, Untitled (family portrait: group), 2005
Exhibitions at the Wellcome Collection are always eventful. I’ve seen sliced brain, freeze-dried brain, dessicated brain, two wax babies heads dissected, tin face masks for WWI soldiers disfigured by explosions and gunshot, i’ve learnt about the history of narcotics, read about a gentleman turned on by dirty maids, etc. Wellcome’s exhibitions are dramatic and engaging but they are also impeccably researched and edifying. I can’t remember having exited one of their shows without being fascinated by the amount of information their curators manage to pack in each room. Except this time.
The recently opened exhibition Death: A Self-portrait is entertaining, it contains some fantastic pieces and it definitely deserves a trip to the Euston Road museum but it is a bit light in reflection and cross-disciplinary references compared to what Wellcome has used me to. The show displays some 300 works -most of them being skulls- from Richard Harris’s collection of cultural artefacts, artworks and scientific specimens devoted to the iconography of death and our complex and contradictory attitudes towards it.
The artefacts are grouped into five themes: “Contemplating Death” (a room full of memento mori), “The Dance of Death” (the ‘many’ faces of death, most of them are actually skelettons), “Violent Death” (artists representing the ravages of wars), “Eros and Thanatos” (the human fascination for death) and “Commemoration” (death, burials, mourning and their rituals). One moment you’re looking at rare prints by Goya, next you find yourself in front of anatomical drawings, puzzling photos in black and white, ancient Incan skulls, or a gigantic chandelier made of 3000 plaster-cast bones.
Otto Dix, Shock Troops Advance Under Gas, from the series Der Krieg (The War), 1924. Photograph: Wellcome Images/The Richard Harris Collection
Otto Dix, Wounded soldier – Autumn 1916, Bapaume, , from the series Der Krieg (The War), 1924
One of the most striking work for me was the truly horrific cycle of 51 prints that Otto Dix made to document his time fighting as a machine-gunner on the Western Front during World War One.
Otto Dix, Night-time encounter with a madman, plate 22 from Der Krieg (The War), 1924
When Shall we Meet Again?, c. 1900. Photograph: Wellcome Images/The Richard Harris Collection
Halloween. Anonymous photo. The Richard Harris Collection
Edward S Curtis, Kwakiutl Man, Crouched, Cradling Mummy, c.1911
Linda Connor, Death Dancers, Hemis Monastery, Ladakh, Himalayas, Linda Connor, 2003. Photograph: Wellcome Images/The Richard Harris Collection
Linda Connor, Skeleton, Shrine, Kathmandu, Nepal, 1980. Photograph: Wellcome Images/The Richard Harris Collection
Linda Connor, Young Monk with Death Mask, Ladakh, India, 2003, from Gates of Reconciliation
Dr Luis Crucius, Antikamnia Calendars, 1900
Dr Luis Crucius’s drawings of skeletons animated a promotional calendar distributed to doctors by the US Antikamnia Chemical Company in 1900–01. Ironically, the company’s antikamnia painkillers contained an active ingredient which was later found to be toxic and addictive.
Metamorphic postcard (c1900-10). ‘La vie et la mort, Leben und Tod’ (Life and death, life and death). Photograph: Wellcome Images/The Richard Harris Collection
Dana Salvo, from the series The Day, the Night and the Dead. Photograph: Wellcome Images/The Richard Harris Collection
Our (western) culture tends to keep death in the background. We have lost touch with death and its rituals (unlike, for example, Mexico which celebrates the Día de los Muertos in the most flamboyant fashion.) And since none of us has a direct experience of death, we leave its interpretation and representation to artists.
Marcos Raya, Untitled (family portraits). Photo by Happy Famous Artists
Marcos Raya, Untitled (family portrait: woman in yellow dress), 2005
Marcos Raya, Untitled (family portrait: Grandma), 2005
Photo by Happy Famous Artists
Photo by Happy Famous Artists
Photo by Happy Famous Artists
Photo by Happy Famous Artists
Found Human Skull. Anonymous photo taken in 1927 at the San Diego home of Phebe Clijde. Part of the Richard Harris collection
Tibetan carved wooden mask, 19th century
Photos by Happy Famous Artists. The Guardian has a slideshow.
Death: A Self-portrait remain open until 24 February 2013 at the Wellcome Collection in London. Admission is free.
A portrait of an anatomy lesson in the Royal College of Surgeons was recently unveiled in the department of Anatomy by Mr Mick O’Dea, Principal of the Royal Hibernian Academy School.
The Anatomy Lesson of the Irish College of Surgeons by Robert Jackson is an oil on canvas painting measuring 2 metres by 4 metres. It took over 18 months to complete depicting 48 current RCSI staff and students participating in an anatomy lesson.
Below is the information on the exhibition taken from http://www.moma.org, i cant believe i hadnt heard this was on! will definately be getting tickets to see this before it is over! some of the photos have been taken from http://www.morbidanatomy.com brilliant website!
Quay Brothers: On Deciphering the Pharmacist’s Prescription for Lip-Reading Puppets
August 12, 2012–January 7, 2013
Theater 2 Gallery
Theater 1 Gallery
The exhibition is accompanied by the film series Lip-Reading Puppets: The Curators’ Prescription for Deciphering the Quay Brothers
View related events
This MoMA gallery exhibition and accompanying film retrospective will be the first presentation of the Quay Brothers’ work in all their fields of creative activity. Internationally renowned moving image artists and designers, the Quay Brothers were born outside Philadelphia and have worked from their London studio, Atelier Koninck, since the late 1970s. For over 30 years, they have been in the avant-garde of stop-motion puppet animation and live-action movie-making in the Eastern European tradition of filmmakers like Walerian Borowczyk and Jan Svankmajer and the Russian Yuri Norstein, and have championed a design aesthetic influenced by the graphic surrealism of Polish poster artists of the 1950s and 1960s. Beginning with their student films in 1971, the Quay Brothers have produced over 45 moving image works, including two features, music videos, dance films, documentaries, and signature personal works, including The Street of Crocodiles (1986), the Stille Nacht series (1988–2008), Institute Benjamenta (1995), and In Absentia (2000). They have also designed sets and projections for opera, drama, and concert performances such as Tchaikovsky’s Mazeppa (1991), Ionesco’s The Chairs (Tony-nominated design, 1997), Richard Ayre’s The Cricket Recovers (2005), and recent site-specific pieces based on the work of Bartók and Kafka.
In addition to their better known films, this exhibition will include never-before-seen moving image works and graphic design, drawings, and calligraphy, presenting animated and live-action films alongside installations, objects, and works on paper.
Organized by Ron Magliozzi, Associate Curator, Department of Film.
Major support for the exhibition is provided by MoMA’s Wallis Annenberg Fund for Innovation in Contemporary Art through the Annenberg Foundation.