What artist Cal Lane can do with an old oil drum is just short of miraculous. She transforms ugly, industrial pieces into soft and delicate works of beauty. I never thought I’d want to drape an old steel beam around my shoulders, but Lane makes it seem possible. Her pieces thrive on contradiction and opposition that create balance by contrasting ideas and materials. The results are intricate “Industrial Doilies”. Lane’s current work reflects this period of war, political unrest and oil obsession. Her recent exhibition, “Crude”, consists of a series of flayed oil cans formed into a cross or gothic cathedral floor plan and cut into Christian or Medieval like Icons. Though overtly political, the resulting images seem to merely coexist, reflecting a juxtaposition of God and Oil. In “Filigree Car Bombing”, Lane focuses on creating images of beauty in the form of a violent situation. “The crushed steel of a car is cut into fine lace creating a drapery of disruption and sadness, a conflict of attraction to beauty and the attraction to a horrific image.”
Anna Dittmann is a young illustrator from San Francisco with a talent for creating enigmatic portraits. She has been artistic from a young age, but became serious about her art when she discovered Photoshop at the age of 13. Anna’s love of nature and biology is a recurring theme in her work. Her pieces evoke a sense of mystery through her delicate and ethereal style. She creates soft pieces that emit organic natural elements, mythology and movement.
This is my personal favorite. I am partial to anything octopus!
Find more of Anna’s work HERE.
Australian based artist Loui Jover creates works that embody emotions and meaning. His compositions illustrate a range of ideas and feelings, but I am mostly drawn to his melancholic and intellectual pieces. He creates images using ink on vintage book pages resulting in a sense of fragility and an ephemeral quality. Stark black lines, dripping with emotion, are set against intricately printed words on delicate pages. The combination of pages and images are improvised and formed as chance permits. The resulting combinations offer a complex fusion of depth and meaning that feel as if an entire novel is contained in one image. The observer takes away his or her own meaning from the thoughts an feelings provoked by Jover’s pieces.
Normally I post images of contemporary pieces that I find beautiful or intriguing. However, this article describing research that has found a prominent left-side bias in art is fascinating. I will start paying attention to this much more now. Article link HERE.
Draw My Left! No, No, My Other Left! A Hidden Bias In Art History Revealed
Most people would say: good day. He seems a little more smiley than not.
That’s because, says science writer , when we look at somebody, the left side of that person’s face is more emotionally powerful and “determines the overall emotional tenor.”
So if his left side is happy and his right side is sad, left wins — the whole face feels happy-ish. What is equal is made unequal. It’s as if when I look at you, instead of taking you in with one visual gulp, I’m scanning your face from left to right and the left side feels more dominant.
Why would that be?
Well, when you look at someone, your right brain is doing most of the work. That’s the side of your brain that specializes in faces and is extra good at reading emotions.
But — as you probably know — your right brain operates mainly through the left side of your body. So when you look at someone’s face, your right brain pulls in information from the left of your visual field. Which means you will notice more, read more and remember more about the left side of that person’s face. His right side matters less.
If you were to see a photo of that person later, and cut it in half, you’d think, “Oh, this guy looks more like his left side.” That’s because your brain tricked you to think that way.
In his , The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons, Sam Kean says this habit of “looking left” has profoundly affected the world of art — especially portrait painting.
People who sit for artists, he says, seem to have a sense that the left side of their face is going to pack more emotive power and make a bigger impression than the right side. This is almost certainly not a conscious thought, but if you look systematically at enough paintings, you’ll see a clear, telltale pattern.
In portrait after portrait, you find that subjects, instead of looking dead on at the viewer …
… they will face slightly sideways to give their left side more exposure.
Mona Lisa is a famous example. She (or was it Leonardo?) decided to turn her face ever so slightly, exposing more left cheek.
Jean-Pierre Muller/AFP/Getty Images
How big is the “show-us-your-left” bias? Well, if sitters behaved totally randomly, you’d expect to see the three basic options equally often: 33 percent would face the audience, 33 percent would turn left, 33 percent would turn right.
But when scholars looked, that’s not what they found. of 1,474 portraits painted in Europe from the 16thto the 20th centuries found that roughly 60 percent showed the sitter favoring the left side of the face — men 56 percent of the time, women 68 percent. looked at 50,000 objects from the stone age to the present and found that after the early Greeks, there was a consistent left-profile bias. When it comes to Jesus suffering on the cross, the tilt is dramatic: Jesus’ head is shown facing left of the time.
The “show-us-your-left” bias, Sam writes, “held, no matter whether the artists themselves were left- or right-handed.”
We don’t know if the artists told their models, “I want you to look to the left,” or if the sitters chose this posture to display their more expressive side. “But the bias seems universal,” Sam writes. He points out that when the sitter turns, the left eye moves toward the center of the canvas, like this …
… which then puts most of the sitter’s face on the left side, where, says Sam, “the face-hungry right hemisphere can study it.”
When Doesn’t This Happen?
There are exceptions, of course. Leonardo da Vinci, who painted Mona Lisa, often went the other way and produced lots of right-facing portraits.
Self-portraits, it seems, often face right. But, Sam says, “Artists tend to paint self-portraits in the mirror, which makes the left half of the face appear on the right side of the canvas. So this ‘exception’ might actually confirm the bias.”
Curiously, Sam found that prominent scientists, at least in their official portraits for the Royal Society in England, usually face right. “Perhaps they simply preferred to seem cooler and less emotional — more the stereotypical rationalist.”
A skeptic might say this is learned behavior. You go to art school or become an apprentice — the boss turns his subjects to show more left cheek, so you pick up the habit. So that’s what this is: a habit. And maybe a Western habit. Western languages, after all, read left to right. In Arabic, the language (and the faces?) might go the other way.
Sam considered this, but he found “surveys of portraits in Egypt (where texts read right to left) turned up a healthy majority of left-facing portraits as well.”
What about children’s drawings? Kids haven’t been exposed to adult paintings, museum art, cultural cues — they just grab crayons and draw. Do they draw faces looking left?
They do, says Sam. Most kids — especially the righties — draw people facing left. “Overall culture probably influences the direction of portraits somewhat,” he wrote, “but most artists naturally highlight the left side.”
Bruno Torf created one of Australia’s’ most beautiful sculpture gardens, a rain forest filled with amazing art work blended with the natural surroundings. Torf was born in South America and moved to Europe at the age of 15. An adventurous spirit and a passion for traveling took him on many trips around the world. After spending several years traveling, Bruno and his family moved to Australia. He had formulated a vision in the sculpture garden and found the perfect place to bring it to life. The location in Maryville, a small Victorian village near Melbourne, offered the ideal location with luscious, sub-alpine forests and large patches of rain forests. In these forests, Bruno created an inspiring and beautiful fantasy world influenced by his travels.
Disaster struck in February 2009 when the Black Saturday bushfires overtook the area. The result was one of Australia’s most devastating wildfires ever recorded. Despite authorities prohibiting locals to enter the town, Bruno was convinced that his artworks were destroyed. Surprisingly, a large number of his sculptures survived the fire, so the artist decided to rebuild his beloved garden.
I first saw this piece by photographer and artist Thomas Dodd on Facebook and loved the mash-up of the classic fantasy Alice in Wonderland with the more modern fantasy movie Donnie Darko. They are both fantastical tales of someone trying to find reality in a dark, surreal world. Replacing the traditional white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland with Frank from Donnie Darko merges the two worlds. It’s a unique take and I love it.
I visited Dodd’s website after viewing the mash-up image and fell in love with the rest of his work. Dodd is an Atlanta, GA (USA) based photographer and digital artist whose work blurs the lines between photography and classical art. His photographic images seamlessly blend the worlds of fantasy and surrealism and have been featured in magazines, on book covers, and in art galleries around the world. Find more of his work here.
Also known as PHOTOFLAKE, Anja Stiegler is based in Wolfsburg, Germany. Trained as a multimedia engineer, she began dabbling in photography and image editing in 2006. She is completely self-taught, but her passion for the medium shows in her surreal, dreamy work. Her photographs often portray women in surreal, stunning landscapes producing a magic world. She makes the impossible seem possible.
Most of Anja’s images are a mixture of surrealism and conceptualism. She imbues her work with feelings and emotions by using a combination of colors, light and imagination. Her inspiration stems from music, everyday life, and other artists like Rus Anson, Tim Walker or Annie Leibovitz. Anja is open-minded to new projects and collaborations with other artists.