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.
Very cool paintings using squid ink.
During my summer art residency in Rocky Neck, MA I came across of a very unusual media – ink from squids, that I fished out from the Gloucester bay. This ink was very intense black marking everything around me, including my clothes. Squid spit it out as a protection reflex, in the water it is more efficient however, as it works as an escape mechanism. The reason that it is black – the main component – melanin.
I though of collecting this ink and use it as my painting ink (long ago Cephalopod ink was commonly used for writing). There is a system to collect it correctly, but I did not know it then: squid ink harvest. It was a mess to collect this ink, I spilled it many times, squids would fall into my cup occasionally, they were slimy, so hard to hold. Ink was diluted with salt…
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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.”
Very Interesting mix of art and science.
“Visually, they really [looked] like victims of Agent Orange or dioxin or Chernobyl,” he says. “That, from an environmental standpoint, really concerned me.”
Morpheus, 2013. Iris print on Arches watercolor paper. Cleared and stained Pacific tree frog collected in Aptos, California in collaboration with Stanley K. Sessions. The white dots near the base of the frog’s tail are the parasitic cysts that caused it to develop additional limbs.
“Malamp Reliquaries” is an amphibian portrait series by artist and biologist Brandon Ballengée. Malamp is short for “malformed amphibian” and a reliquary is a container or shrine in which sacred relics are kept. Brandon has a unique perspective on the issue as both an artist and biological scientist. He graduate from the University of Cincinnati’s Art Academy in 1996 and earned a Ph.D. in biology from University of Plymouth, England in 2008. Brandon became interested in amphibian malformations in the…
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This is another blog I am starting that covers the overlap of art in science and vice versa. As a scientist and artist, it is a passion of mine.
This blog will showcase art pieces and scientific research that blur the line between the arts and sciences. I have a fascination with both art and science. The two fields integrate and overlap, yet we treat them successively. Without creativity and innovative thinking, which is at the heart of an artist, we would not have advanced to such great heights in the sciences. Artists test new ideas, media, forms of expression and concepts with scientific rigor and curiosity. Scientists think creatively and measure, quantify and observe the beauty of the natural world, including math, physics and biology. Both professions seek a form of truth and method of examining the world around us. The two fields are distinct in ways, but it is the overlap that enthralls me.
I am a scientist by training and an artist at heart. I have a Ph.D. in Ecological Genomics…
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