Chihiro Otsu is yet another one of those extremely gifted artists who are as talented as they are elusive. All we know about Chihiro is that he’s an excellent photographer and that he’s from Nagoya, Japan. Chihiro’s images are usually close-up portraits of flowers. They’re not even the exotic kind of flowers. Some of them may even be classified as weeds, and yet he manages to show them off in the best light. I’m looking forward to knowing more about this artist as well as seeing more of his work.
2ToastDesign is actually a two-person team composed of Jordina & Nando. According to their site, they’re a loving couple who lives in a sunny beachfront penthouse located in Barcelona, Spain. Jordina takes care of the small house repairs as well as the logistical side of their expanding art business. She’s also into crafts, interior house design, and European movies. Nando is a graphic designer, thus he’s the one responsible for the creative side. He can usually be found in front of the computer trolling the net for some inspiration for their next piece.
Brian Dettmer is known as the book surgeon because of his penchant for dissecting books using scalpels, tweezers, and other surgical tools – without anesthesia. Brian’s subjects are mostly old books that would most likely moulder in dumps had he not turned them into works of art. He carves away layer after layer of pages to reveal the detailed drawings on different pages. While bibliophiles may think that he’s ruining those books, according to him: “My work is a collaboration with the existing material and its past creators and the completed pieces expose new relationships of the book’s internal elements exactly where they have been since their original conception.”
Holly Spring is a mother first and a photographer second. Her daughter, Violet, was born with Hirschsprung’s Disease and no left hand. Her left arm ends midway down her wrist. Inspired by these challenges, Holly created a series of images with Violet as the subject to teach her daughter that there are no limits to what she can achieve if she just believes in herself. She said: “My daughter is my muse and my heart that inspires me to follow my passion and share these unique photos and digital art with you.” In one of her shots, her daughter is intentionally shown with the wrong limb missing (the right) for creative purposes and continuity of light and narrative. The image was awarded a Gold at the prestigious NZIPP Epson Iris Awards this year.
Anders Gjennestad is the artist responsible for these awesome, gravity-defying kids playing on the wall. Anders specializes in creating shadow people using his own photographs. The stencils he uses are hand cut and layered to create a detailed and complex photorealistic images. It also helps that his work is perfectly placed to fool the eye. The installation above was part of Memorie Urbane, a street art festival in Italy. Anders is currently based in Norway where his street handle is Strøk.
Gesine Marwedel is a brilliant German body painter whose creations are like nothing else out there. She can either emphasize the human form or eliminate it all together to bring out her design. Her living canvasses are often positioned in a variety of graceful poses to accentuate the design. Most of her work feature animals but her most jaw-dropping on features what eppears to be a woman being ripped in half with her heart and innards showing. Gesine also believes in the therapeutic qualities of body painting and has even published a book on how it can be used as a form of therapy.
David Chong is a Singapore-based artist whose pencil and ink illustrations are fast gaining a following on the internet. Davis is self taught and what started as an idle hobby soon grew to be an abiding passion in illustration. He started off with realistic pencil and pen portraits and has recently ventured into making digital finger paintings.
Lee Cross, otherwise known as Wood Splitter Lee, is a talented sculptor from Alaska who has elevated the craft of creating stuffed animals into fine art. Her creations are not only adorable, they’re also incredibly realistic. Lee starts with a skeleton (nope, the plastic kind, not bone) which she then wraps in stuffing and covers with cloth. The final stage involves painstakingly hand-decorating it with synthetic fur and paint. Lee guarantees that no animal was ever harmed in the making of every piece. Each critter sells for up to $910 on ebay.
J Henry Fair has made it his life’s mission to document the atrocities that mankind has inflicted on mother nature. He has even published a book called The Day After Tomorrow: Images of Our Earth in Crisis. It’s filled with picture after picture of shocking yet beautiful images of pollution. Some may doubt the authenticity of Fair’s color palette but he has repeatedly confirmed that “what one sees in the photos is what was there.” He started taking photographs at the age of fourteen when he nicked his father’s camera. He admits during an interview: “I always had a big mouth, and pretty much always tried to use photography to express myself.”
Internationally renowned graffiti duo Pichi & Avo were invited over to Werchter, Belgium to create a a massive, site-specific installation for the North West Walls Street Art Festival. The installation consisted of stacked up container crates upon which the artistsweregiven free reign to exercise their creativity. The result featured their trademark signature of Greek gods superimposed over a mishmash of loud and vibrant colors. According to event curator Arne Quinze; “When they work together they create breathtaking figurative detail and quality. Their work is very striking and always commands the spectator’s full attention.” The festivalmay be over, but theGreek godsin all their glory still stand.