Julian Germain is an internationally published photographer who is currently based in Northumberland, UK. He studied at the Royal College of Art in London. He is now one of the editors of the magazine “Useful Photography” as well as a trustee of the Baltic Center for Contemporary Art in Gateshead. His series, Classroom Portraits started in his own native England and quickly grew to include classrooms from all over the globe. Julian raveled to over 20 countries and took pictures of more than 450 classrooms. He admits that in each photo, he actually has two subjects: the students and the classroom itself. He said: “In no case was this ever a gathering of kids getting together especially to have their photograph taken. In every case this is a real math lesson, a real science lesson, a real religious instruction lesson, and the lesson happens as normal.”
Erik Johansson is a young and talented photographer and retouch artist from Sweden. He is a self-taught artist who transitioned from a noob into a master image manipulator in just a few years. Erik’s creative process starts with an idea, usually a weird or wacky one. He loves putting his subjects into an alternate universe where the laws of physics are defied at every turn. Here’s a rundown of some of the concepts he dreamed up and managed to execute perfectly: hand-stitched winters, boating on grassy plain, Mobius bridges, and dreams that somehow creep into your reality. I have to agree with one website when they described Erik’s work as ‘Echoing the mathematical preciseness of M.C. Escher and the jocularity of Salvador Dalí.’ Erik is now based in Berlin, Germany.
Tomasz Zaczeniuk is a 35-year-old artist who’s on his way to being a full-time freelance artist. He specializes in digital photo-manipulation as well as photography. Most of his images have a foggy, misty, or cloudy atmosphere that gives it a vaguely haunting feel. Armor-clad knights, ghostly boats, lighthouses, and castles are just some of Tomasz’s subjects. For him, the two most powerful things that affect the senses are image and sound. Which is why each of his pieces have a musical soundtrack. He said: “It’s strange but I can not think about the image without music. Every vision has a music background, (a) song that I was listening to all the time I was creating image.”
Philip Rostron describes himself as an Imagemaker, a term he invented himself. Originally from England, he honed his craft in Canada before moving into the United States to establish his very own creative studio, Instil Productions. His studio is best known for collaborative problem solving. Together with a team of dedicated and talented artists, Philip produces some of the best advertising images in the market today. His passion lies in finding the perfect visual solution that will best communicate the marketing idea. For him, the idea is everything.
There is no conceivable angele where you can look at Bruno Catalano’s bronze sculptures and see a complete figure. All of the of them have mastered the trick of holding on to a piece of luggage so they can support their hollowed-out upper halves. All of the sculptures are part of Bruno’s series “Les Voyageurs”, which probably explains the luggage. The eye-catching sculptures are sprinkled throughout Marseilles to celebrate its position as the 2013 European Capital of Culture. I guess one can simply surmise that these voyagers have simply left pieces of themselves behind as they traveled.
Ilya Kalimuli is a Moscow-based designer who decided to redesign a couple of famous brands. His work is clever, funny, and practically oozing with creativity. A McDonald’s laptop, M&M bullets, Adobe beauty products, Dropbox specimen cups, Heinz blood products (still in 57 varieties), Tic Tac time bombs, a holey Crocs umbrella, and my personal favorite: Kinder Surprise condoms. Ilya was an engineer before devoting his time to design. He currently lives and works in Russia.
This intricately carved tree trunk is in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest continuous wooden sculpture in the world. It’s over forty-feet long and took over four years of dedicated carving to complete. Zheng Chunhui, the artist responsible for this extraordinary piece of art, based his carvings on a scroll painting by Chinese artist Zhang Zeduan. The scroll, which translates to “Along the River During the Qinming Festival” shows how the rich and poor celebrated the annual Qinming Festival a thousand years ago. It’s is not merely the scale of the sculpture that’s impressive, the extremely detailed trees, rivers, boats, bridges, clouds, houses, and people will wow anyone who ever sees this carving up close. The piece is currently on display in Fuzhou, Fujian Province, China.
“Evolution” is an extraordinary series of photographs by Patrick Gries. It was created in collaboration with the National Museum of Natural History. It’s a collection of over three hundred black and white photos of fully articulated skeletons. The stark images are made more striking by their life-like poses. The animals are posed as if they were poised to pounce, run, jump, swim, walk, and gallop. Born in Luxembourg, Patrick studied at the École Normale and moved to New York where he developed an interest in contemporary American photography. According to one website: “(Patrick’s) technical ability to capture complex environments and convey a subject’s context has made his work muck sought-after by cultural institutions.”
Visarute Angkatavanichis the photographer behind these exceptional close-ups of Siamese fighting fish. Scientifically known as betta splendens, they have been selectively bred for over a hundred years for their aggressiveness, color, and finnage. Today’s specimens are a far cry from the drab brown fish found in the rice paddies of Cambodia and Thailand. Visarute kept a few bettas as pets when he was a boy. Years later his interest in the species was rekindled when he noticed the different varieties for sale in a pet store. He said: “I love to take their motion in many ways of lighting to show their elegant pose.”. He also added that fish photography is his true passion. In almost all of his shots, he makes it seem as if the fish is floating in midair. The close-up shots do justice to the fish’s bright colors and flowing fins. Visarute currently lives and works in Thailand.
Alexander Khokhlov is a Moscow based photographer who collaborated with make-up artist extraordinaire Valeriya Kutsan to create the series “2D Or Not 2D”. The series features powerful black-and-white designs painted right into the model’s face, as well as colorful designs that pop out and fool the viewer into thinking they’re looking at a two-dimensional object. Some of the designs reinforce the lines on the model’s face while others soften or break them down, others create unnaturally perfect patterns. In an interview, Khokhlov said: “Valeriya used different techniques of face painting so you can see a lot of variations – from sketch and graphic arts to water-colour and oil-paintings. This is a combination of interesting make-ups, studio photography experiments and careful retouching.”