Photographer Maciej Dakowicz travels around the world with his camera at the ready to capture those unique, unrehearsed, and unplanned shots. He is originally from Poland and has a PhD in computer science, but he turned his back on all that and now focuses on photography. Maciej, or “Magic” as he is known to his non-Polish friends, is currently based in Mumbai, India. As his well-worn passport and impressive photo library can attest, he has been all over the globe hoping to capture improbable visual coincidences. Last year, he gained international renown with his book “Cardiff After Dark” which documented the alcohol and emotion-fueled nightlife in Cardiff, Wales.
It would not surprise me to learn that Polish street photographer Maciej Dakowicz has run out of available pages in his passport. Currently based in Mumbai, the computer science PhD abandoned a career in technology to instead focus on his street photography, a decision that has lead him to far-flung communities around the globe seeking incredible once-in-a-lifetime encounters. Sorting through his staggering library of some 5,500 photos is to take a journey through vastly differening cultures, miraculous visual coincidences, and impropable moments in time both amusing and terrifying.
Nikita Veprikov is a young and gifted freelance illustrator from Ukraine. He didn’t really set out to become a 3D artist and only dabbled in it out of curiosity. A friend of his had recommended using 3D Studio Max, touting it as a program used by film makers. After a while, what started out of idle curiosity led to a thirst for excellence. Nikita started learning more about composition, drawing, color theory, and other forms of media to improve his craft. Not much else is known about him, but from what I can see of his work, he’s well worth watching out for.
Ron Arad is an Israeli designer who took the concept behind pressed flowers and applied it to Fiat 500s. According to Ron, he didn’t wreck the cars, he ‘immortalized’ them. Each vehicle was compressed to a uniform thickness of twelve centimeters at a shipyard in the Netherlands. This feat was made possible by taking out the engines, seats, and tires. Since it’s not everyday that you get to see cars being absolutely flattened, shipyard workers at brought their families to watch which gave the metal-crunching affair a festive air. Before hanging them up for display, Ron tweaked with his sculptures a bit by putting the flattened tires back in their original positions. The immortalized cars then went on display at the Design Museum Holon in Tel Aviv, Israel. Unsurprisingly, the title he gave the exhibit is “Pressed Flowers”.
Dinner just doesn’t taste the same when it isn’t a piece of art too. Samantha Lee’s kids knows this to be true. Samantha began making pop culture-inspired meals for her eldest daughter to encourage her to eat independently. The experiment was a smashing success, and not just on the dinner table. The devoted mother of two now has more than 300,000 followers on Instagram. She has never taken any formal classes in cooking or art, instead she relies on cooking shows and her own imagination. This is what she said of her creative proces during an interview: “I sketch my designs before I make them into food to stay organized and prevent food wastage. Scissors, knives and toothpicks are my tools. I like to make something practical, something for everyone to be able to follow.”
With both of his parents professional artists, it’s no wonder Denis Zilber turned out to be one too. He was born in the former Soviet Union and moved to Israel when he was fifteen years old. One of the more amazing thing about Denis (apart from the fact that he makes great digital illustrations), is the fact that he’s an autodidact. It’s just a fancier way of saying he’s self-taught. To describe his artistic process in an interview, he said: “Basically creating a character is not just creating an image of some living creature but creating a complex idea, a graphical symbol containing very particular concept, almost hieroglyph. I am using some kind of visual language to reach my viewer.” He also added: “Visual language should be be very clear, precise and easily understandable for people of different cultures and of different languages. After I am done with all details in black and white sketch I move on to color. That is all.”
Jim Golden is a Portland-based photographer who has worked with a lot of big brands like Yahoo, ESPN, and Nike. He learned the ropes in New York where he worked as a high-end compositor and visual effects specialist in the competitive, and fast-paced world of advertising photography. After mastering his craft, he moved to Portland where he opened a studio of his own where he specializes in “creating striking imagery that strives to capture the essence of his subjects”. One of his most recent series features a collection of objects neatly and meticulously laid out in a plain background which highlights the differences between the objects as well as the common theme that binds them together. The series started out with Jim’s impressive collection of scissors and grew to include shots of locks, speakers, camping gear, flotsam, cameras gear, cellphones, eight-track tapes and more.
While some artists might use paint, or ink, or pencils, Marta Grossi breaks the mold by making her breakfast banana her medium. Marta currently lives and works as an art director and illustrator in Hong kong. She describes herself as an Italian with a dimple in her right cheek who is allergic to dust. She also does a fair bit of blogging and storytelling on the side. When asked about her creative process, Marta responded: “I customize my banana during the night. I have my banana for breakfast the day after. this is a temporary space and love to prove that inspiration is everywhere.”
According to Wikipedia (and who doesn’t trust Wikipedia?), Bansky is “a pseudonymous England-based graffiti artist, political activist, film director, and painter.” The fact that he merits a Wikipedia article is an indication of how famous Bansky has become. His worked has inspired many an artist to take their work to the streets. Nick Stern, a photographer, has even made a series of photographs mimicking his work. Fame hasn’t made him any easier to track down as his real identity remains a mystery. Bansky’s work is plastered all across Great Britain, many of them since painted over. In a recent interview, he was asked if he would like to donate a picture to charity to which he replied: “What are you? Blind? In which case maybe. I mostly support projects working to restore sight and prevent eye disease. Or ‘expanding the market’ as you might call it.”
Mitsuo2 is a Japanese artist who creates incredibly detailed celebrity portraits using only colored pencils. He has drawn lifelike likenesses of celebrities like Angelina Jolie, Jeremy Renner, Pink, Rhianna, and Scarlet Johannson. According to his dA account, he loves listening to music while painting. Not much else is known about this elusive artist but I do hope he keeps up the good work.