Artem Cheboha is an uber talented illustrator and digital painter from Russia. This 26-year-old artist shows a lot of promise. His artwork showcases his active imagination. I love the fact that he chooses complimentary palettes of rich and warm colors for each digital painting. Rhads, as he is known in artistic circles, also dabbles in a bit of speed painting on the side. He is currently based in Saturn, Encelad.
Waldemar von Kozak is an incredibly talented artist best known for his cheeky illustrations prominently featuring tough, sexy women. His work has an old-school flavor with a cartoonish feel that will make any viewer smile. Waldemar does freelance work and his work may be found in ads, corporate calendars, posters, postcards, and playing cards. He currently lives and works in Russia.
Animal Earth is a book which explores the diverse life forms that can be found all over Earth. This coffee table treat makes it clear that each species is an essential part of the ecosystem and protecting animal diversity is protecting the delicate cycle of life that supports us all. Alexander Semenov is the man behind the glorious underwater shots in Animal Earth. He is the Head of the Scientific Divers team stationed at the White Sea Biological Station in Russia. As such, he has free reign to take as many shots as he wants of these shy underwater creatures. I’m glad he did, as I personally don’t want to get close to something with that many legs, no matter how rare or colorful it is.
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.
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.”
Looking at the artwork of Alex Andreyev will take you to places that may or may not exist in the far future. Most of his work incorporates a bit of dystopian undercurrent but they are all undeniably full of imagination. Alex hails from the Russian Federation and has more than twenty years of experience in graphic design under his belt. He said: “It sounds paradoxical but digital art attracts me because it is free of technological influence. While in traditional arts technologies dramatically limit the artist — his ability to stylize works in graphics or extremely time consuming process of paint drying, in digital painting I sit in front of a screen, grab the stylus and see the result immediately. And I am really glad people find in my work emotions similar to those I used to experience while creating my works.”
Baydakov Aleksey is a Russian artist who has a wonderful way with caricatures. His cartoon caricatures of the stereotypical mobster, cop, and sailor not only captures their very essence, it also has a humorous twist. Aleksey’s may have drawn them a little out of proportion, but proportion is the last thing you’d expect from a cartoon character. He has worked in collaboration with different advertising agencies and magazines as an illustrator. He currently lives and works in Moscow
Georgy Kurasov was born in 1958 in the USSR, in what was then Leningrad. He still lives and works in the same place, but now the country is Russia and the city is called St Petersburg. Without any effort on his part whatsoever, Georgy seems to have emigrated from one surreal country to another. His native city was irrational from the very moment of its foundation. Situated on the same latitude as the southern shores of Alaska, on the swampy delta of the River Neva where no one had ever settled before, this new capital city grew up on the very edge of a monstrous empire. Here on the totally flat surface carved across by rivers, streams and canals, European architects laid out, like images on a canvas, straight avenues, streets and squares, they built Greco-Roman porticoes and Baroque palazzi, erected sculptures and fountains, amidst something akin to permafrost where half the year is dominated by ice and frost and the other half by damp and rain. It is hard to find a more artificial – more artistic – city.
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Human skin is a difficult medium as it tends to stretch and sag over time. Tattoo artists have come a long way since the art started several thousand years ago. These days, tattoos are colored, shaded, and some are even life-like. TAttoo artist Den Yakovlevhas been making waves in his native Russia with his life-like tattoos. He doesn’t just ink a design onto your skin, he creates a masterpiece. Believe it or not, some of his work (like the pizza slice below) are even in 3D. Den is known for his unusual designs as well as the incredible amount of detail he puts into his work.
Plosky Tolbachik is an active volcano located in the eastern edge of Russia. A pair of thrill-seeking photographers, Andrey and Liudmila, braved the dangers of an active volcano and barely got away with these sensational pictures. They were calmly standing a safe distance away from the active lava flow when tragedy struck: “at some point we realised that something was in the way of lava stream, and it was getting through every hole and crack it could find – or break through. It looks like that the crater, on the edge of which we were standing, actually saved our lives because at least lava started leaking inside it, instead of swelling up the slope.” One of the volcanologists lost his backpack to an errant lava flow, but the pair got away with bragging rights and scores of hard-core photos.