HYPNOTIST Stare into the eyes of a Loretta Lux portrait long enough, and you’re bound to feel both completely mesmerized and completely spooked. Lux’s starkly pale, prepubescent subjects haunt the viewer from inside the image as if they were hiding some terrible secret. Remarkably captivating yet exceedingly eerie–the formula has turned the German photographer into an art-world phenom, earned her the coveted Infinity Award for Art from the International Center of Photography and made her a millionaire.
A former painter, Lux, 38, brings her images to life with the attention to form, shape and color that she learned at the easel. The artistry begins at the photo shoot, but her signature style–the brushstrokes of her new medium–comes later, at the computer. First she strips out the background and replaces it with a quiet setting–a grassy field, an abandoned building–from her personal stash of paintings and pictures. Then she erases any object that crowds the picture, like a tree or toy, so the child appears to be part of a dream. “I don’t care about traditional photography,” Lux says. “I want more control.”
Lux started taking children’s portraits nearly eight years ago, when she shot a couple of rolls of film of her nephew. It took her only one day with that little boy to realize what comes across so vividly in her work: children are the perfect subjects to photograph. “They have no reservations,” she says. “They are the most honest models.”
But exactly what her portraits are supposed to mean remains a mystery, and Lux doesn’t offer many clues, saying only that the images, which can take up to a year to complete, are less about the subjects than they are a metaphor for the idea of childhood. “I want people to decide what to see,” she says. Whatever they do decide, they’re not likely to forget it.
Her art works are like vivid dreams, strangely familiar but from a time long passed. I think the following comment illustrates her work almost perfectly: “Lisel’s illustration work has been described as being expressive and semi-surreal, while still maintaining a tangible quality. Being the daughter of a photographer, she strives to bring a clear breath of reality to her paintins, while never ignoring humaity’s perplexed but subtle ambiguities.” – Unknown Critic
The exhibition brings together books, figurative paintings, comic books and narrative series by 19 students graduating from the MFA Illustration as Visual Essay Department.
I recommend anyone who is either an artist or is an art lover to make a trip to the exhibition as I’m sure it will be very inspiring . It starts at the end of the month, April 30, and will run till May 15. For more details click here. I truly wish I could attend but unfortunately I wont be able to make it to New York.
If you have not already heard of SVA then you should know that it is arguable one of the worlds most prolific schools when it comes to the visual arts. To mention a few of the well know illustrators who attended the school: James Jean, Sam Weber and Yuko Shimizu. The other faculties such as film, photography and design have equally impressive credentials.
Below is a selection of beautiful illustrations from the Thesis Projects all of which will be on show:
Hope you enjoyed the illustrations and are able to make it to the event.
Working from his design studio “Sleeping House” in Sweden, Alexander Jansson creates mysteriously beautiful worlds where intricately drawn music vans fly through the air, cute characters play music and lively cities appear from the dark heavy mist. Although the artworks seem gloomy they evoke not feelings of darkness but rather feelings of life, light and music.
Istvan is a very successful commercial illustrator and animator who gained prominence in the mid-1980s in the USA.
Its odd but I find his illustration unusually easy to visualize – flavor and setting. He seems to have a real knack for isolating the subject matter through clever use of colors and layout. Politics, social absurdities, american pop culture, war and sexuality are all things he infuses in his art. Enjoy!