Visual artist Barbara Nati attempts to analyse the chaos reigning underneath the surface of reality combining conceptually interesting visual landscapes that blur fantasy and reality.
In her new photographic series entitled ‘The House of This Evening, All Mine’, stunning post-apocalyptic ‘tree houses’ made of shattered buildings tower in desolated and beautiful landscapes.
Her digital manipulation work can be described as surreal, futuristic, imaginative, dreamy, playful and a little dark – all be it in a good way – yet still confronting the viewer with current social and environmental issues.
A recurrent obsession for ordinary objects allegorically camouflaged as other shapes implicitly invites the viewer to look again and never take for granted, offering the opposite point of view from the expected or predicted one and pulverizing the naïve trust in what we consider real but may not be.
History, visual art and advertising flair mix up in her cross-contaminated and very own stylistic approach where art ultimately fulfills its goal becoming a playful tool, speaking in a versatile and universal alphabet.
Barbara Nati lives and works in London. She trained at the Parson School of Design in NYC and the IEAO in Perugia, Italy.
She has exhibited her work in Italy, Ireland and the UK.
Previous projects include No Farewell Only Endless Goodbye, Futuristic Revivals and The Footsteps of Silence.
In a new exhibit, ‘Reverie,’ on view at the photo-eye Gallery in Santa Fe, N.M., artist Tom Chambers fuses photography with graphic arts in a series of dreamlike photomontages.
“I like to say that instead of taking a photo, I am making a photo,” Mr. Chambers told Anne Kelly, the gallery’s Associate Director. His work, styled in the tradition of magic realism, brings a whole new meaning to the term ‘making photos.’
His process begins with creating a concept sketch. Over time, he photographs each element of the scene.
Once he has created the components, he combines them digitally to make photomontages, which are comprised of two or more photographs to create one final image.
The images are enhanced using Photoshop to emulate a dreamlike tone, in the tradition of magic realism. According to the gallery, Mr. Chambers “modernizes Renaissance painting techniques with his camera…while drawing from pivotal works in the lineage of art history.”
The images, inspired by ‘dreams and reverie,’ aim to present narratives that engage the viewer and provoke curiosity. “My rule of thumb is to create images that are possible, but improbable,” Mr. Chambers said.
‘Pennants Over Pienza,’ 2012.Tom Chambers
“Because I am adjusting one or two elements, the resultant photomontage is intended to appear almost real,”
Mr. Chambers told Ms. Kelly. “In addition, creating a photomontage involves a tremendous amount of post-production. I have to be very thoughtful about honoring my idea for the final image.
I want to avoid over-manipulation of the pieces that are included in the final image and ensure that the final gestalt feels authentic, yet a bit disturbing, and not too forced.”
I suspect that J.J. Grandville must be remembered as the proto-father of the proto-Surrealists, and probably more.
He was a very prolific illustrator during his short life (1803-1847), producing many images across a very wide field of imagination that would probably be referred to as speculative fiction.
Early in his stunted career he had some considerable influence as a satirical punisher in a number of superior-level magazines before a censorship law prohibiting such social observations criminalized that sort of imagination, and so Grandville moved on to illustrating some great classics in literature.
In 1844 Grandville (a pseudonym for Jean Ignace Isidore Gerard) published his (literally) fabulous Un Autre Monde, a very creative work of transformation and visionary exploration, which was a parody and critique of the worlds of the present and the possible.
Its sharp edge ha been lost to time as much as most any satire or caricature of a dusty political past might be (like farming jokes and James Buchanan in 1861), but when you look at the hundreds of illustrations for this work (as well as its underlying ideas) that is really all you need.
The images speak for themselves, and can speak to most anything, in any language.
This is one of the place where Grandville has writ his name large in the pre-history of Surrealism, an Andre Breton/Ernst Mach approach to lit and art about 70 years early.
The images are simply fantastic.
And you might be ready to see them–with modern eyes–when you read the subtitle head for his book, which reads so: Un Autre Monde/Transformations, Visions, Incarnations, ascensions, locomotions, explorations, peregrinations, excursions, stations [I’m not sure what this translate to], cosmogonies, fantasmagories, reveries, folatreries [“follies”], lubies [“fads”], metamorphoses, zoomorphie, lithomorphoses, metempsycoes, apotheos, et autre choses…
By the end of the title, the reader would suspect that something was “coming”.