Lola Mitchell uses textures and digital painting to create stories through images. Her surrealistic underwater photography resonates with rhythm and explores emotional concepts.
Alice Zilberberg merges traditional photography and computer illustration, creating images that bridge the platforms of photography and painting. Her work marries reality and fantasy, echoing elements of surrealism and baroque art. Using photo-manipulation metaphorically, her images explore themes such as female power, the natural environment, personal identity, and the human condition.
The series Goddess Almighty is a reinterpretation of the first recorded goddess, Mother Nature. Worshipped in a time when nature was depended upon and respected, she epitomized fertility, the life cycle and sexual freedom, all embodied in a woman. Today, by contrast, we domineer and destroy nature. Our primary religions convey god as a man and traditionally devalue women. Reminiscent of baroque art, the work reestablishes the goddess to her origins, defining her as strong, mysterious and defeating. Dancers are used for their physical strength, their muscles digitally exaggerated.
Influences by the surrealism movement, The Dreaming Girls is an homage to the surrealists working from the 1920s to the 1960s. This project uses surreal art photography to channel the unconscious and unleash imagination. Writing down dreams and visual ideas for weeks, the project was made using different images taken in different places. The images were put together, with colouring and toning digitally.
As the themes in Alice’s work change, the fascination with the surreal stays.
Interview with Alice Zilberberg
Where are you from?
I grew up in Israel.
Where do you live now?
Downtown Toronto, Canada.
How has that affected your work?
Some of my work like my project “Home”, speaks about my background and belonging. In this project, the bottom half of the images were photographed in Israel, the country I grew up in, while the sky was shot in Canada, the country I currently reside in. When I arrived in Canada I found it difficult to connect to other, and when I came to visit “Home” (Israel) after many years, I realized that in Israel I was Canadian, and in Canada I was Israeli. The landscapes are digitally manipulated to appear otherworldly, like a different planet, representing a place I am estranged from. In them I see a familiarity, a place that is so beautiful, that has recognizable features, but somewhere I feel alien.
What concepts or stories do you often return to? Why?
I have made a few projects that are eco-feminist in nature, which explore the connections between femininity and the natural environment. I return to these themes because I like to take ideas I’m interested in and make metaphoric connections that appear in my work. In the future, I see myself making direct connections to personal experiences and my life in my projects.
What artists do you look up to?
Some contemporary artists I admire are Ray Caesar, Erwin Olaf, Natalie Shau, Miss Aniela, Erik Johansson, and Brooke Shaden. I also love artists such as Dali, Rene Magritte, Frida Kahlo, Frans Snyder, and Jan Weenix.
Your work is surrealistic and you work in digital photography. How did you come about to choose this combination?
I’ve been drawing and painting since I young age. I started playing with digital illustration and photo-manipulation before I picked up a camera. My style developed when I discovered photography I saw that I could manipulate photography in the computer and create surrealistic images. I’ve been working in this technique for over ten years.
Feminism seems to be important in the two bodies of work we are featuring. Who or what has influence your thinking on this?
As someone who grew up in a small kibbutz in Israel, I’ve always felt very connected to nature. As I child I remember always playing outside and being in nature as opposed to being connecting to technology. Owning my own business and being entrepreneurial in nature, I feel the connection to empower women.
Sergio Gervacio creates photographs that range from the ominous and unexpected to the whimsical. Strange masked men stand in the darkness, yet wearing a unicorn mask. A selfie taker’s arm clutching the phone is emerging from his open mouth.
A figure sits in a tub of milky liquid blowing bubbles, wearing a mask. A strange mermaid doll also happens to be in that tub. What does it all mean? Well, if it was obvious, he wouldn’t have to make the art.
Baskoro Prasetyo is a 28-year-old freelance photographer and videographer from Bali, Indonesia.
Prasetyo’s work takes a critical view of nature and culture. In his work, he deconstructs Indonesian beliefs and culture. He uses digital collage and photography in his artwork.
Kyle Thompson’s hauntingly surreal photographs evade narrative and easy answers. We make associations and attempt to form meanings that that artist has indicated, but are left with only more questions.
Yet Thompson’s work is gratifying: elegant compositions. Rich colors. Powerful juxtapositions. Each image is unique, but form a complex body of work.
The artist tends to use himself as the main subject in his deeply personal photography.
The brunt of Thompson’s work consists of beautiful, striking and surreal self-portraits in which Thompson is bending reality to his will.
“I started taking self-portraits because I enjoyed going out alone,” Thompson recently told The Daily Beast. “It was easiest because I am always available and… I wanted some way to channel my emotions. I felt self-portraits were the most personal.”
His work is often set in abandoned houses or deep inside forests where he creates scenes of solitude that, on occasion, require that he set himself on fire.
Ghose Town (2013)
Kyle Thompson Biography
Kyle Thompson was born in Chicago on January 11th, 1992. He began taking photographs at the age of nineteen after finding interest in nearby abandoned houses. His work is mostly composed of self portraits, often taking place in empty forests and abandoned homes.
His work encapsulates the ephemeral narrative, a nonexistent story line that only lives for a split moment. These images show the collapse of narrative, as there is no defined story line with a beginning and end; instead, these images create a loop. This fleeting moment lives on in a constant unchanging state. By diverting the view of the face, the images become more ambiguous, the viewer is no longer able to tie a defined story line to the image.
He is currently based in Portland, OR