Photoshop has enabled the impossible to happen in photographs. Explore how artists have pushed the boundaries between reality and the impossible. Photographers and designer have been experimenting and exploring with surrealism. Working on creating the impossible through using new techniques and ideas to further their skills in the art form which has become very popular over the last 20 years as Photoshop came around. With such easy access to incredible possibilities to manipulate any photographs it means there are also many possibilities to create stories and to enhance how they are told. Everyone will interpret images differently, but with the possibility to entirely change an image, it creates impressive stories. There are so many artists and designers that base their work around the ability to manipulate their photographs to create a narrative piece, that is why I have chosen the question above. I feel that gaining some kind of insight into this side of graphic work, it will help me improve my own narrative pieces, and it will also help me see how other artists and designers go about surrealism in art. I have researched several artists and designers that specialize in using photo manipulation to create exciting and unusual pieces that catch the viewer's eye. Most of these artists using Photoshop to help them push the boundaries of reality. A lot of the designers and artists I have researched have differentiated between keeping their work quite simple with small changes, whilst others have quite complex pieces that are very clearly manipulated. The photographers that will appear in this essay are: Giuseppe Mastromatteo, Wanda Wulz, and Kyle Thompson. These artists mostly definitely relate to the topic of this essay, due to the fact that mostly all use photoshop primarily to create their pieces. Using photoshop to create narrative pieces and base it around surrealism and breaking the impossible. Even though some of the work between the artist's may seem similar, I will be comparing them to look at the similarities and differences between each one's pieces, looking at what kind of narrative stories they portray in their work with either subtle editing or taking very outrageous editing opportunities. But with the artwork having no words, these pieces are going to raise questions and be different to the viewer's so I will also be comparing the effects they have on the viewer. Being influenced by a lot of different artists but also through my own ideas I've managed to pick up a lot of techniques in photo manipulation, pretty much entirely working through photoshop. So I will be able to look into further detail at how the artists have created certain artworks, and also use this essay to help improve my own work, and how I can further my own work by looking into the art of incredible designers. The first artist I researched was Giuseppe Mastromatteo, he creates surrealist pieces that push the boundaries of what is physically possible, expressing his ideas through photo manipulation creates very unusual and intriguing photographs. Mastromatteo is a photographer who was born in Italy on August 10th 1970. Giuseppe Mastromatteo has been working as an artist for more than a decade. After a period spent as a recordist assistant inside a record company, Mastromatteo graduated from Accademia di Comunicazione di Milano with a degree in art direction. Since 2005, Mastromatteo’s works have been exhibited at the Fabbrica Eos Art Gallery Milan, Emmanuel Fremin Gallery in New York, Paris, Miami, Basel, Instanbul as well as
national and international art fairs. He likes to develop his art projects in New York where he has lived for three years. I chose to look at Mastromatteo's work because I think that his work his quite simple, but is incredible. It's unusual yet still beautiful. A lot of his work fits under the very simple yet beautiful photo manipulations, as there is two projects he has done were called 'Indepensense 2009' and Indepensense 2012'. So this kind of art is typical of the photographer. The mood of the artwork he does surrounds the idea of beauty and fashion as his work is created in a studio then manipulated in photoshop afterwards. The image above depicts a woman covering her eyes with her hands, but her eyes have been edited onto her hands. This imagery relates to narrative as there may be a story behind this image, when Mastromateeo published this prokject he never gave any description to the individual pieces, so it seems to be a mystery as to what the true narrative behind it all is, but it allows the viewer to make their own conclusions on what it could mean. The composition of this image leaves a blank background and the model in the forground, as both the background and model are quite pale t dosen't make for a heavy contrast of the piece. It is quite light along with the lighting not being very harsh it may allow you to view the image as quite pure and ilght hearted. There is not much negative space in the photograph. The main focus point of this piece is the eys on the hand, it may relate to childhood, that even though the model cover's their eyes, the memories are still there in plain sight. So it possibley could be that there is no escape from what the model saw. That is my personal opinion on what the topic of this piece could be. But with the lighting and placement it may just be a fashion or adrvetising art piece. Rather than a self-expresive photograph. The piece is somewhat realistic but it's just that key point o the image that makes it unusual and interesting to the viewer. It switched from quite a simple photograph to something with a deeper meaning, it raises several questions. So with a narrative piece that it the kind of result you would want from a viewer. I like the colours that are used in the projects that Mastromatteo as they are quite simple with a low contrast. It's not harsh on the eys and there isn't so many brighht colours so that you are distracted from the main point of the image. Small amount of colour run though the artwork, suvch as through the lips, or the eye colour. But overall there Is very minimal. But all photographs are in perfect focus and clear, very detailed, you can see the texture of the hair, and the eyelashes of the woman, the way her lips would feel. I feel that the artist was aiming to suggest the idea of not wanting to hold onto the memories but not being able to escape them , but as there is no story officially from Mastromatteo that means there is only the different opinions of the viewer. I feel that if the artist was aiming for that idea he succeeded well, by keeping the image simple, and subtle, it let the viewer's mind wander and go deeper into the image and it's meaning.The colours is surely important to the mood set, as they are quite subdued it keeps the mood a quite a calm level. The calmness of the image relates to another artist I will be researching next, Kyle Thompson creates more complex images but keeps the mood of them all very calm. Kyle Thompson describes his work as surreal conceptual photography, he was born January 11th 1992. Thompson's work usually is self-portraiture and aims at being completely unusual by using a higher quality of techniques and ideas that express interesting narratives through his work. The image above depicts Kyle Thompson with a large knife hovering above his hand. The
image is quite interesting as it seems as though Thompson is magical and can make things hover, its also interesting as this could be said to be the narrative of this image. But seen as the expression on his face seems to be quite plain, maybe there is a sadder, deeper meaning to this, maybe a problem with mental health leading to self harm, or maybe something psychologically darker as in a possible killer. It all relates to how the viewer may see and then interpret an image. Kyle Thompson is slightly to the right of the image, with only his head and shoulders showing as he has his hand stretched out to the left of him with a knife pointing downwards at his hand. The main focus point of this art is the knife as it's quite a statement, and takes up a large portion of the photograph. Being as the only other subject is Thompson, it's what the viewer would see first. I would possibly say that the story behind this image is resulting from as I said before mental health issues, and how that revolves around different actions caused by those issues. The work is incredibly realistic, as the editing is done well, and it could fool people that were unaware of photo manipulation into believing Thompson had those kinds of abilities to do such a thing. I feel that the choices of colours in this image relate to what Mastromatteo did, with a low contrast colour palette and with small colour. The background ir a purple colour, quite dull whilst Thompson's skin tone doesn't contrast much from the background it leaves the image to be quite calm, the lighting isn't too harsh either. Even the knife itself doesn't have much of a contrast to the background and Thompson. I believe that the artist was aiming to suggest some kind of emotional problem, as the expression on his face just is expressionless, he seems quite 'dead' inside. It leaves the viewer wondering whether the person is okay, and raises many questions to what is going on in the image. I feel that the colours in this piece are important as they all work together well, if the colours were quite dark the image would seem sinister whereas if the colours were bright it would relate the image to some idea of a clown, a very sinister clown. Onto my next artist, Wanda Wulz, she was born in 1902 and unfortunately died in 1984, but she was able to manipulate what is reality and the impossible way before photoshop came around. This piece she created in her early life in 1934 is called 'lo+gatta' and is manipulation of herself and her cat, by using double exposure to carefully place the images over one another to make this effect. Bibliography http://www.giuseppemastromatteo.com/ http://ezinearticles.com/?History-of-Surreal-Photography&id=720571 http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/phsr/hd_phsr.htm http://www.astropix.com/HTML/J_DIGIT/ETHICS.HTM
http://www.kylethompsonphotography.com/ http://www.metmuseum.org/collection/the-collection-online/search/265159 http://www.frieze.com/issue/review/faking-it-manipulated-photography-before-photoshop/ Artist/ Designer analysis: Begin by explaining why the artist is relevant to your essay. You could explain this relevance by a quote. Explain generally the artists/designers type of artwork or the ideas that are associated with him/her (is there a summary of style or subject matter?) – give examples of this in other artworks that the artist has produced. Chose an artwork Explain the background/ history of the artwork- date, title etc. (you don’t have to do all the below if its not relevant) • •
Some biographical background Is the piece you have chosen typical of the artist’s work? (To answer this you will need to show a number of the artist’s images, at least three where possible).
Explain the chosen artwork looking at your example: • • • • •
What is the image/sculpture depicting? Is it mundane (ordinary), real, imaginary or constructed? How does it relate to narrative? Is there a message being conveyed? (relate to question) Explain the composition- Foreground, middle ground, background - How do these help you to read the image? Use the rule of thirds if this helps What is the main focus point? Why do you think this? What story is being told?
Analyse the style of the work: • •
Is the work realistic or has it been abstracted or simplified in some way? What do you think the artist has been exploring when working in this way? What do you think about the choice of colour or texture used? What was the artist trying to show about the subject? E.g. Mark making – is it painted/drawn roughly, realistically, harshly?
What sort of mood has been created in the piece? • • • •
Do you know what the artist was aiming to suggest? Do you think this has been achieved? Include your own opinion. Is texture/art materials used to create mood (smooth or thickly applied etc.) Is colour important to the mood? Harmonious, complimentary, hot, cold, exaggerated, etc.
You may also want to consider the points below: • • • • • • • •
Viewpoint – close, far away, normal, high up, realistic Format – portrait, landscape, square, etc Lighting – intense, harsh/soft, sources of light Tones – contrasted, tonal range Materials used – painted/computer/drawn/use of line/etc Composition – cropping, dominance of figure/object, depth, balance Image manipulation – has the original image been de/constructed by different materials? Any typography or computer usage – readable, obscured, smeared, hand written
Relationship to the problem you are considering: After you have answered the questions above and completed the first artist analysis/ study, evaluate how it affects your opinion on the original question or title/problem set. Now move onto the next movement or artist….. REPEAT ALL THE ABOVE FOR A SECOND ARTIST Compare artist 1 and 2 considering similarities and differences in their approaches. Include your own personal opinion on this.
DO THE SAME FOR ALL THE OTHER ARTISTS Compare your third or more artists with the other two. If you wish to broaden your study mention other artists that you feel are relevant to your question. Conclusion – Have you come to an answer through your study? Put this in your conclusion. You do not necessarily need a definite yes or no but you must round off the study. Never try to write an essay on art, which is without any conclusion because a conclusion is one, which summarizes your whole essay on art in a concise form. Conclusion should not be long, it should indicate to the answer that you have found out after the discussion of the body paragraphs. Your conclusion should also answer the question raised in your essay or in the subheadings. Example of a conclusion In conclusion, it is visible through investigations of the exploration of both female and male nudity within art to see that the interpretations between the male and female bodies are very contrastive. Traditionally, The female body is seen upon as being passive, innocent, sexual and
realistic in form whereas the male body is active, domineering, idyllic and superficial. This has been continued throughout classical art for example Greek and Roman classical sculpture into contemporary, modern art. As the art society is male dominated this interpretation has therefore stayed constant with little change. However, with the introduction of female artists such as Jenny Saville or Sarah Lucas interpreting gender presents a contrastive interpretation. With the strong and confrontational style Lucas imposes on the viewer, female artists will now find it easier to find a voice. This will be continued in the future which I predict will change the interpretation of the male and female bodies when concerning the gender representation. Your FINAL OUTCOME will be a copy of the above essay accompanied by the images you have found to support your journal. Use of your own images supports a deeper understanding of the artist’s practical work (these can be included at the end).
BIBLIOGRAPHY You will need to include a full bibliography at the end. As you carry out your research keep a record of all internet sites you use to get research, and any books used with details of author, title, publisher and date of publication.