Here is another piece entitled Manchester United trying a different idea with the abstract shapes, which was a good experiment to see how those dueling 45 angles work together. This is just a mock-up, nothing official for the team.
I also designed a cd cover for The Kinks ‘Arthur’ album. Both of these were fun to apply the new style with different genres.
I’ve been trying hard over the past two weeks to explore this new run of artwork, which spring-boarded from a previous piece. Adding a few more design elements unexpectedly threw my work into a new direction, which is interesting because my experience in working with something abstract is very low.
I’ve been researching designers and artists from the early to mid 1900s as inspiration for this new pieces. Old travel posters, textbook covers, early computer art and old magazine ads are a great pool of hardcore design.
Previously posted on my Flickr stream, the new pieces are Stockholm (pictured above), Heelal and Fraai.
This one, entitled Omringen uses symmetry to get a bit of a different composition. I’m having a good time using these shapes to convey different compositions and aesthetics as I work on them. This is essentially one shape duplicated at different sizes, and overlapping groups on top of one another to create different shades of color. The design is ever-changing, which is quite exciting to see.
The works in this style thus far have been sketches at low resolution, but as I gain a bit of momentum I will be trying out larger scale works to see how much more a larger canvas can handle. More real estate means more shapes.
I created another image earlier today entitled De Aanleggen ’08 which was the first in this color palette inspired by harvest gold fridges and avocado green stoves of the 1970s.
I continued my abstract experimentation last night using a similar color palette as before, and created Oplossing. By overlapping the shapes and setting the top layers to Color Burn, I unlocked a new range of bold colors to work with. The shapes are essentially the same oranges and blues I used before but I let them fuse together naturally when I worked with them.
I’m sometimes paranoid about leaving opacities at full on overlays because I have a hard time ‘not’ seeing strictly the effect I applied. With this new piece I tried to separate myself from the actual process and to see the colors for what they were. Joshua Davis made a point of saying “It’s hard to see your environment when you’re in your environment” during his QBN speech, which is very true and sort of applies to what I’m doing, or trying to do. It’s easy for me to see a bold red as being the result of two or more effects, so it’s hard to see only the vibrant color and how well it works.
So as I continue I’m forcing myself to forget Photoshop and focus on the colors it might generate.
Last night I saw down at my computer with the intention of exploring a few of the design themes from my previous work, while incorporating the typical elements that have showed up in my work for the past few months. The art always takes on a life of it’s own as I proceed due to my organic process of letting the elements bounce off of one another when different effects are added.
This new one, entitled 72 Eindelijk Dynamo reprise was supposed to be an extension of the previous piece until it veered off in an unexpected abstract avenue. I have always enjoyed certain pieces of abstract art (the complicated kind, not the lazy) and have been reading up on some abstract painters from the early and mid 1900s, like Mondrian, Rothko, Braque and a few of the Russian Futurist guys. This led me to experiment more with shapes rather then physical elements.
I’ve recently wanted a bit of a change from the skull composites I’ve been doing. The new one, called 72 Eindelijk Dynamo is the result of looking into Georges Braque, Piet Mondrian, Mark Rothko and a bit of analytical cubism by Picasso. I wanted a fresher style that took on the kind of science abstract art takes. It was a fun change, and cool to add a few more ‘design’ elements into the piece.
I also wanted to lighten the color palette a bit to change the mood. The heavier ones are fun, but it gets a bit monotonous. This one is also created at 24″ x 36″, and you can check out a detail of the middle portion.
Here is the fourth piece at 24″ x 36″ using one of the images from Sarah’s photoshoot, entitled Anew. I have a very hard time trying to solidify this one, I think due to the color choice. I became very stubborn about keeping the color palette toward the blue end of things, rather then leaning toward a warmer palette again. I really wanted to see if my colors would land where I wanted them to using a different combination. It proved difficult but quite enjoyable.
I used a few brushstroke highlights in The Warming and I really liked the final outcome. Those few little strokes had the power to change it’s meaning. Some saw sun rays, others saw water from a showerhead, so the new piece has a few more lighting elements added.
As I leaned toward lighting, I leaned away from heavy texture. I’ve been kicking around Flickr looking at other people’s artwork and have been gaining an appreciation for works outside of my own genre, particularly those who use slick vectors. As result, I tried hard to clean my image up a bit to see if I could gain a different aesthetic.
You can see the full image here, or a detail.
Alex Grey is a more recent discovery of mine that came with the CD design he created for Tool’s Lateralus (pictured here). Upon purchase of the cd I was stunned by the intricacy of his artwork and remaining faithful to the human anatomy. Not only does he show what is beneath our skin, but he does it with such mathematical and anatomical preciseness that it almost appears that he’s nuts.
I have since done quite a lot of research into Grey’s works and have discovered it isn’t so much his pieces that I’m a fan of, but more his conceptual and execution of each one. I might not like the finished product aesthetically, but each work floors me with it’s accuracy and metaphysical nature which is probably what draws the boys in Tool to his work.
My newest pieces ride very closely on the heels of Grey’s work, in an attempt to show our inner workings below what we all see each day. Obviously I will never attempt something of Grey’s complexity because I’m not about to do any autopsies as artistic research, but his works are incredibly inspiring due to the amount of study he must have done to get to the point of executing such complex art pieces.
You can check out Alex Grey’s website for all of his latest works and news, and go buy Lateralus by Tool for a more hands-on demonstration of his amazing work.