How Henri Matisse Revolutionized Traditional Art and His Influence on Modern Art

Henri Matisse and Modern Art

“The Parakeet and the Mermaid,” 1952–1953 by Henri Matisse. Accompanied by two works of Yves Klein. Collection: Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Image: GJ. van Rooij (CC BY-NC 2.0)

As art history tells us, it was American artists such as Jackson Pollock, Barnett Newman, and Mark Rothko who revolutionized and redefined art in the 1940s and ‘50s. They pioneered the abstract art movement, and paved the way for most contemporary installation, sculpture, and performance artists we know today. However, some might not realize that the first artistic innovators came even before them. Modern art started to evolve during the early 20th century with French movements such as Cubism, led by Pablo Picasso. But one of the first artists to step away from traditional painting altogether was French artist Henri Matisse, who led the Fauvism movement in the 1900s.

In the early 1930s, Matisse exhibited his murals titled The Dance at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia. The abstract, gestural shapes depicting the human form showed the American art scene a new kind of painting, and arguably led to Cubism, Expressionism, and Futurism. Moreover, in the ‘40s and ‘50s Matisse stepped away from easel tradition altogether, in favor of large-scale paper cut-outs—a large body of work that inspired many modern abstract artists, and continues to influence artists today.

“From the moment I held the box of colors in my hands, I knew this was my life. I threw myself into it like a beast that plunges towards the thing it loves.”—Henri Matisse.

Henri Matisse - The Dance, 1933 at Barnes Foundation Philadelphia PA//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsHenri_Matisse_1933_May_20//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Who was Henri Matisse?

Considered the greatest colorist of the 20th century and a revolutionary artist who helped define modern art, French artist Henri Matisse first emerged as a Post-Impressionist. In 1904, he led the Fauvism movement; French for “wild beasts,” the les Fauves were a group of modern artists who favored pure, bright colors and expressive brushstrokes over realism.

Having also worked as a draughtsman, print maker, and sculptor, Matisse’s colorful artwork mostly depicted still life and the human figure. Confidently rendered in strong, vibrant shapes, he often used the white of his exposed canvas to create light-filled scenes. As he once said, “I don’t paint things. I only paint the difference between things.” As his style developed, Matisse’s depictions became more abstract and fragmented, until eventually—during his final years—he created work almost exclusively using colorful paper cut-outs.

Henri Matisse - Woman with a Hat, 1905 at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art - viewed at the Legion of Honor//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Henri Matisse’s early work: Fauvism

Lasting just 4 years (1904–1908), the Fauvism movement was led by Matisse and fellow French artist, André Derain. Characterized by seemingly wild brushwork and vivid colors, Fauvism could be described visually as a hybrid of Post-Impressionism and Pointillism. Les Fauves painted their subjects with a high degree of abstraction, depicting only basic shapes.

Inspired by the teachings of Gustave Moreau, a professor at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, as an art student Matisse once said, “He did not set us on the right roads, but off the roads. He disturbed our complacency.” In 1896, after studying Impressionism, Matisse announced he “couldn’t stand it anymore,” and abandoned his earth-colored palette for bright Post-Impressionist colors.

Henri Matisse - Open Window, Collioure at National Art Gallery Washington DC//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Matisse and Pablo Picasso

In 1906, Matisse met Pablo Picasso, and although they became lifelong friends, they were also rivals whose works were often compared. They both often painted the female figure and still life, but while Picasso painted from his imagination, Matisse drew inspiration from nature. The two great artists were first brought together at the Paris salon of Gertrude Stein, an American art collector living in Paris. Stein and her friends collected hundreds of works by Matisse and Picasso, championing them as major artists and welcoming them into their elite social circle.

In 1912, Matisse spent seven months in Morocco, producing about 24 paintings and numerous drawings. In 1917 he relocated to Nice, France, where he resided for the rest of his life. Even through World War II, during the Nazi-occupation of France. When his son, Pierre, begged him to flee, he refused and wrote, “If everyone who has any value leaves France, what remains of France?”

Henri Matisse, The Moroccans, 1915-16, MOMA//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Henri Matisse and Modern Art

“Henri Matisse working on paper cut out.” Image: Tullio Saba via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

“Creativity takes courage.”—Henri Matisse.

Matisse’s final years: the cut-outs

Diagnosed with abdominal cancer in 1941, Matisse underwent life-changing surgery that left him bound to either his chair or his bed. Painting and making sculptures had become impossible physical challenges, so he developed an expressive new technique. Committed to form and color, he picked up a pair of scissors and began creating paper-cut collages, which would later be known as “cut-outs.”

With the help of his assistants, Matisse would cut abstract shapes from sheets pre-painted in colorful shades of gouache. The artist would then arrange them into lively compositions. Initially, the early pieces were small in size, but eventually, they grew into murals or room-sized works. The result was a groundbreaking art form that was not quite painting, but not quite sculpture, and became his signature medium for the last decade of his life. Today, the work of Matisse’s final artistic triumph continues to inspire contemporary artists all over the world.

11-henri-matisse-the-cut-outs-moma-2014-habituallychic1//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsMATISSE - CUT OUTS//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsblue-nude//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsMATISSE - CUT OUTS//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Related Articles:

What is Modern Art? Exploring the Movements That Define the Groundbreaking Genre

Cubism: How Picasso and Others Broke From Tradition to Transform Modern Art

10 Inspiring Children’s Books for Budding Little Artists

20+ Brilliant Quotes About Art From Famous Artists and Great Creative Minds

Art History: What is Line Art?

The post How Henri Matisse Revolutionized Traditional Art and His Influence on Modern Art appeared first on My Modern Met.

http://ift.tt/2EJ7PaF

Library Places 1,600+ Occult Books Online With Help From ‘The Da Vinci Code’ Author

occult library dan brown

We’ve written about a lot of library digitization projects, but one of the more interesting collections to bring their books to the public is Amsterdam’s Ritman Library. Its collection of esoteric, religious, and philosophical manuscripts is based on the private collection of 20th-century businessman Joost Ritman, whose family made their fortune selling plastic tableware to airlines. And now, a good portion of the library’s core collection is online thanks to The Da Vinci Code author, Dan Brown.

In reality, the Ritman Library has been aiming to digitize its collection since beginning its Hermetically Open project in 2012. A play on the library’s status as a hub of printed materials in the field of Hermeticism, it was the start of an effort to bring these precious materials to a wider audience. Luckily for the library, they had a fan in Brown, who had visited the Ritman on several occasions while writing The Lost Symbol and Inferno. In June 2016, Brown announced that he would be donating €300,000 ($368,000) to the library in an effort to help them digitize their core collection of 4,600 pre-1900 texts on alchemy, religion, and magic.

And now, the first results of the donation are online, with the Ritman Library announcing that 1,617 occult manuscripts are ready to be explored. While the library admits that the interface is still new and will be improved for searchability and manuscript downloads, it’s still an exciting step for those interested in Hermeticism. And while there’s no language filter just yet—many of the books are in Latin, Dutch, German, or French—typing in an English speaking place of publication will yield some results in English.

More books will surely be added shortly and the first release follows closely after the opening of the Embassy of the Free Mind, Dan Brown’s new center that “aims to promote ‘free thinking’ through culture, art, science, and spirituality.” The Ritman Library’s collection is now housed at the center, making it an international hub for those interested in mysticism and philosophy.

The Ritman Library has been sharing their progress as they scan and digitize their vast collection of occult manuscripts.

Ritman Library digitization

Ritman Library Occult Library Scanning Process

Dan Brown donation Ritman Library

Ritman Library Occult Library Scanning Process

A generous donation by Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown, a fan of the library, helped them jumpstart their digitization project.

Ritman Library: Website | Facebook

h/t: [Open Culture]

Related Articles:

Medieval Illuminated Manuscript Exploring the Majesty of Animals Digitized and Placed Online

Behind the Scenes: How the British Library Digitizes One of the World’s Biggest Books

1,000-Year-Old Illustrated Manuscript of Herbal Remedies Available Online

World’s Oldest Multicolor Book, a Chinese Calligraphy & Painting Manual, Now Available Online

The post Library Places 1,600+ Occult Books Online With Help From ‘The Da Vinci Code’ Author appeared first on My Modern Met.

http://ift.tt/2Bq6G4M

450-Year-Old Wood Column Tied Into a Knot Is a Logic-Defying Art Installation

Alex Chinneck installation artist

Known for his mind-bending installation art, Alex Chinneck has moved indoors for his latest art installation, tying a 450-year-old wood column into a knot. With Birth, Death, and a Midlife Crisis, the British sculptor has conceived another stunning piece of optical illusion art, one that sees him installing an indoor sculpture for the first time in five years.

After his hovering stone building and seemingly melted building facade, both in England, Chinneck brings his unique background in architecture, sculpture, engineering, and set design to the interior of a German museum. Located in the small town of Kirchheim Unter Teck, the museum’s historic wooden columns served as the inspiration for Chinneck’s artwork.

His knotted column seems to defy logic—even when one knows it’s simply an art installation, it’s impossible not to feel as though it fits perfectly into place within the gallery. Indeed, Chinneck’s approach was purposely sensitive, teasing out the illusion while paying respect to the surroundings.

“I wanted to create the impression that we had only changed what was already physically present in the museum and the work was born through the manipulation, rather than introduction, of material,” Chinneck shares. “With this approach, the objective was to produce something sculpturally bold but contextually sensitive.”

The result is a startling, yet fascinating, work of art that blends in flawlessly with the environment, demonstrating Chinneck’s ability to transition between exterior and interior spaces. In addition to the knotted pillar, the artist also added a straight column in order to give the overall installation balance and symmetry. It’s this attention to detail that helps bring the illusion to life.

“I like to give fluidity to typically inflexible things, transcending their material nature. The columns are the prominent feature in the 450-year-old museum and this intervention took an opportunity to defy logic and distort history.”

For his newest logic-defying art installation, Alex Chinneck has created a knot in a 450-year-old wood column.

Alex Chinneck wood knot
Alex Chinneck installation art
Alex Chinneck installation art
Alex Chinneck wood knot
Alex Chinneck installation artist
Alex Chinneck optical illusion sculpture

Alex Chinneck: Website | Instagram

All photos by Charles Emerson. My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by Alex Chinneck.

Related Articles:

Artist Creates the Illusion of an Upside Down Car Stuck to a Wave of Road

12 Stunningly Surreal Sculptures

15+ Artists Whose Mind-Bending Optical Illusions Will Make You Look Twice

20+ Amazing 3D Street Art Illusions That Will Play Tricks on Your Mind

The post 450-Year-Old Wood Column Tied Into a Knot Is a Logic-Defying Art Installation appeared first on My Modern Met.

http://ift.tt/2EazT6q

Incredible 3D Drawings Pop Off the Page and Sink Into the Ground

3d Drawings by Sandor Vamos

Hungarian anamorphic artist Sandor Vamos creates incredible trick-of-the-eye 3D drawings that seem to jump from the page. With an integral understanding of angles and a knack for perspective, Vamos uses clever shading, line work, and perspectives to create his hand-drawn 3D optical illusions. From letters, numbers, and symbols to animals and even Pokémon characters, the talented artist can make pretty much anything look as though it’s come to life.

Anamorphic art stems from the early Renaissance, and was popularized by artists such as M. C. Escher, who made distorted images that could only be understood when viewed at a certain angle. Vamos uses the same technique to create his work, photographing each 2D drawing from specific angles, creating the illusion that they’re 3D. While many of Vamos’ mind-boggling illustrations appear to leap from their pages towards the viewer, others appear to recess inwards through the table and down towards an unknown abyss.

The artist shares the secrets behind his illusions with time-lapse videos on his YouTube channel, capturing his fascinating process. You can also follow Vamos on Instagram to find more of his work.

Hungarian anamorphic artist Sandor Vamos creates incredible trick-of-the-eye, 3D drawings that seem to jump from their pages.

3d Drawings by Sandor Vamos
3d Drawings by Sandor Vamos
3d Drawings by Sandor Vamos
3d Drawings by Sandor Vamos

Inspired by early Renaissance artists such as M. C. Escher, the mind-boggling images become three-dimensional only when viewed at a certain angle.

3d Drawings by Sandor Vamos
3d Drawings by Sandor Vamos
3d Drawings by Sandor Vamos
3d Drawings by Sandor Vamos

While many illustrations appear to leap from their pages towards the viewer…

3d Drawings by Sandor Vamos
3d Drawings by Sandor Vamos
3d Drawings by Sandor Vamos

…others appear to recess inwards through the table and down towards an unknown abyss.

3d Drawings by Sandor Vamos
3d Drawings by Sandor Vamos
3d Drawings by Sandor Vamos
3d Drawings by Sandor Vamos
3d Drawings by Sandor Vamos
3d Drawings by Sandor Vamos

From letters, numbers, and symbols…

3d Drawings by Sandor Vamos
3d Drawings by Sandor Vamos
3d Drawings by Sandor Vamos

….to animals, and even Pokemon characters…

3d Drawings by Sandor Vamos
3d Drawings by Sandor Vamos
3d Drawings by Sandor Vamos

…the talented artist can illustrate pretty much anything to make it look as though it’s come to life.

3d Drawings by Sandor Vamos
3d Drawings by Sandor Vamos
3d Drawings by Sandor Vamos
3d Drawings by Sandor Vamos

Watch how the illusions are created.

Sandor Vamos: Facebook | Instagram | YouTube | Deviant Art

All images via Sandor Vamos.

Related Articles:

3D Illustrations Come Alive on the Page!

Unbelievable 3D Drawings by Chilean Artist Fredo

15+ Artists Whose Mind-Bending Optical Illusions Will Make You Look Twice

Impossibly Tiny Doodles Fill Sketchbook Pages with Surreal Optical Illusions

25 Amazing Optical Illusions That Illustrate the Magic of Makeup

The post Incredible 3D Drawings Pop Off the Page and Sink Into the Ground appeared first on My Modern Met.

http://ift.tt/2C40hZT

Woman Leaves Behind Her Office Job to Become Accomplished Wildlife Photographer

Hennie van Heerden Wildlife Photographer

Dutch wildlife photographer Hennie van Heerden has transformed her passion into a career, traveling far and wide to capture stunning images of the natural world. After joining Flickr in 2006 and conversing with a tight-knit community of wildlife photographers, van Heerden left a successful career as an executive assistant in 2010. Since that time, she’s focused on honing her craft as a professional wildlife photographer.

Her love of animals runs deep and started during her childhood. “I grew up at what you could call a mini-zoo. We had dogs, cats, cows, pigs, chickens, parakeets, hundreds of little colorful ducks (my father bred them as a hobby), pheasants, rabbits, fish, geese, canaries,” van Heerden shares with My Modern Met. “We lived in a farmhouse and although my parents weren’t farmers, both their parents were. Can’t remember that we—my sister and I—were ever indoors. We were always doing something outside; swimming in the nearby stream, playing hide and seek at the equally nearby forest, playing with the animals….”

This love of nature and animals has stayed with van Heerden through adulthood, leading her on frequent journeys to Africa, where she’s able to photograph big game and small animals on nature reserves. It’s challenging work, something that requires patience, precision, and technical skill. But for van Heerden, that’s part of the attraction. “I like the challenge of wildlife photography. An animal moves, blinks, flies, and often does unexpected things which makes it harder to get a shot exactly right. And I like being challenged.”

Hennie van Heerden Wildlife Photographer

From close-up portraits of delicate birds and tiny insects to stunning captures of leopards or elephants framed in their environment, her artistic compositions and style have allowed her to create a name for herself as a skilled wildlife photographer. Whether in Costa Rica or Gambia, she’s able to capture the moment and magic of the country’s wildlife from a unique perspective.

Now, in between working with Canon Japan and chairing one of Holland’s largest nature photograph association, she also works with her husband on their own nature reserve. For the past 25 years, they’ve been buying up land adjacent to their property and work diligently on returning it to its wild state. It’s hard work that’s seen them plant over 15,000 trees, but one that brings great satisfaction.

As a photographer who made the career leap later in life, what advice would she give to those thinking of doing the same? Take your time, know what you’re in for, and if you think there’s a demand for your work, go for it. “Here in Europe, you can’t make a living out of selling photographs alone anymore. Even stronger, the profession ‘professional photographer’ hardly exists anymore nowadays. There’s always another element involved, like giving workshops, organizing photography tours, giving lectures etc,” she shares. “So I would do a lot of research if there is a demand for your specific art-form and if that is photography, ask yourself if you would be willing to engage in those other activities as well. And do try it out part-time. If that works, go quit your day-time job and be happy!”

Hennie van Heerden is an accomplished wildlife photographer who travels the world to capture unique images of animals.

Wildlife Photography by Hennie van Heerden

Photo of a Leopard by Hennie van Heerden

Hennie van Heerden Wildlife Photographer

Wildlife Photography by Hennie van Heerden

Hummingbird photograph by Hennie van Heerden

Wildlife Photography by Hennie van Heerden

Wildlife Photography by Hennie van Heerden

Wildlife Photography by Hennie van Heerden

Hennie van Heerden Wildlife Photographer

Hennie van Heerden: Flickr

My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by Hennie van Heerden.

Related Articles:

Interview: Up and Coming Wildlife Photographer Captures the Spirit of the Natural World

Steve Irwin’s 13-Year-Old Son is an Exceptionally Talented Wildlife Photographer

Remarkable Finalists of the 2017 Wildlife Photographer of the Year Contest

Photographer Captures Softer Side of Elusive and Feared Leopard Sleeping Peacefully

The post Woman Leaves Behind Her Office Job to Become Accomplished Wildlife Photographer appeared first on My Modern Met.

http://ift.tt/2FSkQdS

College Student Didn’t Like Dorm Life, So He Built a Tiny Home on Wheels for $15,000

Tiny Mobile Homes

As the cost of attending college goes up in the U.S., students are coming up with creative ways to save money on (and for) their schooling. A college student named Bradley from Jacksonville, Florida has avoided the dorm life by opting to build his own tiny home on wheels. Nestled among trees with a creek nearby, he calls his 230-square-foot abode Rolling Quarters. The cozy space is perfect for one person and comes complete with a large porch so that he can enjoy the outdoor serenity that’s just a few steps away.

Rolling Quarters started out as more a financial need than a desire to downsize. “Right out of high school I went and paid a year’s worth of rent and decided that wasn’t for me,” he tells Living Big In A Tiny House. “So I moved back home to save some money and pay for it all in cash to build it.” Bradley first secured a 27-foot-long flatbed trailer and then began collecting things from Craigslist. For the items and materials he couldn’t find used, like the vinyl siding, he bought new.

The interior of Rolling Quarters has a cabin-like feel. Branches and greenery line the walls, and the ceiling is left as its natural color. The design has space-saving details that are synonymous with tiny homes, like storage underneath the stairs, a lofted bedroom, and a foldable table that Bradley uses for studying. This still leaves him room for things like a TV and couch—as well as the ability to host 25 people in his air-conditioned space and still have room for a selfie.

Building Rolling Quarters gave Bradley more than just a place to live—it gave him confidence in his own abilities. “It taught me I can do more than I think I can. Before doing some of the things, such as electrics, I thought I might contract that out but after I got my hands dirty and went through the whole process it seems a lot simpler now.”

With the amenities, gorgeous landscape, and the fact he doesn’t have to live in a cramped dorm room, Bradley’s $15,000 cost to build Rolling Quarters was certainly worth it. If you’d like to experience the tiny home for yourself, Rolling Quarters is now available to book through Airbnb.

A college student named Bradley has avoided the dorm life—and saved money—by building his own tiny home on wheels called Rolling Quarters.

Incredible Tiny Homes

He started with a 27-foot flatbed trailer and constructed the 230 square foot abode on top of it.

Incredible Tiny Homes
Rolling Quarters Tiny Home on Wheels

The interior of the home features some space-saving characteristics, like storage underneath the stairs.

Rolling Quarters Tiny Home on Wheels
Rolling Quarters Tiny Home on Wheels

For just $15,000, Bradley now has a cozy home.

Rolling Quarters Tiny Home on Wheels
Incredible Tiny Homes
Rolling Quarters Tiny Home on Wheels
Incredible Tiny Homes
Incredible Tiny Homes
Incredible Tiny Homes
Tiny Mobile Homes

And although he lives there by himself, Rolling Quarters is equipped with a large porch that can easily host Bradley and his friends.

Rolling Quarters Tiny Home on Wheels

Take a tour of Rolling Quarters in the video below.

Rolling Quarters: Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by Rolling Quarters. 

Related Articles:

Mobile Tiny Home Comes Equipped with Its Own Detachable Green House

People Are Masterfully Transforming School Buses into Mobile Tiny Homes

Seniors Are Buying Tiny Homes to Live Their Golden Years Off the Grid

Tiny Home Village Offers Travelers a Pint-Sized Getaway in the Mountains

Fully-Customizable Tiny Homes Start at an Affordable $22,000

The post College Student Didn’t Like Dorm Life, So He Built a Tiny Home on Wheels for $15,000 appeared first on My Modern Met.

http://ift.tt/2BOHFRU

Dreamy Photos of New Zealand in Pink Captured With Infrared Camera

Infrared Photography Infrared Camera Pink Landscape New Zealand Vacation Paul Hoi

Interested in producing images on “the fringe of the otherworldly,” landscape photographer Paul Hoi creatively combines science fiction with psychedelia. Using a camera modified for full spectrum infrared, Hoi is able to craft dreamy scenes of nature that transform familiar visuals into foreign lands. During a recent trip to New Zealand, Hoi took this practice to new heights, turning his striking surroundings into stunning studies of color.

While car-camping through the country’s South Island, Hoi used a camera with a special lens that reveals an otherwise invisible light. This technological trick drastically alters the color composition of his photographs, transforming the region’s lush rainforests and verdant hills into brightly colored, bubble-gum pink landforms. Though slightly desaturated, the non-green tones of the cloudy skies, glacial lakes, and roaming wildlife remain relatively in-tact, culminating in perplexing landscapes that act as “vaguely familiar visual anchors of an alien world.”

Though Hoi’s specialty is landscape photography, he is not attracted to images that replicate reality. He is fascinated, rather, by depictions that alter perceptions and experiment with expectation. “I’m less interested in portraying landscapes ‘as they are,’ per journalistic or documentarian tradition, and more in seeing beyond the surface of an otherwise familiar landscape,” he explained to us. This creative approach to the craft sheds new light on the traditional type of photography, resulting in a beautiful body of work that is as mind-boggling as it is eye-catching.

Using an infrared camera, landscape photographer Paul Hoi captured dreamy depictions of New Zealand.

Infrared Photography Infrared Camera Pink Landscape New Zealand Vacation Paul Hoi

Each pink landscape portrays Hoi’s interest in using infrared photography to “see beyond the surface.”

Infrared Photography Infrared Camera Pink Landscape New Zealand Vacation Paul Hoi
Infrared Photography Infrared Camera Pink Landscape New Zealand Vacation Paul Hoi
Infrared Photography Infrared Camera Pink Landscape New Zealand Vacation Paul Hoi
Infrared Photography Infrared Camera Pink Landscape New Zealand Vacation Paul Hoi
Infrared Photography Infrared Camera Pink Landscape New Zealand Vacation Paul Hoi
Infrared Photography Infrared Camera Pink Landscape New Zealand Vacation Paul Hoi
Infrared Photography Infrared Camera Pink Landscape New Zealand Vacation Paul Hoi
Infrared Photography Infrared Camera Pink Landscape New Zealand Vacation Paul Hoi

Paul Hoi: Website | Instagram | Flickr | Behance

My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by Paul Hoi.

Related Articles:

Otherworldly Infrared Photography Transforms Alaskan Fjord into Another Planet

Photographer Visits Chernobyl With His Infrared Camera, Captures Stunning Images

Breathtaking Multicolored Infrared Landscapes

Infrared Photography Transforms Central Park into Surreal Wonderland

The post Dreamy Photos of New Zealand in Pink Captured With Infrared Camera appeared first on My Modern Met.

http://ift.tt/2EMnAuj

Interview: Rare Portraits Immortalize Siberia’s Indigenous People in Danger of Extinction

Alexander Khimushin Siberia portraits

Buryat young woman. © Alexander Khimushin / The World In Faces

When we last checked in with Alexander Khimushin, he had just spent 6 months capturing portraits of Siberia’s indigenous people. It’s now been over a year, and after almost 25,000 miles behind the wheel of an SUV, Khimushin is back with previously unpublished photographs from his time in Siberia. It’s all part of his The World in Faces project, which has seen the photographer traveling continuously since 2014 to immortalize the native cultures and traditions that make up the tapestry of our world.

The viral project has been published around the globe, from India to Israel, its popularity a testament to Khimushin’s skill at capturing the spirit of each culture within the model he photographs. Most recently, he was approached to partner with United Nations Human Rights, which used some of his images to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It’s an incredibly fitting reward for the photographer’s hard work. Without corporate or government sponsorship, Khimushin’s journey is a highly personal one aimed at reminding the world at large about these special communities we can’t afford to lose.

In between trips, we were able to speak with Khimushin, who grew up in the Yakutia, one of Siberia’s most remote areas. After voyages to Mongolia and Papua New Guinea, Khimushin is set for even more exciting adventures in 2018. The coming months will see him helicopter to the Arctic with scientists to capture remote indigenous groups before turning back to Siberia, where he aims to photograph even more ethnic minorities before setting out to visit other regions of the world on his mission of love and peace.

Scroll down to read our exclusive interview with this incredible photographer.

The World In Faces by Alexander Khimushin

Negidal girl. © Alexander Khimushin / The World In Faces

Alexander Khimushin indigenous people Siberia

Sakha young woman. © Alexander Khimushin / The World In Faces

What was the most rewarding thing about your time in Siberia?

Meeting people. They are completely different there. It may seem to many that they are laconic and unemotional, but behind this external roughness lies an open and kind heart and a generous soul. These people will never leave someone in danger, this is inherent in them at the genetic level. Life in severe climatic conditions at a great distance from everything in the world is not easy, but apparently, it is what brings up in a person qualities such as true friendship and mutual assistance.

In Russian, there is even an expression that describes these qualities – “a true Siberian character.” These lands have always attracted romantics, but still remain a mystery behind seven seals—there are only a few such places in the world. Only now, when I have traveled half of Siberia, can I understand how huge this territory is with absolutely different climate and nature zones (Siberia is more than the whole territory of the USA by 30%), how many amazingly different indigenous ethnic groups are living on this land and how unique is the chance I’ve been given to observe and learn it all by myself and tell the world about these people.

Alexander Khimushin indigenous people Siberia

Even little girl. © Alexander Khimushin / The World In Faces

Alexander Khimushin portraits from Siberia

Dolgan young woman. © Alexander Khimushin / The World In Faces

You’ve been doing The World in Faces for some time now and have traveled all over the world. How has the series changed since you began?

My travel transformed me as a person enormously over the years on the road, and the project itself has definitely evolved, since I started it, too. The first portraits taken years ago were just photos of the people I randomly met somewhere. They were street photos basically taken as a part of my journey.

Now, my journey is all about the people—the one and only reason for traveling. I am definitely going more in-depth. Some time ago I decided not just to photograph people, but also tell their stories; there are so many people with amazing stories that are very different from those of people living in the modern world. However, to do it all is much much more challenging, I have to stay longer, find the ways to speak the local language, find not only people who wear traditional clothing but interesting personalities to talk to. And you wouldn’t expect people to tell you an interesting personal story right away. I must be very patient, spending hours having tea, talking. It’s only possible if I show genuine interest and people feel the same about me.

Alexander Khimushin Siberia portraits

Dukha woman. © Alexander Khimushin / The World In Faces

Alexander Khimushin portraits from Siberia

Udege woman with child. © Alexander Khimushin / The World In Faces

I also found myself exploring the depths of each country’s ethnic kaleidoscope. For example, I have just completed the Mongolian leg on my journey. While I had been there already some years ago and took some photos of Mongolian people at that time, this time I spent months, and learned that there are about two dozens of different ethnic minority groups of Mongols. While they are not officially recognized as different nationalities, for me they are. They have a difference in language, traditions, and costume.

These days most of these ethnic groups are blended with the main Khalkh Mongolian population and basically culturally disappeared, but I was able to visit and photograph them and some of the coolest traditional clothing I have seen in my life too! Again, no one really knows much about these ethnicities—even the locals—let alone the rest of the world. So, my next story will be about them! Stay tuned!

Alexander Khimushin Siberia portraits

Ulchi man. © Alexander Khimushin / The World In Faces

The World In Faces by Alexander Khimushin

Nanai man. © Alexander Khimushin / The World In Faces

Where do you see The World in Faces going in the future?

First, when the project went viral, there were some producers/promoters around, telling me: “Man! You have to grasp the opportunity. Let’s do one country per week, take a “snap” of one or two people and move on. This way we can do 52 countries a year!” I said that I am not interested. It’s not about going on a photo tour, not about “Let’s get you on TV to host a travel show.” I don’t care about those things. I will do it at my own pace, with a deep connection to the land and the people I am taking photos of. I have to live it, feel it under my skin—otherwise, it’s just fake. I don’t know where this project will finally take me, but it is a personal development journey for me as well.

I see there is a lot of interest to what I do on the global level. Later this year it will be an anniversary—10 years of my travels. I think it will be good moment to stop for some time and finally build a team of professionals willing and able to contribute their time and knowledge to The World In Faces, as it gets challenging to me to continue traveling and working on the project as well as organizing exhibitions, publishing a photo book (long awaited by my fans), communication with various organizations, and taking care of social media. Personally, I also would like to do some more work with the UN Human Rights, to contribute more of my time and effort to a better world.

Alexander Khimushin portraits from Siberia

Ulchi girl. © Alexander Khimushin / The World In Faces

Alexander Khimushin The World In Faces

Chukchi girl. © Alexander Khimushin / The World In Faces

What do you hope viewers learn about Siberia and its culture from viewing your images?

Siberia is a part of my global photo project and my goals are not different if the photo portraits are taken in Siberia or anywhere else in the world. I would like the viewer to realize that while we are all different, we are all the same, sharing the same human values. Let’s all respect our cultural diversity, love each other and live in peace.

Siberia is a home to 41 different ethnic groups. While these people have unique different cultures—many of them, unfortunately, rapidly disappearing—they remain largely unknown to the rest of the world. Since I was born in Yakutia, can speak the language, am aware of the cultural nuances and probably know more ways of reaching some of the most remote areas of the world, I feel that I just have to visit all of the ethnic groups of Siberia and show their proud faces and unique traditions to the rest of the world.

Continue reading to see more unpublished images of ethnic minority groups Siberia.

The post Interview: Rare Portraits Immortalize Siberia’s Indigenous People in Danger of Extinction appeared first on My Modern Met.

http://ift.tt/2E8A954

Interview: Artist Creates “Woven” Paintings of How Man and Nature Are Connected

Woven Oil Paintings by Alexi Torres

Alexi Torres with “Mastermind America” 96″ x 192″. Oil on canvas 2017

Cuban artist Alexi Torres creates surreal, large-scale oil paintings using an intricate “woven” technique. The incredible pieces create a three-dimensional, multi-layered illusion that draws the viewer in for a closer look. Ranging from striking portraits and depictions of military and emergency services personnel to woven memory “flags,” Torres’ impressive work explores the relationship between nature and man or, as he describes it, the “interconnectedness of all living things.”

The colossal paintings—including his 192-inch-long Mastermind America piece—intricately weave together symbolic elements, which stimulate the viewer’s memories and tap into their imagination. In one piece, titled U.K. Flag I, Torres paints a Union Jack-shaped “flag” that’s interlaced with iconic motifs of Britain, including St Edward’s Crown, Paddington Bear, and the London Underground. Taking inspiration from traditional processes and materials, the artist’s distinctive style is mostly rendered in traditional wicker colors, or monochromatic tones that highlight the depth and shadow of his subjects.

Woven Oil Paintings by Alexi Torres

“Mastermind America” (Detail)

Torres immigrated to America in 2003, but still holds his Cuban heritage close to his heart. He honors his culture in his artwork, both with his subject choices and his processes. For example, the Sunlight series features portraits of Cuban people affected by the current political conditions. “Most of the Cuban population is made up of farmers who plant and harvest their crops on the waning moon,” Torres reveals in his artist statement. “To be in harmony with my people and our ancestors, I begin and complete each painting according to the same lunar pattern.”

We recently had the chance to chat with Torres about his work, processes, and inspirations. Read on for our exclusive interview.

Cuban artist Alexi Torres creates large-scale “woven” paintings that stimulate the viewer’s memories and tap into their imagination.

Woven Oil Paintings by Alexi Torres

“U.K. Flag I” 48″ x 72″. Oil on canvas 2015

Woven Oil Paintings by Alexi Torres

“White Flag – Cuba” 72″ x 108″. Oil on canvas 2014

When did you first begin painting?

I started painting when I was very young, around 4th grade. My notebooks were always full of drawings. One day, I came home after school and my father had bought a large landscape painting and placed it in the living room. When I first saw it, I was completely struck by it. I could not believe that someone could do such a beautiful painting. I looked at it for hours and my motivation for becoming an artist grew that day. I was born in a small village east of Havana, Cuba, and I did not have access to other art or art museums until later when I went to art school in Havana.

Woven Oil Paintings by Alexi Torres

“Brain Wash – Enlightenment” 48″ x 90”. Oil on canvas 2017

What inspired you to paint in your distinct woven basket style?

What really always inspired me was making things with other things. That way, I was changing the meaning of the original object. When I was living in Cuba, all my work was political against the Castro regime. As a way to describe the sickness of the whole system and how things were so corrupt and unfiltered, I was using other elements in my work like pills, locks, keys, cigarette filters, etc. In 1999, myself and four other artists created the “Grupo Puentes,” a collective group of artists. Most of our shows were censored completely by the government.

When I came to the USA in 2003, I suddenly had freedom to create anything and so the political issues I dealt with in Cuba were not applicable anymore. I had access to information and to spirituality that I did not have before. This helped me to get a better understanding of the world’s problems based on religion, races, separation and disconnection from others. As a result, I started to paint objects and people made out of natural elements, like feathers and basket weaving. Using these elements helps to transmit the idea of interconnectedness within all of us as one, as well as with nature on a spiritual and physical level.

Woven Oil Paintings by Alexi Torres

“Spiritual Security – Meditation II” 60″ x 60″. Oil on canvas 2016

Woven Oil Paintings by Alexi Torres

“Spiritual Security – Rocking” 72″ x 60″. Oil on canvas 2016

How long might it take you to complete one piece?

After I started painting with the basket weaving technique, I began incorporating a ritual into my work process based on lunar cycles. I did this to make the connection between man and nature / man and the universe more direct and strong. I start each work when the moon is waning and I complete it a few months later when the moon is waning again, very much like my father does and his ancestors did to farm the land, plant the seeds and later harvest the crops.

With my works, it is as if I am planting an idea and working with universal laws in their realization. I always have around five paintings that I am working on at the same time. Each one takes a few months to complete and almost every month, I start and complete several works.

Woven Oil Paintings by Alexi Torres

“Spiritual Security – Love Song” 72″ x 68″. Oil on canvas 2016

Woven Oil Paintings by Alexi Torres

“Spirit of Security – Seduction” 96″ x 72″. Oil on canvas 2016

Why did you choose to paint on canvases of such a large scale?

Some works need to be large to be effective in meaning and intention. I personally challenge myself with every work that I do. This is how I grow and expand as a creator and an artist.

When and where is your favorite time and place to create your art?

I have my main studio in Atlanta, GA. This is the place where all the large works are created. I am a very disciplined artist. I work almost every day and I am at the studio early in the morning. My wife, Julie, and my daughter, Kali, are artists as well, so we all spend most of the day at the studio. Even if it looks like a lot of effort to create my paintings, they are effortless because it is total joy to make them.

Woven Oil Paintings by Alexi Torres

“Sun Light – Domingo” 72″ x 64″. Oil on canvas 2016

Woven Oil Paintings by Alexi Torres

“Sun Light – Ronald” 72″ x 64″. Oil on canvas 2016

Any upcoming projects or exhibitions you’d like to share?

I have two exhibitions coming up: Art Boca Raton, represented by Evan Lurie Gallery in March 2018, and a solo show at Mason Fine Art, Atlanta in October 2018.

Alexi Torres: Website | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube

My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by Alexi Torres.

Related Articles:

Artist Skillfully Details Paintings to Look Like Real Ornate Rugs

Artist Creates Exquisitely Detailed Paintings That Look Like Authentic Persian Carpets

Antonio Santn’s Oil Paintings of Tapestries Create Mind-Bending Illusions of Depth

Powerful Palette Knife Paintings Capture Vulnerability of Men with Mental Health Issues

The post Interview: Artist Creates “Woven” Paintings of How Man and Nature Are Connected appeared first on My Modern Met.

http://ift.tt/2s463uz

The Evolution of Picasso’s Painting Style and What Each Artistic Choice Represents

Pablo Picasso Periods Picasso Famous Paintings

Throughout an artist’s lifetime, changes in approach, subject matter, and even style are to be expected. This phenomenon is apparent in the evolution of modern art‘s most beloved painters, from Monet‘s move toward abstraction to Van Gogh‘s brightened color palette. Though prevalent among most master painters, it is particularly emphasized in the paintings of Pablo Picasso (1881-1973).

With a career that spanned 79 years and included success in painting, sculpting, ceramics, poetry, stage design, and writing, his tendency to experiment with his craft is unsurprising. However, the extent to which his style changed in each discipline—particularly, in painting—is unlike that of any other artist. Therefore, in order to trace his stylistic evolution, his body of work is often divided into periods: early work, Blue Period, Rose Period, African Period, Cubism, Neoclassicism, Surrealism, and later work.

Here, we explore these changes, beginning with a phase that is often widely overlooked or even unknown: Picasso’s roots in realism.

Early Work

When Picasso began his career as an artist in 1894, he worked in a realist style. He depicted subjects authentically, and employed a true-to-life color palette. This traditional, academic approach is evident in his church-inspired paintings and his portrayals of loved ones, like The Altarboy and Portrait of the Artist’s Mother, respectively.

Pablo Picasso Periods Picasso Famous Paintings

‘The Altarboy’ (1896) (Image via Wiki Art)

Pablo Picasso Periods Picasso Famous Paintings

‘Portrait of the Artist’s Mother’ (1896) (Image via Wiki Art)

Beginning in 1897, however, his paintings took on a less lifelike quality. Undoubtedly influenced by Expressionist Edvard Munch and Post-Impressionist painter Toulouse-Lautrec, these pieces—like The Artist’s Sister Lola—convey Picasso’s growing interest in experimenting with a more freeform, avant-garde style.

Pablo Picasso Periods Picasso Famous Paintings

‘The Artist’s Sister Lola’ (ca. 1899-1900) (Image via The Athenaeum)

Blue Period (1901-1904)

In 1901, Picasso appeared to have entirely abandoned realism. This is particularly clear in his preference for color, which evolved from naturalistic hues to cooler tones. This change in pigment lasted until 1904, and is now characterized as the artist’s Blue Period.

Art of this period is somber in both color and in subject matter—an approach likely caused by depression due to a close friend’s suicide. The monochromatic pieces often feature figures living in poverty or despair, like the gaunt guitar player in The Old Guitarist, the unhappy Absinthe Drinker who sits with her arms folded, and the embracing Mother and Child who actually live in a disease-ridden women’s prison.

Pablo Picasso Periods Picasso Famous Paintings Picasso Blue Period

‘The Old Guitarist’ (ca. 1903-1904) (Image: Coldcreation via Wikipedia)

Pablo Picasso Periods Picasso Famous Paintings Picasso Blue Period

‘The Absinthe Drinker’ (1901) (Image via The Athenaeum)

Pablo Picasso Periods Picasso Famous Paintings Picasso Blue Period

‘Mother and Child’ (1901) (Image via The Athenaeum)

Picasso’s Blue Period (and causal depression) lasted until 1904. At this time, less solemn subjects and a warmer color scheme began to pop up in his paintings.

Rose Period (1904-1906)

As Picasso transitioned to his Rose Period in 1904, he continued to depict figures in his characteristically painterly style. While blue tones are still present in these paintings, they are contrasted by warmer shades. Similarly, after moving to Montmartre, a Bohemian district in Paris, he shifted his focus from individuals living in despair to entertainers, including harlequins, acrobats, and other circus performers.

Pablo Picasso Periods Picasso Famous Paintings Picasso Rose Period

‘Acrobat and Young Harlequin’ (1905) (Image: UGA via Wikipedia)

Pablo Picasso Periods Picasso Famous Paintings Picasso Rose Period

‘Mother and Child, Acrobats’ (ca. 1904-1905) (Image: Pictify via Wikipedia)

Pablo Picasso Periods

‘The Actor’ (ca. 1904-1905) (Image via Wikipedia)

At this time, Picasso began to experiment with Primitivism, a style that he would eventually embrace in in 1906.

The post The Evolution of Picasso’s Painting Style and What Each Artistic Choice Represents appeared first on My Modern Met.

http://ift.tt/2DURD5R