The Escheresque Photography of Sebastian Luczywo

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Sebastian Luczywo photography, The Great Migration

Sebastian Luczywo photography, The Great Migration

inspired by M. C. Escher

Quirky, mathematical, interdisciplinary, engaging us in thought experiments, visual paradoxes and mental puzzles, the art of M. C. Escher continues to inspire artists around the world. Most notably, the photographer Sebastian Luczywo makes many visual allusions to Escher’s art, which remains very popular to this day. Recently, the Escher exhibition in Brazil became, according to Blouin Art Info, “the world’s most popular art show,” drawing tens of thousands of viewers. (Blouin Art Info, April 13, 2012) Part of Escher’s continuing popularity can be explained in terms of the universal appeal of his art, which attracts those who love art and those who love mathematics or science alike. Like Picasso and Brancusi, in many respects Escher was an autodidact. He had little formal training in mathematics.

M. C. Escher

In fact, Escher discovered his passion for geometry, topology and visual paradoxes almost by accident, thanks to his travels to Alhambra, Spain. Escher was fascinated by the intricate, mathematical designs—or tessellations–he saw in the architecture of Alhambra, whose interlocking repetitive patterns of design would inspire much of his artwork.

M. C. Escher tessellation

The word “tessellation” comes from the Latin term “tessera” or small stone cube. “Tessellata” were the mosaic geometric designs of mosques (in which the representation of people or “idols” was strictly forbidden) as well as of Roman floors and buildings in general. Escher’s designs would “interlock” many objects–including his famous representations of fish and various critters–in fascinating patterns that create the magic of optical illusion.

M. C. Escher
 

Sebastian Luczywo’s photography sets into play tessellation patterns, reminiscent of the art of  M. C. Escher, but gives them a metaphysical twist. In the photograph The Great Migration (see image at the top of the page), for example, we not only see the physical reflections of leaves in the pond in a manner similar to Escher’s art, but also a metaphysical reflection on the passage of time. Luczywo catches a moment in the life of a family reflected in the water, with one of the children holding a large clock. No matter how much photography may freeze this moment in time, time will flow on. The children will grow and move on to create their own lives; the parents will age. Photography attempts to immortalize a moment–and an important stage of our lives–that is, in fact, very fleeting. Personally, when I see this image it makes me think of the following implication: if we can’t live and appreciate each of these stages of our daily lives in the present, we will lose them forever, except in the images of our memories and art. But, of course, photography, like all art, is open-ended, not limited to any given interpretation. What you see reflected in this (or any) image is largely up to you as a viewer.

Sebastian Luczywo 7

Like Escher does in some of his artwork, most notably Waterfall Up and Down, Luczywo stages provocative inversions and displacements, where objects, animals and human beings aren’t where we’d expect them to be. The world is topsy turvy, as it were, and nothing conforms to our expectations. For instance,  in one of Luczywo’s photographs, the child is in the dog house and the dog stands outside of it. In another, a child pops up unexpectedly from underneath the train tracks; in yet another, The Birth of Music, a violin emerges from cupped hands in a wheat field.

Sebastian Luczywo photography

Sebastian Luczywo photography

In an article on Dodho.com, Sebastian Luczywo explains some of the reasons behind these unexpected twists: “I am in favour of being interested in the world, searching for new things, reaching for something you haven’t experienced so far. That is why I do my best to make my portfolio rich and diverse, not monotonous at all, as monotony attracts neither me nor my receipients I create my works for.” (http://dodho.com/sebastian-luczywo-photography/)

Sebastian Luczywo photography

Sebastian Luczywo photography

One of the effects or these surprising perspectives and role reversals is to defamiliarize the familiar, which, paradoxically, makes us appreciate the every day images, people and objects depicted even more. We may be inured to them when we see them in familiar ways and settings, but Sebastian Luczywo’s images, like M. C. Escher’s art, help us see our world with fresh eyes. 

Sebastian Luczywo photography

Sebastian Luczywo photography

Claudia Moscovici, postromanticism.com

http://www.amazon.com/Romanticism-Postromanticism-Claudia-Moscovici/dp/0739116754

Fashion, Beauty and Style: Radoslaw Pujan’s Images

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by Radoslaw Pujan

by Radoslaw Pujan

It’s not easy to stand out in the genres of fashion, beauty and erotic photography, fields where the competition is tough and in which hundreds of artists thrive. Yet the Polish-born, Brussels-based photographer Radoslaw Pujan distinguishes himself in all of these highly competitive genres. Recently, his photography was awarded (by Playboy) the Fotoerotica contest. He was also  finalist in the prestigious Hasselblad Masters 2014.

photo by Radoslaw Pujan

photo by Radoslaw Pujan

Although reminiscent of the elegance and sensuality of Jeanloup Sieff, Pujan’s images are nonetheless very contemporary  in feel. His signature touch is a subtle theatricality and emotion, as apparent in the image above of the beautiful model, Iga Rakoczy. Many of his images, in fact, remind us of shoots from a drama that leaves the plot up to the viewer’s imagination.

photo by Radoslaw Pujan

photo by Radoslaw Pujan

Many of his sensual images play upon the notion of voyeurism, staging a play of glances between the watcher and the watched. But what is perhaps most impressive about Radoslaw Pujan’s photography is its versatility. His images cover the gama of life and human experience, from erotic, to fashion, to beauty, to historical, to nature scenes. The conventions of one genre spill over into another, enriching it.

photo by Radoslaw Pujan

photo by Radoslaw Pujan

Radoslaw Pujan’s erotic photos, for instance, are full of elegance, beauty and style, characteristic of fashion shoots. Analogously, his fashion images are very sensual and dramatic, as erotic photography tends to be. And his beauty shots find inspiration in nature photography. In Radoslaw Pujan’s artwork you will encounter a feast for the senses and a wealth of inspiration for the imagination.

image by Radoslaw Pujan

image by Radoslaw Pujan

Claudia Moscovici, postromanticism.com

http://www.amazon.com/Romanticism-Postromanticism-Claudia-Moscovici/dp/0739116754

A Surrealist Futurism: The Art of Adam Martinakis

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by Adam Martinakis

by Adam Martinakis

The cosmopolitan artist Adam Martinakis was born in Poland, grew up in Greece and lives in England. His style combines a unique mixture of Surrealism and Futurism and his genre can be described as highly versatile. Adam creates sculptures, intallations, and 3D models (via digital photography).

by Adam Martinakis

by Adam Martinakis

Although many of his works would fit right in as the posters for science fiction movies, they are, quite literally, multidimensional, not only in form but also in content. These silent humanoid figures speak volumes about the complexity of romantic love; the angst of the human condition (reminsicent of Edvard Munch’s expressionism); the pieces of our personalities and external influences that compose each and every one of us socially and psychologically.

by Adam Martinakis

by Adam Martinakis

There’s a clear scientific bent to Martinakis’s images and installations, as many of the human figures are positioned within structures that look like the orbits of planets or the makeup of atoms, reminding us, as did the ancient philosophers, of our material place within the universe.

The remains of a memory by Adam Martinakis

The metaphysical dimension of Adam Martinakis’s artwork is very evident in the sculpture “The remains of a Memory,” which reveals both the physical closeness of the lovers and the ephemeral nature of their temporal bond. Like the lovers themselves, memory and existence are inseparably intertwined. As their memory of each other disintegrates, so do their bodies. Adam Martinakis combines art, philosophy and science to create works of art that make profound statements about the human condition.

Claudia Moscovici, postromanticism.com

http://www.amazon.com/Romanticism-Postromanticism-Claudia-Moscovici/dp/0739116754

Commemorating childhood: The figurative art of Mark Lovett

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by Mark Lovett

by Mark Lovett

I find it rather extraordinary that we commemorate through art important historical events, war heroes, authors and political leaders, yet we rarely commemorate in art what is most important to most of us: our family lives and our children. During the 19th and 20th centuries, depicting children in art was usually relegated to female painters (most notably, Mary Cassatt and Berthe Morisot) or depicted with unsettling undertones of sexuality, as is the case in Balthus’s controversial paintings.

The figurative painter Mark Lovett commemorates through his beautiful paintings and photographs what matters most to so many of us: our children. Mark Lovett depicts children,  particularly girls, during the years (between 3 and 12) when they are old enough to appreciate family activities yet young enough to still enjoy the company of their parents. The subject of family and children is inherently personal, so I will mention one personal note, which is part of the reason why I’m so touched by Mark Lovett’s art. I remember with great fondness the many activities my husband and I did with our children, Alex and Sophie, when they were younger: apple orchards, zoo trips, museums, Renaissance fairs, art camps, cub scouts, hiking and vacations in so many beautiful places around the world. The kids, and their joie de vivre, added enormous pleasure and sense of meaning to our lives.

by Mark Lovett

by Mark Lovett

Because this part of childhood and family life lasts roughly ten years, it’s easy to have the false impression that it will never go away. Yet like everything beautiful in life, it’s ephemeral  and it passes. As the children grow up,  you can relive your their early years and the joy they brought to your family in your memory, in your heart and, if you’re fortunate, in great artwork like the one created by Mark Lovett.

by Mark Lovett

by Mark Lovett

Mark is a graduate of the University of Maryland, where he studied figurative and portrait painting at Nelson Shanks’ Studio Incamminati in Pennsylvania and of The Art League School in Alexandria, VA. As  you can probably tell by looking at  his realist paintings, Mark finds inspiration in the old masters. He is particularly influenced by the works of Bouguereau, Sargent, Renoir and Monet. He employs many of their techniques, particularly in depicting his subjects in a realistic fashion. Yet ultimately, like all great painters, he has his own unique style.

by Mark Lovett

by Mark Lovett

Mark’s works depict children in an unsentimental fashion that nonetheless evokes the best experiences many of us have of our family lives. His backgrounds tend to use bold strokes, while his figures themselves–the children–are very finely painted, with a delicate touch that captures their individual features and expressions.

As you can see on his website,http://www.marklovettstudio.com/,Mark has won numerous awards including: 2006 Portrait Society of America Children’s Portrait Competition;  MD Annual Art Show and 2005 Rockville Art League Art Show Winner. His works have been featured in numerous magazines, including Washington Spaces Magazine 2007 and 2006; Who’s Who of Strathmore Worldwide 2007-2008; Preview Magazine Art Expo, NY 2007; Strathmore Applause Magazine cover 2006; Art Business News Magazine 2006 and 2005.  You can view his works primarily in his own studio, MarkLovettStudio, as well as in several galleries in the U.S. and Europe, including the prestigious gallery Galerie Pierre in France (http://about.me/GaleriePierre). Thanks to Mark Lovett’s talent and works, we can commemorate our children’s most fun and memorable years through art, as well as in our lives and fondest memories.

Claudia Moscovici, postromanticism.com

http://www.amazon.com/Romanticism-Postromanticism-Claudia-Moscovici/dp/0739116754