From Abstract Sunday, an Instagram feed by illustrator Christoph Niemann. Illustration: Christoph Niemann
Artists don’t always explain themselves well.
Even acclaimed illustrator Christoph Niemann, who can articulate the mysteries of creativity better than many, doesn’t always understand the moment when the head, heart and eyes merge with skills and gifts to produce a brilliant piece. It’s like trying to put into words the act of breathing.
But every Sunday, we can behold the headwaters of his creative flow.
Wang Dongling’s poem at the Hangzhou Apple Store. Photo: Apple
Apple’s stunning new store in Hangzhou China is drawing raves, even though no one has seen what it’ll actually look like. The outside of the store has been covered with a giant Apple Store sized mural during construction, only instead of throwing up another boring white box, Apple teamed up with famous calligrapher Wang Dongling to create a beautiful poem on the outside.
To celebrate the upcoming West Lake store, Apple published a video today going behind the scenes with Dongling and his creative process for creating the artwork on the store. Dongling is renowned for his experimentation in merging Western and Chinese forms to push calligraphy in a new direction.
“The lines in calligraphy need to have life in them”, Dangling says in the video. “They need to have an aesthetic feeling. They need to have a kind of magical energy endowed by nature.”
One person’s dirty car window is Scott Wade’s canvas. Wade created a museum mashup — The Mona Lisa and Starry Night — on this grimy glass. Photo courtesy Scott Wade
He is an Eagle Scout, a versatile bar-band drummer and a senior GUI designer for a company that creates mobile apps for the health care industry.
But Scott Wade is famous for drawing dirty pictures.
It’s not the content that raises eyebrows but the canvas on which Wade creates. Present him with a dirty car and see why some call him the “da Vinci of Dust.”
Who hasn’t walked by a car coated in dirt and used their finger to scrawl the message, “Wash me”? Wade, inspired by the dirt roads of his home state of Texas, uses a car’s dirty window as an opportunity to create elaborate landscapes, detailed portraiture with subtle shading and re-imagined classic works like The Mona Lisa or Van Gogh’s Starry Night.
That other man being, in this case, freelance graphic designer Viktor Hertz, who spends some of his time making fun little art pieces out of Macintosh progress bars.
He calls this project his “work in progress bars,” and you can see his whole collection on his main page, as well as some of his other illustration work over on Behance. Continue below to see a few more tasty treats from Hertz, who calls it “a quick and silly little side-project of mine.”
R2-D2 is just one of Adam Lister’s 8-bit-inspired pop culture artworks.
Remember being lost in the 8-bit world of Atari and Nintendo? When Adam Lister was a boy, he couldn’t spend enough time in his basement playing Pong, Space Invaders or Donkey Kong.
Games and graphics, of course, evolved, and the chiptune music of those game consoles went silent long ago. But the graphic language where characters are a rough collection of cubes and rectangles still speaks to Lister.
It is the lens through which he views art history and pop culture in a series of more than 250 watercolor paintings he created over a three-year period.
It happens all the time: The subject of a portrait tries to put their best face forward but the photographer senses a more authentic expression locked inside. To get to something real, the photographer utilizes a range of tricks and charms to peel back the subject’s veneer.
South Carolina photographer Patrick Hall used 300,000 volts.
Shockingly, close to a hundred people got zapped with a stun gun for Hall’s series of still photos and a slow-motion video that went viral soon after it was published on the Fstoppers website, which Hall co-founded.
“I wanted to start making more photo series of things I don’t normally do,” Hall told Cult of Mac. “Why don’t I get reactions of people doing something painful or joyful that is more than the standard portrait? What could I do to consistently get reactions?”
Montreal artist Meags Fitzgerald turns intimate photo-booth pictures into short films.
Before anyone ever uttered the word “selfie,” Meags Fitzgerald had accumulated thousands of photos of herself taken in photo booths in the malls and train stations near her home.
She produced strips of four one-of-a-kind poses almost daily, sometimes hiding in a mall photo booth until after close. High-school friends dubbed her “the Photo Booth Girl.” Today, when the Montreal artist pulls the curtain in a booth, the flashes sometimes don’t stop until she has enough photos to produce a movie.
“It’s very much an obscure labor of love,” said Fitzgerald, a freelance illustrator who has produced six film shorts, all in photo booths. “There are certainly people who have used photo booths in their mediums but I’m the only one I know who has used them in this way, in this length or with the narrative purpose I’ve tried.”
Ben Heine’s amazing Pencil vs Camera series artfully blends photographs and drawings.
Ben Heine is a magician.
Like David Blaine and Criss Angel before him, he has a special talent for blurring the line between reality and fiction. But instead of utilizing sleight of hand or his indomitable will to delight his audience, Heine keeps it simple by using just a pencil and camera to create his illusions.
Heine’s incredible art series Pencil vs Camera combines gorgeous landscapes and city scenes with hand-sketched drawings. The otherworldly images that result are both whimsical and intriguing, with a bit of mind-bending magic thrown in for perspective.
“I always try to express what I’m feeling,” Heine told Cult of Mac, noting that most of his inspiration for drawings come “mainly from people around me — friends, family, even strangers — and from every experience I live.”
Game: Sunset Overdrive Artist: Julien Renoult Developer: Insomniac Games Publisher: Microsoft
Instead of trotting out the cliché question, “Are games art?,” an exhibit at the Electronic Entertainment Expo aims to explore the actual artwork from upcoming and recently announced video games.
Long gone are the pixellated abstracts of yesteryear: these are fully realized, gorgeous works of art in various styles, hung for all to see in the Los Angeles Convention Center, where the Expo takes place this week.
Developing today’s graphics-rich video games –mobile, console, or PC — takes a lot of time, talent, and passion, and the images above show the kind of artistic energy that is put into them. From the painterly styles of artwork from Assassin’s Creed Unity and Destiny to the poster illustration of The Banner Saga and Sunset Overdrive, there’s a lot to like in the images above.
From 1993 until 1997, Apple’s rainbow logo smiled down from the east-facing side of Infinite Loop’s Building 3 as drivers sped north on Highway 280.
Now these Styrofoam and fiberglass signs are treated like fine art being peddled by one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious auctioneers.
Two rainbow Apple logos from the company’s original offices will be put up for auction next month at Bonhams and even though they come with some wear and tear, these Apple logos will cost you more than all your previous Apple purchases combined.