But this post won’t be about Hamdi. I chose this image because it was freely shared on Pixabay and it shows some of the thought processes behind Marcus Møller Bitsch’s work, the Danish photographer featured recently on Aesthetica Magazine‘s website.
Unlike most Surrealist artists, Marcus MB, as he likes to be called, doesn’t use digital manipulation if he can help it and instead creates his version of Surrealism using simple props, such as a photograph of a blue cloudy sky cracked open in the middle to reveal a night sky with small sparkly stars. Or a photograph of the sea, torn in places in order to insert what could be actual small rocks—which then end up looking like large outcrops in the middle of the sea.
Artists Heather Ackroyd and Dan Harvey create portraits with living, growing grass. They germinate grass seeds, spread them over burlap slathered with water paste, and then manipulate the light they’re getting—they keep the canvases in a darkroom and project at them the light of negative images. The idea is simple enough, but it does make you embrace nature in a grand way, doesn’t it?
On March 6 at Christie’s contemporary art auction in London, Wolfgang Tillmans sold his cameraless photo Freischwimmer 186 (2011) for £269,000 (approx. $329,000). It’s a marvelous piece of work. You can see it on artnet.
I wrote something a few days ago about Santiago Sierra’s 396 Women. The House of the People. Bucharest, Romania. October of 2005, which I saw in July 2011 at the Contemporary Art Center in Málaga, Spain, and, as I often do, I went to Google afterward looking up photomontages of different kinds, in particular that species where a scene is composed through various details observed at different moments; where photography becomes a conduit akin to writing, the artist’s and viewer’s gaze dwelling on particular details as they move through a landscape.
Here are some of my favorite examples, courtesy of the artist Matthew Chase-Daniel. Notice how in Panamint Valley, California his gaze runs back and forth. Wonderful! Just as precious are the others, where the focus is calibrated within a smaller range, but with just enough difference from shot to shot to suggest the presence of the artist adjusting his presence to that of the fields of vision he’s in.
To see more photomontages by Chase-Daniel and his explorations in other media, visit his website.