Gallery Heist

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General:

This Artwork is named Gallery Heist. Its creator is Michael Zamaitis, working out of Vancouver Canada. It’s in the story telling section of ArtStation, first published in January. The illustration shows three men stealing artwork from a museum or studio, but while two are focused on competing the robbery, one of the thieves stands entranced by a painting.

 

Background:

Every texture in the museums walls and floors are made apparent. The red center wall has a horizontal pattern and you can see the shadow on one of the thieves plastered on it. The floor has a more intricate and detailed pattern in comparison to the wall. There’s a shift in dimension as one of the men is moving towards the exit. It has from what it looks like carpet, which is mildly textured, and there 3 paintings throughout the hallway. One is being pulled through the exit, while the other three remain on the wall and one has captured the attention of a thief. The Thieves are organized. They all have matching garb with a black balaclava and brown jacket, which suggest that they’re close or perhaps even know or knew of each other beforehand.

Figures:

There are three primary figures in this piece. One man is admiring the painting. His hands are in his jacket which could signal that he has no intention in stealing it. The painting he is starting at is hard to decipher, it’s almost completely black. It is obstructed by orientation and the overhead light shining on them. The thief in the middle of it all is signaling to the captured thief a ‘Let’s go’ motion. That could signal to us that they are leaving though there still are paintings left to loot. He is awkwardly wearing white pants accompanied by white and black shoes, perhaps to show morality.The man furthest on the right already has a painting and is heading towards the exit. He looks back which could hint that the middle man is talking or yelling for the first man to hurry. He’s wearing the darkest clothing of the three.

Color:

There’s a select number of colors but they each do their job well.  The mute colors emphasis the shady actions being done here. If there were more light then the place would shine vibrantly. Interesting enough the paintings in this piece are also muted, the background gleams stronger than them. The primary black and bits of white are well done as to their only escape to the outside world. The lighter and darker tones on their jackets are unique to each one giving them life, or at the very least an indicator to body language.

Meaning and Being: When Inspiration Strikes

Inspiration can be struck from anywhere. We always hear about that someone was captivated by a piece of art and then that moment their life has changed. It’s always written off as something foolish or random. Well this piece shows that those instances are true and they can happen anywhere. Perhaps the man looking at the painting will too be one of those stories. It conveys a certain irony as well, a criminal which is usually dismissed as a thorn in society is now trying to understand something so complex as art. If not that then at the very least a person can have a moment to appreciate something or gain inspiration from it. It doesn’t matter if you’re doing a crime, doesn’t matter if your mates are telling you to hurry, doesn’t matter if even you’re possibly giving up your freedom. You’ll never know when a painting will hit you.

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Volk

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General: 

This artwork is titled “Volk” (Russian for Wolf) and was created by Yuri Shwedoff working out of Moscow Russia. It was featured on his artstation page sometime in 2015. The image is of a young man standing before a golden moon. There's a gold leaf in his ear, and a gold glint in his eye. In his hand he's holding a volk.
 

Background: 

Above the horizon, the background is a kind of featureless plane with maybe a few shallow impressions of clouds drifting by. Beneath the horizon, the land rises out of what might be a beach and spikes into jagged boulders, and a steep cliff in the left distance. From the jump, It’s an odd contrast, the ambiguity of the sky above matched against the almost photo realism of the jagged rocks below. 
 

Figures:

There are three major figures in this image. The first, the young man, is wearing a grey sweater, black jeans and a pair of tennis shoes,  He’s centered in the frame standing atop one of the jagged rocks with his left foot planted and the right foot, heel up so only his toes are touching the ground. Most notable about him is the gold leaf behind his ears and the ways his eyes shine with that same color. In his arms, he’s carrying the second major figure the wolf. It’s hanging there in his hands seemingly helpless and certainly incapacitated. Its body is large and covered in matted grey fur. Together, the guy and the wolf are the two most photo-realistic elements rendered in the picture. The moon on the other hand, as the third and final major figure, has a different quality about it. The texture of its surface is jagged almost like the rocks below, but it gives the moon a quality of being paper thin, like a golden wafer in the sky. It's an incredible source of light within the reality of the artwork, but it lacks the photorealism that the other figures embody. The three figures together are composed in a kind of harmony where the guy is bisecting the moon vertically, and the wolf in his arms, is doing so horizontally (though in a less than perfect way.)

Color: 

Per Yuri’s style, most of the image is either grey or a muted cousin of a more identifiable hue. For instance, the sky is completely grey and so is the cliff off into the distant left. While the young guy is wearing black jeans and black and white shoes, Both the shirt the guy is wearing as well as the fur of the wolf are grey. Closer to the foreground a few modest colors start to appear. There’s a blue tint to some of the rocks, while others retain a natural brown color. The major contrast in color though is emanating from the dull gold of the moon.  Like the moon, the leaf shape behind the guy's ear is also a dull gold, and it looks like the glint in his eye is that same color as well.
 

 

Meaning & Being: Projecting onto the Unknown

“Man realizes his insignificance in the face of uncertainty and the power of non-material world. but at the same time, he is looking for his place, and to understand the significance of his mind and the ability to see and feel.” 

This is a quote from Yuri, where he's talking about the themes of his work and for me its a key to understanding this work in particular. Most of his work takes place in a surreal world where strange things are juxtaposed. Here it feels like the juxtaposition was between the viscera and tactility of the world beneath your feet, the realness of the world - and that you belong to it - against a world too mired in clouds and ambiguity to penetrate. But here the moon tries to bridge that gap. It's like the projection of an individual mind onto a world we don’t know. Like how people created stories about the reason for lightning before we could understand deeply the nature of lightning for real.  And projection onto the unknown can be as illuminating as a dull light shined on ourselves, but it’s also hard to shake the fact that it’s just a projection. A myopic creation of an imagination dealing with the uncertainty that permeates life. It’s useful and brilliant in its own right, but it is still paper thin when compared to the reality beneath it, and the dark depths behind it. 

But I’m not even certain about that, maybe that’s just my projection, The moon of my imagination. I can also imagine that it’s a love story. 
 


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Street Life 2

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General:

This Artwork is titled “Street Life 2” and was created by Quan Pham Tung, working out of Hanoi, Vietnam. I initially found the image on his website, but at the moment it’s offline. If interested though you can find more of his portfolio on ArtStation. The artwork here depicts a scene on a busy street playing out in front of an elaborately decorated building. The major themes are how an organized kaleidoscope of colors and symbols create feeling or being.

 

Background:

Beginning at the sky and descending The background of this image features large clouds drifting through a bright sky. Beneath are a series of silhouetted building that rises from a brick white concrete terrace, which itself stands slightly above a main street built from yellow cobblestones. 
 

 

Figure:

The primary figure in this image is the elaborately decorated building, that features a wide variety of shapes and symbols. The largest of these shapes is the chicken head that sits at the top of the building. Directly beneath are a series of awnings layered one beneath another until they reach the front door of the building. Descending down the other face of the building there are other recognizable symbols including a heart shape, a hamburger sign, and a bear face. At the bottom of this side of the building is a single large awning that sits above two wide windows. Even still there are more designs that color the building including a symbol that kind of looks like a Pokeball (a mysterious symbol that pops up in a lot of Quan's work) that takes two forms. One is the drawn symbol, and the other sits as a material object above the front door. There’s a wave pattern that appears a few times (one is drawn, the other material), the numbers 7 and 2, lots of cylindrical shapes, even a sort of mezzanine. All of this in the one building. 

On the street below are a variety of characters engaging in different activities. The most odd is the bear-suited man (or maybe it actually is a bear) standing in the open doorway of the elaborate building. Standing to the left of him, there are people dressed in long white tunic like clothes, and standing outside the window there are two children looking in. Beside them is a little white dog. And on the street, there's a person pushing a carriage. And probably the characters that are the easiest for us to relate to are the two guys to the right side of the picture looking curiously at the building like “What is this”
 

 

Color:

In terms of color, the image can be divided between the large swaths of white and the punctuated uses of primary colors like yellow (or yellow-orange) blue and red. The huge white clouds are drifting past a blue sky. The Chicken head atop the building is white, accented by the red comb on top of its head. Most of the Tunics the people are wearing are mostly white if not all white. Some have little designs near the bottoms hems. And other people have the white of their tunics accented in other ways, for instance, the lady on the street is pushing a red stroller. The building as a whole obscures the large swathes of white at as many points as possible, in that the colored accents dominate its design. Almost like there is so much vibrant graffiti covering it surface, the white layer beneath has been all but completely obscured. One interesting deviation of the color theme in the picture is the little girl looking through the window. Whereas every other character is wearing a hard white, she’s wearing a patterned grey shirt. 
 

Meaning and Being: A Dimension just Left of Here

 This is my favorite kind of style. Because there is so much going,  it kind of transcends a specific meaning and pulls you into the realm of feeling. Particular how this place feels at this specific time. And for me, it feels vibrant and busy. Rich in culture and hospitality and at the same time strange, like an alternate reality. The Bearman in the doorway is a key figure. He (or maybe it) seems welcoming and wholly consistent with the strangeness of the world around him. But it also seems like if the reality we live in was just an eyelash different, a half step into the dimension left of us we could be walking through a world like this. Into elaborate storefronts where bear men hawk wacky chicken headed trinkets.

Most of the scene going on is analogous to the world we live in, children are looking through window panes, and adults are walking about, a mother is pushing a carriage and it’s all happening on a city street. All these things we recognize, it’s just the way Quan has manifested them in this picture and the coherence with which he did it makes it feel possible. 


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The Sun

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General:              

This artwork is titled “The Sun” and was created by Yuri Shwedoff working out of Moscow Russia. It was featured on his artstation page sometime in 2015. The image is of a person in a desolate environment, standing tiny before a massive structure. The circular object before him is composed of panels and is intensely bright as an analog for the brilliance of the sun. The major elements of this picture are the juxtaposition of the tiny figure and the background environment against the size and brilliance of the sun like object. 

Background:                                                                                                                                                              

The background in this piece is desolate and for the most part featureless. The Sky of the is covered in dense clouds, while the ground below is covered in ashy sand that rise into dunes on either side of the image.

Figure: 

The human figure in the image is absolutely tiny in the frame but a few details can be made out about them. First is that the person is wearing some kind of duster or long jacket that might be suitable for the environment their wandering through. More interesting than the long jacket though, is that the figure seems to have something like a sword on them, visible on their left side. The primary figure of this artwork is the sun structure that stands massive in the frame. It’s sitting atop a black base, throughout which are window like openings. The sun structure itself is composed of rectangular panels that rotate around the center in seven concentric circles. Some of the are in pristine condition while other panels have deteriorated. The center itself is a small circle and the brightest point in the image. 


Color:

There are two major tones in the color of the image, and they can be divided between the center sun structure and everything else. The tiny person in the foreground and the entire background are colored in shades of greys and blacks. From they charcoal clouds drifting through the sky to sand dunes shaded in the vain of dark ash and cinder. Even the person isn’t much more than a black silhouette. Every element in this image that is not the sun structure is almost completely devoid of color. The sun structure itself also features some ashy colors. Its panels that have deteriorated in form have also lost their brilliance in color. The panels still in good form, however, still shine with a color that starts at a dull yellow, in the outer layers of the structure and increases in brilliance as they move towards the center circle which itself is the brightest point in the artwork. 


Meaning and Being: Dwarfed by Nature 

For me, the image feels heavy like an epiphany. If I were to inhabit the world he’s created here, as the little figure in the foreground, I’d feel like I’ve inherited a planet trapped between the desolation of a ruined world and the obliterating brilliance of ultimate realty.

But I think there's maybe a few positive threads in the image. First is that  The light of the sun dwarfs even the desolation of the surrounding environment. To say. even if humanity should reduce itself to ash and ruin the sun will still shine... and maybe even foster new life in the ruin. But there is also the relationship between the sun structure and the person standing before it. In religious artwork, you often see a bright halo behind divine figures like some Saints, or Buddha or Christ. Sometimes it's a thin crest of gold light and other times it looks like the sun is perfectly centered above their heads. I like to think of this composition in terms of that idea. But here the halo dwarfs the individual, but because the person is still aligned with the sun, the relationship is maintained. And I like that. I think anybody who continues to move in the face of complete misery has a halo that dwarfs their physical form. They are bigger and brighter than even they realize. It's probably good to keep a sword on you too though...


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Crew

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General: 

The title of this artwork is Crew. It was created by Quan Pham Tung working out of Vietnam, and was posted on the site artstation sometime in 2014. The image is of community of people, standing shoulder to shoulder in the foreground. standing tall Behind them is a machine, and Off to the side a bird is soaring upwards.

 

Background:

The background of the image is dominated by the clear and bare sky, that descend into the equally featureless earth.

Figure:  

There are two primary figures in the image and the first is the community of people who stand in the foreground. There are a few animals that appear alongside the people - to the left of the image you can see one person handling a few of the white dogs - but for the most part the foreground features a variety of people in various shapes sizes. Some are tall and thin, others are short, and other still are rotund. Some of them are wearing overalls and others are wearing helmeted jumpsuits, and others are wearing stockings. Most of the people are standing in the foreground shoulder to shoulder with one another, almost like they’re lined up for a picture. But some people are working on the giant mech behind them. To the left a few people are clinging to the the machine with ropes while  on the right others are standing on top of scaffold.

The second primary figure is the mech itself, towering above the people in the foreground. The shape of it is like a round hull, with cannons equipped to either side, sitting on top of a pair of inverted legs. Throughout the mech a variety of symbols have been painted. A few are recognizable like the number 5 and two little skulls. But others are more abstract, like the V shape and M shape, and a symbol that looks a little like a poke ball on the right side of the machine. There is also another minor figure, which is the bird ascending in the left side of the picture. It’s no quite apart of the group of people below and it’s also not a part of the mech, so it has some significance in its own right.

 

Color:

One of Quan's best traits is his skill with the use of color. Most of this image is just white. The ground is completely white - although two shades - and the sky is a near white blue. The primary color most of the people in the foreground are wearing is white and the same for the mech. To a lesser extent the same can be said for the bird. But where the the image shines is how Quan uses vibrant primary colors to accent the hard whites. Each of the characters on the ground is wearing a unique combination of either blue, yellow or red (with one notable exception). Some wear blue overalls, while others wear jumpsuits accented by blue and yellow. The mech is also like this, except in some capacity or another it features each of the three primary colors used in the image. Some uses of color are abstract accents, like the red that outlines parts of the hull, while other times the color is used for the symbols that dot the mech. One of the skulls is yellow, and another skull is blue, while the  5 painted on the mech is red

There are two really interesting deviation to this theme. One is the bird, who features all of the three primary colors unlike the people, and like the machine. It’s wings are a combination of red and blue, white it’s beak and feet are yellow. The other notable exception is the guy in the the center right of the picture wearing all black... what could that mean...



 

Being & Meaning:

A crew of individuals becomes powerful but they also gain something greater.

  Like most of Quan's work, and maybe this one more than any other, the feeling of this image is bright. It’s not bright in the sense of an explosion of joy or an exuberant moment. But it’s bright like the feeling of working towards a positive goal. In an interview with quan he said "I am setting up a new world where wars do not exist. In there, violence is something very strange to humanity, all of human resources are used in some bigger missions such as art, science or space exploration.”

  That is partly the message of this piece. A community of individuals (as shown in their unique designs) combine their efforts to create something that transcends all of them, but also is imbued with the spirit of each of them. That’s the mech that stand above them but carries everyone's individual colors and symbols. But there’s also the bird that carries each color. It’s not huge, but it’s the one thing in the picture that’s flying. Where as the mech is what we could create if we combined or intellectual and mechanical efforts, the bird could be an analog for the spirit of a community in harmony. If you try to build a better future with your crew then you become powerful but you also become graceful.


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Untitled

This work is untitled and was created by Gaston Pacheco working out of Mendoza Argentina. It's part of a collection that he featured on the site Behance on February 20th 2017, titled Illustration Vol 6. The illustration is of a barefoot man in sombrero walking through a twilight dessert, feeding the wildlife along his journey. 

 

Background: 

The background is a desert landscape, the sky’s contrasting shades are divided by wavy lines. Near the horizon, a bright sun is setting and rising above it is a large full moon. The base of the Moon is illuminated by the setting sun, but its upper half is shaded.  Like the sky, the desert land is also striped, but here the stripes are vertical and they divide the land into two alternating shades of the same colors, one light and the other darker. Beyond the few boulders and rocks that dot the landscape the desert is mostly flat and barren, extending far back into a thin horizon of gently rising mountains. 

 

Figures: 

There are two primary figures and a couple of secondary figures in the image. The first primary figure is the barefoot man walking through the desert. There's a large brimmed sombrero tilted over his eyes. His jeans are cuffed at the bottom and held by the belt around his waist are two gourds strapped to his back. In his hands is some kind of food that he's using to feed the trio of fish floating around him. Characteristic of Gaston-style the fish have very large ringed eyes, and their bodies are stripped. The second primary figure is the giant stingray, floating off in the distance towards the barefoot man. Its eyes are large like the fish in the foreground. Its wings extend to either side of its body and its tail extends behind it repeating triangles. 


Colors:

The colors of this illustration are cool and of low intensity. The setting sun is by far the hottest point of light, colored bright white. Near the sun the sky at the horizon is colored in shades of pastel pinks and salmons. As the scene moves move higher into the sky, and away from the bright point of the sun, the color of the illustrations start to lose variety and warmth. The colors become cooler shades of blues and purples. At the highest point of the sky, white stars begin to spot the illustration like splattered paint.

The desert land is colored into two shades of the same blue, in alternating patterns of light then dark. The giant stingray and the fish each have blue-gray bodies and bright pink rings around their eyes. The bodies of the wildlife are also accented by a band of blue red and yellow. The fish have this triad band across their spine and the stingray on each of its wings. The barefoot man is the most modestly colored being the same shade of undefined and dingy gray. But he is unique in that the food he carries in his hand is only second to the sun in terms of hot vibrancy. 

Meaning and Being: Let your light Shine and the wonders of the world will come to You

The landscape and the hidden face of the barefoot man evoke a sense of loneliness. That both the sun and the moon are out, combined with the vertical stripes of the land and the horizontal striping of the sky gives the entire image a twilight feeling. The fish and the stingray are not only antithetical to a dessert environment but that they float through it makes the entire illustration feel alien. 

In terms of meaning, I think a key to understanding the design is the parallel between the scene in the sky and the one happening on land. An obvious tie is that both the sky and the land are striated although in opposite directions. Less obvious is that both the sky and the land feature two important figures, that have parallel meaning. In the sky there is the moon and Sun, the moon being much larger than the sun, but the sun being far brighter than the moon, giving value and variety to the image. The sun is a kind of life-giving element in the illustration, and its domain has a high variety of color. But the moon is large and awe inspiring and in its domain is the wonder of star filled space is conveyed. There is a similar relationship between the two primary figures on land, the giant Stingray, and the Barefoot man. The stingray is the largest figure moving through the desert and in it, the alien wonder of the illustration is conveyed. But even the stingray is moving towards the light of the barefoot traveler because in his hand is the only source of light on the land. So in this way, the mystery and awe of the moon and its analog the stingray, are balanced against the vibrancy and illuminating power of the sun and its analog the barefoot man. 
 


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The Best Show

General: The title of this artwork is "The Best Show" by Elia Colombo who captions the work  "Stop watching TV, thee's a universe outside." The work was published on her site gebe.it in August of 2013. The image is of an anthropomorphized television sitting in a sofa chair looking through a window to the night sky outside. 
 

Background:

The background of the picture is for the most part dedicated to the inner features of the room where the television is sitting. Beneath the sofa chair, the floor is tiled and segmented into large squares. There's a calendar on a wall to the left dated August 10th (which is probably a reference to when the piece was created.) Beside and beneath the calendar, and also beneath the window seal, the wall is torn and cracked, revealing some of the scaffolding beneath. The focal point of the background is the scene through the open window. Panels to either side of the window have been pulled inward to reveal the night sky outside. 

Figure:

The central figure for the piece is the Televisions sitting in its sofa chair, oriented towards the open window, with it's back and the back of the chair facing the viewer. The right leg of the tv is stretched outward and relaxed and the tv's right hand is resting on the arm of the sofa with a remote control. The television's plug is removed from its socket and lying on the ground to the left of the sofa chair. The antenna atop the tv's head is jagged and bent out of shape.

Color:

The palette of the piece as a whole is very limited, the most dominant color being grey, which is used in a few different shades to create patterns, textures, and shadows.  Light and dark grey squares and rectangles are used to created the scaffolding patterns, where the wall has been torn. Tiny grey dots line the back of the chair and give the sofa a textured pattern. Throughout the image a darker shade of grey is used to create shadows within a few elements of the design including the main figure, the chair it's sitting in,  the calendar as well as the open window seals. 
By contrast to the inward landscape of, the night sky outside is a vibrant blue, that begins at a darker hue near the height of the of the window then falls into lighter shades below, and throughout the night sky, points of white light create stars that dot the sky. Accents of blue,  from the scene outside drift in and shade elements of the  inner scene. The contours of the windows seals, the floor tiles, and the tv gazing outside are all touched by the blue of the night sky. 

Meaning & Being

There are a lot of small details about the picture that make wonder like why is the tv unplugged, what's the significance of the antenna being bent out of shape, and whey are the walls cracked ... and also why is the tv holding a remote. My guess is that the tv holding the remote is to show what it's tuned into to, which in this case is the outside world. But the jagged antenna and the deterioration of the walls inside is a reflection of what the inner state has become. Things inside are wearing down, they've lost their color, But by unplugging and giving attention to the outside world, new light has begun to re-enter the home.
 


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OathKeeper

General: The title of this work is "Oathkeeper" and it was illustrated by artist Kevin Hong working out of New York. The art direction was by Soojin Buzelli, and the work was commissioned for the site Plansponsor on an article about "The time and place for Legal Council." The design is of a regal figure, like a Lord standing above a warrior who is kneeling in submission for the knighting that's taking place. The strongest element of the design here are the complex balances between the figures and nature and again between the two figures themselves. 

 

Background: 

The primary element in the background is the tree. It winds upwards in a flowing pattern, with lightly defined contours. At the top, the bark reaches into the tree's flat and implied canopy that is created with jagged contours. From the canopy petals are drifting from the left of the image to the right, and down into the grass below. The ground and its elements are emphasized through the perspective, which is at a low angle and facing upwards, so that the blades of grass and flowers spotted among them stand tall in the picture. The backdrop of the design is of pure sky, with a few clouds that are implied with the absence of any contour lines. 
 

Figures:

There are two primary characters, The most prominent is the Lord who is standing to the left, her head adorned with a jeweled crown and her hair falling into a single braid. There's a short and padded shawl covering her shoulders, and beneath she's wearing something like a decorated dress, or long two layered tunic. On the back of which is the design of something like a peacock. She has a thin sword in her right hand, which looks like it's more for symbolic purposes (like knighting someone) than anything physical. The second figure is of a woman kneeling, with head bowed in a posture appropriate for knighting. She is wearing a suit of armor, which in comparison to the flowing dress of the Lord, is more geometric and rigid. Her armor is segmented and layered in repeated shingles across her upper arms and shingles create the battle dress around her waist. In her right hand is a sword plunged into the ground with a blade and hilt more broad than that the one the Lord is holding. In her left hand is a helmet with a blue plume rising out of it. Despite how conservative the warrior aesthetic is, especially in comparison to her Lord, she does have a few sentimental elements in her design. There's a bow tied around her shin, and the plate near her knees is shaped like a heart. And unlike the braided hair of her counterpart, her hair is falling freely. 
 

Colors: 

Generally, the colors across the work are muted and grainy variations of natural hues of blue, green, red and brown, as well as conservative grays, and ornate golds. The canopy of the trees and the petals falling from it are a solid red, while the bark is two tones of brown, one shaded the other lighted. The sky is very softly colored in bright blue near the height of the picture and descends into light reds and pinks as the sky meets the green of the landscape below. The Lorde is the most ornately colored figure in the design. Within her dress, she wears the same blues, greens, and reds that are featured in the background but in her, they're all represented in more vibrant variations, and each is accented with gold. As an interesting inverse the Knights attire also features the same blues, greens and red's that are in the background, but in her design, they are more conservatively presented, with the gray of her armor dominating her design. 

 

Meaning & Being

At one level this illustration can be read as an analogy for the Plansponsor article it was commissioned for. The article is about Sponsors finding the proper attorneys, so you could read the picture as an analogy for the subject of the article, where the Lord represents sponsor, choosing her proper and loyal knight or attorney. 

At a deeper level though, the design is an illustration on the complex balances between mirrored figures. The winding tree in the background is a key to understanding the theme, it bisects the two central figures and balances them against each other, similar to how plates on either side of a scale are balanced.  Except, unlike a scale where the balance is perfectly even, here the tree suggest the balance is an unorthodox one. In some places, it winds in favor of the Lord and in other places it winds towards the Knight. This idea of complex balances between mirrored elements is repeated again and again throughout the picture, between the two figures but also between the figures and their relationship to the background environment. Each of the figures wears the colors of the background, but one wears them completely while the other uses them only as accents. The Lord is standing at a gently sloping angle in relationship to the ground, while the Knight is kneeling and posed with sharp angles. Even the Knights sword is perfectly perpendicular to the ground, while the Lords is slanted. 
But a significant inverse to the theme that's been set up, where the Knight has been portrayed as conservative and angular, and the Lord as flamboyant and gently flowing, is shown in their hair. The hair of the Knight hangs freely while the hair of the Lord is braided in a tight pattern. 

It's a very cool design, that reflects on the infinite ways figures can be posed in unorthodox and yet perfect balances to one another. 


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Untitled

General: 

This work is untitled and was created by Gastón Pacheco, working out of Mendoza Argentina. It's part of series of Illustration published on Behance titled Vol 3. The illustration is of a Fish on that's been hooked and cut into segments from which it's organs are spilling. 

 

Background:

The Background is a dark sea floor, lined with ocean crest. There's also a bit of fishing line drifting in the picture, as well as a second smaller fish to the lower right of the image.

Figure: 

Like most of Gaston's work, this piece is centered around Character Design and a lot of detail has been given to central character (as pose to the details in the background). The primary subject is a fish that's been hooked through the upper lip of its mouth. The fish itself has been divided and broken into four segments, where at each break a portion of its inner body is revealed. The Head, with one large eye and  4 whiskers like a catfish, has been segmented from the torso section, which has two small dorsal fins, and two large ventral fins on its belly. The torso also has a thin gash across its side, where some tube-like organs are floating out. The second division is between the torso and upper tail. The upper tail has one dorsal and one ventral fin. And the final break is between the upper and the lower tail which has a tailfin. Within each of the three break sections, the subject's pink inner skin and the links that create the fishes spine are revealed, larger portions at the divide between the head and the torso, and smaller segments of spine and inner skin at the breaks in the tail. Many bulbous tube-like organs are floating away through the open breaks in the body, and out of the fish. 

Colors and Patterns: 

The segmented links of the spine are patterned and repeated, as well as the body of the fish, which is colored and patterned like starry space with densely packed points of light. The fishes whisker also have a stripped pattern. In terms of color, Gaston uses dark colors for most of the outer skin of the fish. Dark blues and blacks studded by white points of light to make it appear like star-filled space. Near the edges of the fins, the colors smoothly transition from the darker blues of the outer skin to warmer pink near the extremities. At the open segments where we can see the exposed inner skin and organs, the colors range from the pink of the inner skin to the pinks, purples, and reds of the floating organs. There are a few really subtle uses of color throughout the illustration. Along the fins, some contours of the fish, as well as the line attached to the hook, there's a very thin rainbow of color, that includes yellows purples and reds. 

Thematic Significance and Notes: 

I'm not exactly sure what the picture means but there's defintely a relationship between the dissection of the fish and that it's also been hooked. The immediate impression I get from the picture though, is that the contrast between the darkness of the seafloor and the outer skin of the fish against the bright colors of the inner ograns of the fish make the picture very attractive. And maybe that's the perspective of the fishermen. To divide the fish and let it's bright organs spill out into the darker landscape. The fish perspective is proabably not so pleasant. And if you were to take the perspective of the smaller fish, the whole scene could be a cautionary tale. 


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Try

General:

This image is titled "Try" by Artist Martynas Pavilonis working out of Vilnius, Lithuania, Europe. The image is of a shadow figure hanging from a yellow crescent moon in the sky, above a forest of rolling hills lined with short wide trees. Among the trees are two shaded moose ... or elk. 

Background:

The background of this image features a star-studded and cloudy night sky above, and the tree-lined hills below. Most of the landscape is shrouded in darkness, the primary figure is a shade, the two animals below are shadows and the landscape as a whole is very dark. There a few patterns that are repeated, The style of the trees, with angular tops and wide bases, are repeated throughout the landscape, and the hills themselves are variations on the same shape. The hills in the background rise high and drop with steep slopes of gently curving lines, while the hills in the foreground are more shallow versions in the same style. 

The image as a whole is particularly flat, without much dimensional detail or depth, which is a signature of Pavilonis' style as a whole. The background and the Foreground feel right on top of one another. The moon is hanging in the sky but it doesn't feel somewhere off in unreachable space, it feels just above the ground. Close enough for someone to reach up and grab it. Similarly, it feels like the peaks of the hills in the background could be touched from the shallow hills in the foreground. Or the shadow figure hanging from the moon could just reach down and pick up one of the animals below. Every element of the design feels right next to one another, and it gives the style a surreal feeling. 

Figures:

The primary subjects of this picture are the yellow crescent moon and the shadow figure hanging from it. The crescent moon in terms of meaning and emphasis stands apart from the rest of the landscape because it is the most vibrant sources of light within the picture. The shadowy humanoid hanging from the moon has all of the anthropomorphic elements  but here they've been reduced to their most simple form. His (or her) Arms and Legs are undefined and non-distinct. The head is an oblong semi-circle. And the torso is just that, without any remarkable features, or distinguishing marks. The only thing about the character that is distinguished is his contour (the outline of the body as separate from the rest of the environment.) and the yellow points of his eyes. 
 

Color:

With the exception of the yellow moon and the yellow eyes of the shadow figure clinging to the moon, and the tiny stars in the sky, the colors are mostly cool, complimentary, and near the edges of the images shrouded in shadow. Dark purples that mix into equally dark blues makes up the palette for the sky, and beneath the trees, and the section of the hills that are illuminated take on a muted blue-green hue of low value. 

 

Meaning & Being

The most obvious theme behind this picture is a kind of motivation. The shadow person has leapt from the forest bellow to get closer to the light of the moon. He even looks a little silly just hanging from it, but he made the attempt, and maybe as a message to the observer that, we should Try too.

I think you can find a deeper level of meaning by paying special attention to the relationships between light and shadow within the reality of the image. In this landscape, the further your are from the light sources the less distinct you become, in terms of detail but also size. We can see the two animals on the ground, but only because they are directly beneath the light of the moon, and they are small within the general picture. Here the only way to become more distinct, to find and emphasize the limits of your dimension, is to be as close as possible to the light source. By leaping for the moon and getting his hands around it, the shadow figure has become more distinct, more real and more defined than if he'd stayed in the shadows beneath. And even though he's still without defining or remarkable features, within the landscape, by being so close to the light he's become the largest and most primary figure within the image. Maybe reaching for our goals helps us to define and expand the limits of our selves. 

Some After Thoughts: 

Martynas Pavilonis style is interesting, because in another artwork, the light source may have been the sun, and the figure more detailed, maybe even beautifully defined. But in this picture and his style, in general, the world is cast in dark shades, often taking place at night, the only light is from the moon, and the only living things are ill-defined shadows. But he still gets the theme across that reaching for light is inherently valuable, and maybe he's even more effective in conveying this theme by making his figure simple shadows, and the world dark. A source of light is that much more emphasized in a world that's dark. 


try.jpg

Nirvana

General:

The title of this design is Nirvana, the Artist is Elia Colombo and she captions the picture "Forget yourself and feel the Universe inside>" The image is of a light bulb sitting in a meditative posture, whose bulb is filled not with light, but starry space

Color Pattern: 

The background of this piece is completely white and featureless, while the body of the light bulb, as well as it's hands and legs are a few shades of light gray. Within the bulb the color is completely black dotted with white points of light. The filament for the Bulb (the little-coiled wire inside) what produces the kind of orange/yellow luminous light of a light bulb. But in the picture, it's a solid black wire, outlined in an opaque white, that helps distinguish it from the rest of the space filled Bulb. In terms of general Patterns, she uses loose points of white within the black bulb to help represent starry space. Then she uses a coiled pattern for the socket/body of the Bulb.

Figure Description: 

It's a light Bulb in a meditative pose. With a filament glowing inside the large bulb, beneath the bulb is the spiraling socket as the torso of the body, and extending horizontally from the left and right side of the socket are slender arms. At the end of each arm are four-fingered hands in the om position, with the forefinger and thumb touching, and the other two fingers extending outward. At the base of the socket are two slim legs crossed over one another. The lines used to create the general shape are sometimes angular (like at the joints in the hands and knees) but are otherwise gently curving. The contour lines are thick. 

Meaning & Being

I like this picture because it's an interesting subversion on what you'd expect Enlightenment to be. You'd kind of expect deep meditation to lead to a state that's luminous, bright and golden, how The Buddha is often depicted, and how a light bulb that's switched on does look. But here the bulb is not illuminated it's dark. And the space withing the bulb is expansive. Instead of becoming Golden, like a bright idea occurring, the inner space of the bulb has expanded to include several thousand points of light. It's a display of what enlightenment might feel like to the person experiencing it as pose to an what it would look like to an outside observer.  


Now You

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What Does it Mean to you. How does it Make you feel.