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Martin Vlach: Sky Whales

Mark Rubbo

I like Martin Vlach's photos.  I thought about why, then removed the whales, and realized I didn't like them as much.  Granted I'm sure if afforded a more thorough reading, Vlach's photos may give a glimpse into a surreal world, where ambiguous depths blend into foggy vanishing points and whatnot.  But really, for me, its the whales.  Adding a bit of whale gives anything appeal.

Paco Pomet: Phototruth

Mark Rubbo

At first glance, Paco Pomet's work consists of old-timey photographs, altered and twisted in a dark quiet humor. But upon closer look, the quirks and aberrations inherent in old photos, reveal themselves actually to be the layered paint and smeared brush strokes of an oil painting, which is Paco's medium.  This aesthetic double-take speaks to his subject matter:  Impossible imagery portrayed within a history that is deep-rooted in what we know to feel true. 

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Imagination + Advertisement

Mark Rubbo

I'm a sucker for any artistic image that is surreal, anthropomorphized, bisected, dissected, dismembered, or absurdly tongue-in-cheek.  This is why I'm drawn to Hugh Kretschmer's work.  Although I'm not a huge fan of photo illustration, I can appreciate his style, which treads the line between collage and hdri photography.  Looking at his work as a whole, the imagery can easily double as advertisement.  Slap some type on them, and I could envision these promoting a fringe brand in the subway tunnel at 14th and 7th.

Alberto Marcone: Manimals

Mark Rubbo

I love how Alberto Marcone brings the worlds of man and wild animal into banal co-existence. The muted tone and matter-of-factness about it only nudges for some kind of social commentary read-through, but not enough to be in your face.  Just maybe the first photo is about the hubris of the contemporary midtowner overstepping his bounds into perilous man-eating extent.  OR maybe its merely a praise of the irrational and illogical like something out of dada.  Either way, his works are acutely executed with a such a soft hand.

Cinemagraphs: Fashion and The Absurd

Mark Rubbo

I've seen a lot of high fashion looping gifs, where models stare into your soul for eternity. They are encapsulated in time in all of their beauty, surrounded by some luxurious setting.  The result is sexy and visually engaging. Check and check.

Recently, I came across Romain Laurent's looping portraits and was immediately drawn to their dark comic mystique, much more so than the many fashion cinemagraphs out there. The characters are not ultra glamorous like their polo-ad counterparts.  They're average yet relatable in their looks and wacky actions, like an absurd 30 Rock cast.  

There's something in this mundane+absurd motif that rings true to me.  Its is dark,  visually-appealing, and humorous because of the liberties it can take with reality.  While not relying on uber-sexiness or being a shoe-in for likability.  Added bonus is the stories you can attribute to these nutty scenes after sitting with them for a while.  Its like watching a car's hubcaps on the highway, and seeing the moment when they start to spin backwards.

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Unknown Elements

Mark Rubbo

I've always loved Curiot's work because he builds worlds.  Its child-like, youthful, imaginative and at the same time feels mythic like something from South American folklore.

He's showing at ThinkSpace with Nosago, who's style is llke Curiot's but only if you wrapped it in a disney character's pelt and gave it a hit of acid.

With the amount of digital fantasy paintings out there, made in photoshop, its nice to see actual paintings with such imagination and attention to detail.