With a degree in Art History, specializing in art and architecture, Matthew Simmonds is in a small group of people who actually used their college degree for their job. His studies led him to train as an architectural stone carver and worked with teams in the restoration of famous historic buildings like the Westminster Abbey and Ely Cathedral in England. In 1996, after he moved to Italy, Simmonds began carving classical fine arts sculptures in marble and just 3 years later won first prize at the Verona International Sculpture Symposium. Simmonds’ miniature architectural carvings are as beautiful as their full sized counterparts. The meticulous details on such a small scale are even more impressive. The rough edges of the original stone slabs contrast with his clean carvings in a beautiful way. [Read more...]
One of the greatest strategy board games ever made, chess has been around since 1090. The game reached Europe via the Islamic world the word and the term “checkmate” began as the Persian phrase “shāh māt” which means “the King is helpless.” Now it is one of the most popular games in the world and Italian photographer Francesco Ridolfi has decided to bring both sides of all 6 chess pieces to life. In his exquisitely imagined and executed “Chess Portraits” series, Ridolfi shows us the duality of each piece with a white and black costumed version of the Queen, King, Bishop, Knight, Rook and Pawn. The props, character choice, and costuming is so well done that it will be difficult not to picture these characters during your next chess match. [Read more...]
Leave it to Norman Rockwell’s 1941 oil painting Package from Home to hold the top spot on Amazon and be accompanied with a $4,850,000 price tag.
The Rockwell painting features his iconic Willie Gillis character, a fictional young private in World War II. Package from Home was one of just 11 covers that made it on the Saturday Evening Post back in 1941. [Read more...]
In this stunning series called Swan Song, London-based photographer Zena Holloway captures an angelic beauty floating beneath the water. Born in Bahrain and raised in London, Zena Holloway lived in Egypt and then the Grand Canyon where she became a Professional Diving Instructor. She got an underwater camera and taught herself the art of underwater photography. Since her first ad campaign for Faberge in 1996, Holloway has become one of the biggest names in underwater fashion photography. She has worked with numerous big clients including Nike, Speedo, and Mastercard. [Read more...]
Since 2007, LA-based photographer Siri Kaur has been driving 480 miles to the Kitt Peak National Observatory four or five times per year to capture the sky on her film camera. 7,000 feet above the ground, the observatory boasts telescopes the size of houses and Kaur takes long exposure photographs of the view from these super telescopes. Sometimes she returns with no good pictures, but those times are all made worth it when she gets shots like the ones shown below. She alters the color and depth of the star formations in the darkroom with chemicals, producing new images that look just like some of the “real” pictures of distant galaxies taken by NASA’s Hubble Telescope. [Read more...]
Spanish photographer Jose Maria Rodriguez Madoz, better known as Chema Madoz, has a unique perspective for black and white photography. He creates unexpected optical illusions, cleverly pairing objects that don’t normally go together for an amusing effect. With Madoz, black and white is never boring and he has published many albums of his work and exhibited it all over the world, winning various international awards including a Higashikawa Prize. He has also published several volumes of his work, all available on Amazon.
In many people’s minds, the Coen Brothers’ ‘Big Lebowski’ is the epitome of a classic film and recently artist Joe Forkan has taken this one step further, creating tributes to both the film and classic masterpieces. His project, The Lebowski Cycle, uses such works as Velazquez’s Portrait of Pablo de Valladolid and Carracci’s ‘The Baptism of Christ’ as inspiration for the scenes he has chosen to paint. The works do in fact have a distinctly classic look to them, bringing grandeur and poetry to a much loved film. See more of The Lebowski Cycle at joeforkanblog.com. [Read more...]