Just as I was looking online at some of the artworks of French artist Francoise Nielle, an email arrived from Byter Leo with photographs of the works of Swedish photographer Erik Johansson.
The two couldn’t be further from each other: one uses oils and palette knives to create bold, vibrant, even aggressive, portraits that are striking and emotive. The other manipulates photographic images to create hi-tech humour and head-scratching whimsy.
Is one form better than the other? Which do I prefer? And why? That will wait for another day. What’s your take on the two?
Here is a potted bio on each and 5 of each of their works. . .
Françoise Nielly is a French knife-painter who is famous for painting vibrant and colourful closeup portraits of people such as Barack Obama. She was born in Marseille, brought up near Cannes ad Saint-Tropez and is now living in Paris. Françoise Nielly's artwork is typically vibrant, and detailed. A lot of her work is inspired by urban life. Françoise uses knives to paint her artwork as she seems to prefer the thick, clean brushstrokes created by them. Painting portraits is her speciality. As a child, she was taught by her father that there was "no room for mistakes", and this has potentially influenced the intricacy of her artwork. She layers her paintings with bright and contrasting colour.
See an interview with her, and more of her work, by clicking on:
Despite a lack of formal training in photography or studio art — or even classroom instruction in Adobe Photoshop — Erik Johansson has become a master at the art of photo retouching in only a few years. His impossible landscapes seem alternately humorous and menacing, trapping their inhabitants in vexing circumstances beyond their control as if they're witnessing a break in the space-time continuum. Echoing the mathematical preciseness of M.C. Escher and the jocularity of Salvador Dalí, among others, Erik's photographs depict attractive, compelling landscapes where up is often down and perspectives are always misleading. His artistry is evident in the sheer realism that he manages to embed in his scenes, no matter how absurd.
See more works by Johansson at:
Cut & Fold (2012):
"Inspired by the cut-along border of a magazine coupon, I wondered what a landscape would look like if it were peeled back along a road's dotted line like a coupon."
"I was curious how a landscape might behave like water. The couple in the rowboat is my simple way of conveying that idea."
Helping Fall (2011):
"Growing up on a farm with a big garden, I always disliked raking leaves. This is my humorous way of simplifying that chore."
Go Your Own Road (2008):
“I wasn't convinced this scene would turn out when I shot it. A friend simply dragged some fabric behind him and then I merged the road segment onto it."
"I've always been inspired by the great Surrealist painters and wanted to incorporate painting into my photography."