May 16, 2015 - June 11, 2015 Opening Reception 7pm – 10pm
“Emerging Alchemy” is as much an exploration of Danish design sensibility as it is figure and form. Originally from Denmark and now making their mark on Los Angeles, the show is a multi-faceted collaboration between celebrated photographer / cinematographer Thomas Fryd and the much sought-after street artist / graphic designer Mikael B, better known as KETS in the graffiti world.
The result is 15 original canvases and two sculptures that originated from the black & white images of Fryd’s Homorphology series, featuring stunning, innovative and provoking amalgamations of human body parts. Mikael B’s added another layer of depth with his ethereal and colorful cloudscapes. To even make the show more spectacular a third layer was added when designer toy and fabrication studio Pretty In Plastic took two of the Homorphology photos and turned them into sculptures, which Mikael B painted with in his signature style.
The idea for the collaboration project first began to form in Denmark, where Thomas and Mikael both hail from. Very different artists, perhaps completely opposite from each other both in medium as well as style, the creative chemistry between the two resulted in this body of work. Thomas’s originality and meticulous craft has catapulted him into one of the most known fashion and editorial photographers in Denmark, and with his early adoption and sophisticated mastery of Photoshop, is responsible for some of the most circulated images in the entire world. He created many of the viral memes in the early days of the internet before such a concept had even been named. With Homorphology, Fryd has deployed his skills to create mind-bending figures that are simultaneously sexy and disturbing. It’s Thomas’ nature to always seek out limits, to overstep boundaries.
“The unbearable lightness of being, where the pain from a constant fear of being boxed in by society’s expectations of a human being are transformed. In a controlled process, these demands are dissolved and the individual is set free.”
Mikael B’s work has always combined the precise vision of a graphic designer and art director with the influences of abstract, iconic wild-style graffiti art that enamored him as a child. Since the first time he picked up a can of spray-paint, Mikael B knew he was destined to come to America to pursue a career as a street artist, and obsessively practiced his craft in preparation of the day. His influences can be seen strongly in his part of “Emerging Alchemy.”
As Mikael sees it, “We mix the beautiful and recognizable with the grotesque and unexplainable to achieve an aesthetically perceived unreality.”
The process of making “Emerging Alchemy” began with the portraits created in Thomas’ Copenhagen studio, where he performs skilled post-production manipulation, transforming the figures into sophisticated, mind blowing images resemble more avant-garde sculptures than human anatomy. He passed these high-resolution pictures to Mikael, who added layers of digital art culled from his graphic design background, before printing the files on canvas and taking them to his studio in Hollywood Hills. From there, Mikael used his full tool kit of acrylics, spray paint, markers, lettering and street- inspired bravado - and the end result is pure alchemy.
“Emerging Alchemy” has also taken both artists into a new medium. The artist duo has teamed up with designer toy and fabrication studio Pretty In Plastic to turn two of the figures from Homorphology into 20” sculptures, which Mikael B has painted in his signature style. “Emerging Alchemy,” is not only combining their two very disparate mediums, it is evolving both of the artists into territory neither of them have worked in before.
Los Angeles based Project Gallery opened its doors in 2012 with an intent to bring a distinct and unique voice to the community. In a very short time, the gallery has lived up to its commitment to present diversified and compelling programming and has showcased the brightest in both emerging and established Art and Photography.
“Emerging Alchemy” will be exhibited at Project Gallery’s new location at 1625 17th Street, Suite 2A, Santa Monica, CA 90404.