Damian Elwes, the artist who paints painters’ studios

Damian Elwes, the artist who paints painters’ studios

Giulia Guido · 3 years ago · Art

When we think of famous works, such as Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon or Roy Lichtenstein’s Ohhh…Alright..., we find it hard not to think of them hanging on the walls of the world’s most renowned museums. And yet, before they were considered masterpieces, they too remained for days and days inside their authors’ studios. It is precisely these, the artists’ studios – or ateliers – that Damian Elwes has been focusing on for over thirty years. 

Damian Elwes is a British artist, born in London, who now lives and works in Santa Monica, California. Although he grew up in a family of artists (his father and grandfather were portrait artists), a passion for art has not always been part of his life. Damian initially moved to the US to attend Harvard University with the aim of becoming a playwright, but when he moved to New York a couple of encounters with personalities from the art scene changed his life. 
It was none other than Andy Warhol and Keith Haring who encouraged and convinced him to invest in his artistic abilities. 

Thus, since the mid-1980s, Damian Elwes has been painting, focusing all his artistic production on one subject in particular, artists’ studios. In addition to getting information and studying in books and art manuals, Damian never misses a chance to visit the studios that have remained intact or the flats that once housed them. Once he has gathered all this information, he unleashes his technique and creativity. 

Roy Lichtenstein’s Studio in NY

Thanks to his works we can enter Gauguin’s studio in Tahiti, Basquiat’s studio in Crosby Street, Picasso’s studio in Rue Schoelcher in Paris and many others. We have selected just a few, but to see them all visit Damian Elwes’ website and follow him on Instagram

Damian Elwes
Gauguin’s Studio in Tahiti
Basquiat’s Studio on Crosby Street, NYC
Picasso’s Studio at Rue Schoelcher, Paris
Paul Cézanne’s Studio in Aix-en-Provence, France
Keith Haring’s Studio
Damian Elwes
Lucian Freud’s Studio
Basquiat’s Studio
Gustave Klimt’s Studio
Damian Elwes
Matisse’s Studio in Collioure
Damian Elwes
Picasso’s Upstairs Studio in Cannes
Damian Elwes
Picasso’s Studio
Damian Elwes, the artist who paints painters’ studios
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The freedom without veils in Birdee’s shots

The freedom without veils in Birdee’s shots

Giulia Guido · 4 weeks ago · Photography

Blackbird fly, blackbird fly / Into the light of the dark black night, sang the Beatles more than fifty years ago, and it is this song, and its message of freedom, that inspired Jamie Johnson in the choice of what is now her stage name, Birdee. Birdee has been shooting since 2014, when she started with self-portraits. Today, her photographs taken mainly in analogical form are able to analyze the themes of femininity, strength and grace.  The young girls who are the protagonists of her shots are beautiful, carefree, suspended but not for this reason they are not determined and tenacious. Moreover, the fact that we almost never show their bodies in full and often hide their faces helps us to identify with them. They are nobody, so they can be anyone, even ourselves. 

Scrolling through Birdee’s website or her Instagram profile, you will notice that in addition to female figures there is also another element that always comes back in her shots, real water. It almost seems as if the graceful bodies of the girls who shoot are transformed in contact with the waves of the sea or a swimming pool. The little bubbles that caress the skin give light and life to the images. 

Discover a selection of Birdee’s photographs below. 

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The Weight of Memory through Ana Topoleanu’s Shots

The Weight of Memory through Ana Topoleanu’s Shots

Collater.al Contributors · 4 weeks ago · Photography

Ana Topoleanu is a Romanian-Mexican photographer who blends elements from her origins into captivating visual narratives. Her journey into photography began as a means to express her thoughts and capture the essence of the world around her, a passion ignited after completing her studies at the University of Sociology in Bucharest. Since then, photography has become more than just a craft for Topoleanu: it is her universal language and preferred form of expression. Inspired by the diverse cultures of Romania and Mexico, Topoleanu’s work invites viewers on a journey of discovery, urging them to pause, reflect, and appreciate the beauty that exists in both the ordinary and extraordinary. Her photography delves into themes such as the role of women in society, the complexities of motherhood, and the power of human relationships and memories. Today, we discuss “My Pillow”, a project that reflects on memory; let’s see how.

Ana Topoleanu’s My Pillow

One of her most touching projects, “My Pillow,” is a testament to the emotional depth and complexity of her work. The project began during the last years of her grandmother’s life, who accompanied her during her formative years. Topoleanu fondly remembers her grandmother, affectionately called mamaia, as a source of love, guidance, and inspiration. As her grandmother’s health declined, Topoleanu embarked on a photographic journey to preserve the memories of their time together and honor her legacy.

Topoleanu felt that this approach lacked the depth she wanted to convey. Through continuous refinement and introspection, the project evolved into “My Pillow,” a title deeply rooted in memory, representing a poignant moment before her grandmother’s passing. While working on My Pillow, Topoleanu focused on capturing the ephemeral nature of time and the inevitable passage of generations. Each photograph served as an attempt to freeze moments slipping away, reflecting the gradual fading of precious memories and the profound impact of loss.

For Topoleanu, “My Pillow” is more than just a photographic series: it is a labor of love, a tribute to her grandmother, and a reflection of her personal journey through grief and healing. Through her lens, she invites viewers to explore the universal themes of love, loss, and the enduring power of memory.

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Marta Passalacqua and the sad side of summer

Marta Passalacqua and the sad side of summer

Collater.al Contributors · 4 weeks ago · Photography

Summertime Sadness is called Marta Passalacqua‘s photographic project that reveals the sad side of summer. Born almost unconsciously, Passalacqua’s shots place colorful elements in dialogue with desolate settings. Summer has not yet begun, or has just ended. The photographer provides no spatio-temporal indications except for a few clues. A deserted beach with closed umbrellas, then cloths lying in the sun. Or even unlit showers. Human presence never appears but is instead replaced by “objects that smell of saltiness,” placed in a suspended and infinite time that seems to never end. «Summertime Sadness” is the poignant melancholy that catches us, often unprepared, in the middle of a sunny afternoon. It has the flavor of moments already experienced and others still waiting for us, unknown,» reads the curatorial text of Liquida Photofestival in Turin, where Marta Passalacqua will exhibit from May 2 to 5, 2024.

marta passalacqua | Collater.al
marta passalacqua | Collater.al
marta passalacqua | Collater.al
marta passalacqua | Collater.al
marta passalacqua | Collater.al
marta passalacqua | Collater.al

Courtesy Marta Passalacqua

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Perspective, Suzanne Saroff distorted photography

Perspective, Suzanne Saroff distorted photography

Giulia Pacciardi · 4 weeks ago · Photography

In her latest series Perspective, the photographer Suzanne Saroff, creates distorted images of colourful food using glass objects and vases filled with water.
Images play with light and shadow, appearing fractured, divided into several parts, shrinking and incredibly distorted.

With tools and techniques such as refraction, directional light and vivid colours, her photographs offer to everyday objects alternative visual paths.
In fact, through shadows and fragmentation, they seem to become something more than what they really are.

Follow her on Instagram to stay up to date on her beautiful photographic project.

Perspective, le fotografie distorte di Suzanne Saroff | Collater.al 1 Perspective, le fotografie distorte di Suzanne Saroff | Collater.al 2 Perspective, le fotografie distorte di Suzanne Saroff | Collater.al 3 Perspective, le fotografie distorte di Suzanne Saroff | Collater.al 4 Perspective, le fotografie distorte di Suzanne Saroff | Collater.al 5 Perspective, le fotografie distorte di Suzanne Saroff | Collater.al 6 Perspective, le fotografie distorte di Suzanne Saroff | Collater.al 7 Perspective, le fotografie distorte di Suzanne Saroff | Collater.al 8

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