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February – Gina Martynova

Visual Female of the Month for February is the beautiful and talented Gina Martynova. Not only a total babe, Gina is involved in both art and fashion with her whimsical energy translating to her feminine artwork that blends fantasy and reality. Gina is the creator of ‘Starry World’ – a place for her to express her unique cultural upbringing and ever-present day dreams. To learn more about Starry World check out this post, for this months interview click here.

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William Mortensen

William Mortensen was a photographer who worked mainly between 1920-40 taking amazing photographs with a romantic, painterly quality. His early work includes many portraits of Hollywood actresses and actors. Mortensen used particular chemicals in the developing process of his images to make many of them look more like a painting than a photograph. The result is truly striking artwork that is incredibly captivating. Not only did Mortensen have his distinct (and unpopular with other photographers) style, but his subject matter is also a little peculiar. A fascination with monsters, the supernatural and witchcraft is present in his personal work. As Mortensen would have had his birthday a few days ago (Jan 27) making him the oddball Aquarian of the Zodiac, it makes perfect sense that his work was totally different to his contemporaries. So much that he was even likened to the ‘anti-Christ’. A little far-fetched I would argue, but I do love his work pretty deeply and I do adore Von Trier’s film Antichrist which only makes me wonder what people would say about me? But in all seriousness I am so glad he is being fully appreciated today and am honoured to share his work. I have included a selection of his witch-inclined images below for you to enjoy. Go be naughty! Cackle. x

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September – Alejandra Sáenz

Visual Female for the month of September is up today for your viewing pleasure. Alejandra Sáenz is a talented graphic designer and illustrator from Venezuela. Her emotive, dark art is strong and captivating and well worth checking out. Get to know Alejandra a little more by reading her interview here.

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In Nature

Brett Manning is an American artist with a diverse portfolio. I originally discovered her illustrations and through following her on social media was fortunate enough to see these stunning photographs. I love the vibe of the work, very feminine and empowered with a touch of witch energy (which works with Brett being a Scorpio – born on spooky Halloween in fact). A lot of her artwork makes reference to this, with cats, ghosts, witches and broomsticks scattered throughout rather lightly toned illustrations. You will also find ufos, aliens and cakes. The result is fun, quirky artwork with a little mystery and intrigue. However, with Brett’s photography, there is a darker, more feminine and powerful energy. Do check out her portfolio to see all her amazing work.

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Young Chun

I’m loving these wonderful women by Young Chun. Born in Seoul, Young Chun brings in some magical elements, creating pieces that connect to his view on life. And obviously it is a pretty fun view. Fantasy, mystery, magic, music, drinks and excitement – all wrapped up with a touch of darkness. I especially love his piece ‘Under the Celestial Lights’ (seen first) which is being shown in a Zodiac show as a representation of Cancer – check the detail on her rings for those Zodiac touches. Love his take on the Cancerian woman, who, as we know, really comes to life under the magic of the moon. Enjoy these pieces and enjoy the weekend – perhaps hit up a cocktail or few like some of Young Chun’s little ladies.

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Featured Artist: Elisa Boccedi

Here’s the second Featured Artist for the year – Elisa Boccedi.

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Elisa is an Italian artist whose work is distinctive and captivating. Elisa has her own style, but each piece (accompanied by intriguing titles) tells its own story. Elisa actually got in touch with me, so I figured her initiative deserved a little more than just my opinions on her work. I decided to ask Elisa a few questions to help me and my readers get to know her a little better.

In five words describe:

Your art – Disquieting, sensual, bloody, wicked and phony (I took the last two adjectives from negatives, from a comment I once received, which sort of enlightened me more than many other (positive) appreciations I have received)

Yourself – Cerebrally hyperactive, curious, provocative, reserved but with a very short fuse

The World – Truly surprising, endlessly morphing, contradictory, grotesque, all in all undefinable

What about art is important to you?

First thing: the fact is art is both an addiction and a salvation. It’s my centre, my everything, what prevents me from psychological derangement. The best, soothing way to get in contact with things and to filter them, giving them a sense which is – obviously – only an interpretation, but which makes them seem less confused and less confusing.

Being from Italy, what makes Italian art unique?

This question takes me aback, since I’ve never thought my art to be clearly recognizable as Italian. I’ve never been bothered with considering it unique, either. To quote “the mysterious stranger” from the exquisite “Mark Twain’s travels” stop-motion movie: “It comes natural to me, like many other curious things”. And that’s true. Maybe my artwork is unique (if it is really so) for the great emotional charge it’s imbued with, and for all the unconscious fragmented perceptions and semi-digested notions I tend to interpolate it with.

Do you believe your art is influenced by your culture?

Most probably not directly, but through a process of rejection and denial of many of its aspects. I never felt like I fitted in somehow, and also in regards to the italian “prototype”. I do love culture in every and each of its form and manifestations, but as for how it’s regarded and treated here in Italy, it’s no use. We’re surrounded by culture and art but simply don’t care. And most of the time the “human environment” you grow up counts more than the historical and cultural ones. Especially if these two are plainly overridden.

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If you were an animal, what would you be an why?

I wish I could say a tarantula, or some very big and hairy spider, but I’m afraid I’m not devious and cold-blooded enough. Probably a hairless sphinx cat, or an eye-eye (it’s a very rare, very ugly lemur with a spindly, creepy middle finger biologically developed to hook larvas out of the trees where they’re buried). Something very weird, although oddly cute, and peculiar, to cut it short.

Do you believe in Astrology? If so, what sign are you? Do you feel you relate to your star sign in any way?

I am pretty fond of astrology, and this is also a reason my friends to mock me, actually. Does it show so much from my artwork too? (lol, just kidding). Well, I’m supposed to be a cuspid, half Aries and half Taurus, but I personally feel much more in line with the first sign of the Zodiac than with the second one. Nonetheless, I believe I resent pretty heavily from my neurotic and oversensitive ascendant in Cancer.

What is your favourite line from a poem, book or movie?

I have so many it is impossible to pin out only one, so out of the blue. However, the first quotation to cross my mind when I read the question was one taken from the Diaries of a great Rumanian thinker, E. Cioran: ” I’m made of all the things that flee from me”

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To see more of Elisa’s work visit her website where she showcases a range of work and styles, as well as merchandise.

* English is Elisa’s second language.

* The Greeks named the planet Mars after Ares, the Greek god of war, since it shines with a red color, resembling blood, which is appropriate for the god of War. Hence the name Aries for the Zodiac sign which is ruled by Mars. (I find this quite present in Elisa’s work, do you agree?)

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Mercurial

We are almost nearing the end of Mercury retrograde – thank goodness! For those of you that don’t know about Mercury retrograde, here’s a brief rundown. About three times a year, the planet Mercury starts turning in a backward motion which begins to cause some havoc. Mercury governs communication and transportation, so in retrograde you may notice that issues arise surrounding these matters. Examples of such include computers crashing, missing appointments, buses running late, things going missing and so on. Essentially, it is not such a flash time of the year. Mercury is a bit of a trickster, so if you have noticed things going a little weird you can start to relax, as retrograde will finish in the 20th of July, and things will start to go back to normal. I find Gala Darlings run down of retrograde pretty good, so check it out here. Plus, retrograde isn’t all bad, as Gala explains.

Like myself, Gala is a Virgo. This may explain why she has an interest in Mercury retrograde, as Mercury is the ruling planet of both Virgo and Gemini. And this means that us Virgos, and all those Geminis out there, feel the effects of retrograde quite a bit harder than the other signs of the zodiac. I haven’t had too many issues this time, but have had hard-drives break and other serious mishaps in the past. Although, I have to wonder about where my emails are going lately… I am not getting the usual replies, which is making progression quite difficult. But nevermind, enough about me. Here are a few artists that may be feeling, or could have felt, the effects of Mercury retrograde. Yes, they are all Virgos or Geminis.

Virgo

Joel-Peter Witkin – September 13, 1939

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Jen Mann – September 17, 1987

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Man Ray – August 27, 1890

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Gemini

John Baldessari – June 17, 1931

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Egon Schiele – June 12, 1890

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Diego Velazquez – June 6, 1599

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Zodiac

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I’m quite a fan of astrology, so I am always interested in art that depicts signs of the zodiac. I stumbled upon this piece a while ago and while I can see many of the 12 signs, I’m not sure If I can see them all! Which is a little odd, and frustrating. Aires (The Ram) is top left, Pisces (The Fish) are bottom left, then it has to be Virgo (The Maiden) in the middle, which moves across to Sagittarius (The Centaur/Archer) in top right, Leo (The Lion) is clearly there in the bottom right corner along with Cancer (The Crab) and Libra (The Scales). But I believe that is all I can see! So who is left and why aren’t they there?! I’m missing Taurus (The Bull), Capricorn (The Sea Goat), Aquarius (The Water Bearer), Gemini (The Twins) and Scorpio (The Scorpion).

I wonder if this piece was designed for someone specific. Either these signs could be the strongest influences in their Natal Chart, or perhaps it was done for a family that comprises of the shown zodiac signs. I quite like this concept if it were to be the latter, or even the first. It really is beautiful as a piece of art, and then has a deeper meaning through the astrological aspects. From my experience, not all people are that open-minded to astrology, so I like the fact that it works as a piece on its own (to those non-believers) and to someone with knowledge of astrology. I think it would be so cool to do custom pieces like this for each of your children, as each piece would come out unique to them, and maybe they would even prefer their own piece aesthetically. Imagine being a small child and having this painted onto a whole wall in your room. It would be so magical and dreamy and then also tie in to your personal astrological attributes. Wow, I’m making myself excited. Hah. If I ever have children I am definitely doing this (lucky them!). And maybe hubby and I could have our own ones above the bed on the side we sleep on. Dreamy.

Enjoy your weekend everyone!

The night calls

I love the dark sensuality of these selected images. I am a huge fan of the simplicity of black and white artwork as it can be so powerful. I agree that effective use of colour can be equally as striking, but today I felt like pairing some darker pieces that have a powerful and controlled sexuality to them. I suppose when I think of girls that look like these subjects I think about Scorpios. I am a bit of an astrology freak and when I think of a Scorpio woman I see long black hair, dark clothes and make-up and an overall mysterious and alluring sexuality. Obviously, not all woman born under the Scorpio sign look like this, but it is a beautiful image to conjure up and seems to run true with quite a few Scorpios I know.

I love all these images and they kind of make me want to transform into this sometimes. I have a strong Scorpion influence as it is my rising sign, but paired with my Virgo sun, I think I never quite appear as dark or intense as these women. I love my long dark hair and my only must have makeup is black eyeliner, but I never ever seem to get sultry enough. It’s a funny thing. I suppose to look a certain way, it really has to be a strong desire in you, or something that is instinctive and from your core. I personally don’t believe in dressing in a way that feels put on or insincere. I think this is why I never can quite commit to the dark sensuality these images possess. I can certainly catch glimpses occasionally, but at the end of the day I’m not an actual Scorpio.

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More than meets the eye

We move into the zodiac sign of Leo today (bring on the fun birthdays!) and as I happened across this image today, I thought it would be a shame not so share it.

Looks like a lion, but is really a woman. It’s fascinating what one can achieve with body paint huh?

If you want to check out your own sign (assuming my reader’s aren’t all Leo’s) you can find the rest here (although sadly, it seems that Taurus and Virgo (that’s me!) are missing or haven’t been done, so that’s a bit of a shame)

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