Check out this incredibly cool mosaic art by artist Kevin Champeny, who describes his work:
"I create a style of work that blurs the lines between photography, painting and sculpting. Mosaics enable me to elicit the tension and stories between hand sculpted and cast pixels and the overall image they compose. I want my art to open a conversation for the viewer. I hope people discovering and viewing my pieces will connect their own experiences to the choices I made when creating the work."
His work—which you can see examples of on his Instagram—plays tricks with my mind! This Barbie portrait, for example, looks like it's made out of hundreds of lipsticks. Here's a large piece of fruit that looks like it's made from hundreds of gummy candies. And a skull that looks like it's made up of hundreds of pieces of chocolate.
But the lipsticks and gummy candies and pieces of chocolate aren't really those things. They are all created from urethane resin, so you can't actually use the lipstick or eat the candies and chocolates, although those look tempting and delicious! Atlas Obscura describes how he creates such realistic objects for his mosaics:
Champeny starts all his pieces by hand-sculpting a master model in clay of the individual components of his mosaic. He then makes a silicone mold of the clay model, into which he casts his urethane pieces. The molds are cooked in a pressure pot quite similar to a pressure cooker. The artist then hand-dyes the colors of his urethane pieces and places them on canvas to make his mosaics.
I love Champeny's work—the colors, the textures, the humor. And I love how it urges us to ask questions about what's real. Atlas Obscura provides more insight into the messages of Champeny's work:
Champeny's art offers a counterpoint to social media culture, to the carefully curated version of reality offered up by Insta-stories and Facebook posts. His pieces, which blur the line between painting, sculpture, and photography, invite viewers to engage from a variety of angles, to move around, to interact with the pieces. They also offer a study in contrast: gummy bears that are hard to the touch and inedible, but look exactly like the familiar, chewy sweet; a mosaic skeleton on a large-format canvas that reveals thousands of sculpted flowers upon closer look ("What Remains"); a rendition of the Baroque Italian painter Guido Reni's "Ecce Homo," only this time with the portrait of Jesus Christ made of hand-cast urethane painkillers in a piece titled "Healer." According to Champeny, he wants "to challenge [viewers] to stop for a second and question, 'Is what I'm seeing real?'"
To see more of Champeny's work, go check out his Instagram.