Fredric Harwin – Ocularist

Heroes don’t have to be the typical character portrayed in movies. Heroes can come from every walk of society. Fredric Harwin, MSc, BCO, BADO, FAMI has changed the lives of many people. Through his world-class services, he has become a renowned ocularist. His work is so detailed and full of passion, ensuring that his patients get nothing but the best.

He is responsible for making cool almost real looking acrylic prosthetics that when worn could be mistaken for a functioning eye. Losing an eye has to be a very traumatic experience for anyone since it is the tool in which we use to look into the world.

For Fredric Harwin, he believes that everyone has the right to belong. People with eye impediments tend to be ignored by the society. For them to feel comfortable they have to find access to natural, nontoxic prosthetics that durable.

To begin with, he achieved a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Wayne State University. He then went over to Michigan University to collects a master’s degree in biological and medical illustration. He was lucky enough to have his first job at Wayne County General Hospital.

He didn’t know it at the time but his work as a medical illustrator was going to serve him when he plunged into ocular prosthetics. In his work, he got the chance to contribute to a two-volume atlas based on cardiac surgery.

He personally had to attend all these surgeries in order to get all the details. At times he even had to attend the same procedure twice. The meticulousness of his work as a medical illustrator can be seen in all of his work including the famous prosthetics.

During that time he got interested in the world of prosthetics. He came up with the idea of opening a clinic for facial prosthetics at the Oregon Health Sciences University. Like all smart people do, his research took him on a journey. He visited various clinics in the span of a year to make sure he understood all the ways to do these prosthetics.

In the midst of making different prosthetics, he came to the conclusion that he really enjoyed making the eyes. From there he has not stopped. He has various patients waiting for his services that are usually detailed.

Generally, he spends 8 hours, 4 sessions before the final product is complete. The client gets to see him working which creates a bond between them and ensures that the details are as close as can be. Making one prosthetic has twelve steps, at the end, the client gets a prosthetic that fits like a glove. The eye is very detailed that you could see layers and blood vessels just like a normal eye would have.

The combination of art and science can clearly be experienced from his work. He customizes each prosthetic with a symbol that means something for the client. It may be a rabbit or a sunflower, it doesn’t matter, Fredric Harwin will do it for his clients.

His talents don’t end there. When he discovered the world of oil paints and canvas, his possibilities became larger. Being that he is a firm believer that art and science can work together, he believes that nothing can stop him from making his clients feel good.

example of ocularist work

His artwork is dreamy and intricate with detail. He says that his favorite things to paint are trees. Since he has been illustrating blood vessels most of his life, he integrated them into his tree paintings. It’s not only trees he paints, you can see landscape, vibrant color and immaculate detail.

Just like he is a lover of art, he is a lover of science. He has accomplished a lot having the opportunity to work at a professor in several well-known universities. Currently, he still runs his clinic and he is an assistant professor at John Hopkins Medical School. He even finds time to the president of The Center of Ocular Prosthetics.

The look on his face when he sees a satisfied customer is priceless. For him, it’s not all about the money. It is just about helping his clients feel comfortable in their own skin and live normal lives.

ocularist example 2

For those who are looking for a customized prosthetic eye, there is hope. With technology evolving every day, there is a chance that more people like Fredric Harwin will be able to avail these services to the multitudes to need them. For more information, check out Frederic’s website www.fredharwin.com.

Artist Spotlight: C215

They say that practice makes perfect. That has proven true for the street artist Christian Guémy who has spent over 20years honing his craft. Known all over the world as C215. Known primarily first for graffiti then stencil work, the artist has a philosophical approach to life and art.

C215 was born in Paris back in 1973. From the time he was a child, c215 had an interesting life. His mother was also an artist, she spent her time creating drawings and frequently engaging in smoking cigarettes. When she committed suicide at 18 years old, C215 was left with his grandmother who fueled the artistic passion.

His grandmother took him to the space where his mother used to work and from there the art and Christian Guémy were one. He even joked that earlier he would steal girl’s notebooks and leaving drawings in them. The girls would open their books and gasp with surprise. As he grew up the passion grew even bigger but he had to make money and support himself.

Before becoming the renowned artist that he is now, C215 held regular jobs. He worked as an export manager for luxury furniture, worked in the financial markets and also conducted a market study for the furniture trade union.

All these varied experiences between working a regular 8-5 job, his studies and being a freelance artist has contributed to the man that you see now.  He has an interesting approach to his artwork and perception of life.

Unfortunately or fortunately, C215 has faced some prison time. The cell in which he was held was number 215. He decided to use his cell number as his art pseudonym, which to this day he is known by. If it were not for that prison time, we probably wouldn’t have the powerhouse logo that is C215.

His work

Before all the fame, Christian Guémy was versed in what he wanted to do. Considering that he got a master’s degree in art history he got a chance to work in an encyclopedia of crafts projects. His main focus being the history behind cabinets, plaster and stucco decorations.

c215 artwork on street

He went on further to study the 17th-century religious architecture and classic French architecture to give him a better understanding of the skillsets used in those days.

c215 madonna and child

C215 is well versed in the ways of street art. He has 20 years under his belt using spray cans to create works of art. He started using stencil in 2006 to make art when he was looking to make a portrait of his daughter and her mother. It proved successful and he started going at it seriously.

mural by c215 cat in tunisia

By 2007, he had galleries interested in his work and it became the main source of income for him. Seeing that he was dedicated to stenciling every day he compiled an enormous collection of art. In the beginning of this journey, he worked with the powerhouse Banksy which made his name be known by those who had not heard of it.

You can find his art in the walls of Paris and major cities in the world. He believes in creating street art that blends while sending the right message. Most stencil drawings tend to lack dimensions. His art has layers of vibrancy giving you that 3D feel. The colors draw you in, leaving you lost in wonderful detail.

c215 artwork near magazine rack

His work is focused on creating portraits of normal people that are overlooked by the society. He is not interested in the celebrities or people who hold big positions in the society. His interest is to capture the uniqueness of street children, beggars, the babysitter, the homeless man on the street corner or anyone who receives no recognition.

He wanted people to look at his paintings and ask who the subject was. That intrigue and recognition of the forgotten ones in the society are all he is after. He believes that every human is unique and deserves to be recognized.

c215 artwork

He is not only a stencil artist. He has other hidden talents that he is still discovering. He has dabbled in media arts and installations. This only goes to show us that there is more to expect from the artist.

When asked what his artwork stood for he stated “In the end, behind the portraits, the question is always freedom and dignity in the face of a capitalist daily life system. “ He strongly believes that artwork should be shared among people. Just because people can’t afford gallery-based art does not mean that they cat view it from the street. Strong words behind a strong man.

 

technician holding a disc of vanta black

Vantablack – The Blackest Substance on Earth

They say that it is blacker than black and in all reality, it is one hundred percent true. Vantablack made its way to the market and all of a sudden both artists and the scientific community are obsessed with it.

Vantablack is a material that is constructed out of singular carbon nanotubes. These nanotubes a brown to a structure that can be compared to a forest made of grass. This structure is what contributes to its most notable feature.

Vantablack is a patented by the Surrey NanoSystems Limited. The Vanta in the name Vantablack stands for Vertically Aligned Nano Tube Arrays. It is so dark it can be compared to peering down a small blackhole.

Its vanta-stique features

Dubbed the darkest man-made material. It has the amazing ability to absorb 99.98% of the light directed at it. This action is made possible through the length of the Nanotubes. The absorbed light stays within the confines of the tube long enough to dissipate into heat energy.

3d  vantablack object appearing to be 2d Another feature that this rate of light absorption offers is 3D-2D change. When objects are covered with this material, you are unable to distinguish any tangible detail. A statue covered with the material will lack definition and appear flat to the human eye.

Another interesting feature of this material seems superhydrophobic. When water is poured on a Vantablack surface, the water just floats on the surface. It does not seem to get wet which is a great feature for both artists and scientist.

It is so light that vibrations or shock won’t be able to affect it. Durability is assured since the material is not affected by temperature changes. In space or on earth, the material remains unchanged.

2018 Olympics

The world is excited for the 2018 winter Olympics. There are many exciting events to be expected and Asif Khan’s work is one of them. Asif Khan was not a stranger to Vantablack. He had been involved with the company before this version of Vantablack was introduced to the market.

There was an uproar as to why the material could not be licensed to more artists or commercialized to more studios. The rights to use Vantablack for art were bought by none other than Anish Kapoor. Meaning that no one else could use it for art in the world. People are mad but there is nothing to be done.

Back to Asif Khans work in the Pyeongyang Olympics which will enable people to peer into space. The four walls of the Hyundai pavilion will be covered in thousands of lights to ape what we might see in space.

“It will be like you’re looking into the depths of space itself, as you approach the building that star field will grow to fill your entire field of view, and then you’ll enter as though you’re being absorbed into a cloud of blackness.” Says Asif Khan. Many people are eager to experience this vision of space supported by the blackest manmade material on the planet.

Future of Vantablack

Vantablack was first made to be used in space exploration procedures. Its ability to absorb light was perfect for satellite explorations. Due to the minimization of light flares, the telescopes could pick better images and look further into space.

Another surprising use is in the jewelry industry especially pertaining to watches. These luxurious watches are limited since their cost can be quite high, however, the aesthetic appeal is incomparable. Swiss watchmakers have already gotten their hands on the material. You can get an MTC watch with the Vantablack background for around 95,000 dollars.

The automotive and mobile industry has not been left out. In the future, you will have car dashboards coated with the material. Your mobile cases or cameras may contain this material for aesthetic or functional use.

The chief technical officer at Surrey NanoSystems insists that the product can never be commercialized. He says “It has to be applied by specialist contractors trained by us, using a technique that forms a consistent nanostructure. It does not come in a spray can.”

We cannot wait for the inclusion of this material and its properties to our lives but for now, we sit and wait. The material is still new in the market and it is only proper to exercise control until proper parameters are established.

The unveiling of the 2018 Olympics will be a sight to see and a wonder to experience. If you will be at the Olympics, stop over at Asif Khan’s pavilion and peer into space. It may be the closest you ever get to a black hole.

carolina falkholt standing infront of finger mural

Artist Spotlight: Carolina Falkholt

When looking for one word to describe her artwork, shy would not be among them. Carolina Falkholt is among the most versatile artists on the planet. She is known for grafitta which incorporates graffiti and the female reproductive organ representation into masterpieces.

Born in 1977 in Sweden, she lived a normal childhood in her hometown Dals Långed, Dalsland. She then pursued an education at the Waldorf school Kristofferskolan in Stockholm.

Her time in the Waldorf School opened doors for her to start graffiti work. At the time, she went by the assumed name blue. To seek better opportunities she moved to New-York and found herself working with other major artists.

To understand her work, one needs to understand the level of artists she worked with. She joined two famous groups; Hardcore Chickz and The fantastic partners. Her work was recognized and she ended up working for the Rawkus recording company. She collaborated with huge artists like Sento and Lady pink. All this work led to her being recognized among Sweden’s famous graffiti writers.

After 4 years working and living in New York city she had gotten enough experience and acknowledgment under her belt, she went back home to Gothenburg, Sweden.

Her Works

Globally she is known for drawing and graffiti but she has dabbled in other avenues of art. She sculpts, does installations, organizes performances, creates collages and finally film and photography.

carolina falkholt standing infront of finger mural full

If you look at her artwork, you will notice a lot of colors and unending circles. These circles create beautiful webs which are then filled out to make beautiful designs. She also has a thing for incorporating other features of the body besides the vagina. You will find some paintings with eyes, hands, ears, and mouth.

You can see how much work she puts in since most of her work is very intricate. Her hand paintings are especially notable for the detail and meaning since she utilizes the Swedish sign language.

Among her, most notable works include the 2010 collaboration with a number of other artists. The project was named Graffiti Mariestad. Thirty artists including musicians, dancers, and other famous graffiti artists worked to produce a large-scale artwork. It can actually be considered among the largest graffiti works to ever be produced.

Fortunately or unfortunately, the silo which housed the masterpiece was torn down.  For the sad part, the artwork was gone forever. For the better part, she got commissioned to create a public sculpture.

falkholt test sculpture

She did not disappoint. She created T.E.S.T, a 12 foot sculpture that was inaugurated in Mariestad back in 2011. The statue featured materials from the demolished silo making it a great way to remember art through art. You can read her book SILO to understand the whole process.

She has had her work displayed in many museums including the Gothenburg museum of art, Ystad art Museum, Eskilstuna museum, and other places like Steneby Konsthall. She has also found time to participate in TV shows and curated exhibitions such as the Mynningsladdare in Gothenburg. Her works are unending and so is her praise.

carolina falkholt mural Övermålning

In 2014, she was commissioned to do work which turned out to be controversial. The painting dubbed Övermålning featured derogatory words towards women painted over with a motif of a lady’s naked bottom half.

Since the painting was commissioned by a school in Nyköping, many did not approve of the message it sent. They even erected a wall in front of it. After a ray of heated arguments with politicians taking a standpoint on the matter, the painting won. The wall came down and all was free to see.

Another high school commissioned a painting by Carolina Falkholt. As it turns out, it also proved to be another controversial painting depicting a naked woman upside down in an uncomfortable position. This mural did not raise as many eyebrows comparing it to the 2014 painting.

falkholt penis mural in new york december 2017

The one that got the most attention is the mural she painted in 2017 in New York City. The 40inch erect penis made its debut on the side of a building at 303 Broome Street. Many were amused by the painting and some not so much.

Commissioned by the street Art Foundation, this painting got a lot of attention. The intention was that the painting was meant to accompany an earlier painting of a vagina on Pike Street. Unfortunately, due to the order of the landlord, the painting was painted over just hours after it was completed.

When asked what she thought of the matter she said: “Art is one of the only places left where we can truly be free and discuss whatever difficult topics there are, since art has the ability to translate and transform language in any direction possible.”

With those few philosophical words from her, the art world is sure to experience the brilliant antiques of Carolina Falkholt. Her art is vibrant, controversial and the world wants more and so do we!