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Art Watch : Carl Redback

Carl Redback is our Art Watch Artist for today. This section is brought to you by Art From Us and Divvya Nirula. The Artists we spotlight here can be from any field, across nay discipline, and using a variety of media. We share here why we think they are important and worth watching. Be it genius creators of eras gone by. Or the upcoming contemporary artist who is yet to have their first show. All come under the purview of Art Watch. 

Redback is a French Digital Artist who uses Photoshop on his own photographs to create an uncanny world. His tree-beard series takes portraits of everyday people, on the street, in the metro, bus or in a coffee shop and transforms them into surreal creatures. Not of nightmares, nor of dreams – but somewhere in-between – the imagined and the real merge in this series. To create a surreal identity of not only subject, but of viewer and artist as well. When humans merge with the botanical what one looks at them and asks – are you Daemons or Demigods?!

Why Carl Redback?

There are two words that are mostly used to describe the visceral works of this artist -creepy and beautiful. However any work that is affecting the viewer to such a degree – it is fair to say that there are many more parameters and two words don’t really do justice to his unusual style. It is probably impossible however to be able to narrow any work of art down to words that are at two extreme junctions of meaning. There has to be something in-between. The disturbing aspect of art has been debated for centuries. It is not just for beauty of the viewing but also an experience eliciting a response. It is about the self-expression and understanding of the artist.

Some of Redback’s work is undeniably reminiscent of the images of a horror movie, but it is more playful than anything evilly unwholesome! This would be a safe assumption. Redback is having fun while he is parodying some of the greatest works of modern art ever, The Scream, photographing a giant rabbit creeping up on a stressed carrot, or honouring his work with humorously literal titles that sound more like characters from a children’s television show, such as Angry Bulb. Perhaps if one had access to his sources, they would seem more contextualised and less intimidating. Carl Redback is being frivolous as much as he is anything else. Not attempting to scare, not always beautiful, but always raising a smile and entertaining.


For more Artists handpicked by Divvya Nirula – explore the ART WATCH archive.

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