Depthcore has lauched its 41st online exhibition of specifically-created artworks, Mirror. It features new artworks from the likes of Jonathan Foerster, Jeff Huang, João Oliveira, Karan Singh, Mike and Pete Harrison, and Ari Weinkle.
Launched in 2002 by Justin Maller and Kevin Stacey, Depthcore is an international art collective featuring some of the best practitioners from around the world of what's become known as 'Photoshop art' - ie works that composite elements such as photography, graphics and type with created effects.
K4000 by Karan Singh, who was Chapter XLI's featured artist
"The group was established to provide a showcase for the best in modern craftsmanship," says Justin, "with the primary goals of breaking design conventions and pushing the boundaries of artwork created or enhanced digitally. In a medium inundated with repetition, we aim to bring something unique and innovative with every release we put forth.
The collective now has over 200 members, growing steadily over the past nine years. Justin notes that the groups members have grown professionally in that time, with most of them moving from being what he describes as "enthusiastic amateur hobbyists" into full-time work in a studio or as freelancer artists.
Introspection by David Mascha
The work has also evolved, bringing in a wider range of styles.
"The work submitted is growing more and more disparate," says Justin, "traditional illustration sits next to high end photo manipulation sits next to mixed media. Our members are not led by each other at all, and the diversity grows as time passes."
Gaspard Ulliel by Phil Dunne
Pestilance by Jeff Huang
Key to the success of Depthcore has been its exhibitions, which shows off what the collective has achieved to an audience outside itself. The Chapters, as they are known, are held -- or being online, perhpas the correct term is 'released' -- every few months and are based around a central theme, though these are often very broad. The theme of the latest exhibition is 'Mirror', though no other restrictions were placed on the artists. The results cover a wide range of styles and interpretations of the theme – though Justin notes that darker subject matters are more prevalent. Whether this is an artistic trend, or just a response to the time of year and current economic conditions, we're not sure.
Rhinestones and Morals by Ari Wenkle
Justin says that his favourite piece from this Chapter XLI is Ari Wenkle's The Blizzard, The Dreamweaver (above).
"Something about it really captured and fired my imagination," he says. "I don't know how best to express it. Something about the subtlety with which he created the figure juxtaposed with the brazen intricacy and rich colours of the illustrated material made me stop and stare."
Depthcore is such a part of Justin's life that he has trouble describing what he gets out of it.
"Depthcore is a part of me.," he says. "I've been running it my entire adult life. The relationships I've forged and friendships I've made as a part of participating in it have changed and defined my life profoundly. Holistically, I get who I am as a person, and where I am in my life. I'd say that's a fairly large part of the whole."
If you're interested in joining Depthcore, you'd better bring both your skills and imagination.
"We aren't looking for people who can parrot the styles our artists innovated," says Justin. "we want new things that add new dimensions to the collective, from people with forward-thinking ideas and the patience and care to hone and master their skills. Near enough is never good enough."