Hysterical Minds is an international artistic collective composed only of Spanish-speaking artists from all over the world. In its three years of existence, they have released ten on-line exhibitions focused mainly in digital media, but also including photography, traditional painting, music, and motion graphics. In this article we will take a look at their latest exhibition, "Symphony."
After months of hard and creative work, the collective is proud to announce their tenth exhibition coinciding with their third birthday, and just right after their international exhibition debut and the introduction of their book "Retrospectiva" at the Parallax Art Fair in London.
We have entitled this release as “Symphony” because we want to bring a visual concert to your house, generated from a common passion that unites us as artists: Music. We have given room for expression and creation, reinterpreting our favorite tracks, genres and authors, from classical music to industrial tunes, from black metal to dance pop, traveling through a wide spectrum of shades to bring you a diverse but coherent collection.
We are sure that you will find some of your favorite music themes visually re-created in this exhibition from the personal visions of the collective’s artists, since we have material for everyone’s tastes. Plus! Don’t miss out the tracks that our musicians have created for this release, getting inspired by classical works of art and moreover, from the very visual pieces of this art-pack!
We offer you a moment to get delighted, relaxed and to let yourself go. We hope you enjoy it and don’t forget to turn the volume up!
The collective is preparing a series of events (exhibition at the Bilbao Exhibition Center, with live demonstrations and lectures) and editorial releases (such as "Mirage" and "Mirrors") that will see the light during this year. Meanwhile they are starting to produce what will be their next exhibition, in which, judging by the raise of quality level of their latest releases, promises to mark a turning point on their career.
This work was created in Adobe Photoshop collaborating in a sort of "tennis" mode between both of us, making the sketch, sending it to the other one, starting to paint it, and so on, repeating this process until the conclusion of the image using great coordination. The main used tools were Smudge, custom brushes and pencil.
The file transfers were made using flattened documents, so the only way to work was by adding, so we put a challenge to ourselves. The estimated creation time was between 4 and 8 hours. Inspired by "Blessed curse" – Funeral mist.
This mixed media piece was inspired by Anathema’s "Deep", especially on the quote "I feel my heart burning, deep inside yearning" that opens a highly emotional song. The concept for the image came by itself while listening to the song. At the beginning it started as a photo manipulation, but I though that something as rough and emotional as this song should be depicted with a more organic look and feel, something you can almost touch, so when I had my composition completed, I painted everything over with several custom brushes to achieve this analogic painting effect.
This piece was based on the quote by Desmond Morris: "Life is like a very short visit to a toy shop between birth and death." The idea was mainly to give the piece a childish look without losing the dark feel. I also took the opportunity to try different methods of painting using custom brushes and textures to enhance the work. You can find a song inspired by this image, done by one of the collective musicians, Jorge Gallego Lorén, featured in the exhibition!
"Help me I’m in Hell" is a photograph edited using Adobe Photoshop, using only Curve tools to get a flat image without contrast, with predominant tones, blended with the white body-painting on the model. Inspired by “Help me I am in Hell (Ramage remix)" – Nine Inch Nails.
"Inhabitant of the cemetery" was inspired by the song "Mina’s Photo" by Wojciech Kila from the O.S.T. of the film "Dracula" by Bram Stoker (1992). The main character would be, at first, a vampire, being an homage to Nosferatu, although conceptually it started to change as the illustration evolved, with a being less defined but creepier. I started the image using the free software Alchemy, with which I defined the basic shapes. Then it was exported to Adobe Photoshop CS5 in grayscale mode, enhancing details and adding the background, using also custom brushes to add textures. At the end, I worked the colors creating overlayed layers and selectively adjusting certain areas of the scene.
"Written in waters" is a photo manipulation in which I aimed to achieve a dreamy atmosphere with a dark edge. As all the photography was taken by me I focused on having a zenithal lighting over all the elements. I decided to transform radically the color scheme of the original pictures, desaturating them and giving them more lightness so the textures could be more visible and merge better specially over the skin of the man and on the background. The water ripples were done with several pictures of an aquarium with colorized water and pictures were taken with the same light as the body. Reflections were later pasted over it. Then I made the depth of field more powerful by blurring the background and some elements behind the body. Some other elements on the foreground were blurred too to enhance this effect. Inspired by “Coiled In Wings” – Ved Buens Ende.
We started this collaboration using an abstract creation done by Liran, which we sent to each other until it was completed by MartÃn, without having a concrete idea about were the image was going to. When we had the background we saw were we wanted the image to go, so we started to develop the cyborg figure, sharing the areas of detail enhancement between us both.
The image is about the relationship dialogue between the most materialistic techniques and mechanisms with the most ethereal natures and feelings. Inspired by Autechre – "Cliper".
While the time passes, I keep developing in my mind that the society, capitalism and technology are, in someway, related and growing at big steps, but at the same time, in a dissimulating way so the normal people get used to it, and either if they are positive or negative, they accept them.
In this capture I wanted to show this kind of connection and the big human necessity of power and to control as most as he can, and this is how the whole concept is viewed, in my opinion, in the song I’ve been inspired from ("Newlands" by Justice).
From the song "Fascinado" by the band Sidonie, I wanted to interpret a fragment of the song that depicts a car trip in which the main character observes a girl on the backseat through the wing mirror. To compose the scene I was clear about putting the main focus inside a wing mirror. At first I though about putting it in the rear-view mirror, but after that I though that it would be better to place it on the wing one so I would be able to depict the street lights and the nocturnal atmosphere of the city. Once I picked up the definitive sketch, I added the basic colors using big strokes, always having in mind that the main lighting would be a yellow-ish one, that would influence the rest of the palette. I defined the background and car with basic shading, meanwhile I was adding some details to the girl. At the end I added tiny details, highlights and some post-processing effects such as Levels adjustments and color.
This piece was conceived in an blocked emotional state, trapped by certain circumstances. In that state, everything is increased, and my senses became overwhelmed by intensity. Even when life is not very generous, beauty can’t be denied.
I tried to create an intimate ambient using a pale colour palette and soft lighting. That intimate feeling is also supported by the composition, close to the character and focused on her face and chest, that talks about the main subject. Inspired by “Chimeras” – Tim Hecker.
"Leaving hope" is a moving, atmospherical piece, surrounded by soft piano touches, but also a fight between light and dark, loneliness and existence. This was not the first time I created a conceptual work based on a Nine Inch Nails piece, trying to develop a concept without missing any of the details that music makes me feel.Â I always found in Leaving hope the feel of loneliness somebody has when, tired of everything, needs to give up. I tried to take it to my field of work, fantastic dreamlike places where in soft ways the most painful feelings are expressed. Â Impersonating human challenges and vital goals into folded paper birds, I’ve worked in an installation of 2×3 metres where birds hung from ceiling, surrounding an individual who holds a melting black bird: a hope that is becoming darker for moments. Working with digital photography helped to work in different exposures which were assembled in post processing, as color and focus adjustments.
“Odile and Odette" was the result of technical experimentation and a slight departure from my usual works. I was playing around with a Photoshop brush I’d just created using the lasso tool- a brush which would later be used to paint around 80% of the piece-, creating shapes and applying color in different blending modes, including the volatile color dodge. I vaguely recognized the silhouette of a swan amongst the chaos and that’s how the concept of the piece started taking shape. The composition changed drastically throughout the process, something that probably wouldn’t have happened had I planned it more carefully from the start. The painting is based on Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake” and it revolves around the idea of duality, between the enchanted princess Odette and her dark counterpart, Odile or the Black Swan, present in her own reflection.
I created this work while having in mind the political problems that Mexico is passing by nowadays. I used Adobe Photoshop CS5 and a Wacom tablet to add details to the entire piece. I was inspired by the song "Riot" by Three Days Grace.
First of all I decided that the illustration would center around siamese twins, so I started drawing the sketch with my tablet. Since I started using Photoshop, I’ve carried out the whole creative process digitally as it gave me more freedom and I can get some new effects that I could never get with traditional techniques. I work in different layers (flat colors, shadows, lights…) and some of those effects that I like most are textures. In this illustration I used them overlayed and mixed, adding the final touches to the piece. Inspired by "H.I.P. (Enough)" – Fightstars.
To create this piece I started with the musical inspiration by Nox Arcana, the melancholy as a feeling, and the photo I used as a starting point.
I took several pictures of the legs holding the central object, then I chose one of them. I turned the photo vertically, to give the sensation of being suspended, and I modified the anatomy of the model to make the composition stronger. I added elements from other photographs, like the trees in the lower part, small birds flying around and butterflies. Then I started to create an atmosphere keeping what the music inspired me, and I applied a series of overlapping textures without saturating the image and keeping it relatively clean. I chose to keep the gray tones in this, because I think it will be easily related to the melancholic feeling
"Inside the music" was done respecting the music flow, which surrounds us and takes part in our lives. It’s able to make us forget our routines and changes our mood. This works has a game of textures, colours and abstract lightings to simulate different volumes of music (high and low pitched). I though the best way to portray music would be doing it in an abstract way, and the song I chose, "Take me over (Mylo Remix)" by Cut Copy, is one of my all time favorites.
The challenge was to create a piece that would sum up the musical spirit of this new release. First step: take your pencil, write "symphony" down on a paper sheet, and see if every letter has any resemblances with musical instruments. At first it seems to be an easy cake, but not all the letters that compose this word have a direct appeal to musical instruments, so, new step! Let your imagination flow and discover how to make that letter fit with an instrument. When it was done, it was drawn in Adobe Illustrator, choosing a beautiful color palette that would be later enhanced with Photoshop, adding some textures as well! Inspired by "Cursive" – Retreat.
After this showcase, we are sure that you are eager to view the full exhibition accompanied by its suggestive soundtrack, mostly inspired by the very own pieces of the exhibition! The collective is already working on their 11th exhibition, which, as of now, its theme, remains a secret. In the meantime, turn the volume up and enjoy "Symphony!"