This was a difficult decision. I really thought the quality of submission was incredible and there were so many people that deserved recognition. Let's hope our future contests have the same kind of quality work as this one.
1st place: Krasterk
Relation to Theme: In my mind, this piece gives me the greatest sense of torment. I see a medical monstrosity here that just begs for an ending as quickly as possible. The torment is shown masterfully with the blank pallet with just a touch of surrealistic red to emphasize the blood. The ability to create torment without the use of a face is exceptional and the movement of the body is wonderful. The black mess being spit out from the mouth, off the page, and back on in a counterclockwise manner adds wonderfully to the composition and adds some sort of reverse thinking to the whole piece.
Skill: What can I say about the skill in this piece? Itís almost underground at its essence but at the same time it has a very polished look to it. Your style continues to improve and impress and I think this piece is a perfect example of that. The intricate details on the wires, flowers and black mush compliment the overall simple figure nicely. Also, the use of only black and white works wonders when accented with a touch of red. Beautiful.
Creativity: I really enjoyed the imaginativeness of this piece. The branches that connect to the figures head, the bloody bandages and the IV packs are a great touch. I also liked how you blended great physical torment with a sort of mental torment. This piece tells a story but it also leaves the viewer wondering what exactly is the deeper element of torture. Itís an excellent juxtaposition of two states of reality.
2nd Place: Bakanekonei #1
Relation to Theme: Torment certainly can be thought of as experiencing pain and agony while being subject to peace and beauty on the outside. The overall beauty and color of this piece creates a complex mood. The feeling of agony in the man at the bottom compared to the peaceful, dreary middle and top creates a contrast that is surreal at its core. I think that this piece conveys torment wonderfully and I do believe that this was the strongest aspect of the piece.
Skill: I donít think anyone whoís seen your work would doubt your skill. I do believe this piece ranks right up there with some of the best work Iíve seen from you. The painting is definitely the strongest feature here. From the subtle splashes of water by the fish to the bubbles underwater, this piece is definitely the result of careful consideration and hours of work. The water is painted beautifully and the light is carefully done. The one thing I donít particularly like is the composition. I do see how this develops like a story from top to bottom, but I donít know, it just seems a tad busy. I also think the transitions from one scene to another could have been a little better. However, considering the nature of the picture, a different approach would be extremely hard. Nonetheless, the skill in this piece is certainly at an extremely high level.
Creativity: This piece gets my nod as most creative. The physical and mental abuse taking place is certainly from the fringe of ones mind. I liked the skeleton fish a lot and the window like shapes at the top were a nice touch. I really like the window in the middle of the composition. The lone tree inside it stands out nicely and is something that exhibits a strange power and beauty. The whole piece certainly stretches ones imagination to new places.
3rd Place: CaptainSNAFU
Relation to Theme: The first thing I thought when I saw this piece was pain. The agony that he is going through, implied heavily by the pose, relates greatly to the theme. The picture seems to only suggest literal physical pain, however, many motifs seem to run throughout this picture. The idea of conformity, and giving all of ones self to others come to mind for me. The peeling of the body to something of a greater power conveys such a great feeling of fear that the viewer gets a sense not only of agony but also of sympathy for this lone figure. You did a great job of pulling at the viewers emotions and creating a composition that plays on the human condition.
Skill: This was personally my favorite picture in relation to only skill. I love this composition and the palette is excellent. I think the position of the light at the figures back is well thought out and the fading to black of the shadows conveys a gloomy feeling. The skin is nicely rendered and the contrast of the light of the wires with the dark figure works well. Two places I think could use some work would be the perspective of the legs and the head. I think his feet should be a bit smaller and the foreshortening a little more exaggerated. I also think that hair on the figure could have been rendered a bit better. I really enjoyed the textures you used on the other parts of the figure and I was a bit surprised the hair was kept as flat as it is. Other than that, I think this piece was the best rendered of the contest.
Creativity: Although the pose isnít too imaginative (it does convey great emotion though) I do think that this piece really does push ones imagination to the limits. The peeling of the figure by the wires is what makes this piece so agonizing and also so imaginative. I think the idea to use that as a symbol for a greater motif was brilliant and even though the overall message of the piece isnít known, I can get a sense that there is something you are saying. I really thought that the use of all red tone was a good way to symbolize torment and add some devilish wickedness to the piece.
fpg- I like the colors and symbols, but it seems rushed. I think itís also a bit too dark; hard to make out whatís happening.
Blond- Definitely surreal and executed in great fashion. One of my favorites. I think the background could use more work. Honorable Mention
munk3yboy- Surreal; yes. I do that the eyeballs and the colors make this a little to comical to really convey torment though. However, the piece itself is nicely rendered.
Frecus- I think the figure needs work and the overall composition is lacking. Keep practicing your technique and studying the basic color theories and anatomy.
bigyellowlegoman- Ah, the old split personality? The skill and creativity is there but I donít get a sense of torment from this.
SemaJay- The torment is there, for sure. Now I think your need to break away from generic colors and begin to shade to add depth to your work.
5te- Another one of my favorites. The composition and color work well and the torment is excruciating. I really like the faces in the background. Honorable Mention
openthegrave- Sorry to say, but this looks like a photograph with horns photoshoped in. Just donít see the relation to the topic in this one.
Vajura- Another great one. I like the incorporation of time and the disintegrating body is a nice touch. Grayscale; gotta love it! Honorable Mention
te shok- More humorous than tormenting. Seems like the background was thrown together. The overall concept is great though.
Meatloaf #1- Another background that seems thrown together. I like the colors and idea, but the execution doesnít seem very surreal.
999- The colors seem to friendly. Very busy; seems more like a comic book version of hell
then the real idea of a horrid place.
Traum4- I really liked the idea and certainly felt torment when looking at it. A really strong entry once again.
Mp3 freak- Great composition and execution. Although I donít feel great torment with this piece, it was one of my favorites.
Evil Iori- Good composition and colors. Looks quite painful. Another one of my favorites.
SaMattacott- I didnít like the green very much. Also, not much relation to the topic from what I see. Interesting idea though.
Chimp- Looking good man! The faces in the cliff are a nice touch and the one red rose is very surreal of you. Nice job!
Meatloaf #2- Sexual torment, Iím guessing? Seems a little rushed. The girl floating in mid air does not help the composition.
Avian- Thatís a good use of contrast there. The one person who didnít make itÖsad. I think the happy part of this could be a little more crisp.
Kweckduck- I really like this! Tomatoes on the loose. The cartoony atmosphere is nice but not really appropriate for the topic. Nice job though.
Faliat- I donít know about you, but that scars me! However, compared to the other entries, this seems a little less creative.
SamuraiDoo- Excellent composition here and a great use of color and surrealistic qualities. I really liked this one.
Bakanekonei #2- Seems rushed compared to your first one. The grass stands out too much to me.
darkreaver- Crazy! I enjoyed this piece. Again, nice use of red here and a great composition.
Ninken- Just a great overall piece. Itís tormenting, great composition, imaginative and executed wonderfully. Honorable Mention
the shining- Certainly surrealistic and powerful. I think itís a tad busy and I donít think the anime face fits well with the topic.
Pigeonkill- I really liked this one as well. Great color and composition. The main figure is definitely a throwback to classic surrealism.
Lancer.Evok.2k- Seems a bit Evangelion inspired to me. Great details and a good idea.
Miss Wiggle- I think regret is the greatest kind of torment and you really nailed that in this piece. The colors and composition are great. Honorable Mention
falmith- Being controlled by others; thatís a good one. I like the little beam of light that contrasts the agony.
Great work everybody!!! By far the best contest to date!
I am going to crush you, and throw you into the wind.