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Eerily Smeared Urban Portraits

Mike Carr's Works Invoke an Uneasy Sense of Urban Chaos and Decay

— June 29, 2013 — Art & Design
Mike Carr's series of urban portraits has been years in the making, but with its fluid brushstrokes, vibrant colors and surreal depiction of cityscapes, all of Carr's time and effort was clearly worth it.

Each painting in Carr's series is a depiction of one or more figures situated against a city backdrop. However, instead of painting the city as it might appear to the casual passerby, Carr alters the cityscape, injecting it with neon colors and warping its lines with swirling brushstrokes. The resulting landscape is barely recognizable as a city, but still invokes that sense of hypnotic power generally produced by a busy city.

The figures featured in Carr's paintings are just as altered as their backdrops. Carr uses an abstract style that warps the figures' facial features so that mouths might exist on foreheads and eyes might blur together to form a cyclops. This creates the feeling that these people are blending into their backgrounds, or becoming part of the city itself. This attitude makes for an incredibly effective portrait series that channels perfectly the overwhelming sensations experienced by city goers who want to both blend into and stand out of their surroundings.
Trend Themes
1. Surreal Cityscapes - Disruptive innovation opportunity: Develop augmented reality apps that transform real cityscapes into surreal and vibrant landscapes, offering users an immersive and unique urban experience.
2. Abstract Portraiture - Disruptive innovation opportunity: Create AI-powered software that automatically transforms facial features in portraits, offering artists a new tool for creating abstract and distorted figures.
3. Blending with Backgrounds - Disruptive innovation opportunity: Design fabric and apparel technology that blends into urban environments, allowing wearers to camouflage or stand out within the cityscape.
Industry Implications
1. Art - Disruptive innovation opportunity: Develop virtual reality platforms that enable artists to create and exhibit immersive urban artwork, revolutionizing the art industry.
2. Augmented Reality - Disruptive innovation opportunity: Integrate augmented reality technology into urban planning and architecture, allowing for the visualization of transformed cityscapes before construction.
3. Fashion - Disruptive innovation opportunity: Pioneer urban camouflage fashion lines that use innovative materials and designs to merge fashion with city landscapes, offering urban dwellers unique ways to blend into or stand out from their surroundings.
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