There are myriad reasons why creatively inclined individuals like FFO Art dare to bare the soft underbelly of their fertile imaginations with the world. For some, creative output can be fueled by the allure of fame or quite possibly even critical acclaim. In spite of the long-standing starving artist stereotype that persists in our culture, there are others who may hope to hit the financial jackpot. Being a brilliant, Vincent van Gogh or Hilma af Klint-caliber creator, however, doesn’t necessarily mean that exceptionally unique bodies of work are justly rewarded.
Putting fame, fortune and acknowledgement aside, creative spirits sometimes produce art because it enables them to communicate something real to the collective consciousness. Artists who share a visual representation of their soul with others may be self-propelled because it gives them an opportunity to express something pure to others. Something meaningful. Spiritually uplifting. Wildly entertaining. Thought-provoking. Amusing. Arousing. Astonishing. Anger-inducing. Really, every shade of the emotional rainbow. Now you have a basic idea where FFO Art falls within the art-generating spectrum.
If you live and breathe in 2019, it is all but impossible to elude the infinite data-compiling powers that be. Using any type of electronic device pretty much ensures that your personal information will become public in some way, shape, or form. That’s why it’s pretty remarkable that FFO Art has succeeded in staying under the radar for so many years. And that is exactly the way that he, she, ze (or whichever inclusively respectful pronoun) wants it. Frankly, it really doesn’t matter what gender they identify with. Wonderfully original art is wonderful, plain and simple.
FFO Art is the driving force behind these sensationally off-kilter collages. A hot mess of flirty vintage imagery is surgically Frankenstein-ified with medical illustrations, botanical panache, and other visually arresting whatnots. This enigmatic humanoid has somehow maintained an impressively minimalistic presence in spite of our society’s 24-7 data machine. No profile photos, no Instagram, no interview-granting, no nothin’! There are very few reliable sources of non-regurgitated FFO Art information floating around the internet. One thing is crystal clear, however. We know that the individual hails from the Russian Federation and that’s about the extent of it!
In all seriousness, though, unearthing concrete information about FFO Art requires combing through every single one of their smashingly original Tumblr portfolio shots. That is, quite literally, the SOLE social media platform that they have a presence on. It appears as though the artist’s account hasn’t been updated in quite some time now. They did, however, assert several years back that they had absolutely no interest engaging in social media promotion. How refreshingly original — choosing to embrace real life over virtual validation! Perhaps the muse has since then pulled them in an entirely different direction?
For now, though, how can you be anything but an unabashed member of the FFO Art Admirers Coalition? Whatever the current personal or professional status of the Moscow-based individual, their anatomically sliced-n-diced, brazenly surreal Dita Von Teese-esque compositions are fascinating to scrutinize. This is an artist who is purely motivated by the joy of the creation process as well as the pleasure of sharing their work with others. Years ago, they stated that they were not striving to be “mysterious”. They were merely just honoring their inner need for self-expression:
“I’m not afraid of weird things or “wrong” people, of thinking out of the box and breaking the rules. We’re only here briefly and while I’m here I want to enjoy things that are beautiful for me. I don’t care if it’s for me only and other people find it disgusting. I just follow my heart and live my own life.”
The self-described life-inspiration “stalker” seems to be a live-in-the-moment kind of individual. FFO Art prefers to allow their diverse digital mashups to shed light on who they as a creative spirit. Placating the internet with what they perceive to be a “needless” profile bio is not their cuppa tea. When asked by an avid Tumblr fan how they might properly credit the collagist’s work, this was FFO Art’s utterly bohemian response:
“Feel free to reblog whatever you want or make new posts/photosets. (There’s) no need to keep source, text or smth. I don’t really care if people know the author or not, that’s why I usually don’t sign my stuff.”
After attending three years of traditional art school, the person responsible for these bizarro delights decided to shift gears. Hey, sometimes the mere structure of a conventional visual arts program can be creatively stifling! Obtaining a working knowledge of diverse artistic styles and photorealistic illustration skills was beneficial to FFO Art. They chose, however, to move on to different pursuits with “absolutely no regrets”.
One can further glean from FFO Art’s Tumblr that at one point, they had a great affection for storytelling. Whether their dream to someday become a published author is in the process of manifesting or has, indeed, already come to fruition remains a mystery. For all we know, they may have abandoned wordsmithing for a career in haute couture millinery by now! Let’s just hope that their life’s work, whatever that may be at this juncture, involves creative expression in some way, shape, or form.
As for FFO Art’s collage-making success story, it appears as though it was an unexpected surprise born out their need to pursue a creatively fulfilling outlet in their spare time. Before long, their Tumblr followers increased exponentially. Many repeatedly expressed high regard for FFO Art’s work and the desire to purchase physical prints. This, it appears, may be the sole reason why the individual behind the virtual veil chose to share ever more imaginative, off-the-wall images while also answering the incessant call for a merchandise storefront. And yet, as with so many distinctively FFO Art sentiments, insight into the impermanence of that endeavor can be seen here:
“…as I have absolutely no idea how my life will turn (out) tomorrow, I can’t promise anything, but I hope that I’ll continue to make and post stuff in the near future.”
FFO Art once composed collages the quaint, old fashioned way with real paper and scissors. While the tactile nature of that process can be satisfying, the fan of “traditional media” transitioned into an entirely digital process. Their preferred tools were Adobe Photoshop with vector line art created via the Systemax PaintTool SAI illustration program. Both programs were also used to crown each composition with their invitingly sumptuous color palettes.
You can’t help but have even greater affection for an artist who gives the curious public deeper insight into how they, too, may be able to dabble in their own collage-y pursuits. FFO Art laments that so much of the antique source material used in their earlier artistic efforts was not high resolution. To ensure the visual integrity of any digital collages you may decide to create on your own, it’s highly advisable to conduct an online search for images that contain a large number of pixels per unit area. FFO Art has been known to give their library card quite a workout in order to borrow various medical atlases due to their extremely excellent quality illustrations. If you’re not a fan of scanning real world texts, FFO Art has found the following websites to provide a wealth of reliable, crisp, clear imagery time and time again.
- Biodiversity Heritage Library
- Botanicus Digital Library
- Plant Illustrations
- Scientific Illustration
- Vintage Pin-Up Illustrations
Aside from FFO Art’s obvious eye for aesthetically pleasing artistic compositions, what’s even more appealing about them is the genuine appreciation they’ve expressed to their Tumblr followers. There is a pervasive humility and graciousness in all of FFO Art’s responses and you get the distinct sense that all of the artistic fawning never inflates their head. If we’re to believe Joseph Addison — who once said, “A just and reasonable modesty…sets off every great talent, which a (wo)man can be possessed of.” – then FFO Art is surely making many creative ripples in whatever domain they are presently delving into. We can only hope so!
FFO Art Social Media Accounts