At just 24 years old, Ontario-born and Brooklyn-based artist Joey L. boasts an impressive portfolio. Renowned for his diverse collection of portraits ranging from well-known celebrities to tribes encountered during his travels in Ethiopia, his work demonstrates “proof of an artist equally comfortable with the familiar and the exotic.” In his annual “Halloween in Brooklyn” series, Joey L. documents the familiar—locals in Bushwick, Brooklyn—as they don their halloween costumes and transform into a different kind of exotic.
Capturing masquerading adults and trick-or-treating children alike, Joey began this series as a way to “view this local annual tradition through the eyes of a foreigner.” Having heavily traveled and, thus, experienced the unfamiliarity of other cultures’ festivals and celebrations, Joey sought to engage with Halloween in a unique way. Shooting each image in dreamy black and white and setting most of his subjects against a solid, black background, the eerie photographs are simultaneously dripping with drama and laced with playfulness—achieving the photograph’s objective to get “lost in a childish sugar rush of both home-made and store-bought pop-culture costumes of the year.”
We’ve covered designer Gareth Pugh’s funhouse fashion before, and his 2015 ready-to-wear line is no less delightfully deranged. Pugh drapes his models in the regalia of pagan rituals, occasionally borrowing from the mind-expanding sensibilities of modern glitch art.
One design harkens back to the scarecrows of ye olde corn fields, complete with a material reminiscent of burlap; at the same time, another figure is shrouded in geometric mystique like a Magic Eye illusion.
“I wanted it of the earth, rather than landed from a spaceship,” Pugh said of the collection. To do so, he draws on raw textures of chiffon thistles and gauzy silk, and for inspiration, he reimagines a time when masquerades and ritualistic sacrifice were still a thing. One of his designs calls up the image of a court jester, reincarnated as something slicker and more sinister. A woman stands under the brim of what brings to mind a stalk of wheat, dressed in virginal white. Some of them are crowned with papier-mâché skulls.
The result, even with the modern twists, is nothing short of raw occultish charm, a wonderful mixing of the ethereal and the profane. (via Style.com)
Tattoos, historically, have been on the bodies of sailors and prisoners. It’s only in relatively recent years that they’ve entered mainstream society and lost some of their negative social stigma. Arkady Bronnikov collected photographs of tattooed Russian prisoners between the mid-1960s and mid-1980s. The amount he obtained was massive – 918 images worth – thanks to his position in the government. As a senior expert in criminalistics at the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs for over 30 years, part of Bronnikov’s duties involved visiting correctional institutions of the Ural and Siberia regions. He interviewed, gathered information, and photographed convicts and their tattoos, which gradually helped him build this comprehensive archive.
The images were later acquired by FUEL, a London-based design group, in 2013. Some of the photographs and official police papers authored by Bronnikov from the Soviet period will be published by FUEL in two volumes, the first of which was just released. Now, they are part of a current exhibition titled FUEL present: Russian Criminal Tattoo Police Filesat Grimaldi Gavin in London until November 22 of this year.
When these photos were taken, Bronnikov wasn’t concerned with composition or style. They were meant to act as a record and served a purely practical purpose. The gallery explains, “Their bodies display an unofficial history, told not just through tattoos, but also in scars and missing digits. Closer inspection only confirms our inability to comprehend the unimaginable lives of this previously unacknowledged caste.”
With Halloween just around the corner, costumes don’t have to be the only spooky things you you do to celebrate the holiday. We’ve been introduced to the lifelike, creepy cakes of Conjurer’s Kitchen, and they aren’t the only ones turning delicious treats into something sinister. So, here are a couple of other food artists having some ghoulish fun with conventional desserts.
Christine McConnell is an artist, photographer, and baker who makes elaborate delicacies like screamberries, a life-sized facehugger pastry, and chocolate-covered spiders. The details on these foods are incredible and so convincing that they don’t appear like they’re edible (though they are!). But, they look so impressive that you wouldn’t want to. (via Who Killed Bambi and Laughing Squid)
Ruth & Sira created their own version of the sugar skull by opening the top of the heads and sticking things like berries, nuts, and gummies. The walnuts look like a strange, dried-up brains while they’ve also created the more traditional-looking organs. Their creations look very sweet, and easy to pop skull after skull (as strange as that sounds) into your mouth. (via Who Killed Bambi and Boing Boing)
When vegetal artist Duy Anh Nhan Duc and photographer Isabelle Chapuis collaborate, the resulting images of people and flowers are anything but cliché. The series “Etamine” (stamen) and “Dandelion” are elegant and surreal, beautifully conceptual and expertly shot.
In “Etamine” a somewhat androgynous man is adorned in black and red and purple and yellow. “Fragile compositions of thousands of petals: carnations, anemones, irises and chrysanthemums merge with the skin.” The petals resemble feathers, as if these are sensual and captivating birds preening for the camera.
“Duy Anh Nhan Duc is an artist who handles vegetal art in a very singular way.… He merges plants with human bodies, integrates them with objects, combines them with his drawings or stages them though his short-films. Through his work, he weaves a poetic world where plants rule as masters.”
Like its seed head, “Dandelion” feels more fragile, suspended in time, as if the female model is holding her breath. Shot against a black background, the dandelion seeds are as impossibly delicate as snow or fog. Where in “Etamine” the petals have merged with the male figure, the seeds in “Dandelion” are ephemeral, pausing for a moment before floating away on a breath or a breeze.
Chapuis says, “I’m very inspired by the aesthetic movement in painting, Tim Walker. C’est l’art pour l’art. Art for its own sake. It’s only about emotion. I don’t want to accomplish anything beyond appealing to peoples’ senses”. (Source)
These series are proof of the magic that can happen when two extremely talented artists combine forces to make captivating work. (Via Ignant)
Sarah Hallacher’s gifs explore the different opportunities for pangs of heartbreak that exist in social media and technology. She uses texts, instagram, facebook, linkedin, googlechat, and email, to demonstrate the difficulties of the remnants of a relationship that linger in the age of the Internet. Each gif is set in the format of each platform, to show how the different type of information and notifications can have effect on you. They’re all pretty familiar, even probably to people who haven’t gone through a tough break up. For instance, the text message notification buildup when none is from the person you wish they were could even extend outside the realm of a romantic relationship; Everyone’s experienced disappointment or annoyance in not receiving a response from someone. Others are very specific to relationships, like the Facebook relationship status.
Hallacher presents these everyday difficulties in the most straightforward way, allowing the viewer to understand the significance of the aspects of a relationship that echoes through the Internet. Of the project Hallacher states:
“My goal was to pinpoint the exact place where something might feel painful for a moment,” she says. “I was trying to capture both the technology and the experience of it. If you’re not speaking to a person, you don’t know why they are taking these actions online. The online version of their action is very dry and cold, without context. I just wanted to highlight that. The computer is just a computer, and it doesn’t feel sorry for you.” (Via Co Exist)
Working with one of the most socially relevant and controversial topics of recent years, artists Pascal Leboucq and Lucas De Man have installed a clever take about what it means to be surveilled, to survey and to be under surveillance. Their EYE project consists of 5 enormous eyes built into the sides of different buildings around the Dutch city of Den Bosch that viewers are able to inhabit and experience a dramatic view of the city from.
Once inside the different buildings of the project (including a theater, a modern hospital, an old building ready to under go construction, a monument and a corporate building), observers are ushered to a seat, fastened in and wheeled out into the hanging structure. They are then immersed into a multimedia sound and video experience altering the way they are able to see themselves, their peers and their environment. Artist Lucas De Man says about the metaphor of eyes in this project:
A city with eyes is a city that looks and shows itself. No closed doors or shut windows, but open. We gave the city eyes so you can hang in the air above the world and look. Just look. (Source)
Lucas also talks about his desire for a more connected existence within cities, and how important it is to have these immersive experience to change our interaction with each other and within our shared environment.
Man wants to be heard and seen and has the need to share his vulnerability every now and then. The city must accommodate this need by being a place for, of and by people. (Source)
The Eyes are still open for viewing until November 1. They will then be on tour in 2015.
Complete with slick, bold colors and lens flares, artist Felipe Pantone livens up walls and urban environments with his murals. The neon-colored creations are text based and often coupled with geometric and monochromatic patterns. Their energy can’t and won’t be ignored, and it conjures up an aesthetic that’s contemporary, yet feels like it’s out of the late 1990’s thanks to a rainbow combination of gradients that fill the letterforms.
Pantone’s graffit straddles the line between traditional graffiti, typography, and design. It’s this mixture of popular cultures that gives a unique voice, and simultaneously looks familiar but is something all its own. For someone who might only be familiar with one aspect of Pantone’s multifaceted inspiration, they can find something interesting and meaningful within it (aside it just being fun to look at). (Via The Fox is Black)