The photographer Sarolta Bán’s new series of images of abandoned and sheltered animals stays true to its touchingly simple title: Help Dogs with Images. For homeless animals, visibility is often a dream; far too many go unseen and unrecognized, and through her vivid imaginings in Photoshop—brought to life by the dignified warmth and wisdom of furry faces—Bán, previously featured here, hopes to change all that. With a support network of over 105,000 followers, she invites people around the world to submit photographs, transforming them into complex and poignant works of art and activism.
What stands out in Help Dogs with Images is the artist’s honest and humane representations of animal yearning. A photograph of a white dog becomes a symbol of hope and light; his playful and expectant glance upwards illuminates a single white butterfly amidst a dark nighttime landscape. As a child might wish upon a shooting star, a dappled dog implores a bright moon, a celestial beacon of recognition that movingly shares his own black and white spots.
Bán’s work is so successful because its soulfulness never veers into saccharine or cutesy territory; each image is hopeful yet serious, its emotionality heightened by stark contrasts and high resolutions. In one desperately heartrending photograph, a dog and cat watch an hourglass begin to count down; each knows the gravity of his situation, and they are left within a darkly tinted frame, anticipating uncertain futures. Shining canine coats and piercing feline eyes entreat the viewer to consider the dignity, humanity, and thoughtfulness that each creature possesses. To get involved, be sure to visit the project’s Facebook page. (via My Modern Metropolis)
German photographer Robert Schlaug creates Limited Area, a series in which we get to know landscapes, not as the usual sublime, endless terrains, but simply as a place that is contained and eventually terminated. In essence, Limited Areas reflects the “limits of human experiences via everyday landscape photographs.”
“Sometimes we feel we’ve run into a wall or stand in front of a precipice, not knowing how to proceed further. Or suddenly there opens up before us an insurmountable wall, and we know no way out. Even our thoughts and our imagination constantly finds their limits.”
By digitally manipulating the images, Schlaug re-creates something that we are used to seeing in our computer screens- a corrupted file, a glitchy image. Precisely, he drags down streaks of color across each section of his photographs; the result, a visual experience that he hopes will “raise awareness in times of total sensory overload.” His images, turn into colorful abstractions that will perhaps remind the viewer of the grand Abstract Expressionist works from the 1950′s. (via Phaidon)
Russian underwater photographer and biologist Alexander Semenov has created a new series of images that brilliantly captures a variety of deep sea worms known as polychaetes, some of which may be unknown to scientists. Semenov has spent many hours diving in places like the White Sea and Great Barrier Reef in Australia in order to get up close and personal with this creepy, crawly sea life. Altogether, Semenov photographed 222 different species of polychaetes that are currently being studied and documented by scientists.
Semenov first began photographing sea life for fun while organizing the White Sea Biological Station underwater projects. Using basic photography equipment, he’d get a few good shots every few months, and this eventually encouraged Semenov and his team to acquire more professional equipment. Semenov now produces images like the ones seen here, as well as a series of jellyfish and tiny creature images are all just as stunning. (via colossal)
Jiang Pengyi‘s latest series, Everything Illuminates, sees the artist mixing fluorescent powders with liquid wax, and applying it to various, commonly-found objects. Pengyi then documents these applications, capturing in a time a brief moments where the objects were not just illuminated, but focused on for consideration through art. According to the Hunan-Province-born artist’s statement, these images “suggest the artist’s changing focus back to original form and shape, at the same time reflect his current state of mind.”
Pengyi was recently selected to participate in Artshare.com’s group showing of note-worthy Chinese artists born between 1977 and 1987, called Another Light. The show’s catalogue references the artist’s past works, which focused on the rapidly-evolving city and industrial spaces in China, and a slowing down in focus for his newer works, where each object becomes precious and unique. “In Jiang’s Everything Illuminates series, the mystique of autonomous objects is revealed in delicate depiction…Through the passage of time, these objects slowly take on their new forms on film and emit individual signals from their uncommon glow, as they emerge in a bewitching existence.” (via skumar and mymodernmet)
When director Tatia Pilieva instructed couples to kiss, she did so with a twist. The two kissers are complete strangers, and don’t even know each other’s names. In this intriguing short film, aptly titled, First Kiss, we watch each of these people meet, realize they must smooch, and proceed to do so. Not surprisingly, it’s a little awkward for most of them, but when it happens, the moment is endearing and beautiful.
As you watch this three and a half minute video, there’s varied responses to what Pilieva asks. Some people try and make a joke out of it while others look nervous. One person introduces themselves. Finally, they all go for it, and the kisses range from a full-on make out to a shorter, more diplomatic kiss. It’s interesting to see how quickly people become comfortable with each other and are able to let go of their inhibitions to embrace the moment.
Aside from the charming concept, you might have noticed that everyone is nicely dressed and is conventionally good looking. As Jezebel and other media outlets have pointed out, this video is actually and ad for the clothing line, Wren. While it might be an inconvenient truth that no doubt puts a damper on the spontaneity of the video, it doesn’t totally detract from the pleasure we get from watching it.
Hiroshi Watanabe is a photographer interested in places and people. Capturing traditions and locales that hold a personal interest for him, Watanabe was drawn to various elements of Japanese culture. Particularly interested in forms of theatricality, Watanabe sought to capture individual performers within the traditions of Sarumawashi, Noh, Ena Bunraku and Kabuki. Stylized human actors, monkeys, masks and puppets become the subject matter of Watanabe’s striking and powerful photographs. Though the traditions come from different regions and periods of history, they are tied together by Watanabe’s eye. Of his work he says:
“I strive for both calculation and discovery in my work, keeping my mind open for surprises. At times, I envision images I’d like to capture, but when I actually look through the viewfinder, my mind goes blank and I photograph whatever catches my eye. Photographs I return with are usually different from my original concepts. My photographs reflect both genuine interest in my subject as well as a respect for the element of serendipity, while other times I seek pure beauty. The pure enjoyment of this process drives and inspires me. I believe there’s a thread that connects all of my work — my personal vision of the world as a whole. I make every effort to be a faithful visual recorder of the world around me, a world in flux that, at very least in my mind, deserves preservation.”
Beautiful/Decay is excited to bring you our exclusive artist feature in partnership with Made With Color, the premiere platform for artist websites. Each week we join forces to bring you some of the most exciting creatives working today who use Made With Color to create their clean and sleek sites. All Made With Color sites not only work beautifully on your computer but also come optimized for mobile and tablet users making sure that your portfolio looks professional no matter how you view it. For this weeks artist spotlight we bring you the lush paintings of Virginia Broersma.
The work of Los Angeles artist Virginia Broersma explores the concept of allure within the human form. Built of brash and intuitive marks that congeal into something very precise, her paintings have an intensity that is formed not only from the image, but from the intuitive action of painting itself. Though it deviates from the human form, Broersma’s imagery is complicated by associations one may have with the body such as attraction, repulsion, embarrassment or pride. Her work explores how even a distant representation of a person can be conflated with measurements of perfection, beauty and the ideal.
About her process and influences she states:
“I begin with something vague that I am interested in portraying – a gesture of the head, an interesting form, a location or a mood – and as I work it develops on the canvas. I am drawn to other painters working within abstract figuration that similarly use the paint to really create, push, manipulate, and determine the form, such as Frank Auerbach, Willem deKooning, Chaim Soutine, to name a few of my favorites. “
Jon Jacobsen, a Chilean photographer, creates images and animations that are metaphorical in nature; his usage of image as allegory is often referential to surreal worlds and occurrences. Through his experience as a fashion photographer, Jacobsen is able to put forth a product that combines both a fashion-editorial aesthetic and the feel and look of something that, say, Salvador Dali created. His work is indicative of imagined scenarios that in a sense encapsulate real sensory experiences. Although there is no specific continuity to any of his work, any one of his photographs alone is enough for viewers to become interested in Jacobsen’s personal experiences and wild imagination.
“As a child I dreamt of becoming an astronaut, now I create a universe myself”
According to his short statement on his Behance profile, his animated GIFs are inspired by specific moments in times where feelings, thoughts, and the senses go out of control [smelling or seeing something that provokes strong emotions, going through a difficult emotional experience,etc].