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Fascinating Portraits Of Criminals Covered In Russian Prison Tattoos

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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 Files at 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.

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Two Food Artists Who Create Ghoulishly Delicious Treats Perfect For Halloween

Ruth & Sira

Ruth & Sira

Christine McConnell

Christine McConnell

Christine McConnell

Christine McConnell

Ruth & Sira

Ruth & Sira

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)

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Breathtakingly Ephemeral Portraits Created With Flowers And Seeds

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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)

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Sarah Hallacher’s Gifs Show The Painful Effects Of Technology And Social Media After A Breakup

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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)

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Multimedia EYE Project Invites Citizens To Sit In The Chair Of Surveillance

Pascal Leboucq and Lucas De Man

Pascal Leboucq and Lucas De Man

Pascal Leboucq and Lucas De Man

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.
(Via HiFructose)

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Felipe Pantone’s Hi-Gloss Works Blur The Line Between Graffiti, Design And Hallucinogenic Patterns

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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)

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Wei Li Makes Dangerous Popsicles In The Shape Of HIV And Other Viruses

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Wei Li

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San Francisco-based artist and designer Wei Li is making tasty treats with unpalatable connotations. Would you lick a cactus? Suck on a virus? Would just the idea of it change your experience of a dessert? In “Dangerous Popscicle” Li makes desserts in the shape of cacti, MRSA, influenza, chicken pox, escherichia coli and HIV from just water, sugar and coloring. To make the popsicles, Li created a series of one and two part silicone molds modeled in Rhino and printed on an Objet 3d printer. She writes on her website bold or italic:

“What will happen when we put these dangerous things on one of our most sensitive organs, our tongues? Does pain really bring pleasure? Is there beauty in user-unfriendly things?

Dangerous Popsicles create a unique sensory experience. Before tasting with your tongue, you first taste with your eyes and mind. The popsicles are nothing but water and sugar, but ideas of deadly viruses and the spikiness of cacti are enough to stimulate your senses, even before your first taste.”

There are inherent contradictions in this project—the colors of the items look delicious, but the subject is unappetizing, but the surface is pleasingly tactile, but the structure is painful.

Aside from making the molds and freezing the pops, Li is also interested in the social interaction this project fosters. How do people react to the frozen unsavories? Try it yourself—find directions on how to make this project at Instructables. (via The Creator’s Project)

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Aisha Zeijpveld’s Dreamy Pastel Portraits Celebrate The Absurd

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Based in Amsterdam, photographer Aisha Zeijpveld specializes in conceptual portraiture and works as a freelancer for myriad commercial magazines. Characterized by an interest in presenting her subjects’ “nakedness and vulnerability yet simultaneously their potency and pride,” her photographs evoke quirky surrealism and capture the absurd while boasting simplicity and maintaining clarity.

By placing her models before color-blocked backdrops of muted pastel and neutral tones, the subjects remain the focus of her dreamlike photographs. While each subject is situated in a pose typical of traditional portraiture, Zeijpveld transforms each piece with her eccentric editing; hair is replaced by twisting smoke or scattered dirt, individuals sprout extra limbs, and eyes become shrouded in listless clouds. While the exquisite level of detail and precision in her work suggests that these alterations and additions were carried out digitally, Zeijpveld’s illusions are crafted entirely by hand using scissors, found objects, and other tangible elements. Ultimately, through these techniques, Zeijpveld successfully “aims for the absurd, allowing her photographs to be positioned on the interface of reality and dream-world.”

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