The work of Alex Prager has always been dramatic…or perhaps the correct word is ‘cinematic’. It may not be surprising that in addition to being a photographer, Prager is also a film maker. His newest series of photographs, titled Compulsion, resemble movie stills the moment the film takes a turn for the worst. The images capture a distressing unresolvable anxiety. However, there is also a strangely pleasant disaster-flick aesthetic found in the images. The photographs underscore the prettiness and predictability of dramatized demise. [via]
These headless figures resemble ancient Venus statuettes. However, the sculptures’ construction betray their modern origin. Artist Etienne Gros pulls, tucks, and pins foam to resemble the classic nude. The full curves and folds of the foam mimic human flesh in strangely similar manner. Gros contrasts the age-old form with modern industrial material to highlight concerns that have never disappeared – the body, sensuality and sex. Gros is familiar with the human figure beyond this unique medium. He’s explored themes of the classical figure in paint and even smoke.
It’s problematic calling the work of Jake Fried either animation or painting – it is a bit more than both. Fried uses exceptionally simple materials: White-Out, coffee, ink, gouche, and paper. He creates and image, and adds countless layers. The result is an evolving and unfolding psychedelic image. Fried appropriately calls this type of experimental animation “moving paintings”. Using the image of a face as its foundation, Fried quickly elaborates on the painting barely allowing the viewer’s brain to keep pace. You can see more of Fried’s work previously featured here. [via]
Artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg‘s project, Stranger Visions, is a wonderful mix of science and art. Dewey-Hagborg turns a poetic attention to the seemingly innocuous artifacts of life: a hair, chewed gum, a cigarette butt. Beyond sight, though, the DNA remains of each unique person inhabits these “artifacts”. She picks up these remains up throughout Brooklyn and brings them to a nearby biology lab. Dewey-Hagborg extracts the DNA from the object, then information from the DNA. She runs the information through a program she has written herself that is able to determine physical features such as eye color, hair color, gender, nose width, and so on. That information is then exported to a 3D color printer to create a sculptural portrait of the unwitting donor. [via]
There is something especially frightening about Lara Mezzapelle and Giacomo Deriu‘s sculpture, Dirittura d’Arrivo. The sculpture freezes the moment a plane rips in half, about to plunge from the sky. All of the ensuing chaos – panicking passengers, flying luggage, mangled metal – is caught completely and eerily in white. A fear of flying has been a common modern phobia. However, as critic Olivia Spatola points out, a plane crash in a post 9/11 world reflects the more modern fear of a new kind of violence. In a way Mezzapelle and Deriu capture this modern fear in their medium and process. The sculpture is planned using 3D modeling software, and cut from nylon using prototyping lasers.
Strainers are tools not often seen outside of the kitchen, much less in the art studio. However, artist Isaac Cordal puts them to use in a series of street installations titled Cement Bleak. For the series Cordal sculpts human faces into the mesh of the hand held strainers. The strainers are then inserted into the ground. Sunlight or streetlights pass through the strainers and project a shadow portrait onto the sidewalk. The nature of strainer’s mesh allows for a strangely realistic face from several angles of light.
Photographer and designer Manon Wethly has been experimenting with a series of photographs that is almost certainly as fun to shoot as it is to look at. Wethly flings beverages of all sorts into the air and photographs the flying liquid. The floating globs of wine, juice, coffee, and milk which are in midair for a moment are instead frozen for a single image. These flying spills resemble abstract glass sculptures. They’re color against the blue sky and swirling shapes make these “accidents” artful. [via]
Artist Joanne Arnett‘s artwork reproduces mugshots in a uniquely meticulous way. She painstakingly recreates these images as woven textiles. Mixing thread a wire, the result is similar to a shimmering newspaper photograph. Mug shots are generally thought of as utilitarian, empty of aesthetic, and quickly forgotten. Arnett wittily juxtaposes this against the form of a tapestry – valuable textiles often passed on as heirlooms. Interestingly, the title of each piece is the accused’s sentence. For example, the title of the first image is “Two Years and a Fine of $2,000″.