One thing I really like about the internet is the ability to stumble upon years-old gems. Angelica Ström is a Sweden-based photographer, or at least she was in 2011 when these images were originally posted. Captured anonymously from behind there’s a strong sense of angst youth and experimentation with light, setting and posture.
“To accurately portray the reality of living with mental illness for prisoners in an effort to call attention to the increased imprisonment of the mentally ill in the US” is the stated goal of Jenn Ackerman’s series Trapped.
Ackerman began photographing inside Kentucky State Reformatory in 2008. Over the course of her time there she gained trust of the inmates and guards and unprecedented access to their facility and procedure. The resulting series is a stunning look inside the experience of the mentally ill shuffled through a prison system not equipped to withstand, care for, or rehabilitate them. A system in dire need of attention and reform. (via)
In his series Hierophanies, Portsmouth, New Hampshire-based artist Bear Kirkpatrick photographs people naked in wild locations. Kirkpatrick travels hours to bring his subjects to remote wilderness and shoots as many images as possible in 15 minutes “quickly to prevent self-reflection or conscious posing” ultimately in an effort to bring out their “liminal states.”
Kirkpatrick adds of the series title: “Hierophanies was taken from the writings of Mircea Eliade; a hierophany was a word he coined to describe in primitive religious mythology a tear in the fabric of the profane world—the world of nature, life and death, rebirth, growth, time—through which it is possible to witness the sacred world—the timeless and eternal.”
César Biojo defines his work as the controlled result of multiple accidents; the coexistence of two opposites: creation and destruction. Biojo starts with the figurative— constructing a character—and when he feels it is perfect he destroys it with the abstraction of extra paint and spatula rips and drags. The result is a perfect imperfection: a focus on the fragility and ephemerality of the human existence that asks if we were perfect for a moment? And then reassures you yes… but that moment has passed.
A self-taught painter, Fatima Ronquillo layers her portraits with the traditional symbols and charms of classic-style portraiture — objects that meant different things in different times and have to be studied to be completely understood. Ronquillo’s subjects similarly face the viewer decorated with blindfolds, eye patches, fauns, flowers — and by pulling them into the contemporary, we are reminded us of the aesthetic value of these objects that we are free to attach our own significance to.
For his series, Wilder Mann, photographer Charles Fréger traveled to 18 different countries to capture the costumes and masks of folk festivals and traditions. Creatures like bears, stags, mysterious hybrids and the occasional Krampus appear otherworldly—fashioned from materials like animal hides, bells, antlers, twigs and leaves. Photographed within their natural settings, the results are more film still than portrait instantly conjuring primitive stories and fairy tales. (via)
New York-based travel photographer Sivan Askayo explores intimacy through a universal behavior: hanging clothes out to dry. Askayo’s series Intimacy Under the Wires depicts clotheslines from around the world—snapshots likely more personal than intended. According to Askayo, the project began in Tel Aviv, and continued through Madrid, Barcelona, London, Florence, Venice and Buenos Aires, and we have to take her word for it: aside from small hints in t-shirt logos, random signage and perhaps an architectural clue, locations are largely a mystery.
The style of Copenhagen-based animation director and illustrator Helena Frank plays with hyper-realism and proportions—very serious big heads balancing on little bodies. Though she encourages people to view her “best work” at her website, her awesome tumblr gives us a piece a day, “no exception.” (via)