Dead Woman’s Possessions Poignantly Brought Back To Life In 2-Minute Video

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In 2010, Gemma Green-Hope’s grandmother died; scanning a flimsy memorial service program, the illustrator desired a more intimate way to remember her grandmother. After inheriting her beloved relative’s old possessions, she animated them in search of traces of permanence left behind by a mortal soul. In this stop-motion video, titled Gan Gan, viewers see an entire life literally flash before our eyes; both mundane and exquisite objects are transformed into momento mori, as if we ourselves were at the moment of our death.

The whimsical, nostalgic animation elegantly draws upon literary and artistic themes of womanhood, so that in the wake of Gan Gan’s passing, a fertile, creative and distinctly feminine presence remains unharmed. Green-Hope recites the “Eternal Father, Strong to Save” hymn, a poem associated both with funerals and the sea. The sea remains a theme throughout the entire short film, and bodies of water are often seen as female, powerful, penetrable yet containing mysterious depths. The countryside, fairies, and the hearth—all iconographically seen as the woman—skip mirthfully in and out of the video. Left with the shot a books written about the sea, pulsating like waves, viewers are encouraged to see the matrilineal thread as something permanent and endlessly magical.

For Green-Hope, the cosmic and the personal are intertwined; amidst religious and natural icons, we see photographs that are poignantly unique to the deceased. Similarly, we are told in Gree-Hope’s sing-song voice specific things like “she rode a blue bicycle” and “she once shot a spider.” Unlike the mortal life, this video can be played over and over, forever preserving a memory that might otherwise fade away. (via Colossal)
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You Won’t Believe These Airy Dresses By Alasdair Thomson Are Carved From Marble

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Upon viewing the sculptor Alasdair Thomson’s flowing, dreamy garments, you might be transported to the sunlit meadows of a William-Adolphe Bouguereau painting filled with young, fresh-faced girls in flowing white sundresses. On second glance, however, the clothes reveal themselves to be carved from hard, cold marble. The artist, using hanging outfits borrowed from his friends as unusual muses, renders miraculously enlivened clothing from the durable material, dresses that seem to dance in the wind despite remaining entirely immobile.

Here, Thomson, who holds a Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Edinburg, reinterprets the Renaissance and classical treatment of marble; in the stead of Michelangelo’s strapping David or ancient tributes to mythological heroes, he presents simple, delicate, and feminine attire. The juxtaposition of soft content with sturdy material compels the viewer to consider deeper themes, and as these cottony sculptures hang convincingly from hangers, the everyday is elevated to a level as significant and moving as ancient mythologies. Notably, the clothes are also fetchingly modern; in the place of togas, Shine carves belted jumpers and strapless gowns.

While marble art historically has usually been used to express the powerful eroticism of both the male and female body, these hanging garments maintain a charming innocence. Seen in pale white and adorned with frills and ruffles, they wait to be inhabited by a body that will never arrive; limply, they fall and strain against the hanger. Indeed, the pieces are delightful, and viewers might be covetous them, if only they could actually be slipped over human bodies. (via Oddity Central and Colossal)
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Creepy Photographs Of Infamous Dictators And World Leaders Snuggling Stuffed Animals

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Displayed ominously on the covers of TIME and Newsweek, these faces elicit fear: Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi, Hugo Chávez, Fidel Castro, and Mobutu Sesé Seko. But in his new series “Celebrity,” the Chinese retoucher and artist Chunlong Sun explores the more tender side of these infamous men, presenting them cradling plushy stuffed animals. Sun achieved the desired effect by shooting Chinese look-alike models styled and costumed in attire similar to that worn by the world leaders in famous images; later, he went back and retouched the photographs to resemble the now-dreaded faces.

The photographs are profoundly evocative of the work of Platon, The New Yorker staff photographer whose shots of Gaddafi littered news stands in anticipation of his overthrowing and ultimate death. In this way, Sun’s subjects remain a truly frightful vision, despite their furry friends; instead of revealing the humanity behind the historical figures, the tenderly worn stuffed toys often appear like hostages, held tightly and uncomfortably in the arms of those men known for their long, oppressive regimes. Chávez’s hands and fingers curl unsettlingly about the face and torso of a beloved teddy bear; Gaddafi grips a pale pink, oinking pig.

Perhaps also the soft toys are to be read as symbolic clues into the nature of the infamous world leaders. Each man was seductive and charismatic, at one time thought to be righteous and good; here, holding this cute animals, they might be mistaken for saviors once again, and yet danger lurks behind their wrinkled eyes. Take a look. (via Demilked)
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Benjamin Shine’s Stunning Portraits Made Entirely From One Folded Sheet Of Tulle

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The artist Benjamin Shine’s tulle creations look as if they have emerged from a thick fog; by folding and ironing the ethereal fabric into place, he constructs both realistic portraits and more expressionistic renderings of the human face. For each piece, the artist uses a single sheet of fabric, folding it in upon itself to create layered and nuanced shades of blue, black, magenta, and topaz.

With his enchanting, moody fabric tableaux, Shine makes a unique contribution to modern artistic dialogue. As with the modernists and the Impressionists, the materiality of the work is as significant as its content; as Edgar Degas’s spontaneous brushstrokes realize a ballerina’s tutu, so too does Shine’s delicate fabric render the tender lips and eyelids of the female face.

Despite the creative approach and unusual medium, the artist magically maintains a jarringly realistic gaze, nearly replicating famous photographs of glamorous icons like Princess Diana and Elizabeth Taylor. Where his use of tulle is spontaneous and modern, the actual images are surprisingly conventional; while the Impressionists may have painted en plein air, Shine sticks to traditional portrait subject matter, like posed celebrities. This unexpected marriage of edgy technique with established content results in a truly mesmerizing project, one which occupies an interesting space in contemporary aesthetic conversations.

Only in Shine’s more expressionistic works, titled the Tulle Flows, do we dive head first into the daring medium; here, as the tulle unfolds according to its own natural momentum, faces give way to abstracted shapes. Here, human subjects appear as if they are looking out from behind a veil, like invisible creatures pressing their faces against a foggy cloud. Take a look. (via My Modern Met and Demilked)
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John Wilhelm Creates Hilarious Photo-Manipulations For His 3 Small Daughters

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In the surreal photographic worlds of father of three John Wilhelm, the imaginative play of childhood is a force to be reckoned with; motivated by childhood memories of video games and television, the university IT director spends his free time dreaming up fantasies for his three daughters, 6-month-old Yuna, 2-year-old Mila, and 5-year-old Lou.

Wilhelm’s impressive body of work, composed of images heavily-manipulated in Adobe Photoshop, is simultaneously touching, thrilling, and humorous. Most children have fantasized about the tale of Little Red Riding Hood, seduced by the adventure of it all and by the terror of the Big Bad Wolf, but this father’s retelling of the classic fairy story is a little bit different; here, the girl is just as wild and free as the wolf, for instead of being fooled into believing that the beast is a peaceable gentleman, she howls with him, tossing her head ecstatically.

The bravery of the small children is highlighted again in a poignant image in which Mila offers a tiny bunch of yellow flowers to a wizened, toweringly large buffalo, whose magnificent, uncouth hair stands in stark contrast with the girl’s miniature peacoat and knitted pom-pom hat. In these fantastical images, the smallest of humans can be the most powerful; the littlest of all, Yuna, is often shown as wreaking havoc on her befuddled parents, who wear space masks to feed her or change her diapers. Indeed, this mischievous bunch is subject to no one’s will but their own, and in this visual play land, they are granted everything they could ever wish for. (via Demilked and Bored Panda)
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Magical Science-Fiction Cast Promises To Heal Bones Super Fast

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When I first saw this inventive fusion of technology, art, and style, I thought it had to be something from a science fiction novel. This open cast, cleverly titled the Osteoid, is the invention of the designer Deniz Karasahin, who is known for previous creations of like a sleek, elegant vacuum cleaner and trendy yet comfortable lounge chairs.

Unlike traditional plaster casts, the Osteoid has ventilation holes and might easily be removed; while it is capable of holding the broken limb in place, it also conveniently avoids causing irritation, itch, and odor. Trail-blazing ultrasound treatments have proved effective in healing bone, but the technology is rarely used, as the plaster cast renders its benefits insufficient. With the Osteoid, it is possible to target specific sites with healing ultrasound systems, which can be inserted into the cast itself. If used for only 20 minutes per day, it could help bone to heal at a rate 40-80% faster than normal.

The invention is as fashionable as it is groundbreaking; with its eyelet holes and jet black hue, it situates itself firmly within the 21st century. If Futurist artists like Giacomo Balla or Umberto Boccioni, with their lust for speed and mechanical ingenuity, could see us now, 100 years later, they would surely be beaming with pride. I shattered my elbow a few months ago, and I can now say, from an honest and personal space, that a magical bone-healing machine would have suited quite nicely. Take a look. (via Demilked and Geekologie)
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Raw, Emotional Photographs Of Shelter Dogs Are Unlike Any You’ve Ever Seen

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Recently, we have featured the work of artists like Douglas Sonders and Fred Levy, who photograph dogs as a means of advocating for the voiceless and promoting awareness about animal rescue. With the “Rescue Me” project, the photographer Brian Moss occupies a unique space in this dialogue; in contrast with the polished, slightly commercial aesthetic of other animal portraits, his photographs of shelter dogs are emotionally raw and candid, delving more deeply into the psychology of his canine subjects.

Moss’s photographic setting is the Bergen County Protect & Rescue Foundation shelter, where he arranges a poignantly modest and “tiny ‘studio tableaux’ […] in between a sink and a leaky washing machine.” Shot under a relatively shallow depth of field, this magical little corner becomes all the more intimate; as well-worn towels and tender, raggedy blankets blur into the distance, the dog subject is fixed with stunning sharpness, revealing the touching imperfections of the face: eye gunk, snouts rubbed raw, noses flushed with pink.

Moss’s project was born from necessity; he felt for the animals left homeless, and yet it was too painful for him to volunteer at a kill shelter. This shoot, which takes place at a no-kill facility, is his tribute to the creatures he longs to help. The honest gaze of the artist’s images are reminiscent of his earlier project with body builders; here too, he seeks out a genuine connection with his subjects. The dogs aren’t posed to appease to viewer or to elicit less emotion, but instead they are free to express their inner fears with darting eyes, unsteady legs, and perked ears. Rich with empathy, Moss’s lens offers rare and invaluable insight into the hearts of our fellow creatures. Take a look. (via Lost at E Minor)
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The Gruesome Artwork Of Sarah Best Will Give You Goosebumps

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The artist Sarah Best creates astounding replicas of the female body, using it as a symbol that tracks the human desire for connection and intimacy; severed from the rest of the body, her sculpted hands and a cut-out collaged breasts take on a life of their own, worming their way up walls and pages and sometimes tracking blood in the process. The work, though sometimes gruesome, maintains a pulsating beauty; as if with clear intentions, her vital sculptures navigate space, dangling from hooks and exploring piles of cloth.

From both a feminist and an aesthetic standpoint, Best’s work operates in a miraculous, subversive manner; the feminist philosopher Susan Bordo, for example, writes that the body, coded female, is often seen as passive and lacking in intellect, explaining that therefore the body alone has the power to challenge those sexist ideas. Positioning parts of the body within cubistic collages and arresting installations, Best allows it to transcend societal definitions. Rather than figuring as part of a whole to be admired and objectified, limbs actively seek out understanding of the outside world, touching and feeling everything in their paths.

Wonderfully vulnerable yet undeniably powerful, female arm bears Christ-like stigmata, and the physical body searches for spiritual meaning. The oppressive boundaries between the corporeal self— too often considered to be unintelligent, immoral, and “feminine—” and the elevated metaphysical self are effectively shattered, and a new kind of humanity begins to emerge, one to which we can all relate, one that is beautifully desirous, yearning, and sometimes lonesome.

I got the amazing chance to speak with Best, and when I asked what advice she’d give to aspiring artists, she simply said, “Keep your integrity. You will only count, for yourself and in your art, to the extend that you keep your integrity.” Take a look.
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