In March 2011, an earthquake and tsunami struck Japan causing widespread damage and destruction across the country. The fishing town of Otsuchi along the Sanriku Coast was hit especially hard, with 60-foot tall waves destroying 60% of the town. Argentinian photographer Alejandro Chaskielberg heard about the devastation in Otsuchi from the curator of an exhibit of his work in Tokyo in 2012. Upon visiting Otsuchi, Chaskielberg discovered large mountains of debris and places that were visibly demolished. Because Otsuchi is such a small town, the photographer easily found people whose homes were destroyed, most of them living in small temporary housing units. For his “Otsuchi Future Memory” series, Chaskielberg had some of the town’s inhabitants pose inside their now destroyed homes or work places during the night, taking black and white long exposure photographs of his subjects. He’d then use the color palette of decayed photographs found in an album among the ruins to color the his portraits.
Chaskielberg says, “It’s a reflection on the tragedy as a whole—the losses, the memory—and my way of seeing the world. These historic images are the bridge to the past I create through the use of colors…These photographs speak to the way the Otsuchi inhabitants decided to record their lives. From my viewpoint, I try to build a story about the city and its people.”
This method results in haunting and surreal photographs, ones that almost appear strangely collaged or layered, but are only enhanced with color and lighting. (via slate)
Turkish filmmaker Oguz Uygur has gorgeously captured his parents’ delicate craft of erbu, also known as paper marbling. To create these beautiful patterns, first a tray is filled with water. Next, paint or ink is spilled, dabbed, dripped, sprayed, fanned, and/or pulled across the surface of the water. Sometimes additives and chemicals are applied to the mixture to create various textures. Thin wires are used to pull paint or ink into intricate patterns, with deliberate care taken for each design. Finally, a piece of washi paper is placed onto the water/paint surface with the intent to stain the pattern onto the paper. The paper is then allowed to dry before being used for calligraphy, book covers, and endpapers in bookbinding and stationery.This marbling method was first developed in East and Central Asia, as well as the Islamic world and is currently an important part of Turkish, Tajik, Indian, and other Asian and Middle Eastern cultures. Some of the marbled designs and patterns are reminiscent of the woven carpets typically found in similar regions. Uygur’s short film captures amazing detail and depth of field using close-up shots demonstrating the intricate attention paid to this form of aqueous surface design. (via art and fury).
The internet is currently swarming with stories, tributes, and memorials to the late, great Robin Williams who passed 3 days ago. Some people may not know that in addition to being an actor, comedian, activist, and improv performer, Williams was also an unabashed lover of video games, comic books, and graphic novels, and that this loss resonates throughout these communities as well. Yesterday, Nick Gazin over at Vice posted crowd-sourced illustrations that pay tribute to the performer, his characters, and his life. (via vice)
New Zealand based sculptor Neil Dawson constructs sculptures made from aluminum and stainless steel, creating geometric shapes that appear to floating mid-air or suspended by nearly invisible reinforcements. Some of them look like simple illustrations, drawn in the air, while others are more complex constructions. Dawson often suspends his weightless work in civic spaces and skyscapes, creating gravity-defying, airy illusions.
“There’s something sanctified about a gallery environment because the works are physically and visually static,” Dawson says. “With public sculpture there’s a real dynamism because it’s constantly changing with the light and the elements. The majority of my work has more holes in it than substance – it’s about looking through things, not just at things. There’s always an element of surprise,” he says, noting the appearance of his sculptures changes day to day, and that the experience is unique to each viewer. “When art is frozen in a gallery, it loses those possibilities.” (via juxtapoz)
San Francisco-based body painter Trina Merry has created a series of scenes that blend nude bodies into New York City landscapes such as the Brooklyn Bridge, Guggenheim Museum, Empire State Building, Central Park and the New York City skyline. Due to Merry’s fine attention to detail and composition, the painter’s subjects seamlessly disappear into their surrounding environments.
Of her medium, Merry writes, “My surface is living, breathing human beings making this a highly relevant & immediate medium. I use non-toxic hypoallergenic paint applied with a brush or airbrush. The painting is temporary, like a Tibetan sand painting, beginning to change into another work as soon as I stop painting, changing texture & color.”
Merry has an impressive portfolio of projects on her site, including the Human Motorcycle Project, a project which entailed painting bodies to look like motorcycles. (via visual news)
Designers and stylists Isla Bell Murray and Jessica Saia recently featured some bold and edgy San Francisco street fashion over at The Bold Italic. In an effort to correct “street style” blogs that have used streets and their permanent fixtures as mere background to “people style,” the duo have captured a variety of popular and stylish items found on the streets, complete with quotes from the fashionistas they encountered. This humorous series lightheartedly mocks street fashion photography, reminding us not to take ourselves too seriously.
In 2012, Paris-based photographer Floriane de Lassée was in Ethiopia when she came up with her “How Much Can You Carry?” series. While there, she took notice of the varieties of weight that people would carry above their shoulders. Since Ethiopia, de Lassée has traveled to 6 other countries – Rwanda, Nepal, India, Japan, Indonesia, Bolivia, and Brazil – documenting an even more diverse array of humanity and its essentials. de Lassée says, “‘How Much Can You Carry?'” is above all a tribute to the bearers of life; those whose life is heavy and where smiles and laughter become the key to a livable existence. This series can be read on two levels. The first refers to these modern caryatids; the second, more secret, talks about various weights we all carry, whether physical or psychological (the weight of tradition, education, family, etc).” (via junk culture)
Kamolpan Chotvichai explores the limitations of paper by carefully hand-cutting portraits of herself and rendering an effect of dissolution based on the Buddha’s teaching on anatta (no self). Parts of Chotvichai’s human form appear warped and melted, almost glitchy, as if they are about to disintegrate; the artist’s careful attention to the direction and shape of her cuts produces an elegant illusory effect. Chotvichai explains,
One’s adhering to something can cause the greatest misery in life especially being attached to self-existing. The idea of this self-existing is actually self-formed and leads to variety of emotions. The temper, the mind and the body altogether gradually form the idea of being alive but when putting into consideration, without any substance, it is merely the thought that we think we are existing…The way I create my work is to set consciousness and concentration by slitting and cutting on the portrait of myself which is considered to be the unconditional action of effort and attempt. This action is therefore to destroy and create the emptiness which will lead to the stage of naught.
Chotvichai was born, raised, and educated in Bangkok, where she currently resides. (via my amp goes to 11)