Interdisciplinary artist and illustrator Lilli Carré‘s “Moving Drawings” are simple and abstract and capture, in looped form, the surreal whimsicality to be found in her comic illustrations and animations. Based in Chicago, Carré has created several comic books and is a co-founder – along with her animator husband, Alexander Stewart – of the Eyeworks Festival of Experimental Animation. Carré’s animations are playful, evocative of childhood, and deal with themes of mundanity and transformation. Aware of the way animated gifs command attention and provoke feelings of delight and curiosity, of her gifs, Carré says, “They help me get little images in my head — like a woman incessantly eating flowers — out of my mind and into moving forms. They don’t have to be part of bigger projects; they can just exist on their own and live forever on the Internet. They’re like little breaths of fresh air.” You can find a collection of Carré’s animated films over on Vimeo. (via juxtapoz)
I first encountered Russian artist Svetlana Petrova’s renderings of classic paintings, modified to include her very large, fat cat, a couple of years ago. I was pleasantly surprised to find the artist is still re-creating paintings, and that her work has recently become a part of a gallery show in Abingdon, England.
Petrova’s mother died in 2008, leaving her cat, Zarathustra, behind. She claims her mother spoiled the cat, contributing to Zarathustra’s large stature. Petrova was very depressed after her mother’s death and wasn’t able to make art until a friend suggested she create an art project using the cat, and thus, Fat Cat Art was born.
Petrova says, “I’m a professional artist, and I was fond of Internet memes, and I thought maybe I can make an Internet meme who would at the same time [be] a work of art. And I did this.” But her confidence in her work was at first met with some hesitation. “I thought that I could hold an exhibition, but gallery owners said: ‘This is not art, this is just cats.’ I asked: ‘Why is a shark in the formaldehyde art, but and a cat in a classic painting is not art?’ Nobody could give me an answer, and these people began to avoid me saying that I am mad.” Eventually, though, her cat art won the hearts of the gallery in the UK.
Petrova has been most recently inserting her cat into movies, and she welcomes suggestions for fat cat placements via her Twitter, or the project’s website, whose disclaimer reads: “We are real. All the artworks at this site are real. Nobody’s opinion about Us, Our art or this site will ever disturb Our suprematism.” (via archie mcphee and huffington post)
Glass artist Mike Gong crafts incredibly detailed, psychedelic marbles ranging from 13 to 63 mm in diameter. Each marble is uniquely designed with remarkable attention to detail. Gong creates small galaxies of color and depth, bringing a sharp eye and highly attuned craftsmanship to the medium of glass. Some of his designs even have silly faces, and even the ones that don’t all reflect Gong’s trippy aesthetic (some of his designs are named Acid Eaters). While you can get an idea of the intricacies of Gong’s marbles with a two dimensional photograph, his designs really come to life when they are allowed to spin and turn at the touch of a human hand. Not Just Marbles has a selection of Gong’s marbles available for purchase, ranging from $275 to 1,100. Brian Bowden at Pbase also has a substantial image archive of Gong’s marbles, some available for purchase. (via my modern met)
In December, New Zealand’s Antarctic Heritage Trust released their discovery and restoration of photographic cellulose nitrate negatives that were clumped together in a box and found in expedition photographer Herbert Ponting’s darkroom in Captain Scott’s last expedition at Cape Evans. As part of the Ross Sea Heritage Restoration Project, the trust recovered 22 images from Ernest Shackleton’s 1914-1917 Ross Sea Party, including a striking image of Alexander Stevens, Shackleton’s Chief Scientist, standing aboard the Aurora, the expedition’s ship. Though many of the photographs are damaged and the identity of the photographer is unknown, landmarks around McMurdo Sound were recognizable to the Antarctic Heritage Trust.
So far, more than 10,000 objects have been conserved at Captain Scott’s Cape Evans hut. Four years ago, the same conservation group discovered 3 crates of whiskey and 2 crates of brandy under Shackleton’s 1908 base. (via npr)
In the wake of a horrific incident in which Sasha Fleischman, an 18 year old “agender” youth, was set on fire after falling asleep on a bus in the Bay Area, San Francisco Magazine commissioned photographer Chloe Aftel to capture a series of portraits of young people (including Fleischman) who defy the male/female gender binary.
Aftel’s “Agender” series seeks to raise awareness of an overlooked and misunderstood community of gender fluid people who face oppression and harassment simply for not conforming. Preferring terms like “genderqueer” and “nonbinary” and the pronoun “they” over “he” or “she”, this growing community includes people who identify across the gender identity spectrum, from agender (neither male nor female) to bi-gender (both male and female) to gender-fluid (shifting from male to female).
“They have a real strength of character and complete clarity about who they are,” Aftel told Vocativ. “I found it fascinating that there is this whole group of people galvanizing the debate about what gender is, and to a certain extent, what love is and what self-expression is. It’s about what works for you.” (via feature shoot and policymic)
Guia Besana, born in Italy and based in Paris, has created a photography series titled “Under Pressure” that portrays women in contemporary society with its neuroses and complexes, but with an artistic and stylistic flourish – one evocative of tales from a storybook. Besana stages scenes, creating single, still images that are representative of a fictional story reflecting the pressures women face to be perfect including themes of marriage, burn-out, conflict with body aesthetics, excesses, and other questions involved in a woman’s identity. Besana’s thoughtful series is at once dark and playful and demonstrates the photographer’s artful vision- she has an eye for composition, patterns, and style, and creates a striking fine art aesthetic that pairs beautifully with the theme of contemporary women’s identities. (via dark silence in suburbia)
Cari Vander Yacht animates old photographs she found in thrift stores located near her hometown in Portland, Oregon. For the Amsterdam-based art director’s side project, TGIMGIF (Thank God It’s Monday Graphic Interchange Format), she breathes humor and new life into photographs that have been abandoned. Vander Yacht says she stares at the photos until she finds herself giggling over her animation ideas; she then scans and digitally manipulates the images until they become the animation she envisions. Her only rule is that she has to use the elements already in the photograph. Of her acquisition of these old photos, Vander Yacht tells Fast Company, “At a certain point, one must justify their creepy acquisition of other people’s pasts. Either you make up stories about how you’re related to the people in the pictures or you animate them.” Vander Yacht’s website is currently down for maintenance, but you can view more of her work on Tumblr. (via fast company)
Russian-based photographer Andy Prokh captures images of his 6-year-old daughter, Katherine, and her pet cat, LiLu, as they grow up together. With the recent addition of a new feline to the Katherine and LiLu friendship, Prokh has now been photographing the friends as a trio. The threesome play chess, do homework, have tea, and play games with each other. Each photograph tells a story, each story resonating with childhood’s creative imagination. Prokh’s use of black and white enhances the whimsy and nostalgia evoked by his images. Prokh says he takes photographs of the friends because he loves them and believes “a photographer must love what he shoots.” Equally as impressive as his playful, fine art aesthetic is Prokh’s ability to stage and pose his pets, as cats are creatures not generally known for their obedience of human commands. You can check out Prokh’s full gallery of this series on his website. (via my modern met)