Bizarre Portraits Feature Masks Made With Junk Food

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These bizarre photographs by British artist James Ostrer feature himself and others covered in thick, sticky-looking layers of candy, frosting, and other junk food. Decadent edibles look hardened and become a strange replacement for conventional masks and armor.

Candy and sweets are often associated with joy, but looking at Ostrer’s work its hard to feel that way. They aren’t delightful, but are visceral. Frosting is slathered on haphazardly with licorice used to create outlines. Sometimes, the lines are droopy and it appears that the entire piece is melting.  The result is a peculiar and unsettling group of photographs that speaks to the sickening amount of junk food we have available as well as a reinterpretation of the self portrait.

These photos are currently on display in his exhibition Wotsit All About at the Gazelli Art House in London through September 11th of this year.

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Revealing Photos Showcase Taboo Evening Activities People Engage In

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The photographic series Day & Night by Atlanta, Georgia-based photographer Forest McMullin showcases the dual lives that people lead. As the title may suggest, it captures the difference between what people do during the day versus their evening activities.  This often results in the visual dichotomy of the socially acceptable paired with the taboo.

Each composition features side-by-side images of people or a couple. In the photograph on the left, we often see them in professional attire sitting in their living room or at their job. The image on the right, however, tells a different tell. We see the same person clad in leather, completely nude, tied up, gagged, and more. It’s a stark contrast and a side that only a select few get to see.

McMullin’s photographs are meant to challenge the notion of what is considered normal and acceptable. Obviously, in the sexualized images are not seen as common and even deviant to some viewers but are a form of expression and freedom nonetheless.  (Via Dark Silence in Suburbia)

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Joana Vasconcelos Crochets A Crafty Second “Skin” For Ceramic Animals

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Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos creates a “second skin” for kitschy-looking ceramic figurines. Animals such as dogs, wolves, snakes, and more are concealed in Vasconcelos’ delicately-crocheted coverings, which are reminiscent of a blanket that your grandmother might have worked on. Whatever surface treatment is underneath, the artist’s handiwork is obscured by small-yet-elaborate flowers that fit over her subjects like a glove.

The nature of Vasconcelos’ work is about the decontextualization of everyday objects. Crochet is often seen as a craft, but here she’s removed it from any sort of practical purpose (like providing warmth or being used in the home) and transformed it into an art object. It now occupies two dichotomies, hand-crafted and industrial, in which the former wraps the latter, mass-produced object underneath.

There’s another way to view Vasconcelos’ sculptures, and that’s applying a narrative to them, like they’re characters in a story. In this respect, it’s seems as though she’s creating a protective garment for them and that her subjects are in need of care. The crochet acts as a shell that gives the illusion of protection from the unknown. (Via Fubiz)

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Alluring Bridal Photography Gorgeously Crushes Marital Norms

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The Bride With Crown Of Thorns & Cross, 2008

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The Blue Yoruba Bride, Nigeria, 2005

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The Mao Bride (Red Guard Blue holding the Little Red Book), 2010

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The Torero Bride With A Black Suit Of Lights, remembering Picasso, 2006

While we can probably all imagine what typical bridal photography looks like (maybe you’ve even been apart of it), artist Kimiko Yoshida turns this martial norm on its head. Her series Something Blue is named for the antiquated 19th century axiom that a bride should have “Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, and Something Blue” on her wedding day. The portraits feature Yoshida in various costumes that are tinged with the hue, but not how you’d expect. They look like high-fashion photographs that feature elaborate headdresses, mirrors, and even a black-light suit.

These subversive images are a form of role playing for the artist as she disconnects herself through them. The M.I.A. Gallery in Seattle, who’s currently displaying Yoshida’s work, describes it as:

…she [Yoshida] borrows an identity, tells a new story and plunges the viewer into a ceremony, where the bride keeps appearing and disappearing unexpectedly. The artist recaptures time, transfigures herself into queens, muses, warriors, and uses the shadow to illuminate the mystery and hybrid nature her ceremonial attires.

Using monochromatic, as the gallery observed, has the effect of disappearance. Yoshida is here but she’s not, showing us that when we’re painted in only one color, we become a symbol rather than person.

You can view Something Blue at the M.I.A. Gallery until August 30th of this year. (Via Huffington Post)

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18th Century Engravings By Antonio Basoli Feature Intriguing Towns Made Out Of Typography

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Antonio Basoli was an Italian artist who lived between the 18th and 19th century, and was a man with a vision. He created this architectural alphabet engravings called Alfabeto Pittorico (Pictorial Alphabet). The images don’t just depict letters, but elaborate buildings that use letterforms as their structure. It includes every letter except for the j, because it doesn’t exist in the Italian alphabet. They called it i lunga and it’s written with an i.

Soft, monochromatic images are full of intricate details, and we’re able to see every brick of a building in addition to the billowing clouds in the background. With each letter, Basoli creates a different setting and mood. Some landscapes are tranquil and idyllic-looking, filled with lush vegetation. Others are war-torn, and we see giant cracks in the foundation of buildings. Whatever the occasion, each is its own story with a compelling narrative of men versus themselves and also versus nature. (Via Sploid)

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David Irvine Enhances Crappy Thrift Store Paintings With His Own Funny Additions

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If you’ve ever visited a thrift store, you’ve no doubt seen the wonderfully-awful paintings that people have given away. Completed paint-by-number sets, idyllic landscapes, and amateurish attempts at impressionism are common sights. Artist David Irvine takes thrift store paintings and enhances them with additions of his own. He brings in characters from popular culture to these compositions, such as Darth Vader, the Marshmallow Man, and Bambi. Irvine maintains the original style of the paintings when creating the mashup, making the figures look as though they’ve been there all along.

Some of the paintings are subversive and a feature villains about to tear through the town or city that they’re in. Other times, the characters are helpful, like the Storm Trooper that’s helping with yardwork. Twisted or not, these works are funny, and the kind of artwork from the thrift store that you’d actually want to display in your home. (Via Demilked)

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Self Portraits Portray Amusing Ways To Break The 10 Commandments

"Honor Your Father and Mother"

“Honor Your Father and Mother”

"You Shall Not Take the Lord's Name in Vain"

“You Shall Not Take the Lord’s Name in Vain”

"You Shall Have No Other Gods Before Me"

“You Shall Have No Other Gods Before Me”

“Keep The Sabbath Day Holy”

“Keep The Sabbath Day Holy”

How many Commandments have you broken? New York City-based photographer Anna Friemoth has gone against all 10 of them with her witty series of self portraits entitled 10 Commandments. With each image, Friemonth turns gluttony, adultery, stealing, and more into a conceptual interpretation of the offense. She styles herself against a dark gray background, adding props that bring each idea to life.

With Commandments like “Keep The Sabbath Day Holy” and “Honor Your Father And Mother,” it’s pretty common to not follow these. We see that for “You Shall Not Kill,” Friemonth is about to devour a bird,  and for “You Shall Not Take The Lord’s Name in Vain,” she’s had a specially-made balloon that says “GOD DAMN.” The fine details in each portrait make this series amusing; they also point out that depending on how much of a stickler you are, you could easily break any one of these rules. (Via Flavorwire)

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Loretta Lux’s Surreal Portraits Of Mysterious Children

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German photographer Loretta Lux captures surreal portraits of children, portraying them in a way that makes them appear as if they’re porcelain dolls. Young boys and girls stare towards the camera and with expressions that you can’t get out of your head. As they look beyond or at you, their large eyes look as if they know deep, dark secrets. Pastel and faded colors contrast with the mysterious feel that these works evoke.

Lux studied painting at Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Munich and uses this influence in her images. Some pieces take up to a year to complete, and her process involves a combination of photography and digital manipulation. She’ll strip the background and then place her subjects into muted, minimal environments. The flatted backdrop and realistic foreground confuse your eye and help craft these strange images.

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