Filippo Romano’s Portraits of A Nairobi Slum’s Door-To-Door Salesmen

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In photographer Filippo Romano’s fascinating series titled Nomadic Sellers, he documents the roaming salespeople of Africa. The images are mostly focused in eastern Nairobi and specifically in the slum of Mathare, which has a population of 600,000 people within 3 square miles. Each portrait features the peddler and their wares against the washed-out backdrop of the city streets.

We see the men with shoes and bras tied around their necks and arms full of music and wooden utensils. Their earnings are meager, and the goods they sell make a tenth of what pesticide peddlers yield. Those salespeople have most lucrative product and stand to make between 1,000 to 2,000 shellini (10 to 20 euros) in profit.

Romano notes that selling on the streets and going door-to-door is one of the most common trades in the African world. A seller who travels with goods on their back has most likely created their job through the necessity to fend for themselves. They are entrepreneurs.

Nomadic Sellers points to the infectious nature of global consumerism, and how even the far parts of the world want to own a pair of Nikes. At its very core, the series is an intriguing look at the innate human desire to own stuff, no matter how necessary or frivolous it may seem. (Via Feature Shoot)

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Fabrice Fouillet Photographs Huge Monuments In the Context Of Their Surroundings

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Dai Kannon – Sendai, Japan

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Jibo Kannon: Kagaonsen, Japan

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Ataturk Mask: Buca, Izmir, Turkey

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Grand Byakue: Takazaki, Japan

When you see a photograph of a monument, often it’s just of the sculpture itself and not within the context of the larger landscape. It gives the appearance that these colossal constructions live within their own world. Photographer Fabrice Fouillet shatters this illusion in his series titled Colosses, in which he zooms out and provides us with what’s surrounding these massive creations. Many times, they make the monument appear less special and more ordinary.

Fouilllet explains his thinking behind the photographs:

The series “Colosses” is a study of the landscape embracing those monumental commemorative statues. Although hugeness is appealing, exhilarating or even fascinating, I was first intrigued by the human need to build gigantic declarations. Then I asked myself how such works could be connected to their surroundings. How can they fit in the landscape, despite their excessive dimensions and their fundamental symbolic and traditional functions?

That is why I chose to photograph the statute from a standpoint outside their formal surroundings (touristic or religious) and to favor a more detached view, watching them from the sidelines. This detachment enabled me to offer a wider view of the landscape and to place the monuments in a more contemporary dimension.

The statues that are surrounded by nature fit more comfortably in their environment. It feels less chaotic and a more peaceful place, in line with the intention of many religious practices. But, even when they are among shopping centers, you can’t ignore the stunning presence that these monuments have. (Via Flavorwire)

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Pizza Artist Domenico Crolla Serves Tasty Celebrity Portraits

Jeff Koons

Jeff Koons

Jay Z

Jay Z

Kim Kardashian

Kim Kardashian

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Move over, Subway sandwich artists. There’s a new guy in town, and this time the pizza variety. Domenico Crolla is the owner of Bella Napoli restaurant in Glasgow, Scotland, and serves up tasty pies that feature portraits of celebrities. They are drawn directly onto the pizza using a well-place and calculated combination of cheese and sauce.

If you look closely, you’ll see that that small, intricate details are expressed through mozzarella. Wisps of hair and individual eyelashes are visible. It seems that Crolla has used some sort of stencil to ensure the likeness of each public figure and control the cheese from becoming a melty, unrecognizable mess.

 Some of these pies might look too impressive to eat. Or, maybe not. It could be really cathartic to slice into the face of a celebrity that you disliked! Either way, the formula for enjoying Crolla’s handiwork is the same – look first, eat later. (Via designboom)

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William Rugen’s Abstracted Birds-Eye-View Photographs Are The Same, Yet Different

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One of the advantages to the window seat of an airplane is the view below. Flying 35,000 feet above the sky, you see a miniaturized landscape that’s a combination of mixtures of shapes and textures. It’s devoid of the finer details and has the appearance of an abstract painting. Photographer William Rugen captures these type of fractured scenes in his series of images titled Here > There. The monochromatic photographs show roads, fields, and cities in an up-close way that they don’t immediately appear as what they actually are.

We’ve recently seen the dystopian, dizzying effect that aerial photographs have on highways. Rugen’s photographs are disorienting at times, but there is a semblance of structure in the haphazard-looking scenes. Lines of the road fracture and corral the different (yet similar) shapes of the ground and break them up like a cubist painting. They reveal a patchwork of stories, development, and planning, which is inevitably the same wherever you travel, no matter what the physical differences might be.

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Photo Series Examines Abandoned Suitcases From A Now-Closed Mental Hospital

Ethel S packed a suitcase full of quilts.

Ethel had a suitcase of cozy quilts.

Irma’s trunk was full of sheet music.

Irma’s trunk was full of sheet music.

Freda packed a collection of grooming materials.

Freda packed a collection of grooming materials.

Viola G.’s plaid suitcase was empty except for this tiny scrap of paper.

Viola’s plaid suitcase was empty except for this tiny scrap of paper.

When Willard Psychiatric Center in New York’s Finger Lakes area closed its doors in 1995, staff member Bev Courtwright made a miraculous discovery. Tucked away in the attic were a collection of over 400 abandoned suitcases containing the possessions of their original owners before they were committed to the institution. Photographer Jon Crispin began documenting the collections of belongings in 2011, offering a poignant look into the lives of the people who entered this place (and often never left).

The patients and their suitcases arrived at the Center between 1910 and 1960. Since many of them were treated for chronic mental illness, it wasn’t uncommon that patients died while in the hospital and were buried in the graveyard across the street. If no family member came to claim their belongings, they were taken and stored in the room where Courtwright eventually found them.

The suitcases and trunks vary in their contents, of course, and some were more robustly-packed than others. This fascinating series that examines the objects we hold sacred and what we’re personally attached to, as strange as they may seem. Crispin’s website sheds light on the individual stories of each patient, and in a way memorializes those who owned them. (Via Let’s Get Lost. H/T Meighan O’Toole)

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Photographer Hal Vacuum Seals Couples In Bizarre Condom Ads

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Japanese Photographer Hal has crafted a bizarre-yet-eye catching series titled Fresh Love, which features an intimate couple vacuumed sealed together. It’s part of an advertisement for Condomania Shop in Tokyo, and it plays on the idea of what the shop sells, which, if you couldn’t guess, is condoms.

This series cleverly references a tightly-encased object and the aesthetics of a condom in all of its shrink-wrapped glory. We see an abstracted and visceral view of people, distorted by both the plastic, proximity towards each other, and the lack of space. Flesh is pressed against the surface and every hair and blemish is visible. It’s partially disgusting to see flesh that contorted, but creates a fascinating effect.

Due to the limited air supply, the couples could only be left inside the sealed bag for about 10 seconds. If you’re curious about the photographer and his creative process, check out the video after the jump. It explores the ways in which he achieved his vision and the feelings of the couples involved with the project. (Via designboom)

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Bradley Hart Injects Bubbles In Bubble Wrap With Paint To ReCreate Iconic Paintings

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Bradley Hart has a unique way in which he crafts reinterpretations of classic paintings. Instead of the conventional canvas, the artist uses syringes to individually inject each bubble in a bubble wrap sheet with acrylic paint. This tedious technique requires that he pay close attention to the amount of paint and air that’s within each bubble, because one element can easily disturb the equilibrium of the two.

Hart’s paintings use the principle of pointillism. Every bubble has a slightly different color in it, and by placing the separately-colored dots next to one another, an overall images is realized when it’s viewed from a distance.

But, that’s is just one aspect of the artist’s work. The other part is an experimental process where excess paint from the injections drips down the back of the piece; it’s later removed to reveal an imprint of the painting and composes an impression of what was left behind. The separate processes are meant to be seen together. Hart explains, “Viewed together, the pieces each seem to engage the other and the viewer becomes an observer of a relationship created between the two.

These paintings are included in Hart’s solo exhibition entitled, The Masters Reinterpreted: Injections and Impressions. It’s available to view at Cavalier Galleries Inc. in New York City from May 6th through May 31st of this year.  (Via designboom)

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Beyonce and Jay-Z Inserted Into Famous Paintings

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Beyonce and Jay-Z
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In a clash of culture, The Carter Family Portraits replaces famous artworks with famous people, specifically Beyonce and Jay-Z. The two are seen in iconic paintings like Grant Wood’s American Gothic or Girl with a Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer. The Tumblr gallery has a lot more to offer and extends to both classical and more contemporary works, which seems to say that the celebrity of Jay and Bey transcend all time.

The Photoshopped images are of varying quality (some look flawless while others need more work), with a general knowledge of art history represented (no deep cuts here). But, aside from this, when they “work,” these images are an amusing look at the combination of celebrities, the different forms that it takes, and what the mixture of high vs. low culture looks like.  (Via It’s Nice That)

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