Artist Thomas Doyle’s work is done in a miniature scale, at the size of a model train set or smaller. Taking pieces from these types of sets, he alters them as dark depictions of suburban life. We see natural disasters literally tear homes in two and sometimes turn them topsy-turvy. The scenes are set up as a story with the characters trying to make sense of it all. They are kept under a glass shell and feel like they are suspended in time as if they are in a snow globe.
The scale provides a weird feeling that we’re omnipotent and could crush them like a bug. Doyle notes this in his statement about the work, adding:
Conversely, the private intensity of moments rendered in such a small scale draws the viewer in, allowing for the intimacy one might feel peering into a museum display case or dollhouse. Though surrounded by chaos, hazard, and longing, the figures’ faces betray little emotion, inviting viewers to lose themselves in these crucibles—and in the jumble of feelings and memories they elicit.
We feel a connection to Doyle’s figures, which is a testament to his ability to tell a story. You walk away from this work wanting to know more about these tiny lives. (Via Fast Company)
In photographer Rebecca Reeve’s series Marjory’s World I, she captures Floridian landscapes that reference a late 19th century Holland tradition. The idyllic scenes depict the swampy Everglades of long grasses, lily pads, and a lot of standing water. Framing each image is a set of curtains that blow in the wind. This is inspired by an old practice where during the wake of the deceased, it was customary to cover all of the mirrors, landscape paintings, and portraits in the home with clothes. Doing so makes it easier for the soul to depart the body and subdues any temptations to stay in this world.
Marjory’s World I is Reeve’s own interpretation of this act. To her, the ritual was confirmation of the deep connections and experiences we have with the natural environment. It also gave her a way to contextualize her fleeting time spent in the Everglades; All of these images were produced during her Airie Artist in Residence Program. Since she couldn’t take with her when she leaves, this symbolic act made it easier to depart.
In addition to the personal connection the artist draws from the work, to us it recalls the distance that many of us have to this untouched landscape. As we continue to develop an increasingly urban existence, these thrift-store fabrics create a window to the unfamiliar. (Via Artsy Forager)
Combining photography, sheets of plastic, and sewing, French artist Cyril Le Van reproduces life-size three-dimensional objects. They include small things, like a Polaroid camera, and large things, like a car. Le Van photographs his subjects from all angles then pieces them together using a blanket stitch. The result is something that’s a deflated, vaguely real version of something that already exists.
A portion of Le Van’s work focuses on consumerism. He reproduces expensive Nike shoes, Rolex watches, leather jackets, and more. These things are a status symbol for those who own and wear them, and his uncanny duplicates take power away from its branding.
Another facet of the artist’s sculptures are based on economic and cultural exclusion. Le Van photographed shanty towns and installed them in a gallery setting. His intention is that it challenges the viewer’s awareness of issues like poverty, and forces them to ask questions like, “what are these, and who uses them?” This, along with a car buried in luggage and a motorcycle weighed down by belongings, shows the transient nature of not having a permanent place to live.
Chicago-based street artist Don’t Fret is plastering New York with his wit and wisdom. Producing relatively simple images and text posters, he uses wheat paste to adhere them to walls and mailboxes They live among the torn down flyers and spray-painted graffiti adn look inconspicuous until you really stop to look at them.
Don’t Fret’s humor is observational, and sometimes silly. “Live by the sword. Die by your peanut allergy,” and “Polly saw you commit adultery” are both easy to “get” and amusing for the passerby. All images copyright of Jaime Rojo. (Via Huffington Post)
We’ve always known that as far as street style goes, Tokyo rules. Inhabitants of the city don elaborate outfits and express a strong point of view through their appearance. Photographer Thomas Card’s new book Tokyo Adorned highlights more than 130 photos of these iconic looks. From Lolitas to cosplay to Yamanba, he captures girls who wear gas masks, laced top-hats, and plastic backpacks shaped like bat wings.
The photographer traveled to Tokyo a year after the devastating tsunami hit. “The country experienced an upsurge of national pride,” he writes, “and participants in street fashion increasingly celebrated their unique placement within the Japanese culture at large.”
Card removed his subjects from context (the street) and photographed them in front of a white background. Here, their outfits take center stage, an we’re able to focus on all of the incredible details and painstaking effort that goes into crafting these personas. Some of them are dark while others ooze innocence. Card’s series is a refined, delightful look at the intricacies of these subcultures.
With all this outrageous dress, does the line between personality and appearance ever become blurry? You have to ask yourself, what kind of person wears a full-sized teddy bear as a necklace? Card insists that his subjects know that people are staring, and they have a sense of humor about it. In an interview with Slate, he explains, “Everything from the names they choose for themselves to the particular arrangement of items and accessories and clothing often reflects a particular sense of humor. One woman’s name translates to ‘Barbecue.’ The humor of that is not lost on her.” (Via Fast Company)
Chances are that you’ve probably never seen a dog made to look like Disney’s Pluto. Well, it exists. Photographer Paul Nathan captured the odd world of creative dog grooming in his series (turned book), Groomed. It features professional groomers who use semi-permanent hair dyes and blowouts to style pets. Last year, Nathan traveled to Intergroom, one of the largest international dog and cat grooming conferences, and documented dogs that look like leopards, flamingos, and even people.
Groomed is strange, unexpected, and even shocking if you’ve never seen a dog made up like this. It might seem a bit cruel to subject these animals to this type of star treatment, especially when it comes to coloring their fur. The photographer explains in an interview with Feature Shoot that the priority is to make sure the dogs are comfortable. “In most cases the colors are done in stages on different days, usually in sessions of no more than three hours with plenty of breaks for the animal.” He states, later adding, “There is a vast variety of hair coloring products for dogs. They are all non-toxic and semi-permanent. Depending on the kind of coat the dog has it can last from a few washes to a few months.”
With that off your conscious, you can focus on how amusing these dogs are. They represent a relatively unknown subculture in grooming, and it’s only at events like Intergroom where groomers flex their creative muscles. They are responsible for their designs and take pride in them. And, the campy fun doesn’t end there – the people are often dressed to match the dogs they’ve styled. (Via Feature Shoot)
Husband and wife visual artist team Hillerbrand+Magsamen crafted a series of twists on the traditional mandala. More commonly known through the Tibetan sand mandala, the original, ancient process consists of intricate patterns of sand that are later destroyed. Hillberbrand+Magsamen’s interpretation is similarly meticulous, but has a pop culture twist. Using things like books, Legos, shoes, sippy cups, things that are blue and others green, they arrange these objects in a circular, radiating formation. This light-hearted assemblage has a deeper meaning to the artists, who explain:
Loosely translated to mean “circle,” a mandala is far more than a simple shape. It represents wholeness, and can be seen as a model for the organizational structure of life itself–a cosmic diagram that reminds us of our relation to the infinite, the world that extends both beyond and within our bodies and minds. We have created mandala’s within our own home out of the stuff we have found lying around in our own creative exploration.
So often, we get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The act of creating these works is a slow, meditative process. As these objects form a circle, there is consideration to not only placement, but the associations we have to them. It allows us to think about how the things we own are a reflection of who we are. (Via Faith is Torment)
In photographer Susan Dobson’s series Sense of an Ending, she taps into our fascination of abandoned buildings. We ask ourselves, what happened to these places? Why is no one there, and how did they come to be in such disrepair? The once majestic-looking structures now sit among ruins and overgrown vegetation, and these haunting images remind us that everything built will eventually turn to dust. Dobson often frames her compositions so the homes look tiny when compared to a large, ominous-looking sky.
The photographer’s intention was that these works were timeless. They could point to a post apocalyptic future or relics of the past. In a short statement about her work, Dobson explains:
I am interested in how photographs have the ability to sit outside of any definitive time period, and to feel dislocated in time. It allows for associations to be made with a range of historical periods. For me, the series evokes images I have in my mind of the ruins from WWII that were still evident in Germany when I lived there as a child. (Via Flavorpill)