If you’ve ever been in a mostly empty mall, you know how strange it can feel to walk among a space that’s only half alive. But what about when a mall is completely abandoned? That’s even more surreal. As more and more of these once-booming retail centers close, the Dead Malls Enthusiast Facebook group has mapped many of them throughout America. Adventurous photographers have captured the aftermath of of these departed spaces.
Many of these abandoned malls were built in the 1970’s and 1980’s, and it shows. The interiors and decor look dated, tacky, and claustrophobic compared to the open-air shopping that’s popular today. Some have fared better structurally than others. Photographs depict buildings that’ve been closed for years and have demolished ceilings and broken glass. Many of the malls have dead plants that have long since lost their leaves.
These abandoned places are apocalyptic and frightening. But at the same time, they pique our curiosity and we wish were there exploring for ourselves. (Via Buzzfeed)
Los Angeles-based photographer Jonpaul Douglass gives us a glimpse into the secret lives of pizzas in his series Pizza in the Wild. These strange and amusing images are just that – perfectly-shaped pies that are alone in this crazy world, draping themselves over street signs, satellite dishes, and even a pony.
These photographs were inspired by a graffitied image of pizza that Douglass saw in his neighborhood. He was tickled by the sight and decided to replicate it using the real deal, but wanted a very specific type of pizza. It had to be the quintessential pie, like the one the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles would devour. Douglass found the perfect pizza in the form of Little Caesar’s $5 pepperoni pizzas.
All told, Douglass has gone through 20 pizzas or so in his series. In an interview with Global Yodel, he reveals that some are better kept than others:
Much of time I will pick up two pizzas and then after I run around town photographing them I will put them in my fridge in case I get another opportunity If you look at the series you can see that some pizzas are fresh and some look to be days old. This works because some situations call for a floppy pizza and some call for a stiff pizza. I also must admit that there has been times where a used pizza gets eaten anyhow, it’s tough to ride around with a freshly baked pizza and not be tempted. (Via Neatorama and Global Yodel)
Altering found photographs with a ghoulish touch, artist Angela Deane’s series Ghost Photographs depicts the supernatural having a good time. The quirkiness of subject matter pairs well with the aged source materials. Large group images are no longer a sea of smiling faces; Now, they are white, hollow-looking sheets staring back at the viewer. It’s amusing more than it is creepy because they aren’t terrorizing people, and existing as a normal person would.
Ghosts symbolize what’s gone but not forgotten. Deane paints over portraits of time that we’ll never get back. It’s the passing of a memory, and something that won’t easily leave us, no how matter good or bad.
Perhaps this series doesn’t need to be so existential. We can enjoy these small, strange works about ghosts on vacations, celebrating birthdays, and at the amusement park. Because hey, sometimes the supernatural needs a break from haunting. (Via Flavorwire)
Documentary filmmaker and photographer Angela Boatwright spent about six months recording the punk-rock scene in East Los Angeles. The series, titled East Los, takes an in-depth look those who are active in it. This not only includes shows, but delves deeper to showcase the individual lives outside of the mosh pits. We see this facet of the Latino community in their homes, with grandparents, and their unique personal styles.
This project uses still images as well as video footage from various events. East Los gives us a glimpse into a probably unfamiliar “backyard” music scene; It champions and explores youth, catharses, and the idea of family. We see love, friendships, injuries, and ice cream. It’s not just something that these people do on the weekends, but is a lifestyle that is a framework for how to view the world. (Via Feature Shoot)
Nowadays, it’s not uncommon to see people with copious amounts of tattoos on their arms, legs, and head. But, it wasn’t that long ago that these permanent adornments were only found on a very specific group of people – prisoners. Tattoos back then were markedly different than their modern counterparts, and some were preserved for posterity in formaldehyde. The tiny pieces of history are an eerie but a fascinating look at the past.
The designs of early tattooing were much simpler than they are today. Instead of the needles we’re familiar with, prisoners would use crude tools like razor blades, broken glass, paper clips, or wires. Ink was substituted for pencil refills, charcoal, watercolor paints, or crayons and mixed with water, fat, or urine.
At the beginning of the 20th century, a study of the prisoners’ tattoos began in the Department of Forensic Medicine at Jagiellonian University, and researchers wanted a way to document their findings. While photography might have been the simpler (and more obvious) solution, prisoners’ tattooed skin was removed and preserved.
The extractions, encased in glass, are small curiosities that don’t really look like tattoos at all. Removed from the context of the body, they are symbols for crimes like burglary, rape, and prostitution. (Via Scribol)
Decadent desserts are paired with sexy legs in Argentinian-based artist Camila Valdez’s series of life and table-sized sculptures. The faceless beings are placed in public and are posed on benches, seen exiting restaurants, and enjoying a picnic in the park. Despite the fact they can’t convey emotion through eyes or a mouth, Valdez has made their legs expressive. They are straight and together if trying to look pensive, or partially open as if trying to suggest something else.
This series literally objectifies women and compares them to a sugary treat that will rot your treat and should be enjoyed only every-so-often. At the same time, they reference outdated objects from the middle of the 20th century, where legs were attached to things like lamps (as seen in the film A Christmas Story). Valdez pokes fun at this absurd and fantastical objectification of the population. (Via HiFructose)
In photographer Randy Scott Slavin’s series, Alternative Perspectives, he takes ordinary landscapes and turns them into topsy-turvy, mind-bending sights. At any moment, these panoramic shots make the world appear like it’s going to fold in on itself. Slavin captures all types of terrain, including the red rocks of the Phoenix desert, the beaches in Miami, and the skyscrapers of New York City. These places are transformed in a surreal and psychedelic way.
Salvin takes approximately 100 photos for each image. While he can shoot a scene in less than 10 minutes, it may him hours or days to edit what you see here. The process is a lot of trial and error for the photographer as he figures out what time of day and season is best.
Salvin’s photos not only play with the orientation of the image, but reference time as well. Their circular motion is reminiscent of a wormhole or water spinning down a drain. Both imply a passage, whether it be in years or minutes. (Via Fast Company)
We’ve recently explored the world of creative dog grooming, and now it’s time to turn an eye towards portraits of ornate fowls. Singapore-based photographer Ernest Goh documented the world of Malaysian Chicken Beauty Pageants. Yes, believe it or not, these events exist (because why not?), and are captured in Goh’s tongue-and-cheek titled publication, Cocks: The Chicken Book.
Goh selected the Ayam Seramas breed of chicken for his series, who are known for their beauty. He sets places each creature against a black background and allows their exquisite coloring and patterned feathers shine. These photographs highlight their outward appearance as well as their quirky personality, as the cock their heads and strut their stuff.
On his website, Goh features a quote that’s some food for thought. It’s taken from the famous novel Animal Farm, and it seems very appropriate for this energetic series: “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.” The results of the colorful portraits are akin to what we’d see if a human had the lens turned on them. With this similarity, perhaps chicken beauty pageants aren’t that silly after all. (Via PetaPixel)