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)
Alejandro Bombín’s paintings are deceptive. At first glance, many of them appear to be old, faded images from vintage publications that were scanned into the computer. Something went awry and now they look glitchy. But, what they actually are is meticulously detailed acrylic works that produce a digital mistake by hand.
By dividing up the image into rows (take a look at the detail above), Bombín is able to draw the the picture and fracture it by shifting the picture right or left from its original center. He uses a pointillist technique and pairs pure colors together, which from far away forms a cohesive image. And, at the same time, these colors and the texture from it are reminiscent of a lo-res, pixelated image.
The distorted images point to our desire to hold onto the past and the failings that we experience with technology. Digitizing something ensures that we’ll have it forever. Photographs and newspaper clippings? Not so much. But what happens when technology fails us too? Bombín’s paintings remind us that both can be fickle and that there are no guarantees.
When director Tatia Pilieva instructed couples to kiss, she did so with a twist. The two kissers are complete strangers, and don’t even know each other’s names. In this intriguing short film, aptly titled, First Kiss, we watch each of these people meet, realize they must smooch, and proceed to do so. Not surprisingly, it’s a little awkward for most of them, but when it happens, the moment is endearing and beautiful.
As you watch this three and a half minute video, there’s varied responses to what Pilieva asks. Some people try and make a joke out of it while others look nervous. One person introduces themselves. Finally, they all go for it, and the kisses range from a full-on make out to a shorter, more diplomatic kiss. It’s interesting to see how quickly people become comfortable with each other and are able to let go of their inhibitions to embrace the moment.
Aside from the charming concept, you might have noticed that everyone is nicely dressed and is conventionally good looking. As Jezebel and other media outlets have pointed out, this video is actually and ad for the clothing line, Wren. While it might be an inconvenient truth that no doubt puts a damper on the spontaneity of the video, it doesn’t totally detract from the pleasure we get from watching it.