Claire Rosen Inserts Herself Into Dark Version Of Classic Fairy Tales

Quest Fairie Catching A Mad Tea Party Narcissus

Photographer Claire Rosen uses self portraiture as a way to transport the viewers into a world of fairytales. Through her aptly named series Fairy Tales and other Stories, she creates fantastical worlds where the isolated subjects surround themselves with scenes of nature, piles of books, and more. Often, their faces are obscured in the darker, more introspective version of these classic stories.

Rosen’s work mirrors her unconscious, and she explains in her artist statement:

Inside my dreams, I am someone else.  I create characters, like alter egos, presented as recognizable archetypes.  The figure inside the image often looks away from the viewer, the face hidden by the turn of the body or by a mask.  I hope that the viewer will imagine themselves inside fairytale, and interpret the narrative of the image as one might interpret a fairytale, searching for hidden meeting inside the story.

 

This series speaks to living in the 21st Century, a time when we are constantly bombarded with noise, information and moving images.  Still imagery, by contrast, allows us to shut out the noise and hear ourselves.  I use photography to both escape and convey the overwhelming nature of our modern reality.

 

The pastoral setting of this work recalls a simpler time, while reminding us of humanity’s attempt to conquer the enormity of nature.  I draw on themes in classic fairytales – beauty, chastity, and passivity – not as a comment on post-feminism, but as an expression of a more universal experience.  My aim with the use of folklore is to suggest the continuity of the human condition: outside, the physical world changes with dizzying speed; inside, our cerebral world remains timeless.

Visit Rosen’s website to see even more of Fairy Tales and other Stories, and follow her Instagram to see more whimsical imagery.

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Taylor Marie Prendergast’s Subversive Depictions Of Playboy Bunnies

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We normally think of the Playboy Bunnies as busty blondes with smiles on their faces. Taylor Marie Prendergast, however, shatters that stereotype in her pen and ink drawings that feature the women in a much different light. The models that she depicts, while still in “sexy” poses, aren’t glowing. Instead we see every brush stroke that’s paired with muddy, dirty-yellow hair and a blank expression on their faces. While Prendergast has handled the media well and demonstrates a variety of techniques, we can’t escape the fact that these women wouldn’t be the “Playboy type.” And, according the artist, that’s the point. From her statement:

I’m challenging the contemporary zeitgeist by incorporating historically loaded images and abstracted figurations. The juxtaposition of the glamorous and the repulsive are necessary tools in order to create this reaction in the audience. At first the piece entices the viewer with aesthetically pleasing elements, and as the viewers settles into the work they’re confronted with disturbing details.

While the ink is still wet, Prendergast loads the drawing with more pigment and allows it to bleed onto the paper. It creates a dripping effect that’s both beautiful but in the context of a figure, a little gruesome. This allows the artist to subvert popular culture, and as she explains, “They [the viewer] are invited to re-consider the cultural state of both themselves and humanity. As the viewer inhales the work, there is a subtle yet significant revolting shock.”

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Oliver Jones’ Drawings Examine Advertising And Its Effects On The Ideals Of Beauty

You Can Shine

You Can Shine

3 Steps to Younger Looking Skin Pt.1

3 Steps to Younger Looking Skin Pt.1

Because Younger Looking Eyes Never Go Out Of Fashion

Because Younger Looking Eyes Never Go Out Of Fashion

Maybe She's Born With It

Maybe She’s Born With It

British artist Oliver Jones scrutinizes the media and its impact on self image for his newest exhibition titled, Love the Skin You’re In. If that phrase sounds familiar, that’s because it was an advertising slogan for Olay beauty products. Jones specifically draws from these industry campaigns and pairs them with photorealistic chalk-pastel drawings to demonstrates what these phrases do in shaping our ideals of beauty.

The large works feature zoomed-in portraits of faces as they’re doing something that’s directly tied to making themselves look better. We see an older woman wearing a facial mask while a doctor is examining the wrinkly skin around her eyes. A relatively young-looking man is about to undergo the knife as his forehead is marked with a plastic surgeon’s pen. While that’s more extreme, Jones reminds us that even something as simple as laying cucumbers over your eyes is a way of obtaining society’s defined “beauty.”

Love the Skin You’re In is being currently exhibited at Gusford Gallery in Los Angeles until October 25 of this year. They shows press release states:

“Capturing both the translucency and fragility of the skin’s surface, Jones’ drawings scrutinize subtle variations, colorations and superficialities. The meticulous and time-consuming process by which the artist creates his work is in direct contrast to the immediacy of imagery captured in today’s society, and negates the rapid pace at which we are accustomed to consuming images.” 

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Mathieu Connery’s Colorful Geometric Murals On Sidewalks Have To Been Seen From Up In The Sky

mathieu-connery5 mathieu-connery4 mathieu-connery1mathieu-connery3Mathieu Connery, aka 500M was busy from this past May to the middle of July. During this time, he painted 10 abstract geometric murals on sidewalks for the second edition of the MURAL festival in Montreal. Connery produced one of them per week that are located along Saint-Laurent Boulevard, which was the official location for the event. His minimalist spray-painted pieces are colorful works that sprawl across the cement and are best enjoyed when looking at them from above.

Connery’s pieces for the festival feature a host of geometric shapes that include criss-crossing lines, block forms, and the illusion of them being in 3D. They are influenced by urban architecture, which you can see in the artist’s organization of these pieces. There’s a fluid rigidity, where lines aren’t exactly straight but mimic things like a net, a building tower, or even a maze. People can interact with them as a work of art (and look at them from afar) or follow the lines and move through them. (Via Vandalog)

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Meet the Man Who Spends 6 Hours Everyday Putting On His 100 Pound Turban

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What’s your morning routine like? Maybe it takes you 15 minutes, or perhaps an hour. Whatever it is, Avtar Singh Mauni from Patiala, Northen India has you beat. He spends six hours a day getting his turban ready before he ventures to the local temple. The devout Sikh’s impressive headdress measures 2,115 feet (about 645 meters) when unwrapped and weighs about 100 pounds.

The 60-year-old is proud of his turban, which took him 16 years to assemble all of its parts. He’ll wear it until he physically can’t any longer; Singh doesn’t consider it a burden and says that he’s happiest when he has it on his head. In fact, when he doesn’t have it on, part of him feels incomplete.

While most people who follow Sikhism wear turbans, they are comprised of a length between five and seven meters and probably don’t weigh all that much. Singh’s, in further comparison, has purple and orange fabric that weighs 66 pounds, while the decorative elements make up the extra weight. This is coupled with a sword and heavy bangles that weigh an additional 87 pounds.

Singh’s ritual sits at the bizarre intersection of art, fashion, and religion. Do you think it could be considered a type of performance art? Or just a fervent dedication to cultural guidelines? (Via Lost At E Minor and Oddity Central)

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The Culture Of Thailand’s Ladyboys

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In Thailand, the term ladyboy is a nickname for transgender women, and they are a population often met with intolerance and prejudice. Their place in society is explored through photographer Soopakorn Srisakul’s series Mistress, in which he captures the daily life of his girlfriend and four other ladyboys. They all work at bars and as call girls in the infamous red-light Nana district in Bangkok.

Srisakul’s images are his journey in understanding his partner and the others experiences. There are few positions that are hiring transgendered women, so this community typically finds work in department stores, makeup counters, and cabaret venues. Those that are bargirls generally make better the better wages, which allows them to save up for gender reassignment surgeries.

Mistress presents us with poignant pictures of both work and home. There are moments of dark clubs, sure, but there are also quiet scenes in bright bedrooms. Srisakul writes:

They go out working, come back to their room, go relaxing outside, occasionally go back to visit family in the countryside, and then go to work. They, like anyone else, just try to get by. They laugh for joy, cry for sorrow, they work to earn a living, and they have an argument with their boyfriend, just like anyone else. In this sense, what makes them so different from us as to warrant a harsh treatment from the moral society, and do they deserve it at all? (Via Feature Shoot)

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Chris Keeney’s “PetCam” Gives Artistic Freedom To Unlikely Collaborators: Animals

Fiona, Brown Swiss Cow, Val Müstair, Switzerland

Fiona, Brown Swiss Cow, Val Müstair, Switzerland

Taken by Fiona

Taken by Fiona

Coulie, Border Collie/ Golden Retriever cross, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada

Coulie, Border Collie/ Golden Retriever cross, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada

Taken by Coulie

Taken by Coulie

San Diego-based photographer Chris Keeney might have orchestrated the series PetCam, but it’s not his artistic eye that captured the shots. No, instead he handed the job over to an unlikely set of collaborators: animals, including his dog Fred and cat Alice. Chickens, pigs, cows, and guinea pigs living all around the world partake in the fun with a lightweight camera that’s tailored to their size. Keeny set the shutter to click at specified intervals of time that range from a fraction of a second to many seconds.

The photographer stresses that these cameras don’t impede the movement or happiness of the subjects, and they’re given free reign to go about their day: exploring sights and sounds, relaxing under a car, and scaling rooftops. For us, the results present a view that we don’t often see – one that’s from the vantage point of an animal. Some of the photos are distorted, others confusing, but all are intriguing; they provide us a look into what catches these creatures’ eyes as the move throughout the world.

PetCam was made into a book and published by Princeton Architectural Press. (Via Feature Shoot)

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Suren Manvelyan’s Incredible Macro Images Of Animal Eyes

Kramer’s parrot

Kramer’s parrot

Blue-yellow macaw parrot

Blue-yellow macaw parrot

Discus fish

Discus fish

Caiman

Caiman

While these images might look like strange and surreal landscapes, they are actually macro images of different creatures. Armenian photographer Suren Manvelyan’s series Animal Eyes captures an extreme viewpoint that gives the average eye an otherworldly feel.  The crackles, vibrant colors, and individual hairs are all visual in these beautiful photos. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Manvelyan’s handiwork – he’s also shown the human eye in incredible detail.

Manvelyan is not just a photographer, but also holds a PhD in theoretical physics. In these images he combines technology, science, and art to show us something that’s unexpectedly familiar.  We see brilliant blue pools, red rings, and crystallized whites; the close proximity makes this work appears as places to go hiking rather than something like a parrot’s eyes.  (Via Featureshoot)

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