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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Tim Lampe’s Deliciously Strange Project Documents All The Ways You Can Consume, Display, And Enjoy Ice Cream Sandwiches

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As summer winds down for many of us, designer Tim Lampe can say it was the summer of ice cream sandwiches. Because, for him, it was. The Atlanta-based creative started an Instagram project titled #SummerOfIceCreamSandwiches (and subsequent Tumblr) that documented all of the ways you can consume, trap, store, and display the delicious sweet treat. It’s a silly series that might make you hungry. Lampe explains the photographs, writing:

For Summer 2014, I wanted to explore pushing a concept as far as I could over the Instagram platform, so I set out to exploit one of my favorite treats growing up: Ice Cream Sandwiches. It was an exercise in execution and not overthinking. It was taking something universal and putting it in uncommon places, to make the viewer believe there is an alternate universe in which Ice Cream Sandwiches don’t melt fast and are universally available.

The photos are well composed and delightfully strange. Their bright-yet-diffused colors show what happens when you keep creating under the same theme – some magical, weird stuff happens, like carefully arranging food in a mailbox. (Via This Isn’t Happiness)

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“One Minute Puberty” Animation Accurately Sums Up The Awkward Process

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Remember that awkward period of your life called puberty? The one that you might like to forget? Well, Berlin-based artist Alexander Gellner reminds us in a short animation that sums it all up in a little over a minute. It’s called One Minute Puberty and it captures the essence of what its like to go through this stage.

We see the main character experience a lot of changes, from pimples, to growth spurts, and discovering their own identity. The video’s energy is non-stop beginning to end thanks to the track and sound design by Niklas A Kröger. It’s reflective about how it feels to grow up and the wish of getting older so you don’t have to deal with puberty anymore.

Gellner tells the site Cartoon Brew that One Minute Puberty was part of his graduation project from HTW Berlin.  The school didn’t have an animation department but they allowed him to make his film anyways. It was completed over the course of seven weeks.

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Hand-Stitched Portraits Reflect Our Complicated Relationship With The Digital Age

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Melbourne-based artist Catherine Tipping uses an analog way of working to depict digitally-minded portraits. Blurring the line between what’s on the screen and off, she uses wool to stitch human faces that are partially pixelated, glitchy, or generally just obscured through Photoshop. They are sewn onto a gridded canvas, which is not unlike the the pixels that we see on screen. These similarities make for a compelling series titled Filter that meditates on identity and the way technology has totally changed our culture.

Tipping explains the concept behind her work in an email to The Huffington Post, writing:

I was learning about Modernism and how technology changed society culturally back then. I saw how the Digital era has had a similar affect on our culture. Now that we are in the second decade of the new millennium, we rely on the efficiency of digital technology. Recently, in some aspects of society, it appears there is a yearning for the handmade. Maybe now is the time when digital and handmade mediums can be combined and embraced by society. I see this bridge in my processes by using a digital image with all its pixels and hand stitching it.

Depending on how you’re looking at them, they can resemble digital renderings or traditional fiber work. Tipping intersperses bits of both worlds within a single composition, creating one whole work that’s a combination of influences. “I am interested in cultural identity on many levels; societal, sub-cultural and personal,” she writes to The Huffington Post. “I like considering the distinctive visual traditions of different eras and outside factors that shape them. These portraits may appear distinctive of our current era or not, I sometimes wonder if we are becoming so anachronistic that we are indistinctive of a time.” (Via The Huffington Post)

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Seth Alverson’s Grotesque Paintings Of Deformed And Severed Body Parts

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Artist Seth Alverson paints the body in a realistic fashion, but not in a way that looks aesthetically appealing. Severed hands, bizarre contortions, and skin linked together like a sausage casing are just some of the ways he’s depicted the figure. It stands in stark contrast to the Old Masters traditions of life-like renderings, which are all about idealizing and hiding flaws. Instead they’re in-your-face in a way that it’s hard to look away from.

There’s a range of grotesqueness, from detached body parts (bloody ends and all) to oversized hands, and finally to things that aren’t shameful, but our society dictates they are. This includes cellulite on thick legs or sagging breasts. They seem to mock the airbrushed media and when compared with Alverson’s other more ghastly alternatives, definitely aren’t as bad. (Via Hi Fructose)

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Prune Nourry’s ‘Terracotta Daughters’ Reflect Gender Preference In China

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Modeled after the iconic Terracotta Warriors, artist Prune Nourry’s series Terracotta Daughters is an installation featuring eight life-size sculptures modeled after eight Chinese orphan girls. It’s meant to reflect upon gender preference in China through the familiar symbolism of the soldiers, and Nourry created an army of 116 figures using the same clay that was dug up over 2,000 years ago for the original warriors. In this project, the artist also learned the local copyists’ technique based off the ancient practice.

Together, India and China represent ⅓ of the world population and both have a similar gender imbalance. This is because of the preference that parents give to having a son; the number of single men has been increasing since the 1980’s as well as the misuse of ultrasounds to choose the sex of the child. This has detrimental consequences for the women in Asia including kidnappings of children and women, forced marriages, prostitution, and more.

Nourry met the 8 orphan Chinese girls that inspired the artworks through the non-profit organization The Children of Madaifu. She photographed the girls during her visit to their villages in August 2012 and used the portraits as models for the sculptures. Nourry series that go beyond the sculptures and does good, too:

With the idea of continuity in mind, Prune works hand-in-hand with The Children of Madaifu to support the education of the 8 little girls for a minimum of 3 years thanks to the sale of the 8 original sculptures. In addition, each one of the little girls will be invited to the exhibition in Beijing in order to meet their terracotta double. The girls will also receive a 30 cm artist proof of Prune’s Mini Terracotta Daughter.
Thus, each collector who acquires one of the 8 unique original terracotta sculptures supports the project, as well as 3 years of the education of the little girl depicted in the Artwork.

Terracotta Daughters has travelled the world, and now they are in New York City. From September 11 to October 4, you can find them at China Institute.

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These Aren’t Your Grandma’s Embroideries: Alaina Varrone’s Erotic Stitching

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Alaina Varrone is a embroidery artist who, according to her, was born to a family of weirdos and storytellers. She uses this natural inclination to tell tales using thread which are often explicit and erotic in nature. We see naked men and women, sexual acts, and general kinkiness stitched into cotton fabric. Sometimes, Varrone will use delicate-looking floral patterns that add to the delightful absurdity of her work.

Typically, embroidery is seen as a craft, and an activity that’s a favorite among grandmothers (although it does have a thriving community of younger folks). It’s content is generally seen as inoffensive and family-friendly. Varrone has turned this convention on its head by sewing scenes that that are anything but. Her characters go after their desires and fantasies, creating an amusing juxtaposition between how we’re used to seeing embroidery versus all of its possibilities. (Via Juxtapoz)

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Erik Johansson’s Photos Appear So Realistic You Might Believe They’re Real

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Swedish photographer Erik Johansson creates surreal photographs that capture the supernatural in the everyday. Although they’re obviously doctored, his skills make the compositions look as though they’ve really happened. We see a lot of things that take place in open spaces and nature, and Johansson’s subjects are shown literally sewing up a landscape, effortlessly rowing through a green field, and setting the ships in a painting free into the ocean.

Johansson looks at photography as a way to collect material and to realize the ideas in his mind. He looks at every new project as a challenge to make it as realistic as possible, and he often succeeds. It’s part of the fun that goes along with Johansson’s work, because we generally think of photography as a documentation of something that actually happened; seeing wintered ushered in via someone’s bed sheets, for instance, creates a delightful confusion. We know that there’s no way that this picture is possible, but Johansson has crafted it so realistically that for a second we might believe it.

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