Colorful Photos Tell The Story Of Motherhood, Fertility And Femininity In Democratic Republic Of The Congo

I am Walé Respect Me

I am Walé Respect Me

I am Walé Respect Me I am Walé Respect Me

Photographer Patrick Willocq grew up in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and its culture has shaped his work as an adult. In the series I am Walé Respect Me, Willocq provides us with a peek into tribal traditions that are still practiced in the DR Congo. These particular photographs create a narrative that portrays the stories of primiparous (first-time) nursing mothers. They are colorful scenes featuring compositions that are set like a stage, as we see objects hanging from a not-so-invisible string. Willocq speaks more about his images that blend the truth with the fantastical:

I’ve always been fascinated by native tribes because I feel they have a wealth that we have somehow lost. To document this beautiful tribute to motherhood, fertility and femininity, I proposed to some Walés to participate in staged photographs. Each set-up worked as a visual representation of one of the subjects that the Walé would sing about on the day of her release from seclusion. On that day, she sings the story of her own loneliness, and with humor praises her own behavior while discrediting her Walé rivals. (Via Juxtapoz)

 

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Unsettling Portraits Combine Two Different People Into One Indistinguishable Person

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Croatian photographer Ino Zeljak’s series entitled Metamorfoza highlights peoples resemblances by combining multiple portraits into a single photograph.While we’re all different in our own special way, some of us look pretty similar to one another.  Because with over 7 billion people in the world, many people have the same types of facial features, whether we’re related to that person or not. Sometimes it’s genetics while other times it’s just pure coincidence.

Using brothers, best friends, and parents, Zeljak splits the faces in half with Photoshop and expertly places the disparate parts together. Features are lined up and blended perfectly. His handiwork is so subtle that each image is almost indistinguishable as two people. Instead, they look like one slightly unsettling person who has different color eyes or a crooked nose. But all things considered, it’s reveals that we can look so homogeneous that you’d hardly give it a second glance. (Via designboom)

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Ethereal Portraits By Merve Morkoç Showcase Horrific Beauty

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Beauty is a treasured thing in our culture, and Turkish artist Merve Morkoç, aka Lakor mis, turns this ideal on its head. At first glance their paintings are of seemingly young, glowing-skinned models, but a longer gaze reveals that these subjects all have something seriously wrong with them. Coupled with their well-coiffed hair are fantastical disfigurations that you’d see in a horror film. Warped eyelids, caved in faces, and rashes exist on these young women.

Any sort of pleasant response you initially had is probably gone, and the works are like a train wreck that you can’t look away from. The strange details are intriguing, and it speaks to Morkoç’s expert handling of the medium that they are easily able to fool us into thinking something that’s repulsive is actually beautiful. (Via Hi Fructose)

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Bizarre Portraits Feature Masks Made With Junk Food

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These bizarre photographs by British artist James Ostrer feature himself and others covered in thick, sticky-looking layers of candy, frosting, and other junk food. Decadent edibles look hardened and become a strange replacement for conventional masks and armor.

Candy and sweets are often associated with joy, but looking at Ostrer’s work its hard to feel that way. They aren’t delightful, but are visceral. Frosting is slathered on haphazardly with licorice used to create outlines. Sometimes, the lines are droopy and it appears that the entire piece is melting.  The result is a peculiar and unsettling group of photographs that speaks to the sickening amount of junk food we have available as well as a reinterpretation of the self portrait.

These photos are currently on display in his exhibition Wotsit All About at the Gazelli Art House in London through September 11th of this year.

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Revealing Photos Showcase Taboo Evening Activities People Engage In

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The photographic series Day & Night by Atlanta, Georgia-based photographer Forest McMullin showcases the dual lives that people lead. As the title may suggest, it captures the difference between what people do during the day versus their evening activities.  This often results in the visual dichotomy of the socially acceptable paired with the taboo.

Each composition features side-by-side images of people or a couple. In the photograph on the left, we often see them in professional attire sitting in their living room or at their job. The image on the right, however, tells a different tell. We see the same person clad in leather, completely nude, tied up, gagged, and more. It’s a stark contrast and a side that only a select few get to see.

McMullin’s photographs are meant to challenge the notion of what is considered normal and acceptable. Obviously, in the sexualized images are not seen as common and even deviant to some viewers but are a form of expression and freedom nonetheless.  (Via Dark Silence in Suburbia)

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Joana Vasconcelos Crochets A Crafty Second “Skin” For Ceramic Animals

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Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos creates a “second skin” for kitschy-looking ceramic figurines. Animals such as dogs, wolves, snakes, and more are concealed in Vasconcelos’ delicately-crocheted coverings, which are reminiscent of a blanket that your grandmother might have worked on. Whatever surface treatment is underneath, the artist’s handiwork is obscured by small-yet-elaborate flowers that fit over her subjects like a glove.

The nature of Vasconcelos’ work is about the decontextualization of everyday objects. Crochet is often seen as a craft, but here she’s removed it from any sort of practical purpose (like providing warmth or being used in the home) and transformed it into an art object. It now occupies two dichotomies, hand-crafted and industrial, in which the former wraps the latter, mass-produced object underneath.

There’s another way to view Vasconcelos’ sculptures, and that’s applying a narrative to them, like they’re characters in a story. In this respect, it’s seems as though she’s creating a protective garment for them and that her subjects are in need of care. The crochet acts as a shell that gives the illusion of protection from the unknown. (Via Fubiz)

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Alluring Bridal Photography Gorgeously Crushes Marital Norms

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The Bride With Crown Of Thorns & Cross, 2008

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The Blue Yoruba Bride, Nigeria, 2005

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The Mao Bride (Red Guard Blue holding the Little Red Book), 2010

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The Torero Bride With A Black Suit Of Lights, remembering Picasso, 2006

While we can probably all imagine what typical bridal photography looks like (maybe you’ve even been apart of it), artist Kimiko Yoshida turns this martial norm on its head. Her series Something Blue is named for the antiquated 19th century axiom that a bride should have “Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, and Something Blue” on her wedding day. The portraits feature Yoshida in various costumes that are tinged with the hue, but not how you’d expect. They look like high-fashion photographs that feature elaborate headdresses, mirrors, and even a black-light suit.

These subversive images are a form of role playing for the artist as she disconnects herself through them. The M.I.A. Gallery in Seattle, who’s currently displaying Yoshida’s work, describes it as:

…she [Yoshida] borrows an identity, tells a new story and plunges the viewer into a ceremony, where the bride keeps appearing and disappearing unexpectedly. The artist recaptures time, transfigures herself into queens, muses, warriors, and uses the shadow to illuminate the mystery and hybrid nature her ceremonial attires.

Using monochromatic, as the gallery observed, has the effect of disappearance. Yoshida is here but she’s not, showing us that when we’re painted in only one color, we become a symbol rather than person.

You can view Something Blue at the M.I.A. Gallery until August 30th of this year. (Via Huffington Post)

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18th Century Engravings By Antonio Basoli Feature Intriguing Towns Made Out Of Typography

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Antonio Basoli was an Italian artist who lived between the 18th and 19th century, and was a man with a vision. He created this architectural alphabet engravings called Alfabeto Pittorico (Pictorial Alphabet). The images don’t just depict letters, but elaborate buildings that use letterforms as their structure. It includes every letter except for the j, because it doesn’t exist in the Italian alphabet. They called it i lunga and it’s written with an i.

Soft, monochromatic images are full of intricate details, and we’re able to see every brick of a building in addition to the billowing clouds in the background. With each letter, Basoli creates a different setting and mood. Some landscapes are tranquil and idyllic-looking, filled with lush vegetation. Others are war-torn, and we see giant cracks in the foundation of buildings. Whatever the occasion, each is its own story with a compelling narrative of men versus themselves and also versus nature. (Via Sploid)

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