Amidst the overwhelming violence seen in Ukraine’s recent riots, Gizmodo’s Jesus Diaz (an outsider) decides to create visually stunning, but heartbreaking images that explore Ukraine’s reactions to the sudden cultural and political changes.
By taking some of the techniques applied by Sergey Larenkov on his famous series, The Ghosts of World War II, Diaz creates images that merge shots of Kiev from before and after the Ukraine riots using the same vantage points. Through this technique, a masterful trick made possible by the almighty Photoshop, the viewer is able to experience two polar opposites: a happy, peaceful Ukraine, and a chaotic Ukraine.
Looking at the dramatic contrast between happy people enjoying the sun and peace and the anger of people behind in barricades is disheartening.
Ever wonder how your favorite celebrity/fictional characters would look like if they were covered in tattoos? Maybe your overly pretentious, inked hipster friends would be a little bit more accepting of your unhealthy obsession with the royal family…
In that case, thank your friends at Shopped Tattoos, a Tumblr based online gallery created by Cheyenne Randall that curates images of celebrities that were photoshopped to look like heavily tattooed, ordinary people.
ShoppedTattoos carefully selects/creates images that not only look timeless, but that feature celebrities that are relevant, and usually known for their refined, clean look. Some make more sense than others (for instance, Edward Norton in American History X, or Jonny Cash fit the tattoo profile), but for the most part, it is a bit shocking to see the royal family, or the Kennedys for that matter, covered in tattoos.
Although silly, I think that this project brings forth a series of questions that deal with the future of celebrity/fictional characters and their public appearance. Would our future celebrities be heavily tattooed? Are tattoos becoming mainstream, and plain ordinary (not part of a counter-culture)? Those are things we’ll have to observe in the distant and near future.
In the meantime, you can check up on more images on here.
Australian sculptor, Paul Kaptein creates unusual but skillful wooden sculptures that question our ability to look past missing pieces in the bigger picture. Kaptein, interested in the Buddhist term sunyata (Sanskrit word for ideas of emptiness as a way to achieve wholeness), integrates (and questions) notions of substance, emptiness, and temporality into his highly skilled pieces of wooden work.
By seamlessly incorporating empty gaps (usually long empty rectangles) into busts and entire recreations of human bodies, Kaptein imposes the viewer with questions as to why these pieces are missing. The simple fact that viewers will directly and promptly question this characteristic first, further enables Kaptein’s interest in challenging the viewer’s resistance, and/or apprehension to accept something that is not complete. The main idea here relies on getting the spectator to react to Kaptein’s work for what it is: seamless, beautiful wooden sculptures that happen to be missing a piece or two.
It can also be said that these gaps are indicative of conceptions of time:
I’m exploring the notion of the now as a remix of past and future potentialities. This facilitates a renegotiation of perceptual truths resulting in an expression of things not quite truth, yet not quite fiction.
Sam Grant, an American painter and photographer, creates incredibly catchy, humorous, and colorful pieces that are pop and vintage inspired. The vibrantly-colored imagery vibes with intensity, grandeur and witty observations; his collage-like compositions create a visual interplay between surreal elements, pulp imagery of the mid-20th century, and contemporary culture.
Though Grant’s paintwork is incredibly realistic, he still renders his subjects and settings with a whimsical appeal. Often paired with words (comic book style), his paintings reference several characteristics of contemporary culture; from texting to ideas of love and beauty, Grant covers it all in a subtle and comical way that, together with the vintage imagery, will make you wanna go back to the simpler times.
If you live in Oakland, California, you will have the chance to experience these pieces in person. Starting in March 7th,2014, Grant’s work will be on view at Loakal Gallery‘s Double Vision, a show inspired and completely devoted to/by Grant’s work. Double Vision will be up until April 1st, 2014.
Christina Bothwell, an American artist, is creator of all things weird. These fantastic yet strange beings (Bothwell’s sculptures) are both creepy but inevitably inspiring. Bothwell’s intriguing sculptures invite the viewer to imagine fantastical worlds; ones where these weird creatures could potentially exist in.
Most often made from cast glass and clay, her made-up creatures are sometimes fitted out with found objects that serve as limbs and other body parts. The glass allows for a more ethereal, surreal feel; it also allows for a soft light to radiate through the figure, simultaneously revealing beauty yet the imperfections found within the glass. This aspect of the work is representative of Bothwell’s interest in notions of vulnerability and childhood innocence. Christina states that her ideas are in many ways autobiographical; the pieces certainly arise from what is going on in her current adult life, or what has gone on in her early childhood. (via Feather of Me)
Robert Mapplethorpe, the timelesss American photographer most active in the 1980′s, was mainly known for his highly stylized black and white flower series. However, his most iconic and prolific works, various series of photographs dealing with homoeroticism and sadomasochistic BSDM acts between men of diverse cultural backgrounds, fuelled national debate in the NSA over the public funding of controversial artworks.
Some of these photographs, made visible by The Mapplethorpe Foundation, were part of his first solo gallery exhibition, ‘Polaroids’, at the Light Gallery in 1973.
Mapplethorpe quickly found satisfaction taking Polaroid photographs in their own right and indeed few Polaroids actually appear in his mixed-media works. Two years after his Polaroids exhibition, he acquired a Hasselblad medium-format camera and began shooting his circle of friends and acquaintances—artists, musicians, socialites, pornographic film stars, and members of the S & M underground. He also worked on commercial projects, creating album cover art for Patti Smith and Television and a series of portraits and party pictures for Interview Magazine.
Brooklyn-based photographer Ji Yeo creates Somewhere on the Path, I See You, a project in which the photographer captures two different types of women: one with extreme self-regulation and distorted notions of beauty that suffer from eating disorders, and the other women are aspiring actresses and models living in Hollywood, California, who are interested in the process of being represented because they carry dreams of fame.
By carefully selecting various body and personality types ,Yeo creates a sample of photos (and people) that further examine larger societal issues regarding ideas of beauty, self-definition, and self-respect.
By forcing viewers to confront images of women who by definition had been judged continuously by themselves, it brought focus to the viewers natural impulse to judge. In doing so it implicates them in the complex relationship we have with making aesthetic judgments.
In the midst of all of this, a tumblr page by the name of Pride Propaganda, takes a different and quieter yet effective approach to all the protests. In efforts to adhere to the pro-LGBT agenda, PP transforms vintage Soviet posters into brightly colored displays of men, women and children waiving and wearing rainbow flags. The familiar images of Young Pioneers, working men and loyal mothers (all symbolism for the confining ways of Soviet Russia) take on entirely new meanings when cloaked in the vibrant rainbow flags that we’ve come to associate with the global pride movement.
Participate in the protest by hastagging your tweets #PridePropaganda. (via HuffPost)