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)
Brooklyn based artist Melissa Zexter combines photography and hand-stich embroidery to create layers of narrative and texture in a unexpected and colorful way. Zexter, an MFA holder in photography, redefines her practice, as she creates a new artistic concoction that provides more context in the already-narrative medium that is photography. The use of embroidery is a reaction to the photographs themselves, a way to overexagerate or emphasizes different aspects of the images.
For me, sewing was another way to build up a surface and to build upon the content of my photographs. I loved the meditative process of sewing – it was in such contrast to the technologically more immediate art of photography. The combination of sewing and photography brought together two very different processes that I love. The use of embroidery is a reaction to the photographs and is a process that aids in the transformation of identity of the person or place being photographed.
Some of the photographs she uses are digital prints and others are gelatin silver prints that she make in a darkroom. The thread, which she uses to compliment the images, primarily acts as a connection between the person/place captured in the photograph and the artist herself.
I always think of the photograph as something from the past and the thread as a reaction to the past and present. The thread makes the photograph more personal to me and allows me to meditate on the image. Combining the two mediums (photography and sewing) allows me to reinvent the photograph; to visually react to a person or a place.
In his latest series, “I Have Something To Tell You”, Adrain Chesser uses his own illness, AIDS, in order to catalogue the pure, raw emotional reactions of his friends and family as they are told the terrible news . The Florida-born photographer, snapped portraits of his loved ones moments after he shared this life-changing information.
“When I thought about having to disclose my illness to my friends I would panic, which didn’t make sense, because I have an amazing group of friends who are all very loving and supportive”
Filled with a series of genuine reactions ranging from shock to panic to sadness, Chesser’s loved ones do not hold back. The beauty of this project relies on these subjects’ faces- most which reveal intense, unfiltered emotion. Chesser had long used photography as a method of interpreting and understanding his own emotional life– a “spiritual practice”, he calls it in a interview with Huffpost. The images, past and present, served him as tangible memories that later aide him to further understand past mistakes, or hidden victories. In this case, Chesser uses the camera as a mediator-a placeholder between two entities that feel broken, yet bonded by a painful experience.
Chesser believes that the diverse reactions of the 46 different people he photographed (without their prior knowledge of the project) reflect each individual’s personal experience with death and illness. He remembers everything from tears, to laughter, stoicism and confusion after confessing his diagnosis. (via HuffPost Arts)
California based artist Evan Holm, creates Submerged Turntables, a kinetic installation featuring salvaged objects, turntables, records, and dark, murky water. The piece, which Holm used to perform at San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art but now resides in his studio in Oakland, is meant to serve as a reminder that “all tracings of human culture will dissolve back into the soil under the slow crush of the unfolding universe.” By playing the records in the piece’s pitch-black pool, Holm is “enacting a small moment of remorse towards this loss.”
For this work, Evan submerged a working turntable in a dark liquid; he then proceeds to pick a record from his wall, which then is inserted onto the wet record player. The functioning underwater turntable is a mystery, and I think that that’s the most enticing part of the work; the turntable’s ability (against all odds) to play music under water, it is quite remarkable.
The work, heavy on symbolism, relies on our negative notions of pairings involving electricity and water (a parallel to doomed feelings). How can we ever think that an electric turntable could effectively work under water? It is this notion that brings Holm’s concept to a clearer view. By making this possible, he brings forth an “optimistic sculpture, for that just after the moment of submergence..the tone, the melody is pulled back out of the pool, past the veil of the subconscious, out from under the crush of time, and back into a living and breathing realm.” (via IGNANT)
In January 26,2012 we posted about NYC based artist Akira Horikawa’s 1000 Drawing Project. Then, he was almost half way done with the challenge; today, we can say that he is finished.
For the past six years, Horikawa has been posting on his Tumblr in hopes that he could, in some way, catalogue his “happenings, dreams and emotions.” In pocket-sized sketchbooks, he effectively but weirdly tries to evaluate his thoughts, values and experiences through simple but insightful and humorous drawings which topics range from sex and love, to existential questioning and everything else in between.
You can visit his Tumblr blog, where you will find the rest of his drawings!
It doesn’t get better than being loved by a fluffy, soft animal. It is said that the love between a guardian and their pet is unconditional; an-almost familial bond that grows bigger and tighter as time goes on.
Thirteen years ago, Japanese photographer Miyoko Ihara began snapping pictures of her now 88-year-old grandmother, Misao, and her odd-eyed kitten, Fukumaru. Misao, a farmer and merchant of fresh vegetables, found the cat abandoned in a shed, and the pair has been inseparable since then. She named the cat ‘Fukumaru” in hope that “God of fuku (good fortune) would follow her. Lucky for the 88-year old MIsao, Fukumaru stayed by her side through hard work and disability. They simply make their life better just by being together. The photographs are just a gilmpse at how wonderful, and important their friendship is to each other.
You can find the complete series in Miyoko Ihara’s book, Misao the Big Mama and Fukumaru the Cat. The book can be purchased directly through Little More Books. (via Before it’s News)
The Montreal based photographer, an avid cataloguer of trans and queer communities since early 2000’s, creates Alone Time, a series of photographs in which he recreates typical domestic environments that play around with the idea of gender stereotypes. For this project he uses one model only; the one model is to play both the male and female characters in the image. The result, Levine said, “challenges the normative idea that gender presentation is stable or constant. Rather, gender expression can be fluid and multiple.”
“work is emerging at a moment when people are starting to talk more about gender and sexuality in the public sphere, which allows more space for queer cultural production and representation in the mainstream.”The thought-provoking work gives us the chance to become vulnerable and empathetic towards
The thought-provoking work not only give us, the viewer (of any gender,) the possibility to become vulnerable and empathetic, but also the ability to imagine ourselves in this specific situation. What would it be like to be a member of the opposite sexes? Do I, in anyway, resemble some of all the male/female/transgender characteristics?
Levine, a trans and queer man, uses his sexuality, gender and past experiences in his art in order to reach out to those who are not necessarily familiar with the subject. He intends to expand awareness through creating work that is familiar to all, and not just one gender. He notes that his images “talk about and celebrate marginality from a place of familiarity and self-exploration as opposed to voyeurism.” (via Slate)