Jamal Penjweny Photographs Of Iraqi People And Their Failed Sports Stardom Dreams

 

Jamal Penjweny, an Iraqi Kurdish photographer, artist and filmmaker, creates I Wish- a simple yet poignant series of photos that feature people who have dreams of sport stardom but lack the ability and/or possibilities to make their dreams come true.

 As children we all have dreams of becoming famous, we see Maradona play soccer or a Bruce Lee film and think that we will be stars like them when we grow up. But life gives us another way, we become something else, and we do not get a chance to live these dreams.

For I Wish, Penjweny photographs his subjects inside their homes or at their jobs and asks them to hold a picture of their sport stardom dream. Some hold pictures of successful swimmers, tennis and soccer players ; others hold pictures of Bruce Lee, while some embrace photos of their favorite car driver. The idea, although a bit pessimistic at first glance, is to create visual juxtapositions between their dreams and their current simple but confortable reality. While the photographs are unassuming and understated, we can’t help but fall under spells of nostalgia and sentimentality as these images are a reminder that we are all  stuck in our mundane lives while our dreams are left in the back burner. Here, Penjweny gives dreams a chance, he tries to expose them, and, in a sense, give them life.

The man in the mountains wanted to become a champion swimmer but he was born in a place with no swimming pools, the man with the Bruce Lee photo took karate lessons and then became a Mullah, the man with the Ferrari photo always wanted to be a racecar driver- now he has a donkey and sells gasoline.  I made this project to give one moment when dreams can become reality, so each person can act out their dream even if they cannot fulfill it in real life.

No matter where you are or how old you are, if you are disabled, or poor- restrictions are by no means important when one can think big, and get excited by it. So what if dreams don’t come to fruition, if you are driven by the power of limitless thought and possibility, then you are bound to get someplace worth your stay.

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Andrea Tese Captures Her Grandfather’s Life Through Photos Of His Belongings

Andrea Tese creates Inheritance, a poignant and thought-provoking photographic series that involves a deeply personal documentation of the artist’s mourning process following the passing of her grandfather. Apart from it being a personal tool for grieving, the Inheritance project is also an exploration of existential ideas in regards to legacy, impermanence, and the definition of self.

These photographs function simultaneously as an acknowledgement to the ephemeral nature of life and as an indulgence in man’s unwillingness to give in to this understanding – his desire to arrest time, to counter anonymity, to leave something behind, to be immortal.

By rearranging the mundane objects that filled Grandpa’s home before his passing, Tese creates these pictorial compositions that recreate her grandfather’s life in a profound, and powerful but controversial way. In essence, here, we see life as a collection of objects, a rather simple and intuitive idea, but one that certainly makes us think whether we get to leave this world with a valuable legacy or not. Are material objects our life-long legacy to our family and friends, and is that enough? Do our personal belongings carry the essence of our being?

Anyhow, it is inevitable to dismiss the fact that Tese does capture her grandfather’s spirit through his ‘junk’. After all, with most philosophical questions aside, it is fair to say that our stuff will be the only tangible pieces of self that will be left after our death. Inheritance is a definite ” poignant reminder that our junk will outlast us all.” (via Co.Design)

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Chad States Explores Ideas Of Masculinity Through Craigslist Encounters

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“I want to show that, despite stereotypes, that gay men can be masculine too.

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“When I wear men’s clothes I feel comfortable and confident in how I look on the outside which now matches the inside.”

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“I have been called a SNAG (sensitive new age guy), a renaissance man, a male in touch with his feminine side, etc….I think that I am masculine in the sense of self reliance.”

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“I am strong emotionally, have always stood up for myself and fear nothing. I happen to be physically strong but that isn’t where I derive my masculinity.”

Philadelphia-based photographer Chad States creates ”Masculinities’,  a series of photographs and text devoted to create real, tangible accounts of men and their thoughts on masculinity in order to expose the complexities and difficulties in trying to define the masculine. States, interested in creating a large sample of men and their accounts, exposes his project on Craigslist and only takes subjects who are interested in participating in this project.

“Growing up as a gay man in the U.S. I have always been aware of how men were supposed to act and I judged myself against these ideas. Masculinity was always something that was attractive to me but when I tried to unpack what made someone masculine I found it hard to define. Masculinity seemed based on relativity and shifted in different circumstances and cultures.”

The series, inspired by State’s own struggles with understanding conceptions of gender at an early age, set out to investigate the matter by photographing these men in their home.  States explains that “the structure of the project created a special circumstance in which those who were still willing to participate had a strong need to have their own masculinity confirmed by the photograph.” The men got to choose the ways in which they were portrayed, they picked what they wanted to wear and they choose to stand by or sit in any position they felt truly comfortable in.

 I used a 4×5 camera only taking about 8-10 shots per sitting, so the poses and choices are very intentional on part of the sitter.” (via Feature Shoot)

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Lucy Glendinning’s Strange And Beautiful Feathered Figures

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British sculptor Lucy Glendinning creates  ‘Feather Child’, a bird-like, human-like  creature. This strange project originates from Glendinning’s fascination with personal visions, expectations and fears about the future of a highly technologically advanced society. ‘Feather Child’, acting as a semiotic medium,  specifically embodies Glendinning’s questions about the future of genetic manipulation in such a world. The feathers, apart from making a point about what a possible genetically manipulated being might look like, are also a reference to the classic tale of human hubris: Greek mythology’s Icarus.

The feathered child begs its spectator to ponder upon the reality of such fantastical but absurd creations in a world where this will most certainly become a possibility. Will we be able to resist altering our physical abilities and looks if we had to ability to change them? Furthermore, will we, like Icarus, defy our abilities, change them, and as a consequence have everything we worked for fall apart?

Time will only tell what the future has in store for us. (via IGNANT)

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Nicola Constantino’s Fashion Line Covered With Human Nipples

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In 1998, Argentinian artist Nicola Constantino created ‘Peletería Humana’ (Human fur Boutique), a window display with twenty mannequins showing off Nicola’s heeled shoes, dresses and handbags. These elegant designs were fashion forward in a peculiar way: all pieces were made out of real human hair and colored latex cloth which patterns and textures imitated human nipples. The material, reminiscent of real human skin. was a definite erotic but also sickeningly monstrous and abnormal characteristic that made many recoil in disgust.

The attractive yet repulsive pieces delineate the artist’s ideas about two highly addictive societal desires: expensive consumer goods and sex. By creating these garments out of human hair and cloth that reproduced the human skin, she entices the viewer to see, simultaneously, both desires in the same object. We can also say that her ‘elegant’, high end creations (all which are wearable pieces of art) play with notions of the natural and the artificial, ideas of identity in a consumer society, and the materiality of the human body in contemporary times.

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Nádia Maria’s Hauntingly Beautiful Melancholic Photographs

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Brazilian photographer Nádia Maria creates melancholic, visceral and nostalgic photography that resonates with her private life struggles and universal themes that are familiar to all, amongst them- anxiety, depression, confusion, and so on. The dark aesthetic of these photographs are not to be taken lightly. Contemplating about these will bring discomfort and unwanted past painful memories…it happened to me. However, Maria’s work is so hauntingly beautiful that can just can’t look away.

“It’s all about experiments, games and involvement with the camera, with the image, the feelings, with ourselves.”

‘Vacuum’ and ‘Perfume’ are the names of the two series of photographs that are shown here. Maria’s series ‘Vacuum’ was inspired by constant wars insides herself (and humanity in general). She brilliantly captures the essence of deep nostalgia and sadness, and eternal yearning for something more, or something different. Its darkness is not to be confused with complete destruction and agony, as her subtle feminine, delicate characteristics take on and leave us feeling hopeful. Similarly, ‘Perfume’ visualizes Maria’s mental state (post-partum depression) after having her first son. “It was a phase of deconstruction and transformation”, she says. (via IGNANT)

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Jedediah Johnson Catalogues His Subject’s Faces After Making Out With Them

Men and women, young and old, you name it…everyone is included in Jedediah Johnson‘s unorthodox photography series: The Make-Out Project.

It all started in 2012, when Indiana native Jedediah moved to Chicago in order to complete an MFA at the Art Institute. During his graduate school years he developed The Make-Out project, a photographic series featuring the moment after making out.

For each image, Johnson puts his hands around the subject’s neck and then proceeds to the kiss (notice the trail of red lipstick), after the kiss he instantly snaps the subject’s reaction and condition.

The kisses vary in length and intimacy. My subjects are all aware of what I’m going to do ahead of time, but in the moment of the kiss anything can happen. The lipstick mark I leave on my subjects invites viewers to imagine the circumstances surrounding the kiss.”

The project revolves around the idea of collecting memories. Johnson is interested in cataloging and collecting people, specifically, keeping record of experiences. Johnson’s project is not just about kissing random people, rather, it is an interesting series of images that let is on very intimate situations. Can you tell what each of these subjects were feeling like after the kiss happened?

I guess we’ll never truly know, but it is this kind of cataloguing that gives us a chance to figure it out. (via Huff Post)

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Desire Obtain Cherish’s Sculptures Explore Our Obsession With Consumerism, Fame, And Luxury

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“Ideas win today in our society. [...] I ingest, then digest. Art is really just a mirror of ourselves.”

A truthful quote that Desire Obtain Cherish  (DOC) aka Jonathan Paul takes into account while conceptualizing his body of work. The pop sculptor, obviously influenced by Jeff Koons and Andy Warhol, combines street, pop, conceptual and appropriation art in order to create sculptural pieces that explore contemporary society’s ever-growing obsessions:  sex, gender, drugs, commerce, media and fame.

Desire’s kitschy, yet critical work exposes “society’s inability to control itself as it examines the commercial promise of fulfillment and happiness that ends in dependency.” DOC employs an exaggerated and sarcastic outlook that might come off as cleaver but pretentious and judgmental, but never in a bad way. New Yorker art critic Benjamin Genocchio characterized DOC’s work as “not malicious [..] He is more like our social conscience, delivering up uncomfortable and unpleasant truths wrapped in the most beautiful and seductive of packages.”

Although a conventional artist in paper, DOC deviates from the stereotypical standards of “good taste” in art as his ideas are more in line with contemporary commerce and marketing methods rather than traditional artisan methods. (via ARTNAU)

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