Purity Portraits: Young Virgins Promise Their Purity To Their Fathers Until Marriage

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Stockholm-based photographer David Magnusson captures bizarre father-dauther portraits in the U.S. These portraits are inspired by a very disturbing ritual called Purity Balls, a relatively new Christian religious, wedding-like ceremony that inspires American virgin girls (as young as four years of age ) to promise purity to their fathers.

The formal events tends to include ballroom dancing, a keynote speaker, and a lot young girls in white dresses. During the ceremony, the fathers, the so-called “High Priest of the home and family,” make a pledge to protect their daughters’ “purity” during the affair; often times they exchange purity rings.

“You are married to the Lord and your father is your boyfriend.” – A father says to his daughter during a Purity ball.

Intrigued and fascinated  by an article about the topic, Magnusson took the iniciative to investigate these balls, and its participants, further.To create this photographic series, the artist spent five months traveling to and attending purity balls in Louisiana, Texas, Colorado, and Arizona. On each occasion, he spent about an hour interviewing and photographing the father-daughter pair. The interactions between father and daughter on camera were up to the subjects themselves and not at all directed by Magnusson.

Many of us would think that the photographs look and feel odd; and not that there is anything weird about hugging and holding your father’s hands, but the way in which these pairs interact…most of us can agree that it is a bit creepy. The artist, however, keeps his judgement out of the picture and he tells his audience that for the most part the fathers are caring and respectful, and the daughter possess their own character and are often very independent. How true this is to each of us personally differs, of course. This very point, the idea of relative truths and opinion, is what Magnusson is most interested in:

“The purpose hasn’t been either to belittle or glorify the ceremonies–the interpretation [of the photographs] is all up to the eye of the viewer.”

The series of photographs are now part of Purity, a book of text and images put together by the artist himself. Purity comes out in August, and you can order it here. If you are interested in learning more about this ceremony you can check out The Virgin Daughters, a documentary that further examines the nature of Purity Balls. (via FastCo Design)

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Dr.Martens Releases Merchandise Featuring Hieronymus Bosch’s “Garden Of Earthly Delights”

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Fashion for the stylish art history nerd alert: Dr. Martens has drawn inspiration from Hieronymus Bosch’s “The Garden of Earthly Delights.”

You can now find a collections of combat boots, oxfords and satchel bags that beautifully display the heaven and hell imagery of this 16th century Flemish masterpiece. The Capsule Collection items are now available on the Dr.Martens website and in select dealers around the world, amongst them Urban Outfitters and Journeys.

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Nicolas Jolly’s Stunning Drawings Made With Thousands Of Fingerprints

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Through some intense thought and focus, French artist Nicolas Jolly meticulously pieces together thousands upon thousands of tiny black streaks (from his finger imprints) in order to create a cohesive image. The end product comes to be this series of eerie landscape scenes that take inspiration from the early works of the symbolist movement.

Jolly’s practice involves the alterations, in width and length, of his finger markings in order to simulate light, shadows, and shape. When viewed from afar, the images seem whole with a magnificent sense of movement and texture. Jolly’s ability to create figurative work with small abstract markings is, clearly, quite remarkable.
(via My Modern Met)

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Samantha Keely Smith’s Landscapes Resemble The Flux Of Emotions

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New York-based artist Samantha Keely Smith paints abstract landscapes that resemble the swirling, unknown depths of the ocean. Although Smith’s work appear to depict real sceneries, she is inspired by inner worlds- precisely, by the energies and colors that mirror the flux of emotions.

“My images are not at all real places or even inspired by real places. They are emotional and psychological places. Internal landscapes, if you will. The tidal pull and power of the ocean makes sense to me in terms of expressing these things, and I think that is why some of the work has a feel of water about it. My work speaks of things that are timeless, and I think that for most of us the ocean represents something timeless.”

Working with oil paint, enamel, shellac, and large scaled canvases, the artist creates grand   works of art that feature multiple translucent layers of color, soft but large and imposing brushstrokes, and sweeping gestures that evoke crashing waves, surging tides, and stormy floods. ( via My Modern Met)

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Brendan Monroe’s colorful paintings explore the process of becoming who we are

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Oakland based artist, Brendan Monroe, creates bizarre compositions that feature imaginary ‘moving’ landscapes and faceless, alien looking creatures that resemble the human body. Monroe takes inspiration from the study of science and his interest in existentialism and self-discovery.

His characters, often portrayed in purple and reddish hues, find themselves in these  multilayered, remote landscapes that present themselves as chaotic, or always in motion. The stringy, cool colored worlds precisely double their existence as a wonderful yet confusing space. Monroe is also interested in presenting his funky characters the same way he does his landscapes, as intricate forms that are always in motion.

We can take Monroe’s aesthetic and conceptual approach as one that tries to visually explore what it means to be human in a world that is contingent upon the variety and complexity of our actions, state of mind, or simply the passage of time and the progress it brings with it.

Each is a way of looking at and figuring out life. It’s that human question of what and who we are, how we are here. I also like the emotion and feeling of discovery and also the solving of a puzzle that was not known before. I lean in the direction of sciences I think mostly because I was raised that way, and I like to do my own investigations and draw conclusions.

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Mister Fungo’s Psychedelic Gifs

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Tumblr sensation Mister Fungo creates funky, mind-bending gifs that vacillate between psychedelic and zombie inspired imagery. The bright colors, together with their mesmerizing movements, create a lively yet freaky vibe.

You can find more of his works on his website.

( via Supersonic Electric)

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Sebastian Masuda’s Colorful Rebellion Takes Inspirations From Harajuku Kawaii Culture

Harajuku Kawaii Culture

Harajuku Kawaii Culture

Harajuku Kawaii Culture

Harajuku Kawaii Culture

Japanese artist and leader of Harajuku kawaii culture, Sebastian Masuda, celebrated color and texture with his most recent, and first exhibition here in the US, “Colorful Rebellion.”

Last month, Chelsea’s Kianga Ellis Projects provided Masuda with the space to create a wonderfully weird, colorful wonderland that included plastic toys, bundles of fake fur, stuffed animals, and other accoutrements of manufactured cuteness. The installation was to be read as an autobiographical space, one that, through its many layers, compiled  universal themes such as delusion and fate. The aesthetics of the piece takes from Masuda’s main passion, Harajuku fashion.

The installation included a “zone” for desire, the future, delusion, fate, wounds, and reality, with the seventh zone (a reference to the seven deadly sins), “entrusted in your hands.” Although there was definitely something a bit dark at play, the space, overall, exuded Masuda’s rebellious but lively ways of seeing.

The installation was up until March 29th, 2014 at the Kianga Ellis Projects in New York.

(via Hyperallergic)

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Laurie Simmons’ Photo Series About Japanese Subculture Of Cosplay

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Laurie Simmons‘ recent show, Kigurumi, Dollers and How We SeeSalon 94 Bowery in New York, features eerie looking photos of dollers (also known as Kiggers), a circle of Japanese cosplay enthusiasts (Kigurumi), who dress up like anime-style female dolls and wear their costumes out in public. The men and women involved in this fascinating ‘counter-cuture’  go to great lengths to suppress any lingering vestiges of their own bodies, wearing 360-degree masks, wigs, and full bodysuits.

Simmons gathers her own models and Doller costumes in order to create her own line of Kiggers.

Some of my cosplayers are men and some are women but they all portray female characters. I try to explore the psychological subtexts of beauty, identity and persona surrounding the assembled Dollers. At first I dressed them only in fetish latex, which seemed both doll-like and right for their identities, but it soon became clear that they needed to expand their repertoire and play dress up.

Along her collection of photographs, we see this odd juxtaposition between the inanimate and the living; how is it possible to be experiencing something both so fake yet so real all at once? It is that and more- Simmons’ gives these ‘dolls’ the opportunity to experience the phenomenon of the selfie (“Yellow Hair / Red Coat / Snow / Selfie” [2014]) and an overall exposure to what is to be present, as something outside of the realm of the average human being, in the current world of self-promotion and its agenda (perfection, beauty, etc). “Might masking (becoming a Kigger, in this instance) be at least part of the appeal of contemporary forms of imaging and presentation of the self via social media?”, asks Simmons.

 In the last decade the boundaries separating identity and persona have become increasingly blurred — as individuals ‘present’ their BEST selves to their Twitter, Facebook and Instagram followers. One tilt of the iphone can make the difference between a glamorous, funny or obscene selfie. I wonder about the fuzzy space between who “we” are to ourselves and the “we” that is invented, constructed and expressed using the readily available tools of the 21st century? Aren’t we all playing dress-up in some part of our lives?

Laurie Simmons: Kigurumi, Dollers and How We See in on view at Salon 94 Bowery (243 Bowery, Lower East Side) through April 27.

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