Pawel Bajew Constructs Peculiar Photographs Of Contorting Bodies

Pawl Bajew - PhotographyPawl Bajew - PhotographyPawl Bajew - Photography

Artist Pawel Bajew is a master of contorting the body and creating an oddly beautiful scene constructed from simple objects. In his series titled Freaks, the photographer creates surreal images of seemingly mutated bodies and disembodied limbs. However, disfigured his figures may appear, this effect is created mainly through simple minimal objects under the clothing or strangely placed props covering identifying parts of the body like the face or limbs. His cleverly placed mannequin parts and wigs form surreal scenes, some filled with isolation, others with humor. Each strange situation is not unlike a film still; holding dramatic poses and staged lighting. His figures seem tormented in some way, with the bodies twisting and bending in abnormal ways. The faces are often hidden in this series, distorting the identity of the person and causing an eerie, psychological effect on the viewer.

This intriguing, Polish-based photographer also captures amazing portraits full of detail and originality. His portraits are filled with self-portraits as well as others, embodying an eclectic group of eccentric individuals. Each subject seems like a fictional character, filled with exaggerated expressions and over the top costumes straight out of a novel. Bajew’s portraits are not without humor, as some figures have funny expressions, but also have a darkness about them, just like his series Freaks. His body of work as a whole personifies a distinct mood and peculiar atmosphere about it that leaves it distinguishable and unique.

Currently Trending

Advertise here !!!

Photographer Alex Stoddard Combines Dark Fantasy With The Pain And Beauty Of The Human Experience

Alex Stoddard - Photography Alex Stoddard - Photography Alex Stoddard - Photography Alex Stoddard - Photography

Alex Stoddard is a Los Angeles-based photographer who produces inspiring, conceptual images exploring the beauty and pain of the human experience. Each image is charged with emotion, combining dark fantasy with images alluding to death, isolation, intimacy, and strength. Bodies lie prone on the beach, or amidst piles of torn paper; elsewhere, in a scene connoting anything from desire to sacrifice, a man collapses into the arms of a woman with arrows protruding fatally from his back. Among the images featured here are two of Alex’s series: Hunting for Pearls and Wake of Thunder, the former depicting a moon-pale water nymph wandering a dusky shoreline, the latter featuring a mysterious young woman possessed by the storm. Whether they are part of a series or standalone images, Alex’s narrative-rich works strike us with an emotional roar.

Named one of Flickr’s 20 Under 20 — a collection of the 20 most talented young photographers on Flickr — Alex has been taking the photo community by storm. His growing distinction is well-deserved, as he has worked hard to produce the images arising from his unique imagination and the fantasies of his youth. In a video posted on The Weekly Flickr, Alex describes the daring commitment that led to his burgeoning success:

“I put myself in so many different extreme circumstances. One day I would be hanging off a cliff, another day I would be throwing myself in a giant fish tank in the dead of winter, or putting a snake around my eyes. I didn’t really care if I was uncomfortable, I was just focused on creating a unique shot.” (Source)

Alex’s advice for succeeding as an artist is as equally inspiring, as he makes the astute point that “you’re never going to grow if you’re doing the same thing every day. You need to be afraid of what you’re doing to learn from it.” Just as his images depict the human body in transformative states of emotion and peril, Alex demonstrates how materializing your dreams involves staying brave and moving through the intensities and difficulties that shape our lives.

Visit Alex’s website and Flickr to see more of his inspiring work. You can also follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

Currently Trending

Advertise here !!!

Synchrodogs Channel Lucid Dreams Into Photographs Of Hallucinogenic Beauty

Synchrodogs, Reverie Sleep - Photography Synchrodogs, Reverie Sleep - Photography Synchrodogs, Reverie Sleep - Photography Synchrodogs, Reverie Sleep - Photography

Tania Shcheglova and Roman Noven are a Ukrainian photography duo also known as Synchrodogs whose surreal imagery frames the human body in odd-yet-intimate relations with the surrounding landscapes. This particular series, Reverie Sleep, takes this theme of the “strange natural” a bit further, drawing on the expansive and unearthly realms of lucid dreams. Made with the support of the Pinchuk Art Foundation in 2013, this project emerged from visions the artists experienced while wandering somewhere between sleep and awakening:

“[Reverie Sleep] deals with the stage of Non Rapid Eye Movement sleep, during which some people may experience hypnagogic hallucinations caused by [the] natural process of falling asleep. Experimenting with those lucid dreaming techniques, [Synchrodogs] woke themselves up in the middle of the night to make a note of what they had just seen, gathering their dreams to be staged afterwards.”  (Source)

In order to recreate their dream imagery, Synchrodogs traveled to Iceland where they immersed themselves in dangerous and bleakly beautiful environments. As they explained in an interview with NYMag, they shot near “glaciers where you can fall into an ice hole and be found in a week, or in hot lakes where you can get boiled alive if there is a geyser which decides to eject hot water while you are in [it]” (Source). This earthly threat lends the images an impassive quality, just like the intangible lands we explore in our sleep while uncertain of what threats or joys await us.

Inhabiting Synchrodogs’ eerily sublime landscapes are female figures, nude or bedecked in colorful paints and surreal costumes. Bodies morph into ferns and fruit, or lie on cold earth and exalt in the light of an alien sun. Each figure is simultaneously human and inhuman, existing in a hallucinogenic, unquestioning state that dissolves and realigns our notions of reality. Shifting between forms and consciousness, they represent creatures of a limitless and symbolic universe.

Be sure to visit Synchrodogs’ website to see more images from Reverie Sleep, as well as their other stunning and immersive photo series. They can be followed on Facebook, as well as Twitter (@synchrodogs) and Instagram: @taniashcheglova and @romannoven. (Via PAPER Magazine)

Currently Trending

Cute Or Crude? Lisa Yuskavage’s Oil Paintings Are Cheeky And A Bit Controversial

Lisa Yuskavge - oil paintings Lisa Yuskavge - oil paintings Lisa Yuskavge - oil paintingsLisa Yuskavge - oil paintings

Painting something like Lolita crossed with David Lynch crossed with a crude porn site, the works of Lisa Yuskavage seem to have people divided. Her luscious images of nude women and girls have been described as both vulgar and earnest, affectionate and alienating. She has developed a unique style that blends Renaissance techniques, landscapes, still lifes, cartoon-like figures, porn and religious iconography that both delights and disturbs viewers. Yuskavage’s world is full of innocent yet flirtatious vixens parading around in their undies and getting into mischief in meadows or apartments. Her characters seem a bit narcissistic, and self loving, and in some cases maybe even self loathing. Yet they are definitely interesting and magnetic; a commentary on the complexities of the modern woman and her sexuality.

Drawing on her own childhood experiences, Yuskavage explains her encounters with, and understandings of sexiness and power:

As a little girl, in Catholic school, they were the first feminists I met. It seems counterintuitive, but these women rejected the normal system of life. The ones that taught me were quite smart. When I came to my senses, I realized it would actually be awful for me to live that particular life. I guess I liked the idea of a calling, the intensity of it. (Source)

Works from the last 25 years of Yuskavage’s career is now on show at The Rose Art Museum of Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. Be sure to visit and make up your own mind if you love or loathe her style and content. Her solo show Lisa Yuskavage: The Brood is on display from September 12 to December 13, 2015 at David Zwirner Gallery in NYC.

Currently Trending

Meghan Smythe Sculpts The Fleshly Contortions Of Passion And Death

Young Unbecoming (2015). Ceramic, glaze, glass, resin, epoxy, and plasticine.

Young Unbecoming (2015). Ceramic, glaze, glass, resin, epoxy, and plasticine.

Young Unbecoming (detail view) (2015).

Young Unbecoming (detail view) (2015).

Lunacy (2015). Ceramic, glaze, glass, resin, epoxy, and plasticine.

Lunacy (2015). Ceramic, glaze, glass, resin, epoxy, and plasticine.

Coupling (2015). Ceramic and glaze.

Coupling (2015). Ceramic and glaze.

Meghan Smythe is a California-based (Canadian-born) artist who creates expressively disturbing sculptures of crushed flesh and glistening viscera. The muted, peaches-and-cream colors are initially deceiving in their innocence; emerging from the twisted monuments are dismembered and defleshed body parts, shaved down and mashed together. Like a theater of the grotesque, faces gasp from beneath piles of entrails and moldering skulls, and limbs reach and splay in dynamic expressions of violence, love, lust, and tenderness. Much like the contortions of passion and death, the energy rolls throughout the compositions, oscillating between states of vigor and exhaustion. Leah Ollman, having reviewed Smythe’s recent solo show at the Mark Moore Gallery, provided this spot-on description of “Young Becoming” for The Los Angeles Times:

“Limbs are entwined, tongues extended. Clay is rarely, if ever, this carnal. Some of the skin is mannequin-smooth but veined with cracks. Some seep a pink foam or a pale fecal flood. Erotic pleasure plays a part here, but is only one of many competing charges” (Source).

By displaying representations of body parts in surprising (and unsettling) reconfigurations, Smythe brings the charges of pleasure and agony, beauty and squalor to the operating table. Displayed for us are simultaneous births and deaths, made almost indecipherable by the material realities of the body: the fluids, the waste, the mess of living, and the will to survive. In “A Light Culture”, for example, a man with a severed arm and scarred flesh sits quietly, wounded but pensive, while a disembodied hand gropes at his erection. Elsewhere, in “Lunacy”, a decapitated subject grimaces in despair while reaching for his heart. More tenderly still, in “Coupling”, two hands lie adjacent to each other and touch lightly. In moments of both intimacy and horror, Smythe turns the possibilities and limitations of the flesh into sculptures and makes them strangely beautiful.

Visit Smythe’s website and the Mark Moore Gallery to learn about her work and see additional images. Check out Ollman’s article for a captivating description of the solo show.

Currently Trending

The Chaotic Darkness Of Tomohide Ikeya’s Waterlogged Photography

Tomohide Ikeya - Photographyunnamed (9) Tomohide Ikeya - Photographyunnamed (3)

Tomohide Ikeya is a Japanese photographer whose underwater nude portraits walk the line between serene beauty and the terror of death and drowning. In three series, titled Wave, Breath, and Moon, Ikeya explores the body interacting with the ocean in various ways: struggling on the shore, reaching for the surface, and surrendering to its darkness. The images are disturbing in a poetic way, depicting people expressing the primordial will to survive, while others curl up and quietly succumb, turning the surrounding water into a simultaneous womb and deathbed. Breath — that vital act — often goes unnoticed, but Ikeya’s work makes it visible in the form of bubbles, open mouths, and deathly stillness. “Perhaps the essence of life, granted to everyone, is to live while struggling against death,” Ikeya writes in his description of Breath. “Life is not just about visible beauty, but also about true strength, which we have from birth” (Source).

For Ikeya, the neutrality of water makes it the ideal medium in which to explore the rhythms of survival. Water gives life, and also extinguishes it. “Water is not the Mother of Creation or the Master of Destruction,” Ikeya states; it simply exists as an essential but unfeeling element (Source). By photographing the body in a physical struggle against water, Ikeya’s works are dark portraits of the value of life and the concurrence of death. The boundaries between unforgiving “nature” and the indestructible “human” are literally subsumed, washed away into emotional and physical gestures of life-defining resistance against — and fatal integration with — the ocean. The moment of struggle becomes the affirmation.

Visit Ikeya’s website and Facebook to see more of his work. (Via Juxtapoz)

Currently Trending

Matt R. Martin’s Atmospheric Paintings Display Technical Skill And Eerie Nudes

matt r martin paintingmatt r martin paintingmatt r martin paintingmatt r martin painting

In this day and age of digital and high tech art, painter Matt R. Martin looks to redefine the traditional nude. An honorable task since the human figure has been painted in hundreds maybe thousands of positions. For Martin it means looking for new ways to paint an age old subject matter using oil with the expertise of a skilled draftsman. His marks produce mysterious settings which depict dual bodies tangled upside down on a torn leather recliner or snuggled up to a large window. The faces are partially covered lending more intrigue to the stark atmosphere. In one painting a dozen or so male clones are in the ocean with their backs toward the viewer. The figures are standing up to the waist in water and soon starts taking on various metaphysical nuances. A purgatory narrative eventually emerges making you wonder if the souls are half saved or half damned.

Technically the paintings are exquisitely made. They take influence in sheer luminosity from the great Andrew Wyeth. Like him Martin is able to paint skin where you can almost see the blood pumping through veins which is pretty remarkable. There’s definitely something to be said for pure technical skill and Martin should be noticed for his ability. The artist claims in his statement that he has been influenced by film, Surrealism and representational art. (via artfucksme)

Currently Trending

The Dark Surrealism And Honest Sensuality Of Fabio Esposito’s Fashion And Beauty Photography

Fabio Esposito - Photography Fabio Esposito - Photography Fabio Esposito - Photography Fabio Esposito - Photography

Fabio Esposito is a London-based (Italian-born) fashion and beauty photographer with an alternative and darkly sensual style. Among his impressive list of collaborators are the designers Jitrois, Pam Hogg, Úna Burke, and Jay Briggs (who we featured recently — read more here), as well as the artists Amanda Lear and Francesca Belmonte. No matter what Esposito is shooting — be it leather couture, surrealist still lifes, or bizarre head apparatuses — his results are consistently expressive, using powerful lighting and color schemes (often in monochromatic tones) to evoke emotion and tell a story. When I inquired about how he would describe his style, Esposito explained:

“My style keeps changing with my emotions, but it’s always a fight between my dark side and the part of me that could not live without vibrant colours. When you strive to express your inner world and somehow show it through your work, then this is what I think makes it different and unique.”

There is no doubt that Espostio brings an original and exciting element into fashion and beauty photography. Inspired by artists such as Dalí and Caravaggio, his work follows artistic traditions while transforming them into something new; like a contemporary Dalí, many of Esposito’s works contain strange and surprising elements, such as the armless, nude woman wearing a mask that resembles a crossover between a disfigured classical sculpture and a cyborg. Recalling Caravaggio, Esposito’s photos often have a chiaroscuro-type effect, using blotted shadows to create bold contrasts on the skin of his models. The result is a set of images that are classical, honest, and seductive in their beauty, yet buzzing with a distinctly modern and alternative edge.

Visit Esposito’s website, FacebookTwitter, and Instagram to view more of his work. He is currently collaborating with Jay Briggs on a new millinery collection, which — given the darkly beautiful photo shoots they’ve created in the past — is worth keeping an eye out for.

Currently Trending