Marcel Christ’s energetic photographs feature colorful powder explosions

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Marcel Christ creates a series of photographs in which he tries to deviate from his usual commercial photographs. With clients like Sony, Nokia, Samsung, Evian and L’Oréal-Chirst is used to photographing still lives, essentially objects arranged in interesting and appealing but static ways. In his latest artistic series, Christ extends his modern, clean lighting and sense of composition (characteristics that resonate with his commercial photography), but takes it to the next level. Christ aims to transform what would be a static representations of colorful powders to something that is undeniably energetic- everything moves, jumps, and flies.

Christ succeeds at photographing unpredictable action. The powder’s movement and expansion are the main characters; they sporadically spread throughout the composition.

I think my work has some heritage from Dutch tradition, in its choice of props for instance – the vase. But different in its own way at the same time. Because it is not ‘still’ at all. It’s frozen in time, but very energetic in its appearance.

(via TreadHunter)

Grotesque Paintings Of Toddlers And Tiaras Are Both Alluring And Revolting

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Toddlers And Tiaras

Toddlers And Tiaras

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In “Honey Boo Boo’’s Amurrican Starquest” and “Beautimous,” the painter Ingrid V. Wells creates saturated candy-colored portraits of the young stars of TLC’s reality television series Toddlers And Tiaras and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. The hit show follows the world of child beauty pageants, filming in homes and hotel ballrooms across the country; Wells’s paintings remove these made-up living dolls from this context, hurling them into an unsettling space where dreams and nightmares collide.

In many ways, the work is fantastical and wondrous; painted in watercolors and “girly-girl” tones, the figures are as fanciful as pages of a picture book. In the world of pageantry, the toddlers are shown as princesses, gifted with an endless supply of jewels, unicorns, sunny days, and balloon animal pinkness. The sit enthroned and proud, hoisted to the highest heights by fame and fortune.

Upon closer inspection, though, the pageant girls are seen through a lens of despair and disgust. Their saccharine smiles melt under the sweaty pressure of thick paint, mascara and lipstick desperately oozing from their pores. Wells transforms the medium of watercolor, using the normally delicate, ethereal paint in heavy, unappealing globs. The unicorn is revealed to be a pig, an animal symbolic of excess; her gleaming, swollen utters hang, and she, like the girls who awkwardly bear their midsections, is suddenly cast in a profoundly uncomfortable sexual light.

Here, prettinesss becomes both revolting and dangerous; beneath their bedazzled cupcake dresses, the girls are defeated, their eyes cast down in sorrow, still tragically yearning for a judge’s approval. (via BUST and Huff Post)

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Collaborative Team’s Chandelier Shadows Room With Trees

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Forms in Nature from Yeray Lopez Portillo on Vimeo.

Artists/design team Thyra Hilden and Pio Diaz collaborated to create, Forms in Nature, a chandelier which, when alight, creates shadows in any (reasonably sized) room that appear to be intertwined tree branches or entire root system. Describing their collaborative process as combining “existing cultural icons and basic elements, which they transform and modify to tamper with the common perception”, the duo essentially reconnects modern technology to more primitive, natural elements.

The creators say of the piece, “The shadows engulf the room and transforms the walls into unruly shadows of branches, bushes, and gnarled trees. Mirrorings are thrown out upon the walls and ceilings and provide weak Rorschach-like hints of faces, life and flow of consciousness.” (via mymodernmet) 

Early Stick-and-Poke Prison Tattoos Preserved In Formaldehyde

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Nowadays, it’s not uncommon to see people with copious amounts of tattoos on their arms, legs, and head. But, it wasn’t that long ago that these permanent adornments were only found on a very specific group of people – prisoners. Tattoos back then were markedly different than their modern counterparts, and some were preserved for posterity in formaldehyde. The tiny pieces of history are an eerie but a fascinating look at the past.

The designs of early tattooing were much simpler than they are today. Instead of the needles we’re familiar with, prisoners would use crude tools like razor blades, broken glass, paper clips, or wires. Ink was substituted for pencil refills, charcoal, watercolor paints, or crayons and mixed with water, fat, or urine.

At the beginning of the 20th century, a study of the prisoners’ tattoos began in the Department of Forensic Medicine at Jagiellonian University, and researchers wanted a way to document their findings. While photography might have been the simpler (and more obvious) solution, prisoners’ tattooed skin was removed and preserved.

The extractions, encased in glass, are small curiosities that don’t really look like tattoos at all. Removed from the context of the body, they are symbols for crimes like burglary, rape, and prostitution. (Via Scribol)

Camila Valdez’s Sculptures Are Leggy Desserts

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Decadent desserts are paired with sexy legs in Argentinian-based artist Camila Valdez’s series of life and table-sized sculptures.  The faceless beings are placed in public and are posed on benches, seen exiting restaurants, and enjoying a picnic in the park. Despite the fact they can’t convey emotion through eyes or a mouth, Valdez has made their legs expressive. They are straight and together if trying to look pensive, or partially open as if trying to suggest something else.

This series literally objectifies women and compares them to a sugary treat that will rot your treat and should be enjoyed only every-so-often. At the same time, they reference outdated objects from the middle of the 20th century, where legs were attached to things like lamps (as seen in the film A Christmas Story). Valdez pokes fun at this absurd and fantastical objectification of the population. (Via HiFructose)

Randy Scott Slavin’s Photographs Turn Landscapes Topsy-Turvy

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In photographer Randy Scott Slavin’s series, Alternative Perspectives, he takes ordinary landscapes and turns them into topsy-turvy, mind-bending sights. At any moment, these panoramic shots make the world appear like it’s going to fold in on itself. Slavin captures all types of terrain, including the red rocks of the Phoenix desert, the beaches in Miami, and the skyscrapers of New York City. These places are transformed in a surreal and psychedelic way.

Salvin takes approximately 100 photos for each image. While he can shoot a scene in less than 10 minutes, it may him hours or days to edit what you see here. The process is a lot of trial and error for the photographer as he figures out what time of day and season is best.

Salvin’s photos not only play with the orientation of the image, but reference time as well. Their circular motion is reminiscent of a wormhole or water spinning down a drain. Both imply a passage, whether it be in years or minutes. (Via Fast Company)

Feminist Photographs Show The Dark Side Of Beauty

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In a startling critique of the ways in which images of women’s bodies are consumed, the artist Jessica Ledwich presents “The Fanciful, Monstrous Feminine,” a collection of surreal photographs documenting the psychological consequences of contemporary beauty standards and practices. For Ledwich, female sexuality is viewed as “threatening” and is therefore oppressed; here, she exaggerates the femme fatale image, showing her red-lipped, square-nailed protagonist engaging in violence with her own body.

The female form, shiny and lacquered, appears like a hybrid, part human and part domestic cyborg; her youthful flesh is overtaken by the mechanics of beauty. In one image, severed and still-wriggling fingers are replaced with tweezers, and in another, she uses a vacuum cleaner to suction fat from her thighs, injecting it into her lips.

Improvements to the home and domestic realm take a literal toll on the female body and self; after awkwardly sculpting a just-budding lemon tree, a matriarch forces her own natural body into an hourglass with restrictive garments. The monotony of the daily grooming routine turns brutal and dehumanizing, and with each ritual, our subject sacrifices a bit of her identity until, like slabs of lifeless meat, her limbs, brains, and heart are sold off at a butcher shop cleverly referred to as “Limbsons.”

Tied to this endless pursuit of female perfection is the idea of motherhood, presented without an ounce of warmth or sentimentality. A C-section yields only an endless stream of identical plastic dolls, each removed with the same sterile, unfeeling determination that we see with the surgical implantation of breasts. The mother, robbed of her sexuality, is shown inserting biohazards material into a cooked egg, an uncomfortable action we might presume to represent her own impregnation. This bleak, unromantic portrayal of female beauty and fertility serves to remind us of the physically and psychologically painful demands placed on modern women’s bodies, leaving viewers yearning for a more humane world. (via Lost at E Minor and Design Taxi)

Ernest Goh’s Glamour Portraits Of Chicken Beauty Pageant Contestants

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We’ve recently explored the world of creative dog grooming, and now it’s time to turn an eye towards portraits of ornate fowls. Singapore-based photographer Ernest Goh documented the world of Malaysian Chicken Beauty Pageants. Yes, believe it or not, these events exist (because why not?), and are captured in Goh’s tongue-and-cheek titled publication, Cocks: The Chicken Book.

Goh selected the Ayam Seramas breed of chicken for his series, who are known for their beauty. He sets places each creature against a black background and allows their exquisite coloring and patterned feathers shine. These photographs highlight their outward appearance as well as their quirky personality, as the cock their heads and strut their stuff.

On his website, Goh features a quote that’s some food for thought. It’s taken from the famous novel Animal Farm, and it seems very appropriate for this energetic series: “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.” The results of the colorful portraits are akin to what we’d see if a human had the lens turned on them. With this similarity, perhaps chicken beauty pageants aren’t that silly after all.  (Via PetaPixel)