Photographer Richard Mosse has been capturing life in Eastern Congo for over 3 years. His work is a surreal representation of the beauty and tragedy in war and destruction. Using Kodak Aerochrome, a 16mm infrared film, originally designed for military reconnaissance, he depicts soldiers and landscapes in a sickly, hyper-real candyfloss pink.
The film registers chlorophyll in live vegetation and depicts the lush Congolese landscape in vibrant hues invisible to the human eye. His photographs are bizarre images of soldiers wearing camouflage uniforms in different shades of magenta, holding babies or guns.
His latest film project “The Enclave” is an attempt to make visible the invisible. Since 1998, over 5 million people have been killed from war-related causes in The Democratic Republic of Congo. Tackling an issue that is relatively unheard of, Mosse says in a recent interview with the British Journal of Photography:
“I wanted to export this technology to a harder situation, to up-end the generic conventions of calcified mass-media narratives and challenge the way we’re allowed to represent this forgotten conflict… I wanted to confront this military reconnaissance technology, to use it reflexively in order to question the ways in which war photography is constructed.”
The idea of The Impossible Image is central to his work. Both relating to capturing something usually unseen, and also working in an area of the world usually inaccessible to, and not documented by artists – that of war journalism.
By using this rare filming technique, Mosse challenges our very perception of war and violence. He is able to pick out a whole different side of military life, encouraging curiosity, and definitely empathy.
Artist Beomsik Won collages images of different architectural works to form one unified structure. The photographs feature a gray wash over the disparate features to increase their sense of cohesion. Won calls this the Archisculpture Photo Project, writing:
René Descartes viewed as beautiful the order and coherency of structures designed by a single architect; the purpose of the Archisculpture Photo Project, however, is to create architectural sculptures by collaging photographs of diverse architectural works from various architects. In this way, Archisculpture Photos are both similar and different to the organic romanticism of old cities built through the works of myriad architects, for they represent the artist’s subjective interpretation and decisions regarding various architects’ numerous designs.
Won’s assemblages create the illusion of a metropolis. “Like collectors who arrange and classify their acquisitions with great care, artists analyze selected city fragments gathered from here and there and with them create their sculptures.” He goes on to write, “What exist[s] now as disparate structures are reborn as beautiful sculptures which retain their diachronic or synchronic histories, or else encompass it all.” They should be looked at as the sum of their parts. (Via Ghost in the Machine)
The artist Stephen Irwin’s work reinterprets the erotic; by scratching away and obscuring unnecessary content from found vintage porn imagery, he constructs a more emotionally climactic vision of love making. Like faded, far away memories of sexual encounters, his images only recall the most poetic and visceral sensations: the insertion of a finger, the flicking of a tongue, private moments of masturbation.
Unlike the work of someone like Von Brandis, Irwin’s images challenge the pornographic inclination to objectify the body, evoking moments of mutual bliss that transcend the material form. Irwin’s hands, limbs, and genitalia stand in for individuals, blurring their identities and ultimately pin-pointing a moment of worshipful self-actualization. The point of orgasm is elevated to spiritual heights when mouths cry out to the heavens. In a particularly sensual piece, the careful insertion of fingers into the vagina harkens back to illustrations of the doubting Thomas fingering the wounds of Christ.
These moments of ecstasy, however, are painfully brief; body parts emerge for an infinite blankness, vanishing just as soon as they appear. A deliberately messy black marker erases the figures, leaving only shadows in its wake; again, a shaded limb fades into whiteness, as if pushed down by a firm hand on the buttocks. The artist’s choice to use vintage images operates as yet another reminder of the temporality of climax.
These images are gloriously unstable and unreliable; for many, it’s impossible to tell if the original pornography was a sketch, painting, or photograph. Here, the lines between fantasy and recollection, between the corporeal and the spiritual, are miraculously indistinguishable. (via Juxtapoz)
Portland, Oregan based Marie Koetje’s dark paintings are chaos interrupted. Her subject matter usually deals with natural/ man-made environments out of control. Incredibly noisy with vegetation, trash, and color that are all suddenly silenced by one striking color of fluorescent lighting, neon signs, etc.
I’m loving these bizarre sculptures and paintings by German artist Tilman Hornig. I’ve scoured the internet and unfortunately can’t find a single press release or article on the artist but I guess sometimes the pictures do all the talking. More work by Hornig after the jump. (via)
I know I may be partial to artists who went to the same art school as me (Maryland Institute College Of Art) but Milana Braslavsky’s photographs are downright quirky, playful, funny, and most importantly Beautiful. For some reason all the figures in her photos remind me of quirky art school girls with thick rimmed glasses who listen to Buddy Holly albums on vinyl.
Culinary artist Annabel de Vetten creates, bakes, and sculpts incredible, artistic edibles that tend to be on the dark side. She makes sinister sweets that look exactly like bird skulls, animal insides, and the exposed organs of a cadaver. All of her detailed work would be impressive as a sculpture, but to make it with chocolate, cake, and icing takes a very unique set of skills. Her morbid, graphic style of cake making grew from a background of fine art and, not surprisingly, taxidermy. During this practice, Vetten became very familiar with the site of guts and bones, which is why the inside of her human and animal corpses appear so real, even though they are actually desserts.
You may wonder who would want to eat something that looks so horrifying, but Vetten’s business is booming! Her business, clever named Conjurer’s Kitchen, is wildly successful and only continues to grow. This means that her cooking not only looks amazing, but it must taste great as well. In order to accurately construct each bone and blood vessel, Vetten must only use the finest ingredients. For her chocolate sculptures, she must use high quality Belgian chocolate, so that the features won’t melt away. For the coloring, she invents deliciously creative ways to integrate food that naturally has the hue she desires, making both her technique and her subject matter equally innovative and unique. Vetten’s sickening sweets may display a deathly subject matter, but more importantly display unbelievable artistic skill. (via Munchies.Vice.com)
With a name like Daniel Danger, well, a certain excess of awesome is expected of you. Danger delivers. The product of an artistically-inclined family, Danger is an illustrator, printmaker, and musician working out of New England. His works feature mysterious figures wandering the midnight-shaded streets of cities in decay. Spirits rise in unison from old houses and barns where now dreams of daylight lie interred. Shadows loom, larger-than-life (or death?) in urban sprawl and twisted forest alike. Each piece tells its own dark tale.