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Julie Green Paints The Final Meals Of Death Row Inmates Onto Porcelain Plates

Maryland 17 July 2004:  Had the regular prison fare of a chicken patty , potatoes and gravy, green beans, marble cake, milk and fruit punch.

Maryland 17 July 2004: Had the regular prison fare of a chicken patty , potatoes and gravy, green beans, marble cake, milk and fruit punch.

Missouri 30 August 2000: 12 ounce T-bone steak (medium rare), Caesar salad, double order onion rings, 20 ounces of Diet Coke.

Missouri 30 August 2000:
12 ounce T-bone steak (medium rare), Caesar salad, double order onion rings, 20 ounces of Diet Coke.

Washington 27 May 1994: Salmon, scalloped potatoes, peas, tossed salad, cake.

Washington 27 May 1994: Salmon, scalloped potatoes, peas, tossed salad, cake.

Oklahoma 22 January 2009: Barbecue ribs, chopped beef, hot links, baked beans, plain potato chips, coconut doughnuts and chocolate milk.

Oklahoma 22 January 2009: Barbecue ribs, chopped beef, hot links, baked beans, plain potato chips, coconut doughnuts and chocolate milk.

Since the year 2000, artist Julie Green has immortalized the final meal requests of US death row inmates. It’s an on-going project aptly-titled The Last Supper, and she paints cobalt-blue pictures of the meals onto second-hand porcelain plates.

Green’s initial inspiration for the series came when she was working at the University of Oklahoma and noticed this menu printed in her morning paper: “three fried chicken thighs, 10 or 15 shrimp, tater tots with ketchup, two slices of pecan pie, strawberry ice cream, honey and biscuits, and a Coke.” It was included in the death notice of an inmate’s execution. This tradition of a final meal startled her, and she clipped the menu, as well as others that she saw.

Not long after seeing that clipping did she start The Last Supper. Along with painting the plates, she also details what the inmate ordered. Green writes:

In states with options, most selections are modest. This is not surprising, as many are limited to what is in the prison kitchen. Others provide meals from local venues. California allows restaurant take-out, up to fifty-dollars. Pizza Hut, Wendy’s, and Long John Silver’s are frequently selected in Oklahoma, where their fifteen-dollar allowance is down from twenty in the late 1990’s. Requests provide clues on region, race, and economic background. A family history becomes apparent when Indiana Department of Corrections adds “he told us he never had a birthday cake so we ordered a birthday cake for him.”

 

Over time, she’s completed 600 plates – 50 a year. Green spends six months of every year working on this project, and she plans to continue it until capital punishment is abolished.

The Last Supper will be on display this spring at the Dayton Art Institute in Dayton, Ohio in an exhibition titled The Last Supper: 600 Plates Illustrating Final Meals of U.S. Death Row Inmates. (Via PBS Art Beat)

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Adventure Photographer David Heath Captures The Enchanting Beauty Of Burma Over The Course Of Five Years

David Heath - Digital Photography

David Heath - Digital Photography

Adventure photographer David Heath delicately captures the enchanting land of Burma, showing its shockingly stunning, exotic beauty. Over the course of five years and after taking eight individual trips to this mysterious place, Heath has completed a masterpiece of a collection of photographs radiating with natural beauty, and dripping with color. This incredible series, now available in print as a coffee table book, is a tribute and celebration to the lush culture and land that is Burma.

“From the moment I first set foot in this magical land, I fell under its spell. I found it to be one of the most enthralling and visually captivating countries I have had the privilege to explore – truly a photographer’s paradise,” explains Heath, “I aspired to convey the soul of the beautiful Burmese people, their mystical culture and mysterious customs, in the most artistic way possible”.

Burma, a place not many people can say they have traveled to, has become a place of comfort for Heath, as you can see in his photographs. He captures subjects with such love and allows such a strong authenticity to remain within them. Heath uses no flash, only natural lighting in order to show the true, authentic nature of this amazing culture. Traveling through Burma by boat, canoe, train and foot, Heath shows us remote and rare perspective of this captivating land. Each image is a remarkable adventure where we can see ancient temples, colorful and traditional Burmese clothing, busy street markets, tribal face tattoos, and the sparkling, eager eyes of the children of Burma. We are able to experience a culture that seems a world away through the intimacy of David Heath’s travels.

Make sure to check out the book “BURMA: An Enchanted Spirit” to see more unforgettable photographs.

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Artist Allie Pohl Uses The Torso To Comment On Society’s Notion Of Perfection

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Allie Pohl uses the measurements of an ideal woman (36-24-36) to engage in a number of conceptually driven art projects. Taking this ‘perfect form’, she fabricates a mannequin torso to represent the prototype for her conversations. To Pohl, this middle area constitutes a place of birth, renewal and assists the artist in her studies about self esteem, image and determination. In one project, the form is used as a chia pet showing the grass growing in the torso’s genital area.  In another, the form is created using a red mirrored material and placed on a pedestal.

Pohl reassesses our idea of beauty and reflects on what women deem important. Some of her other work has examined the torso in the bathroom where she photographed a model on the toilet in gallery and museum restrooms. Her intention was to show the amount of time woman spend in the john. Another saw her take on the high heel. In 6″ shoes with a strap-on camera she went hiking. The result bore an all too familiar metaphor to the extremes women go to achieve physical perfection.

The hairier sex has also been the subject of Pohl’s studies. Using male mannequin legs from different eras, she created a group sculpture. The idea was to show what the perfect ‘male leg’ looked like throughout the years. Most recently, her torso has been used for philanthropy through a line of jewelry where all the proceeds go to various women’s organizations where Pohl lectures and discusses these important issues.

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Elena Montemurro Takes Her Camera On A Coming Of Age Journey

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Like all good contemporary photography, Elena Montemurro‘s Coming Of Age series highlights a particular zeitgeist, or a certain subculture you wouldn’t normally see so clearly. Her study of American teens discovering life is like a Sophie Coppola film – featuring kids full of ennui, walking wistfully through the streets and sitting aimlessly in diners throwing food in their mouths and at each other. She candidly captures a time of innocence and sincerity. Her images show kids doing exactly what they want, authentically expressing how they feel, and being outright bored. Her photos feel like you are following your cousin around an affluent suburb somewhere in America.

Flirting between gaming arcades, car parks, playgrounds at night, pet shops, lonely trains and empty beaches, Montemurro is able to show an accurate view of the disjointedness of modern life. The way we live our daily lives are quite ho-hum and underwhelming and she manages to turn the dreariness of it all into something a bit magical. Just because something is mundane doesn’t mean it can’t be appreciated. Montemurro transforms unexciting routines and the in-between space into something worth having a second look at. The waiting room somehow doesn’t seem like such a boring place after all.

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Infectious Desires: Margarita Sampson Creates Soft Sculptures Of Chairs Bursting With Organic Life

Margarita Sampson - Soft Sculpture

“Zsa Zsa” (2011).

Margarita Sampson - Soft Sculpture

“Anemone Incursions: Klaus” (2011).

Margarita Sampson - Soft Sculpture

“Anemone Incursions – Bev & Eli” (2014).

Margarita Sampson - Soft Sculpture

“Anemone Incursions: Pussy Galore” (2012).

If you ever worry about the microbes living unseen inside your own home, beware: artist Margarita Sampson has beautifully manifested your worst fears — but with good intentions. In a series of soft sculptures currently being exhibited at the Stanley Street Gallery in Sydney, Sampson upholstered found chairs with colonies of organic growth. All of the sprouting nodules and budding orifices are meticulously hand-sewn with brightly colored textile materials, giving the hairy and spiny lifeforms both an endearing and unsettling quality. Inspired by Sampson’s upbringing on Norfolk Island, the coral- and urchin-like growths seem to take on a presence and consciousness of their own; leave them for a few weeks, and they might consume the entire room.

Titled Infectious Desires, Sampson’s exhibition explores the false dichotomy of domestic sterility and messy, organic life. We often imagine our bodies as detached from the chaotic and “dirty” processes of proliferation and decay — indeed, separate from the microscopic worlds that breed and die on every surface we encounter — when in fact we are already enmeshed within those environments. As Sampson eloquently expresses on the Stanley Street Gallery exhibition page, the “glamour” of interior life is illusory:

“Glamour is the strict control of the body or the environment, sublimated to an ideal — there’s no body fluids or stains in glamour. It’s about boundaries, zones of comfort. We feel we are betrayed by our bodies — a lot of this work is about my own aging, my body, about death and disease, about fear and surrender, tightening and release” (Source).

With their hyperbolic size and sexually suggestive shapes, Samspon’s sculptures boldly encounter us with the material realities of our bodies. There is no need to fear the lifeforms inhabiting our favorite furniture — we (and anything we shed, ooze, or excrete) are already hosts to invisible, microbial landscapes.

Visit Sampson’s website and Facebook page to learn more about her work. The exhibition page for Infectious Desires (which runs until March 14th) can be found here. (Via beautiful.bizarre)

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Tec’s Street Art Playfully Interacts With Brazil’s Roads

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The Brazilian artist known as Tec creates artwork whose scale is large enough for the open road. Kites, characters, and other symbols occupy the middle of the car-lined thoroughfares. Sometimes, Tec will add cast shadows that gives the illusion that his subjects are hovering above the streets. It’s additions like this that foster a sense of playfulness.

On the ground, you don’t get the full effect of Tec’s creations. They don’t translate as well and look distorted. It’s only when you’re at a bird’s eye view do you see the kite’s fluttering tail or the man clinging to the double-yellow line in the middle of the road. Although this is consequence of working at such a large size, it also changes who Tec’s audience is. Up in the air or on the roof of a tall building, it’s like he’s created a concealed messages for only certain people to see. (Via Lustik)

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Dreams Within Dreams: Elisa Imperi’s Photographs Are Beautiful Worlds Within Themselves

 Elisa Imperi - photography  Elisa Imperi - photography  Elisa Imperi - photography  Elisa Imperi - photography

Photographer Elisa Imperi is a poet who uses her camera to record her prose. She has a sensitive eye for light and shadows, and captures moments of serenity and melancholia. Her work usually features long corridors, empty rooms, dark doorways, dirty floors, broken windows and beautiful girls. Like some twisted fairytale, Imperi’s images are a little bit creepy, full of strange happenings and sad characters that seem to be down on their luck.

Shot in ruins and abandoned buildings, Imperi’s pictures look as if the girl down the street has run away from home and found themselves somewhere undesirable. Based in Italy, she also gets the chance to shoot in lavish apartments, even castles. Recently completing a photoshoot for Vogue Italy, her ethereal style compliments the magazine. Beautiful white dresses lie sprawled out over old branches and piles of dust in forgotten mansions.

If you are like are us and are captivated by Imperi’s haunting photos, then be sure to check out more of her work here, here and here.

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The Process Behind Making Barry X Ball’s Purity And Envy Sculptures

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The sculptor Barry X Ball is known for interesting projects. One called ‘Masterpieces’ was especially riveting. He took two Italian sculptures made in the 16th century: Corradini’s La Puria (“Purity (veiled woman)”) and Court’s La Invidia (“Envy”) and created perfected versions of the original. In a statement to his collectors he explains in detail the changes he made and why they are valid artworks on their own and not just copies or appropriations. Ball’s documentation also discusses his process and gives invaluable insight into it.

Both of these sculptures were made using materials other than white Italian marble such as onyx, calcite and black marble. This lends a different dynamic to the work altogether. Unlike white marble, onyx has the ability to glow from within and through the veils of Purity we are able to see light. On the other hand, the calcite material is veined and therefore camouflages Envy’s folds and sweeps creating complexity not there with the original.

Another different perspective on the two Ball pieces is that they are made to depict someone looking into a mirror. This is done with today’s advanced technology and adds a strange narcissistic glance. It’s almost as though we are looking at a more refined version of the sculptures which captures the very old paired with something new. Other changes involved refining of drape, finishing the back and making the pedestals which they are placed much sturdier in order to view the work correctly from all sides.

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