Connecticut based artist Robin Protz creates “Living Kinetic Sculptures”. Her works seem to brightly light up each space in which she installs them. Take “Nelligan the Dragon” (above) for example. “Dragon”, made of 40,000 suspended buttons, dominates its environment.
“…my art has evolved into a virtual space eater. Spaces scream at me wanting life.”
“…Creatures and forms emerge and we leave adulthood as we are reminded of the playfulness, surprise and sometimes overwhelming awe and delight we experienced as children.” (via)
For his series Animal Eyes, the Armenian photographer Suren Manvelyan captures close-ups of animal eyeballs belonging to diverse creatures, revealing both the complexity and universality of the organ. Beneath his macro lens, these small circular organs appear paradoxically vast; at times, their curved surfaces resemble the entirety of planet Earth as seen from space, cloudy with ribbons of pigmentation. Here, the eyes, considered to be windows to the soul, reflect back a cosmic realm that evokes the metaphysical, but at the same time, they are startlingly material. The pupil, a seeming abyss ascending into the unknown, is cushioned by substantial tissues that ground us firmly within the corporeal world.
Though the species shot here vary immensely, a comforting uniformity emerges from the images; through the changes in iris hue and pupil dilation, there is a shared urgency in each gaze, a sweeping desire simply to see. The horse, his eyes veiled in straw-like lashes, fixes the lens with the same intensity as the hippo, whose wrinkled, fleshy eyelids peel back. Where most photography relies upon the assumption that we may watch without fear of being observed ourselves, Manvelyan’s images inspire within us a sense of being seen; are these opened eyes, these celestial orbs, looking back at us? What do they see? Check out the artist’s photographs of the human eye here. (via Agonistica)
Matthew Kelly is a photographer living and working in NYC. His photography is definitely nothing less than unique. His current project “As My Father,” depicts a young man stepping into his father’s shoes, literally. Matthew’s other photos have the same portrait like qualities, and just like the first project, tell a dramatic story. Check out his website for more of his work and upcoming projects.
Dealing in an atypical kind of self-portraiture, Dawn Woolley often creates photographic copies of herself, and then photographs them in various locations, positions and moods. Making herself a substitute and her visual representative, the work forms an inquiry into the act of looking, and being looked at. As she says of the work, “Referring to psychoanalysis and phenomenology I examine my own experience of becoming an object of sight and also consider the experience the viewer has when looking at me as a photographic object. By producing artwork that establishes me as an object it could be argued that I reinforce stereotypical images of the female body.” Indeed, the female body is a common subject of Woolley’s work, often playing with stereotypes through reinforcing them, or defying them.
In series, such as TheSubstitute, Woolley created a photographic copy of herself and placed it in the real world in her stead. Seeking to reinforce conventional images of the female body, but with apparent exhibitionism, Woolley created a replacement that rendered her real body invisible. The sense of disbelief for a viewer is slow to materialize, as our brain wants to see an actual 3-dimensional person. The effects are similar even when both individuals are cutouts. Selecting moments in her past, Woolley’s series, Adolescence gives her some distance from emotionally heightened events by re-creating them using photographs.
The ambiguousness of her work allows Woolley to play with assumptions about gender, and conventions of photography. There is a performative aspect to the work that is ultimately completed by the viewer. A viewer feels like a voyeur, and then, after realizing he is looking at a 2-dimensional depiction of a 2-dimensional photograph, a fool for being duped. An interesting way to examine gender roles and self-portraiture, Woolley’s images are challenging and provocative.
We recently received Doug Fogelson’s book “The Time After” in the mail today. One of the catch phrases on the press release is: “Temporal speculation for the post climate change era.” Heavy! Although it’s not as apocalyptic as the Popul Vuh’s 2012 world-termination prognosis, and not as, ahem, temporally speculative (in my opinion) to warrant vast assumptions about the post climate change era, there are some prismatic, multi-exposed layered photographs that time-lapsed-surfaced-ly explore the age old question of nature, man, and their relation to time. Shots of clouds and forests lay side by side by sprawling city streets. It’s certainly an interesting attempt to turn such a tired trope of amateur photography (the double-expose) into the basis for a complicated conceptual framework, though how many “heady” points on the nature of humanity the book makes, I’m not so sure. Regardless, the book features stunning and creative print lay out and design by Tim Hartford.
Perhaps you want to make your walk through the park more interesting; or maybe you’re dying to sit on the bus and immerse yourself in Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland while gazing at a psychedelic horizon. Thanks to Hungarian designer Bence Agoston’s “Mood Sunglasses,” you can indulge in a pseudo-trip at your leisure. Accompanying the glasses’ half-circle, 3D-printed frames are six lenses, each imprinted with Moiré patterns that filter blue, green, and red light. When layered and rotated in their frames, the lenses create the visual experiences of LSD without the drug itself.
In discussion with Fastco Design, Agoston explained how the Moods work. “Because each color filters the incoming lights differently, and the patterns can overlap each other or leave blank fields, the new view is completely random and twisted.” Agoston also has versatility in mind, just in case you need a break from your simulated LSD journey: “Mood can also be used with clear lenses, for everyday living.”
Agoston goes on to describe the suggested use of such “hallucinogenic” sunglasses. “The ideal situation for use is during travel, when people listen to music, just looking out the window and watching the ever-changing sights, in perfect harmony with the music. The shape is designed with the aim of simplicity and distinctness, as if the wearer belongs to a kind of subculture” (Source). In short: the Moods are prescribed for anyone who enjoys (or needs) a taste of altered reality. (Via Fastco Design)
After stumbling across a photograph on the internet depicting people posed in a dwarf theme park, Belgian photographer Sanne De Wilde conducted a little research and discovered that the Dwarf Empire, or Kingdom of the Little People, is a real theme park that operates in the Yunnan province of China. In this park, dwarfs provide entertainment – singing, dancing, and various other forms of amusement – for tourists who visit the park. De Wilde eventually contacted the park’s manager and was invited to take photographs of the park and its 77 little people for a project she calls “The Dwarf Empire.” As soon as she arrived, she immediately felt compelled to consider questions regarding the morality of the park’s existence, namely if the workers were happy there, or if they felt more like they were being put on display and exploited. Additionally, “For me, it’s about how this kind of place can exist,” De Wilde says. “What does it tell you about a person who starts this and creates it? What are his intentions?” Founded by a tall, rich man who wanted to “do something good” for the little people, this park is a “Chinese charity dressed in commercial attire.” Much of the park appears run-down, but seems to have a solid foundation.
While she partook in the project of documenting the park, De Wilde, a tall blonde woman, found that she stood out in the park – for the tourists, she became a character in the show created at the park, something she found exhausting. She would even hide with the little people “to be free of the claws of the tourists…they want to touch you and have a part of you.” After she got home, De Wilde spent about a year culling through her images; during this time, she even received letters from some of the people claiming they’re happy and thankful to be working at the park, something that De Wilde viewed as a bit suspect.
From her statement, De Wilde writes,
“I embarked on an adventure with a handful of ethical questions about commercializing social care. Every story has two sides but in this place every question and every answer seemed contradictory. My adventure ended up as a modern anti-fairytale, a collection of images of my making, and theirs. My own trick forced upon myself.” (via lens culture and slate)