Martin Strauss is a Berlin-based photographer whose artistic imagination knows no limits; whether he is shooting high fashion, lingerie, or creative portraiture, he always aims to “push the boundaries of photography a bit further” (Source). His images are consistently beautiful and surreal — two words which describe this particular series, entitled Irresistible. Throughout the images, models wearing leather and couture dresses pose in front of gothic backdrops; with their faces ensconced in masks suggestive of barbaric torture devices, they resemble predatory machines. The result is a set of photographs that are both realistic and fantasy-like, beautiful in the danger they pose.
As a long-time admirer of fashion photography, Strauss wanted to create his own vision of it by adding a new, experimental dimension: a style that he identifies as “dark beauty.” At the core of his concept was a biomechanical theme, a violent and industrial aesthetic in harsh juxtaposition with the soft beauty that often characterizes fashion photography. Strauss was not alone in the creation of this dynamic and narrative-rich series; working alongside him was Fercho Ma Do — an artist known in Berlin for his theatrical and SFX makeup — who helped design the masks and also provided ideas of his own. “Our creative work was kind of irresistible,” Strauss explains, speaking of their collaborative effort, and also of the reasoning behind the title, which was well-chosen; the series’ brilliant combination of beauty with dark eroticism and the macabre makes it visually and mentally engrossing.
The dresses featured in Irresistible were provided by Nicole Hellrung from Struppets, an avant-garde German fashion label. The model was Deborah Frey, who played the role of the biomechanical “mistress” perfectly. Check out the rest of Strauss’ work on his website and Facebook, and more images after the jump.
Graphic Design can often get the bad rap of lacking soul or substance. Designer Brent Holloman, however, created a series with heart. When his daughter was born in 2012 he decided to create a new silhouette of her each week. Ranging from illustration to sculpture, each week brings a profile of his little girl. These are a sampling of the many pieces he created. Holloman comments on the series:
” With the arrival of our first baby girl there is one thing I hear all the time… “They grow up so fast.” So I decided to start a project where I can mark the stages of her growth by doing a silhouette of her each week for her first year (or as long as I can keep it going).”
A Reason to Live Lowbrow Art Exhibition opens this Friday, June 4th, at Coalition in little old San Luis Obispo, CA. The DIY-style event, intended to inspire future collaboration & support for this small but thriving local art scene, will exhibit the most “interesting and provocative” artists from the area. The Lowbrow show is part of the city’s Art After Dark gallery walk – held the first friday of every month – and will certainly be a stroll off the beaten coastal-landscape painting path. Featured artists include Lisa Harrison, Steve Taggard, Gary Ellsworth (a.k.a. Sawdust), Joshua Jesse, Brittany App & more. Local art, live music, great company and some good old fashioned lowbrow fun!
Another day spent working on the next season of the B/D Apparel Line. We’ll be releasing our fall line in less than two weeks and will follow up in November with our Holiday line. As you can see we make a list and check it twice. Here are some highlights from today…
In a sociopolitical environment wherein Western music was banned, music-lovers in 1950s Russia (who were called stilyagi, similar to our modern-day “hipsters”) found an ingenious way to pirate the popular tunes they loved: by printing the music on exposed x-ray film salvaged from hospital waste bins. The process was unrefined, but subversive; as writer Anya von Bremzen explains,
They would cut the X-ray into a crude circle with manicure scissors and use a cigarette to burn a hole. You’d have Elvis on the lungs, Duke Ellington on Aunt Masha’s brain scan — forbidden Western music captured on the interiors of Soviet citizens. (Source)
The name given to these bootlegged records was, appropriately, “Bone Music.” The sound quality likely wasn’t excellent, but such piracy was as much a political act as the desire to listen to one’s favourite Western jazz or rock ‘n’ roll — it was a way to cleverly challenge a system that sought to regulate entertainment and youth culture. The Bone Music phenomenon was discovered by the authorities and made illegal in 1958.
The Bone Music records today are curious works of art; you can see the grooves and the circular shapes of the discs superimposed over the bones and viscera of some long-dead stranger. The concept is morbid, and beautiful. As József Hajdú intriguingly points out, Bone Music has a “double function of being both [a] sound record as well as [a] record of the internal human body; images of ribs, skulls and limbs [are] broken by sound waves and shattered by music inscribed onto the surface” (Source). What this macabre association ultimately explores is how we use our material bodies in the creation of art and self-expression, and how, after we are dead, such art becomes cultural artifacts for future generations. We imprint our historical, bodily subversion onto the art we make; and therein lies the beauty of Bone Music.
Check out Hajdú’s page for more scans and insightful thoughts about Bone Music. NPR’s article is also an excellent resource, and it explores many other ways in which people discretely dissented in Soviet-era Russia. (Via Colossal)
Merging art, fashion, and feminism, Heather Marie Scholl uses hand-embroidered textiles and knit works of art to make social statements. In her latest project, “Sometimes It’s Hard to Be a Woman,” Scholl combines her own “personal narrative with larger conversations about the body, women, feminism, identity, and sexuality” to address male-on-female domestic violence and empower its victims.
Ironically alluding to Tammy Wynette’s song, “Stand by Your Man,” and imagined as a means of visual storytelling, the fashion installation project will present several of Scholl’s creations, spanning embroidery, clothing, and sculpture. The subjects of the garments and textiles featured in “Sometimes It’s Hard to Be a Woman”—which Scholl playfully refers to as her “second coming out”—range from portraits of women to quotations both empowering and unsettling. Given its highly potent and deeply personal content, it is no wonder that Scholl describes the sentiment behind the project as “an amazing ‘fuck you’ attitude.”
Be sure to check out Scholl’s intricate and empowering pieces at FiveMyles Gallery in Brooklyn, New York. “Sometimes It’s Hard to Be a Woman” will be on view through November 7.
In Warner Bro. Pictures and Legendary Pictures new movie Pacific Rim, Director Guillermo del Toro, takes us to a future where mankind is on the brink of extinction at the hands of a race of monstrous creatures called the Kaiju. Millions of humans have lost their lives to these monsters and humandkind is embroiled in a mounting apocalypse. Legions of monstrous kaiju came from the sea, starting a war that would consume humanity’s resources for years on end. To combat the giant Kaiju, a special type of weapon was devised: massive robots, called Jaegers, which are controlled simultaneously by two pilots whose minds are locked in a neural bridge. But even the Jaegers are proving nearly defenseless in the face of the relentless Kaiju.The fate of the world rests on two unlikely heroes who will man a super-robot weapon and try to tip the scale back into humankind’s favor.
The Pacific Rim trailer is chock full of enough giant man-made weaponized robots and Godzilla-inspired monsters to thrill any action adventure science-fiction fan.