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Aerial Photographs Show How Humans Alter Natural Landscapes

s03_00000025 “Circular layouts of homes near I-75, southwest of Fort Myers, Florida. Map. (© Google)”s19_00000002
“Canals and homes in Charlotte Park, south of Port Charlotte, Florida. MapStreet View.(© Google)s01_00000022“A section of a partially built residential project with only two houses in place, near Fort Myers, Florida. Map. (© Google)”s07_00000027“A densely built gated community in Bonita Springs, Florida. MapStreet View. (© Google)”

In reaction to a story by NPR’s Planet Money team about the financial collapse and its effect on Southwest Florida housing market, the The Big Picture photography column at Boston.com spent some time scouring Google Earth to document exactly how man-made structures and development planning has altered the land, coast and the way we cover that natural beauty we desire so much.

The resulting pictures show, in stunning simplicity, just how alien the natural landscape of Florida (or most of the Earth for that matter) has become. Ranging from densely-packed communities to barely finishing plotting, the photographs show the natural beauty of the land being lost, and mostly replaced by poorly-planned, short-term solution living situations. They also simultaneously insinuate humanity conquering nature like a plague of locusts, as well as demonstrate our efforts being over-run by nature, like every civilization of the past. (via boston.com)

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Alexandra Mackenzie

 

I could spend months staring at Alexandra Mackenzie’s ultra detailed drawings. Featuring tribal shamans, flesh eating wolfs, and tiny unicorns running around in balls of hair, Alexandra’s drawings have something for everyone. The only thing missing is that there aren’t more drawing on Alexandra’s site. While the drawings are in short supply she does have a great series of collage work that relate to the drawings in a very interesting way.

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Lauren Roche’s Visceral, Evocative, And Singular Paintings

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Two-Dark-Horses

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lauren-2 figures and an animal_4_770In Lauren Roche‘s paintings, like the best portraiture, there exists a story found in discrepant details. Amidst heavily applied broad stroke of paint and drips, black dots appear to be lactating from human and animals, insinuating teets as opposed to breasts. Teeth are bared in grinless maws not typically associated with people or their pets. And yet there exists an honest and humble beauty in Roche’s rendering of her subjects. Explaining that many subjects are taken from faces of friends and pets, as well as old photographs used for reference, the Minneapolis-based artist adds,

“The figures in my images are facets of my subconscious and take action in a pictorial language and don’t transfer into names for me. I like to leave the interpretation of personality up to the viewer, because that’s what I do.”

Roche’s paintings possess a rawness that cannot be denied, balanced in equal measure by a deft rendering of facial expressions. Perhaps the beauty of these paintings comes from their singular nature, and their anachronistic charm, evocative of a different era of capturing images. When asked the purpose of a focus on portraiture, particularly in an uploadable Digital Age, Roche responds,

“The purpose of portraiture is to give the maker and viewer the space for an interpretation of the subject that is private and flexible, fluid and idiosyncratic. Its difficult to compare portraiture to a cell phone picture because the process is so different. Drawing portraits is like a form of meditation and reflection for me and taking a cell phone picture feels more like a superficial gesture to prove that I’m enjoying myself.”

Roche’s work will be featured in the upcoming Two Dark Horses at Bockley Gallery in Minneapolis, MN, alongside Andrew Mazorol and Tynan Kerr (who when painting collectively go by AMTKpreviously featured here) and Lindsay Rhyner. The exhibition, named after one of Roche’s paintings (top of page) opens this Friday, March 21st and runs through April 26th, 2014.

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Rhinestoned Fish And Painted Taxidermy

Cassandra Smith sculpture7 Cassandra Smith sculpture8

Cassandra Smith sculpture6

The artwork of Cassandra Smith exists in the space between juxtapositions.  Taxidermied animals are often a bit creepy.  However, Smith’s stuffed forest friends are also playfully decorated – fish covered in rhinestones, and fur in bright paint.  The natural plays with the synthetic, old with the new, and utilitarian with the decorative.  She says of her work:

“My work  is about manipulations and transformation. It is about exploring the ways that I can enhance and change found objects to give them something they did not have in their former life.”  [via]

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Bill FitzGibbons’s Technicolor Underpass Installation

Using two underpasses at Commerce Street and Houston Street Installation artist Bill FitzGibbons’ Light Channels illuminates a visual barrier between San Antonio’s Convention Center and a shopping center that had minimal foot traffic with a neon hyperspectrum of light.  Light Channels encourages visitors to cross under the highway, through the barrier, opening a new flow of customers moving through the usually dark and uninviting underpass. (via)

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Kurt Franz

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In 2007, Kurt Franz traveled on a bus across America and Western Europe studying city peripheries where construction and entropic sites become a common occurrence. Along the way he picked up enough materials to make some intriguing work.

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Anton Abo and Ooli Mos

Together, artists Anton Abo and Ooli Mos make up Orka Collective. The like-minded, Eastern block natives draw inspiration from nature, animals, people, and magic in the creation of their predominantly black-and-white illustrations.

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The Sensual Ugliness of Brendan Danielsson’s Portraits

Brendan Danielsson‘s portraits are wonderfully ugly.  Though each piece incorporates the image of a sole person, there is plenty of conflict.  The pieces easily explore ideas of beauty and ugliness; they are at once sensual and repulsive.  While appearing almost alien each portrait is somehow still strangely familiar.  Danielsson is able to portray each ‘character’ as clearly part of a larger hidden narrative.

If you can’t pull your eyes away from Brendan Danielsson’s work, make sure to check out the Beautiful/Decay Book: 9.  The book features the paintings and drawings of Danielsson along with many other artists, designers, illustrators, and writers.

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