Since the end of 1989, Michal Macku has used his own creative technique which he has named “Gellage” (the ligature of collage and gelatin). The technique consists of transfer the exposed and fixed photographic emulsion from its original base on paper. This transparent and plastic gelatin substance makes it possible to reshape and reform the original images, changing their relationships and endowing them with new meanings during the transfer.
“I use the nude human body (mostly my own) in my pictures. Through the photographic process [of Gellage], this concrete human body is compelled to meet with abstract surroundings and distortions. This connection is most exciting for me and helps me to find new levels of humanness in the resulting work. I am always seeking new means of expression and, step by step, I am discovering almost unlimited possibilities through my work with loosened gelatin. Photographic pictures mean specific touch with concrete reality for me, one captured level of real time. The technique of Gellage which I am using helps me to take one of these “time sheets” and release a figure, a human body, from it, causing it to depend on time again. Its charm is similar to that of cartoon animation, but it is not a trick. It is very important for me to be aware of the history of a picture and to have a sense of direct contact with its reality. My work places “body pictures” in new situations, new contexts, new realities, causing their “authentic” reality to become relative. I am interested in questions of moral and inner freedom. I do what I feel, and only then do I begin to meditate on what the result is. I am often surprised by the new connections I find in it. Naturally, I start out with a concrete intention, but the result is often very different. And there, I believe, lies a hitch. One creates to communicate what can not be expressed in any other way. Then comes the need to describe, to define.” (via)
Ryan Schude is an advertising, editorial, and fine-art photographer from Los Angeles. According to the artist, his current hobbies appear to revolve around arbitrary vacations, stand-up comedy, dining out, and Future Islands. What Schude neglects to mention is that he has also been making spectacular photographic tableau images for years. Similar to a movie still, each photo is full of vivid characters, humor, action, and story.
Europe-Europe is a series of porcelain figurines created by the collective AES+F – a group made up of the artists Tatiana Arzamasova, Lev Evzovitch, Evgeny Svyatsky, and Vladimir Fridkes. A first quick glance they may seem like typical decorative figurines. However, it soon becomes clear that something is terribly/wonderfully wrong. The collection, exhibited together in a case, seems like an orgy – people caught in various sexual situations.
Yet, something else makes this series especially interesting: the characters are often thought of disliking or even hating each other in real life situations. A Neo-Nazi strokes the locks of a Hasidic Jewish boy, sweat shop workers pet their capitalist supervisor, a police officer fondles a rioter. While these can easily be read as a playful and optimistic depiction of global unity, a sinister feeling lingers on these figurines. It seems as likely that these hateful feelings are depicted as a sexual tension. Political power struggles are illustrated as sexual power struggles.
Premier website builder Made With Color and Beautiful/Decay have teamed up again to bring you exclusive artist features. We show you exciting artists and designers who use Made With Color to create a clean and modern website. But it doesn’t just help artists create a minimal, mobile-responsive website; Made With Color also allows them to do it in only a few minutes without have to know any coding.This week we’re excited to share the work of Made With Color user Francisco Alarcon Ruiz.
In Francisco Alarcon Ruiz’s work one finds a surprising harmony between nature and technology. Ruiz brings digital techniques such as routers, 3D printers, CAD and animation software and seamlessly blends them with wood and other natural materials to create abstractions that look like a futuristic archeological dig. The surface of each piece is carved and scraped by machines exposing a hyper spectrum of color that was once hidden. Using chance and randomness to his advantage he intentionally adds a method that can potentially add errors. These elements of chance don’t hold his work back. In fact they add a playful element to the work that brings about unique elements that might not otherwise appear. The artist states
‘My work oscillates between contingency and control, visualized through material experiments resulting from new techniques that I develop to negotiate with the representation of abstraction.’
We have featured Daniel Kukla‘s Captive Landscapes project here in the past. In his newest project entitled The Edge Effect Kukla utilizes a mirrored effect to reveal new compositions within environments. Using nothing but a large mirror and a painters easel Daniel forces an Edge Effect. This term is used in the field of ecological sciences to describe the juxtaposition that results in the meeting of two distinct ecosystems. He describes the process as “Using a single visual plane, this series of images unifies the play of temporal phenomena, contrasts of color and texture, and natural interactions of the environment itself.”
In her series, Real American Beauty, photographer and filmmaker Liza Mandelup invites us to follow her on a challenge to define the word Beauty. Throughout the series, we travel with Mandelup to different regions of the country where she exposes each place for its own unique glamor.
The first episode takes us to Mr @ Ms Hair Studio in South Central, LA. Here we meet a group of women who speak about their time spent getting dolled up as therapeutic revival. The second episode brings us to a prom focused suburb in Long Island, New York. There we meet a town of mothers obsessed with their daughters’ ability to fit in. In the third, most recent episode, we are introduced to a boxing community of young Cuban men in Miami, FL. The members yearn to look tough and to stand out (and believe they can do so with the perfect hair cut).
Through her short documentary series, Mandelup stimulates us to question if there is such thing as a singular beauty. Her work hints that the notion of beauty is in no way universal. Her series conveys to us that, possibly, our perceptions of beauty are ingrained in us no differently than our senses of right and wrong. Maybe our aesthetic prerogatives are just as complicated as any other set of ideologies. Here we see that the concept of style is just as vastly extensive as identity itself. Perhaps Liza Mandelup is showing us that the word “beauty” has itself become obsolete.
The work of Italian artist Franco Clun may lead you to believe he’s a photographer. Clun’s artwork, though, are created simply by putting pencil to paper. Clun carefully crafts each drawing to an unbelievable realism. Each drawing he completes seems to expand on the skill of the previous one. He says, “For each new drawing I dedicate more time and attention and I try to push forward my technical limitations. I learn something new every time I take a pencil in my hand.” [via]