Years before the project Miradors became reality, photographer Erwan Fichou saw a man standing in a tree that looked like a UFO. This image stuck with him and he eventually turned his memory into a reality, working with gardeners to design topiaries of varying shapes and sizes. Afterwards, he invited people off the street to climb those trees and photographed them at the top.This strange and light-hearted series illustrates the interesting progression of what happens when we have a memory. Often times we see things as we walk down the street, file them in our brain, and move on. So, it’s refreshing to see that Fichou returned to this moment and developed something completely new from it. He touches on this idea in a short statement about his work:
What’s interesting about pictures isn’t their function, to represent reality, but their dynamic potential, their ability to spark and build projections, interactions, narrative frameworksmechanisms that structure reality[ …]an image is the result of movements that are temporarily sedimentary or crystallized in it[ …] Beyond metaphors, we must understand that, paradoxically, our contemporary sensitivity predisposes us to prophesy, not history. We live in a world of images that precede reality; we’re not looking to see, unless it’s déjà-vu. (Via This is Paper)
David Lemm of Edinburgh, Scotland, has created a video response to the play “Smoke” by Rupert Thomson. Using a beautiful mix of color, pixels and sound, Lemm shows us quite a compelling visualization. Having not seen the aforementioned play, one wonders what, besides smoking, the piece truly means to the artist.
Today is your lucky day if you’ve ever wondered what the inside of a brothel looks like. Photographer Jasper White takes us on an intimate tour of brothels where colored lights are king and mundane things like paper towels, bed sheets, and body lotions turn into charged objects that take your imagination down a dark and erie path.
Reva Castillenti is a Brooklyn-based artist who creates gruesome textile sculptures that focus on the gritty, physical side life. “Visceral” is a word that’s often over-used within the lexicon of art-speak, but I think Castillenti’s work merits the description. We’ve all experimented with stuffed stocking figures before, but I’m not sure we’re all as wonderfully twisted as she seems to be. Castillenti is currently showing a small number of works at Illuminated Metropolis Gallery in New York. That show, entitled Mercy, is up until the 29th, and features minimalist drawings and gouache works in addition to the artist’s singular sculpture.
Qwill, 20, Northfield, MN, I feel like my gender is kind of a pendulum. Sometimes I feel more feminine, sometimes I feel more masculine, but I definitely swing somewhere between the genders. I don’t really have a pronoun that I prefer, so people just always use female pronouns. It’s kind of complicated if I say I want people to use all the pronouns.
Patrick, 18, My father and I had one talk about me being gay, when I was bringing the trash to a recycling place. He told me, “I used to think that way when I was your age until I met the right woman, and then I never looked back.” He thought he was gay and then one girl asked him out. He never had a boyfriend.
Maya, 18, New York, NY, I was just elected student council president. My platform is that the school is not as perfect as we think. Some people are racist. Some people are like, “She’s black and a lesbian and she’s our president.” Some people are really up in arms. There are a lot of people who have been against it. The kids who don’t really like me wrote “secession” on their Facebook status. If prep schools are like the houses in Harry Potter, I’m friends with Gryffindor and those kids are Slytherin.
We Are The Youth is a photo-documentary and essay project that compiles the stories of LGBTQ youth from around North America. It’s a simple project that packs an honest punch. Each story is personal and demonstrates the completely different experiences of the participants. They speak about the need for role models or their role in becoming one, about their own struggles with their identity, where they situate themselves on the gender/sexuality scale, and how that can change from day to day. The project is a collaborative effort between Laurel Golio who takes the photographs, Diana Scholl who writes the biographic essays, and of course, the LGBTQ youth. (Via Lenscratch)
The work of photographer Nadia Lee Cohen is a stimulating, modern take on vintage American and British style. Her diorama-esque compositions — with their nude, cigarette-smoking femme fatales and garish 1950s/60s/70s iconography — explode with color, attitude, and fetishized, retro-suburban life. Scattered throughout are bold insertions of cultural, consumer artifacts, from packs of Marlboro cigarettes, to Coca-Cola bottles, to lip-shaped telephones, which further emphasize the images’ glossy and style-saturated appeal. David Lynch and Alfred Hitchcock fans will certainly be able to identify a few crafty allusions; whether it is red curtains, or birds hovering menacingly in the background, Cohen has seamlessly meshed her own cinematic style with that of influential film directors, thereby creating a clever and campy pastiche of Western arts and culture.
When I asked Cohen what drives her work, she expressed that she primarily hopes that people enjoy the aesthetics of her photography, which is a “humorous, tongue-in-cheek” response to the way she views the world. And, aside from creating fascinating portraits of what she identifies as “strong, quirky, dark characters,” Cohen’s exploration of retro aesthetics through a modern lens provides a visible commentary on the way styles and cultural tastes have shifted over the decades — all from an alternative and progressive point of view; her work represents a range of personal styles, as well as a variety of body shapes and sizes. “I hope to convey a wider message of changing our perception of taste in terms of modern beauty ideals in fashion,” she explains, “which is why I tend to look to the interesting people around me rather than casting from agencies.”
Cohen has recently finished her MA in Fashion Photography at the London College of Fashion, and judging by her success and the in-depth nature of her style, she will be creating a lot of exciting work in 2015. Be sure to check out her website and Instagram. More adventurous (and amusingly retrospective) images after the jump. (Via Huffington Post)
I came across this John Galliano couture collection from 2006 and couldn’t help but laugh. I’ve been thinking about the great question of war & peace ever since hearing snippets from a rare house debate on the subject on NPR the other day. I don’t really have any answers on the state of the nation….apart from presenting Galliano’s bedraggled mud-slang revolutionary rockers doused in oil make-up, flip-flops, Galliano branded life vests (?), Michael Jackson-inspired spike shoulder pads and fake beards. Is Galliano lampooning the ridiculously luxe couture high-fashion world? Or our mythological idealizations of fighting desperados? Perhaps Mad Max is upon us.