Photographer Endia Beal has created corporate-style portraits of white women with hairstyles often worn by black women for her series, “Can I Touch It?”. Beal was first inspired to do this project after interning in the IT department at Yale while she was there earning her M.F.A. At the time, Beal, who is tall and black, was sporting a large red afro. She stood out among her mostly shorter, white male colleagues, and one even mentioned to her that a rumor was circulating around the office that the men were curious about her hair and wanted to touch it. She eventually asked some of her male colleagues to touch her hair, and even pull it. A week later, she recorded their reactions. She wanted the men to experience something new, and they were admittedly uncomfortable.
She next sought out middle-aged women who work in the corporate world for “Can I Touch It?”. “I wanted people that had a certain idea of what you’re supposed to look like in the workspace, because it would be a challenge for them to understand what I experienced in that space…And to a degree, many young white women have shared that experience, but for older white women it’s an experience they haven’t necessarily had.”
“I said, ‘I am going to give you a black hairstyle,’ and they were like, ‘You’re going to give me cornrows?’ ” Beal recalls. “And I said, ‘No, we’re going to do finger waves.’ ‘Finger waves? What’s that? You mean from the ’20s?’ And I said, ‘These are a little bit different type of finger waves!’ ”
She says the women were excited to learn something new and to show off their hairstyles. Through this project, Beal hopes to start a conversation among people who come from various gender, race, and generational backgrounds, especially within the rigidity of a corporate environment. She is currently in North Carolina continuing this project, and is considering having the women enter and work at their offices with these new styles, after which she would record their experiences. (via slate)
Radical Friend is a directorial duo comprised of Kirby McClure and Julia Grigorian, which makes colorful music videos, commercials, and films that literally rock your socks off. By combining their obvious love for the wildest aesthetics of the late 70’s and early 80’s with the modern technology of interactivity, Radical Friend have been the only ones to really push the boundaries of how to even conceive of, let alone execute promotional standards like the music video. Their uniqueness is seriously unmatched and while a majority of people may not understand what they’re doing now, they will soon be immersed in the kind of things that Radical Friend probably dreamt of years ago. To get a small taste of Radical Friend’s world, I suggest you watch the pieces in this article and then play around with THIS interactive Black Moth Super Rainbow extravaganza.
Everyone gets annoyed by the bombardment of photos of babies on Facebook and other Social networking sites. It seems like parents want to document every smile, fall and giggle that their kids make. But what about the rest of us that don’t have kids? Well a few fun loving folks in NYC decided to fight fire with fire and create My Precious Roommate, a hilarious collection of photos taken by Molly (we only have her first name) of her roommate recreating the good, the bad, the cute, and the ugly baby photos that we all come across on Facebook. The images are somewhere between comedy skit, performance art, and too much time on their hands. We love them for their ingenuity and creative take on G rated imagery.
Currently residing in Brooklyn NY, Anthony Cudahy‘s brightly-coloured paintings depict portraits of faces abstracted and dissipated by the use of energetic brush strokes. The highly emotive work, primarily using gouache, seek to question constructs of identity through exploring moments of isolation and silence.
See more of his work after the jump, and head to his Tumblr for his breath-taking drawings.
Luca Mainini is an italian visual artist and writer who is not afraid to share his thoughts. Whether it is a bloody love for Zac Efron or lipstick crashing into the World Trade Centers, Luca is willing to push it, and I love it. This guy likes to get wild. I mainly enjoy his paparazzi project were he is shown as a “drunk and fat” mess. Plus his collage work is fun too.
PULSE Art Fair in Miami opened its doors on Dec.5th, 2013. The fifth edition of the fair brings forth an interesting mix of sophisticated, and classic works that offer a critical and progressive edge. Some of the most world-renowned artist are showcasing here, amongst them, William Eggleston, Zanele Muholi, and Robert Mapplethorpe.
Here, I have compiled a short guide of highlights that appeal to the Beautiful/Decay aesthetic:
Guatemalan artist Leandro Asoli creates these decorative, religious icons covered in colorful children’s stickers featuring some of our favorite cartoons and superheros: Superman, Dora the explorer, Spongebob, Lisa Frank, Spiderman, etc. The juxtaposition of these two things, religion and children’s television/book characters, creates interesting parallels between the concepts of idolization, religion, and popular culture.
Next, we have Moroccan artist Mounir Fatmi whom constructs lively collages out of used prayer rugs. This particular work, lends itself to heated controversy, as the usage of said rugs to make artworks is pretty much an atrocity within the Muslim faith. By using prayer rugs as his material of choice, the artist violates the religious object, leaving his audience to be exposed to a deconstruction of religious dogmas and ideologies.
The artist Stephen Irwin’s work reinterprets the erotic; by scratching away and obscuring unnecessary content from found vintage porn imagery, he constructs a more emotionally climactic vision of love making. Like faded, far away memories of sexual encounters, his images only recall the most poetic and visceral sensations: the insertion of a finger, the flicking of a tongue, private moments of masturbation.
Unlike the work of someone like Von Brandis, Irwin’s images challenge the pornographic inclination to objectify the body, evoking moments of mutual bliss that transcend the material form. Irwin’s hands, limbs, and genitalia stand in for individuals, blurring their identities and ultimately pin-pointing a moment of worshipful self-actualization. The point of orgasm is elevated to spiritual heights when mouths cry out to the heavens. In a particularly sensual piece, the careful insertion of fingers into the vagina harkens back to illustrations of the doubting Thomas fingering the wounds of Christ.
These moments of ecstasy, however, are painfully brief; body parts emerge for an infinite blankness, vanishing just as soon as they appear. A deliberately messy black marker erases the figures, leaving only shadows in its wake; again, a shaded limb fades into whiteness, as if pushed down by a firm hand on the buttocks. The artist’s choice to use vintage images operates as yet another reminder of the temporality of climax.
These images are gloriously unstable and unreliable; for many, it’s impossible to tell if the original pornography was a sketch, painting, or photograph. Here, the lines between fantasy and recollection, between the corporeal and the spiritual, are miraculously indistinguishable. (via Juxtapoz)