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Not Your Typical Embroidery

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Most of Ana Teresa Barboza’s embroidery work centers around the body. There are usually sharp contrasts of color imagery embedded in her work, and sometimes, she will use graphite to draw on her fabric before beginning to stitch. These mixed media pieces address the fragmentation of the body, as well as the ability to mold and sculpt our bodies, and how we use them to cultivate identities. Barboza’s work also makes us deeply aware of the internality/externality of our bodies and the primality with which they exist in relation to others.

In addition to these basic concepts, her work is often humorous. Something about embroidery in general renders its subjects playful, as it never seems to take itself too seriously. It therefore becomes the perfect medium for Barboza’s subject matter. A scene that would normally be perceived as grotesque – such as a woman pulling our her entrails – becomes absurd and funny. Perhaps it has something to do with the delicacy and softness of the form and medium. Regardless, Barboza’s work leaves me with a smile.

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David Lopera Questions Body Image Issues By Adding On The Pounds To Skinny Celebrities

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So we have all heard or read about the different scandals over celebrity photographs being leaked to people who they shouldn’t be leaked to. Whether they are nude photographs, private images, or untouched magazine cover shoots, we’ve all seen pictures of certain people that we probably shouldn’t have. Well, Spanish artist David Lopera takes this idea and pushes it to the extreme. He uses images of well known people including Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Watson, Michelle Keegan, Katy Perry, and Park Shin Hae and changes our perception of them.

With some Photoshop trickery, Lopera adds pounds to the celebrities, creating cartoonish caricatures of themselves. Promoting another type of body image, he ‘fleshes’ the women out, fetishsizing a plumper figure. Originally Lopera modified these celebrity photographs for his own amusement, but after receiving requests from other people for more transformations, he decided to up his output. He writes to Daily Mail:

Men are always writing to me asking if I can make their celebrities crushes look a bit fatter. Emma Watson, Jennifer Lawrence and Kim Kardashian are some of the most popular requests I get. These women look much better when they’re overweight. (Source)

Effectively promoting a more positive body image, he taps into our obsession with self image and vanity. He could also be fetishsizing a different type of body, but in an equally unhealthy way, but it seems to be humorous, or at least enjoyable to men and women alike. Lopera’s artist site on Deviant Art has an interesting survey explaining that most people only want to see the morphs of women (77 percent of participants want only women, and 23 percent want both men and women to put on the pounds). Perhaps you could even write to him to request your own favorite celebrity transformation…. (Via Demilked)

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Goodbye, Monroe!

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Monroe Dinos-Kaufman has been with us for just a few short weeks here at the offices, but has helped us out immensely! Monroe is on the cusp of launching his super-star art career in the big apple! You can read his abundant contributions to the B/D blog here. While perusing various sentiments to impart upon you, like: “Have a great trip to NYC!” or “Keep up the great work!” I realized that a very, very special piece of poetic poetry I discovered on the internet entitled “Special Friend Poem” (©  Sharon Degraw) might do the trick:

Our acquaintance has been only a short time,
But our time spent is so gentle on my mind.
How is it that we become so full of certain people?
Like a ray of warm sunshine
that goes on and on
never to end….
Never wanting it to end!!
Feelings so full of warmth.
Smiles so easily crossing lips.
What a WONDERFUL ACQUAINTANCE!!!

Oh yeah! Bon Voyage Monroe and thanks again for all your help! (View some of his artwork after the jump!)

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Playful Penguin Paperback Paintings

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With funny fake titles that satirize the real thing, Harland Miller paints a colorful collection of paperbacks which function as a shrine for predictable literary personalities from Waugh to Hemingway . . . and he doesn’t stop there. He also gets personal, implicating his own self-titles into the mix, adding a whole other autobiographical subtext that is both playfully light and familiarly bold.

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The Seattle Gum Wall

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If you’re like my best friend Agnes, who is such a germaphobe that she brings with her cleaning equipment on any of our vacation trips, then this post will disturb your very soul. Presenting the Seattle Gum Wall! Falling in 2nd place (after Ireland’s Blarney Stone) as voted by Tripadvisor to be one of the world’s most germ infested tourist attractions. The Gum Wall came to be in the early 1990’s when people, waiting in line to purchase theater tickets, started to stick their chewing gum to the wall to pass the time. You may be wondering why hasn’t anyone tried to clean this up in the first place, well the theater attendants have – twice! They gave up in 1999 when the wall became an official Seattle tourist attraction. I (being a notorious gum addict) must visit this wall to contribute… with Agnes and her endless stock of Purell.

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Kent Rogowski’s Book Alterations

Love these book alterations and rearrangements by New York based artist Kent Rogowski. Make sure to also check out his puzzle manipulations and inverted stuffed animals also featured on his site. (via)

“Everything that I wish I could be is an exploration of language, emotions and the desire to change and improve one’s self. There is a self-help book for almost every moment and problem in life; from relationship advice to dealing with the inevitability of death. Each large format photograph, pictures an arrangement of title pages and spines, from up to 100 self-help books that are based around a central theme. Together, the titles create larger narratives, which become portraits of emotions, people and events in life.

Because of the ubiquity of the books, an entire lifetime of events can be outlined and made to unfold using the books that were written to sooth those transitions and moments. Since advice often differs, the narratives in the images can change depending on which direction the viewer’s eye moves through the image. Some images have linear narratives (e.g.: From Birth to Death or Side by Side) while others look at patterns in language and resemble the random connections inherent in the thought process (e.g.: You and Me and Am I the only one?).

I am interested in the larger questions of how we communicate and deal with moments of pain and change and the commonalities of those experiences, as well as, the patterns and contradictions that are often inherent in language, advice and differing philosophies.”

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B/D Best of 2010 – Jeff Sonhouse

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Jeff Sonhouse creates the most tripped out jester-saint psychedelic pimps who are all standing on the verge of getting it on. Fly tinted shades, canary top hats, tight pin stripes, righteous afros, bow ties, fox pelt stoles…you get the idea!

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Jennifer Cronin

Jennifer Cronin’s narrative paintings create  an absurd mythology of the seemingly banal where anything (and sometimes nothing) can happen.

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