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Atomic Bomb Tests Recreated in Fictional Photo Series

As part of our ongoing partnership with Feature Shoot, Beautiful/Decay is sharing  Alison Zavos’ piece on photographer Clay Lipsky.

“I was raised during the height of the Cold War, when the threat of nuclear war loomed between two superpowers. The dramatized depictions in TV and film of such an apocalyptic demise both intrigued and scared me as a child. Yet the actual historical record of the atomic age was full of antiquated, black and white images that seemed dated and a world away.

This series, Atomic Overlook, recontextualizes a legacy of atomic tests in order to keep the reality of our post-atomic era fresh and omnipresent. It also speaks to the current state of the world and the voyeuristic culture we live in.

Imagine if the advent of the atomic era occurred during today’s information age. Tourists would gather to view bomb tests, at the “safe” distances used in the 1950’s, and share the resulting cell phone photos online. Broadcast media would regurgitate such visual fodder ad nauseum, bringing new levels of desensitization.

The threat of atomic weapons is as great as ever, but it is a hidden specter. Nuclear proliferation has gained even more obscurity through the “rogue” factions that can now possess them. Meanwhile America’s stockpile of weapons continues to be modernized and will probably never cease to exist. I can only hope that mankind will never again suffer the wrath of such a destructive force, but it is clear that the world would not hesitate to watch.”

Clay Lipsky is a fine art photographer & graphic designer based in Los Angeles. His photos have been exhibited in various group shows, including those at the Annenberg Space for Photography, MOPLA, Pink Art Fair Seoul, PhotoPlace and Impossible Project NYC.

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Melanie Bonajo

Melanie Bonajo’s work is stunning. Her work are like bizarre living effigies to household self-bondage via the bric-a-brac of every day life that so literally and metaphorically “tie us down.” On the one hand hilarious in their absurdity, and on the other depressing in their attempt to lay bare self, domesticity and the modern world, Bonajo’s works are impossible, sexual, beautiful and seductive. Her show opens this May 14th, at PPOW gallery.

 

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Mind-Blowing Surrealist Sand Sculptures By Carl Jara

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The incredible sand sculptures of Carl Jara more closely resemble ancient carved marble or surrealist daydreams than they do ordinary sand castles. His giant creations can reach an astounding height of fifteen feet, delightfully dwarfing beach goers and casting shadows across the sand. Jara has won several local, national, and international competitions with his powerful work.

Jara’s sculptural content seems to take a cue from his medium; each piece is devastatingly impermanent, fragile and vulnerable in the face of waves and rain. The carefully-constructed form of the sculptures express a similar evanescent quality, appearing as if they might vanish at any moment. The human body is split in two, and the flesh magically loses its materiality, intermingling with draped fabric. Here, bisecting the nude form is as simple unzipping a zipper that lines the torso; in this surreal realm, it appears as though we may shed our physical, mortal bodies like clothing.

And yet, somehow these images suggest a spiritual permanence of the creative self. Though the human figure is shown as transient, and although the artwork will surely vanish with the tides, Jara’s body of work hints at an invisible and unknown infinity. A man opens himself, revealing countless tiny selves arranged like Russian dolls. A piece titled Infinity presents a man, a philosopher maybe, holding unending manifestations of his own thought within a large, curved palm. Like grains of sand, we humans will one day be washed away, but in some surreal universe, our identities will be repeated, remembered time and again. (via Colossal)

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Portraits of Women with Vegetable Weapons

As part of our ongoing partnership with Feature Shoot, Beautiful/Decay is sharing Alison Zavos’ article on Tsuyoshi Ozawa.

Since 2001, Japanese photographer Tsuyoshi Ozawa has been traveling around the world photographing young women holding guns fashioned mainly from vegetables. As part of the process, the ingredients are chosen by Ozawa’s models and make up a hot-pot dish native to their country. After the portrait is completed, the “gun” is disassembled and Ozawa and his model share a meal made up of its parts.

Vegetable Weapon, a collaborative project promoting peace, will be on display at Misa Shin Gallery in Tokyo from September 21-November 2, 2012.

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Stéphane Massa-Bidal

Stéphane Massa-Bidal

Stéphane Massa-Bidal imagines if books about the internet were published in the 1950’s/60’s. They’re so cool, heck, I’d reckon I might try the Internets if it’s just that easy!

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Ara Dymond and Jesse Willenbring Show

 

Ara Dymond and Jesse Willenbring have a great show of their paintings and sculptures up at the Laurel Gitlen gallery in NYC. Check it out if you’re in the area!

“In this overcrowded, if appealing, two-person show, the eye ricochets between Dymond’s jocular sculptures made of synthetic materials and Willenbring’s screen-printed doodles on wood. Several of Dymond’s lime-green and pink plinths display images of absurdly cute dogs printed on aluminum cutouts; others sport digitally carved designs reportedly inspired by Lucio Fontana. One catchy drawing, sketched by Willenbring straight onto the wall, repeats a motif of overlapping light bulbs—an A.D.H.D. bright idea. Through Oct. 14.” – The New Yorker

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Josh Greet- Punks Lost In The Woods

Josh Greet photography

Josh Greet‘s photography has a European post-punk feel to them that I’m really digging. I especially love the photo of the black metal pet rat funeral after the jump. It’s pretty metal!

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An Amusing Look At Behind-The-Scenes Playboy Photoshoots (NSFW)

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If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to photograph for Playboy, ponder no further. Dutch photographer and art director Patrick Van Dam has the ultimate behind-the-scenes look at the infamous magazine in his book, Playboy Behind The Scenes. Published in 2011, it’s full of images that capture the awkward and unsexy moments that comes with the making of every sexy centerfold.

Seeing these images takes some of the allure and fantasy out of Playboy photos. Pulling back the smoke and mirrors, it reminds us they have their share of unflattering moments, too. It takes the proper lighting, strategic positioning, and even water pouring to make things appear just so. Nothing is as glamorous as it seems.

Van Dam directed nude photo shoots for Dutch Playboy for seven years, so he has no doubt seen it all. He even had Hugh Hefner write the foreword for his book:

In these compelling images, Patrick has captured the soul of the Playboy shoot and offered a true celebration of, and homage to, the people who make these beautiful things happen. Vividly here is the intimacy, the fun, and the dedication it takes to create the very best in contemporary erotica. And along the way, true to his calling, he gives the reader a peek behind the curtain of the Playboy lifestyle. (Via Featureshoot)

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