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Roger Minick’s “Sightseers” Photos From The 1970s Take You Back In Time

sightseers

sightseers

sightseers

Roger Minick

 

While teaching at the Ansel Adams Workshops in Yosemite National Park in the 1970s Roger Minick began photographing sightseers.  Interested in this American activity Minick wanted to capture the “cacophony of clicking shutters” and waves of tourists seeking photographic proof that they had made it to a famous vista.

Minick’s photographs portray unique narratives of what is mainly America’s middle-class.  Poignant and humorous all at once, the images show varied individuals with intriguing and sometimes seemingly strange stories.  What is interesting is that, so far as a viewer can tell, all the subjects have only one thing in common: their desire to be in famous places in nature.  Sometimes stereotyped Minick’s images successfully portray the American tourist as being wholly distinct.

Moreover, set against iconic backdrops the images become more than just portraits.  They demonstrate a juxtaposition of nature and culture.  As David Pagel wrote in the LA Times in 1997, “these supple works use the discomfort most people feel when confronted by nature’s inhuman scale as a metaphor for the precariousness of culture in a democratic society. Awkward and uncertain, sometimes fun and at other times frightening, this quiet anxiety is a big part of these pictures’ power.”

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Lucy MacLeod

Straight from Scotland we bring you the gorgeously drawn illustrations by the talented Lucy MacLeod.

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Susan Copich Stages A Darkly Humorous And Disturbing Family Life In “Domestic Bliss”

Bath Time

Bath Time

Mommy Time

Mommy Time

Happy Days

Happy Days

Reaching middle-age, photographer Susan Copich was feeling disillusioned with her acting career, disenchanted with her marriage, and, when she noticed her absence from every family photo, as if she were disappearing. Her solution was to create the series “Domestic Bliss,” staged photos featuring her in darkly humorous scenes from an exaggerated life.

“I use proverbs, idioms, and biblical scriptures as a conduit to reach my inner creativity while grounding it to something real. Social observation continues to fuel my inspiration. The use of humor allows me to mock the worlds I traipse through while permitting the viewer to live vicariously through the character. I project my thoughts into a frozen a moment in time, allowing the story to continually unfold in front of you.”

She tackles topics like unsupervised children with access to guns, women and food, and homicidal anger, as well as lighter topics such as Christmas cards and crying over spilt milk. Some of the images are very dark, indeed, such as “Bath Time” with its implication of double murder/suicide, and “Anger Management,” which depicts Copich, with unkempt hair and Diane von Furstenberg dress, in the act of wringing the family dog’s neck in front of her daughters.

“I dwell in the dark thoughts and recesses of my mind to create character and subject, in order to project them into a frozen moment of time, allowing the story to continue to unfold bilaterally for the viewer. I feel a certain freedom to live vicariously through these characters to engage, seek to navigate (and, no less, avoid), both my own personal imperatives as woman, artist, mother, and wife, as well as those – personal, social and cultural – that are imposed on me by others.”

The photos are funny and disturbing, polarizing and attention-grabbing. It seems that Susan Copich is in no danger of disappearing any time soon.

All photos by Susan Copich, courtesy of Moen Mason Gallery. (Via Demilked)

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Chuck Close And 10 Other Amazing Photorealist Painters

Chuck Close, self-portrait, 1968

Chuck Close, self-portrait, 1968

Bryan Drury, oil on wood

Bryan Drury, oil on wood

Jason de Graaf

Jason de Graaf

Photorealism, also known as Super-Realism, New Realism, Sharp Focus Realism or Hyper-Realism, involves artists employing photographs to create their paintings.  The style evolved out of Pop art as a sort of resistance to Abstract Expression and Minimalism in the late 1960s and early 1970s.  Photorealist artists create works that are hyper illusionistic; compelling viewers to wonder and marvel at the work’s resemblance to reality. Employing a variety of techniques artists seek to generate paintings with a high level of representational verisimilitude.  Photo realists use the camera or photographs to gather information.  They may also rely on a mechanical device to transfer the image to the canvas, such as a projector, though the artist still requires a high level of skill to complete the work.  Usually employing multiple photographs, artists involved with the style are interested in technical or pictorial challenges that might include unique surfaces or textures.

Pioneers of the movement include painters such as Richard Estes, Robert Bechtle and Tom Blackwell.  One of the best-known photorealist painters, Chuck Close, works using a gridded photograph.  A  spinal artery collapse in 1988 left Close severely paralyzed.  After the injury Close continued to paint, creating large portraits in low-resolution grid squares created by an assistant.  From afar, these squares appear as a unified image, but in pixelated form.

Today there are a myriad of artists practicing photorealism including Jason de Graaf, Alison Van Pelt, Paul Cadden, David Kassan, Gregory Thielker, Diego Fazio, Bryan Drury and Ben Weiner .  With the advancement of technology, contemporary photo realist artists are able to achieve paintings that exceed the capabilities of photography—capturing details the lens may not, or achieving an extraordinary level of precision.  Often these photo realists are referred to as hyperrealists as the images resemble one, or an amalgamation of, high-resolution photographs.  Inspiring and impressive, photo realists’ works tease the imagination and challenge perception.

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Terrifying Barbie Tidal Wave Composed Of 5,000 Dolls

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For the artist Annette Thas, Barbie is a disturbingly bittersweet symbol of childhood nostalgia and longing; for installation piece “Wave I,” she uses between 3,000 and 5,000 barbie dolls to build a sculptural wave, re-appropriating the doll as a means of translating her earliest memories, scenes which now flood her after returning to Belgium to care for her ill sister. Her sister’s illness, she explains, was related to the childhood they shared, one that was marked in part by the death of her brother.

For the artist, the wave is meant to convey her own relationship to overwhelming memories; it is 4 meters wide and stands at 3 meters tall, forcing viewers to be encased completely within its depths. The piece seems to swell with cascading blond hair, forever caught at the terrifying moment before its breaking. Adding to its realism, Thas chose to exhibit it on the beach as part of 2014’s Sculpture by the Sea amidst the sounds and smells of real waves.

The barbies in the piece, wild hair tangled and stripped of their clothing, do indeed seem ominous, but they are also startlingly sympathetic. They are second-hand toys, once loved but eventually discarded. They have endured a sort of violence, having been scarred by knives and bite marks. Each one has a poignant narrative all her own; one doll simply bears the words “please love me” on her chest. The plastic toys, symbolic of the scores of children who once owned them, are somehow lonesome now, robbed of childhood’s affections. Their demanding presence is urgent and desperate, their blue eyed faces pressing us to remember both the magical and painful bits of our youths. (via Design Boom)

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Celebrity Fad Diets Recreated As Beautiful Still Lifes by Dan Bannino

Beyoncé Knowles - “Master cleanse diet,” lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne pepper, salt, and laxative herbal tea

Beyoncé Knowles – “Master cleanse diet,” lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne pepper, salt, and laxative herbal tea

Bill Clinton - “Cabbage diet,” cabbage soup, mixed with other vegetables.

Bill Clinton – “Cabbage diet,” cabbage soup, mixed with other vegetables.

Luigi Cornaro - “Sober Life,” fifteenth-century Venetian nobleman, 400ml of solid food or eggs and 500ml wine.

Luigi Cornaro – “Sober Life,” fifteenth-century Venetian nobleman, 400ml of solid food or eggs and 500ml wine.

Lord Byron - “Romantic poet’s diet,” potatoes in vinegar and soda water.

Lord Byron – “Romantic poet’s diet,” potatoes in vinegar and soda water.

Whether you find it oddly comforting or just downright strange, fad diets have existed long before our time. Photographer Dan Bannino documents the temporary eating habits of celebrities as far back as Henry VIII and as recent as Beyonce. He goes beyond simple tablet settings, however, and crafts moody, rich-looking scenes that are luscious in their color and texture. Bannino describes the inspiration for his series entitled Still Diet, writing:

With this series my aim was to capture the beauty that lies in this terrible constriction of diets and deprivation, giving them the importance of an old master’s painting. I wanted to make them significant, like classic works of arts that are becoming more and more weighty as they grow older. My aim was to show how this weirdness hasn’t changed even since the 15th century. (Via Artnet)

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These Illustrations Were “Painted” With Microbes And Bacterias By Microbiologists

ASM - event 2 ASM - event 1 ASM - event 13 ASM - event 4

Microbes as paint and a petri dish as a canvas. These are the conditions in which biologists and artists collaborated together to create organic and innovative pieces of art. Organized by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), the ‘Agar Art contest’ called all ASM members to demonstrate by a visual expression of their science the beauty of bacterias. The rendering of the contest led to entertaining designs and for some cases, deeper and profound interpretations.

If we look at the end results on the ASM Facebook page, without knowing the origin of the work, we could have guessed it was achieved by drawing and writing with colored sharpies on a gel texture. It’s astonishing and amazingly well done. The winners, microbiologist Mehmet Berkmen and artist Maria Penil won twice.

First with their ‘Cell to Cell’ design, a symmetrical design in orange and fuchsia colors. The captions explain the colors were obtained by isolating ‘yellow Nesterenkonia, orange Deinococcus and Sphingomonas’. Who knew bacteria existed in such superb tones?
The duo also won with ‘Hunger Games’, a 3D skeleton face literally symbolizing life and death. As explained in the description, the main bacteria which forms the textured effect of the eyes, nose and mouth grows in defense to a famine condition within its environment. Death had to be created first to generate life. The examination of the biological world via bacterias not only produced surprising designs, it also created a space for a spiritual introspection. (via Junk Culture).

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Awesome Video Of The Day: Fruit Sell Insurance

This animation by Julien Nantiec has to be  one of the coolest insurance commercial’s i’ve ever seen. Great typography, playful characters and punched up colors take a boring subject matter and make it a pleasure to watch. I don’t even think the Geico Gecko can top this! Watch the full commercial after the jump.

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