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Seung-Hwan Oh Fuses Art With Microbiology In Bacteria Manipulated Photographs

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bacteria  Photography Seung-Hwan Oh - Photography

Using homegrown bacteria, photographer Seung-Hwan Oh warps and manipulates his photographs, surrendering his art to a higher ecological order. Oh, who also goes by the name Tonio Oh, explains that his intention is to “explore the impermanence of matter as well as the material limitations of photography.” It brings the artist’s studio into the laboratory, marvelously blending the organic and the artificial.

Oh’s website describes the process:

“As the microbes consume light-sensitive chemical over the course of months or years, the silver halides destabilize, obfuscating the legibility of foreground, background, and scale.”

It’s an interesting approach to photography that takes a normally still medium and adds a dimension of something active, live, and dynamic. When you view Oh’s photographs, the question is no longer the significance of what is depicted; instead, what catches your eye is the tension between what is shown and what is already lost. Though art is naturally created to be consumed, in this case, the art itself is the act of consumption, the parts of the photographs that have been literally eaten away by a relentless force of nature. The result, in Oh’s word, can be witnessed as something that is “entangled creation and destruction that inevitably is ephemeral”.

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French Artist Pez Transforms Your Favorite Pop Culture Icons Into Dark And Twisted Drawings

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Have you ever wondered what your favorite cartoon character would look like as a bad guy/girl? French artist Pez has taken on this challenge and recreated sinister versions of popular animated icons. Using a technique which recalls r. crumb he renders evil versions of Tweety, SpongeBob, Snoopy, Homer, Mario and more. These give a glimpse into the character’s darkside which is all done in the name of fun. What does Tweety think about when he’s in a bad mood? Or is Mario and Buzz Lightyear covered in tattoos underneath their bulky uniforms.

The prevailing theme on the newly redone figures seems to be actual graffiti. Snoopy’s doghouse looks like an old tenement building on New York’s Lower East Side covered in bones. While SpongeBob has turned from a sponge to a building in tags. Either way the playfulness of Pez’ work is bound to attract those who look for a pop culture alternative.  It also makes you realize that no matter how overly saturated these characters are future generations will continue to identify with them. (via escapekit)

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Esteban Schimpf

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Esteban Schimpf‘s portfolio site has a wide array of painting, drawing, photography and general artistic mayhem. 

 

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Felix Weigand

Felix Weigand

Dutch designer Felix Weigand’s beautiful typography. I love the way his print work is documented. It’s difficult to translate the medium and temporality of paper and folds but he does it very well.

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Benjamin Shine’s Stunning Portraits Made Entirely From One Folded Sheet Of Tulle

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The artist Benjamin Shine’s tulle creations look as if they have emerged from a thick fog; by folding and ironing the ethereal fabric into place, he constructs both realistic portraits and more expressionistic renderings of the human face. For each piece, the artist uses a single sheet of fabric, folding it in upon itself to create layered and nuanced shades of blue, black, magenta, and topaz.

With his enchanting, moody fabric tableaux, Shine makes a unique contribution to modern artistic dialogue. As with the modernists and the Impressionists, the materiality of the work is as significant as its content; as Edgar Degas’s spontaneous brushstrokes realize a ballerina’s tutu, so too does Shine’s delicate fabric render the tender lips and eyelids of the female face.

Despite the creative approach and unusual medium, the artist magically maintains a jarringly realistic gaze, nearly replicating famous photographs of glamorous icons like Princess Diana and Elizabeth Taylor. Where his use of tulle is spontaneous and modern, the actual images are surprisingly conventional; while the Impressionists may have painted en plein air, Shine sticks to traditional portrait subject matter, like posed celebrities. This unexpected marriage of edgy technique with established content results in a truly mesmerizing project, one which occupies an interesting space in contemporary aesthetic conversations.

Only in Shine’s more expressionistic works, titled the Tulle Flows, do we dive head first into the daring medium; here, as the tulle unfolds according to its own natural momentum, faces give way to abstracted shapes. Here, human subjects appear as if they are looking out from behind a veil, like invisible creatures pressing their faces against a foggy cloud. Take a look. (via My Modern Met and Demilked)

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Slovakian Artist Duo Burn Spooky Pagan And Ritualistic Motifs Into Hardwood

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Jarmila Mitríková and Dávid Demjanovič are a fascinating artistic duo adding spice back into a traditional form of art-making. They hail from Slovakia and employ a technique called pyrography, which involves burning into plywood and shading the images with wood stains. This particular way of mark making was popular with people mostly during socialism in former Czechoslovakia. A style with is linked with folk art, domestic crafts and cultural traditions, the pair tap into their own history and national identity.

In their hybrid style you can see christian traditions, folklorism, pagan rituals, superstitions, myths, local legends with links to WWII and socialistic history, all with the backround of real slovak scenery. (Source)

Mitríková and Demjanovič play to their strengths of storytelling and creating very strong, personal images. We see very graphic scenes being played out – hunting rituals, exorcisms of some type, sacrificial set ups, and masked people involved in cult-like activities. With titles like Guardians of National Spirituality, Procession With Nazi, Cult of Goddess Morena, Dance Plague and Evacuation of Slovakian Elites, they focus on a time of secret societies and unknown mysterious behavior; they speak of a time when not everything was understandable, or explainable.

Typical for their practise is working with mystification and creating thematic series, where they focus their attention on one subject from our present or history….. when they work with real slovak subjects, using their style of storytelling, they create absurd, comic situations and new contextual reading. (Source)

This talented couple manage to recreate a sense of wonder, secrecy, ambiguity and riddles. They put a contemporary spin on an ancient art of wood burning and telling campfire-stories. 

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Olivier Ratsi’s Presidential Deconstructions

So you’ve endured months of deconstructing every sentence of each presidential candidate’s rhetoric.  It’s only fitting that on the eve of Election Day we also visually deconstruct the president, both past and present.  French artist Olivier Ratsi produced these presidential digital collages – glitch-like reconstructions of the presidential portrait.  Each piece of the series Once Upon a Time the Presidents is made up of various facial features of past American presidents.  For example while a portrait’s eyes may have been snatched from Harry Truman, his mouth may be Barack Obama’s and his hair Teddy Roosevelt’s (or is that that John F. Kennedy’s?)  The clean shaven cheek, toothy smile, and neatly combed hair appear repeatedly and feel eerily ubiquitous.  Ratsi forgoes overt political references in favor of a subtler idea.  Each portrait doesn’t so much portray past presidents as it does the idea of the presidential image.

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Kimiko Yoshida

Kimiko Yoshida

Since Japanese photographer Kimiko Yoshida “fled [her] homeland to escape the mortifying servitude and humiliating fate of Japanese women, she seeks to take a feminist stance in protest against contemporary cliches of seduction” and the general stereotyped portrayal of women-hood. Her self portraits transform and that to her is the ultimate value of work.

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