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Courtney Woodliff

Courtney Woodliff, Painting

Courtney Woodliff‘s paintings combine ideas of industrialism and the rigorous daily lives of the women in them. As mechanical and organic forms intertwine, they metaphorically and physically become one. They struggle one another to define who is in control, the cold machine or the human that wields it.

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James Pomerantz

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Agua Sagrada is the title of this series of photographs by Columbia-educated James Pomerantz. The photos were taken in Mexico at a cenote, which is a water-filled sinkhole, found mostly in the Yucatan, that the Mayans believed to be portals to another world. Today these cenotes are tourist destinations, though the otherworldly Mayan connotations are still plainly evident in their haunting, ethereal appearance.

More photos after the jump, but check out Pomerantz’s site for some other beautiful sets, mostly of poverty or tragedy-stricken places like Eastern Europe and the Congo.

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Yasuaki Onishi’s Floating Mountain Made out of Plastic Sheeting & Hot Glue

In his installation, reverse of volume RG at the Rice Gallery in Houston Texas, Yasuaki Onishi uses the simplest materials — plastic sheeting and black hot glue — to create a monumental, mountainous form that appears to float in space. The process that he calls “casting the invisible” involves draping the plastic sheeting over stacked cardboard boxes, which are then removed to leave only their impressions. This process of “reversing” sculpture is Onishi’s meditation on the nature of the negative space, or void, left behind.
Onishi wanted to create an installation that would change as visitors approached and viewed it from outside of the glass wall to inside the gallery space. Seen through the glass, the undulating, exterior surface and dense layers of vertical black strands are primarily visible. At first glance, standing in the center of the gallery’s foyer, it appears to be a suspended, glowing mass whose exact depth is difficult to perceive. Upon entering the gallery and walking along the left or the right side, the installation transforms into an airy opening that can be entered. Almost like stepping into an inner sanctum or cave-like chamber, the semi-translucent plastic sheeting and wispy strands of hot glue envelop the viewer in a fragile, tent-like enclosure speckled with inky black marks. Visitors can walk in and out of the contemplative space, observing how the simplest qualities of light, shape, and line change. (via)

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Beni Bischof

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Swiss artist Beni Bischof does not take himself serious, a sense of humor and a humble understanding of the world around him flows effortlessly between paintings, drawings, collages, prints, sculpture and installation. Bischof’s ability to allow each work to shine independently is rooted in his confidence to possibly make mistakes and his ability to approach each day with an honest approach to his varied process of art making. Bischof encourages us to look into the absurdity of our desires. Bricked Castles and Handicap Cars follow our intuition to objectify the flawed ambition to acquire maximum beauty, strength and power. In other works magazine pages are covered with grotesque abstract marks masking the beauty of the subject while offering an alternative channel for a ritualistic performance. In a painting two shapes representing heads confront one another celebrating the banality of our day-to-day confrontations. Enjoy more Bischof after the jump…

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Keita Sagaki’s Doodles Turn Into Classic Works of Art

What may at first look like a sketch of a classic sculpture is actually a mass of tiny doodles  by Japanese artist Keita Sagaki. Sagaki manages to turn drawings of UFOs, skulls, and aliens that you’d see on the edges of your middle school notebook, into beautiful works of art. These tongue-in-cheek works combine the artist’s respect for classic paintings and sculpture with his love for modern comics and graffiti. Sagakis art can take months to create since each work is composed of millions of smaller compositions. Each of his drawings are improvised and drawn directly onto the surfaces he uses without being drafted.

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Anarchy Alchemy

Franz Thues and Dirk König AKA Anarchy Alchemy are two art directors based in Düsseldorf, Germany. They make pictures harnessing the magic of generative design. All of their illustrations are generated by programs they write for each specific illustration series, allowing them to create a potentially endless stream of pictures on the press of a button.

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Frieke Janssens Pre-Mortem Memorial Portraits

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Have you ever thought about how people will remember you when you are gone? Do you wish to be remembered in a particular way? Perhaps with a specific outfit, or at a specific age? Why would you have someone else choose the picture? You have a choice while you are alive.

Belgian photographer Frieke Janssens is offering her services in order to create the ultimate headshot, the one that you would like on your grave and everyone’s minds once you’ve past away.

The eerie yet beautiful and polished headshots are Janssens’ way to change people’s mindsets when it comes to ideas of death and memory. The series of ‘Your Last Shot’  reflects a combination of the sitter’s wishes and the photographer’s style. With make up assistance, styling and post-production, Jenssen creates master portraits that defy the ugliness that death brings about. In a sense, having a say on what you’ll look like to those alive when you are dead is a way to take control. This will perhaps leave us a bit more at ease about the whole death process.

The ‘last portrait’ will be finished in porcelain so that it can actually be used when the time comes.

“My personal preference goes to static portraits as they were taken at the occasion of weddings at the beginning of the 20th century. My aim is to make an iconic portrait that is beautiful, serene and fearless, preferably with a gentle smile, indicating that the model is clearly aware of the fact that this portrait will be used for a very long time to come.”

You can check the project’s website to find out more on how you can participate- it is a limited time thing,so if you want in, go check it out now!

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Stacy Kranitz’ Photography Photographs The Rural Underbelly Of An Ohio Skate Park

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Photographer Stacy Kranitz captures a segment of society which is rarely seen by the public eye; the hang out rituals of young, post pubescent males at Skatopia Skate Park in the backwoods of Ohio. Her relationship with a young man named Jerimy, allowed her to document his daily life in these rural parts. Through three mediums: photography, video documentary and ‘zine, Kranitz explores this brutal and interesting world. Her angle is definitely from a woman’s perspective, as she knows how to capture the vulnerability in these faceless people, sometimes engaged in crude acts, that might not be so much in life but definitely is true on film.

The rural environment sets the tone for a road warrior type setting where rough skating, sexual innuendo and violence is suggested. There’s a lot of blood, spit and urine. The photos have a war documentary type vibe, meaning everything is up close and personal. It adds to the car crash scenario of wanting to look away but instead looking closer, allowing your curiosity to take over. Part of Kranitz’ intention is to study the catharsis in violence. Others are capturing youth’s raw vitality. She accomplishes both with these studies.

On Skatopia’s website there’s a section listed as ‘anarchy’. It defines the word from the Greek preface meaning “without rulers; without masters”. It fits in well with the tone of these pictures as the subjects do engage in rituals of freedom. Skate culture has always been associated with rebellion and is a part of society that still perks people’s interest today.

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