Dilok Lak’s recent series “The rabbit ears” is the graphic designer’s respite from everyday tedium and a retreat into imaginative play. Drawing on children’s books and the trope of the talking animal, he imbues his illustrations with a minimalist innocence and charm. The title of the work harkens back to whimsical fables, but it also applies to the artist’s own persona, as he was born in the zodiac year of the rabbit. The work lightheartedly examines the existential questions of a young human mind: the caption for a few images reads, “Why is life so boring?”
Placed starkly against a white and pale pink backdrop like murals on a child’s bedroom wall, furry friends perform unlikely feats. Some of the illustrations are brilliantly nonsensical; in a sort of modern Dadaist exploration, Lak combines a vintage photograph of a young girl with a high-resolution duck and collaged orange. Collaged creatures appear to wander in and out of his frame of their own free will, teetering on its edges and leaving empty space in their wake.
“The rabbit ears” is a childlike ode to the imagination, bringing with it hints of critical self-parody. The brilliantly ironic series reads like a 21st century kind of pop art, using commercial graphic design techniques to satirize human behaviors and pretensions. An absurd cat sips on a cappuccino and sports classic hipster-style glasses; an erudite bunny proudly displays a portrait of himself in a suit. A bored kitty chews on bubble gum. In Lak’s delightful world, animals play as humans and humans play as rabbits, and ultimately, all our everyday worries seem a little less serious, and life feels a lot more fun. (via iGNANT)
Ludovic Florent‘s new photoseries Poussières d’étoiles (which translating as Stardust) features the natural beauty of the human body in motion, capturing dancer’s poses in moments of ecstasy, distress and grace. Each photograph is highlighted by the staging, a chalk and sand floor which enhances each movement, with dust clouds mirroring the appendage’s motions to create a dramatic physical presence of their own. Florent says, “In our changing society, my photographic work is guided by a humanistic look, willingness to foreground the natural beauty of the body, free to express his grace and personality.”
The Metz, France-based Florent created Poussières d’étoiles for Gallery HEGOA, and in anticipation for the European Festival of Nude Photography in Arles, France in May, 2014. The photographer further explains his work, “‘Behind every carnal envelope hides a soul that is both sensitive and flamboyant as I try to capture in each of my photographs.’ We certainly enjoy his work guided by a humanistic look, finding expression in a series that is both, sensitive and vivid.” (via ignant)
Where I See Fashion is a blog created by Milan-based fashion design student Bianca, who pairs fashion photography with related images that correspond to the aesthetic found in the fashion image. The corresponding images depict anything from landscapes to architecture to fine and conceptual art. She began the project this past summer, inspired by the multitude of beautiful photographs found on Tumblr. Her juxtapositions illustrate the inspiration to be found in fashion and the world around us.
“Sometimes a fashion picture reminds me instantly of something and I go look for it, sometimes it’s a random picture that makes me think of an outfit or editorial. Occasionally it happens that by chance I see two pictures near each other on my dashboard or in a random blog that perfectly go together. Also I have A LOT of photos that I saved on my computer because I found them interesting, it’s like my personal archive and I use it a lot to make matches.” (via we the urban)
In the series No Seconds, photographer Henry Hargreaves recreates and records the last meals of Death Row inmates. He captures not only what they ate, but accompanies the photos with what was on the menu and the crimes they committed. Hargreaves is no stranger to the Beautiful/Decay blog, where he was last seen collaborating with food stylist Caitlin Levin. With this particular project, it’s all him, fueled by his towards incredulousness of the US Death Penalty as inspiration. “In New Zealand (where I’m from), and in fact nearly any where else in the developed world, the Death Penalty is just not even in the conversation.” Hargeaves states. “It is a remnant of an earlier era. This little bit of civility, ‘hey we are going to kill you but what would you like to eat?’ just jumped off the page.”
These last meals are recreated beautifully, and the photographer depicts each with its own style. Some, like the fried chicken dinner of John Wayne Gacey appears greasy and gluttonous. Others, like Victor Feguer’s single olive is a poignantly positioned on a gold-trimmed plate.
Food is a common thread amongst diverse groups of people, and the eating habits and choices made can tell you a lot about a person. In researching the project, Hargreaves tells Vice, “The thing that kind of struck me with these last meals was how many of them were these big, deep fried meals, which we like to call comfort food. Here were these people in their last moments and all they really want was a little bit of comfort.” This is one of the last messages someone on Death Row could send, and their choices make you contemplate the message they might be trying to send. What was Timothy McVeigh trying to say when he ordered two pints of ice cream? We’ll never know. (Via Huffington Post and Vice)
“First tree” represents the awareness of our existence, one that sits upon us like the world on our shoulders.
The Blue Tree questions who and what we are.
The Tree of Man, we are all connected.
The erotic art of Sydney Australia based Garth Knight entails a series of six suspended ‘trees’ ( in order: first, blue,heart, man, lost, and red) all which are made out of rocks and ropes. Each individual “tree” is created over one or two naked bodies, often posing in very sensual positions. If the ‘trees’ are observed in order, they create a linear narrative- one that tells, through stunning and innovative imagery, the story of human existence. The artists accompanies his images with text; the words further narrate the story he is trying to tell.
Knights multi-disciplinary practice covers various areas including installation, sculpture, and photo media. As you can acknowledge from the photos shown here, his works often (almost always) include the use of rope bondage, amongst other erotic elements that mesh with ideas of strength, pleasure, and sexuality. You can check out more of his works on here.(via Beautiful.Bizzare Magazine)
For monograph Ad Infinitum, the photographer Kris Vervaeke captured small human likenesses etched in porcelain and affixed to hundreds of tombstones in Hong Kong. The dreamy book is potent for its simplicity; every page turn finds a blank white page fixed beside the a weathered portrait of an anonymous soul. Each capture magically veers from the photographic, entering a realm of abstraction evocative of fading memory. With every page, comes that same blankness, which functions to blur the portraits further, reminding the viewer that someday our own human faces will be washed away entirely.
The series works poignantly to make the reader forget—if only for an instant— that it is not composed of ordinary photographs of living, breathing people. Although the tombstones have been worn (in some cases more than others), the artist’s precise and intimate frame invites us to search for markers of human character; if we lose the eyes, we find glasses, and even amongst the faceless we discover hats. With each progressive photograph, the viewer clings to these signifiers of humanity, only to find him or herself frantically making meaning from the most impersonal cracked stone or chipped paint.
Ultimately, though, the images are not portraits but photographs of portraits, poignantly denying us any clear picture of who, when, or what these people were. A person dies. A body deteriorates. A portrait is chosen for a tombstone. A tombstone deteriorates. Someone takes a picture. With every progressive step, individual life fades bitterly into a mysterious realm just beyond our reach, Ad Infinitum. (via Lensculture and The Independent Photo Book)
installation to raise awareness about wildfire in Texas
One of the only independent buyers in the world who maintains an account with Crayola, Herb Williams is a bit obsessed. Living and working in Nashville, TN, Williams uses tens of thousands of crayons to create his often life-size sculptures. Williams pursues both play and larger ideas; he is interested in identifying iconic objects that society perceives to fit one role, and then reintroducing them in a different subtext. Williams explores concepts such as childhood, sexuality, religion and social hierarchy all using crayons. Considering everything down to the smell (crayons of course) that his sculptures exude Williams works meticulously, cutting down crayons to the size he needs and individually bonding them to create his forms.
For a special project for the National Heritage Center, for example, Williams created an outdoor installation meant to raise awareness about wildfire. The installation consisted of three freestanding sculptures, which abstractly resembled fire that slowly melted in the Texas weather conditions. Created in vivid colors the installation provided a stark contrast to the dry, brown landscape and certainly was reminiscent of an actual wildfire. A unique way to draw attention to a serious problem, the installation remained standing from October through the end of the year.
A common enough material, Williams has managed to give crayons a wholly new purpose in art making. As he says, “my intent is to continue to seriously create art that looks at itself unseriously.” See more of his work and read about him on his website.
For her series “Animal Alchemy,” the sculptor Jessica Joslin uses delicate found animal bones and antique metal works to build an array of animal acrobats, who play at balancing on balls and interacting with one another. As suggested by the work’s alliterated title, her pieces present a touching marriage of the biological and chemical. The incorporation of once-living materials succeeds seamlessly for Joslin’s choice to use nostalgic and decorative out-of-date metals; against the rusted filigree of fragmented keepsakes, the time-bleached animal bones appear right at home.
Joslin’s creatures navigate a fine line between fragility and aggression; in a piece titled Troy, the reimagines the deceptively merciful figure of the Trojan Horse, fortifying a spindly neck with bullet casings. Frail skulls wear protective armor as if preparing for some ancient battle. Against the sheen of durable metals, animal bones appear unexpectedly delicate despite their sharp teeth and clawing talons.
With breathtaking precision, the artist allows her bony creatures a single mark of vitality, filling their cavernous sockets with marbly eyes. The careful emotionality of the pieces ultimately makes them more gentle than frightful; the sculptor subtly realizes their personalities and relations with one another through the downcast slant or expectant focus of a pupil. A particularly poignant two-headed tortoise is only given two inner eyes, causing each head to fixate the other without access to a peripheral world. Similarly, a horselike beast gazes upwards balefully, pulling the heavy carriage behind him.
Each piece, beautifully fashioned with discarded bones and obsolete metalworks, performs for the viewer, imploring us not to forget their purpose. Take a look. “Animal Alchemy” is now on display in Scottsdale, AZ at Lisa Sette Gallery. (via Hi-Fructose)