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Logan Grider

Geometric compositions and punchy colors collide in Logan Grider’s playful abstractions.

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Peter Madden’s Meticulous Collages Suspended In Time

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Artist Peter Madden splices tiny elements to create large collages that are a dizzying combination of imagery. Using pictures extracted from encyclopedias, National Geographic magazines, and found photographs, he arranges all of the disparate pieces to form detailed compositions. The large groups are suspended on a transparent background, as if they are capture a moment in time before everything falls apart.

Madden’s collections create different narrative by virtue of the individual elements’ pairings. Some of the things included in his collages include: exotic birds, monkeys, the letter “m,” fishes, and clocks. They are often formed into some sort of larger shape, such as the outskirts of a giant hole, as if it’s surrounding the eye of a tornado.

The use of so many different pieces and the meticulously-constructed explosion-looking compositions feel as though we’re looking at windy, inclement weather that’s strong enough to make these pieces whip through the air. (via Inkult)

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Contorted Beauty: René Benjowski’s Sensual And Surreal Photography

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René Benjowski is a Berlin-based self-taught photographer who finds beauty, horror, and sensuality in dark, private rooms. Delving into the worlds of surrealism and erotic portraiture, Benjowski’s quiet, hazy, and provocative work skillfully traverses the line between passionate intensity and a reverence for the strength and symmetry of the human figure. The images are like intangible visions of a dream: in silent, dusty corners with bare, iron bed frames, bodies twist with a sensual — almost demonic — rapture. Colliding intimacy with images of death, skulls are clutched in hands and worms emerge from open mouths. The fetish element is visible: bodies embraced in ropes engage in silent power dynamics with an unseen participant, playing chess or attempting to reach a hanging book.

Contortion and mystery are important elements in Benjowski’s beautifully macabre works. Deviating far from conventional portraiture, these images convey a desire to experiment with strange angles and uncanny positions: knees twist, backs arch, figures levitate. The black-and-white shading adds an extra element of bleakness to the beautiful physicality of the twisted forms, producing bold, intimate contrasts between shadows and illuminated skin. In addition to the raw energy brimming within each surreal photograph, there is also a truthful power: not only do the images explore the subversive, alternative edges of desire and eroticism, but they leak with a physical honesty and agency, exploring the capacities of the body as it bravely endures unseen, emotional forces and its own physical limitations.

Visit Benjowski’s Tumblr and photographer’s page on menschenfotografie to see more of his darkly beautiful and varied work.

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Photographer Khalik Allah Captures The Ups And Downs Of Nightlife In Harlem, From Smiles To Struggles

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Photographer and videographer Khalik Allah has been shooting candid photos on the streets of Harlem since 2012. Having developed a relationship of trust with those in the neighborhood he frequents, his photographs reveal, softly, but emphatically, a side of city life that is struggling and raw. Allah ventures into the night alone, with his camera and a few rolls of film, and through him we meet those he crosses along the way.

There is such a fine line, in photographing marginalized communities, between documentation and exploitation. When is the camera no longer communicating a reality and instead romanticizing the hardships? When has our empathy, or humanity, turned to voyeurism? Although addiction and poverty are notable characters in Allah’s photographs, they manage to refrain from becoming the central focal point, and his work extends itself with just as much heart as it does grit. Allah muses on his website about this very topic:

“I feel it’s impossible for any photographer to maintain objectivity. The photographer always has a literal point of view, camera choice, light choice, and many other choices; by default these choices will always make it a subjective form. Subjectivity doesn’t diminish the power a photograph may contain.”

Allah walks the line with a conscientious sort of fragility, and has catalogued a selection of work that shows darkness as well as light. There is a light that remains, and sometimes shines out. Allah has crept close enough to show us the souls through the eyes, in case we forgot to look for ourselves. (Excerpt from Source)

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ELISABETH HIGGINS O’CONNOR @ Charlie James Gallery


Elisabeth Higgins O’Connor upcoming show at Charlie James Gallery opens November 5.  Titled Dreadful Sorry Clementine, Elisabeth’s solo exhibit takes its name from a children’s nursery rhyme – the original being sing-songy and childish, but contrasted with dark, melodramatic lyrics. This contrast relates to Elisabeth’s work as well, as she continues her practice of walking the line between familiarity and chaos. Working with commonly available materials such as bed sheets, bedding and other discarded domestic fabrics; Elisabeth creates sculptural works that address the unique fascination we experience with the allure of the grotesque.

If you’re a fan of Elisabeth’s work track down a copy of Beautiful/Decay: Supernaturalism which features an in-depth interview with the artist. Unfortunately the book is sold out but with some digging you can probably find one on eBay. Just another reason to subscribe to B/D and avoid missing a book featuring your next favorite artist.

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Surreal Anatomical Photo Collages Of Growing Up

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Zła uczennica” is a collaborative series between photographer Magdalena Franczuk and Ashkan Honarvar, who is known for his rich surreal collages. The name of the series translates to “The Bad Schoolgirl” and draws its inspiration from coming-of-age stories such as Lolita.
Lush blossoms and flora bloom around the girls in the series, even as the blank spaces behind their their faces and hearts are revealed in an almost anatomical fashion. Franczuk and Honarvar evoke a sense of searching, a limbo between knowing and understanding as the girls in the photos grow and discover themselves. Some of the images seem random at first — snails and cherries — but they make sense in context: one, a hollowed shell in which the true self lives; the other, a symbol of girlhood.
It’s interesting to see the way the two artists’ work interact. Franczuk’s photography brings a subtlety of emotion and ambiguity that we might take at face value, while Honarvar’s collage elements depict the inner struggles of the subjects. In an artist’s statement, Honarvar notes that he “present[s] the human body at the center of microcosmic theaters of dichotomy in which irrationality permeates logic, serenity belies violence, and luxury secretes exploitation.” It seems fitting for “Zła uczennica” — after all, isn’t growing up one of the most universal dramas of all? (h/t I Need a Guide)

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Timothy Hon Hung Lee

Tim Lee’s pen and ink drawings conger a notion that hopeless romance still thrives in the world of art. Watch out for “The Kids are Alright” Tour featuring Tim and other surrealist spectacles when it hits Black Maria Gallery Los Angeles in July.

 

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Thom Puckey at Museum Centro Pecci

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Sculptor Thom Puckey has a new exhibit on now at the Museum Centro Pecci in Prato, Italy, called Extreme Beauty. The unexpected combination of classically-sculpted figures paired with implements of death are a definite comment on where society has taken us since Neoclassicism. “The presence of modern weapons in the sculptures makes them seem contemporary in a cheap kind of way, this I realise. I like this suggestion of cheapness, I play into it. Chicks and guns,” explains the artist. Puckey makes “cheap” look pretty amazing, don’t you think?

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