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These Otherworldly Fungi Have To Be Seen To Be Believed

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The Australian-based photographer Steve Axford captures some mind-boggling fungi, including tropical mushrooms that had likely not been caught on film prior to these images. Compelled to adventure into obscure places left unexplored by most men, the artist documents strange organisms, many of which are found in his native area, the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales. A number of species exhibited in his body of work exist in more temperate zones, like Tasmania and the state of Victoria.

Axford, a retired computer system designer and manager, hopes to marry science and art. His photographs, in addition to being beautiful, are useful in the identification and cataloging of species previously undocumented. Prior to Axford’s efforts, the hairy mycena, a snowy white mushroom with a fuzzy cap and a translucent stem had not been spotted or archived in Australia. The same holds true for the blue leratiomyces, a plant native to New Caledonia and Lord Howe Island.

Seen here in striking detail are the most uncanny of fungi species, each enchanting in its own magical way. Some are bioluminescent, glowing an electric green in the night air; others are impossibly delicate, sprouting elegantly from moistened tree trucks. Unexpected colors spill into nature’s canvas with the growth of purple, blue, pink, and bright red mushrooms. The artist explains that photography has gifted him with the opportunity to slow down and absorb the earthly wonders that surround him; in shooting these strange, spindly lifeforms, he gives us the opportunity to do the same. Take a look. (via Colossal)

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Arber’s vaguely surreal And bleakly erotic photographs

The mysterious photographer who simply goes by the name Arber and describes where he’s from as “the North”  creates vaguely surreal, bleakly erotic, darkly off-kilter images, pulling back a curtain to reveal a parallel world full of mystery, unsettling sexual blankness and enigmatic women. We sure wish we could get a last name and a real city from him but his work is so captivating that we gave him a pass.

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Anna Schuleit’s Installation Of 28,000 Flowers Inside A Mental Health Center

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With spring around the corner I can’t help but think about flowers, which led me to consider Anna Schuleit’s installation Bloom, 2003, a site-specific installation at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center in Boston.  Though now over ten years old I feel the idea that art and beauty can heal is a powerful and ever-relevant concept.  The installation consisted of over 28,000 flowers, 5,600 square feet of live sod and recorded sound that played over the old public service announcement system.  The flowers and sod filled four floors of the historic building and the basement hallways.

The building, which was slated for demolition, had a long and complicated history, having hosted thousands of patients and employees over the years.  Struck by the absence of both life and color after visiting the site, Schuleit conceived of BLOOM, reinvigorating the building with an impressive display of flowers and transforming it into a fantasy world for four days.  After the installation Schuleit had the flowers donated to half-way houses and psychiatric hospitals throughout New England.  As she said of the installation in her interview with Colossal, “I wanted these flowers to continue onward, after the installation. Bloom was a reflection on the healing symbolism of flowers given to the sick when they are bedridden and confined to hospital settings. As a visiting artist I had observed an astonishing absence of flowers in psychiatric settings. Here, patients receive few, if any, flowers during their stay. Bloom was created to address this absence, in the spirit of offering and transition.”

Check out more of Schuleit’s work at her website and read the full interview with her here. All images copyright Anna Schuleit.

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Hernan Paganini

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Hernan Paganini is a graphic designer/interior designer from Buenos Aires, Argentina. As a child, Paganini would collect objects he randomly found on the streets. As time went by, those objects became the inspiration for most of his work. He now teaches at the Public University of Buenos Aires, where he also graduated from.

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Living on a Dollar a Day Gives Poverty A Human Face

Labone, 27, takes a moment to hold her young daughter Nupur, 1, who was fathered by a client, before she has to return to her evening’s work in a brothel in Jessore, Bangladesh. © Renée C. Byer

Labone, 27, takes a moment to hold her young daughter Nupur, 1, who was fathered by a client, before she has to return to her evening’s work in a brothel in Jessore, Bangladesh. PHOTOGRAPH COPYRIGHT ©RENÉE C. BYER

Jestina Koko, 25, with her daughter Satta Quaye, 5. Crippled since the age of three, she depends on her arms to lift and drag herself. She survives by doing laundry for others, selling cookies on the street, and begging in Monrovia, Liberia. Both of them suffer from malaria. She wishes for a wheel chair, a private room to live in and for her daughter to go to school. They sleep in the hallway of a home that has no electric, toilet or running water and own nothing. © Renée C. Byer

Jestina Koko, 25, with her daughter Satta Quaye, 5. Crippled since the age of three, she depends on her arms to lift and drag herself. She survives by doing laundry for others, selling cookies on the street, and begging in Monrovia, Liberia. Both of them suffer from malaria. She wishes for a wheel chair, a private room to live in and for her daughter to go to school. They sleep in the hallway of a home that has no electric, toilet or running water and own nothing. PHOTOGRAPH COPYRIGHT ©RENÉE C. BYER

Four-year-old Ana-Maria Tudor, above, stands in the light of her doorway in Bucharest, Romania, hoping for a miracle as her family faces eviction from the only home they have ever had. Her father recently had a gall bladder surgery that resulted in an infection and left him unable to work. The one room they live in has no bathroom or running water. PHOTOGRAPH COPYRIGHT ©RENÉE C. BYER

Four-year-old Ana-Maria Tudor, above, stands in the light of her doorway in Bucharest, Romania, hoping for a miracle as her family faces eviction from the only home they have ever had. Her father recently had a gall bladder surgery that resulted in an infection and left him unable to work. The one room they live in has no bathroom or running water. PHOTOGRAPH COPYRIGHT ©RENÉE C. BYER

In the Charan slum settlement of northern India, Kalpana, 20, starves one of her children Sangeeta, 2, while her sister Sarita, 5-months-old, right, sleeps in comfort, above right, in her mother's arms. Sangeeta only weighs 9 pounds. Children are more likely to appeal to the sympathy of those inclined to give to beggars, so those who beg use children for this purpose. Worse, sometimes as in this case a child is staved and carried about by the child’s parent while she begs on the streets or rented out to another beggar to be used as an object of sympathy in the hope of generating more income over the course of a given day. Sometimes these “extra funds” are used to feed other children, thus, in practice, one child is sacrificed for he sake of others. Sangeeta has since been helped by the Tong-Len Charitable Trust’s mobile medical clinic at the Charan slum settlement, Dharamsala, India. But according to the World Bank 19,000 children die a day from preventable causes. © Renée C. Byer

In the Charan slum settlement of northern India, Kalpana, 20, starves one of her children Sangeeta, 2, while her sister Sarita, 5-months-old, right, sleeps in comfort, above right, in her mother’s arms. Sangeeta only weighs 9 pounds. Children are more likely to appeal to the sympathy of those inclined to give to beggars, so those who beg use children for this purpose. Worse, sometimes as in this case a child is staved and carried about by the child’s parent while she begs on the streets or rented out to another beggar to be used as an object of sympathy in the hope of generating more income over the course of a given day. Sometimes these “extra funds” are used to feed other children, thus, in practice, one child is sacrificed for he sake of others. Sangeeta has since been helped by the Tong-Len Charitable Trust’s mobile medical clinic at the Charan slum settlement, Dharamsala, India. But according to the World Bank 19,000 children die a day from preventable causes. PHOTOGRAPH COPYRIGHT ©RENÉE C. BYER

Living on a Dollar a Day is a collection of photographs dedicated to taking a closer, personal look at the shocking poverty and hunger that millions go through every day. The book is a collaboration between author Thomas A. Nazario, founder of The Forgotten International, and Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Renée C. Byer.

In an interview with Mother Jones, Nazario explains the impetus for the book: “I was tired of spending time with people on the street all over the world who had simply been forgotten—by their families, by their village, and by whatever communities they might be associated with.”

The photographs in “Living on a Dollar a Day” aren’t just snapshots; they are part of a continuing story. Nazario and Byer are careful to include a snippet of their subjects’ lives, closing the distance in a personal and intimate way.

“Why does it take a typhoon or an earthquake to wake up people to the truth that far more people die of poverty every day?” Nazario asks.

Living on a Dollar a Day is available on Amazon.

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INSIDEOUT- Solo Exhibition from Cali Psych Pop Artist Steven Harrington

California artist/designer/illustrator Steven Harrington recently opened a large solo show at Known Gallery in L.A. Harrington is known for steezy, vibed out psychedelic characters and patterns. He’s worked on a slew of projects, including collabs with Nike and Arkitip mag, to bring his singular aesthetic to the masses. This show, entitled INSIDEOUT, is still up until September 1st. But in case you don’t have the chance to check it out in person, catch some installation shots after the jump. The “You&I” sculpture (above) is especially nice.

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Restrepo

Restrepo is one of the many stories to come out of our endless war with afghanistan. The movie spends one year in the most dangerous valley in Afghanistan where death is a daily threat. It’s brutally honest, sad, and poignant. Go see it at your local art house theater.

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Embroidery That Mummifies Print Journalism

Lauren DiCioccio - Mixed Media

Lauren DiCioccio - Mixed Media Lauren DiCioccio - Mixed Media

Lauren DiCioccio uses a simple needle and thread on cotton muslin to mummify and honor an endangered artifact– the printed newspaper. In each piece, as The New York Times’ text fades, its correlating cover portraits puncture the surface with pockets of strung together color, reminding us of a certain tactile human unraveling as we adaptively wave goodbye to the Industrial Age.

Of her craft, DiCioccio states, “The tedious handiwork and obsessive care I employ to create my work aims to remind the viewer of these simple but intimate pieces of everyday life and to provoke a pang of nostalgia for the familiar physicality of these objects.”

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