Cornelia Hediger‘s series of “Doppelgänger” portraits portray contrasting aspects of her self, creating suspenseful and awkward narratives. For this series, Hediger shoots single images in the same environment and composes them in a grid. Her style of composition allows for the distortion of sizes in both space and body; the grids she uses to configure these distortions also break up her images, further reflecting the presented fractured sense of self. Hediger prefers to work alone as an artist because of the time and patience it takes to design her set and capture all of the images in just the right positions.
Of her series, Hediger says, “I was interested in exploring the concept of the Doppelgänger in a broader way. Doppelgänger in German means ‘double walker’, it is a ghostly double of a living person, an omen of death and a harbinger of bad luck. The idea of the Doppelgänger also allows me look the alter ego, the conscious mind vs the unconscious mind, inner conflicts, the duality between good and evil and split personalities – the concept gives me plenty of material to think about and work with.” (via this isn’t happiness and feature shoot)
Chris Maynard‘s tools of trade include a scalpel, forceps, and a love for the literal art of flight. With a deft hand, he etches delicate shapes and patterns into shed feathers, transforming them into more than just a part of a whole. In doing so, he coaxes out the secret lives of birds.
“My work with feathers gives me a satisfying perch from which to view the world,” Maynard says in his artist’s bio.
Maynard’s art is nothing short of celebratory at times: Six feathers arranged with miniature songbirds in mid-flight. Others are a peek into the everyday life, such as a bisected feather yielding the tiny form of a robin working industriously on catching the early worm.
With the kind of precision needed for such minute knifework, each piece could have easily been sterile and dispassionate. Instead, they are each joyful in their own way, from the flurry of movement of a flock of birds circling a roost to the burst of sapphire blue on a peacock’s plume.
Though the feathers were discarded, shed, or forgotten by their previous owners, Maynard has given them new flight. (via This Is Colossal)
What at first may look like a Styrofoam Mona Lisa is actually incredibly detailed marble work by Italian artist Fabio Viale. Yes you read that right. Marble. Viale does some incredible work to modernize this “old-fashioned” medium, like re-creating Greek Korus torsos and hands covered in tattoos. He is able to transform this heavy, bulky material into creations that seem light and airy, like old beat up tires, popcorn or crumpled paper bags. Viale even went so far as to create a marble motorboat he called Ahgalla, which remarkably he used to navigate the rivers north of Italy.
Francine Spiegl is kind of like the painterly female counterpart to Paul McCarthy’s chocolatey, syrupy, Santa, violent, chopping, dripping, slopping performances. In fact, for her upcoming exhibition “Mud and Milk” at Deitch projects, Spiegel created a massive performance that called for “10 pounds of grits, 5 jugs of pancake syrup, 10 squirt bottles of grape jelly, 5 bottles of Pepto-Bismol, 20 buckets of tempura paint, 20 cans of whipped cream; plus silly string, shaving cream, Fruit Loops, flour, Kool-Aid, glitter, pie, marshmallow Fluff, fake arms, fake blood and chocolate syrup.” These ingredients were researched and taken from Fangoria Magazine’s behind the scene horror movie ingredients.
Beautiful/Decay spent the last three days at the Pool Tradeshow in Las Vagas. Throughout our time, we met a lot of fun and interesting people. For me, the one person that stands out the most was probably the nicest. Sacramento Artist Skinner is one hell of a rad dude. His work is insane and his attention to detail is on point. Skinner continues to pump out amazing piece after piece and before you know it, this guy is going to blow up. Make sure to check out his site for some well priced pieces. Keep it up dude!
Cyril Costilhes has a very unique relationship to Diego Suarez, the location where he shot his deeply dark photoseries, ‘Grand Circle Diego’. A little over 10 years ago, his father moved there to run a casino, but was returned to France after a tragic motorcycle accident that caused him front lobe dementia, placing him in a coma. Costilhes saw his father’s move as an attempt to start fresh, lured by the beauty of the young women and environment. To Costilhes, his father’s aspirations were an illusion, and one shared by many white men in a similar position, a type of modern colonialism. The underbelly of Diego Suarez is one of desperation, where people of privilege go to seek asylum in a false paradise, and the inhabitants seek salvation through the refugees of reality.
When I google Diego Suarez, the images that surface are of an idyllic seaside town, a stark contrast to the images produced by Costilhes. His experience of the town is mired by that of his father, and he travelled there to resolve the ghosts that still hang over him as his father remains in a coma to this day. The photoseries is compiled as a book, and Costilhes writes about his time spent in Diego Suarez. He imagines the moments leading up to his father’s crash:
What was his last clear, clean thought right before the crash?! Was he daydreaming about the girl he was going to fuck next, daydreaming about his new house on the beach of Ramena, or about the money he was going to make by reselling that ambitious hotel in construction, about what he was going to do next, living in a paradise until the grandiose ending.
Purchase copies of Cyril Costilhes’ book Grand Circle Diegohere.
In the past years, bee populations have been devastated by something scientists are calling Colony Collapse Disorder, causing a global crisis for humans and other animals. Sam Dreoge, a biologist at U.S. Geological Survey’s Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, catalogs hundreds of bee species in his lab. As the head of the USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab, Dreoge produces stunning high-resolution images that capture the diversity and spellbinding beauty the fascinating and helpful little creatures.
Dreoge’s photographs, which are used to identify and track bee populations, are often magnified up to five times the actual size of the insect. Focusing on minuscule details normally only visible under a microscope, most of the pieces are composites of numerous images, shot at multiple ranges with a 60 millimeter macro lens. Each image is also carefully edited, scrubbed of specks of dust. In preparation for the photo shoots, each bee specimen undergoes a bath in warm water and dish soap, after which they are carefully blow-dried to showcase their astoundingly beautiful, vibrant hair.
Dreoge’s images of bees read like the technological age’s answer to Leonardo da Vinci, who studied and sometimes killed insect specimens for the dual purpose of art and science. Research like this always raises ethical flags, but that moral question becomes more complicated when we are confronted with environmental crises like CCD. Bee populations are effected by parasites as well as problems caused by humans, like pesticides and climate change; it’s imperative that we find a way to save these miraculous animals, and Dreoge’s work could go a long way. What do you think? (via Smithsonian and Colossal)