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Photos of Hyperrealistic Dolls And Their Mothers Blur The Lines Between Real And Unreal

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Four years ago, photographer Jamie Diamond bought a hyperrealistic doll known as a Reborn baby off eBay, and this purchase lead her to a project spanning nearly two years. Called Mother Love, the series blurs the lines between real and unreal, living and the inanimate.

To make this project possible, Diamond collaborated with an outsider art community called the Reborners. They’re a group of self-taught female artists who hand-make, collect, and interact with these dolls. They hold them, dress them, wash their hair, and take them for walks in the park. “After spending a year investigating and recording their practice,” Diamond writes in an artist statement, “I chose to become a Reborner to gain a better understanding of the community.” Diamond continues:

In Nine Months of Reborning, I reborned dolls and constructed a working nursery in my studio and on eBay, called the Bitten Apple Nursery. Before putting the dolls up for adoption on eBay, I photograph each one using a large format camera, the image becomes the remnant of this exchange.

Creating the dolls was a laborious process. Some required up to 80 individual layers of painting, veining, blushing mottling, and toning, cured with heat. Strands were individually attached to the scalp. The dolls were weighted properly so that they feel like a real baby when held in someone’s arms.

The Amy Project  followed this construction.  “I invited celebrated Artists from the community to individually interpret and idealize the same doll,” Diamond writes. “I then photograph each doll mimicking vernacular school portraits. Each of the dolls are unique to their maker’s hand, but share an uncanny similarity through their common origin.

Diamond no longer calls herself a Reborner, and plans to sell the remaining dolls on eBay (although she might keep one for herself).

Working with the Reborn community has allowed me to explore the grey area between reality and artifice where relationships are constructed with inanimate objects, between human and doll, artist and artwork, uncanny and real. I have been engaged with this community now for four years and while working and learning from these women, I’ve become fascinated by the fiction and performance at the core of their practice and the art making that supports their fantasy. (Via Hyperallergic)

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The Last Days Of Christ Reanacted By An Entire Town In Mexico

On top of the Sierra Madre mountains of Mexico there is a town called Taxco where literally everyone participates in a massive reenactment of the  last days of Christ with elaborate costumes, processions, and scary hooded men that look more like klansmen than holy men. Photographer Paul Alexander Knox has documented this bizarre religious parade in all its glory complete with Roman soldiers, Judas, baby angels, and of course virgin girls.

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Johan Creten’s Abstract Ceramic Sculptures Covered With Vulvas Tackle The Ambiguity Of Sexuality

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Johan Creten speaks his own language. He creates organic creatures by casting a rare medium used in the art world: clay. It has been considered too primitive, associated with craft rather than sculpture for a long time. Johan Creten imposed his vision and art and is now established in the most prestigious residencies : Sevres and Medici. (an art residency is a place where an artist is invited to work with the best artisans and manufacturers in order to create master pieces. A residency can catapult an unknown artist to fame and success overnight).

The artist was born in Belgium and is now traveling throughout the world. He calls himself an observer of the world. His mission is to translate the social tensions and injustices into beautiful abstract ceramic sculptures. While other artists would rather think about a project and have it conceived by a third party, he is choosing to dig his hands into the clay which he calls “mother earth”.

His signature are large scaled bodies covered with glazed vulvas with which he approaches themes like the ambiguity of sexuality, solitude as a threat and the injustice of social status. Ceramic was never a form of art before Johan Creten. The fact that he was able to live with the harshness of his peers ignoring his work as art is a resistantce which makes him proud. He uses this relationship to balance his art. His pieces reflect our roots in today’s world but they are facing the future.

A must see: Johan Creten solo exhibition at Gallery Perrotin in New York City this coming September 2015

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Jon Rafman’s New Age Demanded


Montreal-based artist Jon Rafman‘s series New Age Demanded is dominated by a distorted, bodiless figure made from textures and skin taken from paintings by artists – such as Gerhard Richter and Franz Kline – and made anew. With the aid of photoshop, Rafman collages numerous different elements onto the deformed classical bust and its background to mix old with new, high art with low art, and craft with technology. More after the jump.

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Paul Yore’s Joyful Sexual Tapestries Provokes And Shocks To The Point Of Censorship

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The world of Paul Yore is encrypted. Behind the simplistic images hand woven on his tapestries there is a subtle will to provoke our thoughts on gender, identity, consumerism and daily violence. The artist chooses to apply psychedelic vivid colors to ultra detailed illustrations : phalluses shooting out rainbows, youths riding white unicorns, skulls conversing with pigeons, and pigs dressed up as police officers. He designs a whole lot of messages in his work, whether it’s tapestries or large installations made out of an accumulation of toys found on the streets. (One of his last pieces, “Everything is fucked”,  was removed from his last show, allegedly representing child sex abuse, see the very two last pictures below).

Paul Yore is protesting in his own way by impregnating the culture of excess on his overflowing tapestries. We are immersed within his dystopia, his family of masturbating characters, naked flying humanized butterflies and cheerful animated vanities. This joyful scenario hides his honest concerns about real debates. The actual consequences of social and cultural nonsense in our existence is a primordial topic. In a world where communicating is done through all kinds of ways, he doesn’t seem to have the freedom he needs to express his ideas. Censorship versus artistic freedom between the artist and the authorities is the culminant point this battle has reached.

Paul Yore’s work will be shown at the Museum of contemporary Art in Australia as part of the Primavera 2015: young Australian artists until december 2015. (via Juxtapoz)

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Mariano Garcia

mariano garciaMariano Garcia is an amazing art director from Las Palmas De Gran Canaria, Spain. Mariano’s work is colorful and fun with plenty of eye-popping illustrations. Check it out.

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The Picasso Of Makeup Creates Astounding Optical Illusions With Body Art

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The makeup artist, wig maker, and costumer Elvis Schmoulianoff exists in a dreamscape where dress-up and science fiction collide. Her works, including a charming stop-motion animation titled Painted, celebrates the transformative power of disguise; operating as a character within a visual narrative, her body paint takes on a life of its own, overtaking and doing delightful mischief to the human form. Schmoulianoff seemingly draws inspiration from anything but the traditional, her work beautifully echoing that of Surrealists like Joan Miró.

Schmoulianoff’s visual trickery maintains a childlike sense of experimentation; her abstract, brightly colored shapes are seen in tension with the curvatures of the body, blurring the borders between model and medium. In some images, a Cubist-inspired oversized eye is overlaid on a closed eyelid, and the face is split down the middle, morphing in such a way that contains multiple perspectives: the full face, the profile, and even the layer beneath the skin. The artist’s expert shapes often serve to flatten the human subject, who camouflages with painted backgrounds; like a clever game of hide-and-seek, viewers are invited to discover the body within a surreal landscape.

Within Schmoulianoff’s work lies an undeniable sensuality; with glossy eye-catching paint, nipples miraculously become eyeballs, and full lips are seen in lush, starkly contrasted tones. In vibrant color and tonal blacks and whites, the body lies at the precipice of magic and wonder, with skeleton figures dancing to the beats of their red fire-engine red hearts. Schmoulianoff is committed to animal rights, and she only uses cruelty-free products for her art; to learn more, visit her website.

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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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