The images of photographer Álvaro Sánchez-Montañés‘ series Indoor Desert seem like elaborate installations. However, he actually found them this way. These buildings were once part of a town named Kolmanskop in southern Namibia. It had been situated near a gold mine. When the mine ran dry it was abandoned as was the town. The strong winds quickly overtook the town filling its buildings with the sand of the nearby Namib desert. The homes now filled with desert instead of families only emphasizes each photographs loneliness and underscores the immense power of nature.
Hyperrealist Kit King has created an extraordinary body of work filled with realistic rendering of intense portraiture. This Ontario based artist possesses an unbelievable skill in painting, which she used to create her larger than life images of emotionally charged faces. She does not merely recreate a person’s face in her paintings, but adds a focus on the moment behind the still image on what the person expresses. Many of her subjects look tormented, as their eyes appear weary, stunned, or bloodshot. The lighting King uses in her work adds a force of drama, drawing you into the transfixed gaze of the subject. She aims to spark your attention and capture a transient moment in time where one might feel the sting of these emotions.
The texture is as palpable as the complexity that is often found in the eyes of her subjects. We can almost feel the tangibly wet eyes in Kit King’s paintings as well as the smoothness of the skin. Even the make up in her paintings seem to be flaking right off the canvas. Her husband Oda King also being a talented artist, she often collaborates with him on several of her paintings. Kit King explains the intentions behind her concentrated skill and focus.
“Through a focus on hyperrealism, my paintings are reflections of the ephemeral visual relationships around us. Capturing fleeting moments that affect our emotional state from a singular glance, under the aegis of a heightened sense of reality.”
What looks to be collages are actually gouache paintings by Oakland, CA based Kelly Allen. By combining graphic and natural imagery she forms explosive new forms. Animals, insects, plants, fruits, molecular structures, and colorful geometric elements are assembled into vibrant microcosms. In her own words the works are “…symbiotic accumulations inspired by the systems within nature, and the human experience of recognizing beauty and inventing meaning.”
Producer Peter Chinn used a combination of dimensional ultrasound scans, tiny cameras and computer graphics to create these photographs of baby animals. Chinn made the images for a National Geographic documentary called Extraordinary Animals in the Womb, which tracked the process of growth, from conception to birth.
Aside from being scientifically interesting, these images are visually engaging. We (or at least I) rarely imagine what different animals look like inside the womb, and beyond being informative Chinn’s photographs are actually kind of beautiful (if you don’t over analyze the blood and guts). Except for the shark, that one is still kind of scary. (via viralnova)
New York artist Maya Hayuk has an awesome sense of humor and color. Her piece (above) “HANDS ACROSS THE UNIVERSE” was “made in collaboration with Iman’s aura.” Awesome!
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 Diego here.
The images of photographer Martin Kilmas are created by dropping porcelain figures at heights of 10 feet. The sound of the figurines hitting the floor triggers the shutter of the camera. The results are razor sharp images of disturbing beauty-temporary sculptures made visible to the human eye by high speed technology. (via io9)
With the success of Australian bands like Cut Copy and a huge Grammy win for Gotye‘s Somebody That I Used To Know, I expect more and more pop-infused indie bands from Down Under will be making the long trek to try and win over American audiences. The Vaccines‘ recent show in Los Angeles had San Cisco open to a very enthusiastic crowd that sang along and went wild for most of their early set. Gold Fields performed to a sold out crowd last night at the Troubadour and Melbourne pop band, Alpine should be reaching our shores again any day now. When I was invited to the Hotel Cafe last week to see the American debut of Gypsy & The Cat, I had high expectations and wasn’t disappointed.
Xavier Bacash and Lionel Towers, former Melbourne DJs released Gilgamesh, their highly successful debut album back in 2010. It garnered rave reviews in both the Australian and European press, but failed to reach much of a U.S. audience. I’m guessing that’s why they ditched their major label and went with their own on their latest release, The Late Blue on Alsatian Music. It’s currently available on iTunes and definitely worth a listen.
Their U.S. debut at the Hotel Cafe was a perfect start to what should be a very fruitful year for the band. They played songs off both of their albums including their 2010 hit, Jona Vark that had more than a few people singing along. Newer songs like Bloom and Zombie World sounded very strong with the addition of a touring drummer and bass player. “Anyone here have our music?” Xavier asked the large industry heavy crowd to which a few clapped as they began playing Human Desire from their debut, Gilgamesh. The band were more than gracious through their short, but sweet set and finished with their new single, Sorry. Check them out this weekend and next when they perform at the Future Music Festival in Australia.