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Roberto Foddai Turns The Camera On Himself In His Dramatic, Erotic, And Comedic Self-Portraits

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It is the age of the selfie, and yet Roberto Foddai’s self-portraits feel like anything but. His images range from dramatic, erotic snapshots to costumed and posed portraits. The Photoshop manipulations he executes, notably in the “make it double!” series, are both subtle and transformative. He merges pictures of himself into the same frame, doubling the impact. Two Robertos laughing together, two lying on the same bed, and, memorably, one pleasuring his “other” self. The effects are transparent and the narrative in the pictures exists outside of their computerized genesis.

Why the costumes, the playacting and grimacing? Why two Robertos in the frame? He answers:

1. I like to be other people as I am often bored of myself.

2. It is easier to be boring in my daily life and dressing up in photographs fills the need I often have to be different.

3. I think, as Feminist and writer Carol Hanish said “The Personal is Political” so it is me in the pictures but they are often a political statement and maybe not as personal as they look.

We see Roberto Foddai as Freida Pinto. Roberto Foddai as a pink gowned ingénue. Wearing a necklace of shuttlecocks. In a swim cap, a nightgown. In underwear and red socks. Cindy Sherman’s self-portraits in disguise are called to mind, but unlike Sherman, Foddai makes very little effort to camouflage himself completely.

I always liked the idea of documenting my own life for myself. Keeping a visual diary of my life also gave me other ideas or other subjects I could work on. This is clearly a work in progress and without any doubt one of my favourite parts of my work. I often struggle with the way I look but it helps me to look at my life in a more objective way.

In many of these self-portraits Foddai is not conventionally attractive. Sweaty, with decayed looking teeth, and testicles poking through his underwear, these images are raw and unadorned. And it’s that truth in the images, in the portraits, that makes it difficult to look away.

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David Irvine Enhances Crappy Thrift Store Paintings With His Own Funny Additions

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If you’ve ever visited a thrift store, you’ve no doubt seen the wonderfully-awful paintings that people have given away. Completed paint-by-number sets, idyllic landscapes, and amateurish attempts at impressionism are common sights. Artist David Irvine takes thrift store paintings and enhances them with additions of his own. He brings in characters from popular culture to these compositions, such as Darth Vader, the Marshmallow Man, and Bambi. Irvine maintains the original style of the paintings when creating the mashup, making the figures look as though they’ve been there all along.

Some of the paintings are subversive and a feature villains about to tear through the town or city that they’re in. Other times, the characters are helpful, like the Storm Trooper that’s helping with yardwork. Twisted or not, these works are funny, and the kind of artwork from the thrift store that you’d actually want to display in your home. (Via Demilked)

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Cory Arcangel Satirizes Aspiring Authors With His Book Of Tweets From People “Working On [Their] Novel”

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Cory Arcangel’s recently published book – which originally exists on twitter as @wrknonmynovel – is a compilation of people who have tweeted “working on my novel”. The tweets come in all kinds: humorous, pathetic, emphatic, delusional. Seeing the phrase over and over again kind of makes your mind numb. I imagine these people probably NOT writing and then Arcangel completing a work of their impotent attempts. It’s the post-modern cyclical concept: I make a novel of you not making a novel, but the novel isn’t really a novel, it’s just your tweets about (not) making a novel. Maybe this is too cynical, though, as another way to look at it is that, now at least, these authors are published! In any case, the tweets themselves can be entertaining, if not sometimes painful, and from what I can tell each of the aspiring authors will receive a copy of the book from Arcangel.

Arcangel is a bit of an enfant terrible; a computer programmer, composer, and artist, his work spans a large range of media and he has received wide approval from institutions such as MoMA, Tate, and Smithsonian. What’s often interesting in work like Arcangel’s is its very serious reception from these highly respected art authorities. It presents a sort of ‘Emperor wears no clothes’ situation, where its unclear how seriously Arcangel takes himself, but painfully obvious how easy it is to buy his wares. The best way to enjoy him is to find entertainment in his projects and remember to be wary of the orbiting bullshit. (Via The Fader)

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Joel Tretin Makes Jokes With His Camera

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Joel Tretin calls himself a Photo Humorist and that description seems perfectly apt. His photo series Stranger in Paradox “looks at what’s true and totally screws with it.” At first glance, the pictures seem deceptively straightforward—portraits of the city shot in a somewhat generic ad-agency aesthetic. Hidden in plain sight are the visual jokes: a parking ticket on the windshield on a sports car in a building height ad; a carousel over a revolving door; an elephant walking though the green murkiness of a subway. The Photoshop manipulations are mostly seamless—it really looks like that woman is pushing an eight-seat stroller, and that sporty yellow cab looks real next to its stodgier brother. A stack of cars make the most of a lone parking space.

The subtlest images make you work for them. A lit Wall Street façade, American flags… oh, there. The don’t walk sign is flipping the bird. The traffic sign points to the “Road Most Taken” an apparent play on Robert Frost’s Road Less Taken.

Photo manipulation in art is often used to create surreal imagery. And these pictures are surreal in that they portray things that are unreal and often fantastic, but the photos lack the intention and technique that transform pictures into fine art. Which seems to be just fine with Trentin, who says:

I am a failed stand up comedian, who now tries to make people laugh through photography.

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Luis Hernan’s Photographs Reveal Colorful WiFi Signal Visualizations

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Designer Luis Hernan‘s project, “Digital Ethereal,” captures colorful “spirit photographs” of Wi-Fi signals. Using long exposure photography alongside the Kirilian Device mobile app, an app created specifically for this project that translates WiFi signals into color gradations, Hernan creates stunning photographs that feature ghostly swirls of color and activity. Hernan’s project represents the ways we can thread different kinds of technology together to create something new – something that visualizes a field of energy that is omnipresent, yet eludes our physical sensibilities. Of his WiFi light paintings, Hernan writes, “I believe our interaction with this landscape of electromagnetic signals, described by Antony Dunne as Hertzian Space, can be characterised in the same terms as that with ghosts and spectra. They both are paradoxical entities, whose untypical substance allows them to be an invisible presence. In the same way, they undergo a process of gradual substantiation to become temporarily available to perception. Finally, they both haunt us. Ghosts, as Derrida would have it, with the secrets of past generations. Hertzian space, with the frustration of interference and slowness.” (via laughing squid

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Self Portraits Portray Amusing Ways To Break The 10 Commandments

"Honor Your Father and Mother"

“Honor Your Father and Mother”

"You Shall Not Take the Lord's Name in Vain"

“You Shall Not Take the Lord’s Name in Vain”

"You Shall Have No Other Gods Before Me"

“You Shall Have No Other Gods Before Me”

“Keep The Sabbath Day Holy”

“Keep The Sabbath Day Holy”

How many Commandments have you broken? New York City-based photographer Anna Friemoth has gone against all 10 of them with her witty series of self portraits entitled 10 Commandments. With each image, Friemonth turns gluttony, adultery, stealing, and more into a conceptual interpretation of the offense. She styles herself against a dark gray background, adding props that bring each idea to life.

With Commandments like “Keep The Sabbath Day Holy” and “Honor Your Father And Mother,” it’s pretty common to not follow these. We see that for “You Shall Not Kill,” Friemonth is about to devour a bird,  and for “You Shall Not Take The Lord’s Name in Vain,” she’s had a specially-made balloon that says “GOD DAMN.” The fine details in each portrait make this series amusing; they also point out that depending on how much of a stickler you are, you could easily break any one of these rules. (Via Flavorwire)

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Cleverly Designed Sustainable And Interactive Food Packaging By Tomorrow Machine

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This Too Shall Pass, 2012. Oil package. - A package made of caramelized sugar, coated with wax. This package is made for oil-based food.

This Too Shall Pass, 2012. Oil package. – A package made of caramelized sugar, coated with wax. This package is made for oil-based food.

This Too Shall Pass, 2012. Oil package. - To open it you crack it like an egg. When the material is cracked the wax do no longer protect the sugar and the package melts when it comes in contact with water.

This Too Shall Pass, 2012. Oil package. – To open it you crack it like an egg. When the material is cracked the wax do no longer protect the sugar and the package melts when it comes in contact with water.

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This Too Shall Pass, 2012. Oil package.

Swedish design studio Tomorrow Machine experiments with unusual materials to create revolutionary food packaging concepts. Pursuing the modernist principle of form follows function, Tomorrow Machine unites visual appeal with highly innovative and operational technologies to create both aesthetic and pragmatic design.

Their project This Too Shall Pass addresses the increasing issue of environmental pollution and recycling. Using biodegradable materials, studio has created food packaging that shares the symbiotic life span with the food housed inside. Vividly colored and minimalist in shape, these concept containers for oils, dry foods and liquids disintegrate when the contents they store are used.

“Is it reasonable that it takes several years for a milk carton to decompose naturally, when the milk goes sour after a week? “This Too Shall Pass” is a series of food packaging were the packaging has the same short life-span as the foods they contain. The package and its content is working in symbiosis.”

Besides their environmentally friendly attempts, Tomorrow Machine creates interactive product packaging to shape the innovations of tomorrow. Collaborating with Swedish research company Innventia, designers created self-opening and self-expanding packages based on the use of the 100% biodegradable material they developed together. According to Tomorrow Machine, “this is the new generation of sustainable package design, using materials that are both smart and environmentally friendly”. (via Packaging | Uqam)

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Loretta Lux’s Surreal Portraits Of Mysterious Children

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German photographer Loretta Lux captures surreal portraits of children, portraying them in a way that makes them appear as if they’re porcelain dolls. Young boys and girls stare towards the camera and with expressions that you can’t get out of your head. As they look beyond or at you, their large eyes look as if they know deep, dark secrets. Pastel and faded colors contrast with the mysterious feel that these works evoke.

Lux studied painting at Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Munich and uses this influence in her images. Some pieces take up to a year to complete, and her process involves a combination of photography and digital manipulation. She’ll strip the background and then place her subjects into muted, minimal environments. The flatted backdrop and realistic foreground confuse your eye and help craft these strange images.

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