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Izumi Miyazaki Creates Humorously Surreal Photos Out Of Mundane Moments

Izumi Miyazaki - Photography

surreal Photography

surreal Photography

Izumi Miyazaki - Photography

18-year-old Izumi Miyazaki arranges her daydreams into surreal photographs that are filled with deadpan humor. Each photo is manipulated so that the mundane becomes a little more magical. From levitating candy hearts to snow made of rice, Miyazaki ups the mystique with a wink of the eye.

By putting herself in the spotlight as the main subject, Miyazaki frees herself to being able to play with subtle changes in expression. Her photographs also call upon themes of identity and coming of age purely based on context. Because most of her artwork is staged in everday locations, they can almost be read as a visual diary of emotions.

The pure fun of Miyazaki’s photos is that they can be interpreted any number of ways: As a teenager’s creative way to express herself — or the product of a quirky overactive imagination. (via Juxtapoz)

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Monica Cook’s Women Covered In Slime And Octopus

Monica Cook- Painting Monica Cook- Painting Monica Cook- PaintingMonica Cook- Painting

New York painter Monica Cook depicts absurd, messy scenes in these paintings of women playing and posing with food and sea creatures. Often referred to as “absurd,” her work tells of women, sometimes not naked, covered in liquids and slime, fruit pulp, and cradling octopi. There is no arguing her painterly talent at narrating the viscosity of the elements in the frame, but she leaves it up to the viewer as to how they will interpret the contents of the scene. Meaning, she has no implied meaning:

“When I’m painting, it’s more about my relationship with the object than it is about me. It’s hard for me to separate myself from the experience. It could be a fish or an octopus. I handle it until it becomes unfamiliar to me so I can see it in a new way. People might want to read into those paintings but for me, it’s just about finding magic in the mundane and exploring further. I’m sure if I stumbled upon the work I’d see it differently.” (Excerpt from Source)

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Eleanor Davies’ Giant Pom Pom Made With Over 200 Colors Is On Steroids

davies1 davies2 davies6 davies9

In artist Eleanor Davies’ piece titled Over 200 Beautiful Colors, she crafts a traditional yarn pom pom (like something you’d see on a beanie), but on steroids. Using wool, newspaper, and rope, Davies wraps donut-shaped discs with yarn and stacks them on top of one another. They become a mountain of wound wool, and finally she cuts the edges of every disc. This releases the fibers around the cardboard, and they form a larger-than-life ball of fringe.

The result of this tedious effort is something that you want to touch and maybe even hug. And, that’s Davies’ intention. She wants the viewer to desire an interaction with it. But, at the same time, she also wants to you to feel some sort of repulsion to it. Even though it’s a magnificent and incredible piece, you compare it to what other smaller, more perky-looking pom poms look like. This, in all its glory, droops as gravity has got the best of it. “The oscillation between attraction and repulsion is experienced through the disruption of taste values,” Davies writes in an artist statement. “Sculptures seek attention and flaunt themselves in such a way that they ask for it.”

The slow and meticulous construction of Over 200 Beautiful Colors is akin to a beautiful regime. Davies goes on to say:

In appropriating the sculpting techniques of hairdressing; extensions and highlights are added to slowly modify and enhance a sculpture’s look. The compulsive desire to reconfigure, reinvent, re-cut and re-colour is due to the satisfaction gained through succumbing to the lure of the surface. The process of overworking the sculptural surface is self indulgent and my practice embraces and revels in this.

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Jeff Zimmerman’s Alien Decor Glass Sculptures

Jeff Zimmerman - Sculpture

Glass Sculpture

Glass Sculpture

Glass Sculpture

Sculptor Jeff Zimmerman has coaxed yet another dimension out of the seemingly infinite pliability of glass. Zimmerman’s glass sculptures look like home decor from alien planets, alternating between a gleaming metallic finish and subtle tinges of celadon. Others look like they’re undergoing the process of mitosis, round and reminiscent of amoeba.

Zimmerman creates fantastic texture on his pieces, crumpling them and molding them into vaguely amorphous shapes. He uses bright colors and mirrorized finishes to create gradient effects that make his sculptures look in a way naturalistic. Others are neon, glow-in-the-dark green, embracing their lava lamp heritage.

In a statement about Zimmerman’s art, R & Company says, “Jeff Zimmerman’s designs reinterpret and redefine centuries old ways of working with glass, opening an entirely new chapter on this familiar medium.” (via Artsy)

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Colby Vincent Edwards’ Post-Apocalyptic Existence

Colby Vincent Edwards - Photography/Costume Design

Colby Vincent Edwards - Photography/Costume Design

Colby Vincent Edwards - Photography/Costume Design

Colby Vincent Edwards - Photography/Costume Design

In 2011, photographer Colby Vincent Edwards (in collaboration with William Franevsky and Jarrett Scherff) created The 8th Day, an incredible exhibition that “documents” a post-apocalyptic future. In addition to black and white photography, the artists designed costumes made of leather, cloth, feathers, twine, and bone. Dusty, ripped, and layered, the outfits integrate brilliantly with the wasted environment. The weapons the models carry seem ancient, but upon closer inspection betray the remnants of the present-day world: shattered metal and protruding nails.

The photographs themselves are stark and intimate, composed of “high contrasts with rich blacks, and blank white collodion skies” (Source). We see human figures traversing barren plains, salvaging debris, and collapsing in what could be sorrow, exhaustion, or near-death. With their faces masked, the characters’ physical anonymity makes it possible to imagine oneself in their place, navigating the devastated world. Here, the artists have drawn on the appeal of our childhood fantasies, but have troubled them by infusing such imaginative stories with the tragedy and finality of a cataclysmic event. Step back from the beautiful details and you perceive the vast emptiness of the world.

Even though the exhibition is a few years old, the images are still intensely relevant. Depictions of post-apocalyptic worlds weigh heavily on our social consciousness. In this way, The 8th Day captivates us while making us quietly thankful that such a universe exists only in our imaginations — for now. Visit their Tumblr page for a fuller narrative of these stunning photographs. You can view the rest of Edwards’ work here.

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Adriana Duque Creates Sinister Visuals Of Old World Children

Adriana Duque- PhotographAdriana Duque- PhotographAdriana Duque- Photograph Adriana Duque- Photograph

Colombian photographer Adriana Duque uses digital photography to illuminate bizarre narratives taken from myth and the fantastical. Combining both the context of Western lifestyle with that of the rural Colombian world, Duque explores the uncharted territory of her mind through carefully crafted scenes and settings. This series, Anthology of an Obsession, features highly polished photographs, nearly monochromatic, of children interacting with a world before the one we know.

As said within her artist statement:

“Duque treats her medium as a kind of mis en scene in which she projects her child-centered concerns, in an apparently static dramatization of actions in which a sense of astonishment and anxiety is present that also points out to a collision between the normal and paranormal. Some of her photographs build illusions of mythical proportions developed with an almost religious ritual sense; photography in this terrain is a kind of romantic gesture that directs the viewer towards a transcendental experience. In the fictional fairy tale references there lurks a disquieting subtext of sadistic overtones related to notions of childhood identity.” (Excerpt from Source)

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Dance Of The Disfigured: Monica Piloni’s Resin Sculptures Are Disturbingly Elegant

Monica Piloni - resin, plastic, hair

Monica Piloni - resin, plastic, hair

Monica Piloni - resin, plastic, hair

Monica Piloni - resin, plastic, hair

Sculptor Monica Piloni creates surreal, multifaceted versions of the human body from resin, hair and different plastics. Whether it is a triptych of herself, melded at the hips, with multiple breasts, three legs and conjoined heads, or a double tailed horse, she has the ability to make something gruesome seem commonplace. In her work Ballet Series, she assembles body parts to look quietly surreal and unassuming, yet elegant. Figures lie on beds, as if exhausted from a recital, literally collapsing on themselves. Piloni places her models in a graceful manner, toes pointed and muscles tensed as they would be mid-dance. The poses and gestures of the bodies conjure up the drama of French Romantic oil paintings, where humans were depicted expressing a whole range of emotions with their bodies.

In her work Concave & Convex, she piles dismembered body parts up on themselves to form a human landscape. Similar to Louise Bourgeois’s ambiguous sculptural forms, Piloni fragments the human shape into abstraction, and in the process dismantles her, and our, understanding of identity.

Her sculptures are captivating because of their simplicity and fluency of movement. Even her more challenging pieces (modified women with exposed genitalia) have a gentle symmetry that reassures, rather than revolts. See more of her beautifully gruesome work after the jump. (Via Sweet Station)

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Miljohn Ruperto Creates Engimatic Photographs From Mysterious Manuscript Featuring Aliens, Mayans, And More

Miljohn Ruperto Photography

Miljohn Ruperto Photography

Miljohn Ruperto Photography

Miljohn Ruperto Photography

The subject of Miljohn Ruperto‘s work in the recent 2014 Whitney Biennial is taken from the mysterious Voynich manuscript. Dating back to the 15th century, the book contains indecipherable text, whose authorship, has been credited throughout history to aliens, ancient Mayans, and long forgotten tribes. It repeatedly stumps the brightest scholars and laymen making it one of the greatest and most misunderstood academic mysteries of all time. The only clues to its origins lie in 126 unidentified botanical studies accompanying the text. The illustrations of plants and figures, drawn in a weirdly fantastical style, tell a story which seem to mirror life’s age old mysteries. The project involving Ruperto and his collaborator, Ulrik Heltoft began by making 3D models of the plants, which were then photographed and transferred onto black and white analog film.

The end result, is a series of creepy snap shots recalling old hollywood publicity stills. Creakily formed branches and stems appear as strange appendages, as the plants take on otherworldly shapes illuminated by sinister shadows. The staging of Voynich’s botany not only becomes haunting and striking but everlasting, offering the viewer a mostly cinematic experience. An ongoing project, it will continue with the duo creating new photos of the specimens accompanied by large paintings of an enigmatic planet known as 55 canri e. 55 cancri e is part of the cancri planetary system which revolves around our sun. Astrophysicists have suggested it might be composed entirely out of diamonds. This came to light after studies found when the planet passed in front of the sun, it absorbed an enormous amount of energy. However, much like the Voynich and due to its enormous distance from earth shall probably only remain escapist fodder for our intellectual pursuits.

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