French artist Gilles Cenazandotti constructs life-size animals out of litter he’s combed from beaches, recycling a variety of plastics and other detritus. Titled, “Future Bestiary,” this series of sculptures directly addresses problems related to throw-away culture and the waste that results from conspicuous consumption. When the creatures are inserted into natural landscapes, they almost appear digitally rendered because the contrast between natural and man-made elements is so pronounced. Of his work, Cenazandotti says,
“Impressed by everything that the Sea, in turn, rejects and transforms, on the beaches I harvest the products derived from petroleum and its industry. The choice of animals that are part of the endangered species completes this process. In covering these animals with a new skin harvested from the banks of the Sea, I hope to draw attention to this possible metamorphosis – to create a trompe l’oeil of a modified reality.” (via laughing squid and junk culture)
Chances are that you’ve probably never seen a dog made to look like Disney’s Pluto. Well, it exists. Photographer Paul Nathan captured the odd world of creative dog grooming in his series (turned book), Groomed. It features professional groomers who use semi-permanent hair dyes and blowouts to style pets. Last year, Nathan traveled to Intergroom, one of the largest international dog and cat grooming conferences, and documented dogs that look like leopards, flamingos, and even people.
Groomed is strange, unexpected, and even shocking if you’ve never seen a dog made up like this. It might seem a bit cruel to subject these animals to this type of star treatment, especially when it comes to coloring their fur. The photographer explains in an interview with Feature Shoot that the priority is to make sure the dogs are comfortable. “In most cases the colors are done in stages on different days, usually in sessions of no more than three hours with plenty of breaks for the animal.” He states, later adding, “There is a vast variety of hair coloring products for dogs. They are all non-toxic and semi-permanent. Depending on the kind of coat the dog has it can last from a few washes to a few months.”
With that off your conscious, you can focus on how amusing these dogs are. They represent a relatively unknown subculture in grooming, and it’s only at events like Intergroom where groomers flex their creative muscles. They are responsible for their designs and take pride in them. And, the campy fun doesn’t end there – the people are often dressed to match the dogs they’ve styled. (Via Feature Shoot)
Ruben Plasencia settled on the idea of photographing the blind when contemplating how to approach the subject of prejudice as an artist. He felt that blind individuals are unique because they are subject to prejudice, but don’t generate prejudice against others the way people who can see do. His series, Obscure, forces viewers to look directly into the eyes of people who cannot return the stare.
Racist prejudices and stereotypes continue to dominate our societies — judgments which are made at a level that is only skin-deep. In “Obscure”, I created portraits of the blind. These faces create a mockery of our unthinking dependence on vision. A blind person seeks more reliable ways to read between the lines and understood essences, no longer able to fall back on their eyesight as the only reliable means.
I composed the portraits in a simple manner: a figure and a ground. I wanted to eliminate as many external factors as possible and leave behind only what’s most important to me: “The Look”.
Far from being a simple visual appetizer, this project ventures to convey the deepest intimacy of the look. By gazing upon eyes which cannot see, I want us feel deeply what it means to have sight. Despite having the gift of vision, we manage to blind ourselves every day. We are all given the great opportunity to observe and I hope we can appreciate its value. (via LensCulture)
For the artist Eliza Bennett, her flesh is her medium; in embroidering her palm with thick threads, she hopes to explore the ways in which we view gender roles. Her hand, swollen and bruised by her own careful work, is titled “A Woman’s Work Is Never Done,” and her gruesomely precise handiwork serves to remind the viewer of the strife of women laborers, many of whom are paid far less than their male counterparts.
Embroidery, like most traditionally female crafts, is often belittled and considered frivolous, but Bennett’s representation of women’s work is urgently and painfully profound. By literally—and unflinchingly— penetrating her own epidermis, the artist subtly subverts the notion that the efforts of women are superficial or shallow.
Building upon these themes of gender constructs, Bennett’s project blurs the lines between the private realm, coded female, and the public realm, coded male. In many ways, her skin serves as the bridge between the internal self and the external world; in embroidering it, she makes a public spectacle of her own personal narrative. As if reading her own palm, she traces its lines in various soft colors, creating intricate patterns and granting certain patches of flesh both psychological and aesthetic importance.
Bennett’s pointed social critique of ideas of femininity is made stronger by the intimate nature of the work. Feminist scholar Betty Friedan once explained that in the battle for gender equality, the personal lives of women must be made political, that internal struggles must be made visible. “A Woman’s Work Is Never Done” is a poignantly simple execution of this idea; here, Bennett weaves a painful visual story onto her hand, stretching it outwards for public consideration. (via Hi Fructose, Design Boom, and anti-utopias)
This beautiful series of portraits is part of Sylwana Zybura aka Madame Peripetie‘s award-winning photographic book project, Dream Sequence. The strange, but intriguing and striking aesthetic derives from Peripetie’s varied influences- from surrealism and film, to ideas of beauty and the sublime, this project covers it all.
It is hard to categorize the project; because of its extensive preparations, it extends itself to Avant- Garde fashion, performance and art photography. The most impressive thing of all here, is that the subjects were shot in-camera with minimal retouching involved during the post-production period. The body painting, prosthetics, wigs, unusual 3D make-up techniques and other props were the characteristics that made this project as special as it is.
The series was initiated in Germany and originally styled and conceptualized as a solo project. I continued the project in London, where I have worked and developed its visual nuances with a regular team who have constituted the core of the project – stylist Stella Gosteva, and make-up artist Marina Keri. In addition, I have collaborated with a variety of eminent up-and-coming designers from the leading Fashion and Art Schools in Europe. It is the involvement and donation of these unusual and beautifully crafted pieces that have crucially contributed to the creation of the final images
The book, Dream Sequence was crowd-funcded through indiegogo- and it was published earlier this year. You can purchase it here. (Via Huff Post)
If you’re like us at B/D then you are just as anxious as we are about the surprise installation taking place on the 2nd floor of the Uniqlo NYC flagship store. The viral video released in February by Uniqlo only gave us vague clues but now more information has leaked in anticipation of the March 28th grand opening. To add to the mystery Uniqlo has just released the above video which gives us a bit more of an indication of what they’re up to. Whatever they’re doing it’s clear that it’s going to be an exciting collision of art and fashion (and Starbucks!)!
To add to the excitement Uniqlo is kicking off their Lucky Line where shoppers can create pixelated avatars, hang out in futuristic virtual worlds, and even stand in line at Uniqlo to win all sorts of giveaways and prizes. It’s anything but ordinary and a fresh take on shopping.
When the photographer Julia Kozerski lost literally half her body weight, dropping from 338 to under 178 lbs, she cataloged her complex emotional reaction to her transformation in a series titled Half. In a jarring response to most weight loss media, the artist avoids the display of any cheerful confidence, forcing viewers to consider the murky and provocative intersections of body image and identity.
In each frame, the artist performs intimate rituals, using her form as an aesthetic means of translating her feelings about identity and metamorphosis. In Ruins No. 1 and No. 2, she treats her flesh as if it were the remains of an ancient monument or temple; her skin, colored by stretch marks and curvatures shot in vivid contrast, appears less like an emerging new shape than a worshipful testament to the body she once lived in. For Kozerski, her weight loss is complicated by the suggestion of a confused identity; as she navigates her “halved” body, we quietly mourn the loss of the other.
As the photographs courageously expose this sense of loss and confusion, they paradoxically serve as a forum for self-actualization. In exposing her deepest vulnerabilities, Kozerski surrenders herself to her transformation, allowing for a richer and gorgeously nuanced identity to emerge. Throughout the series, the artist’s emotional and physical bareness become increasingly related to this idea of selfhood re-discovered, a theme which is often explored through her erotic connection with her husband.
In “…or for Worse,” Kozerski is tragically shown to be too small for her wedding gown, but throughout the series, sexual barriers and insecurities fade. An image titled “Lovers Embrace,” for instance, presents the pained and uncertain subject laying beside her mate, their wedding bands providing a flicker of hope as they glisten in the evening light. Ultimately, the viewer bears witness to “Eclipse,” a shot in which husband and wife stand nude, embracing one another and visually condensed into one powerful and resilient figure. After weathering this complex emotional terrain with the artist, we are presented with an image simply titled “Self,” left breathless and in awe of the woman before us. (via CNN, Phototazo, and Jezebel)
Husband and wife visual artist team Hillerbrand+Magsamen crafted a series of twists on the traditional mandala. More commonly known through the Tibetan sand mandala, the original, ancient process consists of intricate patterns of sand that are later destroyed. Hillberbrand+Magsamen’s interpretation is similarly meticulous, but has a pop culture twist. Using things like books, Legos, shoes, sippy cups, things that are blue and others green, they arrange these objects in a circular, radiating formation. This light-hearted assemblage has a deeper meaning to the artists, who explain:
Loosely translated to mean “circle,” a mandala is far more than a simple shape. It represents wholeness, and can be seen as a model for the organizational structure of life itself–a cosmic diagram that reminds us of our relation to the infinite, the world that extends both beyond and within our bodies and minds. We have created mandala’s within our own home out of the stuff we have found lying around in our own creative exploration.
So often, we get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The act of creating these works is a slow, meditative process. As these objects form a circle, there is consideration to not only placement, but the associations we have to them. It allows us to think about how the things we own are a reflection of who we are. (Via Faith is Torment)