These photographs are taken from two series by NYC photographer Amy Stein: “Domesticated”, and “Halloween in Harlem”. The photos were put together a while ago now, but I’ve always loved them. And, as Ms. Stein seems to be dealing with an issue involving use of her work without permission and $40,000, I figured she deserved some love.
“Domesticated” depicts real stories ivolving animals and humans culled from local news stories. Stein used often used taxidermied animals in her perfectly positioned shots, which include bobcats confused by newfound construction and curious bears checking out backyard pools.
“Halloween in Harlem” is pretty straightforward: Stein’s eye set to run freely capturing the spirit of the holiday and creepy children in masks on the street.
Alvaro Sanchez-Montañes, a Barcelona based photographer, decided to explore the abandoned homes and ghost towns of the Namib desert after reading about the deserted diamond mines in Namibia. In this series, Desert Indoors, Alvaro documents inside these empty homes time etching itself into the paint-chipped walls, and observes the desert conquering over any bit of memory or clue of human habitation.
James Turrell is one of the most important artists in the world dealing in light and space. Born in Los Angeles in 1943, Turrell studied mathematics, psychology and sensory synesthesia as well as art at university. He flies around the desert in little planes and has devoted the best part his working life to turning a volcano into a piece of land art. “The spaces you encounter during flight can be amazing: meeting the dawn or watching the Aurora Borealis,” he says and describes an experience of taking off once at dawn and seeing the sunlight trapped between ground fog below and cloud cover above. These words paint a perfect portrait of his work.
‘girl with a pearl earring and an iPhone’ – based on ‘girl with a pearl earring’ by johannes vermeer, 1665
‘always in my hand’ based on ‘in the conservatory’ by édouard manet, 1878-9
‘a family gathering’ based on ‘the balcony’ by édouard manet, 1868
‘her mirror’ – based on ‘rokeby venus’ by diego velázquez, 1647–51
Korean illustrator Kim Dong-Kyu gives technological updates to Girl With A Pearl Earring and other iconic works in Art History.
Kyu’s images, although hysterical, are quite critical of the way smartphones/gadgets have dramatically changed today’s social interaction. Themes of alienation, avoidance, self-centerness, and attachment prevail through the series of images. It is interesting to think back on the cultural history of most of these works [mostly the 19th and 20th century works on here]; the juxtaposition of the cultural implications of the scenes of each painting and today’s conception of socialization is quite amusing and very different, yet, at some points, very similar.
For instance, Degas’ The Absinthe Drinker’ from 1876, reveals the increasing social isolation in Paris due to a stage of rapid growth and confinement brought forth by the highly urbanized and elite-driven atmosphere of the new Paris. The woman, actress Ellen Andrée, blankly stares into the walls of a Parisian café. With a glass of absinthe in front of her, she solemnly contemplates the nothingness of what is going on around her. The man, painter Marcellin Desboutin, sits next to her but glaces towards the opposite direction, looking to catch on to something interesting outside of his close quarters. Similarly, on Kyu’s rendition, the woman find herself ignored and in a state of alienation as she is the only one not using a gadget.
These definitely leave us wondering if social interaction has been one of those things that evolve to become more of the same thing. With or without technology, it seems clear to me that the urban, and the elite societies, both rendered in these paintings (with and without Kyu’s additions), look to the outside, and inside, towards their phones, in order to fill some sort of void, and/or escape whatever lies in font of them. If this is true or not…that is up to you to decide.
Toronto based artist Talwst is a master of the miniature world. He patiently builds tiny fantasy scenes referencing the world of music, pop culture, films, climate change, conspiracy theories, sports stars, current events, and everyday experiences. Seven years ago, the artist was gifted an antique ring box by a Vancouver street vendor and given the challenge to make something with it. Talwst grabbed a hold of that idea and ran with it.
His miniscule realms feature Kanye West singing to an imaginary audience and Kim Kardashian in the background taking a selfie; a homage to his favorite painter Edouard Manet’s 1864 work La Muerte del Torero; a recreation of Japanese erotic art of the 1700’s; and a contemporary version of a Dutch landscape complete with a McDonalds restaurant in the background. His unique blend of art history, contrasting cultures and traditions are a witty comment on contemporary life. He cleverly draws us downward, and into his dioramas, immediately commenting objectively on the world we inhabit.
This form is calling me. I can make these feel like a poem; I can make these feel like a movie; I can make them feel like all the other mediums I was working in. (Source)
Talwst developed his love for piecing together mini worlds after growing up in the Canadian winter. For weeks at a time, the temperature wouldn’t be higher than minus 40 and he would sit in his room hibernating and entertaining himself by building models. The obsession certainly paid off – his skill and attention to detail is definitely something worth looking at. And you will get an extra chance to view his work – this September, a collaboration with VICE magazine will bring Talwst’s work to a newsstand close to you. Keep your eyes peeled! (Via Design Crush)
Within Burkina Faso, West Africa is a circular 3 acre complex of intricately embellished earthen architecture known as the village of Tiebele. It is here that the community enlivens the earthen walls of their village by annually adorning them with traditional African patterns. To them the intricate designs have a vast history while an outsider can appreciate them for their geometric splendor and simplicity. The story of this small village brings to mind local community art projects and their worth. An entire community transforming their environment with artistic practices is a testament to the unifying power of creativity and tradition.(via)
I have to start out by saying that A Perfect Circle’s “Counting Bodies Like Sheep to the Rhythm of the War Drums” is one of my favorite songs. This animation is an excellent interpretation of the trance the song puts the listener into as well as the false sense of security and comfort we often get from the media.