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Illumination Ink

Illumination Ink

Illumination Ink hails from Newcastle, Australia, adding another international post to our Around The World Day here at BD (not really). Heath Killen contrasts his beige-y website with his sometimes bold, sometimes colorful, sometimes remixed images. I really like the use of typography with his illustrations, and the vintage look to his collage-like works.

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Realistic Paintings Of Naked Breasts Make A Powerful Feminist Statement

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For The Breast Portrait Project, the artist Clarity Haynes draws inspiration for the feminist art traditions of the 1970s, from works that spliced and dissected the female body in ways that disrupted and challenged the male gaze. Cataloging the naked breasts and midsections of women who do not conform to traditional ideals of feminine allure—older women, women who have undergone childbirth, transgender women in the process of transitioning—the the painter hopes to assert the validity and beauty of all human bodies, including those that exist outside of narrowly defined physical standards. For Haynes, the act of seeing and of painting the body inherently necessitates that it be viewed with respect.

The theorist John Berger once posited that female subjects in art, imagined mostly by male painters, betray knowledge of the male gaze; staring out and the viewer (presumed to be male) for approval, their identities are split in two parts, namely the true self and the self that is watched and judged by men. In cutting out the female face, eyes, and mouth, Haynes cleverly subverts this tradition, and her women display their bodies matter-of-factly, without a trace of self-consciousness.

These female bodies, removed from a face that might otherwise reveal vulnerabilities and invite scrutiny, disallow the viewer to judge based on physical appearance. In lieu of typical signs of identity like eyes, expressive brows, or seductive lips, these private sections of the body become testaments to the individual self who chooses to stand out from the conformity of conventional female beauty standards; like a text that covers the nude body, stretch marks and scars become signifies of a vast and nuanced female experience. (via iGNANT)

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Matt Root’s Shrines

Matt Root combines old star atlases with religious and cultural icons, presenting them as shrines or monuments. Through these images he asks questions of identity and ownership within the American landscape. Currently Matt has been focused on objects that symbolize the cultural conflicts of life on the US/Mexico border and Arizona’s tenuous relationship with reality.

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Reed + Radar

Reed + Radar

Reed + Radar’s photography is both beautiful and haunting. I don’t know too much about this duo, but I do know that they’ve managed to give me the chills with all of these animated clown faces. Check them out, I’m pretty sure we’ll be seeing a lot more of them in the future.

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Barry Underwood’s Light Art Installations

Barry Underwood’s images are documentations of full-scale installations that are built on-site in the landscape. Using illusion, imagination, and narrative, his photographs explore the potential of the ordinary. Approaching his photographs with a theatrical sensibility, much like a cinematographer or set designer would. By reading the landscape and altering the vista through lights and photographic effects, he transform everyday scenes into unique images. Light and color alter the perception of space, while defamiliarizing common objects. Space collapses, while the lights that he installs appear as intrusions and interventions. This combination renders the forms in the landscape abstract. Inspired by cinema, land art, and contemporary painting, the resulting photographs are both surreal and familiar. They suggest a larger narrative, and yet that narrative remains elusive and mystifying.

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Erin Rachel Hudak’s Public Installations Celebrate Love And Color

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The always-colorful work by Erin Rachel Hudak has the distinct ability to seduce with its bright and vibrant appearance.  Hudak consistently produces work that looks happy and exudes love.  The attraction, while complete, can be somewhat misleading, and upon closer inspection Hudak has often encoded a message, lesson, or suggestion hidden within the colorful work.

“Love You Forever,” a temporary installation in both New York and Idaho, included mylar balloons.  An adoring public service announcement in both locals, the installations became  celebrated destinations.  However, despite the message of everlasting adulation, the installations were completely fleeting.  On the one hand the works were romantic and beautiful gestures, or from another perspective they were impossible promises.

Often Hudak entertains such distinctions, juxtapositions and opposites—using the way ideas are defined by separation from other ideas.  The concept is almost always referencing, or completed by, the viewer.  Her outdoor installation-to-be at Paul Artspace in St. Louis involves a mirrored sculpture that reads “You Are My Reflection,” involving the viewer in a process of self-analysis.  Combined with a rich visual vocabulary involving metaphors and language, Hudak’s works are always highly symbolic.

Catch her latest installation at the SPRING/BREAK Art Show taking place this weekend in New York.  “Waterfall Wall” installed in the stairway of the SPRING/BREAK space is a cascading barrage of color and reflective surface.  It is the visual manifestation of Hudak’s observations about power, freedom, access and restriction.

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Awesome Video Of The Day: I’ll Be Gone

Everyone knows i’m a fan of simple yet effective videos. This probably wasn’t easy to make but the concept is so simple that it leaves me feeling like like “why didn’t I think of that.” Video by Korb, music by Mario Basanov & Vidis Featuring Jazzu.

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