Susan Dobson’s Abandoned Buildings Are Timeless Reminders That It All Turns to Dust

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In photographer Susan Dobson’s series Sense of an Ending, she taps into our fascination of abandoned buildings. We ask ourselves, what happened to these places? Why is no one there, and how did they come to be in such disrepair? The once majestic-looking structures now sit among ruins and overgrown vegetation, and these haunting images remind us that everything built will eventually turn to dust. Dobson often frames her compositions so the homes look tiny when compared to a large, ominous-looking sky.

The photographer’s intention was that these works were timeless. They could point to a post apocalyptic future or relics of the past. In a short statement about her work, Dobson explains:

I am interested in how photographs have the ability to sit outside of any definitive time period, and to feel dislocated in time. It allows for associations to be made with a range of historical periods. For me, the series evokes images I have in my mind of the ruins from WWII that were still evident in Germany when I lived there as a child. (Via Flavorpill)

 

Zacharie Gaudrillot-Roy’s Haunting Photoseries Erases Buildings, Leaving Only Their Facades

Zacharie Gaudrillot-Roy

Zacharie Gaudrillot-Roy

Zacharie Gaudrillot-Roy

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Zacharie Gaudrillot-Roy is a French photographer whose Facades series is a personal exercise in land and city-scape photography, with one major difference. In each photo, the Lyon-based Gaudrillot-Roy digitally edits each image so that building itself is erased, leaving only the structure’s front, or facade, present. Now on his third iteration of the series, each village or city building carries ominous, almost surreal connotations of civilizations being abandoned, wrecked by recession, or left to slowly disintegrate. However, the images retain a still, quiet beauty, and are haunting in their simplicity.

Says the photographer, “The façade is the first thing we see, it’s the surface of a building. It can be impressive, superficial or safe. Just like during a wandering through a foreign city, I walk through the streets with these questions: what will happen if we stick to that first vision? If the daily life of “The Other” was only a scenery? This series thus offers a vision of an unknown world that would only be a picture, without intimate space, with looks as the only refuge.” (via skumar’s)

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Dr. Seuss’s “Unorthodox Taxidermy” Brings Magical Creatures To Life

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In the late 1930s, Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel) brought his imaginary creatures to life, sculpting them out of wood, mounting them on the wall, and imbuing them with a haunting realism by incorporating real animal parts. The remains of deceased animals came from his father’s workplace, the Forest Park Zoo.

After their construction, the creatures, bearing delightful names like the “Andulovian Grackler” and the “Two Horned Drouberhannis,” were sold as a collection under the title “Collection of Unorthodox Taxidermy.” After living in a child’s bedroom, the pieces were retired to an old barn and resold in 2004. The Chase Group later made resin copies of many of the works. Some of these pieces are available for sale on eBay.

Each sculpture stays true to Seuss’s touchingly earnest connection with the imaginative realm of childhood. The animals, though mounted on a wall, maintain a poignant emotive ability; the marriage of raised brows and mellow smiles with the antlers of genuine beasts makes the works magically vital, communicative— and somehow— real.

The profound soulfulness of the work is only enhanced by its hints of morbidity. In what is perhaps a critique of taxidermy practices, the prolific artist chose to present these fantastical creatures within the context of human domination, forcing viewers to reconcile our desire to believe in magic with the knowledge of environmental destruction. In this way, the aging of the works has not detracted from their potency but has serendipitously heightened it; years after the prolific author’s death, we are asked to search these faded faces for indicators of bestial personalities and traces of the beloved artist’s hand. Take a look. (via This is Colossal and the world’s best ever)

Seinfeld’s ‘Nothing’ Supercut Takes Nothingness To It’s Natural Conclusion With The Removal Of All People

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Seinfeld was the award-winning, best-ever show on television that broke the traditionatl situation comedy mold with producer Larry David’s emphasis on it being “the show about nothing”. Of course, it was about something, four friends and their misadventures in New York City. But a recently prominent super-edit of the series takes the program’s motto to its natural conclusion, by piecing together every cut-scene and still-shots which gave the audience scene establishing, and oddly, never showed any people. The results are disorienting, a bit existential, and completely nostalgic for fans of the show.

(A fair warning, the sound of slap bass might be a bit much at first, but if you are a fan of the show, you heard that familiar 90′s-tinge sound enough times to make finishing the video worth it).

The video is a product of LJ Frezza, whose other video edits often investigate unusual or rarely noticed characteristics or subplots of other familiar popular culture touchstones. For example, in Boldy Going, Frezza focuses on the Star Trek’s Captain Kirk bravely reading the American constitution and the Fleet’s policy of non-involvement, followed by endless, violent and direct physical confrontations with alien planets and lifeforms. Frezza points out that the show’s writers were making commentary on the then escalation of American involvement in the Vietnam war.  (via vice)

Hundreds Of Open Scissors Dangle Over Performance Artist As She Sews

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Photo by Rino Pizzi

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Photo by Art Night Austin

A woman sits alone beneath hundreds of dangling scissors; they teeter above her, metallic mouths open and sharp edges facing downwards. Calmly, she sews. As part of 2011’s The Mending Project, the performance artist Beili Liu put herself in this position, asking audience members to cut away portions of a large piece of fabric and patiently threading it back together.

In juxtaposing the feelings brutality and danger evoked by the scissors with the softness and careful mending of fabric, the performance symbolizes the cyclical process of violence and healing. The scissors are ominous, and yet Liu performs patiently. The work relies upon a symbiotic relationship between destruction and creation; without the audience’s cutting of the sheet-like fabric, the artistic process would not take place. The work is uncomfortable and dangerous, but at the same time, Liu’s re-threaded tapestry, which begins to cover the floor, is strangely comforting. Ultimately, the solace of the artist’s concentrated mending rivals the aggression of the scissors.

The Mending Project also centers around ideas of women in art. Upon until Judy Chicago and still to this very day, women’s craft work has been scoffed at and rejected by museums and galleries. Liu’s work helps to change all that; here, she embraces sewing as “a woman’s work […] a traditional woman’s craft,” and she lends the art form an unexpected hardness and edge. In this picture of femininity, the woman and her work aren’t weak but powerful; through her careful process, she works with the notion of danger and transforms it into something unexpected and, in many ways, not frightful. In her own words, she, the woman, “is the one who […] creates,” finding resilience and fertile power within an unsettling context. (via This is Colossal)

Alejandro Bombín’s Work May Look Like Digital Glitches But They Are In Fact Meticulously Detailed Paintings

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Alejandro Bombín’s paintings are deceptive. At first glance, many of them appear to be old, faded images from vintage publications that were scanned into the computer. Something went awry and now they look glitchy. But, what they actually are is meticulously detailed acrylic works that produce a digital mistake by hand.

By dividing up the image into rows (take a look at the detail above), Bombín is able to draw the the picture and fracture it by shifting the picture right or left from its original center. He uses a pointillist technique and pairs pure colors together, which from far away forms a cohesive image. And, at the same time, these colors and the texture from it are reminiscent of a lo-res, pixelated image.

The distorted images point to our desire to hold onto the past and the failings that we experience with technology. Digitizing something ensures that we’ll have it forever. Photographs and newspaper clippings? Not so much. But what happens when technology fails us too? Bombín’s paintings remind us that both can be fickle and that there are no guarantees.

Francois Robert Juxtaposes Bones And Symbols Of Violence And War

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Human bones, any bones, are signifiers of death, decay- in more poetic terms- the ephemerality of life.

Photographer Francois Robert uses the powerful symbolism that accompanies human bones to create ‘Stop the Violence’ – an eerie but important series of photographs that juxtaposes bones and iconic words/symbols that in some way or another have generated deaths and violence (i.e wars, rifles, handguns, 9/11, knives, the KKK,etc)

In my photographs, I use the human skeleton as the formal visual element, the subject of the image. In this manner, the skeleton is both the protagonist and antagonist (the Buddhist notion about, “the duality of man” seems apt).

For each photograph, the artists dissembles and rearranges the bones in order to reconfigure the elements to form what you see here.

I intend the images to plant the notion of restraint and charity in an effort to promote peace and tolerance.

 

Jon Rafman Wraps Entire Rooms With Classic Paintings

Monet Master Bedroom

Monet Master Bedroom

Lichtenstein Moe's Tavern

Lichtenstein Moe’s Tavern

Matisse Nursery

Matisse Nursery

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O’Keeffe Lobby

Basquiat Classroom

Basquiat Classroom

For his ongoing project titled “Brand New Paint Job,” artist Jon Rafman transforms domestic and familiar settings by imagining them as classic paintings. Using recognizable patterns and paintings from artists such as Basquiat, Lichtenstein, Picasso, Monet, O’Keeffe, Haring, Duchamp, de Kooning, and Matisse, Rafman wraps nurseries, living rooms, bedrooms, and familiar television sets like Star Trek, Jeopardy!, and Seinfeld, turning these works into 3D living spaces. In order to create these imagined spaces, Rafman finds 3D models from Google 3D Warehouse, an online gallery where Google Sketchup users upload their work.

Of his project, Rafman says, “The BNPJ interiors started off as a play on interior design chic. Historically, the greatest fear of the painter was that his work would become design objects. Now it’s common for contemporary artists to take inspiration from commercial visual culture. The design of a Nike cross trainer or a Samsung monitor is as important to contemporary art practice as intense light and dark shadows are to baroque painting. I’m exploring the line between art and design, in which a great work of art can be reduced to a shrinkwrap or add-on surface and functional objects and spaces elevated to the purposelessness of artwork. I’m interested in those forced marriages.” (via my modern met)