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Dramatic Photographs Of Nudes Mimic That Of A Butterfly Erupting From Its Cocoon

E.E. McCollum - Digital C-PrintE.E. McCollum - Digital C-Print

E.E. McCollum - Digital C-Print

Photographer E.E. McCollum’s heavenly figures are both encased and exploding out of their shell in The Cocoon Series. The translucent film covering the figures in the photos transforms the bodies as it mimics that of a butterfly cocoon. McCowell’s work is both stunning and absolutely transcendent, as they seem to be not of this world. Each stretch and fold molds the figures into new shapes as they try to erupt from their form. A master of light and shadow, McCollum started in photography using traditional darkroom processes. This influence can be seen in his current series because they have a stark contrast of lights and darks, much like analogue photography.

The film cast engulfing his figures is lit so well that you we can see every fine line of the body underneath, showing the mesmerizing positions of the bodies. These majestic and elegant poses are not unlike those of dancers, who McCollum often photographs in his other work. Each figure becomes sculptural as the lighting and film engulfing it reshapes and morphs it into another state of being, just like the caterpillar changing into a butterfly. McCollum’s most dramatic and captivating photos are those in which the body is finally erupting out of its “cocoon.” The incredible movement created in these photos is as intense and magical as the transformational act of the creation of butterfly. (via artfucksme)

I love the mystery of these images; the way the material distorts our perception of the body, the layers of the images.          -E.E. McCollum

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Bailey Henderson Sculpts Fantastic Beasts Based Off Illustrations In Medieval Maps

Bailey Henderson - Cold cast bronze, acrylic paint, powdered pigment

Bailey Henderson - Cold cast bronze, acrylic paint, powdered pigment

Bailey Henderson - Cast resin, acrylic paint

Bailey Henderson - Bronze cast

Artist Bailey Henderson creates intricate sculptures depicting fantastic beasts that have been portrayed in medieval maps. Each creature is stylized and made to detail the original image accurately. The texture found in her sculptures mirror the lines in an illustration, like the mythological beings actually jumped right off the pages of a medieval map. These monstrous creatures are often hybrids of two real animals, such as a whale and an eagle, or a dragon and an iguana. Henderson is deeply interested in mythology as well as cartography, which influenced her to make her series Monstorum Marines. Each sculpture is named after its given mythological name, such as Ziphius, the creature that resembles an orca whale, and Porcus Marinus, who is a cross-breed of a boar and a fish. Henderson goes on to describe what the creatures were believed to be and even how they did to kill their victims. Her narrative of the sculpture titled Cockatrice, is both fascinating and entertaining.

A cockatrice is a mythical beast, originating in the 14th century. It the hind quarters of a serpent or dragon, and the front quarters of a chicken. It was believed to deliver a deathly stare, or kill by breathing on its victims.

Henderson’s incredible skill in sculpting is only matched in her painting talent. Cast bronze is the material used to form each claw, tail, and beak in this magnificent series. Acrylic paint and powdered pigments is used to transform the cast metal into majestic beasts full of color and life. Each layer of scales, feathery hair, and powerful wing is created with such attentive detail, that each of Henderson’s unimaginable creatures truly come to life.

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Amanda Jasnowski’s Photographs Covever In Endless Patterns Leave Us In The Sublime

Amanda Jasnowski - Digital C-Print

Amanda Jasnowski - Digital C-Print

Amanda Jasnowski - Digital C-Print

Amanda Jasnowski - Digital C-Print

The playfully colorful and innocent world of Brooklyn based photographer Amanda Jasnowski is completely irresistible. The compositions in her photography are filled with brilliant colors, clashing patterns, and minimal settings. Each one is stranger than the last. Cropped just at the right spot, hiding just enough content, her photography seems familiar to us, but leaves a strange yet lovely taste. Jasnowski is tricky in setting up compositions so intriguing and sublime, they leave you wanting more. Because her photography does not allow us to see or make sense of exactly what is going on, they create a playful suspense, similar to a film still. Not surprisingly, this whimsical artist is a big believer in fun and the importance of never taking yourself too seriously.

Because much of the focus in her works is on the meshing of pattern on clothing, Jasnowski’s photography style holds the flavor of a high fashion photo shoot. Of course, the focus is not just on the clothing worn in her photo shoots, but on the whole, wonderfully surreal compositions. Jasnowski holds an amazing power of experimentation over her creativity. She is constantly pushing and transforming her own technique to create more complex composition by combining stunning colors, busy patterns, and flattened space. Her palette is not just restrained to her beautiful, shallow backgrounds or props, but she also envelopes the models in her photographs with her signature pastels. This was done in her series titled Greetings From Utopia in collaboration with fellow artist Jimmy Marble. (via IGNANT)

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Sarah Bahbah Combines Takeout Food And Sex In Her Voyeuristic Photo Series

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For Australian photographer Sarah Bahbah, food and sex are intimately tied. Her series is called Sex and Takeout, and it’s exactly what it sounds. There’s nudity and canoodling, all with a greasy side of fries. Or pizza. Or, even Chinese takeout. Bahbah runs the gamut of meals while posting it on her Instagram, @raisebywolvesau.

Subjects are seen sharing meals, eating it while laying in bed, or looking post-coital with their food. And sometimes, takeout boxes are pushed to the side as people get down to business. It’s indulgent, visceral, and at times a little silly. But, above all, Sex and Takeout is strangely satisfying for the viewer/voyeur of these private moments. Food and sex conjure the same pleased feelings and pleasurable experiences, so it’s only natural that the two would be enjoyed in the company of one another. (Via Flavorwire and Design You Trust)

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Michael Jackson And Prince Featured In Mat Maitland’s Surrealistic Hyper-Pop Graphics

Mat Maitland - graphicMat Maitland - graphic  Mat Maitland - graphic  Mat Maitland - graphic

You’ve probably seen Mat Maitland‘s images before – and if you haven’t, when you do, you will remember them. The London based graphic designer has a knack at creating brightly colored, striking pop designs with a surrealistic twist. Producing album covers for Basement Jaxx, Michael Jackson, Prince, Goldfrapp, Kanye West and also brand campaigns for Kenzo, Jean Paul Gaultier, and The Tate Gallery, Maitland is experienced in generating eye catching and original compositions. Referencing fashion, vintage magazines, music, paintings and films, he is able to produce something very modern and compelling.

His slick backgrounds, layered textures, saturated colors and juxtaposing textures all blend together beautifully. He is able to eradicate the usual borders that exist between fashion, illustration, photography and design. He talks to Creative Review about some of his intentions behind the Kenzo campaign here:

I wanted the film to be an extension of my illustrative world, to bring that to life, so the jungle itself is quite surreal and otherworldly, a kind of electric parallel universe. I imagined the story as though dreamt by a wild cat, lucid snap shots of a neon jungle world that only make sense in a dream. (Source)

His images do indeed seem like you are exploring an exotic dream, full of strange and wonderful wildlife and patterned beasts. If you want to travel further into Maitland’s world, see his films and moving images here.

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Uldus Bakhtiozina’s Beautiful Photographs Of Russian Fairytale Narratives

uldus bakhtiozina photographyuldus bakhtiozina photographyuldus bakhtiozina photographyuldus bakhtiozina photography

Beautifully designed costumes sets the stage for artist/photographer Uldus Bakhtiozina’s pictorial essay “Russ Land”. Shot in a rural setting, Baktiozina, recreates a narrative based on Russian folklore. Through magic and her own designs she sets forth in capturing a time when the earth was occupied by knights, fair maidens and the forest. She features characters called Baba Yaga (the old woman with knowledge) and Mikulishna (the beautiful), who are familiar figures in fairytales known throughout the world.

The photographer’s hand made costumes are elaborate variations on a theme, most notably in the head dress which the artist emphasizes with great detail in this series. The intricate construction embraces the forest itself, ranging from crowns made of nest like sticks to black and white spider webbed veils.  She works with a generation of young Russian artists, who she claims is the inspiration for her pictures and continues to challenge stereotypes in “Russ Land” by showing women as knights and a fair maiden as lothario(a).

Bakhtiozina was born in Saint Petersburg, Russia from a mixed religious background. She received her education from the University of the Arts London and is credited as the first Russian speaker at TED. She frequently features herself in her work first gaining recognition for a project called “Desperate Romantics”, a series of ironic self portraits. Instead of a digital camera, Bakhtiozina prefers using analog stating ‘it’s better suited at capturing the nature of an object’.  She currently runs a studio dedicated to the visual arts in her native Russia.  (via demilked)

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Bodies In The Multiverse: The Expressive Digital Art Of Adam Martinakis

Adam Martinakis - Digital Art Adam Martinakis - Digital Art Adam Martinakis - Digital ArtAdam Martinakis - Digital Art

Adam Martinakis is an artist who uses computer-generated visual media to explore the body’s relationship with life, death, and sexuality in the digital age. His images are intensely expressive, displaying the human figure in various states of destruction, transformation, and relation: people crumbling apart into darkness, disembodied limbs reaching from iron walls, and lovers with bodies resembling circulatory systems embracing in various states of intimacy. In a world wherein cyber culture is so often equated with alienation and artificiality, Martinakis has done a brilliant job redefining that realm as a facet of human identity, infusing our digital existences with the same love, passion, grief, and pain we experience in our corporeal world.

To Martinakis, the body is not an isolated, autonomous vessel; it is “a small chain link of a big project in the history of existence,” and compressed within it is all the beauty and mystery of the cosmos. Interested in multiverse theories, Martinakis tries to express the vast range of human experience through his artwork. His creations are intensely expressive and visceral; you sense immediately what aspect of life he has rendered. However, they are not simply about life, death, or sexual expression in isolation. All of these experiences are depicted in perpetual co-relation — life becoming death and vice versa, the architecture of the body being made and unmade and made again. Desire, too, is not simply a solitary, material instance, as his interlaced lovers signify; it is a fluid phenomenon, implicating both molecular connections and intricate (and sometimes violent) power dynamics.

“The human body is a wonderful and expressive tool, which gives me the ability to experiment with aspects of human nature,” Martinakis explains. The physical body, of course, is the medium through which we manifest our existences and relationships in the world — something that our immaterial, digitized lives might complicate. For this artist, however, cyber culture is a new beginning of self-understanding, and “it is also a new opportunity to redefine our own nature and the comprehension of perception.” Visit Martinakiswebsite and Facebook page to further explore how he has visualized the vast possibilities for bodies and identities in the digital age. (Via beautiful.bizarre)

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Sculptor Cha Jong Rye Transforms Wood Into Beautifully Simplistic Organic Forms

Cha Jong Rye - wood sculpture Cha Jong Rye - wood sculpture Cha Jong Rye - wood sculpture  Cha Jong Rye - wood sculpture

Korean sculptor Cha Jong Rye shapes, carves, sculpts and manipulates wood to not look like wood. Whether it’s building the material up into pyramids sprouting up from a 2D surface, or forming wood into a free standing spiky form, or making it resemble a scrunched up ball of paper, Jong Rye is one competent carver. She splices different layers of wood together and builds up new shapes, alluding to the actual growth patterns of the raw material. The spikes, recesses, folds, indents and bubbles she makes are her way of allowing the life and energy of the wood come to the surface. One curator talks about her work in a very holistic way:

Flowing with immaterial energy, her sculptures represent the external and inner rhythms of all beings in nature in the state of complete absence of ego. Those little sharp forms composing each work are wriggling upward as if to touch the sky. They, that is, the modules are getting smaller upward as if to indicate the layers of time piled up in nature and universe. They are twisting upwards in their own disparate directions, until they evaporate or disappear into the limitless, leaving only their points. (Source)

Whatever the wooden forms of Jong Rye represents, she does inject a beautiful serenity into them. Her sculptures have a calming effect about them; as if we were there with her in a meditative trance while she was making them. The physical act of her carving the repetitive forms are for sure some sort of way of Jong Rye closing herself off and letting the wood be wood, or in this case, letting it be whatever it wants to be. (Via Dayraven)

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