Italian fashion photographer Lucia Giacani’s series Under My Skin shows just what kind of editorial liberties are taken in this interesting-yet-bizarre photoshoot. Originally shot for Vogue Italy, the colorful images feature a high-fashion model clothed in gorgeous garments while she dons unconventionally-colored makeup. It complements the props used in the photo; surrounding her are medical anatomy of the animal kingdom. Rabbits, goats, and chickens are all halved so we can see their insides.
Giacani’s photographic style is very clear and visual. Nothing is hidden in obscurity, and we see a lot of interesting details in the spotlight. The juxtaposition of the two main elements – the woman and the anatomy – creates a strange narrative. It makes us ask ourselves questions, like, who is this person? How do the two seemingly disparate subjects relate to one another? It’s this ambiguity that makes for a compelling and ultimately unforgettable image. (Via Illusion)
Swiss artist Edgar Romanovskis uses simple digital editing techniques to portray the illusion of infinity within his outdoor portraiture. Starting with a hand-made frame, he photographs an outdoor scene either holding or setting the frame in it, then manipulates the image in Photoshop to mirror the frame endlessly, forming a geometric gateway that sinks into oblivion. The results are captivating.
Much of his previous work involves landscape photography, with heavy use of photo manipulation to pull at the tones and contrast, achieving the fullest impact with the image, and creating a nearly other-worldly look. In comparison to that type of work, this series, titled “Concept of Infinity,” has a beautifully muted and nearly fine art quality to it. The tones are even, and although the patterns are simple there is a nearly entrancing quality to them. This is a simple way to turn a beautiful landscape photograph into something that appears to fall into another dimension.
Mixed media artist Anila Quayyum Agha has figured out how to decorate an entire room with shadows cast from a box. Laser cutting intricate patterns into a wooden cube, a light within the cube projects an intricate display of shadows that envelope the entire room in ornate design. The results are breathtaking and the philosophy behind her work is fascinating.
This project, titled “Intersections,” combines the patterning of Islamic sacred spaces with architectural aesthetics:
“The Intersections project takes the seminal experience of exclusion as a woman from a space of community and creativity such as a Mosque and translates the complex expressions of both wonder and exclusion that have been my experience while growing up in Pakistan. The wooden frieze emulates a pattern from the Alhambra, which was poised at the intersection of history, culture and art and was a place where Islamic and Western discourses, met and co-existed in harmony and served as a testament to the symbiosis of difference. For me the familiarity of the space visited at the Alhambra Palace and the memories of another time and place from my past, coalesced in creating this project. My intent with this installation was to give substance to mutualism, exploring the binaries of public and private, light and shadow, and static and dynamic. This installation project relies on the purity and inner symmetry of geometric design, the interpretation of the cast shadows and the viewerâ€™s presence within a public space.”
Architectural artist Alex Chinneck has turned heads this week in Covent Garden by making it look as if the top part of the Market Building in the piazza is floating in mid air. From all angles it seems as if the building is hovering above it’s foundations, not joined to any part of the base. Not only is it an impressive optical illusion, but also a display of amazing technical ability. Taking over 8 months to plan and involving at least 50 people, this project has been a logistical feat. The actual materials used in the replication includes digitally carved polystyrene that has been distressed by scenic artists and attached to hidden beams. Chinneck’s technical team worked over 4 days to help install the trickery, cladding plaster around structures to look like stone columns and inspecting the finish on the paintwork.
Playfully titled Take My Lightning But Don’t Steal My Thunder, Chinneck makes sense of the installation in this way:
“there are things which always come together but are always slightly apart….the shape of the crack was reminiscent of the lightning bolt. It’s a very cataclysmic scene.” (Source)
Known for his gravity-defying architectural projects, Chinneck also created an awe-inspiring installation last October in Margate. Called From The Knees Of My Nose To The Belly Of My Toes, that project involved a brick facade that appeared to separate from it’s roof and slide down into the garden in front of the apartment block. He has also “flipped” old livery stables in Southwark – recreating the windows and door frames, but around the wrong way. Chinneck seems addicted to talking on these overwhelmingly complex projects, but thinks of them in quite a different way:
“The idea itself is actually quite simple. I don’t get too bogged down in concept or meaning or message. It is what it is. It’s playful and fun.” (Source)
Andy Freeberg takes photographs of the women who watch over the artwork at Russian Art Museums. Often the women seem to emulate the artwork themselves. Whether this is controlled by Freeberg for his portraits or a natural phenomenon is unclear, but it adds an extra layer of poetry to the photographs. In one, a woman sits beside a case of heads, and her own expression mimics that of the 2nd century mummies beside her. In another, the blue of the woman’s shirt is identical to the patter in the painting above her. The women speak about their attachments to the paintings they guard, and whether it is conscious or not, it would appear the artwork has a deep impact on them.
Freeberg explains his interest in the women:
In the art museums of Russia, women sit in the galleries and guard the collections. When you look at the paintings and sculptures, the presence of the women becomes an inherent part of viewing the artwork itself. I found the guards as intriguing to observe as the pieces they watch over. In conversation they told me how much they like being among Russia’s great art. A woman in Moscow’s State Tretyakov Gallery Museum said she often returns there on her day off to sit in front of a painting that reminds her of her childhood home. Another guard travels three hours each day to work, since at home she would just sit on her porch and complain about her illnesses, “as old women do.” She would rather be at the museum enjoying the people watching, surrounded by the history of her country.
At the intersection of art and technology Austria-based Ars Electronica Futurelab has developed a method for making responsive light art in the sky. “Spaxels (a portmanteau word from space pixels) are LED-equipped quadcopters. They make up a swarm of drones that can ‘draw’ three-dimensional figures in midair.” A cross between fireworks and a screensaver, the quadcopters move in precision routines to make 3d light sculptures in the sky.
Flying through the air, the Spaxels look like UFOs, strange glowing objects in the sky. Because they’re controlled, though, they are capable of creating endless permutations. In London, they drew the Star Trek logo near the Tower Bridge. 50 quadcopters performed “The Cloud in the Web” in Linz. The Emirate of Sharjah saw multiple formation flights in “Clusters of Light,” part of a celebration of the start of its term as Islamic Capital of Culture.
“Clusters of Light’ gives an account of the life of the Prophet Mohammed and the early history of Islam. While the cast acted out the narrative on stage, the LED-studded spaxels visualized it in the sky above. In this role, the spaxels formed visual elements such as an arc spanning the amphitheater and the words of God falling from the heavens like drops of rain.” (Source)
Gracefully swooping and swarming, guided by gesture, the Spaxels mimic nature while pushing the boundaries of technology. (via Juxtapoz)
Laurie Hogin, a painter based in Illinois, is setting up to open a show at Littlejohn Contemporary from October 9th through November 8th. This show, titled “Amygdala,” features colorful paintings of a vast array of animals.
“The title of the exhibition refers to an almond-shaped mass located deep within the mammalian brain, although other species, including certain reptiles, appear to have structures with similar function.(1) It is involved in motivation, emotion, and emotional behavior, and is activated by all sensory experiences.(2) It is widely accepted that the amygdala plays a critical role in acquisition and consolidation of emotionally charged memories. Research suggests that emotional memories are formed, in part, through associative learning, (3) wherein a creature’s or person’s emotions and behaviors are influenced by sensory experiences that cause associations with earlier experiences, even if the current environment is different.
Hogin is interested in how emotionally charged memories become language, symbols and metaphors, and how sensory inputs like color, sound, scent, physical pain, pleasure, or social and emotional context develop latent meanings through naming, categorization, and narrative.”
Hogin describes her aesthetics as such:
“As a painter, I value the visual, tactile and poetic pleasures of what paint can do and what it’s for: It’s formal and material qualities, it’s plasticity, and it’s usefulness in appropriating languages from the history of its use to certain semiotic purposes. My color palette has acquired the Day-Glo intensity of contemporary media landscapes; I revel in its visuality and vulgar seductiveness as much as cast a critical eye. My animals remain allegories of culture as much as avatars of my own psyche, whose expressions engage with the emotionality of daily fears, joys, pleasures, desires and outrages, and whose furs and skins are both tactile and toxic.” (Excerpt from Source and Source)
Pop culture and classic, fine art mashups aren’t anything new, but they nevertheless provided an interesting juxtaposition between the visual culture of then and now. Philippines-based multimedia producer Eisen Bernardo has created a series that places the covers of contemporary magazines like Vogue, Rolling Stone, and Vanity Fair. It’s appropriately titled Mag+Art.
Bernardo told Buzzfeed that he began the project because he felt that magazine covers were inspired by classical paintings. This is his way of comparing the aesthetics of the long ago as well as the present. What kind of clothing, hairstyles, poses, etc. are popular now? How has beauty changed or stayed the same. He poses the question, “Do we still see a naked woman as an object of art/beauty? Can the celebrities and models on magazine cover be considered as muses of the contemporary masters?” And, he hopes that these covers can be considered classic art. (Via The Huffington Post and Buzzfeed)