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The Peace And Melancholia Of Gabriel Isak’s Dream-Like Photography

Peace of Mind

Peace of Mind

In a Dream

In a Dream

The White Storm

The White Storm

The Illumination in the Dark

The Illumination in the Dark

Gabriel Isak is a Swedish photographer who uses digital techniques to create surreal scenes inspired by the inner worlds of dreams and psychology. Recurring through Isak’s images are people isolated against a backdrop of fog and vast emptiness. With their faces obscured by hair, balloons, mesh, or smoke, they become intangible wanderers who symbolize our own unconscious states. There are also repeating images: “birds, [the] ocean, and the fog” — the three things that symbolically compose Isak’s life, as he writes on his Instagram (Source). In their apparent ambiguity, Isak’s dream-like visions evoke a series of shifting experiences and emotions: serenity and mystery, safety and loneliness, hope and despair. In a statement provided to Beautiful/Decay, Isak described his creative process:

I have always been fascinated by the psychological world and the many places we encounter in our dreams. Whenever I create an image, I mostly start with some sort of brainstorming, whether it is writing down words, listening to music and drawing down the vision that appears, or a place I dreamt about. I also get very inspired by locations and always try to find interesting but simple sceneries that I can use in my imagery.

Working in a stream-of-consciousness fashion and drawing on the vagueness of dreams, Isak manages to create scenes of vast interpretative potential. Like the visions seen through a dream, there is an atmosphere of darkness and melancholia — his faceless characters, after all, are all donned in black — but the longer you look and the more you read the symbols, a sense of peace arises. Isak writes:

In my work I use photography as a metaphor for experiences of the soul. My objective is to bring common human emotions into my photography, where the viewers can interact with the moods of the images and find a piece of themselves within it.

Isak is currently residing in San Francisco, where he is obtaining a Bachelor of Fine Arts in photography at the Academy of Art University. Check out his website, Facebook, and Instagram and immerse yourself further in his turbulent-but-still, dark-but-uplifting dreamscapes. (Via Juxtapoz)

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Cal Lane’s Delicate Flourishes And Motifs Cut Into Weathered Metal Objects

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New York-based artist Cal Lane combines traditional metal work with flourishes and delicate motifs. She handcuts lace and other patterns in weathered I-beams, shovels, trash cans, large storage containers, and more. The result is work that references dichotomies: industrial and domestic life; strong and delicate; practical and frivolity; ornament and function. “There is also a secondary relationship being explored here, of lace used in religious ceremonies as in weddings, christenings and funerals,” Lane writes in her artist statement.

She continues, writing about what we can understand by this surprising pairing:

The metaphor of lace further intrigued me by its associations of hiding and exposing at the same time; like a veil to cover, or lingerie to reveal. It also introduces a kind of humor through the form of unexpected relationships. Like a Wrestler in a tutu, the absurdity of having opposing extremist stances is there for reaction and not rational understanding; the rational discussion arises in the search for how one thing defines the other by its proximity. (Via L’Acte Gratuit)

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Graffiti Artist Christina Angelina’s Impressive Circular Multi-Media Installation Will Drag You To The Desert

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In the middle of the California desert (Slab City) there is a pretty cool collaboration and installation work checking out. Graffiti artist Christina Angelina has teamed up with Ease One to work on a impressive, emotional project called Kinetoscope. Taking over an abandoned water tank in the middle of a dusty plain, they have painted a massive circular mural reflecting on the ideas of women, intuition, gender, and the current zeitgeist.

Combining many different elements, the installation is a multi-sensory experience. After climbing up a 15 ft ladder, visitors then descend into the middle of the empty water tank to find themselves surrounded by larger than life faces and will hear amplified sound echo around the structure. While in the middle of the space and turning around, the visitor will experience a certain type of magic inspired by photographer Eadweard Muybridge. He was the originator of the Zoetrope – a machine and technique that animated still images, and would bring them to life, by quickly spinning them on a circular form.

The women’s faces Angelina has painted reflect on her own magical, personal moments when she has used her intuition – an attribute she feels is undervalued and overlooked by society. Additionally, she has painted a type of mysterious font around the border of the tank in a striking combination of Eastern and Western script. The words spell out lyrics to Society by Jerry Hannan and Eddie Vedder:

It’s a mystery to me
We have a greed with which we have agreed
You think you have to want more than you need
Until you have it all you won’t be free
Society, you’re a crazy breed
I hope you’re not lonely without me

Kintoscope was sponsored by Starfighter Studios. They have kept a diary of sorts reading more into the experience of being based in the desert, away from society, while putting the installation together. You can read more of their insights here.

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Zim & Zou’s Incredibly Intricate And Colorful Paper Sculptures

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Zim & Zou - Sculpture Zim & Zou - Sculpture
French art duo spectaculaire Zim & Zou create dazzling paperscapes that are full of lush colors and imagination. With intricate snips and folds and other sorts of wizardry, they bring to life a series of candy-colored dreams populated with a flock of birds of a multitude of hues: sizzlingly bright red, rich bronze and gold, and aquamarine. There are no dull spots in the land of Zim & Zou: theirs is a technicolor wonderland that is fully and brightly realized.
The detail in their work is incredible, making their paper birds almost look like mechanical nightingales. Other denizens include a bright orange and navy lobster that looks like it’s been gift wrapped and a spider fully decked out in metallic splendor. It’s not just the natural world that gets an unnatural makeover: A neon machine, delightfully mysterious, stands in a spot marked by caution tape. Its bright colors pop and it promises all kinds of treats and cotton candy concoctions that are simply out of this world.
It’s amazing that Zim & Zou’s works are all entirely handmade. According to their bio,
“Their favorite material is the paper they’re cutting, folding and gluing to give rise to intricate and colorful sculptures. Paper inspires them for its versatility, infinite range of colors and unique textures. The flat sheets turned into volume are giving an installation the poetry of ephemeral material.”

(via Hi-Fructose)

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The Dark Surrealism And Honest Sensuality Of Fabio Esposito’s Fashion And Beauty Photography

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Fabio Esposito is a London-based (Italian-born) fashion and beauty photographer with an alternative and darkly sensual style. Among his impressive list of collaborators are the designers Jitrois, Pam Hogg, Úna Burke, and Jay Briggs (who we featured recently — read more here), as well as the artists Amanda Lear and Francesca Belmonte. No matter what Esposito is shooting — be it leather couture, surrealist still lifes, or bizarre head apparatuses — his results are consistently expressive, using powerful lighting and color schemes (often in monochromatic tones) to evoke emotion and tell a story. When I inquired about how he would describe his style, Esposito explained:

“My style keeps changing with my emotions, but it’s always a fight between my dark side and the part of me that could not live without vibrant colours. When you strive to express your inner world and somehow show it through your work, then this is what I think makes it different and unique.”

There is no doubt that Espostio brings an original and exciting element into fashion and beauty photography. Inspired by artists such as Dalí and Caravaggio, his work follows artistic traditions while transforming them into something new; like a contemporary Dalí, many of Esposito’s works contain strange and surprising elements, such as the armless, nude woman wearing a mask that resembles a crossover between a disfigured classical sculpture and a cyborg. Recalling Caravaggio, Esposito’s photos often have a chiaroscuro-type effect, using blotted shadows to create bold contrasts on the skin of his models. The result is a set of images that are classical, honest, and seductive in their beauty, yet buzzing with a distinctly modern and alternative edge.

Visit Esposito’s website, FacebookTwitter, and Instagram to view more of his work. He is currently collaborating with Jay Briggs on a new millinery collection, which — given the darkly beautiful photo shoots they’ve created in the past — is worth keeping an eye out for.

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Stop And Smell The Roses: The Eclectic Flora Collages Of Anne Ten Donkelaar

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Spring is in full bloom in the work of Anne Ten Donkelaar, as she breathes new life into fragile shards of flora. Using photos of flowers, she collages together lush bouquets of plants in combinations that are unlike any you may find in the wild. Each bloom and root this Netherland based artist creates is mismatched with another. She even combines black and white nature photography with color, creating a striking affect. Donkelaar’s emphasis of the faint, subtle lines of the roots and stems moving through the composition beautifully compliment the flourishing flora. Her magical specimens are delicate and ethereal, as they seem to float in their frame. In fact, her work is suspended above the background by small pins, casting a contrasting shadow behind it.

“Weeds become poetry, each unique twig gets attention, nature seems to float.”

Donkelaar’s work shows off an eclectic assortment of plant types, as she displays cactus, succulents, and fungi amongst the layers and layers of wildflowers. The large variety of hue and color combined with the widely diverse nature in her work creates overwhelming visual detail and beauty that will have you searching through every leaf and pedal. The artist treats each piece with such love as to show the faint detail of each small bud that transforms and evolves into a new and thriving creation.

“By protecting these precious pieces under glass, I give the objects a second life and hope to inspire people to make up their own stories about them.”

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Adult Movie Posters Of The 60’s And 70’s Spark Interesting Conversations

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Does anyone even go to the movies anymore? Now with everything from Netflix to Hulu and a million other choices in between you can see the latest celluloid features in the comfort of your own portable device. But what about porn films? Can you even see a skin flick in a theater these days? Now that Times Square in New York has cleaned up its act I wouldn’t even know where to catch the latest porn on the big screen. You might have to travel abroad to check out a xxx in a proper theater today. In the meantime, here’s a look through a collection of pre-AIDS 60’s and 70’s erotica movie posters.

Most of these are pretty tame. In fact mainstream fashion spreads are more risqué these days. Aside from the nude frontal muff shots they were pretty conservative back then when it came to publicity. All the suggestion is in the titles which converse to that genre of “dumb speak” where it’s painfully obvious what’s going to happen once you start watching. Some also play into the success of popular titles from that period. A few of the better ones are Flash Pants, Love In 3D, Hot Lunch and School Of Hard Knocks. Perhaps the most popular title Debbie Does Dallas released in 1978 has some interesting history. The lead character played by actress Bambi Woods actually tried out for the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders but was cut during auditions. The film wasn’t shot in Dallas but around New York City including Brooklyn College’s athletic field and Pratt Institute’s library. Both took place without either school’s knowledge. (via juxtapoz)

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Federica Landi Adorns Old Family Photos With Saliva

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In the series Daimones, photographer Federica Landi adorns pictures in a family album with her saliva. The new works feature bubbly spit obscuring faces, bodies, and create diffused patterns across the compositions.

On her website, Landi uses this quote to describe the importance of the drool:

The saliva replaces the seminal fluid in many cultures, used as magical element that can cure and fecundate through the single contact. Since it comes from the mouth and preserves the vital energy, it is often associated to the essence of the breath and the soul. (Craveri E. Michela,Intrecci di culture, 2008)

Photography is one way that we can keep the past with us, even after it is long gone. From Landi’s statement about Daimones:

 

The inclusion of saliva (a fluid certifying identity) on the photographic surface, creates a layer of contingent “presence”, intimate re-appropriation of the family archive, attempting to ‘cure’ the fallacious nature of memory and to ‘fecundate’ its connection with our current time.

 

Saliva is thus the glue that keeps together two dimensions: the motionless time of photography and the contingency of identity. (Via Tu recepcja)

 

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