Italian photographer Stefano Bonazzi melds smoke and body together in his lush series Smoke. These high contrast black and white photographs feature naked bodies melting into the atmosphere, drifting off in a plume of velvety smoke. They feel soft, mysterious, and cinematic.
Bonazzi, who has a multitude of different series, speaks about this body of work in a very compelling way:
Smoke fascinates me because it is hypnotic, evanescent and impalpable. The smoke you can perceive it with your sense of smell and can even be fatal despite being a natural element devoid of texture and weight. I often compare the smoke to the human soul and in my series “Smoke” I just try to contrast the weight and consistency of the human body with the lightness and elusiveness of his soul, that in these shots I try to represent their with the use of the smoke. The “smoky” of the subjects is in fact their own feelings and emotions. The protagonists of these shots express sexual desire, more anxiety and melancholy, loneliness and suffering. These feelings are so powerful that they evaporate, split from the body and rise into the unknown, which in this case is represented by the black background of the shots.” (Excerpt from Source)
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.
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Hungarian photographer Flora Borsi has come up with a hilarious small series of works that shows us how photoshop would work in real life. Shorten your nose in just a few clicks and cover up that massive pimple on your face with the help of the patch tool. Oh if only life was so easy! (via)
What is more fascination than the moving image? How about a technique that creates moving images without any film? Artist Elliot Schultz has refined his own version of zoetropes, which is a method of filmless animation. This magic is created by taking a series of images and rotating them in a fast pace. Combined with the use of a strobe light, the sequence appears seamless as if it is the same image moving over and over. Schultz has taken this traditional technique and made it his own. He stitches wiggling worms, dripping water, and old men walking onto fabric in the shape of a circle. These ten-inch discs are the perfect size to be placed onto any turntable, and what is a turntable best for if not to spin! The embroidered images are rotated so fast that it appears just as if they are moving. Since strobe lights often go along with clubs, djs, and turntables, using this unique method almost seems a natural fit for a zoetrope.
Early inventions of the pin screen along with other alternative animation methods have deeply influenced Schultz’s work. He finds inspiration in engineers and animators involved with early cinema such as Claire Parker and Alexandre Alexeieff. Schultz is always experimenting with new mediums and techniques to further develop his interesting series. This incredibly innovative artist is somewhat of an engineer himself, bringing a bit of the history of animation into the contemporary world of electronic music and turntables. (via This is Colossal)
Artist Whit Forrester’s photographic series, Affinity in the Tall Grasses, documents his time spent on a queer marijuana farm in California. He states:
“The work began as entertainment when I was not manicuring cannabis. I’d seen a psychic a few years prior who suggested I go back to photography which coincided with a move out west (again). ‘Affinity’ is the documentary beginning of a body of work that continues to look at my own history within the history of cannabis, and thinking about the ways that queer history and culture intersects all of it.”
The artist explains that the work explores the connection between the legalization of marijuana in California in 1996 and the rising HIV/AIDS epidemic. He continues by stating that at the time, the Queer and Trans community (or what he refers to as LGBTTSQIQ) was heavily affected by the epidemic, and therefore, a large portion of those campaigning for legalization were within that community. Furthermore, there is inevitably a strong link between the legalization of cannabis in California and the Queer Trans community.
Affinity in the Tall Grasses is just one of many series the artist has created. His work is constantly searching for new intersections between collective history and personal selfhoods. He states:
“The work and research I do typically thinks of the ways in which identity plays into our connections, but also strives to look for new ways in which we compose our identities, and the potential ways that could change. I am interested in larger, decentralized radical community and identify with conceptual experimentation in the service of creating new forms of social community, especially in relationship to land.”