Alex Van Gelder’s Meat Portraits

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Nothing if not disturbing, Alex Van Gelder’s Meat Portraits portray carcasses, flesh, entrails, organs and other animal parts from an abattoir in Benin. Found and photographed in the marketplace, or carefully staged into contorted compositions, Van Gelder’s photographs are corporeality at its most raw.  Thoughtfully describing them as portraits rather than some kind of protest, or statement, Van Gelder is specific about his process. The photographs possess an abstraction that is compelling and unnerving. The artist says of his work, “African butchers don’t use electric saws as Europeans do but cut up the meat by hand which produces a variety of styles.The slaughterhouse was in the open air and in front of it a small market where they would sell the still warm meat. I worked there on and off for one year producing my Meat Portraits. I consider these portraits still lives.”

Appalling and even nauseating in their uncensored savage-ness, there is a strange beauty to the images when one steps back and pretends they’re something other than meat.  Surprisingly not a vegetarian, Van Gelder’s images are less about animal rights and more about the emotionally evocative formal qualities the camera can capture.

 

Akira Horikawa Spent The Last Six Years Making 1000 Drawings

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In January 26,2012 we posted about NYC based artist Akira Horikawa’s 1000 Drawing Project. Then, he was almost half way done with the challenge; today, we can say that he is finished.

For the past six years, Horikawa has been posting on his Tumblr in hopes that he could, in some way, catalogue his “happenings, dreams and emotions.” In pocket-sized sketchbooks, he effectively but weirdly tries to evaluate his thoughts, values and experiences through simple but insightful and humorous drawings which topics range from sex and love, to existential questioning and everything else in between.

You can visit his Tumblr blog, where you will find the rest of his drawings!

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Photographs Of The Unconditional Love between An Elderly Woman And Her Cat

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It doesn’t get better than being loved by a fluffy, soft animal. It is said that the love between a guardian and their pet is unconditional; an-almost familial bond that grows bigger and tighter as time goes on.

Thirteen years ago, Japanese photographer Miyoko Ihara began snapping pictures of her now 88-year-old grandmother, Misao, and her odd-eyed kitten, Fukumaru. Misao, a farmer and merchant of fresh vegetables, found the cat abandoned in a shed, and the pair has been inseparable since then. She named the cat ‘Fukumaru” in hope that “God of fuku (good fortune) would follow her. Lucky for the 88-year old MIsao, Fukumaru stayed by her side through hard work and disability. They simply make their life better just by being together. The photographs are just a gilmpse at how wonderful, and important their friendship is to each other.

You can find the complete series in Miyoko Ihara’s  book, Misao the Big Mama and Fukumaru the Cat. The book can be purchased directly through Little More Books. (via Before it’s News)

Millie Brown Paints With Her Vomit

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Performance artist Millie Brown uses her body in an uncomfortable way in order to create bright splashes of color on canvas (and sometimes clothes and people). Brown mixes colors into soy milk before regurgitating the milk onto her preferred canvas, akin to the drip-color style of Jackson Pollock. The artist first began experimenting with this method in 2005, and has since performed this act in many places, including for Lady Gaga’s 2006 video, “Excorist Interlude.” Brown, a vegan, only performs this body-exhaustive piece once per month. She fasts for 2 days before each performance so that her stomach is empty and her regurgitations purely the color of the milk she’s ingested; she can drink anywhere from one pint to four liters of liquid depending on the type of performance. The result of her performances are works of bright colors that are not obviously the products of puking.

Responses to her work have varied, ranging from laughing to crying, declarations of love, and even death threats, but Brown maintains that art is supposed to inspire powerful emotions in people. “I have an inherent desire to push my own boundaries within my art… By creating art from the very depths of my own physical being I am able to challenge people’s perception of beauty, expressing raw elements of human nature and in turn challenging myself both physically and mentally.” (via daily mail)

Constance And Eric Redefine Sexy In Their Intimate Photographs Of Couples

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Constance & Eric are a married couple from Brooklyn who have carved a niche and figured out how to make a living taking pictures of people having sex.  Blurring the lines between high art and commercial photography, the duo have photographed over 140 couples.  Beginning the project out of disappointment in the way commercial photography generally treats bodies and sex, the couple came up with their own parameters for “sexy.”  Disenchanted, as many of us are, by the narrow definition advertising and media give to the term, Constance and Eric decided to pursue a visual journey through the erotic and corporeal.

Subtle in their abstraction, the duo’s photographs transcend pornography or explicit imagery and become mere suggestions of the actual act.  But there is a sensual nature to the images that feels incredibly personal, even if a viewer can’t actually discern what precisely he is looking at.   In an interview with Nerve, Constance said, “The abstract images help create more of a feeling of the moment.  It enables the viewer to put themselves in the image without the distraction of recognizable features.”

In an interview with Huffington Post Constance and Eric said that the part of their job they enjoy the most is “Showing people how beautiful they are together.”  Check out their website, and if you’re brave enough, grab your significant other and contact them for a session.  (via HuffPost & Nerve)

Amusing Photo Series Imagines If Shoes Had Teeth

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In a surreal and slightly disturbing series titled Running Gag by the Hamburg-based studio POP. Postproduction, they imagine what it would be like if shoes teeth to accompany their tongues. POP specializes in photo-retouching, and manipulated the images has the loafers, boat shoes, and Converse sneakers laughing and grinning. Some have a gap tooth, others a gold grill, while some have hardly any teeth at all.

There is some correspondence with the teeth and the shoe. For instance, the pink canvas shoe with decorative laces has a mouth full of braces, so we’d imagine they are a teenage girl. The gold-studded loafer is an “alternative style” to the preppy shoe, so its gold lip ring feels appropriate.

Despite being slickly-produced and brightly-colored series, the Running Gag is subtle, and it’s only after more than a seconds glance that you realize there are teeth in these shoes. It’s POP’s Photoshopping skills that add to the believability of these characters, and they look liked they’d be right in place in a horror film. (Via Design Taxi)

Mystery Installation At Uniqlo’s Flagship Store

Something big is happening at the 5th Avenue flagship Uniqlo store in New York City. We just watched this mysterious video that teases at a massive installation on the second floor of the store. The video shows a time-lapse of the second floor of the store being cleared out with massive lettering covering the walls spelling out SPRZ. We at B/D don’t have a clue as to what SPRZ could possibly mean but we’re intrigued! An outside shot shows a crazy cast of character working on the installation throughout the night. Not much clues in the video as to what they’re up to but we’re spotting T-Rex’s, giant bananas, and dancing chorus lines running around like crazy. Hopefully one of our NYC readers can go on a spy mission and fill us in on the details.

JJ Levine’s Photos Of One Person As Two Genders Redefine Gender Roles

From Alone Time, 2007

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From Alone Time, 2007

From Alone Time, 2007

In the dawn of an era where Facebook has added a customizable option with about 50 different terms people can use to identify their gender, and an oscar nominated film about AIDS and a famous male, straight musician playing a transgender role (aka Dallas Buyers Club), we are bound to see more projects like JJ Levine‘s in the mainstream media.

The Montreal based photographer, an avid cataloguer of trans and queer communities since early 2000′s, creates Alone Time, a series of photographs in which he recreates typical domestic environments that play around with the idea of gender stereotypes. For this project he uses one model only; the one model is to play both the male and female characters in the image. The result, Levine said, “challenges the normative idea that gender presentation is stable or constant. Rather, gender expression can be fluid and multiple.”

“work is emerging at a moment when people are starting to talk more about gender and sexuality in the public sphere, which allows more space for queer cultural production and representation in the mainstream.”The thought-provoking work gives us the chance to become vulnerable and empathetic towards

The thought-provoking work not only give us, the viewer (of any gender,) the possibility to become vulnerable and empathetic, but also the ability to imagine ourselves in this specific situation. What would it be like to be a member of the opposite sexes? Do I, in anyway, resemble some of all the male/female/transgender characteristics?

Levine, a trans and queer man, uses his sexuality, gender and past experiences in his art in order to reach out to those who are not necessarily familiar with the subject. He intends to expand awareness through creating work that is familiar to all, and not just one gender. He notes that his images “talk about and celebrate marginality from a place of familiarity and self-exploration as opposed to voyeurism.” (via Slate)