Brooklyn-based photographer Marco Scozzaro creates Mirror Neurons, a straight- forwards series of photographs that capture the bodies of men and women wearing nude tights. You might be thinking that this project is kind of pointless, but in actuality it isn’t. Scozzaro’s clever ways of conceptualizing his pieces challenge the viewer to think outside the box and ultimately reach various conclusions at once.
Scozzaro began his project by photographing a series of nudes in front of a neutral background and had the models wear a pair of skin color tights as a metaphor for conformism. As the project developed (and gave it a name), Scozzaro started thinking about the motives behind his artistic choices.
Mirrors Neurons a family of neural cells considered to be the neurological base of imitation. I used this scientific element as a starting point to reflect on how different people follow the same way of thinking. It’s a projection on personal feelings such as solitude, detachment, shyness and the urge to connect with others.—Marco Scozzaro
Like in most of his projects, Scozzaro’s subtle but powerful and beautiful images allow for different layers of interpretation. In this specific case, we can take the nude tights as a symbol that simultaneously represents ideas of oppression and vulnerability. His interesting way of transferring concepts into these carefully arranged portraits extends its topic to a broader range of issues including identity, gender, and relationships. (via Feature Shoot)
Wooden framework, first stage for mounting elephant
Assembling bones for Nodosaurus dinosaur skeleton from dinosaur bone collection
Charles Lang and Carl Sorensen working on skull of Palaeoloxodon antiquus italicus
Museum staff with fossil shark jaws under restoration
If you’ve ever been to the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, you’ve probably spent some time marveling at the grandiose installations and the larger-than life exhibits of species that are both alive and extinct. The Research Library at the museum kept incredible records of how these things were produced and have the photographs available for view on their website. These behind-the-scenes looks are fascinating, featuring taxidermy, assemblage, and the hoisting up of giant bones.
Employes built a lot of the structures from the ground up, forming armatures for what were birds, elephants, antelopes, and more. There was also fun to be had with large fossils, like a shark’s jaw, where we see one of the employees suspended in air, sitting on it, paying the giant teeth very little mind.
Removed from context, there is a surreal quality to these photographs. They represent a different time, an era when we didn’t have all the technological advances that we do today. Because of this, things in the museum have the tendency to feel dated and look aged, but these records show the amount of knowledge of craft and handiwork that had to go into the giant exhibits that we still visit today. (Via Fish Eyes)
French digital artist JC Debroize has created an unsettling font called “The Human Type” using modeling clay and digital effects. Debroize completed this project as the creative director for the graphic design studio Kerozen. After using modeling clay to render the shapes of the letters, Debroize took photos of both the letters and the faces of the 7 Kerozen team members. “Then I made a mapping of skin textures on the letters with Photoshop and added the hair and the eyes,” Debroize elaborates. “It was not a problem to show an unflattering image of us. We laughed a lot making this.” (via laughing squid)
It’s time for our weekly exclusive artist feature in partnership with premiere website builder Made With Color. Each week we join forces to bring you some of the most exciting artists and designers working today who use Made With Color to build their clean and sleek websites. Made With Color is a website builder that helps artists create gorgeous mobile/tablet optimized websites in only a few minutes without having to touch a line of code.This week we are happy to share the work and website of Tanya Batura.
Los Angeles artist Tanya Batura is known for her delightfully grotesque busts that reference a wide array of subject matter such as BDSM, fashion, serial killers, human deformities and classical 15th Century sculpture. Working in ceramics, a medium that has both its detractors and supporters, Batura’s large-scale heads defy even their own materiality, transforming the often staid and predictable parameters of the medium toward a more cohesive and deliberately forceful sensibility.
Batura’s work is at once monumental and delicate, geometric and languorously sensual in their fluidity, starkly devoid of color yet strangely shadowed from within. Pushing both material and content, Batura’s agenda is clearly less about pleasing any perceived “viewer,” and much more about complete absorption into her own process.
An exclusive interview with Tanya Batura is available in Beautiful/Decay Issue:V available on the B/D SHOP.
Linny and Pat, met on Craigslist ‘Missed Connections’
Mariela and Tiago, met on Tattoodatingsite.com
Cora and Will, met on Craigslist ‘Free Stuff’
With so many ways of finding love online, it’s no surprise that nearly one-third of married couples in the United States were introduced this way. In the series We Met On The Internet, photographer Jena Cumbo teams up with writer Gina Tron to document couples whose love stories started from an encounter on the web. Cumbo photographs the couples in their homes and occasionally out in public, while Tron records their story. You might think of Match.com, OKCupid, eHarmony as the way most people find their mate, but in reality, they meet in a bunch of different and sometimes strange ways. We get a glimpse inside of the lives of couples who took advantage of the matchmaking that the Internet has to offer.
Perhaps one of the more unconventional introductions was between Cora and Will (photo directly above), who met through Craigslist “Free Stuff”. Here’s their story:
Cora and Will met because of a Craigslist ‘Free Stuff’ listing. Will had free movie tickets and Cora was the taker. This was back before Craigslist anonymized responses. In the signature of Will’s email, Cora noticed his website. She clicked on it and discovered he was a talented graphic designer. She was intrigued by his work and they kept in touch, and their friendship turned romantic. They are now married and had a daughter in 2011 and a son earlier this year.
We Met On The Internet is an ongoing series, so if you or someone you know met their partner online, you can contact Cumbo. (Via FeatureShoot)
Tony Matelli‘s realistic “Sleepwalker” sculpture has created a bit of controversy among students at Wellesley, where the sculpture was installed outside of the college’s Davis Musuem. For Lisa Fischman, the museum’s director, the sculpture addresses the boundary of what we expect from art inside a museum versus the outside. Junior Zoe Magdid, the student who initiated a petition to have the sculpture removed, disagrees. ”We were really disappointed that she seemed to articulate that she was glad it was starting discussion, but didn’t respond to the fact that it’s making students on campus feel unsafe, which is not appropriate,” Magid said. “We really feel that if a piece of art makes students feel unsafe, that steps over a line.” More than 300 students have signed the petition so far.
While I can see how Wellesley students could find the sculpture threatening or triggering, I am curious how they would have reacted if Matelli’s female sleepwalker sculpture were installed instead. Most students would probably not feel as threatened by its presence, but that sort of perception would only perpetuate the idea that men alone embody a physical threat, though women are also capable of sexual abuse against others.
However you choose to perceive the sculpture, Matelli’s work provokes viewers and asks them to consider not only the absurdity of a “schlumpy” man sleepwalking campus in his underwear, but also how certain bodies and genders are perceived inside and outside the art gallery. Some of Matelli’s other sculpture work can also be perceived as creepy, but they all seem to address notions of boundaries and gravity, and the defiance of particular expectations. (via gawker)
Kathryn Andrews explores issues relating to performance, presentation and material. Juxtaposing the legacies of pop art and minimalism, Andrews’ works direct a viewer to consider the way subjectivity is constructed in contemporary culture. In the process, Andrews’ works manage to subvert the very art historical categories they reference. Using fabricated forms alongside readymade objects sourced from the likes of prop shops, memorabilia stores or party supply outlets Andrews’ pieces become a powerful contrast between high art and pseudo-kitsch—shiny, serious mirrored surfaces reflect colorful, strange yet common objects. In the reflection the viewer sees himself, thus becoming part of the narrative and generation of information and understanding.
Entertaining similar interests in her two-person exhibition with fellow Los Angeles artist, Alex Israel, at Gagosian in Rome, Andrews and Israel present works that explore a dialogue about specifically the readymade. The show is up through March 14 and you can see images here.
For her series of ceramic sculptures titled Shadow Circus, Kirsten Stingle draws upon her extensive training in the theater to create subtle narrative pieces. Incorporating found objects with her considerable technical ability, the artist summons dreamy stories through her command over gesture and shape; the blend of rusted objects and newly formed faces stands in for any physical movement normally employed to convey the passage of time.
Shadow Circus is evocative of miniature puppetry works like Alexander Calder’s legendary circus, where only the slightest details make the inanimate appear human. The narrative power of the circus lies of course in motion, which Calder once evoked with his pulleys and threads; Stingle impressively avoids the performative, and her painfully still works appear as if frozen, on the verge of animation.
In this way, each figure reveals itself like a funerary figure, meant to accompany not Cleopatra but the modern woman into her tomb, bringing with her objects useful in some imagined underworld: a machine-horse hybrid motorbike, a foreboding rowboat with wheels. The work’s religious iconography further realizes this thrust toward an otherworldly eternity; a Catholic-style papal mitre makes an appearance, surrounded by delicate symbols of the cross.
The artist also seems to pull from the work of women artists like Georgia O’Keeffe, combining fatalistic bleach white bone with the seductive prettiness of a pink rose, red lipstick, or a baby doll wearing pale bunny ears. Placed firmly within this feminine aesthetic, Shadow Circus is simultaneously blossoming and fertile and eerily disquieting; Stingle’s nuanced work appeals both to a fear of death and a hope for rebirth. Each piece, with its antique aesthetic and meticulously fashioned visage, is poignantly left eternally waiting for the movement and life that feels so inherent within her. (via Hi-Fructose)