Kaveh Golestan’s Photographs Of Iran’s Red Light District

From 1975 until 1977, Iranian photojournalist Kaveh Golestan captured the lives of the women in Tehran’s red light district. Although primarily known for documenting war and conflict in the Middle East, Golestan’s project involving these women gives light to a different issue, one that has not seen the spotlight in years if not never in Iranian society.

“Some of the women were tragically charred to death during the blaze and several others were arrested and later faced the revolutionary firing squads in the summer of 1980.”

Golestan’s series, comprised of 45 black-and-white photographs, reveals an honest but explicit look the women that lived this lifestyle in a region formerly known as Citadel of Shahr-e No. Due to their rare and insightful qualities, the photographs where immediately released in the Iranian newspaper ‘Ayandegan’ and later, in 1978, they were shown at the University of Tehran. The exposure of such imagery, however, alarmed authorities, and the exhibition was shut down after 14 days without an official explanation. A year after the exhibition, the Citadel (the place where Golestan shoot these photographs) burned to the ground during the 1979 Iranian revolution.

Today, these photographs remain as records of Iranian history but also an a courageous and beautiful series of art photography. Today, Golestan’s “The Citadel”, an exhibition devoted to these women, will be showing at Foam in Amsterdam starting in March 21 until May 4th, 2014.  Apart from the images, the exhibition will also feature Golestan’s personal journal entries and essays relating to his experiences traveling the region, illuminating the stories of the Citadel’s forgotten women. ( via Huff Post)

Christopher Payne And Two Other Artists Who Combine Music And Art

Marc Potter

Marc Potter

Christopher Payne

Christopher Payne

Jean-Pierre Gauthier

Jean-Pierre Gauthier

Photographer Christopher Payne captures what goes on at One Steinway Place, the factory where people transform raw, messy materials into Steinway pianos, some of the finest musical instruments in the world.  The level of craftsmanship is impressive and Payne’s photographs portray the quality of work while exuding a deep level of respect.  As Payne said of the project, “the opportunity to look deep inside it [the factory] revealed to me one of the supreme and most discerning accomplishments of the human hand and imagination.”

Marc Potter creates his “Rainy Day Instruments” by incorporating parts from retired musical instruments with vintage and antique objects.  Each piece is an unusual, unique new instrument with a distinct sound.

Jean-Pierre Gauthier considers himself an artist, inventor and musician.  Each of these traits goes into his kinetic sculptures and installations.    Using a variety of materials, electronics and other repurposed odds and ends, Gauthier transforms everyday objects into sculptures that move, make noise and seem to have a life of their own.

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Marcello Barenghi’s Photorealist Drawing Demonstrations

Marcello Barenghi

Professional illustrator and graphic designer Marcello Barenghi has a long and successful career rendering visual narratives and designs. But recently his drawing demonstrations have given the Milan-based draftsman a new following, as his Youtube video series routinely tops over a million hits per video.

With stop-motion demonstrations showing how Barenghi renders commonly found objects ranging from crumpled snack chip bags, Euro coins and more challenging objects like mirrored silver teapots, viewers can watch how a master draftsman achieves his trademark photorealistic results. Although few students of pencil, graphite and airbrush will ever achieve the results Barenghi does, they can at least see the unlimited potential of the blank page when the artist demonstrates each step by step video. (via gizmodo)

Haunting Photographs Catalog The Effects Of Mental Illness

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In her recent work, the photographer Lisa Lindvay archives the indirect yet undeniable marks left on her family and their home by her mother’s mental illness. With the family landscape surviving as her constant foundation, she invites viewers into a claustrophobic space isolated from the perspective and normalcy of the outside world. Although we are given indicators of their location— McDonald’s bags, generic soda, a “Legalize Gay” wristband—the family appears as if entombed in a time capsule, each member left to fend for themselves since the onset of the matriarch’s illness.

The camera acts as an active character throughout the narrative, forcing intimacy when the closeness and comforts of family seem irrevocably fractured. Eye contact is avoided with all creatures and things aside from the lens itself, which somehow breaks boundaries and transcends each subject’s seemingly self-imposed solitude. Intimate and sensual moments— the applying of hair dye, half-nude lounging, naps with the loyal dog— are generously laid bare for the artist, providing viewers with intermittent flickers of hope.

In her still lifes, otherwise mundane or grotesque subjects are assigned deeper meanings. The artist worshipfully documents trash, each object appearing like a pitiful symbol of continuing life and hope amidst crippling circumstances. A jar of cheese puffs is seen from the floor and lit from an unknowable source, as if standing at the alter of some personal cathedral; an oily ring on a pizza box surrounds a golden mane like the halo of a forgotten saint. As the family faces an uncertain future, half-eaten pizza and dirty socks become the only reminder that time has not in fact stood still within the house; Lindvay captures each with beautifully archival rigor as if to denote days on the calendar. Take a look. (via Feature Shoot)

Ivan Puig Makes Cars Sink Into The Ground As If It Were Quicksand

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Artist Ivan Puig likes for his work to surprise and amaze, and two of his series, Fed Up and Artificial Growth do just that. Using a car and chair, respectively, he gives the illusion that these very solid, massive objects have sunken into the ground, as if they are in quicksand.  The preciseness of Puig’s work and the fact that he’s cut the chair backs and Volkswagen Beetle at a perfect angle add to the believability of it all. While the artist strives for his work to have humour, he wants the viewer to read it in multiple ways, and glean various metaphors from his playful execution.

His installations are not only meant to delight us, and the sinking chairs in Artificial Growth have a more serious message. This piece comments on educational doctrines and their power structures that are present in Mexico. With this series, he brings to light the idea of the artificial education – like the lies and half truths taught and passed down to students which we only realize are wrong many years later.

The Art Of Super Bowl Ticket Design

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Super Bowl ticket 1982

1982

The Super Bowl is perhaps the epitomy of America’s obsession with sports, television and mass entertainment, with a viewing audience of over a 100-million each year. Chad Langager at Sporting Charts notes the importance of the day, “There is so much attention paid to the game that 30-second commercials now command $4 million, which is equal to $133,333 per second, and Super Bowl half-time show now features some of the biggest acts in music. It has become a definite moment each year.”

But with each passing Bowl, perhaps one of the over-looked yetlasting memories is the art that each lucky ticket-holder carries with them. The Sacramento Bee took a trip through history yesterday by examining 48 Years of Super Bowl Tickets, documenting each ticket throughout the years for every season’s Big Game. While the iconic Lombardi Trophy is prominently featured on most tickets, several still offer sculptural, design-focused and painted images related to the grid-iron (though most of the artists responsible have become extremely hard to credit and some lost all together). It is an interesting look through the history of design, as well as to see the dated futuristic leanings often paired with athletic grandiosity on a massive stage. (via the sacramento bee)

Jamal Penjweny Photographs Of Iraqi People And Their Failed Sports Stardom Dreams

 

Jamal Penjweny, an Iraqi Kurdish photographer, artist and filmmaker, creates I Wish- a simple yet poignant series of photos that feature people who have dreams of sport stardom but lack the ability and/or possibilities to make their dreams come true.

 As children we all have dreams of becoming famous, we see Maradona play soccer or a Bruce Lee film and think that we will be stars like them when we grow up. But life gives us another way, we become something else, and we do not get a chance to live these dreams.

For I Wish, Penjweny photographs his subjects inside their homes or at their jobs and asks them to hold a picture of their sport stardom dream. Some hold pictures of successful swimmers, tennis and soccer players ; others hold pictures of Bruce Lee, while some embrace photos of their favorite car driver. The idea, although a bit pessimistic at first glance, is to create visual juxtapositions between their dreams and their current simple but confortable reality. While the photographs are unassuming and understated, we can’t help but fall under spells of nostalgia and sentimentality as these images are a reminder that we are all  stuck in our mundane lives while our dreams are left in the back burner. Here, Penjweny gives dreams a chance, he tries to expose them, and, in a sense, give them life.

The man in the mountains wanted to become a champion swimmer but he was born in a place with no swimming pools, the man with the Bruce Lee photo took karate lessons and then became a Mullah, the man with the Ferrari photo always wanted to be a racecar driver- now he has a donkey and sells gasoline.  I made this project to give one moment when dreams can become reality, so each person can act out their dream even if they cannot fulfill it in real life.

No matter where you are or how old you are, if you are disabled, or poor- restrictions are by no means important when one can think big, and get excited by it. So what if dreams don’t come to fruition, if you are driven by the power of limitless thought and possibility, then you are bound to get someplace worth your stay.

Street Artist JR’s Installation For The New York Ballet’s Art Series

JR JR

image by stephanie szerlip

image by stephanie szerlip

French artist JR, previously covered by Beautiful Decay, has recently created a series of posters and floor-bound installations for the New York City Ballet’s Art Series.  The NYCB Art Series commissions contemporary artists to create original works of art inspired by the ballet’s unique energy, spectacular dancers, and one-of-a-kind repertory of ballets.  Having worked with artists such as Andy Warhol, Keith Haring and Julian Schnabel in the past the tradition has a high standard and is a special example of collaboration between dance and contemporary art.

JR’s installation involved coordinating dancers’ bodies in complicated, intricate arrangements.  Interested in the unique qualities of dancers’ bodies juxtaposed with the texture of paper JR sought to explore the “interaction” one experiences when viewing the ballet, or in his case when actually creating his work.  Both experiences are ephemeral, not something that can be wholly captured by a singular work of art.  Yet JR’s temporary installation does capture beauty, grace, and the sense of a fleeting moment by portraying many dancers arranged in the shape of an eye.  Encouraging a viewer to look at both his piece and the performance JR’s installation acts as a reminder to keep our eyes open so as not to miss a thing.

JR will share his Art Series installation during three special performance evenings — January 23, February 7, 13 — when every seat in the house is available for just $29. On these evenings, every audience member will receive a takeaway created specifically for this event.  More information about public viewing hours here.  (via designboom, hahamag)