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Kyuin Shim’s Digital Sculptures Of Science Fiction Disfigurement

Kyuin Shim- Digital SculptureKyuin Shim- Digital SculptureKyuin Shim- Digital Sculpture
Kyuin Shim- Digital Sculpture

Korean artist Kyuin Shim creates work that your pupils will interpret as a straight up science fiction novel. One body of work in particular, “Black Black,” is a series of gruesome depictions of black mannequin bodies gone haywire. As a digital artist and sculptor, he works compiling 3D renderings of real images. These sculptures, with the glossy stature of high fashion, the black mannequins are enrobed in large blisters. In varying states of vulnerability, his sculptures are suffering implosion and meltdown; a person who has ripped his head off gives himself fellatio, another is on his hands and knees, expelling their entire insides. Shim’s creatures come across as gross exaggerations of real emotional states, and it is not always easy to interpret how they are intended, but it is evident that they are referential to the individual struggle that we all face.

Another series of his, featuring only white mannequins, is titled “Small Place,” and references interpersonal relationships and the implied metaphors within them.  The white series emanates an atmosphere of tranquility and calm. Mannequin lovers with bowls for heads pour water between one another, while others sit pensively. There is not the searing prospect of suffering that “Black Black” encompasses. “Small Place” is meditative and inviting. Although parts of Shim’s series have been cited as representing dysfunctional relationships, there is no real hostility in the work. It is interesting to look at both series of his work side to side and to take note of the drastic shift in tone.

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Snack Bang! The Photography of Exploding Food

Ryan Matthew Smith - photographRyan Matthew Smith - photograph Ryan Matthew Smith - photograph Ryan Matthew Smith - photograph

Photographer Ryan Matthew Smith takes photos of exploding food for his publication Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking. Since April 2008 he has amassed over 140,000 photos. Using a high speed camera recording at 6200 frames per second, Smith is able to capture a side of food that we normally can’t witness.

His subjects are anything from sausages to saucepans. He photographs hamburgers bursting apart – mayonnaise caught in the act of falling, tossed salads being frozen in mid-air. Smith explodes his food and accessories with the help of a bullet – fired from a 308 sniper rifle and travels at roughly 2800 feet per second at the point of impact, it creates the perfect environment for his photographs.

Elaborately posed, his objects stand out on his starkly minimal backgrounds – usually matt black. He shows cross sections of woks, elements, flames and pots, creating images reminiscent of modern abstract compositions. Smith says of his technique:

‘I had a pretty good understanding of compositing but given the large amount and complexity of photo illustration I spent many hours on Photoshop trying to find new ways to blend images together smoothly and quickly’.

Smith thrives on imbuing the mundane with life and motion. His photographs are a perfect display of what is it like to be caught in the maelstrom of food preparation, or destruction.

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Tim Lampe’s Deliciously Strange Project Documents All The Ways You Can Consume, Display, And Enjoy Ice Cream Sandwiches

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As summer winds down for many of us, designer Tim Lampe can say it was the summer of ice cream sandwiches. Because, for him, it was. The Atlanta-based creative started an Instagram project titled #SummerOfIceCreamSandwiches (and subsequent Tumblr) that documented all of the ways you can consume, trap, store, and display the delicious sweet treat. It’s a silly series that might make you hungry. Lampe explains the photographs, writing:

For Summer 2014, I wanted to explore pushing a concept as far as I could over the Instagram platform, so I set out to exploit one of my favorite treats growing up: Ice Cream Sandwiches. It was an exercise in execution and not overthinking. It was taking something universal and putting it in uncommon places, to make the viewer believe there is an alternate universe in which Ice Cream Sandwiches don’t melt fast and are universally available.

The photos are well composed and delightfully strange. Their bright-yet-diffused colors show what happens when you keep creating under the same theme – some magical, weird stuff happens, like carefully arranging food in a mailbox. (Via This Isn’t Happiness)

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David R Harper Embroiders The Void Of Death

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David R Harper’s artwork is about the projection or imposition of meaning on an object, especially concerning memorial in death. He embroiders over taxidermy animals on prints of still life paintings from the 18th century. He sees the dead animals as a human way of addressing mortality; feeling empathy for the dead animal, but also as a way of avoiding grappling with our own inevitable demise. The embroidery creates a void or emptiness, especially literal in the white thread, and more dynamic but equally vacant with the use of green patterning in The Fall. Thread operates in most cases as a cold medium and Harper employs it extremely effectively in combination with his meticulous technique.

His most ambitious work is titled I Tried, and I Tried, and I Tried, presumably a quasi-reference to the Rolling Stones song (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction, as well as Napoleon’s conquests. Harper embroiders the entire horse of David’s Napoleon Crossing the Alps. In the original artwork the horse is mostly white with black on its tail and head, where Harper creates a gradient that transforms from black to light grey. What is truly incredible is that this process doesn’t flatten the horse; it retains its form in the sculpting of the flow of the thread. The beast becomes much more powerful and haunting

Art Info has a great slideshow that compares Harper’s sculpture and embroidery work to other well-known artists. See it here.

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Helen Warner’s Surrealist Photography Uses The World As A Stage

Photography Photography Helen Warner- Photography Photography

Helen Warner’s photography is jarringly beautiful: part Tim Burton gothica, part carnivale, part Shakespeare; looking through her photos is an invitation to a secret séance. With dramatic use and manipulation of negative space, many of the figures photographed appear to be drifting out from nowhere, candidly caught in the act of being mysterious. Having studied cinema and modernism at The Queen’s University of Belfast, she is currently living and working in Northern Ireland. Warner’s work has a flair for the histrionic, and her photographs carry the weight of a Shakespearian scene. “Death, where is thy sing?” rings through these women, skin caked in white, their faces shrouded, sometimes bound, encased by winter’s wood, cast in autumnal hues. The women are caged by items of beauty, while being items of beauty themselves. A glass cube in the forest, a white plastic sheet encircling forest trees, or even a head locked under the bell jar, buoyed by flowers. There is an underlying juxtaposition between being out in the remote wilderness, the wild, and being bound by external forces, which extends to even the elaborate costuming. There is the ongoing implication that movement is not fluid, it is stifled, both by internal and external circumstances, but the faces photographed certainly aren’t giving any hints away.

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Anelia Loubser Flips Human Faces Upside Down To Create Alien Portraits

anna-mart van der merwe

anna-mart van der merwe

shaleen surtie – richards

shaleen surtie – richards

michael bosman

michael bosman

riette van der walt

riette van der walt

South African Photographer Anelia Loubser is forcing us to look twice. Her project “Alienation” is a light-hearted approach to the complicated question of what exactly is conventional beauty? By flipping quite normal, traditional portraits upside down, she points out how easy it is for all of us to look instantly strange. There is a great quote that sums up Loubser’s project:

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change” – Wayne Dyer.

This couldn’t be any truer – such a simple act has a great effect. What usually are forehead wrinkles, now act as grimaces, lips puckered in pain; long eyebrows are now odd whiskers sprouting from cheeks or strange furry circles under the eyes. Noses are flipped to replace foreheads and are disconcertingly bulbous – large alien lumps appear where they shouldn’t be.

These photographs are a view into a weird and wonderful world; one full of alien-like humans, but a world where each new face is as beautiful and as intriguing as the next.
These are the new versions of “potato head” – where features are interchangeable and we are able to play around with our ideas of accepted beauty and identity.

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Crystal Barbre’s Wonderful Animal-Headed Women Call The Shots

Crystal Barbre- Oil paintings Crystal Barbre- Oil paintings Crystal Barbre- Oil painting Crystal Barbre- Pencil drawing

Crystal Barbre, a Seattle painter, has created an alternate universe where women call the shots, their raw glory shining prominently through the head of an animal. These hungry scenes, at first glance, just look like a skillfully painted playground of lust: voluptuous animal-headed women in the throes of passion, yet there is much more at work here. The mysterious and enigmatic quality of rawness within the animal expression offers more to interpret than just sex. Barbre is giving these animals a power they may not otherwise have; with an animal head the women are operating on an instinctual basis; one not vulnerable to the persuasive effect of emotions.Their strength lies in the fact that they cannot be conned, by themselves or others. They are eternally present, and they engage with their sexuality while remaining a powerful, wild, and even threatening figure. Theriocephaly, or, the condition of having the head of an animal, dates back to Greek mythology and is often used in art and storytelling as a symbolic element. Barbre has used this subject matter to explore dealing with sexual abuse, as a way of allotting power where, for many women, there sometimes isn’t any.

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Manipulated Photos Of Perfectly Symmetrical Faces Question Conventional Beauty




Photographer Alex John Beck uses photo manipulation to explore the idea that symmetrical faces are the most beautiful in his series “Both Sides Of”. After taking portraits of a diverse collection of people, he digitally divides them. He then duplicates each side, matching right half to right and left to left, creating two new portraits of perfectly symmetrical faces. The original portrait is not shown.

It’s not a new idea—Julian Wolkenstein’s 2010 series “Symmetrical Portraits” is very similar. Wolkenstein’s website, echoism, also allows users to upload their own pictures to be made symmetrical by an open source program on the site.

Turkish photographer Eray Eren does a version as well, though his include a third, non-manipulated shot for comparison.

Still, the quality of these images is excellent, and they continue to evoke questions relating to beauty and character. It’s tempting to create a narrative for the “people” in these portraits—so similar but not the same—to look from one image to the other and measure attraction and interest. Both created faces are absolutely symmetrical, theoretically proving the commonly held belief that symmetrical faces are the most appealing. And yet, they’re not. The artist says on his website:

“The less symmetrical they are initially, the more different the characters suggested by each face. The more symmetrical faces betray their owners more subtly, however, one side proves clearer, the other more inward looking.”

Movie and video game animators have long struggled with the issue of how to make a realistic human face that can hold up to high definition viewing. It’s incredibly difficult to create faces that look different from all angles, in different moods, on different days. Often it’s the overly symmetrical features and consistency of appearance that make the characters obviously unreal. The asymmetry in our faces is what makes us human. (via Feature Shoot)

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