Swiss-Italian photographer Christian Tagliavini’s contemporary antique photos blend fine arts and craftsmanship seamlessly into “1503,” his captivating portrait series. 1503 is the birth year of Agnolo Bronzino, an Italian court painter for the Medici family of Florence, whose realistic paintings had an enormous influence on portraiture.
Though Tagliavini’s photos may appear to be historically based oil paintings, they are more than just a literal translation of antiquated art through new technology. The clothes and body positioning echo Bronzino and the light in these portraits is tender and perfect, but it’s the details of the photos that emphasize the modernity of the work-the stylized outfits, exaggerated necks, translucent skin and clear directness of the models’ gazes. Unlike the bold colors of the paintings, the photographs are printed in pale, unsaturated tones, which work to make them feel more contemporary.
“Christian Tagliavini loves designing stories with open endings (requiring observer’s complicity) on unexplored themes or unusual concepts, featuring uncommon people with their lives and their thoughts made visible. This rich and exciting collision of circumstances results in photos as a final product.”
Tagliavini is impressively skilled-not only is he the photographer, he is also the costume designer, set builder, and casting director. He says, “I’m fascinated by the fact that I don’t simply release the shutter, but that the real fun for me is before I take the pictures. I say that I’m not really a photographer, but a workman of photography.”
Jody Xiong has created a wonderful collaboration between man and machine, art and science, expression and technology. He has enlisted the help of 16 people with physical disabilities and set as part of an innovative experiment. With a person sitting in a chair wearing headphones, electric signals from their brain are captured and transmitted to a Neurosky processing unit. On the other end of the installation, Xiong has set up a structure with four blank canvas walls in a box shape. Inside is a hanging balloon – filled with the subject’s chosen color. The brain signals stemming from the person then trigger detonators attached to the balloon, resulting in an explosion of paint, splattering on all four walls. This installation is quite literally painting what is coming from inside the mind.
You can see the variations between the abstract paintings from all of the subjects and just how different the thought patterns of each of us are. Ranging in large violent bursts to small, stuttered splatters, the paintings are beautiful recordings of the inside of our heads. Each painting was then sold for 800 Renminbi (about 300USD) and donated to different charities. This installation is a beautiful way of getting back to the core of expression. And hopefully our ideas about limitations and potential will be changed because of it.
It shows that the capacity of the human spirit is unlimited, even though it may be trapped within a disabled body. (Source)
Xiong has been connecting ideas of expression and technology for over 16 years. With a background in creative advertising, he is adept at capturing people’s attention with interesting, simple ideas. He seems to have tried his hand at most artistic disciplines, and is known as an expert and innovator in the worlds of painting, environmental design, video and other cutting-edge technologies. To see more of his unique projects, go here (Keyboard of Isolation) and here (Walk for Green). (Via Designboom)
Turkish photographer Yonca Karakas used to want to be a genetic engineer due to her attraction to the idea of cloning. Somewhere along the line she became a photographer instead, but this fascination with mass produced identities is all too present within her work. Her work, which is polished and waxen, features symbols and people styled, and nearly de-stylized, to look mute and plasticine.
Karakas utilizes symmetry to her artistic advantage. She manipulates framing by organizing her props to dramatize the exploitation of whatever symbol: meat, or the cross, she is working with. Her characters are emotionless; colonized by the future, they are clean, well groomed, and the antithesis of squeamish. They wear meat, their religion is sugar coated. When thinking of her work, she recognizes that she is in the business of constructing dreams:
“I don’t like to define every frame I shoot or say ‘that is exactly what I tried to tell’. Once it’s all done that’s when I think why I shot it, I go back and say I might have been influenced by this or that movie. And by going back I can see my concerns and try to solve them. The Box is influenced by Ray Bradbruy’s novel Fahrenheit 451. It’s about a despotic future in an oppressive community where books are burnt by firefighters, televisions broadcasting brainwashing shows. I believe we are more or less facing the same situation now. We are burying ourselves in our tablets and phones, looking at ourselves and making others watch us too. It’s like we really like that, don’t we?”
German street artist 1010 uses tromp l’oeil technique in murals that occupy the sides of buildings and gallery spaces. The abstract shapes have rings of color and have just enough shading to give them the illusion that they’re different layers. It gives them the appearance of paper cutouts, with multiple colorful “sheets” highlight the incredible depth that’s on flat surfaces.
1010’s illusion makes the entire side of a building feel like something that’s as light as paper. Their scale is large enough to create a cavernous feel, like you could venture inside of these paintings. In this way, he creates a fantasy within the ordinary urban environment. You start to ponder: what if these structures really were made of something as delicate as paper? Where would this dark abyss lead, and what would be there? Considering the oddly-shaped holes, it could be anything.
These figures were then attached to slides and, along a conveyer belt, they rotate in front of a projector, illuminating on a screen the moving image of a man digging up earth. Short and sweet, this little ‘film’ shows the man digging and re-digging an eternal hole in the earth’s surface. Maire formulated and completed this project while at an artist’s residency at the iMAL Centre for Digital Cultures and Technology in Brussels. The iMal noted that Maire has skillfully utilized machinery when making his art:
“For more than 10 years, Julien Maire has mastered and used in unexpected ways advanced technologies such as CNC mills, laser cutters, precision optics, etc. Today, 3D printers are naturally also part of his toolbox. For these two new pieces, Julien designed and built all original parts, mechanisms and components using the whole range of machines available at Fablab.iMAL, from Ultimaker and Mendel DIY printers to the laser-based Form1 3D printer.” (Excerpt from Source)
We’ve written about artist Grady Gordon’sghoulish Monotype prints before, and they continue to be gorgeous and gruesome. The intricate abstractions resolve into frightening black and white faces looming out of a nightmare. In some of his latest works, eyeless monsters open their mouths in a virtual moan, showing skeletal teeth. Others include eyes, wide and staring. The patterns on their faces are organic, calling to mind beehives and wood grain and stone and fire. Finding a grimacing mouth among serenely swirling lines is jarring. The scariest prints are the subtle ones.
“grady utilizes the most crude mark-making instruments to bring about the characters that inhabit the invisible plane. he works entirely by removing thick black ink from a plexiglass surface. the monotype print is a study of impermanence. unlike other forms of printmaking the monotype offers only one copy. the original image on the plate is then given back to the ether, back into the fabric.”
This year Gordon started “Neotroglocism” with painter Ian Norstad, a classmate from California College of the Arts. Following the idea of “sophisticated mark making, crude objectivity,” they are making paintings and prints together, one of which is seen below (in color).
These prints are perfect for Halloween with their unsettling subjects and stark color scheme, but beyond the scare, elegant form and lovely technique combine to create a macabre beauty.
In 2010, photographer and conservationist Robin Moore set out on a global quest in search of frogs and salamanders that were last seen between 15 and 160 years ago. The undertaking was accompanied by over 120 scientists in 21 countries and took four years to complete.
It was worth the time and effort, however, and Moore’s journey produced some incredible rediscoveries, such as: the Ventriloquial Frog from Haiti, capable of throwing its voice, and the Borneo Rainbow Toad, which was unseen in 87 years. And, amusingly, a new species from Colombia was introduced called the “Monty Burns Toad,” which is reminiscent of the cartoon villain from The Simpsons.
From this quest came a book titled In Search of Lost Frogs, which includes information about the project and shows over 400 gorgeous photos of Moore’s findings. The sizes of each creature, their variations in color, and image quality are crystal clear. When you compare all the different frogs and salamanders, it’s remarkable just how many variations there are. It is that sentiment- one of hope and wonder – that Moore wants you to feel; to motivate you to care about the amphibians and the potential loss of their species. He explains:
As conservationists we often get so caught up in communicating what it is that we are losing that we forget to instill a sense of hope,” Moore says. “We need to revel in the weird and the wonderful, the maligned and the forgotten, for our world is a richer more wondrous place for them. Stories and images of discovery and rediscovery can help us to reconnect with our inner explorer – they can make us feel part of a bigger, wilder world. Rekindling a connection with the world beyond our concrete boxes is the key to caring about the way we are treating our natural world.
Merging art, fashion, and feminism, Heather Marie Scholl uses hand-embroidered textiles and knit works of art to make social statements. In her latest project, “Sometimes It’s Hard to Be a Woman,” Scholl combines her own “personal narrative with larger conversations about the body, women, feminism, identity, and sexuality” to address male-on-female domestic violence and empower its victims.
Ironically alluding to Tammy Wynette’s song, “Stand by Your Man,” and imagined as a means of visual storytelling, the fashion installation project will present several of Scholl’s creations, spanning embroidery, clothing, and sculpture. The subjects of the garments and textiles featured in “Sometimes It’s Hard to Be a Woman”—which Scholl playfully refers to as her “second coming out”—range from portraits of women to quotations both empowering and unsettling. Given its highly potent and deeply personal content, it is no wonder that Scholl describes the sentiment behind the project as “an amazing ‘fuck you’ attitude.”
Be sure to check out Scholl’s intricate and empowering pieces at FiveMyles Gallery in Brooklyn, New York. “Sometimes It’s Hard to Be a Woman” will be on view through November 7.