Have you ever looked at a black and white photograph and wondered what it would look like if it were taken in the modern day? The Dutch website NSMBL recently uploaded GIFs of vintage photographs being colorized. We are not only able to see the original range of black, grey, and white tones, but we can see the color each hue translates to. As each nostalgic scene turns to color, we realize how different contemporary technology is and how far it has come. The new colors and tones are not muted or faded like we might expect a color vintage photograph to be. They are ultra-bright and full of vibrancy, leaving each image looking near perfect.
Because the images look too high quality for real vintage color photos, they almost make it seem as if we were in the frame of the picture within the scene, or like the photos were taken in modern times. Either way, it breaks the time barrier that creates such a nostalgic distance between the photograph and the viewer. It makes you wonder what images would have been captured if they had better technology during those times, or perhaps, what advanced technologies will capture images of our lives in the future. Contemporary film photography is becoming more and more obsolete, as vintage film is becoming aged and damaged over time. These images are refreshing to see as these classic photographs are now often documented digitally. We can both marvel at the technological advances in film photography while still seeing the timeless and beautiful original.
Artist Dan Witz seamlessly combines traditional, academic realism with rebellious vibes of the underground punk scene to create his massive paintings of mosh pits. His impeccable technical skill allows him to paint photorealistic scenes that embody the pulse and energy of the punk music scene. Each painting is an energetic force to be reckoned that demands a serious presence. The amount of people crammed into each piece accurately captures the chaos and action involved in mosh pits in real life. Dan Witz’s work is packed full of incredible movement and human energy that can be felt in the viewer. Because in almost all of these paintings the image is completely devoid of an environment or setting, they have a deeply psychological affect. An excitement and anxiety is created as you see the range of expressions on each person’s face in the sea of bodies. As Witz fills each frame from right to left with herds of people, an unmistakable flow of powerful strength is formed.
Based in Brooklyn, Witz is a painter as well as a street artist. Spending time in punk clubs and playing in bands when he was younger influenced the subject in which he paints. However, we can also see the influence of classical painters due to his more traditional painting style. This type of hyper-real approach is often associated with a more academic way of thinking within the establishment. He is able to take this conventional method of painting and use it to rebel and revolt. Dan Witz’s Mosh Pits series has recently been featured in this past month’s issue of Juxtapoz. This quote from the interview explains the influence and effect punk rock has had on Dan Witz.
“Punk rock had opened my eyes enough for me to understand that art could be about more than providing expensive wall candy for rich people. I could actually speak truth to power…”
In his latest exhibit, Iced Flowers, Makoto Azuma plays into a cryogenic aesthetic. The principle behind cryogenics is the study of material at sub zero temperatures. Azuma uses this theory to encase exotic bouquets in frozen water and photograph them in various stages of melting. The end result is nothing short of dazzling. Behind a solid block of ice, the flowers become even more alive (than dead), transforming into an army of alien creatures before our very eyes.
On his website, Azuma describes himself as “a flower artist” who has been working with unusual arrangements since 2005. During the course of a decade, he has run a haute couture floral shop in Tokyo, called “Jardins des Fleurs” and his own gallery. He currently operates a botanical research institute under his name. This is where all his present studies take place. An experiment he conducted last year, where he sent a rare bonsai tree into space is right up there with the frozen flowers.
A lot of people confuse the study of cryogenics with the science of cryonics. Both are related but the latter is specific to preserving human life in very low temperatures in accordance with other sciences, in order to prolong and continue good health until better technology comes along. It’s surprising that it hasn’t gotten more mention in recent years. Azuma’s petrified flowers are a type of cryogenics and example of his ability to create art out of a temporary chilled moment. (via mymodernmet.tumblr.com)
Philadelphia-based artist Mike Tanis produces intricate paper sculptures using a combination of origami and kirigami techniques. If you’re not familiar with what those are, they’re Japanese art forms that fold and cut paper in complex ways without the help of glue. Here, Tanis has used these methods to create abstract structures that appear soft and wavy as well as splintered and fractured. Sometimes, it’s hard to tell that they’re made of paper.
Tanis tells Quanta Magazine that he uses a scalpel to make any cuts and doesn’t use directions or crease patterns. “I start with a folding technique or principle and improvise once I start to feel the 3d form developing,” he explains. The results are dramatic forms that are reminiscent of architecture and nature. His taller, cut-paper structure mimic skyscrapers while his completely-folded pieces conjure images of the beach or a mountainscape.
The works of Julian Feeld — a Paris-based (but internationally-experienced) photographer — are shrouded in mystery. This particular series, titled La Forêt, is especially cryptic. The images immerse you in a dark, wet forest, and at first you may not be entirely sure what you are seeing — or how you feel about it. Gradually, shapes take form: a naked body lying prone on a rock; human legs splayed open amongst the undergrowth; genitals encroached by moss. Some of the images are beautiful, appealing to that romanticized idea of the “natural” body in tandem with nature; others are dark and disturbing, fragmenting the body into an inhuman shape as if it were just another dead tree lying motionless on the forest floor. What Feeld is doing here is an exercise in perception, capturing us in our own moment of subjective interpretation; we have to make sense of these photos, we have to determine whether we feel “peaceful” or “alarmed,” we have to decide if the bodies are part of what we call “Nature,” or separate from it. The critical beauty of Feeld’s work is that it reveals to us our deeply personal signifying practices.
It goes without saying that Feeld’s images are much different than your typical nude photographs. Speaking to this, Feeld writes: “For La Forêt, I wasn’t interested in taking ‘nudes’ in the classical sense, but rather in creating a sort of chimera, an impossible ‘thing’ using human flesh as the provoking visual element.” The chimera — that mythical hybird with a lion’s head, goat’s body, and serpent’s tail — embodies the sort of categorical ambiguity that Feeld is driving at; the naked bodies in his photographs are so interwoven with the environment that the boundaries defining what is “human,” “nonhuman” (the trees) and inert (the rocks) become obscured. The result is slightly troubling to the imagination, as we so often narcissistically imagine ourselves as separate from the world in which we exist.
The darkness and obscurity of La Forêt comes to a head in its sister film, Le Chien, filmed in collaboration with Feeld’s partner, Mathilde Huron. In the film, a naked man (played by Feeld) scrambles desperately at a dense thicket, panting heavily. Something seems to be barring his entry, but he continues to writhe and push anyways. Feeld explains that this film was inspired by a story told by Huron about her dog, “how she watched it try to dig itself into a giant pile of wood and debris, seeking death, pushing itself into the next world.” Like the photographs, Le Chien troubles the idea of what is “human”: this man is behaving like an animal bent on completing an unknown objective. The audio track is similarly disturbing, in that it sounds like a multiplicity of human voices panting, gasping, and overlapping in different octaves. The result of both La Forêt and Le Chien is an indescribable uncertainty; a visceral, pre-intellectual state wherein we must make meaning — or accept that there is none.
Follow Feeld’s Twitter to keep up with his thought-provoking art. More of La Forêt after the jump. (Via Art Fucks Me)
A new invention redesigning sticky notes has a 50/50 chance of becoming successful. Switch Notes by suck uk stationary store, was created with the same thought in mind as a refrigerator magnet or bulletin board; used as a simple tool to help remember “things to do”. The original sticky note was invented in 1968 by 3M chemist Dr. Spencer Silver. At the time, he was looking for an adhesive that could stick to things and be reused or repositioned multiple times. He proceeded to invent low-tack tape. This was released on the first sticky note marketed as Press ‘n Peel back in 1977. Its yellow color came from the scrap paper used in tests and in 1980, the product was reintroduced as Post-it Notes.
The new and improved humorous design of Switch Notes is slightly different from post-its, because it has a light hole switch in the middle. This added feature enables the user to put it on a light switch doubling the reminder value. The design is greener and saves paper, but according to initial feedback, isn’t sticky enough and tends to fall off when placed. If so, it kinda defeats the purpose of “no brainer convenience”. Does it really make sense to take another step and place something deliberately on a light switch? And what if you forget to shut off the light, then what? Late fee.
Still, those who love anything new and different will buy into it. The company suck uk who makes Switch Notes, specializes in unique items for the home. Some of their bestsellers include an LED light which turns old bottles into lamps and an umbrella which changes colors when rain hits it. (via lostateminor.com)
This past year at Warwick Art Gallery in Queensland, Australia featured a cozy site-specific installation called the Knitchen. As the name suggests, it was a kitchen adorned with knitting (some referred to it as a yarn-bombing). Yarn-covered chairs, sinks, coffee cups, and even a turkey occupied the space from July until August. This endeavor was the result of 50 artists working over the course of seven months. And, it shows. Nearly everything – from a phone cord to the label on a jam jar – is the result of a meticulous attention to detail.
Karina Devine, the Warwick’s gallery director told ABC Southern Queensland that the installation was inspired by an old-fashioned kitchen (hence the phone). “I got a new oven last year, and kept my old oven so I could wrap my oven,” Devine said. “The most exciting part for me was creating the crocheted gas flame, and hand sewing the orange flecks.That gives me a little bit of a kick every time I see it.” (Via Lustik and ABC Southern Queensland)
This new interactive installation Oil by Moscow media-artist, musician and engineer of ‘strange-sounding mechanisms’ ::vtol:: (Dmitry Morozov) is an exciting opportunity for participants to create something new and original from destroying used personal objects. Inviting people to use whatever object they are carrying at the time (headphones, sunglasses, keys, cosmetics), he places them underneath a hydraulic press and proceeds to crush them into something unrecognizable. He records what happens next with a microphone mounted closely to the hydraulic presses. The sound from the act of destruction is turned into a 20 minute record and presented to the participant to take away with them.
The project is intended to provoke visitors into spontaneously ridding themselves of material consumer objects for the sake of creating their own individual work of art via deprivation, divestment and destruction. Sound has been taken as the chief medium here with good reason, since sound art is perhaps the least material and most abstract of all genres in art. The technological aesthetic involved constitutes an ironic attempt to make the process of art production into a technological process, but the result, unlike that of mass production, demonstrates a contrary phenomenon – this is a work involving programming and code in the context of generative art, with the potential to broaden the range of instruments at art’s disposal. (Source)
You can also hear one of the 1574 tracks recorded during exhibition here. And see more innovative work from :vtol::, including different instruments here.