Victoria Williams, Valley State Prison for Women, Chowchilla, California.
Anonymous , Ionia Maximum Correctional Facility, Ionia, Michigan.
James Bowlin, United States Penitentiary, Marion, Illinois.
Anonymous Backdrop Painted in State Correctional Facility, Otisiville, New York.
Photographer Alyse Emdur offers a fascinating look into the world of prisoner portraiture in her ongoing project Prison Landscapes. If you aren’t familiar with the concept, visitation rooms of penitentiaries have backdrops where friends and family can get pictures taken of/with the inmate to commemorate the time they spent together. Often, these backgrounds are idyllic landscapes that offer the inmate a moment to emotionally escape their sentence. Emdur’s series is two-fold; It features inmates posing in front of these faux scenes, as well as the rooms that the giant paintings inhabit.
There’s a stark and ironic contrast between the prisoner-painted backdrops and the rest of their interiors. “Prison visiting room portraits are constructed to intentionally leave out the reality of prison. The aim of my project is not to be an authority on that which is left out, but to rather make the artifice visible. Although the paintings on the backdrops represent freedom, they are vehicles to control the representation of prisons and prisoners.” Emdur explains to Featureshoot.
To obtain the some of the portraits seen here, Emdur spent years corresponding with inmates. “My role was to document a system that I did not have physical access to. I did this by asking those with access, to send me their own photographs,” she says. The limitation of her available sources adds to the institutional critique of prisons that are inherent within the scope of this project. (Via Featureshoot)
Ian Pfaff’s demo reel is a classic. In my mind, the guy nailed it. While partying really, really, hard while on spring break, Ian multitasks by writing, editing, directing, animating, building props, and making music. All around killer.
One of the best things about publishing a magazine is having packages from distant lands (Canada) show up in our PO Box. You never know what you’re going to get. Sometimes we get complete junk…. but once in a while, we hit the jackpot with something that you want to hang on to. Case in point: this cool mini ‘zine by T. Reilly Hodgson called C inical Depression. Not only is this a great example of what a few bucks and some time at your local copy center can create, but I also love getting packages with hand written notes. Even our address is tricked out on the envelope! Reminds me of B/D’s humble beginnings when we hand wrote notes to subscribers. Maybe we should go back to that?
Matthew Volz is the official artist of Queens, New York based garage punks The Beets. In addition to creating banners, posters, and album artwork for the band he makes paintings and sculptural installations involving a vast iconography culled from the doldrums of saturday morning cartoons and comic books. Pro wrestlers of the past share the page with bug eyed teenagers, superheroes, street rats, cowboys, indians, Joey Ramone, and everything in between.
Chinese artist Shu Yong created an atypical waterfall using upwards of 10,000 recycled toilets, sinks and urinals. The project took two months for Shu Young and his team to complete and covers a wall 100 meters long and 5 meters high. Originally designed for the Foshan Pottery and Porcelain Festival, a porcelain product tradeshow, the piece is now installed as a permanent piece of public art. Each toilet was connected to a tap so that they could be flushed—the point being to give a viewer an idea of just how much water is used in a city as large as Foshan.
Shu Yong typically works in many mediums, ranging from painting, photography, sculpture and performance, always interested in “bubbles.” For Shu, bubbles are not just a symbol, they’re also a concept. Shu says, “I use various methods to deduce bubble, making it a totem in both conception and form.” Alongside the Toilet Waterfall Shu installed one of his “Bubble Women,” a sculpture of ballooning women’s breasts. A seemingly unusual pairing, Shu uses the Bubble Women as a reflection of the motivations and interests of modern day society. Juxtaposing the two works makes for a bizarre, yet strangely effective, commentary on contemporary culture. Shu believes in using such provocative work to address cultural mythology, politics and contemporary anxiety in China, or as he calls it, “his laboratory.” (via amusingplanet)
Fashion’s new Instagram sensation is a 15 year old Thai boy. ThaiBan fashionista gained popularity through his Instagram account of the same name on which he posts photos of himself posing in outfits he has made from everyday items ranging from kitchenware and balloons to plants. These objects are reworked into an assortment of creative and eye-catching pieces that are at the junction of creativity and sustainability.
His pieces are a true sign of the times in the sense that they are made of excess materials, which underline the issues concerning consumerism and waste which we are faced with today. On top of this, the fact that he is gaining attention via Instagram gives social media a valid role in the fashion industry. ThaiBan’s is both of a combination of absolute beauty and strong social significance. The intense creativity of using everyday items in a fashion setting makes his pieces powerful and original in a way that can be seen as a strong contribution to the fashion industry.
The bursts of color and imagination present in his pieces make for a sensational series of intricate and intriguing items. The colorful photographs on ThaiBan’s account are a reminder of the infinite possibilities that arise from the combination of DIY, creativity and social media.
Welcome to this weeks offering of Click To Collect, Beautiful/Decay’s campaign to help art lovers start their collection of original artists works at affordable prices. This week we bring you California native Emilio Santoyo whose boldly colored gouache paintings on paper take you on a neon fantasy through the galaxy that lives within the artist mind. Strap on a helmet, jump on your moped, and ride off into the work of our good pal Emilio and add a bit of color to your drab walls. Read more about the work, see the entire list of available works, and find out more about Click To Collect after the jump!