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Clever Photos Make Fun Of Celebrity Selfies

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For “Phonies,” the UK photographer Dan Rubin turns celebrity selfies into works of fine art. In his unusual street photographs, the smartphone itself stands in for the face of passersby,  projecting the grins of social media-savvy stars like Kim Kardashian, James Franco, and Harry Styles. Rubin’s series is equal parts playful and scathing, capturing the narcissism of celebrity in the 21st century in such a way that highlights the anonymity of the digital age.

Within the medium of street photography, normally characterized by raw and gritty from-the-hip shots, Rubin replaces candid captures with shiny screens projecting perfectly made-up celebrity faces. In these clever doubles, these photographs of photographs, notions of identity are complicated. Our faces, especially in photographs, have the power to betray our innermost selves and to define our perceptions of that self; here, the subject’s visage is shown only to be a reflection of the media we consume. As we are continuously bombarded with social media, how do we shape our egos in relation to the rich and famous?

From images, we derive meaning. Flawlessly inserting the HTC One mini 2 phone into his compositions, the artist creates a hybrid human that is simultaneously a celebrity and just another face in the crowd. As we become more vain and the innocent selfie borders on arrogant self-indulgence, do we stifle our individuality? Here, the realm of social media is ambiguously seen, a powerful force that is both fun and disconcerting. Take a look.

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Rachel Niffenegger & John Parot @ Western Exhibitions

Rachel Niffenegger

Rachel Niffenegger

John Parot, who was featured in our B/D Book 3, and Rachel Niffenegger currently have exhibitions up at Chicago gallery Western Exhibitions./(which, coincidentally enough, also stocks B/D Book 3!) John Parot, with his exhibition “Hobbies,” continues his poetic musings on gay urban living, and focuses in on internet dating to reflect how identity, meaning and love are constructed under the auspices of Web 2.0’s arrow. A multi-hued pie chart displays Facebook-esque likes and dislikes: “hot fudge sundae,” “enough with the man-scarves,” and “no beige!”

Rachel Niffenegger, in Gallery 2, creates sculptures and ephemeral-washed paintings dealing with the grotesque nature of the human body, executed with a hauntingly beautiful hand. Drawing its title from an ancient epitaph, “As you pass by and cast an eye as you are now so once was I,” the exhibition seems to conjure the ghostly spirits from beyond the gravestone she references.

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Occupy George

Graphic design and government protest collide on Occupy George where fact-based infographics are stamped on dollar bills and distributed in the hope of informing the public about America’s daunting economic disparity one bill at a time. Learn more about Occupy George and download templates to occupy your own money at Occupygeorge.com.

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A Day In Decay: Studio Visit With Kelly Barrie

kelly Barrie Photographer

The other day I swung by the studio of photographer Kelly Barrie. Kelly’s artistic process is one of the more bizarre and unique methods I’ve seen in quite a while. It involves multiple photos, a darkroom squeegee, photo luminescent pigment, and Kelly’s feet. Intrigued? Click on the handy “Read More” button to find out how Kelly creates photo magic with a lil help from his feet.

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The Lives Of Miniature Cement People By Isaac Cordal

Isaac Cordal

Isaac Cordal

Isaac Cordal

Isaac Cordal

Via Twisted Sifter: Isaac Cordal is a Spanish artist that has been working on his own projects since 1999. His ongoing series entitled Cement Eclipses began in art school in 2002 but he didn’t start placing them on the streets until 2006, with his first piece laid in the city of Vigo, Spain.

Cordal makes the tiny sculptures in his apartment/home studio. He has placed them in major cities all around Europe including: London, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Milan, Berlin and Brussels. “Small interventions in big cities,” is how Cordal characterized Cement Eclipses.

In a 2012 interview with Agenda Magazine, Cordal explains:

‘Our gaze is so strongly focused on beautiful, large things, whereas the city also contains zones that have the potential to be beautiful, or that were really beautiful in the past, which we overlook. I find it really interesting to go looking for those very places and via small-scale interventions to develop a different way of looking at our behaviour as a social mass.'”

Check out a previous post about Cordal’s strainer street art here.

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Gianluca Traina Uses Distorted Photos To Create Woven Pixelated Busts

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Artist Gianluca Traina’s series titled Portrait 360 combines photography and sculpture to create alluring, mysterious objects. Mannequin-esque heads are covered in distorted, mosaic-looking squares that are simultaneously recognizable humans yet pixelated and indiscernible. To craft these works, Traina first shoots photos of anonymous subjects and focuses on their faces. He then uses a warp and weft technique to weave the 2D-images into 3D paper busts.

In the blurred surface photos, you can tell where the skin ends and the hair begins, as well as where features like the eyes and nose are. But, those things don’t always match up with the attributes of a bust. Eyes are on the back of the head and hair covers the nose and mouth. There’s no front or back anymore, and instead there’s a constant play between photographed surface and the sculpted one. (Via Hi Fructose)

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Christina Tivemark

Christina Tivemark

Christina Tivemark is a multi-media artist, and her body of work represents this clearly. Looking through her website you can see a great variety of mediums used. She is very direct about the materials she chooses and hold interest in constructions, perspectives and space. The above image is of an installation entitled “Childhood Games II”. The white picket fence is symbolic of privacy, childhood and growth. Tivemark says that this piece explores ” the boundaries and protection domestically and within society”. I think that this piece is a beautiful examination of security.

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