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Creepy Photographs Of Infamous Dictators And World Leaders Snuggling Stuffed Animals

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Displayed ominously on the covers of TIME and Newsweek, these faces elicit fear: Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi, Hugo Chávez, Fidel Castro, and Mobutu Sesé Seko. But in his new series “Celebrity,” the Chinese retoucher and artist Chunlong Sun explores the more tender side of these infamous men, presenting them cradling plushy stuffed animals. Sun achieved the desired effect by shooting Chinese look-alike models styled and costumed in attire similar to that worn by the world leaders in famous images; later, he went back and retouched the photographs to resemble the now-dreaded faces.

The photographs are profoundly evocative of the work of Platon, The New Yorker staff photographer whose shots of Gaddafi littered news stands in anticipation of his overthrowing and ultimate death. In this way, Sun’s subjects remain a truly frightful vision, despite their furry friends; instead of revealing the humanity behind the historical figures, the tenderly worn stuffed toys often appear like hostages, held tightly and uncomfortably in the arms of those men known for their long, oppressive regimes. Chávez’s hands and fingers curl unsettlingly about the face and torso of a beloved teddy bear; Gaddafi grips a pale pink, oinking pig.

Perhaps also the soft toys are to be read as symbolic clues into the nature of the infamous world leaders. Each man was seductive and charismatic, at one time thought to be righteous and good; here, holding this cute animals, they might be mistaken for saviors once again, and yet danger lurks behind their wrinkled eyes. Take a look. (via Demilked)
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Travis Bedel’s Collages Seamlessly Blend Human Anatomy With Botanical Imagery

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Mixed media artist Travis Bedel, also known as bedelgeuse, seamlessly blends vintage anatomical illustrations with botanical or other biological images to create stunning collages that range anywhere from 5 inches to 6 feet in size. Bedel often uses glue and a razorblade to excise printed vintage illustrations, combining them into beautiful and surreal new iterations. He’ll also scan his images and manipulate them digitally because this technique provides him with more opportunity to play around with sizing, cutting, and pasting the various elements in his collages.

Of his interest in human anatomy, Bedel says, “I find the body beautiful and mysterious. I am amazed and what people can do with their bodies and how if you take care of your own body, the rewards are much greater than imagined. I believe a lot of self-healing takes place mentally and physically when you eat clean and stay active.”

Prints are available for purchase via Society 6 or Etsy. You can also follow him on Instagram. (via the micro giant)

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Benjamin Shine’s Stunning Portraits Made Entirely From One Folded Sheet Of Tulle

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The artist Benjamin Shine’s tulle creations look as if they have emerged from a thick fog; by folding and ironing the ethereal fabric into place, he constructs both realistic portraits and more expressionistic renderings of the human face. For each piece, the artist uses a single sheet of fabric, folding it in upon itself to create layered and nuanced shades of blue, black, magenta, and topaz.

With his enchanting, moody fabric tableaux, Shine makes a unique contribution to modern artistic dialogue. As with the modernists and the Impressionists, the materiality of the work is as significant as its content; as Edgar Degas’s spontaneous brushstrokes realize a ballerina’s tutu, so too does Shine’s delicate fabric render the tender lips and eyelids of the female face.

Despite the creative approach and unusual medium, the artist magically maintains a jarringly realistic gaze, nearly replicating famous photographs of glamorous icons like Princess Diana and Elizabeth Taylor. Where his use of tulle is spontaneous and modern, the actual images are surprisingly conventional; while the Impressionists may have painted en plein air, Shine sticks to traditional portrait subject matter, like posed celebrities. This unexpected marriage of edgy technique with established content results in a truly mesmerizing project, one which occupies an interesting space in contemporary aesthetic conversations.

Only in Shine’s more expressionistic works, titled the Tulle Flows, do we dive head first into the daring medium; here, as the tulle unfolds according to its own natural momentum, faces give way to abstracted shapes. Here, human subjects appear as if they are looking out from behind a veil, like invisible creatures pressing their faces against a foggy cloud. Take a look. (via My Modern Met and Demilked)
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Have Fun With Sougwen Chung’s Interactive Animated Font

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Born in Canada, raised in the Chinese tradition, and based in New York, interdisciplinary artist Sougwen Chung has created an interactive, animated font called Kinecdysis that you can experience first-hand here. Recommended for polymaths, poets, and prophets, Kinecdysis is inspired by “the motif of ecdysis (from Ancient Greek: ἐκδύω, ekduo, to take off, strip off).”

Chung’s statement explains, “At the epilogue of transformation, what remains? Ecdysis is the process of shedding or casting off the exoskeleton in invertebrate organisms. As a metaphor for writing, it is in equal parts an assemblage, homage and exorcism of the self in all its prior iterations. It is the verbal vestige that forms the story of our private ecdysis… within it, the narratives that contain the modicum of our memory.”

You can view the entire animated gif alphabet here.

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John Wilhelm Creates Hilarious Photo-Manipulations For His 3 Small Daughters

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In the surreal photographic worlds of father of three John Wilhelm, the imaginative play of childhood is a force to be reckoned with; motivated by childhood memories of video games and television, the university IT director spends his free time dreaming up fantasies for his three daughters, 6-month-old Yuna, 2-year-old Mila, and 5-year-old Lou.

Wilhelm’s impressive body of work, composed of images heavily-manipulated in Adobe Photoshop, is simultaneously touching, thrilling, and humorous. Most children have fantasized about the tale of Little Red Riding Hood, seduced by the adventure of it all and by the terror of the Big Bad Wolf, but this father’s retelling of the classic fairy story is a little bit different; here, the girl is just as wild and free as the wolf, for instead of being fooled into believing that the beast is a peaceable gentleman, she howls with him, tossing her head ecstatically.

The bravery of the small children is highlighted again in a poignant image in which Mila offers a tiny bunch of yellow flowers to a wizened, toweringly large buffalo, whose magnificent, uncouth hair stands in stark contrast with the girl’s miniature peacoat and knitted pom-pom hat. In these fantastical images, the smallest of humans can be the most powerful; the littlest of all, Yuna, is often shown as wreaking havoc on her befuddled parents, who wear space masks to feed her or change her diapers. Indeed, this mischievous bunch is subject to no one’s will but their own, and in this visual play land, they are granted everything they could ever wish for. (via Demilked and Bored Panda)
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Magical Science-Fiction Cast Promises To Heal Bones Super Fast

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When I first saw this inventive fusion of technology, art, and style, I thought it had to be something from a science fiction novel. This open cast, cleverly titled the Osteoid, is the invention of the designer Deniz Karasahin, who is known for previous creations of like a sleek, elegant vacuum cleaner and trendy yet comfortable lounge chairs.

Unlike traditional plaster casts, the Osteoid has ventilation holes and might easily be removed; while it is capable of holding the broken limb in place, it also conveniently avoids causing irritation, itch, and odor. Trail-blazing ultrasound treatments have proved effective in healing bone, but the technology is rarely used, as the plaster cast renders its benefits insufficient. With the Osteoid, it is possible to target specific sites with healing ultrasound systems, which can be inserted into the cast itself. If used for only 20 minutes per day, it could help bone to heal at a rate 40-80% faster than normal.

The invention is as fashionable as it is groundbreaking; with its eyelet holes and jet black hue, it situates itself firmly within the 21st century. If Futurist artists like Giacomo Balla or Umberto Boccioni, with their lust for speed and mechanical ingenuity, could see us now, 100 years later, they would surely be beaming with pride. I shattered my elbow a few months ago, and I can now say, from an honest and personal space, that a magical bone-healing machine would have suited quite nicely. Take a look. (via Demilked and Geekologie)
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Bradley Hart Injects Bubbles In Bubble Wrap With Paint To ReCreate Iconic Paintings

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Bradley Hart has a unique way in which he crafts reinterpretations of classic paintings. Instead of the conventional canvas, the artist uses syringes to individually inject each bubble in a bubble wrap sheet with acrylic paint. This tedious technique requires that he pay close attention to the amount of paint and air that’s within each bubble, because one element can easily disturb the equilibrium of the two.

Hart’s paintings use the principle of pointillism. Every bubble has a slightly different color in it, and by placing the separately-colored dots next to one another, an overall images is realized when it’s viewed from a distance.

But, that’s is just one aspect of the artist’s work. The other part is an experimental process where excess paint from the injections drips down the back of the piece; it’s later removed to reveal an imprint of the painting and composes an impression of what was left behind. The separate processes are meant to be seen together. Hart explains, “Viewed together, the pieces each seem to engage the other and the viewer becomes an observer of a relationship created between the two.

These paintings are included in Hart’s solo exhibition entitled, The Masters Reinterpreted: Injections and Impressions. It’s available to view at Cavalier Galleries Inc. in New York City from May 6th through May 31st of this year.  (Via designboom)

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Raw, Emotional Photographs Of Shelter Dogs Are Unlike Any You’ve Ever Seen

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Recently, we have featured the work of artists like Douglas Sonders and Fred Levy, who photograph dogs as a means of advocating for the voiceless and promoting awareness about animal rescue. With the “Rescue Me” project, the photographer Brian Moss occupies a unique space in this dialogue; in contrast with the polished, slightly commercial aesthetic of other animal portraits, his photographs of shelter dogs are emotionally raw and candid, delving more deeply into the psychology of his canine subjects.

Moss’s photographic setting is the Bergen County Protect & Rescue Foundation shelter, where he arranges a poignantly modest and “tiny ‘studio tableaux’ […] in between a sink and a leaky washing machine.” Shot under a relatively shallow depth of field, this magical little corner becomes all the more intimate; as well-worn towels and tender, raggedy blankets blur into the distance, the dog subject is fixed with stunning sharpness, revealing the touching imperfections of the face: eye gunk, snouts rubbed raw, noses flushed with pink.

Moss’s project was born from necessity; he felt for the animals left homeless, and yet it was too painful for him to volunteer at a kill shelter. This shoot, which takes place at a no-kill facility, is his tribute to the creatures he longs to help. The honest gaze of the artist’s images are reminiscent of his earlier project with body builders; here too, he seeks out a genuine connection with his subjects. The dogs aren’t posed to appease to viewer or to elicit less emotion, but instead they are free to express their inner fears with darting eyes, unsteady legs, and perked ears. Rich with empathy, Moss’s lens offers rare and invaluable insight into the hearts of our fellow creatures. Take a look. (via Lost at E Minor)
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