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Valentin Ruhry’s Quietly Stunning Installation, ‘Réclamer’

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Austrian artist Valentin Ruhry often plays with ideas of Minimalism and analog technologies, using light installations as a systematic approach which reveals a metaphor of interconnectedness, even when we do not see them present. In his 2013 exhibition Réclamer at Halle für Kunst & Medien in Graz, (then travelling to Österreich), Ruhry references advertising and promotional communication, using light boxes which generally house these messages. The exhibition’s title, Réclamer, comes from Latin and French, meaning to claim, to appeal, to call back. Ruhry, who was born in Graz, Austria and now lives and works in Vienna, used the empty light to represent a loss of function, “both through their components and in and of themselves.”

This type of installation investigates many of the themes present in Ruhry’s other works. When speaking with Jon Rathenberg’s Artist Interview Tumblr, Ruhry explains his fascination and his process, “I´m not a scientist nor have I ever been educated in mechanical engineering or whatever but I have always had a strong interest in technology. For me, a jet plane or a refrigerator is as fascinating and sometimes as miraculous as the power socket on your wall. Since I don’t understand much about the technical aspects of most of the equipment that surrounds me I study there aesthetic qualities. I try to highlight them by placing aesthetics or form before function.” (via likeafieldmouse and artistinterview)

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Stunning Photographs Made Entirely Of Disease-Causing Bacteria

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During his graduate studies in microbiology, artist Zachary Copfer invented a new type of photography, one grown entirely of living bacteria. By exposing sections of microscopic organisms to radiation, he accelerates their growth, allowing them to multiply and compose vivid photographic portraits. Copfer’s subjects include both artists and scientists who inspire him; famous images Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso are replicated in Serratia marcescens, a human pathogen often associated with infections of the urinary tract and respiratory systems. The portrait of Stephen Fry is made of bacteria found in the actor’s own body.

Copfer’s portraits closely resemble the art of Roy Lichtenstein; his faces bear the same comic book-style polka dots made famous by the legendary pop artist. Also like Lichtenstein’s paintings and prints, they are duplicates of mass-produced, iconic public domain images. But quite unlike the work of Lichenstein and his colleagues, Copfer’s images are imbued with an undeniably unique and human tenor. These bacterial cells, some drawn from the bodies of the subjects they portray, are corporeal and therefore inevitably personal. In contrast the ink used by the pop artists, these cells will someday die. Though iconic, these portraits are ultimately of mortal men, and the fact that they are rendered here in disease-causing bacteria only underscores that fact.

In addition to portraiture, Copfer experiments with photographs of celestial bodies. Here, in glowing green E. coli genetically modified with GFP, the vast cosmos are paradoxically formed from the microscopic, reminding us that in the end, all matter great and small is profoundly interconnected. Take a look. (via Jezebel)

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Provocative Photographs Of Naked Celebrities With Dead Fish

jpeg8jpeg-17jpeg-36jpeg-83In these provocative photographs by Rankin, you will find naked celebrities and fashion models getting cozy with some slimy fish carcasses, straddling shiny scales and smearing inky octopuses over their bare breasts. As part of the Fishlove campaign, this shocking imagery hopes to draw attention to a crucial environmental and political issue: if we continue to use today’s fishing methods, marine life across the globe will collapse within a single generation, causing irreversible damage to countless ecosystems and human life.

Fishlove, a non-profit organization founded by the actress Greta Scacchi and Japanese restaurant MOSHIMO co-founder Nicholas Röhl in 1992. The community interest company recruits photographers, models, and entertainers to join the effort towards sustainable fishing. The marine life pictured here is commercially bought and sold; many of these species are heavily threatened by over-fishing. Fishlove treads an ethical gray area by using these fish as models, but not one was killed for the purpose of the shoot. To avoid waste, the organization makes efforts to consume the fish after they are photographed.

It’s said that sex sells, and Fishlove relies upon this hope. In their unusual nude portraits, models and entertainers appear like strange mermaids or selkies, washed ashore with their marine lovers. Sir Ben Kingsley cradles a fallen octopus who settles into his palm, and a model arches her back, mirroring the fins of the creature she rides. Though startling, the work serves to remind us of our interconnectedness with underwater creatures and our reliance upon the planet’s oceans. If we continue down the path we’re on, all of these beautiful creatures will cease to exist. To get involved, visit Fishlove. (via Agonistica)

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Marcus DeSieno’s Beautiful and Terrifying Photos Of Microscopic Parasites

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It is fair to assume that while most of us know that our world, our living spaces, and even our bodies are covered with microscopic organisms, we do like to not be reminded of it. Photography student Marcus DeSieno’s recent photoseries begs to differ, offering a beautiful yet disturbingly close look at our microscopic natural surroundings. Parasites is an ongoing project “investigating a history of scientific exploration through images of parasitic animals.” Taken with a Scanning Electron Microscope and then exposed onto dry plate gelatin ferrotype plates, a process which combines classical and cutting-edge photographic techniques. The final images are archival pigment prints from the scanned ferrotype plates and printed larger for these abject animals to confront the viewer at a one-on-one scale.

“Photography and science have had an intrinsic relationship since its’ invention in 1839. It did not take William Henry Fox Talbot long until he was using his calotype process to capture what was under the lens of his microscope. The indexical nature of photography has pushed the reaches of science ever forward into the 21st century. These technologies allow us to peer in to the unexamined corners of the natural world reminding us that the universe around us is much greater than ourselves. In this realm of scientific curiosity, photography has a intriguing relationship with the invisible, allowing us to see the world that we cannot. Parasites explores these themes of science and wonder and, at the same time, confronts a personal fear of these parasitic organisms that attach themselves to humans. Embedded in the work is an engaging dialog with photographic history, its\’ shifting modes of representation, and its’ material possibilities. Parasites investigates the role of shifting photographic technologies in contemporary culture and their abilities to capture a mysterious and unseen world.”

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García de Marina Rearranges Mundane Objects Into Witty Compositions

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With a witty sense of humor and an inventive mind, Spanish artist García de Marina, creates photographs based on the reinvention of mundane items. How about reworking a couple of spoons for sunglasses, or a slim comb for a bar code ? No wonder Spanish poet José Luis Argüelles once referred to him as the “photographer who knows how to capture things we aren’t able to see.”

Marina’s compositions come to have this nostalgic feel, not only because maybe the objects he is using are reminiscent of our own lives, but mostly because perhaps, at some point in our lives, we’ve all come to re-imagine that which is around us. There is more than just a clever re-interpretation of objects here. If we look closely, the artist is proving his viewers with alternative observations, perhaps, an ultimate surprising escape to the mundanity of our world.

They are very simple images. I try to create images that are easy to understand-and that hopefully don’t need any kind of explanations. I want to make an impact, give my viewers a little surprise. I hope that they will inquire more, and do further examinations.

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Amy Boone-McCreesh’s Vibrant Works Immerse You In Colorful Complexity

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Amy Boone-McCreesh’s sculptures and 2-D mixed-media works are both self-referential and highlight a larger aesthetic idea, which is the visual aspect of celebrations. For years, she’s explored the way in which different cultures commemorate events in their lives, particularly how they express it with decoration and objects. Now, with a new body of work, Boone-McCreesh goes beyond this initial inspiration and uses things she’s previously created as raw material for new pieces.  They debuted at a recent two-person exhibition with artist Sarah Knobel entitled Anything Sacred at Hamiltonian Gallery in Washington, DC.

The delightfully dizzying pieces are full of texture, color, and have the same sensibilities that we’ve seen in her previous works. Boone-McCreesh explains the idea behind her rich and vibrant aesthetic:

Anything Sacred is a birth of new from the old. Through digital manipulation, collage, printing, and reworking, I allow visual elements from an extant body of work to become new imagery printed on vinyl, paper, and custom fabric. The complex layering, stripping, and blending of the digital with the handmade gives birth to a new visual language.
In sampling my own imagery and re-contextualizing it in an immersive visual experience that is both cyclical and unifying, I am challenging traditional notions about value and pushing for a more complex, dynamic personal aesthetic. Simultaneously, my work in Anything Sacred continues to examine the use and meaning of decoration through formal arrangement and design.

You can view Anything Sacred now at Hamiltonian Gallery in Washington, DC until June 21 of this year. More shots of the candy-colored walls and lively work after the jump.

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Street Artist INSA’s Animated Graffiti Gifs

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Street artist INSA paints graffiti murals that he then turns into gifs – called “gif-itis” – by photographing multiple frames of a mural he paints several times, then combining the successive images to create animated gifs. Animating these street murals allows for a viewer to engage with the street artist’s work without leaving their home. The murals exist in the real world as a static image, but when combined with technology, they become a moving image only accessible in the virtual world.

In 2013, INSA traveled to Kubuneh Village in Gambia to paint murals on local structures for the Wide Open Walls Project. He completed his most recent piece (the revolving skulls and hearts at the beginning of this post) a few weeks ago after spending 2 days painting 8 layers of the mural.

You can watch a video of the making of one of his gif murals here. (via don’t panic)

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Famous Paintings Photoshopped Like Modern Fashion Models

gif_565x396_21efa2Titian, Danaë With Eros, 1544gif_565x362_fed333Sandro Botticelli, Birth of Venus, 1486gif_565x313_698da2Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, Grande Odalisque, 1814gif_565x558_b68f2aRaphael, Three Graces, 1504–1505

Unfortunately, today’s media offers a limiting vision of female beauty, urging all women to have slender waists and full chests. Bodies that deviate from this standard are tossed by the wayside by publishers and media giants, photoshopped into figures that conform to an often impossible ideal. But it wasn’t always like this; Baroque painters like Titian and Peter Paul Rubens idealized fuller figures, imagining their nudes with sensuous curves of the flesh.

Lauren Wade, a senior photo editor for Take Part, has seen firsthand the digital nipping and tucking that goes on behind the scenes in the publishing and entertainment industry. In response to the societal obsession with “perfect,” unrealistic female bodies, Wade has digitally altered Renaissance, Modernist, and Post-Impressionist masterpieces to mimic the ways in which fashion models and celebrities are edited today. By releasing a series of gifs showing the extreme lengths to which industry standards alter the human form, she hopes to bring awareness to the fact that what we see in the magazines is entirely unrealistic and to remind us that “beauty” comes in all shapes and sizes.

Here, the female subjects of Paul Gauguin and Edgar Degas, once considered to be idealized, get uncomfortably slim waists and oversized breasts. Raphael’s three graces, once representing the characteristics of female perfection— charm, beauty, and creativity— are also cruelly altered. The goddess of beauty herself, Botticelli’s Venus, doesn’t conform to 21st century societal standards, and she too is deeply changed. Even Titian’s Cupid gets a makeover. Wade’s work reminds us that definitions of “beauty” are in constant flux; as the centuries pass, we set one arbitrary ideal before another. In the end, aren’t all figures lovely and worthy of artistic representation? (via Design Boom)

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