Nedda Afsari (aka, Muted Fawn) is a LA-based photographer who infuses fashion photography and portraiture with elements of the eerie, erotic, and strange. Influenced by a combination of music, art horror films, the supernatural, and her own lucid dreams, her images stir the imagination as powerful, semi-surreal visions. Women in strappy, edgy lingerie pose sedately with their faces hidden in washing machines and behind walls; a masked matron symbolically opens an empty birdcage; another sits up on a desert road, her body swathed in plastic wrap. In every image, her figures exude a stunning sense of otherworldly calm, beauty, and confidence.
When I asked Afsari what impressions and feelings she hopes her viewers will take from her images, she expressed the desire to connect and empower:
“[M]y main hope is that the viewer is able to feel an emotion from my photographs and formulate their own meaning. I enjoy photographing women that have a strong feminine presence and love to capture that seductive power and alluring mystique. I tend to be pretty shy, so in a sense I feel like I’m sometimes vicariously living through some of these ladies I photograph and it’s helped me open up a little more personally.”
Afsari explores femininity in a way that crosses the decades of fashion photography, seamlessly blending vintage pin-up-style portraiture with a more contemporary latex-occult fetishism. Feminine power is not rooted in conventional notions of sexuality, exploring women as ethereal and dominant presences. She regularly collaborates with artists who share a similar aestheticism, such as the alternative designers Hopeless Lingerie and Creepyyeha.
As for upcoming projects, Afsari is currently working on collaborations with photographer Kristin Cofer. She is also putting together a gallery show in LA and Miami and aims to create more video projects in the near future. Check out her website, Facebook, and Instagram to follow her inspiring work.
Printed cards illustrating French Revolution scenes. These and another 14,000 illustrations were made available on the French Revolution Digital Archive thanks to the collaboration between Stanford University and the French National Library (Bibliothèque Nationale de France). It’s a mix of caricatures of revolutionary vilains and heroes, key symbols such as the ‘guillotine’ and documents as serious as parliamentary deliberations.
It took several years to bring together the multitude of documents which are now grouped at the French Revolution Digital Archive. It’s been divided into two categories: Parliamentary Archives and French Revolution images dating from 1789.
The data is easily searchable by either random intellectuals or passionate historian. The documents browsed on the site take the form of prints, medals, coins and other elements.
When they don’t represent guillotines instruments or costumes of the time in total seriousness, the illustrations as colorful and amusing. In one of the cards for instance, the people of France, the ‘enemy’ are depicted as a multi-headed beast attacking the aristocracy and the battalion. White, blue and red, tones of the French flag, are mainly used to color the hand drawn cards. A constant reminder, despite the satirical drawings, of the omnipresence and importance of French patriotism at that time.
A group of students from the Hasso-Plattner Institude in Germany have designed a mechanism called the Protopiper that allows you to make three dimensional sketches in space. Created from a modified tape gun, the Protopiper works by dispensing and rolling packing tape into strong, hollow tubes. Then, after the desired size has been formulated, the machine seals the tube and cuts it off while simultaneously creating a wing formation which allows each piece to be easily connected. Every tube can be programmed for a specific length and therefore can create models of specifically sized objects. The Protopiper allows you literally create and organize a room with furniture you haven’t bought yet, or brainstorm the layout design and attributes of an installation, or physically sketch the building blocks to the formation of a piece of a sculpture. Through a simplistic handling and inexpensive material, The Protopiper truly allows you to draw three dimensional throw away sketches. This little invention is great for anyone interested in design— it takes the process from being one of painstaking two dimensional drawings that are then to be projected into a physical space through imagination into one where the physical reality of a project can be played with and manipulated (it also just looks super fun). (Via Junkculture)
Sarah Duyer is a San Francisco-based artist who brings ceramic tableware to life in unsettling and thought-provoking ways. Teapots with spidery legs scuttle across their platforms, dripping with black and blood red paint; bowls and mugs with human teeth and fingers resemble the offspring of botched laboratory experiments. Infused with body parts and the illusion of movement, each pot, bowl, and mug seems to take on a half-consciousness that troubles its status as an ordinary, innocent object.
Duyer’s creations arise from a curiosity about how an object’s design can produce comfort or discomfort—and her works elicit both. By coupling fun, pastel colors with creepy body parts, her works make us amused and repulsed. The interplay of life and death is also visible; one teapot (or “creature pot,” as she calls them) appears to stumble wearily, half of its legs broken off. The use of encaustic wax and rough, exposed clay in some of her pieces further adds to this ominous theme of biological deterioration.
In the following statement provided to Beautiful/Decay, Duyer explains her unique and investigative approach to ceramics, which seeks to re-explore the medium while reinvesting familiar objects with meaning:
“Ceramics as a medium is kind of tricky to classify, since it’s still stuck in the debate of whether it should be considered a fine art or a craft. I think with this project I really wanted to utilize my knowledge of traditional forms and techniques and challenge the idea that the two have to be separate. I wanted to alter the tradition and explore the relationship we have with the ceramic pieces that we interact with on a daily basis.”
In addition to these sculptural works, Duyer creates functional ceramics, such as plates and mugs etched with unique designs. Check out her website, Instagram, and Tumblr to learn more.
Berlin based digital art and design studio, Onformative, has recently installed their newest project, ANIMA iki, an “immersive experience of light and sound.” The installation is made up of a large glowing sphere that spans two meters in diameter and is suspended from the ceiling in a dark room. The orb is lit up by a visual aimed to mimic a “viscous metallic fluid” that’s hue and tonality shift and become distorted, creating a futuristic, mysterious aura. The “glow” within the sphere is created from a powerful wide angle projector that uses a fish eye lens and can create 360 degrees images. By manipulating the audible frequencies, the installation is able to “respond” to the space though picking up and reverberating the sound back. ANIMA iki is able to create visual and sounds in real time by responding to a Kinect tracking system that has the ability assess movement within its atmosphere. As the orb has a complex interaction with light and sound, the installation is able to seem alive. The orb seems to be able to have a personal interaction with the viewer, creating a strange, interesting experience.
Founded in 2010 by Julia Laub and Cedric Kiefer, Onformative offers a space they describe as “guided by an emotional approach, we constantly search for new forms of creative expression. Through an experimental practice we create meaningful works to challenge the boundaries between art, design and technology.”
The work was originally commissioned for the Amsterdam Dance Event and has since been exhibited at various galleries in the Netherlands and Germany.
Flowers and plants glowing in the dark. These pictures are the result of a titanesque work performed on each nature based element by Robert Buelteman. The California based artist is not using anything else than flowers, photographic films, electricity and a fiber-optic probe to create his work. The result is captivating and intriguing.
Robert Buelteman starts his process by picking fresh flowers and plants from a field. He lays them onto a photographic film in darkness after scalping them until they are sheer. He then throws a 80,000 volts current with his car battery, illuminating their unique energy field and exposing the film to their ultraviolet corona. The artist painstakingly applies the fiber-optic probe, which is the size of a human hair. By tracing over the shapes, some light is reflected, some absorbed, but the light that penetrates the subject exposes the film with the color and form of its’ source. This method requires, for a one successful picture at least 150 tries.
This camera-free, non-digital process only uses the natural and genuine energy of the plants. A statement dear to Robert Buelteman, a former classic photographer, who decided to counteract the growth of digitalized photography by going back to simplicity and craftsmanship. His is attempting to demonstrate that creativity is in the hands of everyone, for the ones that are willing to put the work. And that a piece or art doesn’t need to have a particular meaning. He prefers to let the electrocuted flowers speak for themselves.
Robert Bueltman’s pieces will be displayed at Adler & Co Gallery in San Fransisco until December 28th 2015
Artur Birkle is a German photographer with an eye for the candid and playfully suggestive. He shoots across many fields, including editorials, portraits, and reportage photography. His style is always distinct: high flash, casual poses, and accentuated body parts. Skillfully capturing the energy of his models and their intimate gestures, Birkle’s works allude to eroticism, rather than overtly display it.
Two series from his portfolio are shown here, Fruit Salad and Personal. The former features fruit in erogenous situations: a banana anointed with a thick, creamy liquid; apples strategically placed over breasts; a plum resting on someone’s tailbone. The sexual imagery of fruit has been explored before in art (and our imaginations)—i.e., the phallic resemblance of a banana—but Birkle does an excellent job accentuating the eroticism in a clean and simple manner. The skin texture and individual hairs of his models lend the images an honesty that heightens the viewer’s curiosity.
The Personal series has the same lighthearted tone, but with a softer, more sensual edge. These images are like viewpoints into private moments, buzzing with the after-burn of intimacy. Events such as twilight window-gazing and partially dressed bodies are documented in his fragmentary style, enticing us with a piece of the story and allowing our imaginations to fill in the rest. Birkle captures the nuances of physical expression in clever and unique ways.
Birkle is currently studying photography and media at the University of Applied Sciences in Bielefeld. You can view more of his works on his website, Instagram, and Tumblr. (Via Art Fucks Me)
Tilt-shift photography is becoming increasingly popular in the mobile photo editing world. Even if you’re not sure what it is exactly, you’ve definitely seen it on your social feeds, and after reading this article, you’re definitely going to have a lot of fun with it.
Ready? Let’s jump right in!
So…what is it?
Tilt-shift photography is a technique that has several different uses, but nowadays, its most common use is simulating a miniature effect.
Okay, how do I do it?
Simulating tilt-shift photography is actually pretty simple. There are lots of mobile photo editors out there, but the one we are loving right now is called PicsArt Photo Editor. They just came out with a Tilt-Shift Tool that’s really easy to use, but this app really shines in all the different ways that you can personalize your shots. But let’s talk about what you need to do.