Artist, illustrator, and muralist Saddo creates paintings that are a fusion of birds, humans, armor, and more. In stately-looking portraits, these hybrid creatures look as though they’re ready to enter battle or to try and cheat death. Sometimes, act as the grim reaper themselves. The dark-colored images match the somber subject matter, and many of Saddo’s surreal works are meant to echo that sentiment.
The catalyst for Saddo’s subject mater comes from a move to Lisbon with the artist Aitch. Some imagery is influenced by Spanish and Portuguese explorers and conquistadors from the 15th to 18th century, as well as illustrations of birds, Islamic miniatures depicting battle scenes, and science fiction movies. Other paintings are inspired by the cold. “…the winter caught us by surprise, we didn’t expect it to be so rainy, gloomy, and depressing.” Saddo explains.“It deeply affected our mood and even our physical state, we often felt trapped inside our dark, moist house, inside slow moving, joint aching bodies.” Every once and a while, a coffin would appear in their illustrations and paintings.
The culmination of these disparate influences facilitate morbid, strange, and fascinating works that have intriguing small details hidden within each composition.
Based in Berlin, Peter Kaaden is a photographer who brings a raw, playful, and oft-erotic edge into the world of alt-fashion photography. The images shown here — the majority of which were shot for VICE and Oyster magazines — feature models provocatively bedecked in latex and bizarre headpieces. Whether within the studio or outside at night, Kaaden’s work is sharp, candid, and unapologetic, buzzing with an attitude and youthful “grit” that deviates from the conventional standards of commercial fashion photography. Instead of acting as passive recipients of the camera’s gaze, Kaaden’s subjects engage with it in a rough-yet-refined manner, expressing confidence and sensuality in imaginative ways.
If you visit Kaaden’s Tumblr, you will notice that his work extends beyond just fashion photography (in the traditional sense); there are images of nudes, erotic and/or strange still lifes, people engaged in amusingly raunchy night-time activities, and more. In an interview with Neon Black Fashion Magazine, Kaaden described his work as “a rough and honest documental view of my life and a view on today’s wasted lovely youth” (Source). Indeed, many of his images have an air of spontaneity and honesty — a style that is carried into his editorial work. In an industry that is often accused of quelling personal creativity for the sake of commercial interests, Kaaden has done a great job infusing the conventions of fashion photography with mischief and his perspectives on youth culture.
So we have all heard or read about the different scandals over celebrity photographs being leaked to people who they shouldn’t be leaked to. Whether they are nude photographs, private images, or untouched magazine cover shoots, we’ve all seen pictures of certain people that we probably shouldn’t have. Well, Spanish artist David Lopera takes this idea and pushes it to the extreme. He uses images of well known people including Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Watson, Michelle Keegan, Katy Perry, and Park Shin Hae and changes our perception of them.
With some Photoshop trickery, Lopera adds pounds to the celebrities, creating cartoonish caricatures of themselves. Promoting another type of body image, he ‘fleshes’ the women out, fetishsizing a plumper figure. Originally Lopera modified these celebrity photographs for his own amusement, but after receiving requests from other people for more transformations, he decided to up his output. He writes to Daily Mail:
Men are always writing to me asking if I can make their celebrities crushes look a bit fatter. Emma Watson, Jennifer Lawrence and Kim Kardashian are some of the most popular requests I get. These women look much better when they’re overweight. (Source)
Effectively promoting a more positive body image, he taps into our obsession with self image and vanity. He could also be fetishsizing a different type of body, but in an equally unhealthy way, but it seems to be humorous, or at least enjoyable to men and women alike. Lopera’s artist site on Deviant Art has an interesting survey explaining that most people only want to see the morphs of women (77 percent of participants want only women, and 23 percent want both men and women to put on the pounds). Perhaps you could even write to him to request your own favorite celebrity transformation…. (Via Demilked)
ChloeOstmo‘s photography installation “Falling” is art as an active verb. Ostmo re-inserts the three-dimension quality of falling into what could have been merely a flat series of photos of a woman tumbling down a flight of stairs. The effect is similar to that of glitch art, except wrought in realistic rendering.
“My work is broadly concerned with the negotiation between a three-dimensional original event or object and its two-dimensional copy,” Ostmo says in an artist’s statement. “I am interested in the transformations that occur and their impact upon our perception and understanding of space.”
Ostmo’s installation doesn’t seem to only evoke a different perspective regarding the three-dimensional and two-dimensional; it seems to call up the fact that our attention can only be held by one part of a whole at a time. By breaking up the act of falling into various pieces and smaller photographs, Ostmo’s installation almost mimics the way we parse reality, reducing it into manageable pixels that eventually form the entirety of an event.
“Working predominantly with photography and video, I am interested in the spatial possibilities and generative potential of the photographic print as a complex ‘material’ that has the ability to confront the viewer as an object in the present as much as an image of some past event.”
Yumi Okita uses her amazing artistic skills to create colorful and large sculptures of moths and butterflies, along with other insects. This North Carolina based artist uses various techniques in textiles and embroidery to form her soft and colorful creatures. Each insect is made up of an extremely eclectic group of materials including fabric, embroidery, feathers, fabric paint, cotton, fake fur, and wire. The amount of materials, time, and skill needed to create each piece is apparent as you examine each soft and stunning creation. Not only are Okita’s moths and butterflies brightly colored to perfection, but are also much larger than life! Including wingspan, many of them measure up to nearly twelve inches.
The color of the thread used in the embroidery involved in Okita’s process may or may not be true to nature, containing bright magentas, brilliant blues, and deep greens, but create extremely eye-catching pieces none-the-less. Entomology, the study of insects, has long been popular as many people collect and display butterfly and moth specimens. Okita uses this concept and takes it to a whole new level. Instead of being pinned in a display case under glass, her “specimens” of butterflies and moths are larger than life, inviting to be touched. These fun and remarkably crafted insects can be found on Yumi Okita’s etsy sight, where you can buy one of these gorgeous specimens for yourself! (via Booooom)
Imagine Lolita has joined the cast of The Walking Dead and found a meadow to hide in, and you will get Japanese artist Goto Atsuko’s incredible paintings. They are a mixture between something incredibly sweet and innocent, and something deadly poisonous that features only in nightmares. Her work features sullen, melancholic girls with large eyes and awkward features, and an overload of flowers, leaves, bees, butterflies, ribbons and bows. It’s like a cross between a Tim Burton animation, zombie profiling, and a child’s dark fairytale – all top of with a serving of strawberries and cream.
Compiled from cotton, glue, pigments, gum arabic and lapis lazuli, Atsuko uses both mundane and precious materials – again stressing the contrast between good and bad; naughty and nice. Atsuko’s paintings are a beautiful, haunting combination of childhood and adulthood, and how the two can exist together harmoniously. She shows us everything is not as simple as it seems, maybe that we all have a complicated persona – we are troubled one minute, and celebrating life with the animal kingdom the next. To see more profiles of her beautiful heavenly-devil-children-creatures, see her website here. (Via Booooooom)
Berlin-based artist Ivan Prieto sculpts colorful figures whose very existence seems to be burdened by their own body. In his 2014 exhibition titled Icarus, a cast of characters pepper the gallery, each with their own affliction. One lean figure has an intrusive rock growing from its skull. Another is armless and has its torso wrapped in large red coils. As a whole, the group is beautiful yet tragic.
The name of the exhibition could give us some clue about these character. It refers to the Greek mythological story about Icarus, the son of Daedalus who dared to fly too near to the sun on wings of feathers and wax. Before takeoff, his father warns of him of having hubris and requested that he not fly too low or high because the sea’s dampness would clog his wings while the sun’s heat would melt them. Since he flew too near, his wings melted and he fell into the sea.
Like their namesake, there’s a sense of these characters suffering physical consequences for their choices, be them foolish or misguided. You feel for Prietro’s sculptures, because they could be any of us.
Louis Jacinto‘s series “Floating Away” is at once alien and familiar, like Norman Rockwell from space. His photographs are of the most mundane objects we see every day in our lives: signs, usually connected to buildings and rooftops, drifting away. One photograph features a water tower, suspended in mid-air like a Midwestern siren call. Unmoored from their surroundings, the objects seem to contain some kind of portent, like a surreal rapture of modern design.
Jacinto’s photographs of big company logos are particularly evocative; devoid of branding, advertisements and the adoring gaze of consumers, they seem almost lonely. There’s a nostalgia to Jacinto’s photographs. They’re haunted by ghosts of icons from the past.
According to a statement by the artist,
“I expected so much growing up in the 1960s. My home always included discussions of the day’s events and politics. I saw how people struggled, fought and died for what was right. I thought by the time I was grown, the world was going to be beautiful and wonderful. I see we are still getting it backwards. I do everything I can so that my own ideals don’t float away.”