Czlowiek Kamera is not this photographer’s real name. In Russian the name means ”human-cam” or “cam-man,” and was sourced from Vertov’s “Man with a Movie Camera.” This human-mechanical fusion can be identified throughout Kamera’s compositions, at least in the way he fuses his human subjects with the camera’s manipulation of them. His photographs are surreal and mystical, and remind me a bit of Kyle Thompson’s aesthetic. Kamera specializes in recording live music performances, including artists Sigur Rós and Fever Ray. Check out his Flickr for more photos.
When I first looked at Yossi Loloi’s “Full Beauty” project, I felt conflicted, and, admittedly, a little irritated. Loloi’s whole mission statement is something we, as women, are constantly being reminded of– how the media is a horrible liar, how all women’s bodies are beautiful, how the art world is sexist too, and how we need to subvert to change and love our bodies, love ourselves. Right? Right! So, how might we do this? According to Loloi, one way, is to examine unconventional imagery such as his own collection of beautiful obese women, commercially lit in relaxed settings.
Of his intention, Loloi’s website states, “I focus on their fullness and femininity, as a form of protest against discrimination set by media and by today’s society. What larger women embody to me is simply a different form of beauty. I believe we own ‘freedom of taste’ and one shouldn’t be reluctant of expressing his inclination towards it. Limiting this freedom is living in a dictatorship of esthetics.”
What Loloi says is not horrible, not terrible. It’s quick, easy, and makes perfect sense. Scroll through the photos and you will see that these women certainly are strong and brave to share bodies that, on the surface, are not generally appreciated. I love the female subjects for embracing this. In fact, the women’s bravery is the most redeeming aspect of this project.
The artist collective Quiet Ensemble are skilled at making the mundane feel monumental, or at least worth noting. Their installation/ performance art Quintetto is naturally composed of a quintet of goldfish. The little fish may not realize it, but their movements are of consequence. Placed in tall tanks, the vertical movements of the fish are monitored and converted into sound. Each fish is assigned a separate tank. The installation seems to give some sort of order to the random, and in a strange way lend gravity to something that is trivial. Check out the video to see the fish in action in full performance art glory!
Paper art has especially blossomed in the past few years. Few, perhaps none, are more meticulously detailed and worked the sculptures of Rogan Brown. His pieces seem organic, as if grown rather than cut. Their reflection of nature if further reflected in the medium, paper not far removed from trees. He says of his sculptures:
“My work is an exploration and re-presentation of natural organic forms both mineral and vegetal. I look for patterns and repeated motifs that run through natural phenomena at different scales, from the microscopic to the macroscopic, from individual cells to large scale geological formations.” (via)
Lorna Barnshaw likes to experiment with digital renderings of human faces. In her series of 3D art prints Replicants, Barnshaw used a different computer, software, application, and printing method with minimal interference with each computer’s rendering. The results are geometric, cubed, and warped mask-like representations of the human face. Complementary to this work, Barnshaw’s gif series Reality Reduction, depicts human figure images reduced to their basic geometry using a digital filter. Together these series engage us with their reflections on technological influences in contemporary culture.
The subject of Suren Manvelyan is so basic to photography it seems to hardly ever be captured individually. While typically considered as “windows to the soul” in art, Manvelyan’s series considers the beauty of the human eye simply as a biological structure. Eye colors are especially vivid in his images. However, it is the texture of the eye that is especially arresting. The iris seems like an alien terrain or some or some sort of cosmic object contrasting with the black void of the pupil.
Artists David Ellis and Blu blended two art forms that rarely meet: street art and animation. Throughout the video the mural takes over an entire building unfolding through a stop motion style. At times the art playfully utilizes aspects of the structure’s architecture – a style Blu has expertly developed in his work (for example, check out the first piece in this post.) The artists tirelessly paint and repaint images to further the animated sequence. Amazing images are quickly covered over to make way for the next image. The labor necessary was certainly staggering as is the self-control necessary to paint over pieces that were just complete.
Tate Ellington, known primarily as an actor, is also a self-taught painter, with an exhibition history that expands from NYC to Los Angeles. Working from doodles, conjured from found magazines, photographs, medical reference books, and/or an automatic sense of line, using mostly oils as his medium, Ellington inevitably focuses in on facial nuances, stating, “It’s what I identify with the most, so naturally, they come more.”
Each portrait carries a sharp bend of drama, as though the artist is implicated or interrupting more so than puppeteering the performance. Likewise, this is what strong acting does. In this way, Ellington seems to connect his two artistic loves, asserting, “In acting you are supposed to look for the truth of a character or of a situation. You can also be called to exaggerate the truth, if necessary. I think this is what I try to do with my paintings. I try to find the person by exaggerating him or her.” Each stroke is not just about the surface, but a discovery, or search for our own sense of play or performance as human beings.