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Observing A Creative Culture

DeChazier Stokes-Johnson has relaunched The Marma Spot, a collection of interviews done with a wide range of known and unknown creatives from around the world. From design here Stefan Sagmeister to  Run Athletics sneaker designer Rashid Young. Some good reading for those trying to find creative inspiration.

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A Gigantic Outdoor Disco Ball By Michel De Broin

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This is a huge disco ball.  The hugest, actually.  Michel De Broin‘s newest site specific installation One Thousand Speculations was created for Toronoto’s Luminato Festival.  The piece consists of disco ball over 25 feet in diameter hoisted 80 feet into the air, spun and spotlit each night of the festival.  The ‘thousand’ of the piece’s title likely refers to the ball’s mirrors – a thousand of which reflect on David Pecaut Square below.  Each of the individual mirrors reflect a large swath of light that travels over the yards and buildings each evening.  The surrounds, perhaps unavoidably, seem to feel just a little more lighthearted.

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The Intimate Moments Between People And Their Sex Dolls

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Early morning at the hotel in Wales. ‘Shadowman’ wakes up with his doll Carly. He has 2 adult daughters with another woman. Besides Carly he has 4 other dolls. Bianca is one of them. His dolls are not part of a daily life with his family, but everybody knows of their presence. Shadowman recently got divorced from his second wife.

Phil stopped smoking for a year to be able to afford his doll Jessica. He is aware that she's a doll, but simply doesn't care what anyone thinks about his choice of lifestyle. Phils friends all know of her existence.

Phil stopped smoking for a year to be able to afford his doll Jessica. He is aware that she’s a doll, but simply doesn’t care what anyone thinks about his choice of lifestyle. Phil’s friends all know of her existence.

Rebekka and June in the backyard of Everard. He has 12 dolls and often takes them to the garden for a photoshoot. His neighbours goes inside when he enters with his dolls. Everard has only had one relationship with a living women and has difficulties understanding women. He is lonesome but his dolls gives him kind of a comfort by their presence. The men are in general vain towards the dolls, they use a lot of time to make the hair and make up right before they picture them. That is also the reason why Rebekka and June are wearing summerhats – not to have the sharp sun in their face.

Rebekka and June in the backyard of Everard. He has 12 dolls and often takes them to the garden for a photoshoot. His neighbours go inside when he enters with his dolls. Everard has only had one relationship with a living woman and has difficulties understanding women. He is lonesome but his dolls give him kind of a comfort by their presence. The men are in general vain towards the dolls; they use a lot of time to make the hair and make up right before they picture them. That is also the reason why Rebekka and June are wearing summerhats – not to have the sharp sun in their face.

In 1986 after having their first child Chris Zachos wife filed for divorce. He was refused contact with his daughter for years. Every now and then he would try to search his daughters name on different social medias to get back in touch and a few years ago he managed to find her, now married and a mum of 2. It has been very painfull for Chris not to have been a part of his daughters life, so it was big when they finally reunited.

In 1986, after having their first child, Chris Zacho’s wife filed for divorce. He was refused contact with his daughter for years. Every now and then he would try to search his daughter’s name on different social medias to get back in touch and a few years ago he managed to find her, now married and a mum of 2. It has been very painful for Chris not to have been a part of his daughter’s life, so it was big when they finally reunited.

While, since its popularization in the 1990s, the phenomenon of sex dolls—life-sized and lifelike synthetic figures intended both as erotic objects and as stand-in companions—has been riddled with condemnation, Danish photojournalist Benita Marcussen seeks to shed these judgments through her series, Men & Dolls.

Following a group of six male doll-owners, Men & Dolls documents the individuals’ relationships with the anatomically-correct mannequins and provides an intimate glimpse into this controversial lifestyle. While the identities and situations of the subjects greatly vary—two men are married with children, two have been through a divorce, one was once betrothed in a dead-end engagement, and one has never had a girlfriend—they have one very apparent thing in common: they each consciously turn to dolls as a means to alleviate their loneliness.

This is why, in the photoseries, Marcussen does not solely focus on the sexual aspect of neither the dolls nor the relationships that they facilitate. She presents, rather, images that convey the ways in which the men incorporate the dolls into their daily lives and treat them as sentient—albeit intimate—companions.

Ultimately, whether clad in a sun hat and seated outdoors, dolled up in formal attire, carried around on a romantic pseudo-stroll, or wrapped in an embrace on a bed, it is clear that each doll featured in Men & Dolls is so much more than a sex toy. (Via Feature Shoot)

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Rebecca Morgan’s Exotic Redneck Portraits & Stylized Peasants

Rebecca Morgan creates a collection of characters and types, a cross between Brueghel’s stylized peasants, R. Crumb’s winking harlots, “Deliverance”, and the inbred mutants of many a horror flick. Morgan takes her background in rural Appalachia as the point of origin for her personae – as they become uncultured tourists, or especially in her self-portraits, expatriate interlopers ambivalently negotiating their depiction. Morgan’s more exotic rednecks inhabit a rural America where people exist intimately and potently with the wilderness, a relationship which urbanites can only smirk at and envy. Nature is either wistfully idyllic – the idyl found in a margarine ad – or the scene of demonically perverse debauchery.

Morgan’s style fluctuates between hyper-detailed naturalism, reminiscent of Dutch painters such as Memling and Van Eyck, and cartoonish caricature, which pushes the imagery to a ridiculous, repulsive, even absurd dimension. Jagged teeth, furry brows, corpulent bodies symbolic of sloth and over-indulgence, and a general air of dirty unkeptness all exploit the demonization of the Appalachian. Internal traits come to the surface, and while Morgan exorcizes her country folk’s demons, ridicule mixes with pride and defiant celebration. In her alternately tender and aggressive depictions of herself, she bares all – a metaphoric exposure of her former rural character, or to prod the viewer to question their own position.

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Carl Beazley’s Surreal Distorted Portraits

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The faces in UK artist Carl Beazley’s portraits are twisted and multiplied, clearly surreal, yet based on real faces with their pores and blemishes. Completely self-taught, the 26-year old artist credits his unique point of view to being able to find his own voice absent the outside influence of teachers or mentors.

“….by not going to University and not studying the all different painting techniques from history, I feel it has given me the freedom of learning from trial and error. I am always trying to look for something new and original that’s never been done before, and although I love the paintings of the old masters, it is important to me to look to the future so that in a hundred years from now we have our own history, not just a regurgitated version of the generation that came before us ……if we don’t try to take art to the next level by looking forward, we will just end up going in circles.”

It’s an interesting view of an art education, especially in light of the fact that of the artists whose works are influential to him, Picasso attended several art schools and Francis Bacon was an art school tutor. For all of the interesting ideas and successful execution of his work, it’s clear that Carl Beazley is just starting out in art, and in life.

“I’m fully aware that I’m only at the very early stages of this artistic journey and I have a hell of a lot of experimenting and searching to do before I’ll be totally happy. In fact I don’t think I’ll ever be content with my work, which is a good thing because it keeps you going! In a weird way, I’m content in not being content. (Source)”

It will be interesting to see how Beazley’s art progresses, and to follow his career to find out if he ever finds any value in learning from the past to change his view of the future. Perhaps he’d find that an excellent art education is more than landscapes and art history and color theory. His work is very good—maybe allowing outer voices in could help make it great.

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Douglas Lee’s Airbrushed Perfection

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Douglas Lee creates some amazing 80’s boardwalk, airbrushed tee styled illustrations and graphics that blow my mind. I have no idea what the above is for but i’m intrigued!

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Tim Berg & Rebekah Myers Large Scale Ceramics

 

Things fall apart, they break. Fracture, both material and metaphorical is a part of our lives. In the work of Tim Berg and Rebekah Myers, fracture acts as a unifying principle, unifying themes as diverse as luck, consumption and value. Sometimes something must be broken or fractured in order for us to see its value. This may be especially true for our environment. Only when we see the consequences of our actions do we begin to understand our complicity in fracturing it. So animals like polar bears must persist against the tide, fractured from their environment destined to become just another souvenir of a bygone era.

Sometimes we fracture things in search of something intangible, like breaking a wishbone for luck. These actions present us with an opportunity to conjure up some sense of control over the uncontrollable. We like to think we can control our fortunes through the coercion of objects or rituals hoping luck will favor us and blaming it when circumstances go awry.

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Igor Starkov

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This is a bizarre yet interesting project by Russian photographer Igor Starkov. Here is a description of the project in the photographers own words:

Vladivostok amateur photographers often go to the countryside for photo sessions. Anyone can be a model but in general they are young girls and photographers are men of different ages.

The larger and more expensive the camera and the longer the lens, the bigger the chance to find a girl for a photo session.

I was photographing what they have created. Postures, looks, everything was as it would be on amateur photographs with the only difference that I was using film and medium format and perhaps was composing my frames more professionally.

And photographers are eager to touch young girls with their hands, put down a bretelle and may be get to know her closer. There is even a certain competition between the photographers – who managed to take pictures of more beautiful girls, and whose pictures are sexier. To persuade her to pose naked requires mastery not everyone has.

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