U.S. Marshals is American photographer Brian Finke’s fourth and most recent series. The artist documents the everyday activities of the law enforcement officers. The photos are particularly relevant in light of police violence in the U.S. The most recent case is in Ferguson, Missouri, where an unarmed teenager was shot by a police officer, the issue of race, of course, being a huge factor. The photographs provide a privileged glimpse of the conduct of these federal officers, something that should certainly be available for examination.
U.S. marshals function at a federal jurisdiction, transporting prisoners, judges, prosecutors, witnesses, and arresting “the country’s most dangerous fugitives”. According to Finke’s website, they have been involved in “missions ranging from tracking down train robbers in the Wild West, to protecting African American school children segregating the south in the Civil Rights Era, from enforcing all U.S. laws in Antartica, to seizing and auctioning off fraudster Bernie Madoff’s property.” A diverse resume to be sure.
The photographs are not surprising in what they portray – men and women in uniform and bulletproof gear – but there are moments of intrigue. I’m definitely interested to know what the story is behind the pink cuffs when all of the other gear in the photographs is so much more severe. I’m also curious to know what’s going on with the shirtless and shoeless man in nothing but a bathing suit being escorted away by a marshal.
Finke is releasing a book of his U.S. Marshal series November 20th and will coincide with a solo exhibition at ClampArt.
Matt Perrin believes in the magic of classic photography. Perrin decidedly does not use Photoshop or manipulate his photographs once the shutter clicks. Rather, he fully utilizes the simple features of his camera and experimental lighting to create his dreamy images. His photographs glow like cosmic abstractions. Perrin is intentionally ambiguous as to the exact nature of his subject matter. Rather, he encourages a more open reading similar to abstract painting. He says of his process:
” Any object seen, in any photograph, was physically in front of the lens when the shutter opened and closed. It’s the twists and turns that have occurred between those points that have brought you here today.”
Nicole Peterson and Adam Ramirez work together and separately to create gothic fairytale-esque photos. The pair, who are based in Chicago, use interesting fashion items like updated plague masks and pea coats, which allow them to transform a camping site covered in snow into what looks like a still from the sequel to The Hunger Games. And their eye for the perfect moment doesn’t just apply to people, since they even have a whole series of photos from various zoos that make it seem like they’re travelling all over the world. Nicole, also has an ETSY shop where she sells buttons that fit within her artistic aesthetic and say things like “Adopt A Dire Wolf” and “What Would Dobby Do.”
Renowned Brazilian brothers/collaborators Os Gemeos, known for their huge street art murals featuring vivid colors and strange, yellow dudes, just opened a show at Boston’s ICA. While the bros are in town, they’re getting up with two large pieces that are starting to look like some of their best work yet. If your grandmother still thinks that public art is a nuisance, then show her these gorgeous process photos. And if you’re on the east coast, a road trip may be in order before the summer’s out. The show at ICA/Boston runs until November, 25.
Employing concrete barriers, make-shift housing and check points, Amze Emmons uses the architecture of refugees to paint urban disaster. His grim imagery is mismatched by a cheerful palette, creating the impression of Martha Stewart going wild with pastels in a war-torn camp. Emmons puts it dryly: “I’m interested in how strife, climate change, disasters and global migration effect the way folks live and the types of environments they build.”
Designed and authored by Richard Hefter, Martin Stephen Moskof, A Shufflebook is a nonstructured reading and storytelling “book” which is designed to offer children maximum variety and flexibility of image grouping. The 52 illustrated cards can be arranged to make an endless number of word and picture stories.
There is no doubt that the current resurgence of the .gif medium is indicative of how image-based and internet-dependent our networked society has become. Born of and propagated through the Internet, .gifs offer a perfect medium for our constantly consuming Share-Culture, a culture that artist Mark Vomit masterfully samples from, and takes particular pleasure in critiquing. Inspired in equal parts by nostalgic ’80s and ’90s ephemera and modern Internet imagery, Vomit’s aesthetic has made him a leading voice in a new online visual arts movement, despite his often apathetic and apocalyptic style.
When asked via email to describe his motivation, as well as his aesthetic, Vomit responded adroitly:
“1. Mark Vomit is documenting the Apocalypse.
2. Mark Vomit manipulates images and sounds.
3. You Have No Voice, You Have No Choice, the New Order Nation has Taken Over and
Everything You Like Is Wrong.
4. Vomiting is the involuntary, forceful expulsion of the contents of one’s stomach through themouth and sometimes the nose.
5. Manipulate: to use or change in a skillful way or for a particular purpose.
6. Studies in Post 20th Century Culture and Media.”
This philosophical and aesthetic difference made Vomit (who also performs in the the art-doom-rock band Bollywood) a competitive contender in a recent head-to-head tournament of the world’s best .gif artists organizes by the influential new media art and tech site VIA. Considering the often too-cutesy and completely referential (read: unoriginal) work which proliferates Tumblr posts, it serves as a refreshingly radical reaction to have an artist defacing and exploring the medium with a grittier, grimier approach.