Inspired by American pro wrestling promotional videos from the late 1980s and early 1990s, Ben Aqua developed his own series of wrestling personas, each delivering messages of extreme hate, violence, and hyper masculinity.
This video addresses a view of pro wrestling as a fascinating calamity of simulated ultra-violence, consumer culture, and homoeroticism.
Dan Bannino is an Italian photographer who translates ideas into visual stories, often through the creation of eclectic still lifes. Featured here is a new series titled Niche of Wonders, which explores the lives of musicians throughout history. From Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to Alice Cooper to Taylor Swift, Bannino has constructed “shrines” that explore their individual quirks and hobbies. We discover (among many other things) that Roger Daltrey is an avid fisherman; Nikki Sixx uses photography as a creative outlet; and Grandmaster Flash collects mugs as souvenirs.
Niche of Wonders makes us wonder how musicians live every day, outside of the talent and stage presence that has made them famous. In a statement provided to Beautiful/Decay, Bannino encourages us to imagine what they are like “when the show is over,” so that we can consider them as unique individuals who channel their personas and ambitions into other projects. If we imagined niches for two recently-deceased artist, for example, we would perhaps see chess pieces for David Bowie, and a collection of Nazi memorabilia for Lemmy. In a playful call to curiosity, Bannino states, “Be prepared to change your thoughts about your favorite rockstar, and perhaps next time you could even consider to buy them the right Christmas present.”
Japanese designer Fangophilia (Taro Hanabusa) creates edgy silver accessories made from molds of isolated body parts: teeth, ears, cheeks, kneecaps, fingers, and more. Some of his more frequent designs consist of custom-fit fangs and claw-like finger extensions, but his oeuvre also consists of gauntlets and face-plates redolent of medieval armor. Trained in dentistry and fascinated by body modifications, Hanabusa became curious about what would happen if dental molds were used to alter the appearance of the body, and in June 2012 he started his own brand, Fangophilia.
Each silver accessory is molded to an individual’s form. While ears and knees might generally look similar, all have their own anatomical deviations, making Hanabusa’s creations as unique as the bodies they adorn. In a fascinating interview with Tokyo Fashion, Hanabusa discusses the effect of working so closely with his clients and their unique bodies, saying it makes him feel “connected with [his] customers,” more so “than those who only sell their items only through shops.” In this way, he is very much like a tattoo artist or a piercer, consulting his clients directly in the achievement of their desired look.
The aesthetic impact of Fangophilia’s work is dark and powerful. It’s alternative fashion with a vampiric edge. And even though Hanabusa is no longer a dentist, there is something intriguingly “clinical” or “surgical” about his designs: sharp metal is placed in intimate proximity with the skin, creating an effect that wavers between cold sterility and the shining beauty of silver. Furthermore, as the name “Fangophilia” suggests, there is an element of fetish in his work; by accessorizing (or armoring) a specific detail on the body, you bring attention and erotic curiosity to it. Plates of metal on the cheeks, for example, accentuate the sensual curve of a jawline. This allure is not to be taken lightly, however, for like suits of armor, Hanabusa’s designs exude both beauty and tremendous strength.
Fangophilia was in Los Angeles last November, so follow his Facebook page to keep up with his latest work and see where he tours next. His website can be found here. Tokyo Fashion’s article is another great resource, and it provides an exclusive, behind-the-scenes video showing Hanabusa’s shoot for his first lookbook, the photos from which are displayed on this page. (Via Tokyo Fashion)
In a digital age, some say traditional methods are dead. However, there has been an upsurge in popularity of using old-school techniques to create new things. Fashion designer Greg Climer combines two such mediums, knitting and film, to do just that. He has transformed knitting into a way of displays film stills. By using technology to transfer frames of a film onto knit fabric, he creates a knit scarf that is used the same as a film reel that you can actually watch as a short film. What is so amazing about this project is that Climer is taking film, shifting its properties to knit fabric, and then converting it into film once more. He is ingeniously using modern technology to manipulate different, traditional mediums to create an entirely unique and contemporary finished piece.
How this process works is each frame is reduced in size so that the amount of pixels matches with the amount of stitches. Then, the colors included in the film are decreased to four, since looms can only use up to four yarn colors. Then, the scarf is ready to be knitted! This method is very time consuming, as his test strip took a year and a half to make. However, after watching just a fragment of the resulted film, the outcome is undoubtedly worth it. Greg Climer’s ambitions do not stop at his unbelievably intricate knitted short film project, but extend to creating quilts from scraps of fabric. These quilts range in a wide variety of interesting subjects; one series depicting loved ones of Climer, and another displaying stills of pornography. (via Fastco Design)
The embedded video above comes from the latest project by Montreal-based media artist Jon Rafman. Kool-Aid Man in Second Life offers to give Internet users free guided tours of Second Life by Rafman’s avatar, the Kool-Aid Man. The aforementioned video is a promotional video showing scenes of the tour (by the way, apparently some of this may not be NSFW, though I watched the first minute or two and didn’t really notice anything bad). The subtlety of the video, and the entire project, is what makes it so engaging. There are all sorts of questions raised here: about the role of crafted pop culture icons in the new era of user generated content, about the nature of scenic beauty, about our interaction with kitsch. Someone take the tour and let us know how it is!
PS: Check out this essay Rafman wrote on Google Street View. Very compelling stuff.
Caterina Rossato creates 3D layered landscapes out of old postcards. She seeks to evoke both the familiar and the alien, the specific and the general. “I create landscapes made through a collage of other landscapes, combining images in which the sense of recognition of reality slips from one level to another and it is never clearly identified,” Rossato says in an artist’s statement.
The series, named “Deja Vu” plays with the idea of recognition and the sensation of recognition. Rossato explains:
“The déjà vu is a psychic phenomenon which is part of the forms of alteration of memories (paramnesie): it consists in the erroneous sensation of having seen an image or of having lived previously an event or a situation that is occurring. Although improperly, it is also called ‘false recognition.'”
It’s interesting that she chose to use postcards, which often enable us to live vicariously through friends and family who are traveling abroad. In a sense, we’ve heard about the locations and they are familiar to us in name and description; however, we often haven’t traveled to those distant lands, not enough to know them personally or to have seen them up close. In a way, Rossato’s work brings up the question of how we can truly know something — or know that we know something. (via I Need a Guide)
Chris Pell is a 21 year old graduate from Brighton University. Pell is a very unique animator, photographer, and illustrator who uses religious symbolism in a majority of his work on Flickr. Just incase you were wondering, Pell loves “fantasy worlds, alchemy, soca music, mysticism, horror movies…” and the list goes on. He is readily available to take commissions and also has prints for sale upon contact.