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Ana Bidart’s Amazing Paper Roll Sculptures

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Ana Bidart‘s sculptures resemble small geological models.  She wears away layers and layers of paper to create each piece.  Reminiscent of rolls of receipt paper or even toilet paper, her medium in this series usually has a particularly utilitarian purpose.  Her sculptures emphasize the objects’ more poetic characteristics.  Though solid and consistent in appearance Bidart exposes the many layers that form the whole.  Her work easily lends itself to various metaphors.

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Synchrodogs Channel Lucid Dreams Into Photographs Of Hallucinogenic Beauty

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Tania Shcheglova and Roman Noven are a Ukrainian photography duo also known as Synchrodogs whose surreal imagery frames the human body in odd-yet-intimate relations with the surrounding landscapes. This particular series, Reverie Sleep, takes this theme of the “strange natural” a bit further, drawing on the expansive and unearthly realms of lucid dreams. Made with the support of the Pinchuk Art Foundation in 2013, this project emerged from visions the artists experienced while wandering somewhere between sleep and awakening:

“[Reverie Sleep] deals with the stage of Non Rapid Eye Movement sleep, during which some people may experience hypnagogic hallucinations caused by [the] natural process of falling asleep. Experimenting with those lucid dreaming techniques, [Synchrodogs] woke themselves up in the middle of the night to make a note of what they had just seen, gathering their dreams to be staged afterwards.”  (Source)

In order to recreate their dream imagery, Synchrodogs traveled to Iceland where they immersed themselves in dangerous and bleakly beautiful environments. As they explained in an interview with NYMag, they shot near “glaciers where you can fall into an ice hole and be found in a week, or in hot lakes where you can get boiled alive if there is a geyser which decides to eject hot water while you are in [it]” (Source). This earthly threat lends the images an impassive quality, just like the intangible lands we explore in our sleep while uncertain of what threats or joys await us.

Inhabiting Synchrodogs’ eerily sublime landscapes are female figures, nude or bedecked in colorful paints and surreal costumes. Bodies morph into ferns and fruit, or lie on cold earth and exalt in the light of an alien sun. Each figure is simultaneously human and inhuman, existing in a hallucinogenic, unquestioning state that dissolves and realigns our notions of reality. Shifting between forms and consciousness, they represent creatures of a limitless and symbolic universe.

Be sure to visit Synchrodogs’ website to see more images from Reverie Sleep, as well as their other stunning and immersive photo series. They can be followed on Facebook, as well as Twitter (@synchrodogs) and Instagram: @taniashcheglova and @romannoven. (Via PAPER Magazine)

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Leah Beach

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I know what you’re thinking….but, no. This is not Guerrilla Girls making a comeback. This is Leah Beach‘s most recent collection of work. Beach series is about stereotypes and rituals from American society; she used  gorilla masks to stand for what we, humans, evolved from. Beach is mainly a  film photographer and processes everything herself. Leach Beach is currently a student at the Delaware College of Art and Design.

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Enrico Ascoli & Donato Sansone

Another example of what you can do with lo-fi video techniques and some imagination!
Animation and concept by Donato Sansone
sound design by Enrico Ascoli

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Ceramic Bling and Insane, Animated Paper Mâché Masks by Cari Vander Yacht

Amsterdam artist Cari Vander Yacht just closed a show at Nationale in Portland. The show, Breaking Bad, consists of cartoonish paper mâché masks and ceramic bling renditions (above). I can’t exactly put my finger on the subtle insanity involved in each mask. There’s something about those guys. And sure, the lampooning of excess through altered/exaggerated gold chains and bling isn’t exactly new, but Vander Yacht’s earthy ceramic work makes them feel that way. She also sets up a nice interplay by installing the sculptural works against patterned digital prints. Would’ve really liked to have caught this one in person. Portland why are you so far? See more from the show after the jump.

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Yan Wei’s Nursery of the Netherworld

Yan Wei is a Beijing-based artist with a style reminiscent of horror manga illustrators like Hideshi Hino, yet very much her own.   Her ink portraits of children belong to a vision of Hell far more unnerving than any blunt pit of fire. 

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Beth Livensperger Gets Reflective

Beth Livensperger’s painterly canvases are full of confusingly convincing visual miscues.  Fluorescent lighting, mirrors, and expanses of reflective glass complicate vision by blinding, doubling, and flipping what we see.  Livensperger uses these illusions in ways which prompt the question “what exactly am I looking at?”  She makes us pay attention to places we would normally ignore, like store fronts, wood shops and laundry rooms.  In the process bringing us into a one on one confrontation with our sense of sight.

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Julie Blackmon Photographs Dreamy Domestic Scenes

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Photographer Julie Blackmon is the eldest of nine and current mother of three. Drawing inspiration from her own life experiences and also the paintings of Jan Steen, a 17th centure Dutch genre painter, she creates rich tableaux of family life.

Bypassing the idea of parenthood as a prison sentence, trapping the adult away from his or her “real” life, Blackmon, instead, reminds us of how valuable domestic life is to our own sense of dreaming– examining the home as a magical place where fantasy and reality merge together to empower community, creativity, and inner exploration. It is a place that we can remember fondly, lovingly, and longingly. Even if our childhood was less than perfect, there are still flashes of brilliance in the everyday quiet interludes that Blackmon seems to address with ease and specificity.

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