Martin Strauss is a Berlin-based photographer whose artistic imagination knows no limits; whether he is shooting high fashion, lingerie, or creative portraiture, he always aims to “push the boundaries of photography a bit further” (Source). His images are consistently beautiful and surreal — two words which describe this particular series, entitled Irresistible. Throughout the images, models wearing leather and couture dresses pose in front of gothic backdrops; with their faces ensconced in masks suggestive of barbaric torture devices, they resemble predatory machines. The result is a set of photographs that are both realistic and fantasy-like, beautiful in the danger they pose.
As a long-time admirer of fashion photography, Strauss wanted to create his own vision of it by adding a new, experimental dimension: a style that he identifies as “dark beauty.” At the core of his concept was a biomechanical theme, a violent and industrial aesthetic in harsh juxtaposition with the soft beauty that often characterizes fashion photography. Strauss was not alone in the creation of this dynamic and narrative-rich series; working alongside him was Fercho Ma Do — an artist known in Berlin for his theatrical and SFX makeup — who helped design the masks and also provided ideas of his own. “Our creative work was kind of irresistible,” Strauss explains, speaking of their collaborative effort, and also of the reasoning behind the title, which was well-chosen; the series’ brilliant combination of beauty with dark eroticism and the macabre makes it visually and mentally engrossing.
The dresses featured in Irresistible were provided by Nicole Hellrung from Struppets, an avant-garde German fashion label. The model was Deborah Frey, who played the role of the biomechanical “mistress” perfectly. Check out the rest of Strauss’ work on his website and Facebook, and more images after the jump.
Akif Hakan’s photography portfolio is full of both personal and commercial fashion photography. He’s got many beautiful images on his site but the image above captured my eye. I love the optical effect of the hand disappearing behind the hair. Akif also has great series on glamour goths, urban fairies, and other bizarre fashionistas from around the world.
Finnish illustrator/photographer/director Miika Saksi’s work is everything I love about fantastical and mythic Lisa Frank evoking creatures galloping the fine line between awesome and cheesy as hell. It’s almost as if (for me) the relationship between work I like, and what I can Google image search is basically one and the same…
It’s almost dinner time in LA and I’m thinking about skipping the main course and going straight to dessert. It’s going to be one hell of a feast folks. It will most likely look something like this video by Castrovalva.
Megan Leonard has a nice variety of photographs on her Flickr page but I keep going back to these images of the above model. At first I thought that this was Megan herself but looks like it’s not. Perhaps it’s Megan’s BFF, a favorite model, or even a muse. Either way I was drawn to the blank expression in all the shots.
The monumental works of Danish artist Rasmus Danø orbit the dark side of modernity: The atom bomb, the polluted landscape, the decay of pop culture back yards like Disneyland and Graceland. Using a condensed and dramatic form mixing elements of comic book art, Californian underground, and murals with the great European tradition, the large scale religious implementations of the Baroque in particular, Danø works range from the traditional painting to reliefs and singular objects.