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Tracks of the Year

 

Lists are one of those things that just are, things few think to improve the experience of — ever-changing content with little change to the framework. With a simple layout and clean design, Tracks of the Year is a definite format upgrade. Billing itself as a “collection from those best-of lists, minus the reading,” it’s exactly what we want from a music best-of list: less words, more sounds. Each track was selected and illustrated by Montreal-based art director Michael Hagos

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Oscar Parasiego Depicts The Alienation Of Immigrants In Ghost-Like Portraits

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Spanish artist Oscar Parasiego creates Diaspora, a photographic series that illustrates the transformation and adaptation of individuals who emigrate to other countries in search of a better future.

At that point, there is a transition between the person we have been so far and the person we are going to be.

Inspired by his own move to the UK from Spain, Parasiego uses photography in order to literally depict the varying feelings and states of mind of immigrants as they seek comfort and stability in a brand new countries. Each of these ‘portraits’ are altered in order to only depict a silhouetted, invisible outline of the subject, one that interestingly reflects the environment around them. Through this technique, we are to assume that this person has seamlessly become part of their new environment. Their invisibility,tough positive in some ways, is telling of their struggles to be part of something new while also maintaining the old and familiar. We can say that by becoming part of this new environment (by blending in and becoming ‘invisible’), he/she (the immigrant) risks loosing their ‘true self’ by assimilating to customs and enviroments that are not truly theirs.

Parasiego’s work is telling of his struggles while transitioning to his new home. His experiences, and his renditions of them, nicely encapsulate the experiences of many (myself included).  I moved to the U.S from Argentina about ten years ago, and my experiences in the first few years of living in the U.S felt significantly similar to those rendered in these photographs. Feeling invisible whilst trying to fit in by assimilation were two things that were hard to live through. Thankfully this state of mind, slowly but surely, went away, letting me became visible for who I was and for who I became once I was settled in my new home. (via Feature Shoot)

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Klara Kristalova

Czech born artist Klara Kristalova’s intimate figurative sculptures in ceramic, plaster, and bronze tell allegorical stories that reference fairytales and folklore with a humorous twist.

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Violence, Death, The Holocaust And McDonald’s

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Jack and Dinos Chapman’s latest installation is currently on view in Hong Kong. The work is comprised of four dioramas depicting historical events with miniature figures. Violence, holocaust, and death pervade the work, as well as commercial images of characters from McDonald’s. This creates a landscape rife with gritty humor and heavy irony. This work evokes a level of discomfort that is shockingly arresting. Jake says, “It’s as pessimistic as we can make it but it’s pessimistic in a joyful sense. Fatalistic in a joyful sense. There’s nothing foreboding about this. It doesn’t serve any kind of moral end…We take McDonald’s as being a marker of the transformation from industrialisation to the end of the world. McDonald’s once represented the idealism of fast food and the space rest era. Now it’s consistent with the dilation of the ozone and a litigious clown who’s lost his sense of humour.’”  Check out other posts we’ve done about these artist brothers here.

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Eight Artists Who Sculpt Mind-Bending, Hyperrealistic Depictions Of The Human Body

Jackie K. Seo, "Secret Shame"

Jackie K. Seo, “Secret Shame”

Jackie K. Seo, "Man and Rope"

Jackie K. Seo, “Man and Rope”

Jamie Salmon, "Chris"

Jamie Salmon, “Chris”

Jamie Salmon, "Self Portrait"

Jamie Salmon, “Self Portrait”

In a blog post published last week, The Creators Project composed a stunning list of eight artists who sculpt hyperrealistic depictions of the body: Marc Sijan, Xooang Choi, Sarah Sitkin, Jackie K. Seo, Sun Yuan and Peng Yu, Jamie Salmon, Felix Deac, and Trent Taft. From states of beauty, intimacy, deformity, and death, the artists approach flesh as a figurative storyboard for human experience; whether it’s the stale sadness of Sun Yuan and Peng Yu’s “Old People’s Home,” or the life-like, slow-burning intensity of Salmon’s “Chris,” each work accentuates the details and imperfections of the skin to convey a much deeper message.

To some, the purpose of hyperrealistic art may seem uncertain; why reproduce reality in such painstaking detail, when we are confronted by each other’s flesh every day? Of course, some of the sculptures have disturbing and surreal aspects, which makes their illusory qualities more clear. Like rats’ tails and hairless cats, these sculptures may make many of us strangely uncomfortable, for they unconsciously remind us of our own mortal fleshiness. Beyond this initial repulsion, however, they also mimic and accentuate reality to confront the viewer with meanings they may never see otherwise: human vulnerability, and the skin as a shallow edifice that distracts us from another’s internal experience. In each of these “simulations” of real life, an intuitive (and often unsettling) truth is revealed.

To read more, check out The Creators Project blog post. More images after the jump. (Via The Creators Project)

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Julia Sonmi Heglund

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Visual artist Sonmi Heglund revisits pop-culture creatures of the past and presents many new characters and stories of her own, in an intricate and graphic illustrative style. Dracula, Jiminy-Cricket, and weeping eyes… oh my!

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Sopping Granite

Ben Vickers (who I blogged about a couple months ago) has joined up with Sarah Hartnett to create Sopping Granite. I love the colors and forms, and the manifestation of Vickers’ digital sculptures into the third dimension via shiny stretchy tents. Maybe this is what sopping granite looks like?

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Davis Ayer’s Projections Of Vintage Photographs On Nude Bodies Transcend Time And Memory

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Dreams, memories, and bodies melt together in the hazy, surreal work of Los Angeles-based photographer Davis Ayer. We featured his otherworldly landscape and double exposure shots last year, wherein Lindsey Rae Gjording eloquently describes him as a “true nostalgist” whose timeless work “allows the viewer to insert their own subconscious desires into the narrative” (Source). In regards to Ayer’s ability to compress emotion, time, space, and consciousness into his photography, this stunning series, entitled Time Travel, is no exception. Here, Ayer again pulls on the magic and semi-lucidity of dreamworlds, using nude bodies as a projection screen for vintage images; among them, you will see trees, beaches, rushing street lights, and the moon, all mapped onto the surfaces and contours of the nude body, turning skin into a visual narrative, like the one that plays in our heads as we close our eyes to sleep while remembering the past and visualizing our feelings.

What makes this series even more curious for discussion is the idea that the images and memories projected onto the bodies are not the models’ own. Certainly, our bodies are vessels of our own experience, but how much can we embody or touch the past? When we feel nostalgia for the “old days” and vintage culture, what are we missing or mourning? By projecting foreign memories (“foreign,” in that no one’s inner experience can ever be exactly simulated), Time Travel moves the human body — vulnerable, powerful, and honest in its nudity — through time and space, transcending memory and lived experience, and connecting a present lifetime with a past one in moments of intensity and reverie.

Visit Ayer’s website, Tumblr, Facebook page, and Instagram to follow his work.

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