Environmental and seasonal artist Nicole Dextras is no stranger to using ice as a medium. For her series, “Iceshifts,” Dextras combines ice and clothing to create deconstructed wardrobes frozen in time, then photographs them up close and within natural settings. Often, the clothing has been frozen over several winters, creating layers and layers of ice. When Dextras composes her photography, she positions the blocks of ice to effect beautiful light refractions, giving the work a haunting and ethereal glow. The clothing appear to be specimens, ready to be excavated and studied. Sometimes, Dextras will include plants or leaves when creating her pieces; she’s even used stockings for arms and bras as wings to illustrate the many layers of the self .
Dextras explains, “This frozen wardrobe acts as a metaphor for the multilayered affinities between the self and the environment. On a deeper level, the mercurial aspect of ice alludes to the transient nature of the environment and of the inherent poetic beauty of the ephemeral.” (via my modern met)
The short film “Transmormon” is the story of Eri Hayward. Born into a Mormon family and assigned male at birth, Eri struggled with her gender identity as early as five years old.
“When I was explained to myself that I was a boy, it was because God had made me that way, which didn’t make a really great relationship, as a five year old, between me and God.”
In many ways, this is what “Transmormon” is really about. Eri and her family describe her struggles growing up in a religious community in Utah where her search for identity included a time believing she was a gay man, and her pain and despair led her to try to cut off her own penis. Her family’s love eventually led to their acceptance of her as female and they supported her trip to Thailand for a sex-change operation. But though her family embraces her as a woman, her religion does not.
According to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Handbook, as a transgender person, Eri cannot get married in the temple or raise children in the faith. Because Eri sought to align her birth-assigned sex and her internal sense of gender identity, she has been marginalized. And yet, her belief in God, so problematic when she was five, has been strengthened even as her religious community has closed to her. This hasn’t caused her to become bitter, though, although she is wistful.
“It’s hurtful to someone who wants to have a relationship with someone but also have a relationship with God and the Church. But, my personal opinion is while it might be nice of them to approach things in a way that is a little more kind, it is their church. You can go find another one. … I looked at my life and I looked at the things that were important to me and I found a way to have family in my life and have a lot of the cultural aspects of my LDS upbringing and still find a way to be happy.” (Source)
“Transmormon” takes a sincere look at gender and belief, God and acceptance, family and faith.
Austrailian Sam Songailo makes crazy technical paintings that have my brain in a serious frenzy. Florescent patterns ooze off the canvas like a Gee’s Bend quilt on mushrooms. Check out Iain Dawson Gallery for more.
New York artist Bing Wright has a clever way of creating something simple and visually striking. For his latest series Broken Mirror/Evening Skies, he has photographed various sunset scenes in shattered mirrors, resulting in beautiful, understated images akin to stained glass windows. The images are full of calming blues, glowing yellows, haunting greys and ferocious reds. In this way Wright really is a photographer painting with light.
While more abstract than some of his earlier works, the composition carries a narrative that enables the viewer to collectively experience the beauty of the sunsets the artist has captured, while facilitating an individual interpretation of the emotion they imbue. We are presented with pictorial images, fragmented and in disrepair – a reminder that everything beautiful is flawed and imperfect. Bing’s signature large format lends these images symmetry and exact composition, giving them a majestic quality. (Source)
Fascinated with the subtlety of changing weather patterns, landscapes and seasons, Wright is known for his poetic photographic series. His past work includes Greyscapes (very bleak, but not bland, views of nature’s tones of grey), Wet Glass (a close up series of droplets and drips on panes of glass), and Windows (a series that narrates the passing of time through the same one window).
Wright has gravitated slowly toward an aesthetic based around reflections, mirrors, silver tones, and foil. He has photographed silver bits on mirrors, mirrors on mirrors, and now simply has captured his surroundings in mirrors. But don’t let the simplicity undersell the elegance of this sunset series. The combination of a violently broken mirror and the tranquility reflected in the shards, has a surprisingly enchanting effect. The charm of these works lie in the juxtaposition between these two worlds.
I’ve never been a big coffee drinker (chocolate soy milk is my beverage of choice for me) but Black Gold had me wanting to kick down the doors to my local coffee shop and spray paint “Fair Trade Now” all over the walls. Black Gold documents one mans efforts at bringing fair pricing to the coffee farmers of Ethiopia who make less than a dollar a day growing al that delicious coffee that we pay $5 a cup for. It’s depressing to know that the farmers of one of the worlds most popular drinks are literally starving to death and can’t afford the basic necessities that we take for granted like shelter, water, and education.
Watch this documentary, only buy fair trade, and demand that your local coffee shop only support coffee brands that pay a fair wage.
We’ve teamed up with Website builder Made With Color to bring our faithful readers yet another exclusive artist feature. Each week we join forces to share some of our favorite creatives working today who use Made With Color to create their clean and sleek website. All Made With Color sites are responsive and come with a built in mobile site, which means that your portfolio looks perfect no matter how it’s viewed- from desktops to smart phones. This week we are happy to present to you the incredible wall drawings/murals of Heeseop Yoon.
Korean born, NYC based Heeseop Yoon is not scared of scale. Her impressive wall drawings cover gallery walls in a manic entanglement of line and form, swaying back and forth between abstraction and representation. From afar the drawings resemble a mass of scribbles weaving through one another but as you get closer you realize that the dense drawings are actually layer upon layer of furniture, clothing, objects, and other household items. What’s even more impressive is that Yoon’s drawings are not created with paint or ink but are in fact “drawn” with hundreds of feet of black tape that are cut into pieces. Other murals are created with cut Mylar layered on top of each other to create ghostly images that resemble X-rays.
Yoon states about her work:
My work deals with memory and perception within cluttered spaces. I begin by photographing interiors such as basements, workshops, and storage spaces, places where everything is jumbled and time becomes ambiguous without the presence of people. From these photographs I construct a view and then I draw freehand without erasing. As I correct “mistakes” the work results in double or multiple lines, which reflect how my perception has changed over time and makes me question my initial perception. Paradoxically, greater concentration and more lines make the drawn objects less clear. The more I see, the less I believe in the accuracy or reality of the images I draw.
Designer Nickolay Lamm has designed a “Normal Barbie,” who has the same body issues as “regular” people. This doll, called Lammily, comes with stickers to show acne, tattoos, stretch marks, and other imperfections that make us (and her) human. Now, before you rush out and buy one for every child in your life, it’s probable this design is tongue-in-cheek, and questionable how much kids will enjoy it at first.
However, it is a good barometer to measure ourselves against. Barbie- the old school Barbie I had growing up- embodies the idea of perfection, one that is fed to children at a very young age and subconsciously produces vast feelings of inadequacy and the idea that woman should measure up to specific proportions, proportions that aren’t even attainable. Everyone knows that Barbie’s curves cannot exist on a real human’s body. So why do we form her that way? What role models are we giving our children and what does that say about our society? Food for thought.
Here is some more about Lammily:
“A sticker pack that comes with the doll allows kids to apply all the sorts of skin imperfections that real people have, teaching kids that they don’t have to aspire to or value the unrealistic body images promoted by Barbie or Ken dolls. And, judging by the reactions of the 2nd-graders Lamm showed his doll to, the message has been received with open arms!”
Creative murals by designer and street artist Mehdi Ghadyanloo are turning Tehran, Iran’s streets into an outstanding open-air gallery. Executed on two-dimensional blocks of concrete, Ghadyanloo’s artworks deceive the viewer’s eye by skillfully using methods from op art and 3D painting.
Mehdi has established a mural-painting company Blue Sky Painters, which helps him to work with the large-scale street art projects. What is not very frequent in the field, is that Ghadyanloo is fully backed up by the city’s municipality. According to the artist himself, it is one of the government’s goals to promote mural art in Tehran.
“The city is an architectural mishmash with buildings often having only one facade and the other three just left blank and grey. This doesn’t make for a beautiful city but it is a great environment for mural work. I think the municipality really felt the need to bring some cohesion or at least colour to the often confused and smog-smeared architectural face of the city.”
Ghadyanloo graduated from MA in Animation, which brought him closer to storytelling and surrealism. The latter has really influenced his style in urban murals. His scenes often depict unrealistic sights and actions such as cars flying in the air, man bicycling down the wall, people defying gravity and so on. Many of Ghadyanloo’s creations also cleverly interact with their surroundings bringing even more life to the streets of Tehran. (via: My Modern Met)