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Snack Bang! The Photography of Exploding Food

Ryan Matthew Smith - photographRyan Matthew Smith - photograph Ryan Matthew Smith - photograph Ryan Matthew Smith - photograph

Photographer Ryan Matthew Smith takes photos of exploding food for his publication Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking. Since April 2008 he has amassed over 140,000 photos. Using a high speed camera recording at 6200 frames per second, Smith is able to capture a side of food that we normally can’t witness.

His subjects are anything from sausages to saucepans. He photographs hamburgers bursting apart – mayonnaise caught in the act of falling, tossed salads being frozen in mid-air. Smith explodes his food and accessories with the help of a bullet – fired from a 308 sniper rifle and travels at roughly 2800 feet per second at the point of impact, it creates the perfect environment for his photographs.

Elaborately posed, his objects stand out on his starkly minimal backgrounds – usually matt black. He shows cross sections of woks, elements, flames and pots, creating images reminiscent of modern abstract compositions. Smith says of his technique:

‘I had a pretty good understanding of compositing but given the large amount and complexity of photo illustration I spent many hours on Photoshop trying to find new ways to blend images together smoothly and quickly’.

Smith thrives on imbuing the mundane with life and motion. His photographs are a perfect display of what is it like to be caught in the maelstrom of food preparation, or destruction.

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Peter Ryan’s Vintage Illustrations

Peter Ryan’s hand painted illustrations have a vintage hand painted quality to them. They look like a sophisticated version of hand painted signs that you see outside of bodega’s and liquor stores.

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Jason Freeny’s Dissected Pop Culture Sculptures

Jason Freeny lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. He has an ongoing series of sculptures that eschew the clean and safe demeanor of mainstream toys. From Barbie to Lego Figures, Freeny’s creations are dissected so that individual anatomy can be seen. The kitsch cuteness of a My Little Pony figure is immediately eradicated once the viewer takes in the bizarre skeletal structure on the opposite side. Jason finds a way to expose inherent creepiness in otherwise harmless characters that populate the pop culture landscape.

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Ellie Coates’ Drawings of Myths, Folklore, and the Renaissance

Through the work of Ellie Coates the viewer is invited into the timeless world of story telling. Combining inspiration drawn from myths, folklore and Renaissance painting she creates the props with which to encourage the imagination of the viewer to weave the narrative. Through the well-known Greek Myth of Medusa the Gorgon Queen Ellie explores and adapts both the anatomy of this formidable character and that of the story surrounding her.

The work deals with entrapment, the female role in storytelling and the close relationship between the beast and the human. Whilst Ellie’s work addresses themes of entrapment it in turn provides the tools for escapism. The otherworldly and uncanny feel is made even more mysterious and mythical through her drawing and making process. The surface of the paper is laboriously prepared with layer upon layer of rabbit skin glue and gesso before graphite is applied with meticulous mark making to give an ethereal and luminescent quality.

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William Edmonds’ Stoneware Ceramics

William Edmonds primarily creates quirky illustrations as one third of the UK based art collective Nous Vous (see previous B/D post here). He has recently begun producing a series of ceramics that mirror his fine art sensibilities. Intuitive use of color and free-forming shapes are prevalent. There is a sense of jubilation that runs throughout his artistic output. In his own words Edmonds is informed by “Mark and timbre, line and verse, form and play.”   

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Paul Chiappe’s Extremely Small Drawings of Vintage Photographs

Crazy small drawings from Edinburgh-based artist Paul Chiappe. Recreating graphite versions of early 20th century photography, the artist meticulously produces his works within tiny confines. Many of his drawings fall below the 4×4 cm. mark. Looking at the sad faces of our forebears given life by Chiappe’s drawings, you get the sense that they might easily have been forgotten by the world. His efforts celebrate those we’ve lost in a really unique way. Check out more below. (via)

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Ted Tucker’s Hippocampus

Ted Tucker’s paintings are magnificent homages to drunk frat boys, cheerleaders, trophies, and friday night keg parties with a dash of cheesy tv show from the CW network thrown in. Not only are Ted’s paintings fantastic but he also has made the package complete with his choose your own adventure website for the series. Make sure to select the Flash option and let the good times roll!

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Jesse Treece’s Vintage Collage

Artist Jesse Treece specializes in collage.  Using vintage imagery, he creates surreal scenes and portraits.  His collages nearly feel like lost scenes of 1970’s science-fiction and horror films.  The collages often juxtapose science with nature, inside with outside, and large with small. Treece makes effective use of familiar imagery and styles to create entirely new artwork.  The immersive pieces tell fantastic stories, as well as the mundane ones of life through a flood of images.

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