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Photography Spotlight: Paul Paper

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Paul Paper lives in Vilnius, Lithuania where he daydreams, sleeps, walks and sometimes takes pictures. He shoots spontaneously, capturing what he calls “the tiny tiny miracle in boring every day.”

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Christian Maychack’s Epoxy Clay And Wood Sculptures

Christian Maychack lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Combining epoxy clay with various pigments Maychack creates dynamic marbled abstractions that dance around their wooden surroundings. The nature of the clay and pigment allows the forms to appear as paintings upon first glance. In this way the work blurs the line between abstract painting and sculpture.

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PPPAAAAAPPPPPEEEERRRRR, RRRRR. RRAAAADDDDDDDD

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The video is amazing. It may seem like these guys don’t really care, but I think they really really do. Tricky.

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Cristina de Middel’s Photographs Narrate The Story Of A Mythical Boy From Nigeria

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Documentary photographer Cristina de Middel’s striking new series, This is What Hatred Did, displays a collection of beautifully cinematic photographs that bend the boundary between reality and magic. Her photographs are both playful, yet inherently insightful. The series acts as a photographic narrative of Amos Tutuola’s book, “My Life in the Bush of Ghosts,” a novel loosely based on Yoruba folklore. Written in child’s prose, the book follows a 5 year old Nigerian child whose village was attacked by soldiers, leaving him without his mother, and provoking him to flee in order to avoid the chaos. He manages to find his way into a magical bush where no humans are allowed. The novel follows him for 30 years, during which he achieves many states of being. Tutuola’s book, published in 1964, caused him to flee the country due to a violent reaction, leading him to open a new path for African literature. Cristina de Middel explains the series; she states:

“The series “This Is What Hatred Did” (derived from the mysterious last sentence of the book) aims to provide an illustrated contemporary version of the book, adapting the characters, and ambiance to the current situation of the country. The “Bush” is now the Lagosian neighborhood of Makoko, a floating slum with its own rules, commanded by Kings and community leaders, often the subject of popular media coverage. A place where logic does not prevail and forbidden for those who do not belong. With the conviction that contemporary issues should be described in a way that includes the agent’s traditions, perspectives, fears, and hopes, this series documents the enhanced reality of one of the most iconic places in Nigeria.”

Cristina de Middel, a spanish born artist now living on London, is known for her important, self-published photo book, The Afronauts, 2012.

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Preview: DIAcussion At Envoy Enterprises

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DIAcussion, a group show that engages in dialogue and discussion through form and subject, opens tonight at envoy enterprises, 87 Rivington St. (6-8 PM). The exhibition seems to approach its concept very directly; a lot of the interplay between the work is very pronounced, sort of in your face. This is far from a problem, as the overall quality of the show looks to be pretty high. The focus on figurative elements opens up a direct, personal vein through which we are able to consider the implications of the vastly different ways in which we approach the same goals. You can keep your questions at face value (medium vs. medium, subject vs. subject). And you can take in the decaying face of Gerald Collings’ The Hollow (above) and go all out dust-to-dust; considering the myriad ways you might choose to live your life in the face of the possibility that we all end up in the same lame, dead position eventually, that we all think we know the best way out of the maze but none of us actually find the exit in time.

All images courtesy of the artist and envoy enterprises, New York.

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JK Keller’s Self Obssessed

Designer/Artist/Self-Obssessor JK Keller really knows how to make use of his tools. Witness his curious expertise as JK wills the computer to create these amazing works of art. With a conceptual work ethic that borders on mischief, Keller humorously exposes to us the inherent beauty within the hidden structures in our lives.

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Documentary Watch: Bill Cunningham New York

Bill Cunningham is arguably the ultimate fashion trend forecaster. For decades he has been photographing not only what the people of NYC are wearing on the street but how. He is loved and celebrated by his coworkers at the New York Times and the entire New York fashion world as being the ultimate source for what’s happening in fashion right now and where the trends are going next. Not caring about class, his subjects range from strangers on the street jumping over rain puddles to high powered Fashion bigwigs such as Vogue‘s Editor-In-Chief Anna Wintour. This type of professional clout would surely provide most photographers wealth and access to the powerful but Bill Cunningham will have none of that. Not only does Bill detest money but he refuses to be a slave to it. Having turned opportunities to cash in on his talents he prefers a simpler life of traveling around town on his old crappy bike, wearing a street sweepers jacket, and living in a tiny studio apartment with no bathroom and kitchen. Bill’s level of dedication and high level of ethics is unbelievable and should make all of us press the pause button and question the things we do to get ahead. He is a simple man doing extraordinary work that future generations will look back at for many years to come.

If you’re involved in the fashion world or work in any creative field then this is the movie for you. I rarely see a movie twice but I will be sure to watch Bill Cunningham New York again and again so I can be reminded of why we sometimes have to make great sacrifices for our art. Watch the trailer for the movie after the jump.

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Jansson Stegner’s Long Stretch

Jansson Stegner’s work could easily have turned into your typical figurative work but the strange elongation of the figures gives the work a bizarre psychological twist. It’s kind of a mix between Balthus and John Currin.

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