Not only does Josh Reames write great reviews for New American Paintings and run an odd little basement gallery in Chicago (Manifest Exhibitions), but he makes great paintings too! I’ve personally seen his paintings come a long way in a very short time, and I hope you like them as much as I do. See this young Chicagoan under-compensate for his long-comings after the jump!
Photographs of abandoned toy factories are haunting. Taken by various photographers around the world, we see what’s happened after production has stopped and employees stop showing up to work. Some places are left in mid-production, while others have been ransacked by graffiti. In other places, they were defeated by nature.
Illustrating a range of factory conditions, the most unnerving photos are ones that depict these places as ghost towns. They feature cracked doll heads, broken doll arms, and soiled teddy bears. There is an air of mystery about them, and beg the question of, “what happened?” Why did they suddenly pick and leave?
What makes these photographs unnerving is the juxtaposition of toys and abandonment. We think of things like dolls and bears as being innocent. They signify childhood, a time in our lives that shouldn’t be so dark. Instead, we see toys having to face harsh realities of time, wind, snow, and more. Nothing depicts this better than the Isla de las Munecas, or the Island of the Dolls (above). While actually a floating garden, this space of land is occupied by several hundred dolls that have severed heads, limbless bodies and with empty eye-sockets. It was originally conceived as a memorial for a girl that was drowned in a canal, but has since fallen in disrepair. (Via io9)
Walls, we’ve all got them. Now, it’s the New Year and there’s no better time to start decorating – or re-decorating – those blank barriers.
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Interesting digital illustration from Korean artist/designer Wonman Kim. In these works, animal anatomy is mixed and matched with random, miscellaneous items in compositions that look like neon projections of x-ray scans. You could spend a long time playing a game of “I Spy” with each one. The artist also does some great vinyl toy design as well, which you can find through his site. See more after of the x-ray pieces after the jump. (via)
Genevieve Blais, a photographer based in Toronto, borrows imagery from classic art history paintings to unpack sexual politics relative to today’s contemporary palate.
Of her intention, Blais states, “The aesthetic/topical dissonance aims to elicit an uneasy response in order to subvert the implicit authority and sanctity of the icon.”
The result confronts and critiques art culture by sitting in an uneasy space between not only imagery, but also mediums– cameras and brushes, forcing us to clearly see the model as the true determinant– a staged powerful variant that has been with us since Caravaggio’s rule, humanizing the myth.
San Francisco based photographer Rob Prideaux’s exquisitely shot images of smoke and fire are a perfect example how a very simple subject manner can be pushed to a new level of creativity. Setting out to explore the aesthetics of smoke and fire Prideaux chose to minimally retouch the photos of fire and create heavily retouched patterned imagery out of the smoke. The result is triumph of aesthetic beauty, fires magnificence, and the intangible allure of smoke as it appears and disappears into the air in a matter of seconds. (via)