It might be winter where you live, but the cold that you experience probably doesn’t compare to this. New Zealand-based photographer Amos Chapple went on a two-day journey from Yakutsk, the coldest major city on Earth to Oymyakon, the coldest village on Earth. Oymyakon’s lowest recorded temperature is -67.7°C (-90°F) in 1933 while the average for January is -50°C (-60°F). Despite the intense weather, people have forged homes and lives in these places, and Chapple captures them in an unfiltered, documentary-style way. Just looking at them will send chills up your spine.
Residents of this extreme climate adapted to these conditions with little indoor plumbing. Vehicles that are outside heated garages must keep running to avoid freezing. And, their subsistence is meat because the ground is too cold to grow crops.
Chapple gives us some idea of just what this cold felt like, and he tells Weather.com “I was wearing thin trousers when I first stepped outside into – 47 °C (-52°F). I remember feeling like the cold was physically gripping my legs, the other surprise was that occasionally my saliva would freeze into needles that would prick my lips.” And for him, the hardest part of the experience was not the cold, but that his camera’s focus would freeze into place! (via Bored Panda)
Marcelo Monreal is a graphic designer and creative director based in Santa Catarina, Brazil. In a project titled Faces [UN] Bonded, Monreal opens up the faces of actors and models and fills them with flowers. Although some of them might be hard to identify from within the ferocious bloom, you’ll see the faces of Julianne Moore, Cara Delevingne, Christopher Walken, and more. By splitting the model’s/actor’s faces along the fine curvatures of their jaws and down the center, the artist accentuates their physical features. The flowers reveal a deeper, more internal vitality.
The idea for Faces [UN] Bonded comes from a very important memory for Marcelo: an insight passed down from his late mother. As he explains in this interview with Dettona, when his mother was dying, they worked in the garden together, and she told him “we are made of flowers” (Source). Marcelo now continues this understanding of human vulnerability and beauty by filling photos with floral arrangements. He seeks to “think, experiment create, recreate, learn, destroy, rebuild” in his work, encouraging all burgeoning artists to explore their potential in a similar, imperfect, and blossoming ways.
Daniel Shea’s new series “Plume” is an ongoing photographic examination of coal-fired power plants in Southeast Ohio. The plants loom in his photos, part of the daily lives of the residents. The photos are poignant and revealing. If you would like to support Daniel’s ongoing series you can buy a print, and if you’d like to see more of his projects, like his awesome Baltimore series, check out his website.
Michael Wolf’s photographs of Chinese copy artists is absolutely brilliant. I’ve always heard stories about how you can get anything copied in China for dirt cheap but this series absolutely blows me away. I love the tiled alleys that the photos are taken in and the casual nature of the copycats. For instance check out the water flowing towards the painting in the above image. What if that really was the Mona Lisa? Can you imagine someone dragging it into the alley into a puddle for a quick photo op?
Stefanos created a Euro Banknote Bombing project by incorporating minimal ink bled illustrations of a callous nature and torpid situations. The human figures he incorporates into the Euros embody the social and economic instability in Greece has been facing for the past few years. On a 100 euro, the Grimm Reaper “reaps” in the shadows. A “bomb” effect to showcase social decay and violence. This is just one of the many heartless illustrations that grace the paper.
Stefanos hijacks the European document, exemplifies artwork through a lack of reality, then returns it by spending it-sending it flight for circulation. By defacing the euro, he expresses his dissatisfaction for the economy to share in the hands of others. The graffiti euros have successfully branched all over, showcasing his depiction of this noise that Greece faces.
Chris Jones creates sculptures composed of fragmented images from magazines and used books that are beautiful, frightening, and exquisitely detailed: a macabre headless horse, a 19th century stagecoach, a disheveled TV.
For his recent solo show at Marc Straus, Jones worked in New York and was interested in the history of the Lower Eastside and this specific gallery space. Based on his impressions, he created a fantastical trading post replete with sundry items such as shovels, bear heads, and lamps echoing this area’s early 19th century and this building’s evolution from a tenement to a store for varied immigrant trades. It is also an homage to THE STORE that Claes Oldenburg opened nearby in 1961, selling his food-like handmade Paper Mache objects.
Jones’ work mimics the way in which we assimilate and process the world using our own personal histories and memories as a base to develop new connections. Jones has called on his own memories (through an art historic lens) and the viewers are in turn prompted to call upon their past to create their own personal stories as they relate to these wondrous pieces.
Artist Alice Smeets re-imagines 20th century tarot cards through contemporary photography. Having always been interested in spiritual themes and fascinated by tarot cards, Smeet recreates the many different faces of tarot cards using the streets of Haiti as her subject. Her goal was not just to interpret the deck of tarot cards through her lens, but to also have them hold a deep, personal element. Cards like “Justice” and “The Hanged Man” become more intimate by collaborating with each of her subjects represented in this series.
Each Haitian shown in her Ghetto Tarot cards are actually artists themselves. Smeet, aiming to keep authenticity in her work, collaborated with an artist corporation in Haiti called Atiz Rezistans, or “resistant artists”. The photographer worked with these fellow artists to construct her tableaus to capture the captivating imagery in each card. In fact, Smeet includes the work of each “resistant artist” as props in the series. Working in partnership with these artists, she was able to form a relationship and learn what the word “ghetto” means to them. Smeet states that by titling the series Ghetto Tarot, she is giving the word new meaning, a more positive connotation. By exploring this theme of reappropriation, she discovers new ways of changing ideas and implications about certain imagery and words. Smeet explains,
“If we realize that its a choice whether we look at destruction and see despair or to regard it as the start of something new, we can change the meaning of every word, action and sentiment.”
Milano Chow‘s drawings are subtle and contemplative. One of the most striking elements in the work is the indelible sadness of human figures and the seemingly neglected objects that surround them. Plants and flowers reoccur but they are often wilted. The people inhabiting these snap shots mirror their belongings. They remain cluttered, isolated and damaged.