The stills don’t really do the group’s motion work justice. Their website also makes great use of fullscreen flash videos.
Self-taught artist from Santiago, Chile, Alejandra Villasmil creates visually stimulating collages. Her work questions the notions of desire, beauty, sexuality, as well as gender binaries.
French photographer David Bertram’s latest group of images are portraits of self-portraits, Claytime presents people who were asked to model their own faces out of clay.
“The Art of the portrait is often associated with the idea that the eyes of the pictured person are a window on his soul, his inner truth. Only eyes can really say that much ? This question is the basis of the work that is presented here, which offers a more psychological than physical lighting of each subject. I got inspired by an psychology exercise that involves asking the patient to model his own face out of a piece of clay, to unconsciouly reveal
his own traits, its complex, its fears, in short, his psychic identity to his analyst.
This playful exercise gave its name to the series, Claytime, which presents different people all having modeled their own faces in clay. Despite
differing modeling abilities, their faces are in some cases, rough, in other perfectly crafted, but always revealing.
In a second step, I photographed these people, inside their homes, within a framework that defines them both personally and socially, and
offers several clues about their personalities. Subsequently, a photo montage allowed me to replace their “real” faces by their mental projections in clay. Once placed on the shoulders, the head of clay either contrasts with the body which receives it, or rather is an almost organic extension of this body, mysteriously revealing the forces that espouse or oppose in the person’s mind, the game between subjective and objective acting as a revelator of the soul… A kind of X-ray of the mind. I chose to light those pictures in a rather painting mood and often privileged static poses in order to give each portrait the expression of an ancient statue, frozen in time as the remains of a personality, memory of the real identity, the one that never changes.”
Photographer Nat Wilkins spent two weeks documenting the ceremonies and death rituals of the Troajan tribe in the highlands of South Sulawesi in Indonesia. In his series Dealing With The Dead, The Troajan Of Tana Toraja, he takes a close up look at this fascinating world and wishes to examine his own understanding of death and decay. The funerals carry on for a number of days and are one of the most important part of the culture in the highlands of Tana Toraja. When a family member dies, they are embalmed and lay waiting inside the family home until the ceremony can take place. Wilkins explains a bit more about the process:
When the time of the funeral comes illegal cock fighting, illegal gambling, buffalo fighting and the slaughter of buffaloes and pigs mark the occasion. The wealthier the family the grander the funeral, with this grandness being marked by the number of buffalo slaughtered, a minimum of one buffalo is required to pass to the land of souls but wealthier families will slaughter 10 to 20 sometimes 30 buffalo and the richest Torajan’s will kill hundreds.
To some these rituals may seem over-elaborate, and excessive, but to the Troajans, it is essential to ensure their loved ones cross over safely to the ‘land of souls’. Devoutly Christian, the tribe places great emphasis on life after death, or the treatment of the body and soul once dead. The living who are left behind, make great sacrifices to provide what is needed for those who have passed. But with the weight of this responsibility comes much hardship. Wilkins explains again:
From an outside perspective it can seem that to the living these funerals are used as a reflection on the importance of the deceased’s family, a status symbol for the rich. On the flip side though, death can be a serious burden on the poor. Every spare penny earned by the living goes to honoring the dead and the importance of a good funeral puts serous weight on the poorer Torajan’s with the poorest getting serious debt problems just to slaughter a buffalo.
Estevan Oriol is a brave soul. In Los Angeles, there are some neighborhoods that most people do not have access to. This disconnect between the outsiders and the neighborhoods, allows the mind to conjure up images of what it might be like to live in a gang territory, hood, barrio, etc. Estevan does what most photographers will not and cannot do; he treks into these neighborhoods and captures life in its rawest form. His photographs bridge the gap between our wildest imaginations and reality. No sugar-coating for the media here. Estevan’s work not only deals with street life, but with celebrities. Even music videos. The man is truly talented.
Feast your eyes on more dope images after the break.
Paris-based illustrator Nicolas Delort creates mysterious black and white scratchboard illustrations. Using nothing but black ink and sharp tools, Delort etches his elaborate drawings into the surface of a clayboard. Despite the monochromatic palette, his works carry out a sense of colorfulness through their dynamic and wondrous scenarios.
Because of his scratchboard technique, Delort‘s works are focusing more on the negative space and its function in the art world. His high-contrast illustrations are full of apocalyptic dynamism, accentuated by the eccentric compositions, intrinsic etching and attention to every minuscule detail. Despite that, artist says his workflow is pretty chaotic.
“Up until the final inking stage, my work is mostly improvisation, because I’m basically never happy with my stuff until it’s finished <…> I start out with a bunch of thumbnails and when I find one that I like open it up in Photoshop and move stuff around until I’m satisfied. I make a final sketch, transfer it on to the scratchboard and scratch away till my wrist hurts.“
While some of Delort‘s narratives might be utterly unknown, others illustrate scenes from literary works such as Harry Potter, American Gods, or are designated movie posters. Although modern in content, Delort‘s works remind us of such artists as Gustav Doré and even Albrecht Dürer who‘ve been advocating the noteworthy art of etching years past. (via Lost At E Minor; Hypocrite Design)
Artist Alan Bur Johnson natural motifs often. However, this may be his work at its most creepy. Johnson’s Progeny series begins with photographs of winged insects. The photographs are transferred to transparencies and affixed to the wall using insect pins. Progeny allows viewers to inspect the insects up close, afford creatures we’d otherwise dispose of more time, and give some thought to taxonomy, the exercise of classification. Interestingly his statement says in part:
“Whether an image, memory or specimen, each is meticulously dissected, altered and restructured. Referencing physical structures and the pulse of living cycles, his work documents fleeting occurrences, which typically transpire unnoticed.”
Okay typography lovers, we got a juicy steak for you all in this post. Michiel Van Der Born has gone from A-Z in acrylic. When I stumbled upon this series, I found it refreshing to see this playful take on the good old alphabet. Bon Appetite.