Photographer Ben Sandler (previously here) has applied his fascination with the desert landscapes outside of Phoenix, Arizona into an unearthly yet oddly remindful new photoseries titled Badlands. Conceived with and digitally constructed by Zeitguised, the photographic images of Sandler are transformed into something otherwordly. According to Sandler’s statement of the Badlands project,“The Painted Desert – as it is known – is a land full of the remnants of a previously lush and fertile environment, now dried up and succumbed to the harshness of the arid atmosphere and unforgiving sun. The sweeping colors, immense spread of land, mountains eroding into flowing waves of sand and pebble – indeed, it seems that it is a glimpse from another world.”
The photoseries, made in collaboration from Arizona, Berlin and Paris, combines simulated digital models which further explore the haunting landscapes, reinterpreting the “the geologic phenomenology of the fantastical land“. This collaborative process seems imperative to both the blended natural and unnatural aesthetic of project, as well as the message developed from it. “Within this process, an aesthetic language is developed – one that interpolates between the inorganic substrates of the prehistoric landscape, with the organic and tectonic structures embedded within. Based on image analysis and observation, the project circumvents the dichotomy of the real and the fake, as it combines the two in imagery that is taking cues from itself – iterating an image transformation based on its original recording.”
Art directors Anaïs Boileau and Samuel Volk are the dream team when it comes to creating short and snappy campaign ideas. This time around they have used their skills to benefit The World Wildlife Fund in a project called WWF/Botanimal. With flawless Photoshopping technique, they have camouflaged images of endangered animals into forested landscapes. With the tagline “Donate to save a tree and save 875,000 species for free”, this is one clever visual narrative detailing a worthy cause. Boileau and Volk show us exactly what these beautiful environments would be without the animals roaming around within them.
Boileau is also responsible for another campaign with a responsible message. Called WWF/WeWantFurniture.com, she imagined a brand and designed a corresponding website “selling” wood to customers. Apparently from all wood sold, 40 percent is made from illegal wood. She devised a very effective way to show customers the ecological effects of buying cheap furniture. The effects of deforestation can be devastating, as we are reminded in this new campaign also.
Working with creative directors in a commercial environment, Boileau and Volk are able to maximize their reach to a large audience, and come up with visually interesting answers to complex questions. Boileau sums her work up nicely:
[Impassioned] by craft and art direction; I have been lucky to work with talented photographers, retouchers and CGI artists. The best part of my job is to imagine visual universes, and find creative solutions.
Click here to see more of Boileau’s work, including her hilarious take on disfigured fruits.
Untamed is a new and unique digital photo installation inspired by the new Mercedes-Benz CLA. Unadapted, unusual and untamed. Become part of a unique international photo exhibition by sharing your most creative and unusual Instagram photos live in Paris in April. So get to it and present your personal style at untamed-installation.com.
Pastel-hued and delicate, the body part collages in the series “Anatomy” are part of Hong Kong artist Kayan Kwok’s daily art project “A poster per day for 365 days. ” The scope of her project is impressive—one fully realized piece of art every day for a year. Along with “Anatomy” the categories for the one-a-day posters are “Banana”, “Birdman”, “Blow”, “Dot”, “Hand”, “Letter”, “Loner”, and “Lost.Found”. Each grouping has a specific aesthetic and point of view although all are inspired by vintage graphics and American advertisements from 1920–1960.
In “Anatomy”, Kwok combines tinted anatomical drawings with mostly black and white figural images, incorporating other elements including scissors, flowers, and animals. She says:
“Collage has a surrealism background, but other than that, it also act[s] like Alchemy. Because you are putting stuff together from different places and times, the result is clearly unpredictable and this is what makes collage so fascinat[ing].”
One of the things that make this work captivating is the shifts in scale between body part and inhabitant. The small figures are nestled in, reclining on a heart chamber and a brain cavity. The integration of disparate parts into a cohesive whole makes these pieces deceptively simple. In fact, the blending of content and styles is technically accomplished, somewhat subversive, and really quite lovely.
If you think carving a pumpkin is challenging, wait until you see the “prayer nuts” made by Dutch artists in the 16th century. These small, neurotically detailed treasures were carved from a single nut to resemble religious scenes. Each nut holds a spectacularly complex scene that contains a numerous amount of characters to construct religiously important events such as the crucifixion. All of this amazingly crafted imagery is inside a nut that is only a few inches in diameter! Not only are the interiors of the nuts carved into a fine detail, but the outsides are elaborately carved as well. The exterior shell of each nut features a decorative design carved into it, which is revealed once the prayer nut is closed. This way, whether the nut is open or closed, it shows off its stunning design.
Artisans created these delicate masterpieces during the Middle Ages so that individuals could use them privately when they pray. They were small enough to be carried in a person’s pocket and beautiful enough to hang on a rosary. Because the prayer nuts such took incredible skill, not to mention an unbelievably steady hand, only the wealthy and powerful could afford them. Because of this, they also became a social status of wealth. The same thing can be said about many products in contemporary society. Possessing something expensive that creates a convenience to you and can also fit in your pocket – this is not unlike the modern day smart phone. Valuable and beautifully crafted items are still in high demand today. However, these 16th century prayer nuts are much more rare than the latest iphone. They can be found in museum collections all over the world including the British Museum in London and the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.(via Juxtapoz)
Photographer Michael Massaia has been lauded for his haunting black and white photographs that catch the shadow life of cities at night. In his photo series, Transmorgify, he turns his eye not to a city caught in limbo, but rather a period of time. Massaia captures childhood treats melting into swirls and psychedelic puddles, creating traces of sugar and cream that look almost like wisps of smoke.
From the classic Neapolitan ice cream bar to more modern fare such as My Little Pony popsicles with gumball eyes, the series shows a simpler time in a moment of transformation. Set against a stark black background, though, the photos aren’t quite portraits; they seem to take a deeper look, as though putting childhood memories on a microscope slide.
More than just sticky remnants between an 8-year-old’s fingers, Massaia’s work seems to allude to something more precious and ephemeral. Viewed from one perspective, the melting ice cream has the same pastel and neon colors as a sidewalk chalk drawing, smudged by fresh rain. From another perspective, the photos speak of decay and something that can’t be revisited, sweeter maybe in memoriam.
Transmorgify is currently on display at Gallery 270 in New Jersey until May 16th.
Kinetic art features movement that is dependent on motion for its effect. It comes in multiple mediums including mobiles, machines and virtual movement or canvases that extend the viewer’s perspective. Wind, a motor or the viewer generally drive moving parts or dynamic perception.
Kinetic Art has origins dating back to the late 1800s where Impressionist artists such as Claude Monet, Edgar Degas and Edouard Manet were the first to experiment with emphasizing the movement of the human figure on canvas. In the early to mid 1900s artists began to create mobiles and other new forms of variable sculpture. Individuals such as Max Bill, Alexander Rodchenko and Alexander Calder solidified and defined the style.
Today artists all over the world create kinetic art and sculpture. Latin American artists Jesus Rafael Soto and Luis Tomasello both explore illusion, space and perception. French artist Laurent Debraux experiments with magnets, metallic objects and other elements to create works dealing with surreal imagery. South Korean artist U-Ram Choe likes to make kinetic works that mimic forms and motions found in nature. Bob Potts creates sculptures that gracefully recreate the movement of flight or boats. Anthony Howe employs wind to bring life to his massive sculptures.
Whether independently mobile, or reliant on a viewer’s perception to create an optical illusion, each of these artists and their works are inspired by a unique fascination with perception, movement and dynamism.
Texas-based artist Adrian Esparza uses nails and the thread from Mexican sarape blankets to weave colorful geometric patterns. Growing up in El Paso, Esparza encountered these blankets on a daily basis. Using his background as a painter, Esparza observed that the blankets contained painterly qualities that he sought to deconstruct. The result is an unraveling of a Mexican cultural symbol into a new form, a multi-dimensional landscape of color and shape. Esparza’s deconstruction and transformation of this cultural symbol reflects the displacement of identity that many Mexican-Americans experience as a result of migration. The wall pieces Esparza constructs from the serapes, though completely transformed, recall macrame and other handcrafts from the artist’s culture. Through his work, Esparza reinvents the ordinary and asks the viewer to embrace the potential for creative transformation that can be found in the familiar and the mundane.