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James Mollison’s Hunger

In 2002 Benetton commissioned James Mollison to photograph some of the 17 million people that the World Food Program (WFP) feeds. The images from the famine in Ethiopia in the early 80’s had a big affect on Mollison while growing up, but since then he had felt somewhat desensitized to images of povert. Mollison decided to take his mobile studio- and take away the exotic backdrops and present them as people. He became interested in how the WFP uses food as a tool to get people to change their lives, a kind of bribery for social change.

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Robert Melee

Robert Melee’s exploration of human behavior through his thick, paint encrusted sculptures exude an equally generous amount of drama, narrative, and a nostalgically disturbing interaction.

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“Art Works Every Time” Event Recap & Party Pics!

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Did we ever have a grand ole time at the “Art Works Every Time” opening this past Saturday! We had record attendance, with party-goers spilling out into the back patio and onto the streets!

The Colt 45 ice cream was a smash hit- more than the carbonated beverage you might expect straight from the can, the tasty treat was was more like a delicious chocolate gelato with subtle hints of malt. (That’s my best “foodie” review of it, anyway.) I didn’t personally partake, but a few Colt 45 ice cream beer floats were rumored to be…”floating” around.

Our t-shirts, with featured artist Colin Strandberg’s winning design, “sold” like hotcakes. (And by sold, I mean given rampantly given away.) Charlyne Yi’s humorous & raw lo-fi performance called to mind the anti-folk avante-garde musical stylings of the Moldy Peaches and packed the house. Colt 45 was imbibed by all (with specially-made brown paper back beer cozies). Good times abounded. Check out some snaps after the jump, and view the full set on our Flickr!

Thank you to everyone who came out, the artists Colt 45 and Synchronicity Gallery for making this event a huge success!

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Otoniel Borda Garzón’s Tornado-Like Wood Sculptures

Otoniel Borda Garzón

Otoniel Borda Garzón

Otoniel Borda Garzón is known for his use of repurposed wood to create intricately twisted installations that dominate their gallery settings. The Bogota-born Garzón creates shapes which resemble naturally destructive environmental forms, those which upset life and cause death and destruction. The insinuations of hurricanes, tornadoes and twisters is amplified by the use of splintered wood, which recalls the damage after extreme weather conditions. However, his choice of using wood is important to these piece’s message. Just as the tree’s death gives humans and animals a material to work with, Garzón continues this cycle by using wood that has also ‘died’ or lost its purpose, creating a metaphor for the constant cycle of life and death and reinvention.

This series of installations, which the artist calls Reserva, involves site-specific construction and a reaction to each individual exhibition space. For the Bogota International Art Fair, Garzón built a 40 foot high tornado (pictured above and below). The installation, which took almost three weeks to build, with an additional week to disassemble, both reminds the viewer of the instabilities of destruction, but also the possibilities of life. (via colossal and behance)

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david bertram’s Clay Face Portraits

 

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.”

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Brian Dettmer

Brian Dettmer

 

Brian Dettmer takes the idea that the cassette tape is dead a little too far. However, the likes of his works are grotesque and beautiful in that they are so mesmerizing to stare at.

 

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Photo Mural Optical Illusions

Mike Hewson installation3 Mike Hewson Optical Illusions

The photographic murals of Mike Hewson don’t exactly decorate the buildings they inhabit.  Rather, the murals create surreal optical illusions, highlighting the buildings by nearly making them disappear.  Hewson, creatively uses perspective to erase walls or even entire structures.  In some of his work this reveals the buildings inside – its purpose being put to use.  Other times, his work interacts with the building in order to recall an empty space or a space’s potential.  Hewson’s murals hints not only at structures that we’d often take for granted, but our often overlooked relationships with them.

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America’s Abandoned Malls Are Places Of Nightmares

Dixie Square Mall: Harvey, Illinois via  Detroiturbex.com

Dixie Square Mall: Harvey, Illinois via Detroiturbex.com

Dixie Square Mall: Harvey, Illinois via

Dixie Square Mall: Harvey, Illinois via Detroiturbex.com

North Towne Square Mall: Toledo, Ohio, via Flickr: Binkled

North Towne Square Mall: Toledo, Ohio, via Flickr: Binkled

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North Towne Square Mall: Toledo, Ohio, via Flickr: Binkled

If you’ve ever been in a mostly empty mall, you know how strange it can feel to walk among a space that’s only half alive. But what about when a mall is completely abandoned? That’s even more surreal. As more and more of these once-booming retail centers close, the Dead Malls Enthusiast Facebook group has mapped many of them throughout America. Adventurous photographers have captured the aftermath of of these departed spaces.

Many of these abandoned malls were built in the 1970’s and 1980’s, and it shows. The interiors and decor look dated, tacky, and claustrophobic compared to the open-air shopping that’s popular today.  Some have fared better structurally than others. Photographs depict buildings that’ve been closed for years and have demolished ceilings and broken glass. Many of the malls have dead plants that have long since lost their leaves.

These abandoned places are apocalyptic and frightening. But at the same time, they pique our curiosity and we wish were there exploring for ourselves. (Via Buzzfeed)

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