AnaHell is a photographer who portrays the body in ways that change the way we perceive it. Playing with unusual angles and wigs (see the My Little Phony series, for example), normative representations of bodies are broken down, resulting in images that are playful and often unsettling.
Featured here is a series titled Secret Friends, wherein AnaHell manipulates the appearance of bodies to create unique “creatures.” Each photo depicts people bent double with faces drawn on their backs, the subjects’ spines and ribs creating freakish contours. Adorned with hair and clothing and standing in ordinary rooms, they resemble domestic gremlins with a dual ability of charming and disturbing their viewers.
The following project statement explains—in fairly ambiguous terms—AnaHell’s approach and process:
“With a childlike fascination for rawness, flesh, and the absurd, photographer AnaHell plays with the ordinary and deconstructs it to reveal another perspective. She takes advantage of her immediate surroundings, often photographing close friends and family members in their own living spaces. Secret Friends are playmates, reflections, and villains—strange and wonderful creatures from another world, the kind that children create when they’re alone.”
New York City based designer/artist LA Hall is dedicated to spending quality time with his sketchbook, recording both the world around him and the world within him. For those of you in need of inspiration I suggest spending some time with his sketches or browsing his featured work on Cargo Collective.
Nunzio Paci is an artist from Bologna who paints human anatomy with a surrealist flourish. Recalling the studies of the body from the Italian Renaissance, male cadavers are flayed and opened up, exposing layers of raw muscle and twisted sinew. Body parts are numbered and labeled like dissection records, with marginalia scrawled softly along the sides. In the tradition of his Italian precursors, Paci takes an artistic approach to science, blending grim images of death and corporeality with a reverence for the complexity of the human form.
Paci brings his own style into these anatomical portraits by expressively exploring the body’s connection to nature; veins that unravel past the skeletal contours sprout into leaves, and branches twist upwards from shoulders with a spring-sapling fervor. Birds perch on the blooming dead, and in the corner, dissection instruments are curiously mixed with garden tools. Beautifully macabre, Paci’s mutating cadavers explore not only the interrelation of life and death, but the material links between all living matter—expressed, for example, by the similar structures of arteries and branches. On his biography page, Paci describes his creative approach:
“My whole work deals with the relationship between man and Nature, in particular with animals and plants. The focus of my observation is [the] body with its mutations. My intention is to explore the infinite possibilities of life, in search of a balance between reality and imagination.” (Source)
Rainer Hosch is a commercial photographer who has shot brilliant portraits of everyone from the über-famous design star Philippe Starck to the shock maestro himself, John Waters. But in his series entitled Tour de Monde, Rainer shot everything for himself. And so the pictures accompanying this interview aren’t editorials or ads, but rather a rare glimpse into what an awesome commercial photographer like Rainer Hosch sees through the viewfinder of his camera when he doesn’t have to worry about selling the end result.
Using salvaged plaster lath, the wooden strips embedded in the construction of walls of old houses, Andy Vogt creates two and three dimensional sculptures and installations that explore the structural vernacular of our built environment and how we perceive it. Through the rules and methods of technical drawing and the vantage points of architectural model building Andy pursues concepts of mass, weight and space via material that has little integrity on it’s own.
I love Kenji Fujita’s wonky little plaster-cast combinations. They’re kind of weird, but also free spirited, organic and a bit humorous- with titles like “Debris of Life and Mind.” Heavy…..but funny. That’s a lot of debris. Kenji Fujita will be showing his works from the last 9 years at Samson Gallery, entitled “Systematic Gaiety” from February 6- March 21st. A pretty great title to describe Fujita’s controlled whimsical chaos.
Dutch painter Philip Akkerman has 200 or more self-portraits on his website. They are extremely varied stylistically but almost always share a really unsettling vibe that’s hard to articulate. In the paintings, Akkerman is usually glaring; eyebrows and lips turned downward. What’s most intriguing in these works is Akkerman’s evolution over time. He’s experimented with myriad different styles and techniques and grown as a painter, and his various transformations are all laid out in these works. Not his glare, though. That’s remained somewhat of a constant. (via)