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Lauren Renner’s Photo Series Invites Strangers To Write Stereotypes On Others’ Naked Bodies

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Around three years ago, Brooklyn-based photographer Lauren Renner began her project, “In Others’ Words,” a series that captures the vulnerability with which people self-identify. During a period of transition wherein Renner began to date women, the photographer started to notice people treating her differently, trying to categorize or label her because of her sexuality, even though she didn’t feel like a fundamentally different person. She found this observation fascinating and she began to wonder how others were stereotyped in accordance with their bodies and relationships. Renner’s project captures these intimacies by shooting her subjects in open, public spaces as well as having her subjects become vulnerable to strangers, allowing them to inscribe stereotyped descriptors onto each others’ naked bodies.

Renner says, “When it comes down to it, no matter who is labeling you, all of those words and constructs become a mish-mash inside of you, and seem to inform each other. Words carry a tremendous amount of power, which is why breaking away from some and holding onto others can feel so insurmountable. On the flip side of that coin, I think people tend to become very comfortable in the ways in which they categorize others, to the point where they may not even be aware that they’re doing it in the first place. ”

After all, at the end of the day we put people into boxes because subconsciously it makes them easier for us to mentally digest. Seeing people view my work for the first time was a huge experience for me because I got to see how people reacted when the boxes they were accustomed to had been taken away.”

“In Others’ Words” is an ongoing project and Renner is constantly seeking subjects of all ages, backgrounds, genders, identities, cultures, and abilities to participate. (via feature shoot)

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Seyo Cizmic’s Contradictory, Surreal Sculptures Defy Reason

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San Diego-based artist Seyo Cizmic works largely within the realm of the surreal. From hammers that droop to knock nails into their own bodies to wooden pencils with thorns built into them, many of the objects Cizmic creates are meant to confound the viewer. Barely any of them are usable in the practical sense of the item, presenting a challenge to viewers about what exactly these objects could be meant for. Some are rife with humor, such as Cyclops’ Shades, a pair of tie-dyed flower child sunglasses with only one lens, or Fish Machine Bank, a gum ball machine filled with goldfish. They’re sculptures that are meant to be questioned, scrutinized, perhaps even laughed at. Cizmic’s objects are of a different world, one in which backwards is forwards, in which objects that don’t follow reason are a new, cockeyed normal.

Within the nonsensical nature of Cizmic’s objects, however, lie larger issues at play. There’s With God on Our Side, a gold-plated sword with a crucifix at the base, joining religious iconography with an image of violence. Then there’s the self-explanatory In God, Money, and Guns We Trust, in which a pair of disembodied gold arms in military regalia hold a dollar bill up as if in prayer. Despite having his tongue pressed firmly against his cheek, Cizmic often layers his sculptures and installations with these deeper meanings, making the scrutiny and perplexity they evoke all the more rewarding.

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Hollis Brown Thornton

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And you thought Sharpies were just for labeling boxes and writing notes on post-its. Hollis Brown Thornton has elevated the humble permanent marker by using it as one of his primary tools in his artwork. Thornton also does some really cool things with canvas and paper transfers, resulting in different variations on his original works with worn textures.

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Ruben Ireland

In his dream-like art and illustrations, London-based graphic artist and illustrator  Ruben Ireland mixes traditional techniques — ink and acrylic — with non-traditional techniques — dirty water, food and weathered paper — and modern techniques — Photoshop and a wacom tablet. Women are fused with natural elements and despite the soft textures appear stronger and more beautiful for it. 

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How Conservators Repaired The 10 Million Dollar Punched Monet Painting

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The painting after it was punched in 2012

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Stabilizing the painting

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Material testing

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Securing the paint layer

In June 2012, a man named Andrew Shannon walked calmly into the National Gallery of Ireland in Dublin, and after approaching Monet’s Argenteuil Basin with a Single Sailboat (1874), he put his fist through it. To Shannon, the act of vandalism was a way to “get back at the state” — by punching a famous, 141-year-old painting, appraised (before the damage) at $10 million (Source). In court, he claimed he had fainted and fallen onto painting; video surveillance later revealed the act was deliberate. Recently, in December 2014, Shannon was sentenced to 5 years.

Since that day in 2012, conservators at the National Gallery have been hard at work trying to restore the painting to its former, beautiful, impressionist state — as Monet intended it. The damage was severe; the painting was split open in the middle, the torn pieces twisting outwards. The first step was to collect the tiny fragments that were on the painting’s surface and the ground nearby. Fragments that were found were then collected and classified under a microscope, as the conservators tried to figure out where they fitted into the painting. 7% of the fragments, however, were too small to be identified; these were sent to a lab and tested with a chemical staining dye, to figure out what types of materials Monet used.

The actual repair process was a long and delicate one. First, the painting was placed onto a padded cushion, and the front was covered with a conservation-grade tissue that was adhered to the surface of the painting using water-based, animal glue to stabilize it while it was being fixed. The actual “surgery” proceeded like this:

“With the aid of a high-powered microscope and appropriately small tools, the tear edges were carefully aligned thread-by-thread. Re-joining of the realigned, broken canvas fibres involved applying a specially formulated adhesive to achieve a strong but reversible bond between the thread ends. This adhesive material has been used and developed by painting conservators in Germany over the past 40 years.

Examples shown here include small steel surgical tools for working on tiny areas using a microscope; mini hot spatula for applying controlled and localised heat to the painting; warming plate and glass containers for keeping adhesive at a consistent temperature. Hydrated collagen adhesive was made in-studio.” (Source)

After delicately suturing the canvas back together, the conservators then went through and pieced the fragments back in. Gesso and watercolor were used to retouch the areas where there were still missing fragments. To make sure the painting is preserved for the future, the conservators built a climate box “to reduce exposure of the painting to environmental fluctuations” (Source). The box includes a humidity buffer as another preventative measure.

It was a long and delicate process, but despite the extent of the trauma, the repair was a success. Check out the National Gallery’s website for a longer description of the restoration project. More pictures of the process after the jump. (Via Gizmodo).

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Ripo Visuals

When people observe art, the try to find a purpose, a message behind the whole thing. In many art pieces, the message may not be obvious or clear. Within the work by Ripo Visuals, their clear, easy-to-read, simplistic messages are powerful. Catchy, funny, truthful, clever phrases have been left on buildings all over Europe and South America. Courtesy of Ripo Visuals.

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Aisha Zeijpveld’s Dreamy Pastel Portraits Celebrate The Absurd

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Based in Amsterdam, photographer Aisha Zeijpveld specializes in conceptual portraiture and works as a freelancer for myriad commercial magazines. Characterized by an interest in presenting her subjects’ “nakedness and vulnerability yet simultaneously their potency and pride,” her photographs evoke quirky surrealism and capture the absurd while boasting simplicity and maintaining clarity.

By placing her models before color-blocked backdrops of muted pastel and neutral tones, the subjects remain the focus of her dreamlike photographs. While each subject is situated in a pose typical of traditional portraiture, Zeijpveld transforms each piece with her eccentric editing; hair is replaced by twisting smoke or scattered dirt, individuals sprout extra limbs, and eyes become shrouded in listless clouds. While the exquisite level of detail and precision in her work suggests that these alterations and additions were carried out digitally, Zeijpveld’s illusions are crafted entirely by hand using scissors, found objects, and other tangible elements. Ultimately, through these techniques, Zeijpveld successfully “aims for the absurd, allowing her photographs to be positioned on the interface of reality and dream-world.”

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Last Day To Order From The B/D Shop & Get It Before Christmas!

***All US orders placed 4PM PST Today (January 20th) will be shipped out US Priority Mail and will arrive before Christmas.***

To celebrate the holiday season and get ready for 2013 we are having a massive 50% off sale on all books, magazines, shirts, and accessories on the B/D shop from now until January 2nd 2013. Just use DISCOUNT CODE: CREATIVE50 during check out and give the gift of creativity and artistic expression this holiday season!

 

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