Tanya Johnston is a graphic designer and illustrator whose work explores the realms of reality and the illusion of reality.
The Burqa, full-body cover up worn primarily by Islamic women of faith, has been subject of much controversy for decades, especially in Western societies. Many say that the garment oppresses women, leaving them astray and without a voice in a world were men dominate them.
Selina Roman‘s Burqa Project takes the Burqa and turns its literal meaning around through the medium of photography and visual composition in order to challenge the viewer’s mainstream knowledge of it.
Roman, a former reporter, hopes to offer her audience a different view point, a new way of seeing, she comments on her artist statement.
Although the Burqa is shrouded in religious significance, I take it out of this context in an attempt to explore these other attributes. Instead of showcasing it as an oppressive garment, I place the Burqa in idyllic Florida landscapes to let it float and billow. In turn, it becomes an ephemeral and weightless object removed from its politicized context.
Apart from Roman’s obvious emphasis on the beauty and femininity that these garments project, she also wants to shed light on the qualities that we often forget to acknowledge. There are many interesting characteristics that the Burqa provides to any that wears it- i.e anonymity, security, and power.
Batman holds a gun to his own head at the edge of an empty swimming pool. Captain and Mrs. America sip mixed drinks under palm fronds. Spiderman naps on the couch. These are our Superheroes, candidly captured in their off hours. But they’re not the Superheroes we’re used to underneath their familiar suits. These Superheroes are aged, white-haired and wrinkled, and somehow completely wrong. The characters we know may die, but although they live for decades they never grow old. Our heroes stay perpetually strong, alluring, and complicated, and always, always young.
Lina Manousogiannaki’s costumed heretics of “Superheroes Gone Old” represent more than the inevitability of old age. To her, the aging superheroes they serve as reminders of the damaged Greek political system, one that politicians and people of her parents’ generation have been unwilling or unable to change.
[The series] was conceived as homage to the generation of my parents, the same one as our politicians. They have been pretending to be heroes ever since the collapse of the military junta but time has caught up with them. My heroes are old and they are afraid of everything that they can’t control. … The heroes of another time can no longer save me as they have pretended to do for so many years.
There is anger in Manousogiannaki’s writing that isn’t reflected in her images. These heroes are worn out, slightly absurd, certainly pathetic. And yet, there is the suggestion of pride here, of perseverance. They haven’t divested themselves of their worn finery. They haven’t stopped fighting. In a country with a struggling economy and generational discord, the heroes are stooped and sad. Manousogiannaki’s intent may be to put them aside and lead her own fight, but these archetypical heroes seem to be saying that it will be harder than she thinks.
“Museum Anatomy is a collection of documentary photographs of works from museums around the world that have been recreated onto the human body. The artwork goes through a significant process until reaching the final outcome, a photograph of Chadwick, sometimes unrecognizable as a human form, with an elaborate, detailed painting covering a portion of his body. The recreated paintings of these historic portraits recapture the subjects in their own moment in history. The resulting photographs reveal a unification of art combining antiquity, history and technology in a contemporary context.”
Polaroids by photographer Katja Sonnenwend retain the nostalgia of the medium while adding a lovely freshness.
Designer, illustrator, and printmaker Vaughn Fender is a big thinker when it comes to typeography. His type is big, bold, and full of character!
Margie Livingston’s work articulates the interaction between the architectural grid and the natural, organic world. Based on three–dimensional models that she builds in the studio, her paintings directly translate the phenomena of space, light, color and gravity upon these hybrid structures into lines and bands of color that hang seemingly suspended in space. Now, letting accident and discovery meet invention and experimentation, Livingston reverses her usual process, using paint to construct objects. Her new paint objects—built entirely from dots, strips, and skins of dried acrylic pigment investigate the properties of paint pushed into three dimensions and offer a compelling view into how the medium of paint can be used sculpturally. The sculpture featured above contains 62 layers of poured color going from dark to light.
Instead of traditionally traveling the world, photographing the sights with a camera as he roams, Fabian Rook accumulates different snapshots via the comfort of his own home – with the help of his computer and Google. His photographic series is the result of entering key place names into his search bar and documenting where he ended up. By using the online digital tools of these search engines and satellite images to produce Fine Art, Rook is questioning the role of authenticity in image production and selling.
His photos are not dissimilar to those of landscape photographers Stephen Shore and Joel Sternfeld, but have a much different intention behind them, and another way entirely of being produced. Rook says this regarding his purpose:
“By reverting to the auto-produced landscape images taken by Google Street View and by not putting in an appearance of myself either as the author of an image or as an eyewitness, I highlight the meaning of the authorial and witness role in the production of photographic images.” (Source)
He not only exhibits Google-sourced landscape images as the finished project, but also superimposes elements from photojournalism and changes our understanding of what a place is. For example, he takes scenes of protesters from Iran and Greece and replaces them in a new setting of Sao Paulo. Or the street kids we see could either be playing together on the street, or running away from some authoritarian figure. Rook goes on to say:
“The locations and details converge and are exchangeable, while the pictures have the same variability and arbitrary quality that enables the user to switch continent in Google Streetview with a single mouseclick.” (Source)
His images are questionable and ambiguous, and this is his main aim – to point out how untrustworthy these sources are that we take at face value.