Referring to both vulnerability and impermanence, Suzanne Jongmans’ investigates the texture and feel of both the present and past. Since 2007 she has been working on the series ‘foam sculptures’: caps and collars, inspired by 16th and 17th century Flemish and Dutch “Golden Age” paintings, made from materials currently used for packaging and insulation (cheap material which is often discarded after use). By using these materials Jongmans makes a reference to consumerism and the rapid circulation of materials. Jongman transforms old costumes into new plastics and old masters into new photographic works. By using time foreign materials, plastics and techno’s, she is creating a time crux, a tension of time for all of us to enjoy.
“In my paintings I use the violence and romantic sadness of the natural landscape to provoke a sense of fragility and melancholic instability beneath the surface of the image. I like to use a variety of images that are beautiful and sad with natural elements that can also be seen to parallel the worst parts of our human animalistic behaviors.” -Sarah Emerson
There is a sense in Sarah’s work of sadness and impending doom that i really enjoy.
Sometimes things are better off being left “unfinished”. There’s more power that way. More raw, sticky, human emotion. Add such a methodology to an almost random selection of media and you have these works from Texas based artist Ckirk, who says he can “paint with anything”. Aerosol, watercolor, coffee, tobacco ash- he’s doing it. The paintings seem to say, “this is who we are, with all our ugliest inclinations completely exposed. Take it or leave it.” Ckirk has a new monograph out entitled “Ckirk Art: I Can Paint With Anything”.
Bozena Rydlewska (aka Bozka) is a Polish artist who creates enchanting nature illustrations blooming with life. Her works resemble dream-like visions of a fairytale forest: ornate plants burst and divide across the paper, creating patterns and symmetry; animals from different habitats (frogs, birds, and tropical fish) intermingle harmoniously. Bozka has turned some of her illustrations into mesmerizing 3D pop-ups, intricately layered and rich with illustrated texture. From bright, buzzing jungles to mysterious gardens at dusk, the vibrant color schemes give each ecosystem a unique energy.
For many of us, Bozka’s works may be attached to a sense of nostalgia; they remind us of those children’s books that engrossed our imaginations by springing to life as we turned the pages. Bozka has taken this art a bit further, of course, in the divine complexity of each piece. Some of her pop-ups resemble theater sets, like elaborate stagings celebrating the harmony and geometry of nature; we expect at any moment for the birds and butterflies to explode into a synchronous movement. Check out Bokza’s website and Facebook page for more imaginative creations. (Via Hi-Fructose)
Tal Drori is an illustrator, an interaction designer and a graphic designer. She is based in Milan, where she works as a consultant and teaches design. Make sure to check out the Love Story series of work on her site. It’s my favorite.
When I think of New York City I imagine rough and tough grandma’s cussing you out and not taking shit from anyone. Other cities just don’t produce in your face, loud mouth senior citizens. This can get annoying in most situations but not when it comes to amazing Sister Helen Travis. In Sister Helen you’ll find one of the most unanimously acclaimed documentaries in recent years and winner of the coveted Sundance Film Festival Directing Award. A recovering alcoholic who lost her husband and sons to substance abuse Sister Helen fights the South Bronx’s drug wars one person at a time with more off-the-top catch phrases than a 1990’s rap song.
Sister Helen is an inspiring documentary filled with an equal dose of comedy and drama. The love/hate relationship between this tough-as-nails nun and the men who both fear her and rely on her to help them battle their own inner demons is unreal. Inspired by Sinatra’s “my-way-or-the-highway” mantra, Sister Helen runs a tight ship in which everyone must obey her rules and the hand that writes them. For the residents who wish to permanently kick the habit, this sobering dose of tough love may be their last and only hope.
The Underexposed series illuminates outsiders of the world, homeless people of our streets. Aaron Draper has made the deliberate decision to literally put in the spotlight a dozen of men and women living on the streets, giving an authentic representation of what could happen to any of us. Not wanting to fall into the cliche of taking black and white photographs or insisting on the harsh features of his subjects, Aaron Draper is applying a commercial tone to the way he envisions their lives, giving the viewers a more positive imagery of scenes not so pleasant to usually watch.
That’s the reason the series has gone viral, the viewer is not in a position of guilt, he doesn’t need to feel bad. He is invited to share that special connection the photographer encountered when meeting his subjects. Inspired by John Steinbeck’s vision on dispossessed families struggling to carve their way into life, he spent a lot of time and money getting to know the personalities behind the facade of their humble lives. Using a camera strobe and a documentary effect, Aaron Draper wants to turn around the false perception one might have about homeless life. He says if he can only initiate that shift, his work will be successful in his heart.
The video below details the photography process of the Underexposed series and shows a passionate Aaron Draper at work. (via Trenf)