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Rob Bondgren

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Rob Bondgren is an artist coming out of Chicago. His artwork takes a bit of reality and pushes it into a hallucinogenic state.

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Photographer Sølve Sundsbø’s Dramatic Experiments With Shadows On Skin

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Sølve Sundsbø is a London-based (Norway-born) photographer whose highly stylized shoots bring an experimental edge into the world of high fashion. This particular series — called Points a la Ligne — was shot for Numéro magazine’s May 2008 issue. The concept is simple, yet powerful; patterned shadows of stripes and circles are cast across the body of a nude model (Edita Vilkeviciute). Between the model’s painted-white skin and the pitch-black shadows surrounding and traversing her, the photos are strongly contrasted. Her lipstick — in varying bright shades — is the only source of color that punctuates the series, attracting the eye to her mouth.

The result of Sundsbø’s experiments with light and shadow is a photo series that lends a sensual geometry to the body. In some images, the shadows — which appear painted on, initially — give her body a feline appearance, and in others, almost a pop-art/film noir aspect, or even more abstractly, the way sunlight reflects off of sand dunes. The interpretations are varied, but the illusory effect on her form is beautiful.

Sundsbø has shot for a number of fashion publications and beauty brands, including Vogue, NYTimes, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, and H&M. You can explore the rest of his imaginative, sensual, and highly polished work on his website. (Via Art Fucks Me)

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Ben Barretto at The Popular Workshop

San Francisco Gallery The Popular Workshop recently opened a solo exhibition by Australian artist Ben Barretto entitled Self Help. From the press release: “Self Help continues Barretto’s ongoing exploration into recursion; with each of the series of works he presents ‘making’ themselves to some extent. That is, the chosen material and its inherent properties inform the process and drive the work into a constant loop of feedback.
Self Help presents iterations of this process over 3 different mediums, including hand woven tapestries made from used climbing rope, reconfigured nylon training pants and a set of oil paintings. Within each of these series, Barretto creates a system through which the material qualities of each medium are unbound and rebound into a continuous ongoing cycle, a cycle which sits in collaboration with the expressive additions of Barretto’s own hand, having these works sit somewhere between assemblage and action painting.” The show is on view through April 12, 2013.

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The Faint go back on the road to perform Danse Macabre in it’s entirety

The Faint who recently headlined the FYF Fest are going back on the road to celebrate the re-release of their record, Danse Macabre (Deluxe Edition) out on Saddle Creek, November 19th. The remastered limited edition will also include a DVD with tons of cool things from the archives of the band. I’m guessing since the record is only 35 minutes long, they will also perform a ton of other songs from their past and present.  They’ll be in Los Angeles on Sunday, November 18th at the Fonda Theatre and at New York’s Terminal 5 in December with plenty of dates in between and after. As an added bonus, Trust will be opening all shows on this outing. Check out the video for Agenda Suicide and get your tickets to an upcoming show.

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Tony Orrico’s Drawings Test The Limits Of Physical Movement

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Since 2009, Tony Orrico has performed his Penwald drawings. Combining elements found in dance, theater and performance art, it explores repetitive movement for long periods of time, bringing drawing’s motion into peril with human physicality. The idea originates in finding a point when an act becomes more than just motor skills and crosses over into the creative process. In Tony’s case, this leaves an aesthetic mark on physical existence in the form of an abstract drawing.

After graduating with an MFA in Choreography from the University of Iowa, Tony joined Shen Wei and Trisha Brown Dance companies. As a principle, he performed in major cities around the globe, including Sydney Opera House. Both troupes known for an avant garde approach ensured that he was never far away from a serious art practice. When he was ready, this enabled him to use the experience he learned as a dancer and combine it with his passion for drawing. One of his first Penwald performances at Postmasters Gallery, NY in 2009, would set the stage for everything that followed. From there, he received an opportunity to perform at The National Academy Of Sciences in Washington DC, and  was soon taking his “Penwald” series to venues worldwide. He was one of the few selected to reappropriate performances from Marina Ambramovic’s retrospective, “The Artist is present” at New York’s Museum Of Modern Art, an experience he was honored to have.

His newest project, CARBON, further investigates the relationship between material, body and movement.  Again, testing the limits of physical, mental and creative capacity, Tony sleeps in a box of graphite broken off throughout the course of a day, from Mexican pottery bowls. The material is used as a metaphor for life and death. A few recent highlights include performances at The Metz-Pompidou, New Museum, BAM, and solo Exhibits at PPOW Gallery NY, MUAC Mexico and Shoshanna Wayne Gallery Los Angeles.

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The Last Meals Of Death Row Inmates Documented By Henry Hargreaves

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In the series No Seconds, photographer Henry Hargreaves recreates and records the last meals of Death Row inmates. He captures not only what they ate, but accompanies the photos with what was on the menu and the crimes they committed. Hargreaves is no stranger to the Beautiful/Decay blog, where he was last seen collaborating with food stylist Caitlin Levin. With this particular project, it’s all him, fueled by his towards incredulousness of the US Death Penalty as inspiration. “In New Zealand (where I’m from), and in fact nearly any where else in the developed world, the Death Penalty is just not even in the conversation.” Hargeaves states. “It is a remnant of an earlier era. This little bit of civility, ‘hey we are going to kill you but what would you like to eat?’ just jumped off the page.”

These last meals are recreated beautifully, and the photographer depicts each with its own style. Some, like the fried chicken dinner of John Wayne Gacey appears greasy and gluttonous. Others, like Victor Feguer’s single olive is a poignantly positioned on a gold-trimmed plate.

Food is a common thread amongst diverse groups of people, and the eating habits and choices made can tell you a lot about a person. In researching the project, Hargreaves tells Vice, “The thing that kind of struck me with these last meals was how many of them were these big, deep fried meals, which we like to call comfort food. Here were these people in their last moments and all they really want was a little bit of comfort.” This is one of the last messages someone on Death Row could send, and their choices make you contemplate the message they might be trying to send. What was Timothy McVeigh trying to say when he ordered two pints of ice cream? We’ll never know. (Via Huffington Post and Vice)

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Melissa Cooke

Never were there lovelier tortured souls. Wisconsin-born and University of Wisconsin at Madison-trained artist Melissa Cooke works primarily in powdered graphite and often casts herself as the subject of her drawn musings. Striking in both subject matter and detail, her creations explore themes of violence, sexuality, and identity. The nuances of story and emotion evoked are powerful, often unsettling. All of this is made by the artist’s skillful hand, guiding her dry brush across thin layers of graphite on sizeable pieces of paper.

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Nasa’s Solarium Project Gets You Up Close And Personal With The Sun

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If you ever wondered what it would be like to occupy the same room as the sun, try Nasa’s Solarium. Currently making stops throughout the U.S. the show produced by a division of the space agency known as Solar Dynamics Observatory or SDO, is actually a spacecraft that has been taking pictures of the sun for the past five years. It brings findings using photographs taken over the past year, into an intimate space  documenting the blistering star’s movement per second. The material collected is the first of its kind and splices together incredible footage into a series of HD gifs and stills giving you an idea of what it might feel like landing at the gates of hell.
Not surprisingly, most of the photographs portray a round star with several thousand fires burning at once. Constant explosions accompany the flames making you wonder how planets in the solar system don’t disintegrate immediately by her immense power. Other interesting shots capture the mother star in a dormant state depicting a series of smoldering smokestacks. In another unexpected and humorous portrayal, the sweltering star looks like a flame-grinning jack o lantern. Very cool, (or hot) indeed.
The sun is at the center of our solar system and approximately 130 times larger than earth in size and 330 times larger in Mass. It’s mostly made up of hydrogen and helium. Without the sun, all planets in the solar system including earth would die. Despite what might appear to the naked eye, the sun is actually white not yellow or orange in color. The reason for the false hue is atmospheric scattering. This is when molecules are diffused by the solar beam into the earth’s atmosphere changing the sky’s color. (via citylab)

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