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Awkward Family Photos Exhibits Only The Most Embarrassing Childhood Portraits

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The magic of the family photograph lies in its flaws, and the curatorial team at website Awkward Family Photos has reminded us of this fact by collecting and cataloguing all of our charming photographic failings and reminding us that for every perfect chiclet smile, there’s a disgruntled side-eye or a bad haircut. The online collection is a testament to the bonds of family, and each accident betrays the touching vulnerability of each relationship.

The family photo album is a fragile, private thing; when made public, these images constitute a powerful and uncomfortable archive of American tradition and cultural shifts. While a photograph of mother, son, and daughter dressed to the nines in shoulder-padded polka-dots and acid wash jeans might have been swell in the ’80s, it serves now as a painful and permanent reminder of our fleeting coolness and relevance. In one image, a young man seductively holds a live snake; in a similarly embarrassing assertion of power within the family, a father superimposes himself over a cheesy portrait with now-outdated technology.

As family structures and fashion choices continue to shift, Awkward Family Photos is a visual historical narrative worthy of being preserved. And it will have its moment of glory in an upcoming exhibition at Santa Monica’s California Heritage Museum. The collection is to be arranged and hung in accordance with the following categories: “Family Portrait, Siblings, Vacation, Kids, Holidays, Weddings, Dad, Mom, Grandparents, Birthdays, and Family Pet.”

Exhibition goers will be invited to sit for their own portraits, which are to be added to the collection. This refreshing series is about embracing the awkward within us all; through each image, there are clear hints of love, charm, and unabashed playfulness. (via My Modern Met)

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Black Mold: Metal Spiderwebs

Not only is Chad VanGaalen a talented musician but he also is an amazing artist! If you don’t believe me just watch this wacky video he made for his electronic alter-ego, Black Mold.

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The Otherworldly and Complex Paintings of Mario Martinez

Mario Martinez painting6Mario Martinez painting1Mario Martinez painting3The visions of Mario Martinez (also aptly known as MARS-1) seem to either be extraterrestrial or drug induced.  His large scale paintings hold to very realistic perspective.   However, there the realism breaks down.  Geometric shapes, organic like growths, and strange lighting effects intertwine to form one complex mass on his canvas.  Martinez’ work seems to depict something between living and synthetic, not quite landscapes or creatures.  Check out his website to seem some similarly styled sculptural work.

 

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Video Watch: Bye Bye Birdie Remix

21 year old French video editor Romain Loiseau recently set out to create a music video using a short extract of the movie Bye Bye Birdie which was recently seen in a Mad Men episode. The rules of the project were simple.

1.Do not take other sound than this are in the extract.
2. Do not use other software (like MAO software : Ableton live, logic…)
3. Do not use effect except the pticher  and the slow motion effect (in
order to harmonize )

The final product is a mesmerizing 3:35 minute music video created on Final Cut Pro 7 and made entirely out of a few seconds of footage and without any of the usual editing tricks you are so used to seeing.  Watch the full video after the jump.

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Erik Johansson’s Photos Appear So Realistic You Might Believe They’re Real

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Swedish photographer Erik Johansson creates surreal photographs that capture the supernatural in the everyday. Although they’re obviously doctored, his skills make the compositions look as though they’ve really happened. We see a lot of things that take place in open spaces and nature, and Johansson’s subjects are shown literally sewing up a landscape, effortlessly rowing through a green field, and setting the ships in a painting free into the ocean.

Johansson looks at photography as a way to collect material and to realize the ideas in his mind. He looks at every new project as a challenge to make it as realistic as possible, and he often succeeds. It’s part of the fun that goes along with Johansson’s work, because we generally think of photography as a documentation of something that actually happened; seeing wintered ushered in via someone’s bed sheets, for instance, creates a delightful confusion. We know that there’s no way that this picture is possible, but Johansson has crafted it so realistically that for a second we might believe it.

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Eric Shaw and Henry Gunderson at FFDG in San Francisco

Tom Betthauser:

Both artist’s work share an obtuse unearthly charm as a common language, and their work promises to have an energetic and productive conversation in their upcoming exhibition.

Great show up at FFDG in San Francisco right now. Eric Shaw and Henry Gunderson spent a couple weeks on the beast coast cooking up some vibey abstractions for us and now they’re ready to be seen! Both artist’s works definitely play off each other really nicely, and if you’re out in SF, this one is not to be missed. See more from the show below.

Images courtesy of FFDG.

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Kalen Hollomon’s Spontaneous Instagram New York City Collages Offer Surprising And Hilarious Juxtapositions

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Using an iPhone and Instagram, Kalen Hollomon has taken collaging to a new level. Although Hollomon sometimes works in a traditional way, cutting apart images and reassembling them into hybrids, his New York City collages are often made on the fly as he inserts a cutout image into a photo as he takes it. The resulting images are a sly wink to the viewer as pants are replaced with porno magazines nudes and subway riders are given unexpected seatmates. The fact that Hollomon leaves his fingers in the shots is another play on altered reality. How does he compose these impromptu collages in real time?

“I will find an image in a magazine or a book that speaks to me and I’ll cut it out and have it with me. And I’ll usually have between one and five in a folder in my pocket. And when I’m out in the city I wait until I come across a situation that works with one. And I’ll get super excited and pull it out. It’s just waiting for the two worlds to come together.” (Source)

In the most meta of these collages, Hollomon stands holding his phone in an empty bathroom, reflected in the mirror over the sink, holding a picture of a naked, smiling man apparently leaning over the countertop. In the reflection you can see Hollomon holding the cutout and in the photo, you can see Hollomon’s fingers. It plays with the idea of real and unreal, lifting the curtain while obscuring the illusion.

“You can create a powerful image that at first looks nice and maybe is a bit funny but if you look a bit deeper, it also might have something more to say than that. … I am always concerned with what lies beneath the surface. I hope to create conversation that is rooted in questions related to learned social rules, identity, the subtext of everyday situations and perception.”

(via It’s Nice That)

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Preview: Spacegrass, Group Show at Bloom Projects in NYC curated by Chris Bors

 

…These visions were frozen in a time capsule on Gallifrey, only to be unearthed when the time and relative dimension in space felt right. Opened in 2012, the images resembled paintings like Michael Bevilacqua’s layered chrome and black attack, Chris Bors’s post-pop pseudo-propaganda, David Humphrey’s surreal suburban wet dreams, Ketta Ioannidou’s chaotic spiraling vegetation, Todd James’s bright cartoons from our Id, Allison Schulnik’s luscious thick impasto, Aaron Zimmerman intricate fever dreams and Jeremiah Teipen’s psychedelic sexual video.

NYC artistic heavyweight Chris Bors curated Spacegrass, a group show at Bloom Projects in New York (95 East 7th Street, downstairs) opening September 8th. The exhibition features works from a couple B/D favs including Allison Schulnik, Todd James, and Aaron Zimmerman. Check out some preview shots after the jump.

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