Nicolai Howalt‘s Car Crash Studies series ties a post-crash carnage to artistic abstraction, as the photographs of metallic dents and scratches have a true sculptural quality. This contrasts to the chaos of the subject-matter to unveil a fascinating and hidden beauty in destruction.
Gordon Parks was one of the seminal figures of twentieth century photography. A humanitarian with a deep commitment to social justice, he left behind a body of work that documents many of the most important aspects of American culture from the early 1940s up until his death in 2006, with a focus on race relations, poverty, Civil Rights, and urban life.
Recently The Gordon Parks Foundation discovered over 70 unpublished photographs by Parks at the bottom of an old storage box wrapped in paper and marked as “Segregation Series.” These never before series of images not only give us a glimpse into the everyday life of African Americans during the 50’s but are also in full color, something that is uncommon for photographs from that era.
Los Angeles based illustrator and designer Linda Kim’s work is the stuff of dreams – wind-swept scapes just slightly off-beat of reality. Her inspiration comes from direct observation of the actual world, using as many of her senses as possible to create her interprations. I’m particularly excited to see that Linda binds her artwork into beautiful, well-crafted books that act as mini-portfolios!
Jeremy Geddes is an incredibly cinematic painter. His realistically painted images offer an overwhelming amount of drama through the use of not just aesthetic composition and image, but through concept as well. His recent series feature an astronaut exploring Earth. It’s creatures, buildings, landscapes, etc. Hinting towards the idea of the human alienation within our own environment.
Japanese designer, illustrator, painter Aquirax Uno’s work is characterized by fantastic visuals, capricious and sensuous line flow, flamboyant (and occasionally grotesque) eroticism, and frequent use of collage and bright colors. He was prominently involved with the Japanese underground art of 1960’s-1970’s, dabbling in theater, fashion, film and animation. His work reminds me of Aubrey Beardsley’s– morosely sensual women oozing and dripping with the promise of delightful death…I also found a really interesting interview designer Tara Sinn did with the artist himself on her blog.
Joanne Leah‘s photographs have a kinetic aura, a dark mysterious crackle of energy that seems to hint at struggle and loss. Even with swathes of jewel tones, Leah’s work is muted, almost like crime scene photos. Some of her subjects are strewn about the floor like fallen souls on a battlefield. Others seem to be entombed — though whether in a sort of grave or a chrysalis, it remains to be seen. Permeating all her photos is a feeling of suffocation, of the inevitability of the inescapable.
In her artist’s statement, Leah says:
“When I was a child, I would explore the woods behind my house. I ventured alone, following a small creek. One winter day, I deviated from my usual path. As I walked, I heard a man shout. A pack of barking dogs ran toward me. I immediately dropped to the snowy ground and pretended to be dead. I held my breath. The dogs surrounded me, sniffed and snorted. I had never felt that kind of fear before, the fear of being eaten alive.”
There is a surreal fairy tale feeling to Leah’s photos. There is also an unmistakable feeling of intimacy. There’s also a sense that this is a cautionary tale, that these everyday people have come to quietly grim fates that could happen anywhere, to anyone. (via Dark Silence in Suburbia)