Photographer Brian McCarty combines the innocence of childhood with the horrors of war in his series WAR-TOYS. Violent scenes are reenacted with toys; Bombs are dropped on a pink plastic house, while toy soldiers gun down a giant-headed doll. McCarty’s source material is the drawings of children who live in war-torn areas like the West Bank, Gaza, and Israel.
The artist travelled to the sites where the children had been, which adds another level of sadness to these images. This project is not just the undertaking of McCarty, but he pairs with other aid workers as well. From his artist statement:
Employing principles of expressive art therapy, my process begins with observation and guided interaction with children under the care of humanitarian organizations operating in areas of active conflict. Specialized therapists and caregivers conduct art-based interviews on my behalf, inviting children to draw pictures about their lives and experiences. The resulting illustrations serve as art direction and basis for photographic exploration.
McCarty tries to involve the tiny artists, too, and uses toys that are acquired locally. You’ll see that a Disney Princess is in the line of fire. He writes:
When possible and under the guidance of specialists, I invite the children to actively participate and use the photographic process as a form of therapeutic play. The resulting photographs provide an interpretive document of witnessed events and context for the children’s accounts.
McCarty plans to continue this project and travel to Afghanistan, Sudan, and Colombia. (Via Huffington Post)
Brooklyn-based artist Elana Adler uses the traditional craft of an embroidery sampler to outline the crude things said to her by street harassers. The series is titled You Are My Duchess, and features small, decorative pieces of needlework (which historically feature bible stories or other imagery) that say some negative, disgusting things. Adler stores each saying in an elaborate frame, and writes in her artist statement:
This series of thirty-two (plus) samplers is intended to be provocative and evoke emotion. It is a contemporary feminist interpretation of women’s work and an objectification of my personal experience. Each captures a moment, giving these words a visual presence, a power, and a state of concreteness. These words were hurled casually and heard quickly but required hours of time-consuming, careful stitching.
The physically delicate, traditionally feminine, form of the piece engages the viewer and confronts him/ her with a sweetness that may mask its crassness and vulgarity.
She goes on to explain that the strength of this series comes in numbers. While you might read one and be amused, the more you read will change your response.
The inherent filth emerges. It is a beautification of an assault. Perhaps in the moment these statements are meant to compliment, but most don’t find vulgar, highly sexualized statements whispered or screamed at them by random strangers complimentary. Rather, they are an invasion of personal space. (Via Got a Girl Crush)
Hello to all you Futurists out there! We want to let everyone know that our Future Perfect project is heating up with only 21 days left until the submission deadline. We, here at B/D, want your future to work out perfectly so make sure to submit your work before the March 29th deadline to have your art featured in Beautiful/Decay Book 6!
Create your vision for a better tomorrow and get featured in Beautiful/Decay book 6.
We want to see the world you want to live in, your Future Perfect. Submit your work of art based on the Future Perfect theme; you are free to use any medium and interpret the theme as you see fit. On March 29th we will pick one lucky person from the submissions who will get a package of Beautiful/Decay goods valued at $300 and a 10-15 page interview in Beautiful/Decay book 6! Up to 70 additional future perfect submissions will also be selected and published.
Share your vision, plan a better tomorrow and join Beautiful/Decay to create a Future Perfect.
Doug Bloodworth’s photo realistic oil paintings transport us to another slower, calmer, and less anxious time. Whether it’s a still life depiction of the Sunday Funnies sprinkled with candies or a road atlas paired with matches and a roll of mints, we can’t help but feel nostalgic for our own quiet tactile interludes and luxuries minus the iPhone or Blackberry.
Most animated gifs are made by purely digital means but Bruno 9li shows how much more awesome it looks with the same effect applied to his painting. The flashing light band across is the eyes is genius! You can see more of his work after the jump but they look better on his site (they’re really wide).
Mattias Adolfsson doesn’t leave much space on the pages of his notebook. Get lost in the whimsical clutter of robots, shelves of stuff, wires, cables, rockets, and just about everything else you can think of after the jump.
The story of photographer Rebecca Bathory’s traveling to the ruins of the old Soviet Union reads like an adventure tale. As she and her guides were in the midst of exploring abandoned buildings and monuments, they were discovered by authorities. She explains:
Not many explorers travel to Russia where the rules are very different, locations are heavily guarded and a strong military presence exists everywhere. There are serious consequences for getting caught. We managed to stay hidden for all of the trip, we maximised our stealthiness, ducking and diving into bushes and sneaking past sleeping security. But on day three our good fortune ran out as we visited a top secret radar installation. After walking through the forest, mosquitoes attacking us from all directions, we saw the radar and made our way towards it, but just metres away suddenly we were joined by military and they weren’t happy…
Bathory risked radiation exposure, experienced arrest and interrogation, and was accused of espionage as she shot this series of stunning photographs. They depict areas of abandonment – forgotten monuments, peeling paint, a places where nature has taken over. The photographer offers many haunting sights never seen before by western eyes.
These images were comprised into a book entitled Soviet Ghosts. They were all taken by Bathory, while essays and articles by Professor Owen Evans and Neil Cockwill from Edge Hill University and Tristi Brownett.
D-BROS, a Japanese design company that produces ultra-modern housewares, has crafted the beautiful Waltz Cup and Saucer — a teacup with a mirrored, palladium finish that reflects the geometric patterns of the plate on which it is placed. The product is well-named, for like two dancers, the saucer and cup must be in proximity and working together in order to create a work of art. The product is made out of Hasami porcelain on the island of Kyushu in southern Japan, which is known as one of the world’s great pottery hubs. Each cup is carefully handmade so that the surfaces are completely smooth; “after all, even the slightest scratch would create distortions throughout the reflection.” (Source)
The cups, once removed from their beautiful saucer-companions, will of course reflect everything else surrounding them — the color of your sweater, or whatever ordinary items are lying around your kitchen table, for example. And at ¥7560 (approximately $62.00 USD) per set, the cups and saucers are less practical than a piece of art, but there is something to be said for the integration of art, geometry, harmony, tranquility into our everyday lives; interestingly, these are the spiritual and aesthetic values which are present in the Japanese traditional practice of tea ceremonies (Chanoyu), wherein the functionality and practicality of drinking tea is subsumed into ritualistic acts that achieve refinement, simplicity, beauty, and peace. Thinking of it this way, there is much significance to be appreciated in the harmony and creativity ingrained in D-BROS’ designs.
While sold out elsewhere, the Waltz Cups and Saucers can still be bought from D-BROS. Visit their website and explore some of their other intriguing designs. (Via Laughing Squid)