Directed by Ryan Hope, Skin is a dark, stylish examination of tattoo culture as high art, and a film that tests the boundaries of art and the human body. Featuring contributions from Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons and Raymond Pettibon, the film is a beautiful visual essay from the frontiers of contemporary British art. Watch the full documentary after the jump.
Lotta van Droom is an Ireland-based (Germany-born) photographer whose otherworldly images explore the landscapes of bodies and dreams. Inspired by artists such as Andy Warhol and Francisco de Goya, Lotta’s style is a beautiful mix of surrealism and romanticism. Characterizing her work are unnatural portraits and dream-like scenes, such as a man with hands smothering his face, and a woman with ghostly, skeletal wings and a collection of spherical eyes. Lotta’s nude photographs are similarly unconventional; draped in sheets resembling funeral shrouds, her mysterious subjects twist and struggle against their coverings, like resurrected beings, or butterflies about to erupt from a cocoon. When I asked Lotta how she would identify her style, she explained:
“I think my photographic style is surreal […]. Many of my photos are the result of stories, formed in my mind. They are little excerpts of my thoughts which I try to reflect this way. It’s not important for me to show reality. I want to show my world of fantasy and wishes.”
By not striving to portray the material real-world, Lotta’s goal is to inspire the imagination and trigger alternative perceptions. Her nude photographs, for example, are not about objectified sex and desire, but instead an exploration of the body’s architecture. “The human body is an outstanding construction and it would be sad if nudity is only associated with sexuality,” she writes. “The sheets are a medium to hide the absolute nudity to create an unreal character. The form becomes perfected or alienated, so the bodies look like sculptures.” By obscuring the faces, Lotta allows us to perceive the divine symmetry and strength of the human form.
The surrealist Dreamworld photos likewise stimulate the mind. By altering reality, Lotta uncovers a hidden emotional world that exists inside all of us. Just like the strange and beautiful images we see in our sleep, her photographs encourage subjective interpretation. In “Mitternachtstheater,” for example, some may see a death, while others, a resurrection; the character in “sector absorption” may be seen as frightening, impassive, or melancholic. This is Lotta’s intention, as she explains: “I hope when people look at my work, they could descend into their own dreamworlds.”
Typographical force of nature and NYC-based graff artist Andrea von Bujdoss (Queen Andrea) just closed a show at Erik Foss’ Fuse Gallery. Here are some images of the work in the show, Typograph. The Queen is one of the cleanest out there for this type of thing. And the show was packed to the gills with references to super heroes and comics, 8-bit tribal patterns, and lazer-quality lines from the artist. Von Bujdoss is also a fairly prolific designer/illustrator, pulling down some large clients. Check it after the jump.
A black and white photograph of a couple expressing nothing but tenderness and love. Donna Pinckley captures interracial couple posing naturally in front of their homes. Nothing should be perceived as wrong in these pictures, yet some people are not only condemning these individuals’ relationships but they are throwing hateful words at them. These can be read below the photographs, “as a reminder of how part of society sees them”.
After taking photographs of young children growing up through life, becoming adults and posing with their spouses, Donna Pinckley encountered a recurrent situation where women got to reveal the loathing comments they were facing because of their partner’s race. Her reaction to these women’s confidence has been artistic. She began to photograph interracial couples and depict their resilience and refusal to let others define them.
The couple are of all ages, and they represent any individuals in any country at any given time. This cold harsh reality is however counterbalanced by the message of hope these couples are giving us, via the mean of photography and the presence of Donna Pinckley behind it. A singular and effective way to spread a notion of tolerance and acceptance. Despite the words, the looks and the attitude towards those relationships, the love and trust created by these couples is bursting and undeniable.
Our good buddies over at Two Rabbit Studios is having a big ol’ 4th of July print sale and BBQ. Go hang with them, listen to some good music, get some food, and most importantly get some amazing prints and posters for your walls at a fraction of the price!
Interview Project is a new web-based video series presented by David Lynch and created by his son, Austin Lynch, as well as Austin’s friend, Jesse S. Austin, Jesse, and their team took a massive road trip around the US, traveling on back roads and interviewing the people they encountered. Some of the interviews are striking for the crazy stories they have to tell – one man, Tommie Holiday (pictured above), talks about his true love who is in jail for killing an ex-boyfriend. Other people have more ordinary stories, like Clara, who is a mother and grandmother to a perfectly lovely flock of offspring in Colorado. They all, however, have some rather profound things to say about life.
Unfortunately the videos were rather difficult to embed, so you can either see some video stills after the jump or click here to go to the Interview Project site.