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Kaveh Golestan’s Photographs Of Iran’s Red Light District

From 1975 until 1977, Iranian photojournalist Kaveh Golestan captured the lives of the women in Tehran’s red light district. Although primarily known for documenting war and conflict in the Middle East, Golestan’s project involving these women gives light to a different issue, one that has not seen the spotlight in years if not never in Iranian society.

“Some of the women were tragically charred to death during the blaze and several others were arrested and later faced the revolutionary firing squads in the summer of 1980.”

Golestan’s series, comprised of 45 black-and-white photographs, reveals an honest but explicit look the women that lived this lifestyle in a region formerly known as Citadel of Shahr-e No. Due to their rare and insightful qualities, the photographs where immediately released in the Iranian newspaper ‘Ayandegan’ and later, in 1978, they were shown at the University of Tehran. The exposure of such imagery, however, alarmed authorities, and the exhibition was shut down after 14 days without an official explanation. A year after the exhibition, the Citadel (the place where Golestan shoot these photographs) burned to the ground during the 1979 Iranian revolution.

Today, these photographs remain as records of Iranian history but also an a courageous and beautiful series of art photography. Today, Golestan’s “The Citadel”, an exhibition devoted to these women, will be showing at Foam in Amsterdam starting in March 21 until May 4th, 2014.  Apart from the images, the exhibition will also feature Golestan’s personal journal entries and essays relating to his experiences traveling the region, illuminating the stories of the Citadel’s forgotten women. ( via Huff Post)

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Uplands Gallery, Part 1: Nadine Christensen

Nadine Christensen: Mix Up Table, 2009

Nadine Christensen: Mix Up Table, 2009

We’ve stumbled across Uplands Gallery of Melbourne Australia, a gallery that continually exhibits some noteworthy artists. Since cramming these artists into one post wouldn’t do them justice, B/D is presenting another 3-part series to spotlight the best of Uplands.

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Mark Jenkins

mark jenkinsMark Jenkins as been putting a lot of fun stuff in the streets over the years. His street installations are some of the best and truly bring a smile of curiosity to most on lookers. The one pictured above is my personal favorite, but make sure to check out the other fun installations coming from the wacky mind of Mark.

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Chuck Close’s Celebrity Portraits for Vanity Fair

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Chuck Close is best known as a photorealist painter, but he is also interested in photography.  Close achieved amazing results as a hyperrealist portrait painter working from gridded photographs.  Suffering from a condition known as Prosopagnosia, also known as face blindness, Close is unable to recognize faces.  Because of this condition Close was drawn to painting and photographing portraits.  A seizure left him partially paralyzed in 1988 and after that he continued to paint, but had to adopt new techniques.

Recently Close created a series of portraits for Vanity Fair.  Close decided to use poloroids so that his subjects could immediately see the image.  After every shot he and his subject viewed the photograph so they could decide what to change for the next one. “No hair, no make-up, no wardrobe, comb your own hair,” were the guidelines Close gave his subjects.  He didn’t want to produce “glamour shots,” and it was important that his subjects played an active role in the process, and moreover, that they trusted him.  Seeking to show the “humanity” in each of his celebrity subjects Close wasn’t concerned about flattery or status, but rather with accuracy.  The results are a series of distinguished and honest portraits. Check out the Hollywood issue of Vanity Fair

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Desiree Dolron

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Dark and stoic work from Dutch artist Desiree Dolron. These images remind me of portraits by the Old Masters, especially Vermeer and Rembrandt – the extreme stillness in each frame helps you focus on all the small details that make the image really pop when you look close. Find more at Galerie Gabriel Rolt.

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Is it Time to Audit the Auditors? Why Facebook Blocked Our Most Popular Post To Date (NSFW)

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Last week, we published our most viral post to date: Nude Bodies Transform From Flattering To Unflattering With Slight Shift In Pose (NSFW). After gaining momentum on Facebook and accruing a considerable amount of traffic, we were notified that the post violated Facebook’s Community Standards. The (incredibly vague) policy states,

“Facebook has a strict policy against the sharing of pornographic content and any explicitly sexual content where a minor is involved. We also impose limitations on the display of nudity. We aspire to respect people’s right to share content of personal importance, whether those are photos of a sculpture like Michelangelo’s David or family photos of a child breastfeeding.”

Should this apply to nudes that are part of an artistic endeavor, or “content of personal importance,” such as Gracie Hagen’s photographs (featured above)? Why has Facebook never flagged any other post of ours, others of which also feature a comparable amount of nudity (featured below)?

It’s safe to assume that our post was targeted because it received viral Facebook exposure, inviting the scrutiny of many Facebook users who may or may not recognize nudity’s artistic value – any Facebook user can flag a post as inappropriate and subject that post to the review of Facebook’s moderators. Who are Facebook’s moderators? They are (unsurprisingly) employees who are outsourced to 3rd world countries, where they typically receive around $1/hour for the work of wading through what is sure to be the dirtiest and unsettling parts of the internet. Once a moderator receives a flagged post, they can confirm it’s a violation, dismiss it, or escalate it. (Escalation is reserved for posts that could be illegal or are remarkably insidious). Moderators are to follow a detailed guidebook, first uncovered by Gawker, which specifically states, “Art nudity ok” with regard to nudity on Facebook. (Though experience suggests Facebook may only consider illustrations and sculptures of nudes okay.)

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Yuta Onoda

yuta onodaYuta Onoda is a very talented painter, illustrator, and printmaker from Japan. He graduated from Bachelor of Applied Arts Illustration at Sheridan College, Canada, and has been shaping his art aesthetic through various forms of media, hoping to find new avenues to express himself.

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Bars and Tones


Bars & Tones from André Chocron on Vimeo.Bars & Tones from André F. Chocron on Vimeo.
Kandinsky would have cried an abstract expressionist tear for this visual invocation of music.

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