When photographer Bez Uma finished his latest series, “Pieces of June,” his camera suddenly died, fitting right in line with the mysteriously magical and spiritual journey his photos depict. His photos are understated, all the while offering glimmers of the surreal, like small insights to a fantasy world.
If you’ve ever been in a mostly empty mall, you know how strange it can feel to walk among a space that’s only half alive. But what about when a mall is completely abandoned? That’s even more surreal. As more and more of these once-booming retail centers close, the Dead Malls Enthusiast Facebook group has mapped many of them throughout America. Adventurous photographers have captured the aftermath of of these departed spaces.
Many of these abandoned malls were built in the 1970’s and 1980’s, and it shows. The interiors and decor look dated, tacky, and claustrophobic compared to the open-air shopping that’s popular today. Some have fared better structurally than others. Photographs depict buildings that’ve been closed for years and have demolished ceilings and broken glass. Many of the malls have dead plants that have long since lost their leaves.
These abandoned places are apocalyptic and frightening. But at the same time, they pique our curiosity and we wish were there exploring for ourselves. (Via Buzzfeed)
Dean Zeus Colman’s artwork has given us his drug of choice, which is hand molded Ecstasy tablets cast in plaster. His series Love Is A Drug includes sculptures of Ecstasy tablets of all different shapes and sizes that actually exist in real life. Knowing this bit of information, it is shocking to see how many different designs and even logos are imprinted on these little tablets. There are more common images like smiley faces, money signs, and stars on the drug, but a few have images that may be of surprise to you. The Mortal Combat symbol, the UPS logo, and even the beloved Bart Simpson’s head has also been included in this eclectic variety of Ecstasy tablets.
Zeus, based out of London, grew up involved in a subculture where Ecstasy tablets were often present. The drugs were readily available, not surprisingly, while working in the Rave scene. Zeus has long been working as a street artist and has been tagging since the 1980’s, which has influenced and led to the making of Love Is A Drug. Other sculptures of this artist reflect this lifestyle and draw off inspiration from graffiti such as his three-dimensional graffiti text constructed from glass and wood.
Love Is A Drug is currently on view at Prescription Art in Brighton, England, which focuses on street and graffiti art. The exhibition features thirty-six limited edition, larger than life Ecstasy tablets. (via The Creator’s Project)
These GIFS from David Alexander Slaager, otherwise known as General Dikki, will mess with your eyes (and possibly give you a headache if you don’t quit staring at them). The GIFs use a technique called stereoscopy. Stereoscopic images create the illusion of depth by presenting two images that are very slightly different from each other. Each image is presented to each eye and the brain combines the two images to create a single image that seems three dimensional. Slaagers GIFs quickly alternate between these two images nearly creating the same three dimensional effect.
You may never have given it much thought, but art has the potential to drag traditional, quaint activities or items into the modern world, applying an artistic touch to bring them back into public awareness in a fresh style.
Warhol, Hockney, and Bingomation
Just take the example ofAndy Warhol and his 32 Campbell’s Soup Cans. Amongst other perceptions, this revolutionary 1962 work of pop art dramatically changed the perception of the Campbell’s brand at that time, as well as transforming the face of modern art.
Nowadays, the use of technology in artwork has emerged in the creation of GIFs, as well as innovative ideas like David Hockney creating an entire collection using an iPad. Hockney had previously created works of art using just his iPhone, and his iPad collection was a clear progression from this experimental approach.
It’s clear that technology can be used in transformative ways when it comes to looking at something old and cherished and bringing it into the modern age and a new project has aimed to apply this practice to one of the UK’s most cherished activities: bingo. Bingo has obviously been made relevant to the digital age thanks to the multitude of operators where you can play online bingobut now a project called Bingomation is using interesting graphics, displays, and tables to create a buzz amongst youger players keen on innovation.
Bringing bingo calls to life
When you think about bingo, you think about bingo calls, with the likes of “Staying Alive” for number 85, but collaborative project Bingomation has attempted to turn the audible into the visual through the use of GIFs to convey the actual meaning behind these calls.
In our example of the number 85, for example, the creator of the GIF, Will Adams, has used the dual themes of the Bee Gees song and the literal notion of “staying alive” to create an artistic twist on the bingo call. Adams has created the GIF of a man dancing to a disco tune whilst transforming into a skeleton.Credit: Will Adams: Bingomation
This dark humour is also present when it comes to numbers like 22, with the two little ducks swimming happily along until they are eaten by a shark!
A new view on society through art
Some of the GIFs provide a fascinating look at how we view society and the way in which lives have changed. Take the number 21 for instance. This traditional coming of age number features a young man drinking heavily from a bottle and then passing out drunk on the floor.
These GIFs really do manage to put a different interpretation on the game of bingo, making it about more than just lines and full houses, in the process helping to engage a younger audience who enjoy being exposed to creativity through the medium of technology.
If these GIFs have caught your eye and you pride yourself on your artistic streak, there are still a few numbers left to claim!
If there is an artist known for documenting other artists’ work habits and studio spaces, it’s Joe Fig. Definitely do yourself a favor and check out the sculptures on his website, they’re amazing. In Joe Fig: New Paintings, up until April 9th at Cristin Tierney, Fig takes us on a detour to another time and has painted dudes you might recognize from Art History 101, and also some that are more obscure. By placing them in scenarios where they are either in front of a mirror and painting their self-portrait, or surrounded by art; Fig has made paintings of people who are looking. Putting us into a position where we are looking at them looking.
Artist and illustrator Kevin LCK seems to stick to illustrating, even when crafting work in three dimensions. Like his illustrative work, the sculptures are in spare black and white and made using paper. His Object series consists of a number of electronic appliances, such as a computer, microwave oven, and a television set. Inside each appliance is a carefully crafted home setting. Explaining the thought behind the series Kevin says:
“I seeked to detach the audience from the real world temporarily, provide them with a space to rethink and reconsider the way we behave and think about the relationship between ourselves, objects and environment with technology in a more conscious way.”