Photographer Nina Röder creates Mutter Schuhe (Mother’s Shoes), a series that through a variety of portraits visually explores the evolution of three generations of women: her (Nina Röder), her mother, and her mother’s mother. All three women are wearing Röder’s grandmothers clothes and they are sitting around in the old rooms of her (Röder’s) mother’s childhood home. All women maintain more or less the same expression, one of nostalgia for the most past, as they reenact mundane activities throughout the home. Through her choices of clothes and props, the artist is looking to explore how different individuals, her family, recall the past and how it evolves as time wears on.
“The personal narrative of my mother and my grandmother effects my life in a very dominant way: Almost every artwork I’ve done so far is influenced by conscious or unconscious aspects of family stories. For example, my grandparents were expelled from Bohemia (now Czechia) after the Second World War so they lost everything they had. I guess that is the reason why my grandmother now is keeping all her old clothes or furniture from the last 40 years. Almost all my ‘models’ are wearing clothes from my grandmother.”
You don’t often see abstraction in photography but Gregory Kaplowitz has managed to make an interesting portfolio of abstract color field photographs using various printing techniques. Gregory also has a few illustrative works in his portfolio for those of you who are abstraction challenged.
The painter Casey Baugh’s vibrant images are so astoundingly realistic that they could easily be mistaken for photographs if not for the eery, impressionistic brushstrokes that are only visible at close range. In rich and moody blues and blacks, the artist imagines a social and psychological landscape dominated by technology, a world where humans and machines coexist in a heightened state of tension and theatricality.
With conventionally beautiful women serving as his subjects, Baugh seduces the viewer; the photorealistic flesh glistens in soft, dreamy blues. Technology becomes a fetish object of sorts as wires coil about the curves of the female body, entangling and binding her while her sensually lit face surrenders to a strange sort of ecstasy, her body reclining suggestively.
Despite the powerful allure of technology, Baugh’s work also serves as a warning against our surrender to it. The remote, mechanical aspects of our modern lives— electronics, social media—entrap the human self with their metallic sheen and magnetic glow. A woman is seemingly choked by a collar made of industrial piping; the piece, titled Ammonoid, suggests that the foreign object has in fact integrated itself into her anatomy. Similarly, a girl is bound in glistening cellophane and confined to a cell, hooked up to televisions without chance of escape. Sadly, Baugh’s women, drawn to the irresistible blue screens, have become as much machine as human being.
The form of the work mirrors its thematic content; at first, the images look like photographs, captures of real events, but upon second glance, it becomes clear that the scene is an expertly-painted illusion. How much of our experience with technology is real? At what point do we sacrifice a truthful mortal existence for the entrancing (and ultimately fleeting) world of technology? (via HiFructose)
Modeled after the iconic Terracotta Warriors, artist Prune Nourry’s series Terracotta Daughters is an installation featuring eight life-size sculptures modeled after eight Chinese orphan girls. It’s meant to reflect upon gender preference in China through the familiar symbolism of the soldiers, and Nourry created an army of 116 figures using the same clay that was dug up over 2,000 years ago for the original warriors. In this project, the artist also learned the local copyists’ technique based off the ancient practice.
Together, India and China represent ⅓ of the world population and both have a similar gender imbalance. This is because of the preference that parents give to having a son; the number of single men has been increasing since the 1980’s as well as the misuse of ultrasounds to choose the sex of the child. This has detrimental consequences for the women in Asia including kidnappings of children and women, forced marriages, prostitution, and more.
Nourry met the 8 orphan Chinese girls that inspired the artworks through the non-profit organization The Children of Madaifu. She photographed the girls during her visit to their villages in August 2012 and used the portraits as models for the sculptures. Nourry series that go beyond the sculptures and does good, too:
With the idea of continuity in mind, Prune works hand-in-hand with The Children of Madaifu to support the education of the 8 little girls for a minimum of 3 years thanks to the sale of the 8 original sculptures. In addition, each one of the little girls will be invited to the exhibition in Beijing in order to meet their terracotta double. The girls will also receive a 30 cm artist proof of Prune’s Mini Terracotta Daughter.
Thus, each collector who acquires one of the 8 unique original terracotta sculptures supports the project, as well as 3 years of the education of the little girl depicted in the Artwork.
Terracotta Daughters has travelled the world, and now they are in New York City. From September 11 to October 4, you can find them at China Institute.
French artist Framix released a short film/music video called “The Mistake”, a wild west adventure with bunnies, pterodactyls, and giant tarantulas and iguanas. The animation starts with epic composite landscapes and by the end becomes a neon video game inspired fantasy world.
Studio Swine‘s Azusa Murkakmi and Alexander Groves specialize in creating exquisite designs out of discarded objects (aka trash). For the pair’s latest project, they turned to an alternative unwanted material: discarded locks of human hair. With it, the designers at Studio Swine created Hair Highway, a series of beautiful functional and decorative objects that mimic the look and texture of hardwood but are in fact made of human hair. Mixed with resins and dye, the hair turns to a hard material, one that becomes a potential functional and decorative piece of art work. Each of the objects in the series looks as if it is carved from tropical wood, horn, and tortoise shell yet they were produced at a fraction of the cost with the human hair. According to the duo, hair is in many ways a perfect sustainable resource. It grows up to 16 times faster than many tropical hardwoods, and it’s incredibly strong as well.
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BOOK 5 SNEAK PEAK CONTEST!
To get you ready for the release of Book 5 dust off your tablets and fire up your copy of Photoshop because today we continue the contest to give away a free copy of Beautiful/Decay Book: 5 to the fastest gun in the wild west. Each week we have been releasing a new piece of Beautiful/Decay cover to get you guys ready for the upcoming issue. The rules are simple: Be the first person to piece together the cover of the Book:5 and email the completed image to email@example.com, and your speed of hand will be rewarded with a free copy of the book you just solved. In case you are just tuning in, be sure to check out the B/D News Category of the Blog for the previous missing pieces. So wrangle up your magic lassos and get busy winning!