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Nude BodiesTransformed Into Flora And Fauna

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Cecelia Webber‘s collage work features tessellated figures and limbs of the human body arranged to form images of plants and animals. Webber photographs nude models – including herself – in various poses before she digitally edits the images, cutting and coloring them to form particular parts of the new image. The final product features different bodies and body parts posed in the same positions. Many of the pieces take months to finish, but the longest image – the rose – took her a year to complete because of how tricky the angles were to capture and arrange. Webber creates an image with such a high resolution that they can be printed up to 6 feet tall, a size that would make the tessellated bodies even more pronounced and captivating.

“Each image takes many stages to create. I start by researching photos of the creature or plant I’m trying to create and then sketch poses I want to photograph in a notebook…I never warp my models or edit them to change them – it is important to me to portray real natural bodies. Once I have my photos I start laying out my piece and playing with colour and arrangements…Many drastic transformations take place during this stage, so it’s sort of magical, because so many different variations are possible. I feel many possibilities at once but the true form of my subject slowly emerges.” (via daily mail)

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Adam Parker Smith Comic Interventions And Alterations

Whether its an image of a pizza with a phalic sausage sticking out of it or a large mural of ornate pattern made out of plastic flowers and cheap snack food the art work of Adam Parker Smith has a tongue in cheek comic conceptual approach that will make you think, laugh, and say “why didn’t I think of that” all at once. I especially love his tapestries made out of hundreds of friendship bracelets. See these and more after the jump.

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Apak’s Microcosm Paintings

Apak is a husband and wife duo who live and work in Portland, Oregon. Aaron and Ayumi Piland produce vibrant scenes where tiny explorers seek out and cultivate miniature landscapes. These floating microcosms exist in an endless galaxy and depict an intersection of nature and technology in harmony. The paintings come across as hopeful reflections on our interaction with the world around us as well as the unexplored universe.  

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Chris Kerr’s Novus Mundi

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Chris Kerr uses the fantasy aesthetic of wizards, unicorns, beer cans, and psychedelic swirls; but in his best work Kerr adds a disorienting dose of reality.  In the process creating what philosophers might describe as a parallax view.  Kant referred to this sort of arrangement of irreconcilable ideas as antimony, the purpose of which is to create a “decisive experiment, which must necessarily expose any error lying hidden in the assumption of reason.”  In Kerr’s work, where we see both the hip iconography and reality, something starts to skew inside our heads.  It’s a message written in two languages which you already know how to read, but it takes a long time to read them together.

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Amos Chapple Documents Life In The Coldest Village On Earth

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It might be winter where you live, but the cold that you experience probably doesn’t compare to this. New Zealand-based photographer Amos Chapple went on a two-day journey from Yakutsk, the coldest major city on Earth to Oymyakon, the coldest village on Earth. Oymyakon’s lowest recorded temperature is -67.7°C (-90°F) in 1933 while the average for January is -50°C (-60°F). Despite the intense weather, people have forged homes and lives in these places, and Chapple captures them in an unfiltered, documentary-style way. Just looking at them will send chills up your spine.

Residents of this extreme climate adapted to these conditions with little indoor plumbing. Vehicles that are outside heated garages must keep running to avoid freezing. And, their subsistence is meat because the ground is too cold to grow crops.

Chapple gives us some idea of just what this cold felt like, and he tells Weather.com “I was wearing thin trousers when I first stepped outside into – 47 °C (-52°F). I remember feeling like the cold was physically gripping my legs, the other surprise was that occasionally my saliva would freeze into needles that would prick my lips.” And for him, the hardest part of the experience was not the cold, but that his camera’s focus would freeze into place! (via Bored Panda)

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Photographer Khalik Allah Captures The Ups And Downs Of Nightlife In Harlem, From Smiles To Struggles

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Photographer and videographer Khalik Allah has been shooting candid photos on the streets of Harlem since 2012. Having developed a relationship of trust with those in the neighborhood he frequents, his photographs reveal, softly, but emphatically, a side of city life that is struggling and raw. Allah ventures into the night alone, with his camera and a few rolls of film, and through him we meet those he crosses along the way.

There is such a fine line, in photographing marginalized communities, between documentation and exploitation. When is the camera no longer communicating a reality and instead romanticizing the hardships? When has our empathy, or humanity, turned to voyeurism? Although addiction and poverty are notable characters in Allah’s photographs, they manage to refrain from becoming the central focal point, and his work extends itself with just as much heart as it does grit. Allah muses on his website about this very topic:

“I feel it’s impossible for any photographer to maintain objectivity. The photographer always has a literal point of view, camera choice, light choice, and many other choices; by default these choices will always make it a subjective form. Subjectivity doesn’t diminish the power a photograph may contain.”

Allah walks the line with a conscientious sort of fragility, and has catalogued a selection of work that shows darkness as well as light. There is a light that remains, and sometimes shines out. Allah has crept close enough to show us the souls through the eyes, in case we forgot to look for ourselves. (Excerpt from Source)

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Awesome Video Of The Day: Lykke Li- Untitled

I love this new video of Lykke Li trapped on an island, decked out in 5 inch heels, and stabbing at the sand with various knives. I have no idea what this is about but going along for the ride. It’s sexy, weird, dramatic, epic, and has a dash of goofiness (check out the knife play towards the end. Full video after the jump.

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Studio Visit: Sandeep Mukherjee’s Abstract Visions of Topography

As part of our ongoing partnership with In The Make, Beautiful/Decay is sharing a studio visit with artist Sandeep Mukherjee. See the full studio visit and interview with Sandeep and other West Coast artists at www.inthemake.com.

Klea and I visited Sandeep at Pomona College in Claremont, a small town about 30 miles east from downtown Los Angeles. Sandeep lives in LA, but as an Assistant Professor of Art he’s been provided with a studio on campus (lucky him!). After getting a bit lost and stopping for a quick lunch at a random Mexican family-style diner, where we feasted on tasty pozole and camarones del diablo, we finally made it to Sandeep’s studio. The space is big; it’s a wide, long room with a little office area at the front, and it’s extremely tidy and well organized— not one thing appeared to be out of place, and everything is color-coded and meticulously labeled. There was lots of work on the walls, and for the first few minutes Sandeep wildly darted about the room, enthusiastically gesturing, and breathlessly explaining this piece and that piece, and to be honest, I was having a hard time keeping up. But finally, we settled into his office area with cups of green tea and his high-octane energy mellowed a bit and we fell into easier conversation. Sandeep’s thoughts move quickly, and they don’t follow linear paths, instead they zig-zag, whizz, and dash about, but they circle back upon themselves, and are brought and held together by recurring themes. Much of Sandeep’s art is fueled by his curiosity about in-between spaces— when something is no longer what it was, but hasn’t quite yet become something else. His work explores the territory of collapsed tangibility and structure, when meaning and corporality become destabilized, allowing new understanding and perception to emerge. When discussing his current work, which incorporates painting and embossed drawing on Duralene, Sandeep said he was inspired by the idea of a landscape folding in upon itself, where the valleys, the mountains, and the horizon give way to abstraction, but the topography still manges to come through to the viewer. This mutability is enhanced by the film-like quality of Duralane, which creates a range of variation in the material— translucency, opacity, and dimensionality simultaneously exist within the striated colors and black spaces. Sandeep’s work reveals the nature of materials and the impression of the hand and body, as much as it emphasizes the amorphous quality of space and experience.

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