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Matt Johnson

I am really enjoying Matt Johnson’s work.  Based in Los Angeles, Johnson creates a variety of sculptures with a deadpan sense of humor.  Check out some more of his work after the jump!

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Seth Clark’s Abandoned Renderings

Seth Clark’s drawings give new meaning to “Beautiful/Decay) with his beautifully rendered drawings and painting of abandoned and collapsed buildings.

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Haunting Portraits Of Rape Survivors Bravely Confront Sexual Abuse

article-2522955-1a08ca1900000578-148_634x844“Before it happened, I thought about going to the Peace Corps. I wanted to be somewhere, get somewhere bigger. I wanted to grow.” “Every part of me was altered.” Rochester, NY – 2013

article-2522955-1a08ca5600000578-790_634x844“The officer asked me if I could describe my rapist. When I told him it was my husband, he dropped his notebook on the table and asked me, ‘Why are you wasting my time?’ They never did anything” “Once we have a place to talk about it, it’s like releasing a poison from inside us.” Rochester, NY- 2013

article-2522955-1a08ca5100000578-667_634x879“Imagine if someone erased your personality at age twenty. You have to figure out what kind of person you are without the first twenty years.” Ithaca, NY – 2012

article-2522955-1a08ca3500000578-18_634x843“I’m no longer afraid of what it means to be me. I refuse to let fear turn to regret. I am strong, and will be stronger.” Rochester, NY 2013

With her stunning series Trigger Warning, the photographer Lydia Billings works to “craft [a] collective voice” for survivors of rape and sexual abuse, and in doing so, she creates a complex visual and narrative mapping of diverse stages of human coping, healing, and experience. She powerfully avoids any impulse to re-victimize her subjects, granting them the power to speak out and to reveal only what they are ready to share. She first meets with each subject without a camera, allowing organic and intimate conversations to flow for as long as three hours. When she returns with her camera, she gets her shot in as little as ten minutes to one hour.

She cherishes her connection to her subjects and aims simply to make all “feel like they’re being seen honestly.” She explains, “I can celebrate every day the strength […] and beauty of survivors.” And her intent resounds throughout each piece; her sharp focus on the individual highlights steady tears, streaming locks of hair, set wrinkled brows, and unrelentingly magnificent eyes that stare straight ahead. With the focus on her subject, the various backgrounds take a back seat, becoming blurred and out of focus, and ultimately resting in peaceful deference to the details of the human face.

Trigger Warning also features a complimentary series of third person stories of assault alongside topographical shots of places in which rape could conceivably occur (note: none of the locations photographed are actual reported sites of rape or abuse). Sprinkled amidst the emotionally charged human portraits, the jarringly objective images are evocative of the work of 1970s New Topographics photographers, who shot man-made industrial structures and landscapes without the sentimentality or emotionality of early landscape photography. The power of this chapter of Billing’s work lies in an elegant slippage between fact and very real possibility, between emotional impulses and objective aesthetics; the dizzying relationship between neutral and candidly seen places familiar to us all—a wood, a church, a home— and simply told yet harrowing stories of very real traumas forces viewers to acknowledge the faces before us, to enter into dialogue with their experience, and ultimately, to applaud their courage. (via Bust, Daily Mail, and Huff Post)

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Nobuhiro Nakanishi’s Mesmerizing Layered Landscapes

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Nobuhiro Nakanishi - sculpture

Nobuhiro Nakanishi produces beautifully mesmerizing atypical landscapes.  The Osaka, Japan-based artist creates the works, which he called “Layered Drawings,” by photographing a scene over a period of time.  He then laser prints each image and mounts it to acrylic.  Subtle changes emerge in each frame, and once they are layered they portray an untraditional landscape.  As a viewer walks passed the work he or she experiences, to some degree, the passing of time within this particular place.

Interested in the way sculpture is defined by the thought, awareness and the method it employs, Nakanishi seeks to analyze the way we perceive the world.  Experiencing a photographic landscape is generally a two-dimensional process whereby a viewer stands in front of an image.  She can then empathize with the artist, seeing what he saw in the captured scene, but the experience is always a viewer looking at a flat surface.  With Nakanishi’s works, the results are wholly different.  The more physical, dimensional aspects of Nakanishi’s sculptural landscapes contain infinitely more detail.  The effect is a richer experience.  Our minds momentarily transport us to Nakanishi’s foggy forest in the morning, or to his hill overlooking a gorgeous sunset.  Nakanishi’s landscapes trigger our memories and senses in a way traditional landscapes cannot.

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London Duo AlunaGeorge Will Have You Dancing To Their Debut, Body Music

AlunaGeorge performing at the El Rey Theatre, September 12, 2013.

AlunaGeorge performing at the El Rey Theatre, September 12, 2013. Photo by Barry Belkin.

Aluna Francis and George Reid, better known as AlunaGeorge have one of my favorite records of the year. I’ll even forgive them for covering Montell Jordan‘s 90’s hit, “This Is How We Do It” even though I couldn’t help but sing along when they played it during their LA debut at the El Rey Theatre a couple of weeks ago.

Playing songs from their debut album, “Body Music” released on Vagrant Records this past July including my favorites, “You know You Like It”, “Attracting Flies“, and “Best Be Believing”. They also got the crowd really riled up when they played their collaboration with Disclosure, “White Noise” which the crowd acknowledged by jumping up and down through the whole song. Ending their set with, “Your Drums, Your Love“, the lights came on almost immediately signaling no encore even though most of the crowd was begging for more.

You can catch the band performing in Australia starting this Saturday at the Listen Out festival taking place in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth before heading back home for a full scale European tour that will have them on the road until the end of November. Check out their latest video for their infectious song, “You Know You Like It” and definitely try to catch one of their upcoming shows.

 

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Diederick Kraaijeveld’s Reclaimed Images

Exquisite relief sculptures by Diederick Kraaijeveld using discarded and reclaimed wood.

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Michael Ostermann

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Today’s daily dose of inspiration comes from Michael Ostermann. His work is a mixture of vector art and surrealist imagery. Some of his work reminds me of horror flick cover art… all bad acting aside, the cover would be awesome. Very skilled illustrator/designer. Ostermann currently resides in Austria.

 

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Doug McAbee’s Fun Time Structures

Doug McAbee’s sculptures look like something Alexander Calder would make if he had a better sense of humor.

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