Photographs of abandoned toy factories are haunting. Taken by various photographers around the world, we see what’s happened after production has stopped and employees stop showing up to work. Some places are left in mid-production, while others have been ransacked by graffiti. In other places, they were defeated by nature.
Illustrating a range of factory conditions, the most unnerving photos are ones that depict these places as ghost towns. They feature cracked doll heads, broken doll arms, and soiled teddy bears. There is an air of mystery about them, and beg the question of, “what happened?” Why did they suddenly pick and leave?
What makes these photographs unnerving is the juxtaposition of toys and abandonment. We think of things like dolls and bears as being innocent. They signify childhood, a time in our lives that shouldn’t be so dark. Instead, we see toys having to face harsh realities of time, wind, snow, and more. Nothing depicts this better than the Isla de las Munecas, or the Island of the Dolls (above). While actually a floating garden, this space of land is occupied by several hundred dolls that have severed heads, limbless bodies and with empty eye-sockets. It was originally conceived as a memorial for a girl that was drowned in a canal, but has since fallen in disrepair. (Via io9)
Salutpublic is a graphic design studio based in Brussels. They started in 2002 and specialize in book design, architectural identity of graphic design, and web design. They invite you to take a look at their new website!
Wow! Jason Hackenwerth brings a whole new meaning to the term balloon animal. His creations are more akin to balloon creatures resembling, perhaps, lifeforms of the deep sea or lifeforms viewed under a microscope. Conceived from the artist’s imagination, beautifully sketched, and sometimes consisting of more that a hundred individual balloons, these sculptures take life within the large spaces of museums, galleries, the street, and, if you’re lucky, right before your eyes as a performance piece. I’m particularly fond of the wearable art… how’s that for a party outfit!?
Does anyone even go to the movies anymore? Now with everything from Netflix to Hulu and a million other choices in between you can see the latest celluloid features in the comfort of your own portable device. But what about porn films? Can you even see a skin flick in a theater these days? Now that Times Square in New York has cleaned up its act I wouldn’t even know where to catch the latest porn on the big screen. You might have to travel abroad to check out a xxx in a proper theater today. In the meantime, here’s a look through a collection of pre-AIDS 60’s and 70’s erotica movie posters.
Most of these are pretty tame. In fact mainstream fashion spreads are more risqué these days. Aside from the nude frontal muff shots they were pretty conservative back then when it came to publicity. All the suggestion is in the titles which converse to that genre of “dumb speak” where it’s painfully obvious what’s going to happen once you start watching. Some also play into the success of popular titles from that period. A few of the better ones are Flash Pants, Love In 3D, Hot Lunch and School Of Hard Knocks. Perhaps the most popular title Debbie Does Dallas released in 1978 has some interesting history. The lead character played by actress Bambi Woods actually tried out for the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders but was cut during auditions. The film wasn’t shot in Dallas but around New York City including Brooklyn College’s athletic field and Pratt Institute’s library. Both took place without either school’s knowledge. (via juxtapoz)
Photographer Minh Tran captures the raw, gritty nightlife of Portland in his series Nights, Camera, Action! The images simultaneously surprise with their intimacy and reflect what one might expect in a Portland night out complete with some PBR cradling. It’s a fun, seemingly endless scroll of people who just look like a real good time. When you make it over there, make sure to keep an eye out for a Stevie Wonder cameo.
Sacha Goldberger‘s done it again, capturing the spark of magic realism in a world similar to his Super Grandma series. This time, his photographs look like snapshots from an alternate super-history: one where Captain America poses for a 17th Flemish painter, the Hulk is super fancy, and Wolverine struggles mightily to dress himself in the morning. The series, called “Super Flemish,” shows a softer side of iconic childhood heroes and villains. Rather than valiant, Batman strikes a contemplative pose; beside him is a stoically dignified Robin. Alice of Wonderland fame seems grown up and wiser, perhaps having taken some of her own advice. Hands folded modestly, Wonderwoman looks almost docile.
“The collection demonstrates the use of 17 century techniques counterpointing light and shadow to illustrate nobility and fragility of the super powerful of all times,” reads the artist’s statement. “… The superheroes often live their lives cloaked in anonymity. These portraits give them a chance to ‘fix’ their narcissism denied.”
Goldberger’s photo series reframes modern heroes in a way that’s almost mundane but still removed enough by a handful of centuries so as to seem magical. Instead of fighting world-eaters and galactic villains, one could imagines them instead taking tea in the garden and brooding over their eighth praline — or whatever it is that’s hip in the county of Flanders.
He also pulls back the mask to show something undeniably human. “As science fiction meets history of art,” Goldberger says, “time meets an inexhaustible desire for mythology which is within each of us.”
Created by art director Jonathan Bréchignac, Joe and Nathan is a design studio based in Paris. These incredible carpet drawings were all hand drawn with Bic pencils and pens. Meant to reflect the size of Muslim prayer carpets, these meticulous works are rich in pattern and detail. Inspired by different types of art (French roman, traditional Japanese, native American and Mexican) and also military camouflage and animal patterns, Bréchignac combines these patterns and genres and breathes new meaning to each of these forms while creating something completely new and unique. If you look closely, you can identify a hand drawn QR code in the four corners of each carpet. Each code is related its own page on thecarpet.net. This detail relates the physical form of the carpet to an abstracted and interactive virtual form, adding a whole new dimension to these amazing two dimensional illustrations. (via my amp goes to 11)