For Ruined Polaroids, William Miller uses a broken polaroid SX-70 that he stumbled upon at a yard sale; quickly discovering that its decades-old gears mangled the film and transformed the exposure, the artist submitted the the whims of the photographic relic, allowing it to form blurred and unpredictably patterned abstractions from his shots.
Within the “ruined” images, we find a surprising emotionality, with the faulty chemical process producing expressionistic renderings of a less literal kind of photographic memory. Cataloging the accidentally lovely results of mechanical happenstance, each shot enters a richly moody realm evocative of the work of mid-century abstract expressionists like Jackson Pollock or Mark Rothko. As the spastic movements of gears, chemicals, and fingers become the subject of the work, the artistic process overrides a predetermined result. Rather than serving as a record of a particular instant, Ruined Polaroids poignantly archives the accidental deterioration of a camera past its time.
Ultimately, the conceptual work also serves to refute contemporary understanding of the photograph. In her seminal work On Photography, published in 1977 at the height of polaroid popularity, Susan Sontag discusses the illusion of a photographic truth, theorizing that the photographer, unlike all other artists, is capable of disguising subjectivity for objective fact. Miller’s work expertly challenges this assumed power of the photographic medium, acutely presenting each image as evidence of its failures. The immediacy of the polaroid image only accelerates this process; printed instantly and held against some imagined reality, the bleeding lights and darks veer jarringly from what we expect from the camera. Take a look. (via Lost at E Minor and This Is Paper)
The documentary FOCUS follows the trials and tribulations of professional gamer Mike Ross as he trains for EVO, one of the biggest tournaments in his life. Ross, who recently signed with pro gaming team CompLexity, is one of the most passionate and well respected fighters in the entire Super Street Fighter 4 community. Watch the full documentary after the jump.
I’ve seen a lot of great paintings by Pearl in the past and was excited to feature her work in Issue: V of Beautiful/Decay. However I hadn’t seen much of her work until I stumbled onto her website today. The videos are hilarious and tie into her paintings nicely. This new discovery does make me wonder whether the video work came first or the paintings?
Mike Frederiqo is a 23-year-old Dutch illustrator with a healthy dose of talent and humor. You may have seen his other works circulating the internet, including his combinations of BAPE’s fashion logo with Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans, or his images of Sponge Bob as Coco Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld, Terry Richardson, and more. In his more recent series, he has taken his illustrative interpretations of the fashion world a bit further, utilizing the bodies and faces of high fashion icons and their collaborators to recreate famous logos. Among the images you’ll see Lagerfeld and choice model Cara Delevingne completing exaggerated backbends with elongated arms and legs to form Coco Chanel’s interlocking Cs; elsewhere, editor-in-chief Anna Wintour twists into the name “Vogue” (while holding what appears to be a Starbucks coffee). In an interview with Life and Times, Frederiqo explained his inspiration for the series:
“You see so many illustrators taking those famous logos and making fun of them — almost in a negative way. So, I wanted to do something in a positive way with the logos that were recognizable. And what is more recognizable than the Coco Chanel logo?” (Source)
Based in good humor and playfulness, Frederiqo’s stylish logo recreations have a way of grabbing our attention and making us laugh. Logos are a vital part of a brand’s identity, representing their international, high-ranking status and presence. Frederiqo’s illustrations remind us of the real human beings behind these labels; we recognize the logos (and the significance of their names in the fashion world), but when given faces, they become lighthearted, tangible, and funny. Frederiqo’s works poke fun while also nodding in homage.
Spanish artist Alica Martin’s dynamic installations of books flowing out of buildings is the perfect example of how a pile of mundane objects can be transformed into a powerful installation. Creating a wire and aluminum structure with thousands of books attached to the outside frame, Martin’s creates a waterfall of literature that spill into the streets as if a crazed librarian turned on the mother of all book faucets. Pages and book jackets flap in the wind mimicking the spontaneous and erupting movement of water materialized in solid form. (via mymodernmet)
James Charles, pop culture and dollar bills. A strange combination for an astonishing result. The artist transforms traditional portraits on bills into random movie characters, singers and artists. He only uses ink and paint to trace and re-write on the bills. The result is witty and fun to watch.
It all started out with random doodling on a couple of dollar bills. James Charles was not even aware of the treasure he was carrying in his pocket as he was spending the bills. He therefore decided to store them in a magazine, using it as a safe. The more he drew, the larger the magazine got. The mutant bills have their president’s faces changed into male and female pop culture inspired characters. James Charles added a script below the faces, naming or giving hints in case we miss them. Yoda, Einstein, Mister T, Willy Wonka, Princess Leia, Spock, Iggy Pop, Kiss and many others are altering the seriousness of the symbolic of money.
The artist drew on 5 dollar bills as well as on 100 dollar bills. The value of money is put aside here to focus on the true meaning of a paper bill components: paper and ink. So little and meaningless elements for such tremendous stakes. By associating easy recognizable pop features, James Charles is aiming to reach the mass. He has done it again more recently in Monstro Eyegasmica, a mix of popular iconographies such as The Kiss by Klimt or the use of sarcasm with some of the Disney characters. A series of paintings and collages blending pop culture and vibrant colored characters.
James Charles’ Monstro Eyegasmica series will be displayed at the Joseph Gross Gallery in New York until November 25th 2015.
Chris Pell is a 21 year old graduate from Brighton University. Pell is a very unique animator, photographer, and illustrator who uses religious symbolism in a majority of his work on Flickr. Just incase you were wondering, Pell loves “fantasy worlds, alchemy, soca music, mysticism, horror movies…” and the list goes on. He is readily available to take commissions and also has prints for sale upon contact.
Acclaimed photographer Gregory Crewdson is a master of creating creepy scenes that have an air of mystery, violence and drama about them. He sets his images in small town America, but not as we know it. He presents scenes laden with loneliness; scenarios that are surreal; moments that are unnerving. Taking stylistic cues from Steven Spielberg, David Lynch and Diane Arbus, there is a strong narrative to Crewdson’s work. He repeatedly visits certain locations and waits until a particular moment presents itself in his mind’s eye, and then he tries to represent that as accurately as possible.
His photos are moments of people in a strange sort of limbo, or some state of reflection, all bathed in a dramatic, cinematic light. A woman lies submerged in a flooded living room, it isn’t clear whether she is dead or contemplating what went wrong to cause the disaster in her house; a young girl sits up in bed at night time, either going over some sinister, violent plan, or deciding whether her nightmare was real or not; a woman stands in the middle of an empty street, taxi behind her, door still open and driver waiting. All of Crewdson’s images are filled with heavy subtext, something that is left unsaid. He talks about the mysterious worlds he creates in an interview with The American Reader:
I think that’s really kind of a beautiful point, that at the core there is something very childhood-like about the whole activity of building and constructing a world. My mom just recently reminded me that I used to build these little miniature worlds outside at our country house and populate it with little figures. That whole thing about trying to create a world – there’s something very connected to childhood and reverie and daydreaming and fantasy. (Source)
See more snapshots of his dreamlike worlds after the jump. (Via We The Urban)