There is something immediately evocative about seeing balloons in unexpected places, a fact that photographer Charles Petillon takes advantage of in his series “Invasions.” Pure white balloons blossom out of weather-worn storage spaces and wreathe sunlit trees in an idyllic forest. They spill from the open door and windows of an unassuming home, looking for all the world like soap bubbles. Riotous and joyful, they remind us instantly of childhood, yet the name “Invasions” seems to hint at something a bit more insidious.
However, Petillon’s intention seems not to portray a sinister presence in our everyday lives; rather, he seems to want to create a metaphor that can change from scene to scene. The photograph set in a forest is named “Mutation 2,” exploring the way natural and manmade elements interact with each other. Another photograph, this time with balloons draped over a basketball hoop, is called “Play Station 2,” and poses the question of how the pastimes of youth have evolved in modern society.
“Invasions” can be seen at Maison Européene de la Photographie in Paris, France starting on February 20 until March 22, 2015. (via Design Taxi)
Artist Megan Straeder’s most recent work is a hanging installation, a display of brilliant light work in intricately woven nets placed descending a staircase. Appropriately on display at the Brisbane Powerhouse, her work breathes modernity and is reminiscent of 3D blueprints and 1980s computer technology. She cites Portal and the 2002 film Teknolust as visual inspirations for her work, she works with a lot of neon lights and futuristic elements. She plays with light and dark in this project, and makes use of a necessary darkness to be able to create such a stunning display of lights.
Straeder describes her piece as a “space age environment” inspired by “visions of the future”. Her work does reflect heavy inspiration from such decors and it might even remind you of Tron. Straeder describes this installation as a “vortex of light and color” and, the fact that the piece is hanging in a staircase reinforces its ethereal aspects. Enrichment Center constitutes the perfect décor for a houseparty featuring a futuristic techno soundtrack and probably lots of drugs.
The power of this pieces lies both within its sources of inspiration and the fact that, through these sources and her own creativity, Straeder has created a transmedia art piece and a reflection on what we perceive as futuristic imagery.
Jay Briggs is a London-based designer who uses unconventional materials and dark, empowering themes in the creation of alternative women’s fashion. The two lookbooks featured here, entitled Malleus Maleficurum and Melusina, draw on witchcraft and folklore as their inspiring influences, the former referring to the book written by inquisitor Heinrich Kramer in 1486, the latter referencing a European myth about a water nymph, which Briggs has given his own dark twist (you can read more about that here). Among his gothic designs are elaborate headpieces and couture that transform his models into dark specters and serpentine creatures, as beautiful as they are fierce. Incorporated into some of the pieces are taxidermied objects — from feathers, to entire wings, to hundreds of iridescent beetle shells — fused so seamlessly with the looks that we perceive the beauty of the designs before the grimness of their reality.
Briggs’ work is a product of extreme dedication and attention to detail. As he explains in an interview with Portis Wasp, the collection Malleus Maleficurum took 5 months of constant work to create, and all the intricate pieces were painstakingly embellished by hand. Beyond the dark details, what makes these two lookbooks so notable is the origin and depth of their influences — the history and the folklore — and how Briggs has reinterpreted them through contemporary, avant-garde fashion, enmeshing everything into a complete and original narrative. His style is consistently stunning, bringing an expressive and often macabre edge into the world of fashion. Visit Briggs’ website, Facebook page, and Instagram and follow him as he creates his upcoming designs.
The photographer for both these series is Fabio Esposito, whose incredible fashion and beauty photography can be found on his website, Twitter, and Facebook page.
Lara Schnitger’s show, Damned Woman, at Modern Art in London (July 9th to August 7th) seems to hail from another time has it explores the idea of women from every angle. Schnitger uses methods and media associated with the domestic realm–textiles and stitching–to further explore the female role.
I finally got around to watching the epic video project by TV On The Radio and I have to say that it doesn’t disappoint. Nine Types of Light is as much an album as it is a movie by TV on the Radio. The movie is meant to be a visual re-imagining of the record, and includes a music video for every song on the album. The band personally asked their friends and the filmmakers they admired to help direct the music videos. Tunde Adebimpe, the director for the full Nine Types of Light movie, storybooked the music videos together with interviews from local New Yorkers on various topics, including dreams, love, fame and the future. Tunde also directed the music video for Forgotten. If that’s not enough my longtime pal and super talented art dude Nick Kuszyk co-created the video for Repetition. Watch the hour long video in its entirety after the jump.
Yup this video is as weird as the image above. If you’re a big fan of Mike Kelly, Ryan Trecartin, and alternative psychedelic music, New Zealand based Connan Mockasin just might be your favorite new band. Watch the full video after the jump.
MICA 2012 printmaking grad James Bouché is doing some really dark, meditative work touching on themes of history, death, and decay. Yeah- it’s something we’d like. Bouché’s lithographs and screen prints of desolate wastelands, crumbling artifacts, and dead soldiers hit the tone pretty well. There’s almost like an arcane magic at work here, as though the artist is in touch with the ancient Mayans, transmitting 2012 death knells via ink on paper. But even if such sinister implications are completely imagined, the works’ ability to generate them in the first place is pretty special. But I’m still hoping that James is talking to the Mayans anyway. That’d be pretty cool.
Based in Amsterdam, photographer Aisha Zeijpveld specializes in conceptual portraiture and works as a freelancer for myriad commercial magazines. Characterized by an interest in presenting her subjects’ “nakedness and vulnerability yet simultaneously their potency and pride,” her photographs evoke quirky surrealism and capture the absurd while boasting simplicity and maintaining clarity.
By placing her models before color-blocked backdrops of muted pastel and neutral tones, the subjects remain the focus of her dreamlike photographs. While each subject is situated in a pose typical of traditional portraiture, Zeijpveld transforms each piece with her eccentric editing; hair is replaced by twisting smoke or scattered dirt, individuals sprout extra limbs, and eyes become shrouded in listless clouds. While the exquisite level of detail and precision in her work suggests that these alterations and additions were carried out digitally, Zeijpveld’s illusions are crafted entirely by hand using scissors, found objects, and other tangible elements. Ultimately, through these techniques, Zeijpveld successfully “aims for the absurd, allowing her photographs to be positioned on the interface of reality and dream-world.”