Japanese photographer Osamu Yokonami’s voyeuristic series Assembly features groups of young women who all dress the same. The eerie images are shot from a distance, making the viewer feel as if they’re spying on the troops. And with their backs turned towards the camera, you don’t know exactly what their motivations are. Although they don’t appear to be causing any mischief, we can’t be so sure.
Yokonami writes about Assembly, stating:
Each person has their own personality. I try to keep a bit of distance between us in this work. Then, the existence of each person disappeared and the existence of the group appeared instead. The strength and beauty as a collective entity stood out more by being in nature. I was attracted to the expressiveness of the group. (Via WeTheUrban)
French photographer Florian Beaudenon’s series Instant Life invites the viewer to relish their voyeurism as we spy on people caught from above. The intimate photographs features a variety of women living their everyday lives; they fix a bike, eat on the couch, and write in a notebook. Although we’re invited into their homes, we never see their face.
If you love people watching and interiors, then Beaudenon’s photographs probably pique your interest. The compositions are zoomed in enough so we can admire the fine details of their dwellings. Collections of books, sex toys, and shoes are all featured in the wood-floored homes. It doesn’t matter that we can’t fully see what these people look like – we learn enough about them through just the items they own and how they organize where they live. (Via Fast Co. Design)
Tucson boy Andrew Hayes creates industrial sculptures from books. His work, reminiscent of minimalist pieces from the 1960s and 1970s, uses seemingly simple manipulations to create beautiful compositions employing the use of color blocking and the glorification of materiality.
Drawing inspiration from the American desert landscape in his earlier works, Hayes created the foundation of his style through fabricating steel. After his studies, Hayes worked as an industrial welder. While bouncing between jobs, he found himself as a Core Fellow at the Penland School of Crafts in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Bakersville, North Carolina. During this time, Hayes began to explore with various materials and forms, eventually finding his way to the book. He states,
“The book is a seductive object to hold and smell and run your fingers through. I am drawn to books for many reasons; however, the content of the book does not enter my work. The pages allow me to achieve a form, surface, and texture that are appealing to me. The book as an object is full of fact and story. I take my sensory appreciation for the book as a material and employ the use of metal to create a new form, and hopefully a new story.”
Sticking true to the celebration of form and material, Hayes work is truly striking and exudes a sort of power associated with fabrication. However, the introduction of the book allows a softness that is not only a fun play on an aesthetic staple, but also hints at a element of elusiveness — as he does not use the contents of the books — his work invites an aspect of imagination for the viewer. (via iGNANT)
For Lost and Found, the photographer Will Ellis photographs objects collected from the deserted buildings, parks, and bays of New York City. Dating back to the first half of the 20th century, each recovered object is shot with the utmost care, regardless of condition or value. The artist’s long journeys in search of his discarded relics— traversing less frequented city spots with haunting names like Dead Horse Bay and North Brother Island— give historical and totemic meanings to each possession. Once relevant only to a forgotten child, a plastic toy shoe from the 1920s is studied under lights, archived by a seemingly objective lens, and repurposed as evidence of some imagined urban ancestry.
Ellis’s choice to incorporate animal bones into a few of the images strengthens the work’s genealogical impulse; a set of hospital keys, ripped from their locks and rusted beyond recognition, stands alongside a raccoon bone separated from its socket in time. Similarly, a horse bone from the city’s industrial age is visually equated with a pair of plastic doll arms; shot from the same angle, the eroded bone and muddied plastic occupy similar portions of the frame, each lit with expert precision.
As if part of a museum catalog, the series of 30 photographs provides a cohesive, if subjective, vision of history. Through the eyes of Lost and Found, the city’s children narrate its evolution, telling a visual story that begins with doll, touches on music book, and culminates in senior portrait. Ellis’s choice of a stark white backdrop and harsh lighting brilliantly avoids potential sentimentality; as the artist invites us into a distinctly nostalgic space, we are instructed to view the work with the utmost seriousness. Take a look. (via Feature Shoot)
I’m usually into very loud and boisturous paintings but there is something extremely rewarding in the quiet and subtle portraits by Shauna Born. Each modestly sized painting features a sitter looking blankly into the viewer. The sitters don’t do much in the paintings but the piercing looks in their eyes warn you of a hurricane of emotions that is to come.
This series, entitled Babel Tales, is a recent work of Danish photographer Peter Funch. To create each photograph, he sat at an NYC street corner with a tripod and snapped away, eventually finding common elements amongst all the pictures and compositing those elements into one shot. The result is something familiar yet very artificial – feeling almost as if each photo is staged.
In case you haven’t heard, the new, limited edition book-format B/D will be specially themed moving forward! Each issue will cohesively incorporate a chosen theme within all aspects of the book– from editorial, to featured artists, to the design and layout of the mag itself.
Here’s the best part: we wanted to open up the forum to all of you devoted readers! If we pick yours, we will send you one of our new books with your theme free of charge!
Some ideas us here at B/D have come up with are “Art & Commerce,” “Digital Domains,” “Rules are Made to be Broken,” to name a few. The themes you choose should be open enough to encapsulate a wide variety of contemporary expressions, but no so loose that just about anything could go into it. Examples of things that are too loosy goosy: “Figurative Painting,” “Artists of 2009,” “Skulls,” things that are way too specific: “Artists that use root beer as paint,” “Performance art in Central Park,” “Guys that incorporate mustaches into their imagery.”
You get the idea- so send away, we’re excited to hear from you! Please leave your ideas for book themes in the comments section of this post.