Dude. Just. Whoa. Heavy metal/wizards in winter/hesh lights.
Nowadays, it’s not uncommon to see people with copious amounts of tattoos on their arms, legs, and head. But, it wasn’t that long ago that these permanent adornments were only found on a very specific group of people – prisoners. Tattoos back then were markedly different than their modern counterparts, and some were preserved for posterity in formaldehyde. The tiny pieces of history are an eerie but a fascinating look at the past.
The designs of early tattooing were much simpler than they are today. Instead of the needles we’re familiar with, prisoners would use crude tools like razor blades, broken glass, paper clips, or wires. Ink was substituted for pencil refills, charcoal, watercolor paints, or crayons and mixed with water, fat, or urine.
At the beginning of the 20th century, a study of the prisoners’ tattoos began in the Department of Forensic Medicine at Jagiellonian University, and researchers wanted a way to document their findings. While photography might have been the simpler (and more obvious) solution, prisoners’ tattooed skin was removed and preserved.
The extractions, encased in glass, are small curiosities that don’t really look like tattoos at all. Removed from the context of the body, they are symbols for crimes like burglary, rape, and prostitution. (Via Scribol)
Artist Eugenio Merino produces overtly political sculptures. His witty work explores issues such as class, violence, war, religion. For example, the piece Redecorate Your Life is an ultra-realistic silicone model of a homeless man who seemingly fell asleep (or died?) while flipping through an Ikea catalog. His home, however, is simply the packaging of the items he was glancing at. Merino’s work cleverly comments on materialism, poverty, and homogeneity. His sculptures make a statement with a sense of humor while retaining a sense of gravity.
Street artist INSA paints graffiti murals that he then turns into gifs – called “gif-itis” – by photographing multiple frames of a mural he paints several times, then combining the successive images to create animated gifs. Animating these street murals allows for a viewer to engage with the street artist’s work without leaving their home. The murals exist in the real world as a static image, but when combined with technology, they become a moving image only accessible in the virtual world.
In 2013, INSA traveled to Kubuneh Village in Gambia to paint murals on local structures for the Wide Open Walls Project. He completed his most recent piece (the revolving skulls and hearts at the beginning of this post) a few weeks ago after spending 2 days painting 8 layers of the mural.
When I first saw the work of Suzanne Sattler, the first words that came to mind were whimsical and desolate. These delicate drawings express many conflicted emotions in such a fragile yet feminine manner. Focused on successful and failed relationships, she manages to incorporate a relationship between the concept of daily life and that of nature. Some of these narrative illustrations are presented in a monochrome landscape with delicately pencil markings, making them mysterious, whimsical and melancholic.
Christopher Norris is Steak Mtn. His fascination with horror films is immediately evident as a heavy sense of dread and decay courses through his designs. His newest body of work employs a limited color palette and extremely confident line work on vintage book pages. Skulls, dripping flowers, reapers, and grotesque faces are rendered with vibrancy to create a series that explores the afterlife with exuberant clarity.
Steven Kenny’s portraiture and figure paintings form a vibrant commentary on the nature of balance, sexuality, and that fickle concept: transcendence. Controlling a unique penchant for lighting and surrealism, Kenny has filled a rich portfolio with figures and dynamic echoes that pervade every sense with which we associate being alive.
The folks over at the Chiizu have just relaunched the app and totally revamped their content publishing platform. It’s easier than ever to browse the shop and preview artists themes like Junko Mizuno, Aya Kato, Jesse LeDoux and Skwak.
Chiizu partners with artists and designers from around the world to bring exclusive visual content to your fingertips. The brand new publishing platform acts like a gallery so every theme you buy supports the artists you love. Chiizu’s artist content is exclusive, you won’t find it on any other photo decoration app.