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Photographs Of Abandoned Dogs Explore Artists Own Crippling Depression

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By photographing emotionally troubled dogs suffering from abandonment and aggression, the artist Martin Usborne chronicles his own painful struggle with depression. His recent series “Nice to Meet You” tenderly traces unknowable canine narratives by carefully placing the animals behind surfaces and materials: a wet glass pane, a cloud of smoke, pressed flowers.

In distancing the viewer from each creature, the artist paradoxically allows for a heightened level of intimacy with each dog; behind a haunting waterscape or transparent white shroud, each set of eyes glistens and each pointed nose seems to poke through the barrier, begging for closeness with the viewer.

In distorting space with long exposure times and unevenly textured surfaces, Usborne also blurs the notion of time; the animals appear ghostly, shadowy, and otherworldly. As each image leads us farther into this ethereal and lonesome dreamscape, we bear witness to the profound confidences of these gorgeous creatures, and they stare back, inviting viewers to empathize.

Ultimately, Usborne’s canine subjects recall our own murky and lonesome pasts, mirroring the dark places that we normally keep hidden within ourselves. In juxtaposing everyday statements like “I’m fine” and “I also work at the bank” with the charged photographs, the artist paints a portrait of isolation; he himself often repeated automatic phrases like “Nice to meet you” and “You look great” when in the midst of his depression. These animals, partially hidden by fog and fabric, serve as surrogates for we who hide behind words. If only for a moment, these vulnerable faces of dogs remind us that we are not alone; in lending us their quiet companionship, they become our confidantes. (via Design Boom)

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Stephanie Wiegner

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Storybook worlds unfold in the photographs of Stephanie Wiegner, a German born artist currently getting her MFA in Storytelling at Konstfack University College of Art, Craft and Design in Stockholm, Sweden. Extremely creative portraits, along with dreamy landscapes, Stephanie finds a way to keep her muted palate extremely saturated, and it has me captivated!

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Fashion Photographer Treats Old Negatives With Chemicals To Create Surreal Distortion

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Dutch fashion photographer Rohn Meijer applies a chemical cocktail to old negatives in order to produce stunning effects of surreal color and distortion. This idea occurred to Meijer when he discovered some old negatives that were damaged by moisture. He then decided to concoct his own chemical-water treatment (the specifics of which he’d like kept secret) that would interact with the silver nitrate on the back of the negatives and enhance the effect of crystallization. Though he does like to treat entire negatives with the caustic bath, he will sometimes deliberately apply the cocktail to certain parts of the photograph in order to draw out or deepen the effect.

“What I’m looking for is the way that colors play out, sometimes a bleeding effect, other times more harsh effects,” he says. “It’s a different kind of developing I’m doing, it’s not done in a laboratory.”

Meijer claims that 90 percent of each batch he creates is trashed, but apparently, he has a large arsenal of film that he doesn’t mind tossing as they were most likely going to end up in the garbage anyway. (via wired)

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Malerie Marder’s Powerful Photographs Of Sex Workers

Malerie Marder - photograph

Copyright Malerie Marder, Courtesy Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects, New York

Malerie Marder - photograph

Copyright Malerie Marder, Courtesy Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects, New York

Malerie Marder - photograph

Copyright Malerie Marder, Courtesy Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects, New York

Malerie Marder - photograph

Copyright Malerie Marder, Courtesy Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects, New York

Malerie Marder’s powerful images of nude women become that much more provocative when a viewer learns that the subjects are sex workers.  Made over the past five years in Amsterdam and Rotterdam Marder sought to capture the diverse population of women in The Netherlands who support themselves and their families through legal prostitution.

The women are, in her words:

“part hallucinatory and part real, [they] intrinsically have a different relationship to their bodies…Women’s bodies hide as much as they reveal.  I thought of Aphrodite, working single mothers, odalisques, adulterers and enigmas…The thought of how they got there was deeply troubling.  My camera was a passport into a gray, hidden world; the result of a liberal society where free will is a question mark.”

Anatomy
is currently on view at Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects in New YorkClearly referencing the physicality of the work the exhibition title also plays off Oxford scholar Robert Burton’s encyclopedic tome that was inspired by his recurring bouts of depression, The Anatomy of Melancholy.

With this body of work Marder manages to capture her female subjects as simultaneously objectified and exposed, as well as individualized and empowered, albeit in a unique way.  Their stories are written in their expressions, which are equally as compelling as the fact that they are nude.  Hung salon style, the show should not be missed and runs through December 21.

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Tal R

I’ve been following the work of Copenhagen based artist  Tal R for over a decade and it blows me away how timeless and exciting his works are. He is one of the few painters working today that continuously experiments and shifts his technique and work without ever losing his distinct style.

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1000TimesYes

1000_boxCHRISTOPHER R. WEINGARTEN is a Brooklyn-based freelance music journalist whose work regularly appears in the Village Voice, RollingStone.com, Revolver and much more. In 2009 he vowed to review 1,000 new releases over Twitter.At the end of 2009 Weingarten set out to collaborate on a book version of the Twitter reviews with Article.

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Awesome Video Of The Day: Running on Seeds Ai Weiwei Protest at Tate Modern

 

On May 1st  three american art students decided to jump the barriers surrounding Ai Weiwei’s Sunflower Seeds piece at the Tate modern’s Turbine hall. This action was in protest against the barrier, against the original intentions of the work being inhibited by health and safety (originally museum visitors were to walk on the seeds), to support the release of Ai Weiwei by the Chinese government, and promote freedom of speech and art. The biggest surprise in the video comes when dozens of other museum members joined the three students in a spontaneous group protest. Now that’s power to the people! Watch the full video after the jump!

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Michael Salter Recycles Styrofoam Into Giant Robots

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A digital arts/new media professor at The University Of Oregon, has found a clever, new way to recycle Styrofoam. He builds gigantic robots out of it. The robots are massive and according to artist Michael Salter, reflects the local streets he sees everyday. It’s not the livelier sections,  but the mundane, plain parts which inspire him to create. It’s a bit hard to see the connection to this statement because there is nothing plain or boring about his Styrobots. Perhaps what the artist means is that they embrace quiet, domestic scenes reminiscent of these faceless places, which is true.

Exhibited in about 20 museums to date, the Styrobots can stand 16 inches to 22 feet high.  Various displays have shown them upright, sitting, holding hands with a tiny friend, surrounded by a smaller group or headless and torn apart. The standing bots embody characteristics mirroring the lead character in The Iron Giant. For those not familiar, the animated movie centers around a giant war robot who crash lands in a small town and befriends a young boy.  The Styrobots have the same gentle giant quality displayed in the movie.

Salter finds his material through donations.  Styrofoam is primarily used for packing but can be utilized as pipe insulation and preventing roads from freezing over. The material itself, polystyrene is extremely flammable and carcinogenic. When lit, it has the capacity of releasing 57 different kinds of chemical by-products.  (faithistorment)

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