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The Strange World Of A Dwarf Theme Park In China

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After stumbling across a photograph on the internet depicting people posed in a dwarf theme park, Belgian photographer Sanne De Wilde conducted a little research and discovered that the Dwarf Empire, or Kingdom of the Little People, is a real theme park that operates in the Yunnan province of China. In this park, dwarfs provide entertainment – singing, dancing, and various other forms of amusement – for tourists who visit the park. De Wilde eventually contacted the park’s manager and was invited to take photographs of the park and its 77 little people for a project she calls “The Dwarf Empire.” As soon as she arrived, she immediately felt compelled to consider questions regarding the morality of the park’s existence, namely if the workers were happy there, or if they felt more like they were being put on display and exploited. Additionally, “For me, it’s about how this kind of place can exist,” De Wilde says. “What does it tell you about a person who starts this and creates it? What are his intentions?” Founded by a tall, rich man who wanted to “do something good” for the little people, this park is a “Chinese charity dressed in commercial attire.” Much of the park appears run-down, but seems to have a solid foundation.

While she partook in the project of documenting the park, De Wilde, a tall blonde woman, found that she stood out in the park – for the tourists, she became a character in the show created at the park, something she found exhausting. She would even hide with the little people “to be free of the claws of the tourists…they want to touch you and have a part of you.” After she got home, De Wilde spent about a year culling through her images; during this time, she even received letters from some of the people claiming they’re happy and thankful to be working at the park, something that De Wilde viewed as a bit suspect.

From her statement, De Wilde writes,

 

“I embarked on an adventure with a handful of ethical questions about commercializing social care. Every story has two sides but in this place every question and every answer seemed contradictory. My adventure ended up as a modern anti-fairytale, a collection of images of my making, and theirs. My own trick forced upon myself.” (via lens culture and slate)

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Joe Van Wetering

Joe Van WeteringJoe Van Wetering is a 22 year old designer/illustrator that prides himself as a Chicago native. Right now he works for a little T-shirt company called Threadless, and if you haven’t checked out their tees before, you should probably do so right now. Joe is also damn good at Tetris and if that isn’t your cup of tea, he will take you down in ping-pong. Watch your back.

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Andrew McAttee’s Paintings Will Blow Your Mind With Atomic Explosions Of Color

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Andrew McAttee - Mixed Media


The artwork of Andrew McAttee erupts from the canvas in an atomic explosion of vivid colors and bold lines. His compositions suck you in like a vortex of cosmic proportion. Like an explosion of atoms, asteroids, fire bolts, and lightning, McAttee’s dynamic, large-scale paintings catch your eye and demand your attention. Each painting is layered in acrylic paint and spray paint in incredible, bright colors. The artist mixes flat lines and shapes like that in a comic book, with a variety of more dimensional elements.

This repetitious explosion present in McAttee’s work hints at themes of cause and effect. Both beauty and destruction can be seen in the breathtaking palettes and the collisions of the color combinations. It is almost as if his painting are molecules ready to erupt. The artist’s comic-pop style combines the occasional action word such as “Smash!” straight across his compositions. He is very apparently influenced by comic books and graphic novels, and also pulls inspiration from pop art and abstract expressionism. Street art and graffiti also has a hand at play in his multifaceted paintings, as he is known as a street artist as “STET”. Andrew McAttee is represented by Stolen Space Gallery in London and works and lives in the UK.

”My aim is to provide the viewer with a colourful riot of gravity-less forms set in highly layered, seemingly endless space with a sense of ambiguity, humour and celebration”
– Andrew McAttee

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Uniqlo’s Lucky Line Surprises New York City

Uniqlo Lucky Line

 

If you’re like us at B/D then you are just as anxious as we are about the surprise installation taking place on the 2nd floor of the Uniqlo NYC flagship store. The viral video released in February by Uniqlo only gave us vague clues but now more information has leaked in anticipation of the March 28th grand opening. To add to the mystery Uniqlo has just released the above video which gives us a bit more of an indication of what they’re up to. Whatever they’re doing it’s clear that it’s going to be an exciting collision of art and fashion (and Starbucks!)!
To add to the excitement Uniqlo is kicking off their Lucky Line where shoppers can create pixelated avatars, hang out in futuristic virtual worlds, and even stand in line at Uniqlo to win all sorts of giveaways and prizes. It’s anything but ordinary and a fresh take on shopping.

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Frank Photos Of Ku Klux Klan Members And Their Everyday Life

Members of a Louisiana based Ku Klux Klan realm joke around at t

Klansman during a unity gathering on his property in Virginia.

Carl, an Imperial Wizard of a southern-based Ku Klux Klan realm,

Photojournalist Anthony Karen has a specific and refined talent.  Karen’s website mentions that “his passion for photography began in Haiti, where he documented the various Vodou rituals and pilgrimages throughout the country.”  Even with this first series Karen displayed a knack for capturing groups of people, specifically those marginalized from larger society.  For his latest book White Power, Karen was granted rare access to photograph Ku Klux Klan groups freely.  Rather than portray familiar dramatic images of hate, many of the photographs depict mundane daily life, yet are somehow all the more unsettling.  Indeed, much of the series’ disconcerting undertones certainly springs from Karen’s ability to capture people with a certain candidness rare in front of a camera lens. [via]

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Two Rabbits 4th Of July Open Studio Sale

 

Our good buddies over at Two Rabbit Studios is having a big ol’ 4th of July print sale and BBQ. Go hang with them, listen to some good music, get some food, and most importantly get some amazing prints and posters for your walls at a fraction of the price!

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Studio Visit: Adam Helms

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Adam Helms is known for drawing radicals and constructing ominous wooden watch towers.  His current project is a series of 48 charcoal portraits in response to Gerhard Richter’s “48 Portraits.”  Richter’s work used encyclopedia photos to catalog the iconic males of Western culture.  Helms is also cataloging icons, but shifts focus to the dangerous fringes where civil wars and insurrections take place.  Ranging over the entire political spectrum, from anti-establishment and anti-government groups to official government troops, Helms’ portraits are intentionally politically ambiguous, stating “The politics are less interesting to me then this idea of a repeated identity.”

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Charlotte Dumas’ Unforgettable Photographs Of Mysterious Burial Horses Will Stay With You

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At the grave of a fallen soldier stands a pale white horse, regal and majestic, with his mane in tight braids. In Anima, the photographer Charlotte Dumas delves into the quiet moments in the lives of burial horses, known for participating in the funeral ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery. The magnificent equine creatures— who by day serve as living manifestations of moral ideals, patriotism, and righteousness— are caught by Dumas’s lens in nighttime moments of introspection and rest.

After the flags are folded, after the firearms have rang out, the horses remain in their small box stalls, resting on humble beds of shavings and hay. Shot under Dumas’s gleaming twilight lighting, the animals are pictured in the final minutes before sleep. In stark contrast with the colorful visions of their burial services, they are bathed in a moody Rembrandt-esque glow that streams in from metal bars, seemingly retreating into an unknowable equine psychology.

Yet within these peaceful moments, Dumas captures an anxious sense of unrest. A horse’s glinting black eye remains open as he twists his neck, revealing waves of muscle under short-clipped fur; a long nose, its hair worn away by a bridle’s noseband, pokes out into the light, emerging from sleepy darkness. The neck and back of the creature is fixed in the frame, isolated from the rest of the body, as he goes to stand upright, his withers stained with manure.

The horses range in age: some wear the grey fur of youth, while others are pure flea-bitten white. Seen here, it is as though the horses cannot escape the atmosphere of the cemetery, confined within their dark stalls forever by some invisible knowledge of death. Take a look.

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