In Patty Chang’s video art piece, “In Love”, she makes out with her mom and dad… I am horrified. I literally squirmed through the entirety of the video. I don’t really know what to say about this… all I know is that I feel like crying and I don’t know why.
Women have had the opportunity to rise against the perfection of the ad model. For instance, Jes from The Militant Baker goes against the grain by reinventing the black and white, over-perfected couple shots seen in Abercrombie and Fitch’s stores by posing, as a plus size model, with the regular Abercrombie male model. Many ad campaigns [Dove, Hanes, etc] have also done the same thing countless of times by producing content that celebrates the fact that beauty comes in every shape and size. These ads, however, almost never feature men, but only women.
So what happens with men? Do they not go through the same? Are they not as affected by the distorted ideals of beauty as much as women are?
In this photo series, Jenny Francis and The Daily tabloid newspaper, The Sun [England] teamed up to show how real men compare to the popular underwear ads that showcase the chiseled abs and faked tanned male models.
Four average looking men, stood alongside David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo, Freddie Ljungberg, and David Gandy to show off what a real life man would look like wearing the same exact underwear and standing in the same exact poses. The photos are quite funny, but they are also quite empowering as the provocative poses and the polarity of bodies shown in the comparisons further examine the different male body types out there, from short and thin, to tall and bulky. Just like women, many men are confronted with the issue of body ideals that are often impossible to achieve. (Via My Modern Met)
Shapes that appear familiar displayed in a symmetrical manner and playing with our imagination. Photographer Henry Hargreaves and food stylist Caitlin Levin have come together once again under Hargreaves + Levin to collaborate on a food project. This time using only fruits and vegetables and grouping them by monthly harvest.
From far, the whole picture looks like a perfectly arranged combination of shapes and harmonized color tones. Some of the shapes seem familiar until we come closer and discern the fruit and veggies one by one. We’re then able to see every curve, nook and cranny in detail. The mirrored images help create a symmetry. This process allows the fruits and veggies to become a design, a pattern within the picture.
The rendering is both astonishing and intriguing. On each small surface of the photograph, with the help of imagination we can envision creatures, insects and creative characters. Acting just like the Rorschach test, the combination of fruits and veggies trigger the mind to explore the picture and come up with a unique vision. The purpose of the project designed by Hargreaves and Levin is to ‘explore symmetry, natural beauty, and the way imperfections and inconsistencies often become the most breathtaking examples of nature’s artistry’.
The photographs above and below this text have been displayed to match the monthly order of the year.
Mexican photographer Alinka Echeverria’sThe Road to Tepeyac , for which she won the prestigious French prize HSBC Prix pour la Photographie is a typology of the backs of three hundred Mexican pilgrims on their journey to the Basilica de Guadalupe in Mexico city. This yearly pilgrimage is undertaken by approximately six million devout Catholics on the anniversary of the apparitions of the Virgin of Guadalupe in 1531 to the indigenous man Juan Diego. This journey is a manifestation of the iconic power of the Virgin, whose image was miraculously imposed onto Juan Diego’s cloak. Belief in the apparitions and their evidence, the ‘sacred image of a miracle and a miracle of images’, marks a turning point in the struggle for power of the Spanish conquerors, for whom evangelizing was imperative to the success of the empire. They successfully conquered the imagination using imagery as a tool for acculturation and domination in an already extremely visual indigenous culture.
The pilgrims photographed, carry their own reproduction of the Virgin – paintings, sculptures, posters or cloaks of the icon, taken from home and shouldered on their backs to the place of the apparition. The journey is an arduous one, a physical and spiritual undertaking with each pilgrim bearing their own evidence of devotion whilst enforcing their own personal relationship with the Virgin. Echeverria takes each portrait separately, which is then cut and transposed onto a plain background. This de-contextualisation is intended to raise the subject above the corporal world, making them appear like an isolated icon.
Seen as a series, each portrait creates a dialogue with the others. A narrative of interconnecting personal missions removed from the rest of the elements originally in the image. The sheer number of portraits helps to create a visual maze of similarities and differences. With the surrounding landscape removed we are struck by the contrasting richly colored Virgins and muted tones of the pilgrims.
Anyone who has ever pursued a liberal arts career has probably heard the opinion: that there’s no future in the arts, or at the very least, it’s going to be extremely difficult. While the latter is probably true (Rome wasn’t built in a day, and so on), the bias against the arts—often in favor of science and the trades—is highly prevalent in our public discourse.
Old Navy recently attracted some heat by releasing two “funny” toddler tees, both emblazoned with the “YOUNG ASPIRING ARTIST” motto, with “ARTIST” crossed out. Scrawled beneath are two alternative career paths: “Astronaut” and “President” (although, really, we don’t think these careers are any easier to attain). Twitter users voiced their offense, and soon after, artist Steve Ogden humorously modified the designs, overwriting “YOUNG ASPIRING OLD NAVY EXEC” with “ARTIST” and “HUMAN.” Here’s a response from the company, as published on artnet News:
“At Old Navy we take our responsibility to our customers seriously. We would never intentionally offend anyone, and we are sorry if that has been the case. Our toddler tees come in a variety of designs including tees that feature ballerinas, unicorns, trucks, and dinosaurs, and [they] include phrases like ‘Free Spirit.’ They are meant to appeal to a wide range of aspirations. With this particular tee, as a result of customer feedback, we have decided to discontinue the design and will work to remove the item from our stores.” (Source)
Overall, the initial designs and the subsequent outcry reminds us that we shouldn’t disparage our artists. For those who are determined, it is plausible to develop a career in such fields—and there is value in it. After all, who could live in a world without art? (Via artnet News)
Using salvaged materials Boston based artist collective !ND!V!DUALS create sculptural installations occupied by large-scale or life-size characters and creatures that are influenced by 1990’s cartoons, animations, and film set designs. Creatures and anthropomorphic beasts have been the focus of work as well as an interest in creating environments and transformative art experiences. The narratives are fairly open, but encourage viewers to be transported into the world of there humorous and playful sculptures. (via)
Melanie Authier’s paintings bring together visual contradictions into one imaginary space. By drawing upon the histories of abstraction and the strategies of representation, she presents improbable environments. A sense of disorientation comes about through the way in which colour, texture, line and shape compete for room within the canvas. Each work presents a brimming jostle of oppositions that the viewer is invited to bring into a certain order.