The deep sea has been immersed in total, complete darkness since the dawn of time….shrouded in mystery, blotted in the black of inky…ok, forgive me. Claire Nouvian has just produced a new photographic book called “The Deep: Extraordinary Creatures of the Abyss,” and it kind of blew my mind (hence instigating my attempted, British-accented attempt at a movie narration/poetry.) In crystalline detail, some of the strangest alien sculptures, etheral orbs of light, and mosntrous creatures have been exposed. Seeing as there as some estimated 10-30 million creatures down there we still haven’t discovered, in one of earth’s most plentiful habitats, I can only say…I can’t wait for the future.
In her ongoing series “The City,” photographer Lori Nix creates incredibly detailed scenes by hand in miniature, then photographs them. The result is an amazing collection forecasting scenes of danger and disaster. The pictures share some commonalities with Matthew Christopher’s “Abandoned America,” recently covered on b/d, but instead of finding places that have been left behind, Nix constructs them.
“In my newest body of work ‘The City’ I have imagined a city of our future, where something either natural or as the result of mankind, has emptied the city of it’s human inhabitants. Art museums, Broadway theaters, laundromats and bars no longer function. The walls are deteriorating, the ceilings are falling in, the structures barely stand, yet Mother Nature is slowly taking them over. These spaces are filled with flora, fauna and insects, reclaiming what was theirs before man’s encroachment. I am afraid of what the future holds if we do not change our ways regarding the climate, but at the same time I am fascinated by what a changing world can bring.”
The images are classically composed, with a balance of color and space. Even once the viewer is told that these are dioramas, it’s difficult to believe. The intricate details, realistic lighting, and cohesive scale make them absolutely lifelike.
“My scenes can be as small as 50×60 centimeters and as large as 182 centimeters in diameter. It takes approximately seven months to build and photograph a scene. I build it for one angle of view and never move my camera from that spot. I will change the lighting, the placement of the objects and re-shoot until I’m fully satisfied with the results.”
Nix’s apocalyptic visions are both familiar and fantastic. She presents a world on a tabletop that is beautiful and alarming.
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.
The title of Joseph Gerhard‘s series Unmade Beds is self-explanatory. Gerhard says he thinks of these photographs as “portraits by proxy of the person who just slept there.” It is interesting to think of these as art — no two alike, ever-changing, telling a story about your form and movement — a daily unintentional installation that speaks on your behalf.
Painter Jeff Muhs‘ latest series “Slipstream” features bright smears of color birthed from newsprint chaos. According to a press release, the series tries to bring the viewer to a “crossroad of intention and chance, where color and motion are freed from an objective context and becomes the subject itself.” The result is what feels almost like a vortex of hues that is floating in space, devoid of any real world shape or form.
According to Muhs’s biography, he draws much of his inspiration from the natural world. This influence is clear in the jewel-toned colors he uses and the organic way he allows the shapes to emerge from the background. Though there isn’t anything fabulously new about Muhs’s art, there is a meditative quality to it that makes you pause and take a moment to simply appreciate the colors of his work, much as you might do for a sunset. (via Dark Silence in Suburbia)
Ryoji Ikeda’s Test Pattern project, which was first shown in 2008, converts any data – from text to photo to sound to film – into barcode visualization and binary patterns of 0s and 1s. The visuals are set to a soundtrack, creating an overwhelmingly impactful experience with stunning black and white video. Throughout October, Ikeda’s project will be on display on five screens in Times Square from 11:57 to midnight each night until the 31st.
There have been many iterations of the Test Pattern project. This is the U.S. premier. Ikeda works primarily in Kyoto, Japan and Paris, France and is internationally renowned. His artwork is highly mathematical, and divided equally between sound and imagery. For all of the complex programming and equations that go into Ikeda’s work, the final product of Test Pattern is refreshingly simple in presentation, though monumental in scale.
In contrast to Test Pattern, Ikeda’s most recent work, Supersymmetry examines particle physics, a far loftier subject to tackle. Although it is beyond my own comprehension I’m going to have a go at it anyway. Apparently supersymmetry is an extension of The Standard Model, and helps to converge two types of elementary particle models, to explain how particles have mass. These two models have explained basic elements of our physical universe, but cannot explain everything, which is where supersymmetry helps to fill in the gaps. Ikeda’s installation is an experience that allows the viewer to witness his artistic vision of this phenomenon (I think…) (Via Papermag)
NYC based architect Si-Yeon Min, who received training from the University of Michigan and the prestigious GSAPP at Columbia University recently published an interesting limited edition book on creativity. Compiled from his work in a creative field, his book documents how off-the-wall thinking can lead to genuine discovery. The book strikes a chord with the print-lover in me, as each cover design features a different color. Just 25 copies published by Allied Operations.
Anne Lemanski‘s sculptures of various animals done in unique textile surrounding a copper armature are rich in symbolism. An eagle is composed of stitched-together dollar bill designs, while a pigeon is put together with pieces of a service worker’s uniform. A water bird is made of slick, oily latex. The sculptures are great, and the social, political, and environmental commentary are a bonus. Lemanski’s work, which “highlight[s] our admiration for animals as symbols, and our exploitation of them to suit our needs…” touches on a nice dichotomous conflict that adds some strong intellectual power to each piece. Coyotes, snakes, primates, and more after the jump. (via)