Adventure photographer David Heath delicately captures the enchanting land of Burma, showing its shockingly stunning, exotic beauty. Over the course of five years and after taking eight individual trips to this mysterious place, Heath has completed a masterpiece of a collection of photographs radiating with natural beauty, and dripping with color. This incredible series, now available in print as a coffee table book, is a tribute and celebration to the lush culture and land that is Burma.
“From the moment I first set foot in this magical land, I fell under its spell. I found it to be one of the most enthralling and visually captivating countries I have had the privilege to explore – truly a photographer’s paradise,” explains Heath, “I aspired to convey the soul of the beautiful Burmese people, their mystical culture and mysterious customs, in the most artistic way possible”.
Burma, a place not many people can say they have traveled to, has become a place of comfort for Heath, as you can see in his photographs. He captures subjects with such love and allows such a strong authenticity to remain within them. Heath uses no flash, only natural lighting in order to show the true, authentic nature of this amazing culture. Traveling through Burma by boat, canoe, train and foot, Heath shows us remote and rare perspective of this captivating land. Each image is a remarkable adventure where we can see ancient temples, colorful and traditional Burmese clothing, busy street markets, tribal face tattoos, and the sparkling, eager eyes of the children of Burma. We are able to experience a culture that seems a world away through the intimacy of David Heath’s travels.
Celebrated artist Alberto Giacometti once said, “The object of art is not to reproduce reality, but to create a reality of the same intensity.” Giacometti was an artist noted for his abstraction and deconstruction of the human form, which he depicted through a multitude of sculptures, paintings and drawings in elongated shape and scumbled lines. Figurative paintings and portraiture are nothing new, yet subgenres of portraiture continue to emerge, survive and move us. The common phrase “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” aptly applies, and the activation of perception, observation and process are represented in beautiful and intricate ways in the four contemporary artists whose work is featured here. Featured artists include: Karim Hamid, Colin Chillag, Borondo and Angela Fraleigh.
Cod.Act’s Pendulum Choir is an original choral piece for 9 A Cappella voices and 18 hydraulic jacks. The choir stands on tilting platforms, constituting a living, sonorous body. That body expresses itself through various physical states. Its plasticity varies at the mercy of its sonority. It varies between abstract sounds, repetitive sounds, and lyrical or narrative sounds. The bodies of the singers and their voices play with and against gravity. They brush and avoid each other creating subtle vocal polyphonies. Or, supported by electronic sounds, they break their cohesion and burst into lyrical flight or fold up into an obsessional and dark ritual. The organ travels from life to death in a robotic allegory where the technological complexity and the lyricism of the moving bodies combine into a work with Promethean accents. (via)
For her series Beautiful Bodies, the photographer Agnieszka Rayss shoots off-beat images of bodybuilders; in the process, the artist both defines and challenges the notion of physical attractiveness. Each provocative shot, capturing a builder scantily-clad in a bikini or a speedo, is a powerful testament to the human desire to craft our bodies according to our wills; depending on the viewer, they might read as either a condemnation or an affirmation of extreme fitness practices.
Unlike Brian Moss, whose enchanting portraits of bodybuilders can be found here, Rayss works within a distinctive color palette; rich copper, teal, and white hues dominate her images, granting them a moody and otherworldly quality. Rayss’s subjects all seem to rely heavily on bronzers, defining their muscled figures with deep tans. In this way, they look inhumanly sculptural, like bronze statues of ancient warriors. Their metallic sheen stands in place of clothes; though nearly nude, they look somehow impenetrable, thickly armored.
Beautiful Bodies is set in an undefined location that we might presume to be a gym. Against a muddy-colored wall, the bodybuilders appear rough and powerful; the walls are marked with their chalky handprints, lending the models some inherent and mysterious grit. In relative repose, Rayss’s subjects display their bodies, caught between moments of exertion. As viewers, we are forbidden from seeing the extreme exercises that caused paint to be scratched away from the gym surfaces, but the mere presence of these formidable bodies create an atmosphere of inescapable suspense and anticipation. Take a look. (via Feature Shoot)
Two brilliant artists, Amanda Charchian and Jose Romussi, have collaborated and created and incredibly dreamy, breathtaking series. LA based artist Charchian has a very unique style of photography that emphasizes the human body in creative, innovative ways. This combined with Chilean artist Romussi’s technique of embroidery on photograph, brings an entirely new focus on the figure. In their collaboration series, the scene is set in a dramatic black and white, bringing an unearthly white glow to the subjects. A mysterious aura can be seen in each surreal image, with both figures embodying a ghostly feel. One aspect of this series that is so intriguing is the choice in wardrobe and makeup. The subjects both sport little to no clothing, but what little they do have on is somewhat theatrical and reminiscent to a different era. The makeup is equally dramatic, with each figure having stark white or jet-black eyebrows, with black, heart shaped lips. Each scene mystifies the viewer while intriguing them into the next situation.
Both artists’ indistinguishable style shows through in this captivating, collaborative series. Charchian’s interesting use of aesthetically pleasing positions of the body still ring true, while Romussi’s embroidery adds a whole new element that skews your way of seeing. This hazy, ethereal series often displays a duality of bodies that is reminiscent to the internal and external self. Prints of this stunning series are available for purchase on her website. Make sure to follow her Instagram for more amazing photography.
The street art of Brad Downey is a special breed of subversive. Downey approaches the city with the open mind of a child but interacts with it in all seriousness. His work emphasizes city features and spaces that are often quickly passed by. Downey then interacts with these spaces in an artistic manner – a manner which strangely feels as natural as their utilitarian purposes. I find myself wanting to try many of these simple pieces out in my own neighborhood.
Shelley Heffler is a mixed media visual artist and educator based in Inglewood, California. Interested in globalism and the shifting of political and social boundaries, she creates “Altered Paintings,” painted sculptural objects that resemble road networks and natural topography. Using sharp lines mixed with layered tones, her works invoke everything from urban sprawl, to forested hills, to reinterpretations of famous landscape paintings (readers will be able to identify Van Gogh’s The Starry Night above).
In the following artist statement provided on her website, Heffler describes territory as at once fluid and ideological:
“Cartography and abstraction are two languages used in my work. I am interested in engaging the viewer on a journey that preexists language and generates ideas and messages that relate to the viewer personally and metaphorically. The works explore global concerns and shifting boundaries of society and politics. Imagery is derived from a variety of resources such as transit systems, ancient ruins, floor plans, city grids, topography and geography; time and space coexist in a compressed world.” (Source)
From a geological perspective, the structure of the earth is determined by strata, tectonic plates, and natural changes over time. Human society has overlaid these formations with urban habitats and demarcations of nation and identity. What Heffler seeks to explore in her work is the interplay between these natural and artificial concepts of terrain, deconstructing borders and thereby opening a discussion about our spatial relationship with each other and the lands we inhabit.