Donna Ruff lives and works in New York. With her local paper as a starting point, she makes intricate repetitive cuts until an elaborate pattern emerges. The result resembles ornamental doilies and other textiles. Because she is doing this to current newspapers one could read into the work as a comment on censorship and alteration of truth within national news. From her bio: “Using unconventional techniques to make densely patterned drawings that refer to calligraphy and natural forms, she finds beauty and inspiration in sacred texts such as the Torah and the Qur’an, but also in the New York Times and the Manhattan phone book; in cathedrals, mosques and synagogues, but also in the warehouses of Chicago and Brooklyn.” (via)
Dutch photographer Teun Hock’s photographs are clever, eye-catching, and surreal. Consistently using himself to convey a peculiar character, he depicts a middle-aged man who is perpetually trapped in self-depreciating and humorous situations. He is stuck in the middle of an ice floe while his bag, hat, and umbrella are carried away on separate pieces; he hangs from a swinging chandelier; he is blindfolded and wearing a birthday hat while walking on the moon, and using a ladder to measure the night sky.
His process is very labor intensive and his work extends far beyond the traditional boundaries of photography. As explained by the artist:
“…There’s a big backdrop that I paint or build, or whatever’s needed, and I stand in the middle of that. Then I take a picture of myself in black and white and enlarge it. I do it myself in the darkroom with a little bit of help. Then I tone the picture sepia. And later I add oil paint. I color everything, but it’s transparent, so that you can see the picture underneath.”
In addition to his work in photography, he was commissioned to design and paint stained glass windows for the Grote Kerk of Dorecht, a medieval church located in the Netherlands.
Italy-based photographer Andrea Frazzetta gives us a little glimpse into the lives and rituals of modern healers from Lima, Peru. His project called “Urban Shamans” peeks behind the doors of the rear private shops where shamans, or the so called curanderos, perform their traditional mystical rituals which are not subject to the laws and orders of today’s world.
Up to this day, curanderos are trusted by the majority of Peruvians and are considered to be in line with psychiatrists and physicians. At some point, the parliament of Peru considered regarding them as doctors. However, bigger part of the healers are frauds as they don’t really deal with physical disorders, rather with emotional issues like fear, evil eye or even business and love life related questions.
“Nestled in plain sight throughout the streets of Lima, these generations of shamans and their sometimes shocking ritual practices toe the line between cultural fixture and anomalous spectacle.”
In his pictures, Frazzetta managed to capture even the very intimate, strange and eerie details of these healing ceremonies. Most of them include the use of a small animal (guinea pig, black hen or a white dove) or a doll to whom the illnesses of the patient are transferred. (via Feature Shot)
Nicholas Hughes photographs of luminous desolate landscapes.
What is more fascination than the moving image? How about a technique that creates moving images without any film? Artist Elliot Schultz has refined his own version of zoetropes, which is a method of filmless animation. This magic is created by taking a series of images and rotating them in a fast pace. Combined with the use of a strobe light, the sequence appears seamless as if it is the same image moving over and over. Schultz has taken this traditional technique and made it his own. He stitches wiggling worms, dripping water, and old men walking onto fabric in the shape of a circle. These ten-inch discs are the perfect size to be placed onto any turntable, and what is a turntable best for if not to spin! The embroidered images are rotated so fast that it appears just as if they are moving. Since strobe lights often go along with clubs, djs, and turntables, using this unique method almost seems a natural fit for a zoetrope.
Early inventions of the pin screen along with other alternative animation methods have deeply influenced Schultz’s work. He finds inspiration in engineers and animators involved with early cinema such as Claire Parker and Alexandre Alexeieff. Schultz is always experimenting with new mediums and techniques to further develop his interesting series. This incredibly innovative artist is somewhat of an engineer himself, bringing a bit of the history of animation into the contemporary world of electronic music and turntables. (via This is Colossal)
SF based installation artist Gregory Ito has just wrapped his latest exhibition at Eleanor Harwood Gallery entitled Moonstruck. The press release defines the show as “…an exhibition that deconstructs Ito’s impassioned relationship with the Moon, in hopes of connecting viewers with the constant looming presence of the lunar sphere that floats high above us. By referencing domestic spaces, romantic companionship, and his personal history, Ito presents new works that highlight his engagement with the Moon through assembling images, objects, text, textures, and gesture. Ito raises awareness of the Moon’s encompassing presence throughout human history, and acknowledge the void that exists between the general populous and the sky above us. Ito aims to present works that encourages viewers to address their individual connection with the Moon and redefine it’s significance in today’s social and cultural climate.”
I usually don’t really get down with designers who nostalgically embrace the bad/vernacular design of their 80s/90s youths, but I have to admit that I’m liking this stuff by Tabor Robak. If I had to try to describe his aesthetic, I’d probably say it’s the visual equivalent of a guitar solo. Maybe a guitar solo while wearing sunglasses, on a huge arena stage with a ton of pyrotechnics.
I’m quite excited to see new work from Laura Simmons . Glamor magazine asked some of America’s top female artists to define the concept of glamor, and these images are the result of Laurie Simmons’. She has stayed true to her hand made house wife aesthetic and really made this project her own. I like how these images juxtapose pornographic images with a child’s doll house, her critic on an overtly sexual society within the concept of glamor comes through very well.