Corey as Dr. Frank-N-Furter, Divine Decadence, Henderson, NV
Chelsea as Columbia, Sins O’ The Flesh, Saugus, CA
Shannon as Magenta, Bawdy Caste, Half Moon Bay, CA
Shawn as Rocky, The Home of Happiness, Hawthorne, NJ
There are few movies with the same enduring legacy as The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Since the film came out in 1975, it has become both the longest-running theatrical release in the history of cinema, and more significantly, it has remained a cultural cornerstone for progressive politics and identities. This year, the film celebrated its 40th anniversary, and to this day people continue to bring the characters to life by recreating the costumes and set designs.
Lauren Everett is a Portland-based photographer who wanted to document the world of these dedicated fans. She started a project titled People Like Us, a series of portraits featuring cast members from around the United States in full costume. What makes these images unique is the fact that Everett has taken them out of the theater, portraying these playful and expressive characters in everyday environments. The result is an exploration of the way the movie’s themes of creativity and personal freedom translate into real-life functionality. In the following statement from the project’s website, Everett explains her perspectives on the film’s long-standing importance and relevance:
“It’s an environment where bold sexual innuendos and puns are used freely with an almost innocent humor. There’s a accepting ‘anything goes’ atmosphere, and a sense of being in a place where the rules of ‘out there’ don’t apply. For regulars and casual aficionados alike, Rocky Horror is a safe-haven where people of all persuasions can go to have a good time and be accepted as they are.” (Source)
Everett ran an Indiegogo campaign to put together a book of the portraits, which includes a preface by scholar Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock and short write-ups from the cast members. The book is available here, and you can see more previews after the jump.
Location is everything to photographer Lara Zankoul. Her latest venture garnering some attention shows models in a human sized fish tank. “The Unseen” is a series of photographs taken in 2013, which comment on the complex relationship between what appears on the surface and what is submerged underneath. It examines our ability to project a false facade outwardly while thinking the opposite inwardly. Some examples to this idea show two girls in a carefree stance while underwater one is cutting the other’s dress. Another is a handsome male model in traditional waiter’s clothing on top while wearing a tutu below.
The photos exude a surrealist gaze due to the water effect. From an underwater perspective, the bottom half of the pictures take on a dreamy, ethereal quality which is perfectly naive. The subjects are all aesthetically pleasing to look at and become a bit mundane if not for the little weird subtleties at hand. The colors are wrought from a bright, monotone palette which lend themselves at times to the impressionists. Not an easy task to say the least.
Zankoul is a self taught photographer who originally majored in Economics from The American University of Beirut. According to her biography, she was born photographically in 2008 after completing the 365 project where participants took part and posted one picture every day for a year. (via hifructose)
Anthony and other boxer connecting punches. (Old Fire House Soho, February, 2012)
The crowd consisting of a large number of Charlie’s friends celebrate as Charlie wins his match. (Old Fire House Soho, September, 2012)
Two boxers pair up before their match. (Old Fire House Soho, September, 2012)
Ring girl entertaining the crowd in-between rounds. (Old Fire House Soho, February, 2012)
Photographer Devin Yalkin points an unflinching eye to the underground world of illegal fight nights, capturing their raw intensity. These “Friday Night Throwdowns” happen in secret locations and venues all over New York City. In Yalkin’s series The Old One Two, this hidden world is revealed through intimate, black and white photographs with a Film Noir flavor to them. This powerful series gets you up close and personal to the fighters and the erupting crowd cheering them on. The compositions in this series can be as hazy and chaotic as the fight itself, capturing the true atmosphere of these fight nights. You can see the unrefined aggressiveness and brutality between the fighters, but also feel the excitement and energy from the audience.
Devin Yalkin allows us to take place of the spectator, seeing every bead of sweat and drop of blood on the skin of the fighters. The high tension and motion happening during these Friday Night Throwdown’s can be felt in each photograph. It is as if we are standing next to each eccentric character; the screaming fan, the eager fighter, or the elusive woman in lingerie whose role is somewhat unknown. All of the individuals shown in Yalkin’s series seem to come from all walks of life, having only the love of the fight connecting them.
Make sure to check out Devin Yalin’s new strange and beautiful series Abductions, which captures ominous scenes of which we cannot place, mysterious and alluring.
Londoner Tyler Vipond’s work plays mostly with space and depth created out of formerly 2D surfaces. Bridging the space between sculpture and painting, his work leaves you with a feeling of tension and intricacy while still feeling almost effortless. I particularly love his series “A Collapse” whose pieces are almost reminiscent of deconstructed origami.
The iconic pizza pie gets a fun twist in this series titled Pizza Is the New Black by the Paris design studio called Black Pizza. It features 10 different iterations of the dish, all set in a different color and that use some food as well as inanimate objects. Designers had the help of Chef Julie Bassett with support from Erwan Fichou, and together the team came up with “pizzas” that included pacifiers, ping pong balls, iPhone cases, and more on them. The dough was even dyed to match the color scheme. It all results in these visually appetizing images that are beautiful if not slightly repulsive.
Black Pizza describes the project, saying, “In a riotous culinary color scheme, Black Pizza pays tribute to the pizza, the symbol of sharing and pop culture.” The entire project only took a couple of days. (Via Miss Asphixia and UFunk)
The stark sculptures of Al Farrow are jolting in their simplicity. His Reliquaries series of sculptures are houses of worship and reliquaries (a container for holy relics) built from weapons and ammunition. Stacks of bullets form walls, barrels form steeples, and muzzles form minarets. Farrow’s artistic commentary on violence in connection with religion is a powerful one. Using a provocative medium to create loaded imagery (seriously, pun not intended), Farrow’s work easily elicits strong responses from viewers.
Louise Riley embroiders human figures using a mattress as a canvas. Usually in repose, these figures create an intimate experience for the viewer. Riley’s work demonstrates a fine attention to detail and color shading, rendering vulnerable and realistic characters out of linear and geometric forms. Part of her practice includes that of altering the flat shape of the mattress, creating rolls and curves in her mattress-canvas, or cutting shapes into or on the mattress.
From her artist statement, “When I am sewing figures, I think of the thread being strands of DNA and the stitches binary codes and the fabric (our second skin anyway) a grid and that leads me onto String theory, experiences happening alongside each other with endless alternative outcomes. These grandiose thoughts are what get me through the hours..
The literal abundance of fabric and thread as domestic content and construction, not limited to gender, makes our relationship to it very intimate.
I use the mattress as a backgroundless background that holds weight of experience conceptually, spiritually and physically. Blood, sweat and tears like tree rings in its core. Its presence in our rights of passage, our sleep, rest, thoughts, dreams, the theatre of life spilled out onto it. How could I work on anything else! It is a ready-made canvas, it allows my ideas to penetrate it and collaborate with it to unearth a supposed breath-taking, yet ordinary, history or herstory.”