Nothing if not disturbing, Alex Van Gelder’s Meat Portraits portray carcasses, flesh, entrails, organs and other animal parts from an abattoir in Benin. Found and photographed in the marketplace, or carefully staged into contorted compositions, Van Gelder’s photographs are corporeality at its most raw. Thoughtfully describing them as portraits rather than some kind of protest, or statement, Van Gelder is specific about his process. The photographs possess an abstraction that is compelling and unnerving. The artist says of his work, “African butchers don’t use electric saws as Europeans do but cut up the meat by hand which produces a variety of styles.The slaughterhouse was in the open air and in front of it a small market where they would sell the still warm meat. I worked there on and off for one year producing my Meat Portraits. I consider these portraits still lives.”
Appalling and even nauseating in their uncensored savage-ness, there is a strange beauty to the images when one steps back and pretends they’re something other than meat. Surprisingly not a vegetarian, Van Gelder’s images are less about animal rights and more about the emotionally evocative formal qualities the camera can capture.
Barcelona based artist Conrad Roset defines the “Muse” in his incredibly seductive works made using watercolor and ink. Pulling inspiration from the raw nudes of Austrian artist Egon Schiele, his female figures stretch and bend in elegant ways, forming distinct, bold lines across the composition. He uses deep, black ink that covers up these women’s bodies like a veil, creating a harsh contrast to their pale skin. Each muse wears this blanket of black beautifully, as if it is her own shadow. Conrad Roset uses sparks of color to highlight the flora that appear in his work and also in certain rosy cheeks and the tips of fingers and toes. The subtly of the color and line creates a delicate contrast to the richness of the heavy black ink.
Conrad Roset explains that,
“I search the beauty the body exudes, I like drawing the female figure.”
He is intrigued and focused on the female figure as a subject. The women in his illustrations are undoubtedly stunning, and can also seem both fragile and strong. They are bold in nature but delicate in beauty. Roset’s body of work has a high fashion flavor, as he has done work for clients such as Zara and Elle Magazine. His captivating works are on view now at Spoke Art Gallery in San Francisco. His debut, solo exhibition titled Pale will be on view there until September 26th. (via Hi-Fructose)
I absolutely love Ben Newman’s gorgeous illustrations that have a beautiful vintage feel to them. I doubt they were created using old printmaking techniques but I’m just going to close my eyes and Imagine Ben working away in a little cottage full of printmaking presses making ornate illustrations full brilliant texture and delicately faded color.
On May 12th, the Nepal earthquake striked, killing dozen and injuring thousands. With a magnitude of 7.3, the earthquake was so large that it affected those living in India and Bangladesh. Documentary photographer Probal Rashid, who currently lives in Bangladesh, documented the aftermath through his lens. These photographs tell a heartbreaking story of those directly in the middle of the chaotic and horrific outcome of such an earthquake. Rashid masterfully reveals poignant images of mothers, fathers, and children living in the current state of their homes and villages. The emotions seen in his photographs strike you to your core, as you are shown a child looking right back at you in the midst of this catastrophe.
Allowing us to see a different aspect of the lives of the people affected by the earthquake, Rashid includes images of the remnants of people’s homes and belongings, creating a more intimate connection. A haunting photograph of the inside of a house in ruins displays an empty couch and chairs, with photographs of the family up on the wall. The city’s culture as well as its people was damaged, as we see a piece of beautiful architecture now almost completely destroyed. Rashid rightly has no sensor, as his photojournalism displays an uninhibited truth. Witnessing so much destruction, Rashid also finds compassion. Although so much desolation can plainly be seen, there is also a sense of hope. The photographer also chose to capture people trying to help; citizen’s aiding one another.
As humans often identify with each other, it is always difficult to see photos with this kind of content. However, it is very necessary for us to see and understand what is happening to others in a place we may not know very much about. Probal Rashid provides us with a better grasp on how the earthquake has affected Nepal and its people in this unforgettable series.
Neil Mota brings together the beauty of fashion photography and Pirates of The Caribbean costumes and accessories. This certainly is a tough task but Neil has managed to create an accomplished body of work that does it with ease.
Serena Cole‘s work bridges fashion and traditional portraiture. Showing a mastery of her medium, Serena transforms watercolor and gouache into pieces that feel effortless. Some of her earlier works incorporate gold leaf as well, which feel reminiscent of medieval altar paintings where the face and gesture are key. Her take on fashion portraiture is full of emotion, often unseen in the stoic nature of fashion photography. Being such a busy time with her graduation from CCA, she was sweet enough to answer a few questions about her work and life.