A picture of a celebrity taped on a cracked wall. Otto Duecker not only depicts portraits, he also paints the surrounding that goes with it. Like all artists part of the hyperrealism movement (or photorealism) from far, the whole image can be misled for a photograph.
Otto Duecker depicts celebrities from the 20th century such as Mick Jagger, Basquiat,John Lennon, Marilyn Monroe and more surprisingly Yoda. The black and white photos are represented crumpled and torn. Hung by random pieces of tape on a contrasted colored wall, the faces appear naturally brightened and alive. The artist painstakingly reproduces the details of the faces’ features and the cracks which makes the nature of the piece even more confusing to determine.
Hyperrealism allows the artist to guide the viewer to a new intimate examination of the piece. How did the artist depict the whole thing? Did he tape a picture of the celebrity on the wall and reproduced exactly what he was seeing? Do this wall exist in reality? Through this process, the artist gets in the way and the dialogue is not between the painting and the viewer anymore, but between the artist and the viewer. We are seeing the subjects through the artist’s eye and that’s what make the experience unique. (via Faith is torment)
Check out Kako Ueda‘s cut paper masterpieces! With each project, she explores her deep interest in organic beings (insects, animals, and humans alike), and weaves them into mind-bogglingly intricate, extraordinarily precise patterns and forms. Her newest work (immediately after the jump!), still in-progress, is a hybrid figure measuring about 7 feet high!
In lieu of kitschy turkey paintings I decided it would be fun to collect a few vintage images of the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The earliest of these was taken in 1931, and the newest in 1975.
The tradition started in 1924, tying in for the second-oldest Thanksgiving parade in the United States along with America’s Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has been a staple of New York life since the late 20’s; the popularity grew as the parade started to get televised in the 1950’s. Till’ this day, there’s nothing more iconic than the giant balloons that stroll across the city during this time of the year.
Until 1980-90’s the balloons in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade came in two varieties. The first and oldest is the novelty balloon class, which fit on the heads of the performers. The second, and most famous, is the full-size balloon class, primarily consisting of licensed pop-culture characters.
On behalf of the B/D team, we want to wish you all a very happy thanksgiving. May you spend this day with your loved ones, and yummy food!
Katie Eleanor is a London-based photographic artist who creates visions of Victorianesque romance and melancholia. Complete with elaborate costumes and set designs, her works have a theatrical presence; serene-faced maidens wearing gowns—or in various states of undress—pose in dimly-lit rooms, often with esoteric props, such as a magpie, a fox, and a white crown. Mixing sensuality with darkness, the chill of death creeps in on the periphery, taking the form of dead branches, wilted leaves, and a shroud. There are signs of injury and endurance; one woman leans on crutches, while another stoically leaks blood from her eyes.
In a statement provided to Beautiful/Decay, Eleanor talks about her work. “My style is fictional and narrative based, away from the confines of our shared earth,” she writes. “I am influenced most heavily by the past, [. . .] as I am intrigued by both its links and disconnect from the way we function in the present.” Her influences arise from several creative sources, such as books, performance, Victorian illustration, and costume collectors. As a visual storyteller, set design is integral to conveying her meaning and absorbing the viewer into her ethereal dreamscapes; narrative and emotions speak through the costumes and staging. In addition to this complex process, each image is hand-colored, which allows her to “push more of [herself] into [her] works” by incorporating more of her physical being.
Be sure to visit Eleanor’s website, Facebook page, and blog and follow her work. She also creates haunting videos, which can be viewed here.
French artist Travis Durden has created Star Wars inspired classical statues. Using digital technology, the artist has sculpted characters in faux marble with faces pulled directly from the film’s franchise and bodies sourced from classical statues found in the Louvre in Paris. His work shines light on what could be interpreted as a softer side of the sci-fi fantasy film’s cast. Darth Vadar is fashioned with a soft lock of hair and a tender hand gesture that suggests grace. Boba Fett is portrayed gently bending down, showing signs of what might be humility. Yoda is depicted as a peaceful cherub. A Storm Trooper is shown in robes holding a piece of ancient knowledge. General Grievous dramatically reaches for a bow and arrow. Durden is interested in binaries and creating new meaning from merging seemingly opposing forces. Even his name, Travis Durden, is a pseudonym created from combining names taken from two of his favorite films. He uses the format of the classical sculpture to re-fashion these Star Wars characters to be depicted almost as gods — as equally a significant part of cultural history. Durden’s sculptures seem to suggest that cultural icons have indeed become objects of worship. Will the characters of Star Wars have that same type of precedence as we see the Greek statues to those in the future?
“Hermaphrodite [sex … is] the sex of the angels,” explains Claudette, an intersex sex worker, to the photographer Malika Gaudin-Delrieu. The pair began their collaboration after meeting in Claudette’s native Switzerland, where Gaudin-Delrieu was documenting the country’s legalized prostitution. With her recent series of photographs, the artist elegantly dispels stigma around complex gender identities; as seen through her lens, Claudette is a woman, a husband, and a father.
Ideas on prostitution, a field often associated with the abuse and exploitation of women, is also complicated by the work. Here, sex work is seen as a means of self-actualization and joy; “Claudette is the opposite of a victim. She controls her life, makes her choices clearly and knowingly. She does more than just live her life, she loves it,” says Gaudin-Deirieu of her subject. A courageous activist for sex workers’ rights, our protagonist stands before a dark auditorium, bathed in spotlight, silently inhaling, poised to speak.
Laced throughout the work are subtle moments of love and intimacy. The series, romantically titled La vie en rose (presumably after the love song by Edith Piaf, a prolific French singer who was cared for by sex workers), focuses in part on Claudette’s 52 year marriage to her wife Andrée. Claudette’s quiet warmth and affections, seen in her and Andrée’s sleepy embrace, permeates throughout the entire visual narrative; with the same profound care, she counts her earnings, dresses in lingerie, rubs her neck.
Claudette describes her work as “[assuming the role of] ultimate femininity […] with happiness and a sense of relief,” and her nuanced relationship with her sensual yearning shines through in the images. We follow her as stops in the street, seduced by a lingerie shop window, as she dresses herself, fingering the textured fabrics as they cling to her body. Claudette’s life, as seen through streaming sunlight and soft darkness, is magnetic, alluring, and unexpectedly soothing, and viewers are left to ponder an indescribably complex global sexual and political landscape. What do you think? (via Feature Shoot and HuffPost)
Writer’s note: Gaudin-Deirieu’s work and this post are in no way meant to be taken as a generalization of the lives of sex workers; instead, they are meant to highlight the life an individual. As the artist explains, there are as many views on prostitution as there are people practicing it. For many, it’s a form of abuse; for Claudette, it is not.
The word “hermaphrodite” is usually considered to be offensive, and in no way is this post meant to condone or encourage the use of the word under most circumstances. Here, it is used only because Claudette herself identifies with the word.
Portraits carved in marble have been around for hundreds of years but somehow Barry X. Ball has managed to bring a new twist to this ancient material with some minor tweaks like using the veins and swirls in the marble to his advantage. A great selection of Ball’s exquisite sculptures in a massive variety of stone after the jump.