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Ed Spence’s Creates Pixel Art By Hand

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Ed Spence - Pixel Art

Ed Spence - Collage Pixel Art

Ed Spence - Collage

Collage artist Ed Spence uses hundreds of hand-cut pixels to interpret photographs. The original works, mundane scenes like floral arrangements and out-of-focus landscapes, are made infinitely more interesting with his additions. Spence abstracts the original image by organizing the tiny squares on top of it. In doing so, he presents his alternative and desired image.

Spence’s works are modern-day pointillism, and the stippling effect made by squares rather than dots. While pointillism has existed since the late 1800’s, the artist puts a modern spin on it by referencing pixels. It looks like this idea was born from our increasingly digital world.

Spence states that he uses a knife and ruler to dissect the information within the photograph. In other words, he chooses what to distort and enhance, which explains the way he pixelates his work. I started to view his collages assuming that he had precisely pixelated the original image. I quickly realized this was not the case. If you squint your eyes, sometimes Spence’s pixels complete the image. Other times, colors and shapes don’t really match up. There’s an obvious disconnect between what I expect the image to be and how Spence wants to depict it. While pixels are often a warped but true representation of an image, the artist plays with this idea. Not only does he craft something analog that should be digital, but he skews what we’d come to expect from it. (Via iGNANT)

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Ryan Salge’s Drawings Conjure Dark Dreams And Eerie Realities

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Artist Ryan Salge’s monochromatic drawings are of surreal scenes that feel like dreamscapes. The tightly-rendered compositions feature expansive outdoor worlds and figures that traverse through them. Often times, the men and women in them are as curious as we are. Their backs are turned towards us, and it’s as if we’re on the journey right along with them.

There’s always something a little strange or alluring in each of Salge’s drawings. A woman looks up to dark, swirling sky as a small patch of light shines through. Another work features bodies rising upwards into the atmosphere. And, in an especially eerie piece, a barefooted man peers down as a spotlight shines onto a desolate field. (Via Lustik)

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Chiharu Shiota’s Mesmerizingly Tangled Installation Of Woven Yarn And Keys Explores Global Forms Of Memory And Connection

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A mesmerizing, surreal experience awaits anyone entering the Japan Pavilion at this year’s Venice Art Biennale. In a stunning installation called “The Key in the Hand,” artist Chiharu Shiota has filled a room with webs of red yarn. Suspended from the ceiling, the yarn is tied together so densely that it filters out the lights above. Hanging from the mass are over 50,000 keys collected from people all over the world. Like dark, frozen drops of rain, they appear to spill from the stringy red “clouds” into two weathered boats below, creating a dual sense of breathtaking movement and suspended time.

Despite their seemingly simple utility, keys are intimate objects that we all carry to keep ourselves—and the things we love—safe. Invested with our deep trust and passed between hands over time, keys symbolically bind us together. The Curator’s Statement for “The Key in the Hand” eloquently describes this further:

In our daily lives, keys protect valuable things like our houses, assets, and personal safety, and we use them while embracing them in the warmth of our hands. By coming into contact with people’s warmth on a daily basis, the keys accumulate countless, multilayered memories that dwell within us. Then at a certain point we entrust the keys, packed with memories, to others who we trust to look after the things that are important to us. (Source)

The keys represent a collection of human feelings, while the yarn visualizes their immaterial connections across time and space. Furthermore, while far removed from their international owners and original purposes, the keys also embody emotions and memories on a transcultural, transnational scale, as they are webbed together without perceptible distinctions of race, class, gender, or nation. As all the keys fall perpetually into the same ancient boats (which are described as “two hands catching a rain of memories”), Shiota’s installation beautifully visualizes a global form of connection spanning borders and generations. (Source). As the Curator’s Statement movingly concludes:

I look forward to watching as The Key in the Hand, an installation that forges a link between a space made up of keys, yarn, and two boats, and photographs and videos of children, transcends national, cultural, linguistic, and political contexts, and emotionally arouses countless visitors from all over the world. (Source)

Born in Japan, Shiota has been based in Berlin for the last two decades. Visit her website to see more fascinating large-scale installations. (Via Colossal)

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Vintage Photos Highlight The Devastation Of The 1968 D.C. Riots After Martin Luther Kings Death

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The year 1968 was a tumultuous time in America’s history, and Washington, D.C. was often in the middle of controversy. Following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., on April 4, 1968, six days of race riots erupted in the Nation’s capital. Dr. Darrell Clayton Crain Jr. captured parts of the event and put them on Kodachrome and Ektachrome slides. Thanks to technology, these were scanned in to the computer and digitized. They’re now featured on the Flickr account Posthumous DCC, along with other pictures throughout the years.

If you aren’t familiar with the riots, they started as news spread about King’s death. Crowds began to gather at 14th street and U. Stokely Carmichael, an activist who had parted ways with King in 1966 and removed as head of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in 1967, lead members of the SNCC to different neighborhoods. At first, they politely demanded that stores close out of respect. Eventually, the crowd became out of control and were breaking windows. Widespread looting started by 11PM (as well as in 30th other cities).

Things got worse in the following days. Anger was still evident and it resulted in violent confrontations with the DC police. Buildings were set on fire. Police unsuccessfully tried to control the crowds with tear gas, and eventually the National Guard was brought in. Marines mounted machine guns on the steps of the Capitol and army troops guarded the White House. It was the largest military occupation of any American city since the Civil War.

These vintage images showcase just how bad some of the destruction was. By the time the city was considered calmed down, 12 were killed (mostly in burning homes), 1,097 were injured, and over 6,100 were arrested. The devastation to property was $27 million (over $175 million today). Some neighborhoods in DC didn’t start to economically recover until the 1990’s.

See more of these powerful images on Flickr.

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Graphic Designer Dreams Up A Product Perfect For Women Who Have PMS

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Texas-based graphic designer Parker Jones has come up with a cheeky and clever idea to help women suffering from mood swings and cravings during ‘that time of the month’. Her college project features different fictional flavors of PMS Ice Cream. Named after moods and emotions that she herself has been a victim of, Jones has come up with some witty names. “Don’t Come Near Me” is a tub full of chocolatey rocky road and nuts. It also features a scale marked on the side showing how much you have eaten. Victims of PMS can eat their way through anger, rage, whining, crying, anxiety and laughter again and again until they reach the bottom of the container.

The series also features “I Need Some More” – which is full of mint chocolate chips, and “I Think I’m Dying” – a sweet strawberry flavor. The strawberry package bears a countdown of sorts, listing the different days and the various things women tell themselves to get through the monthly process:

Day One: it’s only just begun
Day Two: hell is coming
Day Three: can’t turn back now
Day Four: only a few more days
Day Five: dear god make it stop
Day Six: please tell me it’s over
Day Seven: sweet relief

Parker’s fictional products are sure to make women (and men) who are familiar with the different stages of PMS laugh. As I’m sure we all know, sometimes PMS can be no laughing matter. It definitely is a shame that this ice cream isn’t available to buy…. (Via DeMilked)

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James Loveday’s Craiglist Portraits

James Loveday’s project about the people who use Craigslist documents who they are, why they respond to the ads and what eventually happens when they get in front of the camera.

Over a period of several months James placed adverts on Craigslist offering a free portrait to anyone who wanted to come by my studio in Brooklyn and have it taken. Each time a person would come, he’d have everything set up and take their portraits. Some people would show up ready, knowing what to wear and what they wanted, others had a vague idea of getting famous and wanted to have pictures of themselves for their future careers as actors and models and some people were just intrigued, or bored.

Everyone filled out a questionnaire about themselves and why they wanted to be a part of the project. Their answers are included with their photo.

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“Post – Interesting Paintings”

Chris Millar’s paintings are an interesting mix between R. Crumb, Robert Williams, and your grandmothers nick nack collection. His work is dense with stories, vignettes, and bizarre scenes that wil l keep you staring at one piece for hours before walking off to the next. Take a look at his website by clicking the title link above for more examples of his bizarre world.

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MATHIEU LACA’s 1000 Stories

Mathieu Laca’s paintings are literally loaded with hundreds of narratives and story lines. If you’re a fan of Todd Schorr or Robert Williams you will surely need to follow Mathieu’s epic story lines.

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