Vlad Mamyshev-Monroe is a master of camouflage and likes to play as many different people as possible. If the three artists are recounting the failure of being the engine of image making in a self-focused narrative role, Mamyshev-Monroe fills a role which makes failure the fate of her life. In the 2005 video ‘John and Marylin’, he tells the supposedly true love story of John F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe which remains shrouded in any number of conspiracy theories to this day. (from Artfacts)
For Epitaph, British photographer Rankin teams up with Beaty Editor Andrew Gallimore to create spellbinding death masks inspired by the Mexican Day of the Dead and Roman Catholic All Souls Day. Like the sugar skulls, or calavera, used to celebrate the holiday, these elegant masks put a vital and lively spin on death. Decked out in intricate beading and filigree, their models look luxurious and festive.
Calavera, normally colored in vibrant greens, reds, yellows, and blues are often eaten after the holiday; adorned in glittering stars and blooming daisies, these living skulls look like sweet confections. The female faces, painted in black, become a youthful template for imaginative explorations of an afterlife that awaits us after old age. As if from another world, their gray-green eyes stand starkly against coal-toned flesh. Rankin and Gallimore infuse the editorial with a hefty dose of high-fashion edge, introducing elements like metal spikes and and chains. These harder elements blend seamlessly with the iconography of the Day of the Dead; in one mask, a red clown nose made of punk-rock studs puts a contemporary spin on the timeless tradition.
Rankin is not new to the theme of death. In the wake of his parents’ deaths, he was compelled to break cultural taboo surrounding the dead, to face head-on his fears of dying. For last year’s photo series ALIVE: In the Face of Death, published by Hunger Magazine, he photographed those effected most by death, giving voice to grieving family members and to resilient individuals living with terminal diseases. Here, his enthusiastic lens provides solace from the fear of the unknown, inviting us to celebrate those we’ve lost as we mourn them. (via Trend Land)
Photographer Fong Qi Wei transforms flowers simply by dismantling them. Her series Exploded Flowers captures a variety of flowers picked apart petal by petal then carefully arranged. The meticulously arrayed petals closely resemble mandalas or celestial bodies. Each composition underscores the unbelievable symmetry packed into often small flowers. However, there is also subtle medical atmosphere to the photographs, as if they were autopsied flowers or like pinned butterflies. Her series has garnered her some awards including 2nd place in the International Photography Awards’ Nature category. [via]
Have you found yourself in a dark wood? Has the clear path been lost? Do you have a dead fish in your hand? If so then HELP ME HELP YOU at Goat Helper: Volume 1 debuting tomorrow at Los Angeles artspace Show Cave!
This LIVE screening of experimental video art and animation, installation, live video, goat themed food art, costumed “Helpers”, and of course Oreo the beloved pygmy goat. The screening features work from Shana Moulton, Jacob Ciocci of Paper Rad, John Michael Boling, Art Clokey (creator of Gumby) and many more! Don’t miss out. Screening starts at 9PM sharp.
If you’ve been enamored with 3D printing as much of the creative community has been you may be interested in the 3Doodler. A Boston based company recently developed a pen that takes your doodles off your page – a pen for three dimensional drawing. The pen extrudes a heated plastic which which cools and solidifies quickly enough to hold its shape. In addition to drawing free hand, stencils to help create little sculptures, such as a mini Eiffel Tower, will soon be available to print out on the company’s site. [via]
In a powerful series of black-and-white portraits entitled The Unknown Soldier, New York-based photographer David Jay captures the devastation of war and the marks it leaves on individual lives. The project began while David was shooting The SCAR Project, a documentation of breast cancer survivors. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were in full tilt, and David decided that the public needed to see the intimate, bodily consequences of a system that perpetuates the mass injury and destruction of human lives.
Photographed at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and the Brooke Army Medical Center, The Unknown Soldier features men and women who have been shot, struck by roadside bombs, and severely burned — stories of trauma which are bravely told by their scars and amputations. The essence of the photos, however, lies in the enduring strengths conveyed in each face as the individual confronts the viewer with their experience. In a statement provided to Beautiful/Decay, David explains the greater aim of his project:
“[U]ltimately, The Unknown Soldier is not about war. It is about many things: Humanity, acceptance, responsibility. An understanding that [what] we do matters. What we say, what we think, matters . . . and [it] has repercussions that quite literally change the course of history.”
In a world where media coverage often turns injuries and deaths into abstract numbers, David has brought human subjects deeply into focus. Seeing these surviving soldiers evokes a sense of social responsibility that extends from the people we know in our immediate lives to those engaged in war. The Unknown Soldier reminds everyone that soldiers are not faceless causalities, and even though people may feel distant from such violent events, there exists a vital responsibility to examine and criticize a system and media that imperils and objectifies human lives. As David continues:
“I hope the images transcend the narrow and simplistic confines of ‘war’ and encourage us to examine the way we engage each other — both friend and stranger — at its most basic, day to day level, as it is these subtle, seemingly innocuous interactions that will ultimately lead us either to peace . . . or the continuum and carnage of war.”
BUFFdiss makes some beautiful and intricate street art using some good, ol’ fashioned tape and some out of the box thinking.