While the work of Lithuanian photographer Neringa Rekasiute ranges from surreal scenes of fantasy to eccentric portraits, each photo illustrates a prevalent theme of her oeuvre: an admiration and appreciation for the female form. Thus, it is no surprise that Neringa has teamed up with writer, journalist, and actress Beata Tiskevic and communications specialist Modesta Kairyte to create We.Women, a female-centric photographic series.
Inspired by theories of feminism and discouraged by Lithuania’s apparent and prevailing cult of beauty, Neringa, Beata, and Modesta imagined We.Women as an empowering response to the impossible standards of beauty projected onto women.
Using Beata’s Facebook page as a platform, the trio invited women with self-esteem issues to assist them with their project by partaking in a harrowing task: standing before a mirror, shedding their clothing, and allowing their bodies and consequent reactions to be photographed. The results—twelve black-and-white photos accompanied by a personal memoir written by each woman—are captivating and relatable, with the heartaches at hand spanning “anorexia, bulimia, breast cancer, vitiligo, depression, fat-shaming, and skinny-shaming,” as well as additional mental health perils and even cases of domestic abuse.
Deemed by Neringa as “a healing experience,” We.Women has undoubtedly aided the creators in their objective to spread awareness and, subsequently, to bring women together: “I just want women to feel united,” Neringa divulges, “I want us to feel bonded.” (Via Bored Panda)
This series of images from photography duo Fesetti is aptly titled Disappear. Typically photographers succeed in capturing their subject. However, Fesetti intentionally and inventively keep their subjects visually out of reach. Hidden by everyday objects re-purposed as a witty camouflage, the models are nearly entirely concealed save for a stray hand or pair of feet. The series seems intended to be read as a how-to on disappearing or concealing oneself – a commodity itself in a hyper-connected social networking world usually fueled by photographs.
Visual artist Jennifer Davis is well-known on the internet for her whimsical and imaginative drawings and paintings (previously here). But in one of her latest series, Davis takes her trademark renderings and has paired them with an unlikely match, paper shooting targets.
In a conversation with Beautiful/Decay, the Minneapolis-based artist explains the history of the series, starting with inspiration for a printed target seen in an architecture/lifestyle magazine. “…I learned that I could get enormous packs of different colored targets from a gun shop for under $20. I started off thinking more about the symbolism of guns/violence/innocent victims/”badguys”/etc. (one of the first targets I made was called “Riddled”- I cut an intricate pattern of tiny holes all over the target.)” Davis then began using the colored paper targets as a base, decorating them with hand-drawn and painted intricately unique characters.The series evolved as Davis began taking commissions and painting other people’s ideas and applying them to the targets. “I started doing a lot of commissions, which morphed the way I was thinking about them. It is a fun exercise for me to paint someone else’s vision- it has stretched the way I think about the targets. I no longer relate them only to violence. I think about each one differently and it is interesting for me to play with adding whimsy or beauty to such a symbol. I am transforming them into something new.”
Chic & Artistic is a Paris based multi-disciplined creative studio working in a wide array of mediums and styles. Their Panto’ N’ Roll series caught my eye and immediately made me chuckle. Mixing pop culture references, typography and Pantone color chips, they have created a humorous word/image association game for all of us to enjoy. (via)
Shocking photographs of acid attack victims shine light on Bangladesh’s cruel reality of frequent mutilation acts. The project called “Survivors” was made by an award-winning photographer Ken Hermann and video journalist Tai Klan. The duo visited Dhaka, capital of Bangladesh, aspiring to document the heartbreaking stories of people disfigured by acid attacks.
Rejection to have an affair, refusing to get married, land or marital disputes are the most common reasons for attacks often performed by close relatives, neighbors or a spouse. Majority of such violence acts are directed against young women and children who then are scarred for the rest of their lives. Medical treatments and surgeries are a mere utopia.
But there is an unbelievably inspiring side even to this tragedy: people captured in Hermann’s photographs refuse to see themselves as victims. Their portraits radiate extreme resilience and profoundness. According to the photographer, his goal was to portray these people by emphasizing their beauty and strength rather than displaying them as freaks.
“I have nothing to hide. I look at myself and love myself for who I have become in spite of what I have suffered”,—says Umma Aysha Siddike Nila, who was 15 years old when her husband burnt all of her face and parts of her upper arms with acid.
Many people whose lives were affected by acid attacks have devoted themselves to fight against the rooted custom. Thanks to people like Nila and bigger organizations such as Acid Survivor Foundation, there has been an 85% decline in recorded acid attack cases.
There’s a pervasive sense of childlike fantasy that seems to underline many pop surrealist works. Make-believe animals that don checkered coats, tight rope walkers and re-imagined cats all vibrate within and beyond the confines chosen by each artist at hand.
The alluring world of pop surrealism frequently ushers in a sense of mythical innocence and humor, unifying the superficial world of popular culture with the recesses of the unconscious. With underlying themes of fragility and the macabre delicately hidden beneath a veil of cultural kitsch, saccharine sweet dreamscapes transform and redefine a caustically bright world enamored with packaged goods. The fantastical worlds created through the lens of the following artists explores the relationship between the seemingly pristine and the accompanying bittersweet decay that dwells beneath it. Featured artists include: Casey Weldon, Mac Sorro, Rafael Silveira, Leslie Ditto, and Britt Ehringer.
Take a quick break from work and watch this claymation piece from Australian animator Dave Carter. Entitled “How to Lose Weight in 60 Seconds”, the short vid is packed with quality animation full of gnarly expressions and even gnarlier action as a body-conscious protagonist makes his way through drastic weight loss measures. I don’t want to spoil anything, but I’m talking about VERY drastic measures, all depicted hilariously while Carter demonstrates the full breadth of his extensive talents. Watch the 60 second piece after the jump.