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Isabella Rossellini

Isabella Rossellini

Actress and film-maker Isabella Rossellini (daughter of Ingrid Bergman and Roberto Rossellini) has a series of campy K-9 bio class instructional videos titled “Green Porno” (though it’s far from being pornographic, really) featuring her acting out the copulations of various insects, crustaceans, and other assorted creatures that you don’t normally think about doing the horizontal tango. “In each one, Rossellini matter-of-factly describes, then demonstrates using extremely low-budget special effects, how – if she were, say, a dragonfly, or a mantis, or a starfish – she would copulate and reproduce with her animal mate. In the film beginning ‘If I were a snail…’, for instance, Rossellini explains: ‘I can withdraw my entire body into my shell, where I can hide my vagina and my penis,’ then gleefully whispers to the camera, ‘I have both!’ and retreats into her giant snail shell made of cardboard.” Read more about her series at Frieze Magazine.

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Sisters of the Black Moon

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Sisters of the Black Moon are like a sartorial witch’s coven that has astrally projected itself to infinitum to the dark side of the rainbow. I know that technically, they’re an eBay shop hawk(wind)ing mystically beautiful vintage pieces- but I love that they have taken that to a whole new interstellar dimension. With amazing photography by Alexandra Valenti, they are a dark force to be reckoned with. Reminiscent of Frank Zappa’s GTO’s, or an extremely heshin’ sorcery-inspired proto-metal band, these gals will have you sayin’ come to the sabbath in no time!

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Nandan Ghiya’s Error Message Portraits

Something is not quite right with Nandan Ghiya‘s portraits.  Indeed, several are titled Download Error.  Ghiya’s antique portraits of upper class men and women from the past seem to be physical manifestations of garbled JPEG files.  Each portrait is collaged and each frame carefully modified in a ways that resemble corrupted digital photographs.  The now forgotten subjects of these portraits may have sought posterity through these images and the artist seems to communicate this in a familiar visual language of the digital.  He uses life documented through JPEG’s, glitches, and error messages to reflect the modern plastic identity.

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Two Food Artists Who Create Ghoulishly Delicious Treats Perfect For Halloween

Ruth & Sira

Ruth & Sira

Christine McConnell

Christine McConnell

Christine McConnell

Christine McConnell

Ruth & Sira

Ruth & Sira

With Halloween just around the corner, costumes don’t have to be the only spooky things you you do to celebrate the holiday. We’ve been introduced to the lifelike, creepy cakes of Conjurer’s Kitchen, and they aren’t the only ones turning delicious treats into something sinister. So, here are a couple of other food artists having some ghoulish fun with conventional desserts.

Christine McConnell is an artist, photographer, and baker who makes elaborate delicacies like screamberries, a life-sized facehugger pastry, and chocolate-covered spiders. The details on these foods are incredible and so convincing that they don’t appear like they’re edible (though they are!). But, they look so impressive that you wouldn’t want to. (via Who Killed Bambi and Laughing Squid)

Ruth & Sira created their own version of the sugar skull by opening the top of the heads and sticking things like berries, nuts, and gummies. The walnuts look like a strange, dried-up brains while they’ve also created the more traditional-looking organs. Their creations look very sweet, and easy to pop skull after skull (as strange as that sounds) into your mouth. (via Who Killed Bambi and Boing Boing)

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Allison Renshaw’s Chaotic Mixed Media Paintings

“Lines between the organic and the man-made become blurred and a larger narrative is evoked.”

There’s a lot going on in Allison Renshaw’s paintings, so take a second to breathe. Renshaw, who received an MFA from MICA, lives and works in Encinitas, California. Her works create a “universe…that is seemingly random and difficult to decipher.  This chaotic quality becomes a visualization of today’s open-source culture of sampling and recycling.” I love that element of controlled chaos with these. She definitely pulls it off. Renshaw is represented by Quint Contemporary Art in La Jolla, CA.

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Slovakian Artist Duo Burn Spooky Pagan And Ritualistic Motifs Into Hardwood

Jarmila Mitríková & Dávid Demjanovič Jarmila Mitríková & Dávid Demjanovič Jarmila Mitríková & Dávid Demjanovič Jarmila Mitríková & Dávid Demjanovič

Jarmila Mitríková and Dávid Demjanovič are a fascinating artistic duo adding spice back into a traditional form of art-making. They hail from Slovakia and employ a technique called pyrography, which involves burning into plywood and shading the images with wood stains. This particular way of mark making was popular with people mostly during socialism in former Czechoslovakia. A style with is linked with folk art, domestic crafts and cultural traditions, the pair tap into their own history and national identity.

In their hybrid style you can see christian traditions, folklorism, pagan rituals, superstitions, myths, local legends with links to WWII and socialistic history, all with the backround of real slovak scenery. (Source)

Mitríková and Demjanovič play to their strengths of storytelling and creating very strong, personal images. We see very graphic scenes being played out – hunting rituals, exorcisms of some type, sacrificial set ups, and masked people involved in cult-like activities. With titles like Guardians of National Spirituality, Procession With Nazi, Cult of Goddess Morena, Dance Plague and Evacuation of Slovakian Elites, they focus on a time of secret societies and unknown mysterious behavior; they speak of a time when not everything was understandable, or explainable.

Typical for their practise is working with mystification and creating thematic series, where they focus their attention on one subject from our present or history….. when they work with real slovak subjects, using their style of storytelling, they create absurd, comic situations and new contextual reading. (Source)

This talented couple manage to recreate a sense of wonder, secrecy, ambiguity and riddles. They put a contemporary spin on an ancient art of wood burning and telling campfire-stories. 

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Arie van’t Riet’s Colorized X-rays Emphasize Natural Beauty

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Arie van’t Riet became an artist by accident. As a medical radiation physicist, van’t Riet experienced first-hand the technological developments in quality image x-rays. One day, a colleague asked him if he could x-ray one of his art paintings. van’t Riet had never done anything like that before, but found that it worked and became curious about what else he could x-ray. Starting with a bouquet of tulips, van’t Riet found that the image resembled a black and white negative. After digitizing the image and using Photoshop to color the image, people began to tell him that he was creating art, and the rest is history. van’t Riet refers to these stunning images as “bioramas.”

“Looking with X-ray eyes to nature. That’s what I like to experience with my X-ray camera. I prefer X-ray objects of ordinary scenes like a butterfly nearby a flower, a fish in the ocean, a mouse in the field,a heron along the riverside, a bird in a tree and so on. Each time it is challenging me to arrive at an X-ray photograph that represents the sentiment of the scene, do raise questions and excite curiosity.”

van’t Riet relates his incredible journey and his artistic process via this TEDxGroningen talk from October of this year. (via my modern met)

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Emily Stoneking Hand-Knits Dissected Frogs To Cuddle With

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If you ever dissected a rodent or amphibian in science class and found it nauseating, then Emily Stoneking’s knitted anatomy might agree with you. Art and science intersect through her Etsy shop called aKNITomy, and she hand-knits artwork featuring dissected frogs, rats, and pigs. The cute and cuddly are pinned (not glued) using T-pins and framed for display on your wall.

Stoneking knits the body of the animal/figure using a kid mohair and silk blend, and then she needle-felts the innards by hand. These adorable creations are the result of the artist’s larger interest, which is using cozy, crafty materials to create objects that usually make people squeamish.

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