Mike Calway-Fagan’s collage work mixes dissimilar photography with a sense of urgency. The artist asserts that his works hopes to ‘critique complacency and aestheticise catastrophe’ by creating dis-ordered imagery that evoke disaster. See more after the jump.
While the term “heroin chic” emerged in the 1990s as a droll description of the trendy androgyny and grungy-yet-glamorous look of contemporaneous supermodels, artists Loral Amir and Gigi Ben Artzi present the expression through a literal lens with their series, Downtown Divas.
Comprised of a short film and photographic series, Downtown Divas presents heroin-addicted Russian prostitutes as they don designer clothing and pose for a reimagined fashion spread. Juxtaposing bruised legs, tired eyes, and aloof expressions with luxury materials, trendy ensembles, and elegant silhouettes, the striking photographs appear disjointed and disconcerting. Though aesthetically startling and indicative, they paint a very different picture from the corresponding short film. Comprised of candid interviews, the poignant film surprisingly does not focus on each woman’s hardships; Amir and Artzi sought, rather, to “show a different side of the women and ignore that ‘drug addict’ tag that they carry around” (Bullett). By strictly avoiding questions regarding their drug use or experiences as sex workers, Amir and Artzi are able to instead focus on unseen—and often ignored—aspects of the women’s lives, including recurring dreams, childhood aspirations, lost loves, and favorite colors.
While many applaud Downtown Divas as a critique of the fashion industry and its apparent glamorization of drug addiction, contrary claims of exploitation and questions of the subjects’ ability—or inability—to consent have also emerged. Thus, while seemingly intended as a means to humanize the women, many hold that it instead achieves the exact opposite by exploiting them and taking advantage of their apparent afflictions and unwell mental states.
After viewing the photos and watching the video, what do you think of Downtown Divas? Humanizing social commentary, or exploitative agenda? (via Feature Shoot)
Cool promo animation spot for Ryan Spring Dooley‘s web site.
Maxwell Paternoster is frequently asked to design characters for magazines (recently, Business Week and Dry UK). However, he has also slapped his graphics on shirts, skateboards, BMX bikes, and customized tennis shoes. Paternoster’s elaborate doodles are playful, but he often hides darker themes in his illustrations. (Check out the processed chicken graphic at the end of this post and see if you still want some chicken nuggets!)
Though born without the ability to perceive color, artist and activist Neil Harbisson’s work, career, and life are anything but monochromatic. Recognized as the world’s first cyborg, Harbisson boasts an unusual aesthetic aid: an antenna implanted into his skull that enables him to “hear” colors.
“I am not using technology, or wearing technology.
I am technology.”
Extending from the back of his head forward, the appendage is comprised of a rod, a chip, and light sensor. Located at the tip of the antenna, the sensor picks up the frequencies of colors before him, and then sends them to the chip in the back of his head. The chip then transposes the frequencies into vibrations, which translate into sounds in his ears.
Through this process, Harbisson is able to create works of art—namely, his Sound Portraits. To create a portrait, Harbisson simply stands before an individual and aims his antenna toward his or her facial features. Each color found on the face creates a specific note, which he writes down on manuscript paper. Thus, the end result–unique microtone chords–become individual “portraits.”
With portraits of prominent figures ranging from Prince Charles to Woody Allen, it is clear that, through his unique practice, Harbisson has his art down to a science. (Via BBC News)
Alex Gross is an alumni student and faculty member from, The Art Center college of design in Pasadena, CA. In his piece “VIDEOTAPE”, he creates a surreal world, inhabited by Gene Simmons, Medusa, and Rainbows. ” The Art of Alex Gross” was published by Chronicle Books, in 2007. The Hardcover book features all of Alex’s gallery work and has over 90 full color plates.
Deke Smith makes fun illustrations!