Photography by Thomas Bangsted.
Photography by Thomas Bangsted.
At the grave of a fallen soldier stands a pale white horse, regal and majestic, with his mane in tight braids. In Anima, the photographer Charlotte Dumas delves into the quiet moments in the lives of burial horses, known for participating in the funeral ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery. The magnificent equine creatures— who by day serve as living manifestations of moral ideals, patriotism, and righteousness— are caught by Dumas’s lens in nighttime moments of introspection and rest.
After the flags are folded, after the firearms have rang out, the horses remain in their small box stalls, resting on humble beds of shavings and hay. Shot under Dumas’s gleaming twilight lighting, the animals are pictured in the final minutes before sleep. In stark contrast with the colorful visions of their burial services, they are bathed in a moody Rembrandt-esque glow that streams in from metal bars, seemingly retreating into an unknowable equine psychology.
Yet within these peaceful moments, Dumas captures an anxious sense of unrest. A horse’s glinting black eye remains open as he twists his neck, revealing waves of muscle under short-clipped fur; a long nose, its hair worn away by a bridle’s noseband, pokes out into the light, emerging from sleepy darkness. The neck and back of the creature is fixed in the frame, isolated from the rest of the body, as he goes to stand upright, his withers stained with manure.
The horses range in age: some wear the grey fur of youth, while others are pure flea-bitten white. Seen here, it is as though the horses cannot escape the atmosphere of the cemetery, confined within their dark stalls forever by some invisible knowledge of death. Take a look.
Cynthia Ona Innis‘ paintings are explorations between the relationships of, “the healthy/sick, sublime, wet/dry, sexual, growth/rot, stiff/limp/squishy, thriving and failure that are the fragile properties of the body and nature.” These abstract explorations and relationships are represented in a mixture of blobs of colors, shapes, lines, composition and space. As she herself mentions, she has a great interest in organic forms that can be seen represented through colors chosen and shapes.
French GIF artist Axel de Stampa creates Architecture Animée, a series of GIFS that show various buildings in motion, precisely to show them off through different perspectives. In opposition to the real life experience- one where the viewer moves around the building- these GIFS let the spectator remain static as the buildings shift and change positions.
Paul Cherwick approaches his subtractive wooden sculptures with the spontaneity of drawings, treating them as quick, multi-sided one-offs. Employing a carving technique, he chooses an art that runs the gamut, unchanged between folk art material, and the stuff of priceless antiquities. Cherwick creates his figures as allegories, each with an absurd background story; they show the classical grace of the commoner, rather than his or her banality. His cast of personal folklores draws from Classical Greek mythology, in which individuals serve as tropes, created to personify human qualities in ways that are often very literal. Though he is drawn to wood for its classical nature and inherent morality, his translations of the material often verge on Pop.
The work of Italian artist Alessandro Rabatti humorously comments on the current economic state that the world is in. Using different currencies from around the world, Rabatti rearranges and alters the faces of each political icon and transforms them into a comic book hero. By rearranging and breaking down household faces such as Abraham Lincoln and Queen Elizabeth II, the artist deconstructs their economic status. Each important leader’s status has been elevated from historical legend to fictional superhero, as if their alter egos are really Spiderman, Ironman, and Catwoman. The interesting part about this transformation is that some of these heroes and villains are more recognizable to people than the historical figures themselves.
This series, titled Facebank, comically comments on our economic state and the actual worth of money today. We trust in these icons just as children trust Captain America and the other courageous characters. In creating this series, Rabatti aims to spark a dialogue concerning the current, unstable state of world economics. Another interesting element in the artist’s work is that each face is now wearing a mask. The mask is often associated with hiding one’s identity or giving a false appearance; pretending to be something you are not. This is no doubt another layer in Rabatti’s series, commenting on political figures and their place in society. The artist’s funny and clever artwork combines comic book superheroes, economics, and political satire to create this multifaceted series. (via Design Boom)
Feeling tired? How about a nice rest on some blobby furniture that looks and feels like real human flesh, such as “a chair meant to mimic a squishy roll of fat and footstools that resemble deformed testes”? UK artist Gigi Barker of studio 9191 has created a furniture collection called “A Body of Skin” that not only feels and looks like realistic skin, but also smells like a human body – Barker impregnated the silicon skin with the pheromones and after shave of models she used during the construction of the pieces. To design her work, she first studies the body, drawing abstracted shapes inspired by its form. Barker then sculpts a clay model before casting a life-size version in silicon. After the silicon is infused with human smell, Barker lays moulding leather on the form, completing the imitation. She tells Wired, “I have my own personal relationship with it which is based on my own personal history. Just as someone else will…I think this project is more about the people and the bodies rather than the skin itself. That being said as a project it’s interesting how reactionary it is given it’s essentially silicone and leather shapes, which shouldn’t inherently be. This speaks a lot therefore to the emotional associations attached to the work.”
Barker also notes that children have been especially taken with her work: “Without any of the hang ups we later develop, they are free to truly explore and interact with the work. Work regarding the human body is very personal and we all have a very immediate reaction to it so the reactions have reflected this.”
Barker’s fleshy furniture challenges our perceptions of the bodies of ourselves and others – her interactive sculptures are both discomfiting and comfortably familiar. (via wired and new york magazine)
Michael Mallis, former candidate for Pittsburgh mayoratorial race, is now a devout scientologist. He makes sloppy drawings, comics, videos and animations that rely on toilet humor. His work has been screened on every continent except Australia. You’ll weep, you’ll laugh, and you’ll knit your eyebrows in ecstatic confusion. His video Natural Selection, in particular, sort of reminds me of Fantastic Planet…and that story I read as a child about some big man lost in in the sea who woke up being strapped down by midgets.