Texas born photographer Ignacio Torres‘s new series Stellar is a fine example of camera wizardry. Capturing four different angles of models jumping, sliding, twisting and falling in the desert surrounded by flying dust and confetti, he has tried to capture the essence of youth. More specifically, how humans and scientific theories co exist and inter-relate. Torres explains a bit more about his project here:
This project began from the theory that humans are made of cosmic matter as a result of a stars death. I created imagery that showcased this cosmic birth through the use of dust and reflective confetti to create galaxies. The models organic bodily expressions as they are frozen in time between the particles suggest their celestial creation. (Source)
His animated images certainly have a little something heavenly or even spiritual about them. I’m sure at times we have all been impressed by certain natural phenomenon – fireflies, glow worms, phosphorescence on the beach or in the water, and Torres’ celebrates these wondrous things that occur effortlessly and completely unaided around us. He goes on to explain:
In addition, space and time is heightened by the use of three-dimensional animated gifs. Their movement serves as a visual metaphor to the spatial link we share with stars as well as their separateness through time. (Source)
Stellar has a beautiful vibrancy and energy about it. The series has the same vivacity and zest as watching enthusiasts like Neil deGrasse Tyson or David Attenborough talk about their obsessions with the world that surround us. I imagine Torres would be very happy if his work piqued our interest in astronomy, botany, or at the very least, about our own humanity. Because it is indeed a marvelous and astounding thing. (Via We The Urban)
Film maker and photographer Michael Shainblum captured familiar city scenes in a way you’ve likely never seen them. Shainblum captures time lapse sequences of cities such as Las Vegas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Chicaog, then folds it in on itself. The urban landscapes are seamlessly divided and replicated into four segments. In a strange way, this hypnotic abstraction of the city nearly seems to make it easier to see the city as whole. Each metropolis appears to pulse and glow as if it were a living being or complex computer system. The video allows the viewer to step back and see the city as a complex collective system. [via]
Ilona Gaynor is a designer and image maker hailing from the UK. Her latest project, Under Black Carpets, leverages bank heists as a medium of design. Through a series of intensive design and research exercises, Gaynor is using the strategies and vocabularies of robbery as a method for storytelling. Perhaps the most bizarre fact about the project is that is actually a collaborative effort with the NYC FBI Department of Justice and the LAPD archival department. Geoff Manaugh puts it well, stating that the project is an investigation into the “use and misuse of the cityscape where by architecture is considered both the obstacle and the tool to bridge or separate you from what you’re looking for” in both legal and illegal agendas. The project, ongoing, is currently comprised of an obsessive collection of materials that range from photographs of bank entrances to scale-models of get away cars. The project truly feels like the work of an insane person… and I mean that in the best way possible.
Nathalie Lagacé renders hybrid creatures that are both beautiful and hideous, half human and half beast. Her beautifully rendered drawings display tenderness and anguish, as she lovingly creates these intriguing creatures. However, they are stuck somewhere in limbo, between two beings as they cry out. Highly skilled at drawing, Nathalie Lagacé forms very believable creatures, which make them all the more disturbing. These seemingly cute babies become alarming with their pig heads and rat-tails. Perhaps the most shocking image is Lagacé’s drawing of a baby with bird legs, but they appear to be cooked, ready for you to pick right off the body. Lagacé has created a series that will not soon leave your mind, as the strange images of these bizarre creatures are unlike any that you will ever see.
This series, titled Legacy, points a stern finger at the way we impact the world around us. Much of her work is strongly environmental, displaying what our actions could possibly cause in the future. These crossbreeds of animals like zebras, pigs, and rabbits with humans represent our “legacy,” what we leave behind. The artist’s work reflects upon nature and our relationship with it, the positive and negative. Her art is full of harsh contrasts, whether it is between two conflicting creatures or the dark graphite against the stark white background. Make sure to check out her other black and white, graphite drawings, which have a similar environmental message. (via Hi-Fructose)
TOMAAS is a Paris-based fashion and beauty photographer whose stunning works explore the way man-made materials and objects accompany us in our daily lives. This particular series, titled Plastic Fantastic, incorporates plastic bags, forks, tubing, straws, bottles, and more into the creation of surreal and cinematic imagery. His white-washed models are both alien and beautiful; with plastic adorning their bodies and faces, what is most often seen as a functional and/or wasteful material becomes the luminescent fabric of space-age fashion.
Throughout his work, TOMAAS is interested in imagery that presents multiple themes. Plastic Fantastic is one such series, wherein he examines the prevalence, significance, and artistic versatility of plastic in our modern-day world. While conceptualizing this project, TOMAAS wanted to emphasize “the design and design choices behind such man-made products” (Source), and furthermore, explore what happens when such functional objects are removed from their normal contexts; take plastic forks and tubing into an arts and beauty studio, arrange them in unusual ways, and suddenly they become eerily beautiful and expressive crowns and dresses.
This approach to plastic as desirable or aesthetically-pleasing may be a bit difficult for us, given its noxious status in environmental discourse. But this is TOMAAS’ intention, to show beauty in unexpected places (and perhaps challenge some ethical perceptions in doing so). “There is no denying that [plastic] is one of the most commonly used materials in today’s society,” TOMAAS writes, describing what inspired him to create the series. By synthesizing plastic with fine art photography, he allows us to see — perhaps with a bit of resistance — beauty in a synthetic material that has become deeply integral to our human habitat.
Check out TOMAAS’ website for more of his works, including a series called Eco-Beauty, wherein he integrates other materials (such as straw and rope) into his photographic narratives. (Via Art Fucks Me)
Craig Maher is an illustrator who works primarily for Sci-Fi clients such as Magic The Gathering and other role playing games that you’d find nerdy kids playing in poorly lit basements. Not all of his work is my cup of tea but in a small section of his site I found some amazing gems to share with you. Ironically enough all of the paintings in this section were Craig’s unpublished works. Go figure.
Germany based artist Heiko Mueller’ art is like a fairy tale with a dark spin to it. He is fond of the country side, and is fascinated by the dark side of nature, the hidden machinations of the animal kingdom.
Clubs exist for nearly everything, even things you that wouldn’t expect because they’re so strange. Ursula Sprecher and Andi Cortellini document the off-beat organizations that make it possible for people share their interests.Hats, pigeons, nudity, and Santa Claus are all real clubs that make up the series titled Hobby Buddies.
The photographs are staged portraits featuring a variety of clubs. Each image features the members, either in their costumes or with the items of interest. The coloring and lighting looks dated, and these pictures look like they could be out of a Wes Anderson film. They are quirky, humorous, and endearing, especially when you consider how connecting with people who have the same interests can make someone not feel so alone in this world. And, that’s Sprecher and Cortellini’s point. The images are dedicated to the “joy of pursuing a common cause or shared idea.” (Via It’s Nice That)