Mr. Bean as Thomas More by Hans Holbein the Younger.
Mr. Bean as Vanity by Frank Cadogan Cowper.
If you are a fan of Mr Bean, beautiful paintings, internet memes, stupid expressions, or laughing out loud, you will love what caricature artist Rodney Pike has been up to lately. Basing this series on the skit from the TV show when Mr Bean sneezes on a painting (Whistler’s Mother), and ends up replacing her face with a cartoon one, Pike decided to take the joke one step further.
Who knew that Mr Bean’s dark eyebrows, large eyes, swollen nostrils and chin full of stubble would fit so well under a fair maiden’s headscarf? Or that he could so effortlessly turn Mona Lisa into a nosy neighbor peering over the fence, or into someone who is so smug with themselves it is repugnant? Not only are these Photoshopped images a display of Rowan Atkinson’s theatrical talent, but also of Pike’s vision to imagine what would fit together. Combining two very different styles and eras, Pike is able to re contextualize many historical paintings that no longer have relevance to our contemporary lives.
Adding Mr Bean’s face into these Renaissance and Medieval paintings, Pike has re awakened the art lover in all of us cultural-meme-obsessed fans. He tells the Daily Mail
“I think it just adds to the absurdity when working with such serious source material and Rowan Atkinson can make any situation funny no matter how absurd. He’s always lots of fun and it is good therapy and a welcome break to the stresses of work sometime.”
You can see more of his hilarious faces on his website here.
In a series of black-and-white photographs taken between the years of 1973 and 1975, Ave Pildas provides a fascinating glimpse into how, over the span of four decades, the streets and people of Hollywood Boulevard have both changed and remained curiously the same. Pildas moved from Ohio to Los Angeles in 1971, when Capitol Records hired him to design album covers and take pictures of talent. After 6 months, Pildas left to begin his own design company called Plug In and embark on his Hollywood Boulevard project.
“This place is incredible,” Pildas said when we spoke over the phone. “People escaping the winter [and] US tourists lean towards the west — and all the nuts roll towards the west as well, stopping short of the ocean in Hollywood.” Intrigued by these people who came seeking adventure (and perhaps fame in movies and music), Pildas began to collect their portraits. “My style is to interact with people,” he said, explaining his approach. He would wait until an unknown person would walk into the light, engage with them, and then request to take their picture. Some people would pose and smile, and others would hold up their hands in rejection. “For the most part, I was treated well,” Pildas said in good humor.
Among the images you will see a whole cast of characters posing excitedly (or reluctantly) for the camera. There are apathetic teenagers at the bus stop, suave fashionistas, a chef, and, rather controversially, two people dressed up as KKK members for Halloween. In comparison to present-day street photography, which favors strong contrasts, Pildas would minimize shadows by shooting on overcast days. The result is a collection of images that are nostalgic as well as beautifully muted and almost surreal in appearance.
While some of the images look a bit dated (such as the cavalier and inappropriate attitudes of the KKK Halloween-goers), they also show how some things haven’t changed. “The costumes have changed,” Pildas observed, referring to how the fashion has inevitably shifted over the decades — but many things persist. He talked about what could still be seen: the Broadway Building, as well as the variety of restaurants, head shops, trashy lingerie stores, Scientologists, and street people hanging out. What has remained fundamentally the same is the adventurous and eclectic spirit that characterizes Hollywood Boulevard.
In an exhibition titled Hollywood Boulevard: The 70s— which opened at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE) on July 1st and runs until September 13th — Pildas has compiled an exciting collection of 51 photographs from the series. The images are made from scans of the original negatives, some of which hadn’t been seen in forty years and required repair. By opening the images to the public, Pildas offers a delightful journey into the lively history of Hollywood Boulevard and its people. Check out his website and Facebook page to learn more.
James Turrell is one of the most important artists in the world dealing in light and space. Born in Los Angeles in 1943, Turrell studied mathematics, psychology and sensory synesthesia as well as art at university. He flies around the desert in little planes and has devoted the best part his working life to turning a volcano into a piece of land art. “The spaces you encounter during flight can be amazing: meeting the dawn or watching the Aurora Borealis,” he says and describes an experience of taking off once at dawn and seeing the sunlight trapped between ground fog below and cloud cover above. These words paint a perfect portrait of his work.
Welcome to the third and last installment of Hennessy’s video featuring Elliott Wilson, the founder of Rap Radar and Editor-in-Chief of RESPECT. Elliott sheds further light onto how he stays relevant in a world that favors youth and how he is hungrier than ever to achieve his next big goal. He also breaks down his process for writing his letter from the Editor for each issue of RESPECT. and explains the goal of his magazine— capturing the moment and documenting a time. When Wilson points his finger at an undeniable moment in the culture, hip-hop listens. Want more? Go to www.neverstopneversettle.com to see the full episode now!
Katarzyna Majak‘s “Women of Power” photography series captures the faces and dress of earth-worshipping Polish women who are powerful among their particular spiritual sectors. The vast majority of Poland’s people (90%) are practicing Catholics. When Christianity was introduced to Poland a few centuries ago, it erased most traces of paganism, witchcraft, and shamanic traditions. The women Majak photographs – ranging in age from their 30’s to their 80’s – represent the very small minority of Polish women who practice alternative spirituality. For many of these women, this series depicts their first public display of power. They “practice a wide range of spiritual paths and spiritual systems. A few are traditional healers (so called ‘whisperers’ who mix religion with primeval superstitions to heal and remove spells using prayers) whose traditions survived on the Belarusian border. Some are women who had grandmothers who could ‘see’ or were herbal healers and who are working to revive what would otherwise be dead traditions.”