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Chantal Barlow Takes Portraits Of Survivors Of Domestic Violence Using Her Abusive Grandfather’s Camera

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The Unconventional Apology Project, created by Los Angeles based artist Chantal Barlow, was inspired by events haunting Barlow’s own family’s history. Her grandmother, Mableine Nelson Barlow, mother of 7 children, was shot and murdered by her grandfather two days following the finalization of their divorce. The dark secret has remained unspoken within her family, as her grandfather, a man of power, was never convicted or even sent to trial. As her grandfather grew older, he began to consistently capture moments from their family’s life. When he died, at age 84, he left her his beloved camera. Today, she uses this camera “as a tool to photograph…women that have been impacted by abuse, and have been silenced.” She aims to give these women a “Trail of Existence. They will not disappear.”

Barlow and her teammates, Tiffany Curlee and Dr. Susan Hammoudeh, have taken on this ambitious and altruistic project with the aims to create a platform to raise the volume of survivors of domestic violence. Not only does the team capture portraits of these women, they also have listened to and documented their stories. Each photograph shows the brightness and radiance in each of these women’s eyes, proving that there is light on the other side. The diversity of both the women’s stories and appearances teaches that domestic violence has no face. This is a truly pure and critical project, offering insight into a dark and far to common reality.

The body of work has been created to, in the words of the project developers;

 “recaptur[e] the humanity of abused women. Part of the apology is shaking up our preconceived notions of abused women; how we have made them all appear (or disappear) in media and other social outlets. They have lost their personhood, and are reduced to an event. This portrait project aims to shift our experience of these women.”

To know more about the project and get involved, find the project’s website here.

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Chris Appelhans

Character Design for Monster House: Jenny, DJ, and Chowder

Character Design for Monster House: Jenny, DJ, and Chowder

 

Chris Appelhans has done some awesome production and character design for films like Monster House, City of Ember, and Coraline. He exhibits a fabulous range, from the ultra-dark and disgustingly well-rendered to the innocent and simple–and oftentimes the two realms overlap. How his work always seems to retain a sense of hope is beyond me! 

 

Check out his Frank and Frank cartoons as well as his modern-day adaptation of Alice in Wonderland (pictures after the jump, of course!). 

 

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Mysterious Meyoko

meyokoinkdrawigI was perusing the Beautiful/Decay Creative Pic Flickr Pool this morning and came across Meyoko’s densely delicate ink drawings. Half Arcimboldo’s grotesque fruit heads, half seething with creatures from the garden of  Hieronymous Bosch‘s earthly delights, Meyoko’s works flit, tangle, weave, drip, and feather their way into strange specters. I realized I’ve seen her work before, somewhere, though I can’t recall exactly, so when it popped up on our Flickr page like a repeat-dream I was strangely enchanted- fitting I suppose! More works after the jump. I can’t seem to find any other information about her aside from her Flickr page. So, Meyoko, if you want to tell us who you are (or anyone knows the whereabouts of this mysterious ink-chanteuse) let me know!

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Cedric Delsaux Inserts Star Wars Characters Into Plausible Earthbound Environments

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Star Wars is a popular franchise that spans decades, so it’s no surprise that it has crept up in many artists’ work. We’ve seen it in paintings, expressed through Legos, and it’s even influenced engagement rings. Clearly, the fictional story has resonated with many. Cedric Delsaux can also count himself as someone who finds inspiration from Darth Vader, droids, and the vehicles made famous in the films. He’s expertly inserted Star Wars characters into desolate urban areas that look abandoned and dismantled. The results are images both poignant and haunting; and, given what we know about the characters, Delsaux sets the scenes for alluring narratives that are like a suspenseful novel. Something is going to happen, but we aren’t sure what.

His bleak and stylish works have caught the attention of many, including George Lucas himself:

Over the years, many artists have interpreted Star Wars in ways that extend well beyond anything we saw in the films. One of the most unique and intriguing interpretations that I have seen is in the work of Cedric Delsaux, who has cleverly integrated Star Wars characters and vehicles into stark urban, industrial – but unmistakably earthbound – environments. As novel and disruptive as his images are, they are also completely plausible.

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Rachel Harrison

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I don’t know why I think Rachel Harrison’s sculptures are so funny- they’re such simple sculptures. Joke shop faux-appendage (silver wig, plastic nose), mundane commercial element (cardboard box, ladder) and rough-hewn painted (polystyrene?) form.

 

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Anish Kapoor’s Dark Whirlpool Installation Churns Ceaselessly Beneath An Old Movie Theater

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In a place usually left to stillness and silence, black waters churn ceaselessly. Anish Kapoor, a London-based artist known for his sculptural installations using stainless steel, PVC, and other media, has created a whirlpool beneath the wooden floorboards of a former movie theater in San Gimignano, Italy. With a spine-tingling power that seems to suck your gaze to the center of the earth, the vortex pulls endlessly downward into a lightless void. Darkly beautiful and hypnotic, the waters evoke feelings of both admiration and fear. Appealing to the fascination we have for black holes and infinite space, Kapoor has created an existential zone of disturbing liminality, a place which exists between presence and absence, here and there. Speaking of his fascination for spatial emptiness in the press release, Kapoor explains:

“All my life I have reflected and worked on the concept that there is more space than can be seen, that there are void spaces, or, as it were, that there is a vaster horizon. The odd thing about removing content, in making space, is that we, as human beings, find it very hard to deal with the absence of content. It’s the horror vacui. This Platonic concept lies at the origin of the myth of the cave, the one from which humans look towards the outside world. But here there is also a kind of Freudian opposite image, that of the back of the cave, which is the dark and empty back of being. Your greatest poet, Dante, also ventured into a place like that. It is the place of the void, which paradoxically is full – of fear, of darkness. Whether you represent it with a mirror or with a dark form, it is always the ‘back’, the point that attracts my interest and triggers my creativity.” (Source)

By creating this zone of dread — a vacuum of inverted reality that threatens our mortal existences with its apparent soullessness — Kapoor’s whirlpool unveils a special form of significance. The whirlpool is a world “which is paradoxically full,” for instead of beauty and safety, we are confronted with a vital impulse: a void brimming with life-affirming fear that destabilizes our constructions of reality. The whirlpool evades all concrete meaning by always moving, existing beyond our knowledge, troubling us with the notion of infinite absence.

The show ran until May 9th. This whirlpool is an another version of Kapoor’s Descension, which was featured earlier this year at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale. Visit Kapoor’s website and Galleria Continua to learn more. (Via My Amp Goes to 11)

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Jean-Pierre Roy Paints Giants In Alien Wastelands To Deconstruct The Known World

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Jean-Pierre Roy is a New York-based artist who paints surreal scenes that deconstruct the known world. His work is often associated with science fiction, depicting alien wastelands inhabited by colossal humanoid beings, their bodies laden with geometric shapes, holographic projections, and mirrored panes. Their behaviors are likewise strange; wearing modern clothing, they loom against empty horizons, their faces splintered into expressionless shapes. Many of them appear contemplative, or even violent, pulling the clothes off prone bodies and engaged in silent feuds.

Rather than ascribing to science fiction specifically, however, Roy is more interested in fostering a critical, creative space that allows us to examine the systems of knowledge that construct reality. He strives to explore what he identifies as “the pull of the fantastical”—that moment when “your existential understanding of the nature of things will be questioned.” (Source) By making the earth unearthly, by depicting the self in unexplained contexts, and by crossing the beautiful with the unknown, Roy’s work provides fascinating visions of immaterial and cosmic worlds. (Via Trendland)

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Andrew Scott Ross’ Elaborate Paper Dioramas Recreate Ancient History

Paper Diorama's

Paper Diorama's

Paper Diorama's Paper Diorama's

Artist Andrew Scott Ross is interested in the ancient past, and uses it to better understand the present.  Curious about the way museums present items from the past, Ross creates paper-dioramas, drawings and sculptures to display his own versions and representations of history.

In his 2013 work Tilden and the Theban Hero, for instance, Ross used photographic reproductions of Greek and Roman art from the Michael C. Carlos Museum near Emory University’s campus as a point of departure.  He then cut by hand several elements and combined them to create an imaginative, large-scale installation.  The piece employs Greek mythology as well as elements of Ross’s personal history.  Informative, fun and engaging, Ross’ installations almost come to life before a viewer’s eyes.

See his work later this summer at the Winter Gallery at Millersville University in PA.

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