Photographer Polly Penrose’s series A Body of Work was produced over the course of seven years. Her intention was to take pictures of strong, powerful, and interesting nude portraits. So, how did she achieve that? By using herself as a model. Penrose explains in an email to Beautiful/Decay:
…I was always available, and then because I realised something interesting was happening. I could push myself further than I could other models, and by shooting myself the pictures became a visual autobiography. The pictures are very spontaneous within the space, I never plan them I just work with what’s there, it’s like a secret conversation between myself and the space, a bit of silent theatrics which I document. Looking back I can see that my state of mind at the time of shooting definitely feeds into the imagery, my choice of pose and the general mood of the picture.
Penrose sees A Body of Work as ongoing, and that this simply marks its first seven years. “…I want to keep taking them until I can no longer move to do it – it will be interesting to see my body age and how the poses and locations will change with it.” Her photographs showcase a long time, but still relatively short in terms of an entire life span. We see just some of the changes a body goes through in that time and are intrigued with what the next seven will bring.
Celebrity photography is usually quite dull focusing on the popularity and power of the star. So it’s a breath of fresh air to pull up the portfolio of London based photographer Levon Biss and discover images of celebrities that are full of humor, quirky narrative, and unique sets.
SF dude Jesse Balmer makes drawings and other illustrative works with a comics/animation sensibility and fantasied/mythologically scaled subject matter. Balmer’s characters and good sense of motion make these works really awesome, but it’s his linework that really steals the show. The fluid curves and solid hatching on these are drool-worthy. He’s also been known to use a red and blue “3D” effect in his drawings which pops off really nicely. Put on a bib and take in more of Balmer’s vibed-out work after the jump.
Berlin based photographer Bagrad Badalian uses the technique of long-exposure photography to bend and manipulate light in his energetic and magnetic photography. The motion in his photography combined with a long exposure elongates his subjects and drags colored lights across the composition. Badalian, mainly focusing on the human form as his subject, allows the figure to be taken over by hypnotic, multicolored light sources that bounce and bend across the figures. This element along with his carefully cropped compositions render many of the subjects unrecognizable, shifting the focus onto the many waves of light. Each color seems to be exploding from the bodies with an energetic force, creating a vibrant pulse felt by the viewer. As you look at each figure in motion, you can feel the pulsating rhythm that encompasses each photograph.
“The photographic technique interests me for the many possibilities it offers not only to scientists but also artists. Long exposure photography is on of those techniques that fascinate me since I have started practicing photography. It allows me to decompose the movement of time and control the aesthetic and imaginative potential of chance.”
Each figure’s identity is skewed as their features are distorted and manipulated by the long exposure. This creates a beautiful, but sometimes nightmarish, effect. The colored lights dance across the figure’s faces due to the movement in the photograph, which also causes the face to shift. It becomes disfigured as the movement t manipulates the face and body like a ball of clay. Although causing a face-altering effect, Badalian’s technique is overall unique, holding a strong and powerful force.
New York City based artist Klaus Enrique constructs portraits based on painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s 400 year old work that features human figures with features represented by images of plant, fruit, or other organic elements. Enrique was inspired to create these portraits while photographing a human eye peeking out of leaves. He thought he could use leaves to construct facial features or masks. After some research, Enrique discovered Arcimboldo’s paintings and decided to recreate the images. This project has also inspired him to recreate other portraits, like those of Darth Vader, Gandhi, and The Terminator.
Enrique says, “Although most recognize the images immediately as portraits, there are many people who do not. At first they only see the individual parts of the image: the fruits, flowers, and vegetables. But after looking at it for a while, they realize that it’s a portrait of a person. To see that thought process being played out in real time is very satisfying to me because it mimics the thinking behind the art: that simple organic objects come together to create something more meaningful than the sum of its parts.” (via lens scratch)
In a daring undertaking, MoMA’s curator Klaus Biesenbach has pulled together an immersive exhibition concentrating on the last twenty years of Björk’s musical career, her eight full length albums and also features the launch of her new video Black Lake. Taken from her new album Vulnicura (2015), and filmed in Iceland in the summer of 2014, the 11 minute long video uncharacteristically explores the personal life of Björk and her break up with long time romantic partner Matthew Barney. The video was commissioned by the gallery and gave Björk another chance to work creatively with director Andrew Thomas Huang, whom she teamed up with on her previous video Mutual Core. For Black Lake, she also worked with the talented Erna Ómarsdóttir – a choreographer who gave life to Björk’s emotional journey through the break up. The video moves through the different stages of separation, including grieving, processing, and reincarnation.
The exhibition also features a retrospective of her music videos, from Debut (1993) to Biophilia (2011) across from the screening of Black Lake. In the lobby of the gallery, there is a showcase of the instruments used on Biophilia: a gameleste, a pipe organ, gravity harp and a Tesla coil. And to compete the experience,
…Songlines presents an interactive, location-based audio experience through Björk’s albums, with a biographical narrative that is both personal and poetic, written by the acclaimed Icelandic writer Sjón, along with many visuals, objects, and costumes, including the robots designed by Chris Cunningham for the “All Is Full of Love” music video, Marjan Pejoski’s Swan Dress (2001), and Iris van Herpen’s Biophilia tour dress (2013), among many others. (Source)