When the artist Adam Brown paints a portrait, he sprinkles cremated human remains into his palette, hoping to memorialize the dead in a way that celebrates their individualism and vitality; each image, most commissioned by the loved one of a recent decedent, serves as an alternative to the traditional urn.
After Brown’s clients submit a sampling of sandy ashes, the artist dons a pair of gloves and mixes them with paint to create personalized renditions and imaginings of the dead that span from straight black and white portraiture to dreamy colored abstractions. He carefully preserves any and all unused ashes, ultimately returning them to his client.
The project, titled Ashes to Art, poignantly aims to reconstruct the deconstructed body, fixing delicate cremains with glue and paint; in this way, his paintings work to incapsulate the entirety of the human body and lifetime into one sly smile, one glint of the eye, or one splash of color.
Brown’s ambitious body of work subverts morbid thoughts on human remains, adopting the medium to create shockingly cheerful faces, heavily textured hands, and vividly yellow flames. The idea of permanence figures prominently into the work; not unlike the popular ritualistic scattering of ashes over the sea, his landscape paintings elegantly incorporate the corporeal into the seemingly eternal earth, everlasting sky, or immovable mountains.
With each work, the artist ensures the respectful remembrance of human life with a simple inscription; lest a piece get lost or auctioned and taken for an average painting, he writes a disclaimer on its backing: this work of art contains human remains. (via Daily Mail and Oddity Central)
In 2010, photographer and conservationist Robin Moore set out on a global quest in search of frogs and salamanders that were last seen between 15 and 160 years ago. The undertaking was accompanied by over 120 scientists in 21 countries and took four years to complete.
It was worth the time and effort, however, and Moore’s journey produced some incredible rediscoveries, such as: the Ventriloquial Frog from Haiti, capable of throwing its voice, and the Borneo Rainbow Toad, which was unseen in 87 years. And, amusingly, a new species from Colombia was introduced called the “Monty Burns Toad,” which is reminiscent of the cartoon villain from The Simpsons.
From this quest came a book titled In Search of Lost Frogs, which includes information about the project and shows over 400 gorgeous photos of Moore’s findings. The sizes of each creature, their variations in color, and image quality are crystal clear. When you compare all the different frogs and salamanders, it’s remarkable just how many variations there are. It is that sentiment- one of hope and wonder – that Moore wants you to feel; to motivate you to care about the amphibians and the potential loss of their species. He explains:
As conservationists we often get so caught up in communicating what it is that we are losing that we forget to instill a sense of hope,” Moore says. “We need to revel in the weird and the wonderful, the maligned and the forgotten, for our world is a richer more wondrous place for them. Stories and images of discovery and rediscovery can help us to reconnect with our inner explorer – they can make us feel part of a bigger, wilder world. Rekindling a connection with the world beyond our concrete boxes is the key to caring about the way we are treating our natural world.
Tarek Mawad and Friedrich van Schoor have teamed up to light up a forest, using real-time projections to create the effect of bioluminesce. With their digital wizardry, trees glow as though veined with lava and wild mushrooms dance with fairy lights.
The duo spent six weeks in the forest, mapping all the contours of their subjects to ensure the illusion would be complete. Ice blue stripes shimmer and disappear on a tree frog’s back and spiderwebs glint with threads of light. The result is subtle and magical, hinting at undiscovered mysteries just off the beaten path.
Simply named “Bioluminescent Forest,” the project was inspired by the natural bioluminescence found in marine life such as jellyfish and certain deep water creatures; seeing the aquatic lightshow transposed onto land adds yet another layer of intrigue and otherworldliness. (via This Is Colossal)
Angel Olsen has one of those rare voices that deserves to be heard. You might actually have already heard it and didn’t even know it from her work with Bonnie “Prince” Billy and The Cairo Gang, but when I first heard her debut Strange Cacti a while back, I was instantly mesmerized by her unique voice. She self-describes it as, “Never changing, always changing” which makes perfect sense after listening to her newest album Half Way Home from Bathetic Records. I was lucky enough to ask her a few questions regarding what she’s learned from being on the road, as well as how she came up with the cover art for her new record.
In regards to the cover art for Half Way Home… “The cover work for the album began as a photograph of a girl looking out into the mountains from a high point. It was taken from the top of Knapps Castle, just outside of Santa Ynez. I asked Steve Krakow/Plastic Crimewave to make a drawing based upon that image. I’ve always been a fan of his magazine, Galactic Zoo Dossier, and his column in The Chicago Reader “The secret history of chicago music”. He’s been a friend for years and I thought if anyone should work on this, it should be him.” As for why she didn’t use a photo… “I didn’t want to use a photo of myself in the end. I felt that I shouldn’t be framed this time around, something else should be.”
We usually post only one video a day but I thought we’d throw caution to the wind today and do an entire day of videos. Lets start the morning right with a mega epic video by my new favorite band, Barbariön. Join me in headbanging the start of the day after the jump.
Phrased very well by BLDGBLOG as a possible scenario and usage of Sebastien Wierinck’s public furniture: “After a long day at work, then, you would walk into your house – which has no permanent furniture – and you’d see a shimmering mass of black tubes swaying in a slight evening breeze above your head…You’d push several buttons, and the system would begin to move, drooping down in long loops and turning back and forth in tight corners and curves, all laying out the forms of temporary furniture – bed, table – as you get ready for a quiet night at home.” I love the photo documentation- each set of furniture seems to have its own mood.