Evelyn Bencicova’s photography is stark and haunting, which could probably in part be attributed to the headless-ness of her subjects in most of her works. The colouring is sterile, and the figures’ body language imitates the stillness of their environment. Although each naked body touches at least one other, there is no sense of sexuality or pleasure. The bodies seem like one larger, unified organism, like some strange jellyfish or starfish. They splay themselves over surfaces, as if they’ve been washed up across the desk they rigidly lie on. They are compelling because although logically you realize you’re seeing a human body, they lack any recognizable aspects. It’s near impossible to feel empathy or understanding without facial features or visible imperfections or distinguishing character. It is especially with so many clones together. The series is an interesting experiment in identifying what defines our living human character.
I want to apologize in advance for making this comparison, but if I’m being completely honest, I’m reminded of the film Human Centipede. Of course, conceptually they are completely opposite, one being completely vile and horrific, the other pleasantly vacant. Still, if the Human Centipede were instead an experimental art film, maybe it would be the Human Starfish, and the film was about a multi-human entity that slowly explored an abandoned hospital or institution, these photos would be the stills. (Via Daily Metal)
In her series “Flower Power,” photographer Sophie Gamand has overcome her childhood fear of dogs by photographing Pit Bulls—wearing flower crowns.
“This project started as an excuse for me to discover more about pit bulls, and to see for myself what the debate was about. Were they really all crazy and dangerous? Or were most of them simply the victims of a generalization? … ‘Flower Power’ is about challenging myself to approach pit bulls with a fresh perspective and an open heart. I invite the viewer to do the same.”
The term Pit Bull designates an appearance, not a breed, and until fairly recently Pit Bulls were considered America’s Dog. What happened? Some states and counties have introduced breed specific legislation and outright bans to make it illegal to own a dog that even looks like a pit bull. They can be killed based on the way they look regardless of their temperament or previous history.
Though Gamand shares her concern with other Pit Bull defenders, for example Pitproject600 which also uses photography to show the gentle side of these dogs, the soft-focus, Photoshopped backgrounds of the dog pictures and the sweet flower crowns are an inventive and charming concept.
“The imagery associated with these dogs is often harsh, very contrasted, conveying the idea of them being tough. In my opinion, this feeds the myth that these dogs are dormant psychopaths. So I decided to take the other route and portray them like hippies, soft fairy-tale-inspired characters, feminine and dreamy.”
Thirty percent of the total dogs admitted to U.S. animal shelters are labeled as pit bulls, and 86.7 percent of pit bulls admitted to open admission shelters end up being killed. With her fairy-tale photos of dreamy eyed dogs, Sophie Gamand wants to give these dogs another chance. (Via Fast Company)
The Graffiti Of War is a project started by Jason Parsons, an Iraq war veteran who was deeply moved by the graffiti done by fellow soldiers in the mideast. When Jason came back stateside he was having bad bouts of PTSD and decided to create a book documenting the graffiti left behind by thousands of soldiers as a form of therapy. This once simple idea has grown into a full time mission to support the troops and tell their stories one photo at a time.
Brazilian illustrator and comics author Pedro Franz fills his work to the brim with color, characters, and textual elements. And it’s all happening at once. Before you can take in a single expression or brush stroke, you are swallowed whole. I don’t mind. But when you do recover from the original onslaught of energy, a unique style of narrative is revealed. More images of Franz’s work after the jump, and you can check out his comic, Promises of Love to Strangers While Waiting for the End of the World, right here.
The art of Adeela Suleman is built of common cooking utensils found in her home of Karachi, Pakistan. Suleman utilizes objects such as strainers, measuring spoons, tongs, and enamel pots among many others. While many of her pieces appear organic, others seem to be a form of armor or helmet. She juxtaposes traditionally domestic tools with the appearance of items of aggression and physical protection. Perhaps, a reminder of physical abuse directed against women as well as the absurdity of violence.
Fairy tallish and painterly is still the case with Hernan Bas. The Miami native, now living in Detroit, was a promising young art star in 2008-2009. Back then, at the age of 30, he burst onto the international art scene with a traveling retrospective. His stop at the Brooklyn Museum focused on several early pieces showing the artist’s development up until that point. At the time, there didn’t seem to be enough scope to witness a grand crescendo, and the retrospective presented a young man with great potential. Fast forward six years later, and similar narratives offer a more developed sense of self. The dandy, a central character Bas is known for, stemming from the decadent period of Oscar Wilde and art critic JK Huysmans, is still steady in the mix. Bas’ canvases continue to show great flair for turning ordinary spaces into mystical landscapes. Many scenes take place in the great outdoors. The rustic lure of old country houses, backyards and windmills are further enhanced by monstrous foliage. Trees and leaves are filled with larger than life wonder and endless beauty, where a thousand and one marks, make up a single canvas. Hints of Davinci, Matisse and Michelangelo behold otherworldly elements intertwined with religion. In one, an unusual priest flys a kite of stigmata transforming physical reality. In another, a reenactment of Saint Sebastian becomes apparent. Sometimes the action is missed because of the incredible mark making. The paint dazzles and seduces you into a place of aesthetic pleasure. It reaches a certain rhythm where everything falls into place.
Collage typeography illustration from Alexis Anne Mackenzie has an air of playfulness without being overly girly, or illustrated. She shows a beautiful balance between image and letter, with I’m sure a lot of painstaking thought put into each piece. Nicely done!
Thordis Adalsteinsdottir‘s paintings combine pattern filled rooms with bizarre narrative scenes that will leave you thinking “what the hell is going on in this guys head?” Out of all the bizarre elements in Thordis’s work my favorite would have to be the hair. It looks like a blindfolded barber took a razor blade to the heads and only left 8 strands.