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Beautiful Installations Created With Ornate Gowns

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The work of South African artist  Mary Sibande is complex much like the identities it addresses.  Sibande creates life size sculptures, primarily of black women.  The sculptures are arrayed in large ornate dresses which, rather than shed light on the subject’s identity, complicate it.  The dresses seem to be a perfect blend of Victorian upper class and a maid’s uniform.  Sibande’s grand installations efficiently comment on gender, class, colonialism, and beauty.  To further underscore these issues, Sibande arranged for huge photographic murals of the installations to be displayed throughout Johannesburg.

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Alison Brady’s Strange Portraits

New York-based photographer Alison Brady makes some pretty bizarre photos. Pretty and bizarre. The interesting and different perspective is what catches your eye; instead of a traditional beauty-in-the-person snap, these portraits give the car-accident-look- away urge while simultaneously pushing a strange narrative inside a beautiful anonmity. Take a look after the leap.

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Chu Teppa’s Little White Dolls Of Mythological Goddesses

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The world of Chu Teppa is magical. She recalls memories from her childhood and from those she creates mythological goddesses. Among the seven dolls forming the family, there’s Cîz, Goddess of light, predictions and hope riding her swan and leading a bottled frog; Dvü, Goddess of inspiration and fertility with her cat nose and Hyê Goddess of maternity, kindness and antics holding two pigs and wearing a pig nose herself.

Each doll is white, a color dear to Chu Teppa which, according to her, brings peace and comfort. Interested in the expression of feelings and emotions, she uses white as a mask, a layer that helps forget worries. In opposition, the touch of vivid colors symbolizes life as joy and pain. Wanting to design tender sculptures, the artist nevertheless claims that imperfection is part of being human and that it shouldn’t be forgotten.
If color has a strong meaning in the art of Chu Teppa, the 3 lettered names of the goddesses are even more relevant. The number three, according to the artist, is an expression of artistic expression, vital optimism and abundance.

The artist is sensible to the duality between clarity and darkness. Two concepts that are identified by almost everyone and part of their mission “to transcend into eternal light as we evolve”. Through her fantasy universe, her goddesses and her symbols, Chu Teppa suggests an introspection of the combination of agony and its polar opposite, pleasure.

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Rachel Sugg’s Exquisite Illustrations Conjure Beauty And Intrigue

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Rachel Suggs is a Baltimore-based illustrator whose soft mixture of water-based media and (sometimes) pencil conjure both beauty and intrigue. Her colorful-yet-desaturated compositions, often fantastical,  feature people whose lives are intimately tied to nature. Tall trees, weeping branches, and florals are both background decor as well as the main characters in her illustrations.

Symbols and metaphors are prominently featured in Sugg’s works. We aren’t always given a clear sense of where a person or thing is, but based on the environment surrounding them, we can infer the emotions and motivation behind the subjects in her illustrations. Snakes and serpents show up in her work, which could communicate danger. Sometimes, we see birds and bugs, which, depending on what they are, could mean a metamorphosis or rebirth.

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Alex Cornell Captures The Strange, Rare Sight Of A Flipped Iceberg

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Icebergs, while massive in size, are usually seen in one way – as white objects that stick out of the frigid water. But, in rare situations, they take on a different, more brilliant form. When an iceberg is flipped over, it appears as a gem that cloaks itself in the color of the surrounding water.  Interface designer Alex Cornell happened upon this phenomenon last month as he sailed through the Drake Passage to Antarctica.  He was able to shoot pictures of the iceberg using his Canon 5D Mark II camera.

“We were lucky to see a massive iceberg flip; when this happens, the color is a surreal, alien blue,” he tells PetaPixel. “They don’t flip often, so it was a pretty rare sight to see. It’s hard to tell scale, but this was an epic iceberg.”

It’s often said that 90% of the iceberg itself is below the surface, and this is the cause of it being topsy-turvy. “It was amazing to see the interior. There were air bubbles and flowing water throughout. It looked like an alien artifact.” (Via 123 Inspiration and PetaPixel)

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Emma Powell’s Photography Looks Like Paintings of Dreams

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Emma Powell‘s photo series “In Search of Sleep” is a sequence of snapshots straight out of a semi-lucid dream. To create her photos, Powell uses the cyanotype process and also tints them with tea and wine. The result is a layer of haziness and off-kilter colors that enhance the surreality of her artwork, making them almost seem like paintings of the mind.

In Search of Sleep recreates this shadowy realm and allows me to explore my real-life questions, from personal dramas to romantic doubts,” Powell says. Her inspiration is also, in part, the bedtime stories her father used to invent, which incorporated real world locations as well as a mysterious “dream-world of caverns, forests, and oceans full of unexpected animals and dangers.”
Powell’s work certainly embodies that sense of searching, longing, and subterranean menaces. In some photos, her dreamer seems very small: standing before a looming labyrinth; marooned on a rock next to an enormous anchor; pausing before the stairs as a large shadow moves behind her.
“In Search of Sleep” almost gives the sensation that as much as the dreamer seeks, she is also being sought. Powell’s photography gives us a sense of a journey, and as mysterious as it is, we can’t be sure if the seeker ever finds what she’s looking for. (h/t I Need a Guide)

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Cut Paper Art By Alexis Facca

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Cut Paper Art

Alexis Facca is a Belgium-based paper artist and set designer, known previously as Paper Donut. He recreates everyday objects in paper, which are used in both his personal work and commercial endeavors, including animation. Facca’s paper sculpting is successful on a number of levels – his attention to detail and craft, the formal aspects like color and composition, and its ability to amuse and delight us. His work is memorable, which is especially important when working with advertising clients.

In addition to paper, Facca has recently composed compositions that use other materials like popcorn and barbecue skewers. He also includes metal grates and wood blocks, too. His better known works, however, are objects recreated from paper. This means he has constructed filing cabinets, copy machines, and large potted plants. He has created life-size breakfast foods, too, including angular fruit, donuts and eggs. Yum!

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